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Costa Rica Anniversary Trip???


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#21 binzer

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    Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:02 AM

    Unfortunately I have never stayed at a hotel in Mal Pais yet, even though it's my top destination! I've been to some of the beaches there years ago (I spent two months on a schooner along the Pacific coast of CR) but tbh, the details are all very hazy! If you get a chance when you're going by, I recommend going to Curu Wildlife Refuge (particularly if you like hiking/walking, birds and monkeys). Besides the hundreds of monkeys throughout the refuge, there's also one very sweet monkey named Oscar who had his tail ripped off by the other monkeys (after his mom got electrocuted and he was shunned). He's pretty friendly with the tourists since he had to become partially tame to survive.

    Me and my fiance are also trying to figure out where to stay the night before we leave. Beacon Escazu looks like a decent option, although a little closer would be nice. We just don't want the last night to be a "throwaway" night with zero romance or atmosphere! I remember finding a good spot a few months ago, but for the life of me I can't find it again :S I'm going to look some more and I'll post back.

    #22 binzer

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      Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:23 AM

      I did some googling and found a couple more options a bit closer to SJO airport (they're both about 20 minutes away, which isn't it a lot better than 30 :P).

      The first is Finca Rosa Blanca and it's also a coffee plantation. It has 13 rooms, and all of them are unique (I like that).

      The other is Xandari Resort and Spa. The website isn't as detailed, but it has 22 rooms and seems pretty nice.

      Both places are pretty pricey (more than I would normally spend, especially since there are lots of nice cheap hotels in CR) but I figure it's the last night of our wedding-moon, so its ok to splurge.

      Anyone been to either of those places or have any alternate suggestions?

      #23 Ask.CostaRica

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        Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:59 PM

        Binzer,

        Finca Rosa Blanca is a beautiful place, yep, about 20-30min from the airport. Same owners as Arenas del Mar in Manuel Antonio. Nice views of the Central Valley. Rooms are inside a big house sort of with some separate rooms in the gardens. You should ask for the top floor honeymoon suite in the main house. Breakfast is something to look forward to with the view you will have. A bit out of the way if you want to plan activities during the day.
        Xandari has spectacular gardens (probably every flower and herb in the book), it is up high in the Alajuela mountains, 35 min from the airport. Their rooms are separate bungalows, unique architecture (the owner is an architect from Nothern California) They are all spread out on the property facing the valley view. Pool is facing Poas Volcano. Very good food. Healthy. You might get some rain, you'll be in the "green belt" coffee countryside. They are a bit pricey. I tried thinking of some cheaper suggestions but for your last nites, do it style, get some rest and good food. Either one of these are great along with Grano de Oro.

        #24 nylalany

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          Posted 09 April 2009 - 05:26 PM

          Ugh everyone says something different, see? So Xandari is 35 minutes from airport? And Finca Rosa Blanca is actually closer? I looked at both and I heard the opposite ha! They both look very pretty - I wish I felt it was worth it - if I were leaving on a later flight, I would have totally booked one of them! I love the idea of waterfall trails at Xandari, although Finca Rosa Blanca's rooms look nicer.

          #25 Ask.CostaRica

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            Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

            nylalany,

            Here's the thing, for Xandari, you have to go thru the middle of Alajuela town, going up is quicker that coming back to the airport. Finca Rosa Blanca is on a side road that gets to the airport and in distance definitely closer.

            #26 nylalany

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              Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:19 PM

              Ask.CostaRica - Sorry to ask so many questions but you've just been so helpful - and I'm leaving tomorrow! So you've really helped!

              Now Finca Rosa Blanca is $218 including taxes on Expedia for a Junior Suite (major savings compared to their website). FRB says they provide transportation $30 each way to airport, so total $268, and that it is 15-20 minutes from airport.

              Beacon Escazu (where I am booked) is $138 including taxes, and they provide transportation for $25 each way, so total $188, and you say it is also 20 minutes to airport from Escazu.
              Beacon Escazu

              Is Finca Blanca Rosa worth the extra $80? I like the idea of being in nature, but if we're only there for 2 hours of daylight, is it worth it? Maybe we should stick to the Beacon and the comforts of having tv, etc. haha...

              #27 Ask.CostaRica

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                Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:31 PM

                It's a lot of money for 2 hrs. of daylight, skip FRB this time, you would want to be there for 2 days one nite al least. Beacon will be it. Transport is about right ($20). Check your menu at the hotel and see if you like, if not head to La Cascada (if you are not vegetarian) not much for decor (I mentioned last time) but a CR monument in food, it has been there forever!

                Best of luck! Write me on the road, would be glad to help in any way.

                #28 Ask.CostaRica

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                  Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:37 PM

                  Depending on the day, try Tiquicia Restaurant in the mountains of Escazu (ask the hotel to see if it is open), very "campesino" basic but pretty romantic with the view and all. Don't want to mislead, it is very basic CR food (typical) but the view is what you are there for. Yucca dumplings stuffed with cheese, awesome! Stay away from the buffet, a la carte is the way! Just thought this would be more romantic than La Cascada not better food though.

                  #29 nylalany

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                    Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

                    Thank you SO SO much again. So $20? I was going to go w/the $25 shuttles b/c it is new and taxis don't know where it is - I guess it is worth the extra $5 for that huh.

                    Muse is the restaurant there, but if it isn't good, I'll go for your suggestions. Do they both offer fish? I don't eat meat.

                    Someone on tripadvisor also mentioned Tablita Campesina in walking distance from Beacon. They said it was cheap and good - would you recommend it?

                    #30 Ask.CostaRica

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                      Posted 10 April 2009 - 08:36 AM

                      ylalany,

                      Yep, $20 just got off the phone (departing 5am to airport). I only use this company to send my mother or mother in law to the airport, it is called 5 (Cinco) Estrellas. New cars, driver in a tie, very cordial and out of Escazu. The # 2228 3159.
                      La Tablita is good, but you will have no views to create the romance, the town of Esaczu does not have much colonial charm, you could always check the Tablita out, rain check it and head a different way.
                      Let me know if there is anything else I may be of help with.




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