Hotel Costa Verde

After our night at El Toledo Coffee Farm, we headed to Karl’s suggested spot: Hotel Costa Verde. We loved it there, it’s beautiful and the views are spectacular, but we–of course–did have some quibbles.

We loved the fact that there was an adults-only building and swimming pool. Nothing wrong with kids, but I don’t really find them all that relaxing especially because I work with them (I loved not having kids around – like Sue, I love kids, but on vacation, it is nice to be away from them – oh by the way – I just figured out how to change the font color…be afraid…very afraid). Our room had a kitchen and sitting area, so it was more like a little suite decorated in eco-friendly and wooden decor. We also had a lovely deck with views of the pool, ocean, and trees. The whole set-up felt very private and quiet. Aaaaah.

The evening view from our room
Monkeys! So cute! So humanistic!

Another great feature of the hotel: sloths are everywhere! (No Mom, she is not talking about me…she is talking about the animals) OK, well, they are in the trees and that is where they stay, but they are easy to spot and pretty cute. Also: monkeys! Fun to watch while you sit by the pool with an icy tropical drink. The bar is right there and you can order food from any of the restaurants owned by the hotel.

One the odd things we wondered about right away was the two queen bed setup. I saw it in the other rooms in our building, too. How many couples are going to Costa Rica, staying in the adults only area, and want to share their room with another couple? Maybe more than I think, but that wouldn’t be my first choice. The good thing about the second bed was that it served as a dresser, since there wasn’t one in the room. Get rid of the second bed and put in a king and some drawers for clothes. Just one woman’s suggestion. We also had to get used to the idea that the bathroom is not air conditioned. The bathroom window had only a screen and the bathroom door could not be left open (which I guess is good or we would have been air conditioning the outdoors). The AC also only works with the key; a nice feature so that no one is leaving it on when they are not in the room.



Costa Verde has two distinct decor themes and I’m not sure how, or if, they are related: airplanes and liquor bottles. We stayed in the cockpit cottage one night and it was totally cool. The liquor bottles are embedded in the concrete walls an serve as the light fixtures on the walkways and in the rooms. I’m not sure what Grey Goose or any of the other booze had to do with anything, but it looked good.

The staff were friendly (as is the Costa Rican way) and always smiling. There are a lot of stairs in this plimg_20190325_073201659ace since it’s a hilly country, but the poor guy who carried our luggage didn’t even seem to sweat in the 90-degree humidity. We also had a delicious fruit plate for breakfast one morning and were warned that we were over-ordering. Yes, one fruit plate was plenty.

The hotel has several restaurants, although they are not right on the grounds. You can get a ride from the hotel to them, but none are very far. You do have to be happy walking uphill by the side of a windy road that doesn’t always have sideways, but we had no problems, except sweat.

We would definitely recommend Hotel Costa Verde.



Water World Part 3 Plus

img_20190327_101341527img_20190327_071832513We’re a couple of days behind on the blog, but it’s tough settling down to write in paradise. So pretend it’s still Wednesday. On that day, we took a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. We weren’t planning to do a tour, but because we booked all our other tours through Iguana Tours, they threw in this one. So, OK, off we went at 7:05 a.m. (sorry Steven). BUT, we were so glad we did the tour. The guides all have high-powered binoculars and they know what they are looking for. We got to see all three species of monkeys (white face, howlers, and spiders). The white face monkeys were eating out of the garbage when we got there, so that wasn’t a big deal, but we never would have seen the spider monkeys without guidance. We saw two- and three-toed sloths and it is baby season, so many of the animals were carrying their babies on their backs. Manuel Antonio park is the smallest of Costa Rica’s parks, but it is the easiest one in which to see animals and it has gorgeous beaches. Don’t miss it.

img_20190327_104617696We could have spent the rest of the day on the beach and made our own way back to the hotel, but we had a 4:15 p.m. kayaking tour booked and we didn’t want to be too exhausted plus we were moving to the “Cockpit Cottage” at Costa Verde (we’ll save that for another post) and wanted to take full advantage. So we took a few photos of the beach and headed back.

Our kayaking tour was through the mangroves in the Damas estuary, a bit north of Manuel Antonio. I’m not sure what I thought we would see in the dark, (I’ll give you a hint: not much!) but imagine pretty much floating down a river surrounded by mangrove trees with the stars twinkling above and no mosquitoes. We heard birds, frogs, and clams spitting brackish water and the light sound of our paddles. We did see a few possums and birds. The company also has a catamaran tour of the same stretch of river and they were able to see the head of a small crocodile, but I’m not sure I mind missing that. Guess what we ate after that tour? Typical food!


Where to Next? Costa Rica!

So remember last week when I was whining because we didn’t know where we wanted to go, but there was snow in November and just–yuck!

After looFile:Costa Rica regions map.pngking into various options, you already know that we are going to Florida for winter break. With such short notice, everything else was out of reach, but the exploration led us to decide on our spring break trip: Costa Rica here we come! Now I am really excited! I am lucky enough to have worked with someone who now lives there, and although we aren’t best buddies, he graciously gave us advice and offered his guest room to boot.

We will spend our first night on El Toledo Coffee Farm outside San Jose and wake up to breakfast (with, I’m assuming, excellent coffee!) and a tour. Then we head to the Manuel Antonio National Park area, where we will stay in the friend-recommended Hotel Costa Verde. How can you resist a hotel whose slogan is “still more monkeys than people” and has transformed an airplane fuselage into rooms? We splurged on one night in the cockpit cabin. We haven’t decided exactly what we will be doing yet, that’s for future blog posts, but we have already started making a long list, which I am sure Steven will turn into a spreadsheet (I have already started…perhaps I will allow you to see it for the next post!).

Next we will head to see my friend, who lives in the Arenal area, for a couple of nights. It is so gracious of him and his partner to offer,  we didn’t want to take advantage by staying more than that. Then, it’s back to San Jose for a night at an airport motel before we fly Southwest via Atlanta to get back home to reality.