One city, two San José experiences.
Travelling to San Jose was a great way for me to experience urban and rural – all within half an hour.
The first stop on my travels was Costa Rica coffee plantation and Inn, Finca Rosa Blanca in the verdant hills overlooking San José. Every room is different and I admit to chatting up people in the restaurant in the hope of getting to see the art in their rooms. The talk at the dinner table was all about the unique Costa Rica inn architecture and commitment to the culture of travel – there are few sharp corners and the main building or main house is an eclectic blend of adobe and wood. The highlight for me was my bathroom. It reminded me of Hornby Island hippie chic, hand painted tile and hardwood features.
Overlooking the main house is the infinity pool with a roof top terrace and hot tub. I was there in the green season so the water was refreshing but not cold. The grounds of Finca Rosa Blanca are particularly verdant in green season so walking the path to the restaurant is energizing though at night, the sapos or toads like to feast on insects so be careful where you step!
If you are looking for a place to hold a destination celebration, Finca Rosa Blanca is a good choice. There was a family group on a destination birthday trip celebrating two 60th birthdays. This was the family’s third visit to Finca Rosa Blanca and all of us in the restaurant were treated to the music and dancing with larger than life mascarada puppets.
Half an hour from Finca Rosa Blanca and in the heart of San José is the iconic and gorgeous Hotel Grano de Oro. I used Grano de Oro as my central point as I came and went from various locations in Costa Rica. This is my kind of business travel - downtown San José hotel that caters to my needs. I prefer staying in independent hotels and loved the fact that all the rooms I stayed in were different and all looked out onto courtyards!
Since I had one afternoon free, I immediately fired up my smart phone to find the local urban culture. I walked to the Costa Rican Art Museum at Sabana Park, had a burger and a coke at San José burger joint, Soda Tapia. The following Saturday before I flew back to Canada, I was able to walk to the central market and then enjoyed a meal at the San José fine dining restaurant at Hotel Grano de Oro. I capped off my Costa Rica urban adventure by attending a production of “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” by the Little Theatre Group of Costa Rica at an English language theatre just two minutes from Grano de Oro hotel.
Terry Rachwalski is the digital services specialist for the Tartan Group, a travel media relations and marketing communications company in Victoria, BC.
Terry travelled to Costa Rica working on client integrated marketing communications projects and found her love of Costa Rican coffee is even more intense in country. The Tartan Group is a Victoria, BC based communications and public relations firm representing clients in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Central America. The Tartan Group specializes in international tourism PR, hospitality with a niche in eco-tourism and eco-lodges.