Costa Rica Hotels


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LA POSADA JUNGLE BUNGALOWS, Manuel Antonio Beach

Okay, so today I am feeling nostalgic and also a need to return to the source of creating my blog. While I continue to have beautiful adventures back home in the states, I feel I must continue to pay homage to my inspiration. The beautiful country of Costa Rica presented me with many emotions-wonder, awe, fear of the unknown, inspiration and love.  It also afforded me some of the richest opportunities of my life. We made friends, saw amazing wildlife, lived simply and fully, all the while not fully comprehending the magic of it all.  I was able to write my novel there, inspired by the natural world around me. It was the source of inspiration for the Garden of Dohman, for Costa Rica remains so much in its natural state, a fact for which its government should be given great credit.

So today I just wanted to remind you of some of the great places we stayed while visiting and suggest them to you should you decide to jump that plane and head to a more prehistoric and natural paradise, one that is closer to the ground.  You can indeed find five star hotels and loads of amenities in select places of the country; but we preferred the simple elegance of a manicured room furnished with things made by the local artisans, surrounded by jungle and beaches as close to their natural condition as possible with so many humans around, and the local flavors of food, fun and friendship.

We simply must make La Posada Jungle Bungalows our first stop. Because it, and its owner, Mike, are one of our favorite things about Manuel Antonio.  It is a must do if you like a fun, relaxed beach experience.

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Here is Mike, with Esteban, at the weekly visit to Dos Locos. Once a week the staff load up their cars with willing guests who want to experience a nice Mexican meal and some music at Quepos’ most famous Mexican restaurant, Dos Locos.  We have enjoyed several of these fun nights and the bands are always good. Keep a watch for Ben Jammin and the Howlers. They play great classic rock music.

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This was taken of Ben Jammin at another local favorite, Barba Roja, and our personal favorite restaurant in all of Manuel Antonio. If you go, be sure to ask for the wait person, Chico. While all the staff there are courteous and do a great job, Chico is far and above a wonderful host.

Enjoy the breakfast every morning made fresh and relax in the evenings here in the common area.  Good place to use your internet devices.
Enjoy the breakfast every morning made fresh and relax in the evenings here in the common area. Good place to use your internet devices.
Jonathan and Marco are there to help you in any way they can. And they make a mean pizza too!
Jonathan and Marco are there to help you in any way they can. And they make a mean pizza too!
Especially cool after a long beach day...
Especially cool after a long beach day…
This lovely fellow gave us a nice, long poolside photo session
And don’t be alarmed by your pool buddy. He is a full time mascot and lives in the National Forest jungle.

A short walk down the path across from the hotel will get you directly to the beaches of Manuel Antonio, and a direct left turn just beyond the front gate will get you to the entrance of the National Park.  All excursions can be booked through the hotel staff and afford significant discounts.

View of the main beach as you enter
View of the main beach as you enter

For more information and reservations, visit http://www.laposadajungle.com

Next up HOTEL BYBLOS, Manuel Antonio 

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The  photos above and below were taken at Byblos, a hotel located in Manuel Antonio. We have stayed there twice and were more impressed on our first visit.  While still beautiful, our second vacation trip found us pushed to the back of the hotel last minute where we often felt a bit neglected and the noise on dance lesson and ladies’ nights was way over the top. However, we would stay there again if these issues were addressed.  The staff is accommodating and the convenience to Manuel Antonio beaches and Quepos is great.  Here are a few more photos.

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This hotel is nestled next to the jungle that is part of the Manuel Antonio National Forest, and we were fortunate to see some amazing wildlife by simply stepping out onto the balcony.  Imagine my surprise the first time I was awakened at four a.m. by the sound of the Congo/Howlers as they passed through. For me, these are priceless experiences.  For more info on Hotel Byblos, visit their website at http://www.bybybloshotelcostarica.com or check out tripadvisor. There are some good values to be had there.

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This was my view for the first month of living in Manuel Antonio.  We stayed at Villas El Parque, up on the “hill”, which, by the way, is the highest point along the Manuel Antonio road. I know because I walked it dozens of times as I made my way down to the beach and the heart of Manuel Antonio.  This Condo/Hotel establishment was a great “landing place” for us and good deals can be found for short term stays as well as some longer term arrangements. Many condo owners wish to lease their units during the rainy-or low-season. For more info go to http://www.hotelvillaselparque.com.  The guys in the office are very friendly and helpful. Oh, and another bonus is that right next door is one of Manuel Antonio’s favorite restaurants, Agua Azul.  Great burgers and fish dinners.  The view is magnificent, even during a storm.

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SAVEGRE MOUNTAIN LODGE, located on the beautiful Savegre River near San Gerardo de Dota

We had the pleasure of spending nearly a week up on the Savegre River in this lovely lodge.  We were able to go birding, seeing the much sought after Resplendent Quetzal, hiked to a glorious waterfall and see some of the loveliest wildlife and mountain views I can remember.  This hotel, as well as the others along this river road, are fairly secluded. Out hotel had inclusive options for meals which were served buffet style and we found that a better option.  Once we ventured away on a hike and had a nice fried trout lunch at a nearby gift shop; but all other meals we took at the hotel.  The bar/lounge was wonderful with daily happy hours where the bartenders were very friendly and accommodating. If you love rainbow trout, you will be happy to know they have it available during every meal, even at breakfast!  There are many tours, excursions and nature hikes available.  If you are a serious birder, this hotel is a must stay, at least once.

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This waterfall was the reward of a long. albeit gorgeous hike through the wooded mountains near the hotel.  It was well worth the hike and the few harrowing moments.  The best thing about Costa Rica to me is that nothing is over developed and so much is left in its natural state. You just have to know your limits and practice common sense.  The hotel staff asks that you notify them before going on any hike so that they can keep tabs on your return. I like that…

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Our “cabin” at the lodge

photo-10  The Resplendent Quetzal. I felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to see and photograph this magnificent bird.

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Restaurant

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Above are the interior of the restaurant and a closer view of the cabin.121

The hotel gardens, located just outside our cabins.

For more info on this hotel visit them at http://www.savegre.com.  The entire area is a natural reserve.

Next stop….

My very favorite, PEACE LODGE, located in Poas, Alajuela

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This room sort of says it all. Peace Lodge is a luxurious, quiet and indeed peaceful place to spend a few days.  If you can, stay a week, for it is a long drive up the mountain and once there, you likely won’t want to leave.  With peaceful meditation music piped into all major areas of the Lodge, the entire experience will leave you feeling as though you have had a four day massage, both physically and mentally.

For us, this was the honeymoon we had never taken; and after 23 years of marriage and raising four sons, we felt we deserved it!

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Yes, this was the bathroom, in itself larger than most regular hotel rooms.  It was complete with the jacuzzi hot tub behind me which also has a waterfall that cascades behind it with the flip of a switch, as well as a waterfall style shower and a regular shower large enough for more than one person.  Double sinks and a separate bathroom with toilet were added bonuses.  Thebalcony also had a hot tub but it was just too cold for me to enjoy it-or the beautiful swimming pool down below. The temps were ranging from 40 to 70 while we were there which made hiking marvelous.

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This was the view as we left our room

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This building housed the restaurants and gift shop. We enjoyed a buffet style breakfast every morning with a full offering of breakfast fare, including all the coffee you can drink. I LOVE Costa Rica coffee.  The dairy products there just have a marvelous, rich quality which is evident in the cream, butter and cheeses.

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There are several trails to hike, three waterfalls to see, and the property is a Nature Preserve with habitats for exotic birds, night frogs, sloths, big cats, a butterfly garden where they are bred, a monkey house and an orchid garden.  This preserve is open to the public during the day; so you should plan your hikes maybe during these times if you want to get away from the potential crowds.  One of my favorite events was to visit the Hummingbird garden, where at designated times, you can hand feed some of the more than 25 varieties of hummingbird found in Costa Rica. The only drawback to this hotel is that, once there, you are rather captive to the hotel for food.  We found it a bit expensive, but perhaps since our visit, there have been changes. We were there over three years ago, not long after the big earthquake which nearly destroyed all roads leading in and out of Poas.

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In the butterfly habitat

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On a waterfall hike

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The largest of three waterfalls, Magia Blanca.

We started our day by visiting the Hummingbird Garden where we were able to hand feed the more than 20 different species!
We started our day by visiting the Hummingbird Garden where we were able to hand feed the more than 25 different varieties!

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The balcony and view.

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The balcony hot tub.  We didn’t use it much. 😦

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They even put your name on the door when you book, and give you special wooden wrist bracelets with Peace Lodge engraved on them, so you will always know you are in the right place and can be identified as guests. It isn’t too difficult to find your room with less than a dozen  total, but many of the entry sidewalks look similar. Oh, and this is pretty much an “adults only” hotel. They have a sister facility over in Arenal that is perfect for family adventures.

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We enjoyed this little bar where you can actually fish in the “pool” if you’d like.  It was a great place to have a beer.

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I will leave you here, with this magnificent sunset as viewed from one of Manuel Antonio’s iconic restaurants, El Avion. It is a must see, even once, if you are staying in town.  The entire restaurant is made inside and around  an old airplane.  It is lovely and the food is wonderful.  You can check out these hotels and many more of the excursions and experiences we had while living in and visiting Costa Rica elsewhere on my blog.  The easiest way is to go to the calendar and pick anything dated from March, 2013 and older.  And if you would like more information on Peace Lodge, do visit their website at http://www.waterfallgardens.com.

PURA VIDA EVERYONE!!

9 thoughts on “Costa Rica Hotels

      1. What is the future really? Any moment but this one is unreal. This is what my life has taught me. Never cling too tightly to the past nor look too fondly to the future. Neither really exists. BUT. Someday I would love to visit Ireland. For now I have returned to work back in the states, and am trying to ease the sadness of what has gone by seeing the miracles around me. Photography takes me to another realm…how about you S?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow…what a very honest philosophy on life! It is so true, no doubt. Live in this very moment because the past is just that, the past. All it can ever be is a teaching tool, or fodder for reflection.

        As for the future, we have no guarantee of any. So we must make what we can of the present. Well said, Cheryl!

        I have no plans specifically. I don’t look too far forward for the reasons we’ve both stated. I do believe we must prepare for things to come…dreams, security, etc. But that can go to heck in a moment!

        I may do some sort of new ministry for my church. Visiting the seniors who are homebound, some prayers or bible verses are so calming to them, and I get a warm feeling from helping others.

        Not sure about a lot more until we get a “bit further down the road,” if that is to be…

        Hey have a good one, I’m checking out for now 🙂 Always good to talk with you!

        S 🙂

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