Set amid fields of green coffee, this exclusive, hilltop bed-and-breakfast hideaway has a much-deserved reputation as one of the country's sumptuous splurges. The Gaudí-esque main building has a soaring two-story atrium and white-stucco arches, set among tropical flowers and shaded by massive fig trees. Rooms are filled with interesting artistic flourishes, as well as such luxuries as Jacuzzi bathtubs and 100% bamboo sheets. The spacious two-story suite, popular with honeymooners, is out of a fairy tale, with a spiral staircase with a carved-serpent handrail leading up to a romantic, window-lined tower bedroom. The owners work hard to make the hotel as eco-friendly as possible. Prix-fixe gourmet dinners are available at chic El Tigre Vestido restaurant ($$$$), but lunch on the terrace with its spectacular view of San José down in the valley and the Escazú mountains beyond is a better value. After a day of touring, guests can unwind in a full-service spa.
800 m north of Café Britt Distribution Center, Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Heredia, 40401, Costa Rica
/2269–9392; 305-395–3042-in North America
Apr 6, 2014
The Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn just outside San Jose, Costa Rica is a miserable failure if you define a good hotel as one that provides a comfortable, safe place to sleep. That is a shame because the hotel has lovely grounds, a great location, friendly staff and a very good restaurant. But those things do not make up for the lack of a safe, comfortable place to sleep. We stayed in the Las Aves suite at the Finca Rosa Blanca in early
April. In contrast to the rooms we saw on their web site which featured sweeping views of the city of San Jose below, our room faced a dark volcanic rock wall. More distressing was the fact that our room faced a well-used walkway with a clear view into our room. We had to close the windows and curtains for privacy and security which was a significant problem since the hotel is not air conditioned. The room features a large skylight which is very effective at bathing the room in sunlight. However sunrise in Costa Roca is 5:30 a.m. and there is no way to close off the skylight so you get an automatic 5:30 am wake-up call whether you want it or not. And finally, the shower is unable to maintain a constant water temperature alternating between cold and scalding. Security also concerned us. Other rooms in the hotel are equipped with a professional grade alarm system that must be turned off at the front door using an alarm key. I’ve never seen anything like it at any other hotel. So we were very concerned about sleeping with the windows unlocked for fresh air—even if we chose to risk unwelcome eyes. I shared my concerns with the manager who seemed to feel it was my fault for not asking for a different room at booking. I’ve learned my lesson about the Finca Rosa Blanca and offer this review to others considering a stay at this hotel.