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LPOWMACBACK Aug 27th, 2007 09:59 AM

7-9 Itinerary/Lodging Help...
We (husband, 20 year old son & I) are considering going to Costa Rica in mid-March. We all love nature. I am not as rugged as they are. I want RUSTIC, CLEAN, SEMI-LUXURY (not fancy or stuffy or contemporary)... We are interested in beautiful vistas (Arenal!) (our favorite place is St. John, USVI) and birds and wildlife.

I have osteoporosis, so horseback riding and other rugged things are out... hiking, kayaking, etc. are fine

We also don't want to spend our entire trip packing up and moving on... we would prefer 2 wonderful - diverse locations. Peace Lodge, Lost Iguana, Arenal Springs Resort, Arehnal Kioro, Vuena Vista Villas all look lovely - I am so overwhelmed as to the different areas... so... WHAT 2 AREAS? WHICH AIRPORT?

One final note- I think the last 3-4 nights I'd like to end up in a more "resort" hotel... Marriott Los Suenos? - or something more posh (not formal or pretentious - although the 4 Seasons doesn't look too shabby . That way, we could go out on adventures - and come back to relaxation and luxury.


dfr4848 Aug 27th, 2007 10:26 AM

As far as the last part of your itinerary, we just got back from a week in MA at Si Como No and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very nice property, great views, very good food and the staff was great about helping with excursions - we did something everyday (from ziplining, mangrove swamp tours, sailing, the beach, etc). Great spa on site as well. Of course MA Nat Park is well worth a visit for the beaches and wildlife. Wouldn't hesitate to return.

We had friends that stayed at Marriott Los Suenos this past spring and had nothing but good things to say about it.

No personal info on the paticular 4 Seasons, but presume it's not "shabby" either.

We haven't yet made it to other parts of CR yet, so I'll let others add their thoughts.

dfr4848 Aug 27th, 2007 10:30 AM

Should have added that we had 2 19-yr olds with us (in a separate room) and they really seemed to enjoy the hotel as well. There was plenty of space for them to roam without the parental units being close at hand.

volcanogirl Aug 27th, 2007 10:33 AM

We loved the Peace Lodge and the Lost Iguana - you might also consider Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula. The Peace Lodge is very posh and indulgent, but I wouldn't stay there more than a night or two.

sandyc Aug 27th, 2007 02:59 PM

Hi Arenal Springs is not bad but it's a little noisier than some of the others because people can drive their cars right by your room and we had cars coming and going at all hours. All the other hotels I've stayed at in Arenal are more quiet. Arenal Kioro is definitely the luxury place of the bunch. $$ but very nice, and the spa is great, as is the restaurant (but $$$). Peace Lodge is very cool with the big garden bathrooms (I think of it more as a couples place), but another alternative is Xandari -- very large, bright rooms w/ big patios, and it's close enough to do a day trip to Peace Lodge w/o staying there. It's also very close to the airport so it's nice for your last night. (I'd fly into San Jose if you're visiting Arenal and areas near SJ.)

cmerrell Aug 29th, 2007 05:11 PM

Everyone has provided great ideas for you. I think you have several good hotel recommendations to choose from.

Regarding overall itinerary, I loved ours last year:

-1rst night Central Valley area
(Peace Lodge)
-3 nights Arenal
-3 nights Manuel Antonio

These areas offered a great mix of different ecosystems and terrain (volcano and beach...). There are lots of terrific activities available that will allow you to be as adventurous or laid back as you choose.

Unless you are going to spend part of your time in Guanacaste, there's not much reason to fly into Liberia. SJO airport is more centrally located to most places of interest.

VG's suggestion of the Osa Peninsula is also a good one for itinerary. It will take a bit more effort to get down there, but you'll get to experience some nice, largely untouched primary rainforest. If you are interested in a more remote location, this would be the place!

Basically, there are lots of great locations and hotels to choose from. Costa Rica is wonderful!

p.s. I just returned from my first visit to St. John. Loved it! :-)

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