Arbelís Costa Rica Trip Report!

Old Feb 19th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Arbelís Costa Rica Trip Report!

Although it is the first time I write here, I follow this forum for three years now.
I didnít want to write untill now because I had somewhat of a conflict of interest (but donít worry itís gone now). So here we go:
Wow! What a trip! Five wonderful years in Costa Rica and now weíre back in Israel!
So, first of all I want to thank with all my heart all the guests who came to visit La Finca Que Ama and became good friends. Thank you, you made it real for us!
Secondly, I would like to thank all the people who worked with us. Even though they probably wonít read this Iím gonna say it anyway Ė the Ticos are amazing people who are always happy to help. They are proud, sweet, hard-working, funny and the most humble people Iíve met.
Our last weeks in Costa Rica were really emotional on everybody but all are doing well.
The staff of La Finca Que Ama became our ďCosta Rican familyĒ and they will remain our family forever Ė thank you all! Cuco, Jorge, Wilberth, Hazel, Yolanda, Sara, Elizabeth, Marielsi, Margarita and Dona Mari - we love and miss you!

Why leave such a place you ask?
Well, Neta and I want to move forward with our lives and start a family. We felt that managing the hotel and working as we worked wouldnít go well together with starting our next adventure.
The sale of the La Finca was never about money. The most important thing for us was that our workers will get the same (or better) treatment we gave them.
We said it a couple of times during our last dinners at the Finca but I want to say it here too Ė we couldnít wish for better people to continue our work than Jill and Bob. Both Jill and Bob have a positive social conscious and they became part of the ďfamilyĒ right away. We spent a lot of time together and we truly believe they can make a better job than Neta And I ever did. With time the place is going to become a wellness center with Jill vast experience in the field (sheís an amazing herbalist, Yoga teacher, massage therapist). Everything is gonna be much better - I can tell you now, the food is already better! When we came for dinner at Ama Tierra (the Fincaís new name) I was blown away by the chicken in mango dish (how come we didnít think about it?). The Costa Rican Buffet night was also inspiring (so inspiring I couldnít stop eating). Talking to Dona Mari and Margarita, the cooks, I was happy to hear they too love the new recipes. Bob is a very interesting man with a lot of wild stories from his ďpast lifeĒ in the Jazz industry. Heís got a great sense of humor and heís always fun to talk to. We had a joke that no one will know the difference between us because weíre both bearded, funny and love music. His love for Jazz music exceeded even my legendary love for Reggae!
Neta and I were most comfortable leaving the place in the hands of Jill and Bob and we want to wish them all the luck and success in the world. For more details about Ama Tierra, go to
For our last two nights in Costa Rica we stayed at the wonderful Orquideas inn. Although we have been to the hotel several times before, it was the first time we stayed the night and the only thing I could ask for is more nights there! This gem of a place is just like heaven. Everything was perfect. First and most important is the staff. Everybody was smiling and nice. From the lady that cleaned our room to the night guard and everyone in between. The room was the sexiest room Iíve ever been to! We were lucky enough to get the pool-side suite. This huge room was excellent. Three exits to the room Ė one is leading to the parking area, the second to a semi-private and most beautiful orchid garden (that was in full bloom when we left! How lucky are we?), and the third door opening to the pool! I mean you can literally jump into the pool from the room! There are some nice trails on the property. If you walk them you forget youíre in Alajuela, just 15 minutes from the airport. But not just that, the whole property is manicured. Youíll see orchids and other nice flowers almost wherever you look. The hotelís gift shop is just beautiful and I spent more than an hour looking over all the items there. Itís probably the best hotelís gift shop Iíve seen in Costa Rica! And nowÖ for my favorite subject Ė the food. We ate, breakfast, lunch and dinner in the hotel and to tell the truth I couldnít get enough of it. The complimentary buffet breakfast is already well-known to readers of this forum, thereís nothing more to add about it. For one lunch I ordered their version to the local ďarroz con polloĒ (rice with chicken) and it was the best Iíve had in Costa Rica. Neta had the ďcasado con pescadoĒ (the local lunch with fish) and it was excellent too (of course I had to taste it). Although it was really great, the best thing you can order on the bar (for lunch) will be the spicy chicken wings (superb!!!) Ė a must when staying in Orquideas Inn! (and it works perfectly with an ice-cold margarita).
For our dinners, we went upstairs for the elegant restaurant and I tried some of everything! The Jumbo shrimps were over the top, so as the jalapenos steak, beef medallions and salads. Deserts were fabulous too. The menu is so interesting and innovative Iím getting hungry just writing about it! Everything about the experience was perfect! Thank you Gary and Liseth, you made our last 2 nights in Costa Rica very special (
I can keep writing about everything that happened in Costa Rica for Neta and I forever (but we need to keep some for the book about it, right?). Iíll finish with this Ė
Costa Rica is a perfect place for vacation or living, one can get there all the excitement or leisure one wishes for. From great surf, to canopy tours, rafting, hiking, or just getting some sun Ė everything is there.
The country itself is breathtaking. Wherever you look youíll find magnificent views Ė from volcanoes to tropical beaches, rainforests, mountains, plains (and you can add to that prolific wildlife all over) Ė one cannot wish for more.
ButÖ (thereís always one), Costa Ricaís best resource is by far itsí people. The Ticos are probably the nicest people on earth. There non-violent nature is the direct link to the fact they abolished their army in 1948. They always carry themselves with dignity, their houses and clothing are always clean and theyíre always with a smile. Ticos are helpful, even with the language barrier theyíll forever try to do their best to help (so donít be shy asking for it when traveling). They are all humble, sweet and funny. If and when youíre traveling to Costa Rica give the Ticos the respect they deserve and try to learn something from their loving culture Ė it changed my life!
Neta and I would like to thank again all the people who came to visit us at La Finca Que Ama, you all made us better people!
Special thanks goes to our Fodorís friends, who got to us through this wonderful forum. We thank all the people who were more than gracious to write about us in the forum. Your nice words and support always warmed our hearts and we hope to see you all again!
One Love!
Pura Vida
Arbel (and Neta)
Arbel is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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I have read very much about you both , always kind words . How thoughtful of you to take the time to post this message . You will make wonderful future parents !! Good Luck in all you do . Faith .
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Arbel, what awesome and inspiring words! Those who give so much (as you and Neta have and do) are bound to receive much in return. The friendships attest to that. You will be missed--and are loved! Buena suerte y neshikot!


P.S. Will e-mail shortly! I know you are busy enjoying friends and family and well, there's no place like "home"!
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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All the best, Neta and Arbel. You were so wonderful to us when we visited you....I'll hold fond memories of our dinner on your terrace and Neta teasing about the OC. You will be missed. Kathy
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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My one main Costa Rica regret is that I never got to meet you and Neta.

Thank you for your great parting words about Costa Rica which I am sure will hold a special place in your hearts forever.

The best of luck on your new journey.

Percy is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Now I definitely have to meet Jill and Bob at Ama Tierra on our next trip to Costa Rica. Plus I long to return to the primordial cloud forest of Monteverde.

We'll miss you and Neta, Arbel! You will raise a wonderful family, I know it, as the 2 of you have a warm and magic touch. My whole family will always remember our special experience meeting you and Neta at La Finca Que Ama.

Thanks once again to Neta for all her help in reassuring me about the details of my first family trip to Costa Rica.

Keep in touch with us...

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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for the post, Arbel. You and your chicken nuggets were one of the highlights of our trip, according to my kids Gray and Laney. Good luck in all you do !
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Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:48 AM
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I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet you when we were in Costa Rica, but I feel fortunate that I was able to meet Neta and see the wonderful place that you built.

I thank Neta for all of her selfless help while we were planning our trip, and I wish you and Neta all the best in your "next adventure".

And please, please tell me that you are serious about writing a book about your experience. I think it would be a fascinating read.

Pura Vida!

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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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Hi Arbel
We really enjoyed our overnight stay with you and Neta at La Finca last January. Thank Neta again for sharing trip planning tips with Laura. Her advice really helped make our 12 days in Costa Rica a pleasure. There is a nice picture of you two in one of our previous posts. Again thank you both and good luck with future adventures.
MandL is offline  
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