Help w Honeymoon Itinerary

Old Apr 30th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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Help w Honeymoon Itinerary

We plan on getting married at the Four Seasons Papagayo in January 2005 but need help planning our itinerary.

1) Has anyone stayed at the Four Seasons? How are the amenities? Access to beach?

2) How do we go to Arenal Volcano region from the Four Seasons? Car? Fly? Cost? How long is the drive? We would prefer not to drive ourselves.

3) Where should we stay in the Arenal / Monteverde region for the best views of the volcano, access to hot springs, and luxurious amenities?

4) Is it possible to hire a car from Arenal/Monteverde to San Jose Airport? How long is the drive? Cost?

5) If we only have 10 days, is it worthwhile to spend 1 day exploring San Jose? If yes, where should we stay?

Your help is much appreciated!
bessinsf is offline  
Old Apr 30th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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Have you tried the search function? Just wondering because most of your questions have many answered many times. I can't tell you about the 4S but there are some opinions on here if you do a search.
You would have to drive or have someone else drive to Arenal, as there are no flights to the area. And it's pretty far, so it would not be worth it IMHO unless you spend at least one night. Otherwise, you would have VERY little time there. I don't think there is one place in Arenal for best views AND luxury. But many people like the Arenal Paraiso for great views. It's nice, clean, but not Luxury. Tabacon Hotel is probably the most luxurious, but the funny thing is, it does not get very many good reviews. Yes, you can hire a car or take a toursit bus (direct, clean, a/c) from the Arenal/Monteverde area but I always rent my own car so I'll leave that for others to answer.
There are many opinions about spending a day in San Jose. I have only stayed in town once and got out as soon as possible because I'm not 'into' museums and such, but if you are there are some worth a visit.
I stayed at the Grand De Oro and I say it's one of the best.
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Old Apr 30th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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I don't stay at Four Seasons type places myself, but I'm guessing that there is no where in the Arenal area that will even come close in terms of luxury or service. I've stayed at Tabacon, and have no complaints, but it's not a luxury property.

Monteverde is an entirely different area, about four hours by car from Arenal, maybe three if you do jeep/boat/jeep across Lake Arenal. Once again, it's not a luxury destination. Has more of a hippie 60's vibe to it. I love it there, but it isn't for everyone.

I wasn't a big fan of San Jose either, although I'll second Ally's recommendation for Grano de Oro.

Jean
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
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If you like the Four Seasons don't even bother to go to Arenal or especially to Tabacon Resort. It is a dump. Raging waters meets motel 6! The volcano is often in heavy fog and can't even be seen. Many better places to go in Costa Rica. Try one of the ecolodges such as Lapa Rios or Bosque de Paz. Stay just outside San Jose in Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn. Nothing much to see in San Jose.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 02:35 PM
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bessinsf,
If you have 10 days, there are several options for you that would include the two locations you have already mentioned.
Can't help much with transportation, because we, too, prefer to drive ourselves.
If you are going from San Jose to FS first, you could easily take Interbus for about $30 per person. This is a small van that provides safe transportation for both you and your luggage! The public buses are much cheaper, but it isn't a good idea if you have to put bags underneath--theft is a frequent occurrence.

From Four Seasons to Arenal, Interbus would be a good option for you, also. Spend a couple of nights at Arenal and a couple of nights at Monteverde--transfers between the two can be arranged easily once you are there.

If you have an additional couple of nights, you can also transfer easily down to Manuel Antonio--a very nice area--also easy to get to on Interbus. You would need a couple of nights here. OR you can spend a little time in or near San Jose doing day trips. There are some great attractions in all directions. Tours are offered and will pick you up at most hotels. Suggestions: 10 hour Highlights of Costa Rica tour (includes Sarapiqui area and Poas Volcano); Cafe Britt Coffee tour; Irazu Volcano tour (includes Orosi Valley and Lankaster Gardens); We have done all of these at different times and all have been interesting and enjoyable. Also from San Jose, you can take a 1 or 2 day rafting trip on the Pacuare River--haven't done this but it gets rave reviews and is on our "list".

In San Jose, we especially like the Hotel Don Carlos. It is in a nice area of town, close to several museums and parks. They have a tour office there who can set all this up for you.

If you want, you can skip Monteverde, just do a couple of nights at Arenal, and free up some extra time if these other options seem attractive to you.
The possibilities are endless! Arenal is definitely worth the visit--particularly in January when you will have a good chance of seeing the volcano. The Arenal Paraiso is a lovely property with a great view. The Four Seasons is very luxury (I've visited the property, haven't stayed there), but it isn't the real Costa Rica! There are SO many small hotels with lovely gardens, great service, and clean. I believe that you will truly enjoy your time more once you get out and about in the country seeing as much as you can see!

We love having a car and striking out on our own. But if you are dead set against it, the suggestions mentioned above should suit you well. Some folks even hire a taxi for a day to these areas outside San Jose (if they prefer not to travel with a small group).

Have fun and enjoy--Costa Rica is full of beauty! The people are very friendly and helpful!
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 02:38 PM
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By the way, if you want to look into the Interbus possibility, the site is: www.interbusonline.com
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Old May 10th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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We just got back to the 4 Seasons. It was fantastic. It was expensive, but worth it. The facility is very impressive and the people were fantastic. There is no reason to get a suite - the "regular" hotel rooms on floors 3-4 are awesome and closer to the pools, restaurants, etc. They also have several activities that you can do (e.g., canopy rides). Have a great honeymoon - hope you get a chance to stay at the 4 Seasons.

PS Flying into Liberia is really nice too - only a 40 minute drive to the hotel.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Recently returned from Costa Rica for my honeymoon -

Didn't go to the 4 seasons but as to your suggestion about San Jose - I highly recommend La Finca Rosa Blanca - very unique, beautiful place with great service - they will help plan all your activities around San Jose.

You should consider going to Manuel Antonio - we stayed at the Makanda and it was more than perfect for a honeymoon. I also though the quepos region was a little more interesting than the northern part of the country (we also went to guanacaste).
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Old May 12th, 2004, 04:22 PM
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will be at the four seasons in August. Travelling with kids. Any suggestions as to room location would be helpful. Also, if you ate off property anywhere you would recommend, that would be appreciated.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Thanks everyone. Just as a follow up, do you think the following itinerary's too aggressive? Thoughts on hotels? What's the best way to get from location to location?

Day 1-4 Papagayo (4 Seasons)
Day 5-7 Drake Bay (Bosque del Cabo)
Day 8-9 Manuel Antonio (Makanda / Mariposa)
Day 10-11 Arenal/Monteverede (Tobacon Hot Springs)
Day 12 SJ - Fly home
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Old May 14th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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Just one comment. Your number of days is best suited to 3 locations. 4 is pushing a little too hard. Just an opinion. . .
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