San Jose/ central valley hotel question

Old Jul 12th, 2004, 03:15 PM
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San Jose/ central valley hotel question

What is the most luxurious hotel in the central valley area; Xandari, Vista, or Finca Rosa? Or a different hotel? Also, any opinions on the following itinerary:
4 nights at Xandari
4 nights Punta Islita
1 night San Jose?
Thank you in advance...
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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It depends on your idea of luxurious. I know the Marriott and the Intercontinental are both very nice, although they probably lack a "local" feel.
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Old Jul 14th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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Of the three, I have only stayed at Vista del Valle, and I can say it is wonderful! The staff is excellent, and the grounds are lush. The rooms all have different personalities. 25 minutes from the airport, but VERY peaceful. Great food.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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I've stayed at both Vista del Valle and Xandari.

Vista had the better food (the best food we had in all of Costa Rica, in fact) and very good service. The room was a decent size and the views were spectacular. We stayed in one of the Exotic Wood Suites and our verandah looked out over the Rio Grande Canyon.

We even had a small kitchen, though no stove, and one night we brought in cans of tuna and bread and had sandwiches for dinner (dumb move: the food was so good there and our sandwiches so bad).

Vista is further from the airport than Xandari, and has a much more remote feeling to it. There is very little lighting on the grounds after dark and not much to do except retire back to your also very dark room.

The grounds weren't huge but very well manicured and a pleasure to walk through during the day.

At Xandari, we stayed in the lower priced of the two room types available and the room was enormous! And beautifully appointed, too. It was painted mostly in white which kept it very bright and had lots of windows, too.

Of course, given that the room, including the floor tiles, were white, critters show up all more. I never in my life saw ants bigger than the ones crawling around in my room at Xandari.

The grounds at Xandari are much more expansive. There are a few longish trails to ramble on (three, I think), a number of waterfalls, a greenhouse, fruit orchards, and fresh herb gardens as well.

The food was mediocre and the waiters were absolutely cloying. The views from the restaurant verandah were essentially of the airport and the surrounding city, but it is just far away enough so that dinner isn't disturbed by the sound of roaring jets.

There are no TVs in the room (nor are there at Vista) but there is a TV room in the main building with a satellite dish and a DVD collection. There is also a collection of games and English magazines in there as well.

Xandari also has a spa. We didn't have any treatments, but it looked quite luxurious.

Since the prices of the rooms were about the same at both places, I felt we got much more for what we paid at Xandari.

Although...you should really try to get to Vista for a bowl of their black bean soup....


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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Thank you for your reply. Are the ants at Xandari fire-eating crawl all over you while you are sleeping ants, or more like docile apathetic ants? Also, have you ever stayed at Finca Rosa?
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 05:44 PM
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I've became paranoid about all ants after a combined onslaught of fire ants and leaf-cutters earlier on in the trip. Giant spiders? Bring 'em on, but keep the ants the heck away from me.

The truth is, though, the ants at Xandari were more of the marvelously-meaty, loud-crunch-under-your-foot, take-forever-to-die variety of ant. There were leaf-cutters on the grounds at Xandari (they inhabit the whole country) but none seemed to infiltrate our room.

If it makes you feel better, at Vista, every night, out of nowhere, our room was overrun by large flying scarab-type creatures with bioluminescent, fluorescent green "lights" on their wings that continued to glow long after the insects had been put to rest.

Both rooms had their share of insects. In fact, I'd venture to say that every hotel room in the country is visited by bugs.

The rooms at Xandari are much, much bigger, though, so there is more room for all creatures in the room to play quietly and live in peace. At Vista, there is less space to share with them.

But again, expect bugs in every hotel room you visit there.

And sorry, no knowledge of Finca Rosa Blanca except that it is more expensive than Xandari and Vista.

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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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I can second the motion to what BenCaynan said about Vista del Valle.

I also stayed at the Exotic Suite Bungalow and the canyon view was superb.

The food is verrrry good and since it gets dark at six oclock ,when you are dinning ( outside), you see the city lights of Alajuela in the distance.

There is no TV but after touring all day everyday, you read a bit after dinner and you are in bed by 9 PM to be wide awake for the next day.

I just today, received an e-mail from Elisa at the front desk of Vista del Valle,she just said a quick hello (halo).
There is an excellent private tour guide there called Oscar.
Percy
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Old Jul 21st, 2004, 12:37 PM
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Finca Rosa Blanca is absolutely stunning. It is definitely pricier but not by much and it is quite worth it. Architecture is gorgeous and the view truly amazing.

Regarding Punta Islita in Guanacaste, I would say that you get a true taste of Costa Rica. Most of the staff is from the surrounding villages and they are very kind, friendly, and warm. Great small-town feel... or rather small-village feel! Gorgeous setting and accommodations are to die for.

Cheers
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Old Jul 21st, 2004, 12:54 PM
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I'm not sure if you've reserved already, but I frequently see Punta Islita and Finca Rosa Blanca available for auction on LuxuryLink.com.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 05:10 AM
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We stayed at both Vista del Valle and Xandari and BenCaynan's description and recommendations are very accurate. The only thing I would disagree with is his take on the views from Xandari. I actually love the view from there, with Alajuela in the valley below (with the lights twinkling at night) and distant mountains surrounding that area.
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