As you may have noticed, the hubs and I don’t really stay in one place when we travel. I blame it on New York. If we can live in four different apartments in five years, then why can’t we stay in five different hotels over the course of ten days?
The first hotel of our Costa Rican getaway was Finca Rosa Blanca. Having just googled a literal translation, I’m pretty confused as to why it’s telling me this means “white rose farm” in Spanish. In reality, Finca Rosa Blanca is a coffee plantation. Also, there is a very real chance that this was explained at some point during our stay BUT I tend to get distracted and lose focus when there are a lot of bright colors.
Assuming there’s not a logical explanation, I can assure you: this is the only way Finca Rosa Blanca misrepresents itself. Everything about our short stay set the tone for the next eight days of our trip.
We chose the hotel because it was a short drive from the airport and Hertz, which did make me nervous. I had an irrational vision of us behind a chainlink fence in the middle of San Jose. Though the reviews were positive, I still felt like I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect…
Upon arrival, I realized this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Though we weren’t in the middle of nowhere, we were just far enough away from the city to know this was Costa Rica’s version of the ‘burbs.
We were led to our room, which was located in what used to be the main hotel. They’ve since built multiple villas around the central building, and having met a family staying in one such villa, it sounds like the perfect option for a small family.
The original hotel.
Our room was called La Piedra, which, it was explained, means “the stone.” Really, our Spanish is so bad that they literally could have told us whatever they wanted. Wish I was joking.
La Piedra was an obvious favorite among staff, but our bellman told us they have a different name for the room. “You two are the Flintstones now! This is Bedrock!”
I was a little concerned (this doesn’t seem like an ideal showering situation for any of the involved parties), and we were even more wary when he refused to explain why. He seemed to be laughing at us when he said, “Find me later and let me know if you figure it out.”
If you know the hubs and I at all, you know that we’re not really that into riddles. He’s better than I am, and that’s saying, ummmm… nothing. SO, we were seriously relieved when we finally figured it out…
Clockwise from top: the entrance into the main house; the sitting room of La Piedra;
OH HEY, a bedrock!
Get it? The bed was literally floating on a rock. A bedrock! I’m spelling it out for you so you don’t feel as dense as we did.
Along with a perfectly sized sitting room and bedroom, we also had our own private terrace with a view of the Central Valley and eventually, our first Costa Rican sunset:
The food at Finca ended up being some of the best we had on our trip, which I seriously was not expecting. Fruit from the on-site orchards and coffee from the on-site plantation made El Tigre Vestido Restaurant and Bar Buho hard to beat. I mean, this was my first meal:
The hotel also boasted a small but well-kept pool (that we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to experience):
And the grounds really felt like our first official run-in with the rainforest. This was the view from our front door:
The Coffee Plantation
This is clearly the biggest draw of Finca Rosa, and the coffee plantation tour is their prized jewel. Along with fresh coffee every morning (or night), we couldn’t pass up the official tour.
Joined by an adorable family of five from Chicago and led by Finca’s extremely knowledgable guide, Manolo, we learned about the entire process: from the history of coffee as it got its start in Ethiopia and eventually made its way to Costa Rica to the growth and harvesting of the “cherries” by their very own coffee specialist, Guillermo.
Clockwise from top: a caterpillar doing his job & hanging out on a coffee plant; coffee “cherries” just getting started; a mini waterfall on our hike through the plantation
We didn’t get a glimpse of the master himself as it was not coffee season, but let me tell you: he is the man, the myth, and the legend when it comes to Finca Rosa Blanca coffee harvesting. Really, though, Manolo deserves his own accolades. He managed to make a coffee plantation extremely interesting to everyone from a father of three to me, an occasional coffee drinker at best, to two teenage boys who were ready to eat anything Manolo handed them during the hike.
Top left: pre-shelled coffee beans; bottom left: post-shelling; right: ground and ready for brewing
Though I was excited to see more of Costa Rica after our night at Finca Rosa, I have to admit: I was sad to leave. It was the perfect place to snap me out of my over-worked brain and into vacation mode, and its close proximity to the San Jose airport made it the ideal stop before we departed for our first leg of SERIOUS Costa Rican driving.