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Costa Rica Gems

July 1, 2009 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

costa rica hotels

The pool at Harmony Hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden filled with native vegetation

Costa Rica has some of Latin America’s best boutique hotels. Here are a few to pitch to your clients and a brief destination roundup while we’re at it.

We’ve heard great things about Mediterraneus Boutique Hotel & Spa. The property, located just a few minutes from Potrero Beach in Guanacaste province, offers a green experience with eco-friendly facilities. Thanks to this beach and others nearby, this zone is considered the “Golden Coast” of Central America. The hotel has easy access to some of the most wonderful attractions of Costa Rica, including Santa Rosa National Park, Tamarindo Mangroves and Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. Guests can also participate in various optional activities, such as horseback riding on the beach, guided walking tours, river rafting excursions, ATV and bicycle rentals and more. Agents should call 011-506-2654-5349 for more information.

The 24-room Harmony Hotel is another boutique hotel in Costa Rica that is creating a buzz. All accommodations are on a path that meanders through a tropical garden overflowing with native vegetation. The path ends near the Pacific Ocean on Playa Guiones, Nosara. The hotel is perfect for your eco-conscious clients. For example, the spigot by reception offers purified rainwater through all seasons, providing guests with locally sourced safe drinking water. The biodegradable soapy water from a guest’s shower filters through a gray-water system where it is purified, and then travels to nourish the banana trees that provide howler monkeys breakfast. As far as the spa goes, tell your clients about the Octopus Massage. It’s essentially four hands on one body for 60 minutes.

The hotel is also a stone’s throw away from the best break on Playa Guiones, home to the best surf in Nosara and some of the most consistent year-round waves in the world.

The open-air restaurant at the Harmony seats 40 in a stylish but casual atmosphere. The kitchen cooks up local and organic seafood, fruits and vegetables as well as a selection of chicken dishes. This means a menu of options flavored by the exotic likes of wild ginger, taro, banana, plantains, mango, coconut and, of course, black beans and rice.

Agents should contact Jose Jimenez at 011-506-2682-4114.

Getting to Costa Rica

In response to a rise in demand for flights to and from Costa Rica, Continental Airlines has recently added a third offering to its flight schedule. Since March, Continental has started another flight between Newark International Airport and Juan Santamaria International Airport; and George Bush Intercontinental in Houston and Daniel Oduber International in Liberia.

The flight from Newark is available on Saturdays and takes off at 11:55 a.m., arriving in San Jose at 3:15 p.m. It returns at 4:05 p.m. and arrives in Newark at 11:15 p.m. Flights from Houston to Guanacaste, also offered on Saturdays, depart at 11:29 a.m. and arrive at 1:50 p.m. while return flights depart from Guanacaste at 2:40 p.m. arriving in Houston at
7:13 p.m.

Costa Rica Packages

Sunny Land Tours is offering some great packages to Costa Rica. Listed below are sample packages with rates based on per person double occupancy, land only, subject to seasonal supplements. For more offers, visit

The best deal is the 7-Day All-Inclusive Vacation for $599, which offers seven days and six nights at the Sol Papagayo Resort in the Gulf of Papagayo with frontage and access to Panama Beach in Guanacaste. The package includes roundtrip transfers from Liberia Airport.

The next best is the 8-Day Natural Treasures package for $1,399. This program is an all-inclusive combination of Monteverde Cloud Forest and the rich Arenal Volcano heartland. Hike the mystic trails in Monteverde, visit the butterfly farm and see how the Quakers transformed this area into a self-sustaining community. This newly enhanced itinerary includes excursions to rainforests, cloud forests and the Pacific shores of Guanacaste, home to Costa Rica’s most spectacular sunsets.

Pleasant Holidays expanded its 2009 Costa Rica program by adding seven new hotels and resorts in Guanacaste, San Jose, Tamarindo and the Arenal Volcano. New properties in Guanacaste include the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Hotel Punta Islita, Villa Sol Hotel & Beach Resort. New resorts in San Jose and Tamarindo are Real InterContinental Hotel & Club Tower Costa Rica and Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Resort, respectively. New in the Arenal Volcano region are Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens and Mountain Paradise. Pleasant Holidays features 26 hotels and resorts in Costa Rica for 2009; for more information, visit

By the Numbers

The projected number of arrivals for Costa Rica this year is 1,956,548, which would be a 6 percent drop from 2008. Last year, the country had 2,089,174 visitors, including 807,162 from the U.S.

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