Our first stop in Costa Rica was at Finca Rosa Blanca, a rustic-chic hotel on a coffee farm in Santa Bárbara, in Heredia Province. It was the perfect place to begin our exploration of this beautiful country. Located on top of a mountain, 20 minutes outside of the capital San Jose, this stunning boutique hotel doubles as an organic coffee farm and was named by National Geographic as one of the Unique Lodges of the World! Lush green grounds, one of-a-kind rooms, a natural swimming pool and a focus on sustainability make this place a must visit.
– Finca Rosa Blanca Rooms –
We stayed in the “Cielo” Suite which translates to “sky or heaven”. We later found out that Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin stayed in the same room before us so it was definitely our little “stairway to heaven”. Waking up to 360-degree views of the coffee farm, lush greenery and view of the city looming in the distance, it was a dream come true. Handcrafted furniture, murals by local artists, and mosaic tiles tied the room together into a functioning and beautiful oasis. We would brew coffee grown on the farm right below our windows, throw on our robes and enjoy the sunrise like it was meant to be enjoyed.
But my favorite part of the room had to be the outdoor deck with our own private hot tub. A perfect way to end long days of exploring the property, touring the city, fine dining and lounging by the pool!
– Silver-Ionized Pool & a Jacuzzi with a View –
I already mentioned that me and Maxim could explore the Finca Rosa Blanca grounds for days – birdwatching or looking at plants that can only grow in greenhouses in Brooklyn. One of my absolute favorite places on the property was the spring-fed infinity swimming pool, complete with an artificial waterfall and a cover-protected jacuzzi. May-November is rainy season in Costa Rica and when we visited in late July, it rained daily. We’ve definitely found a cover in that hot tub while the warm tropical rain was nurturing the vegetation all around us.
Another great thing about the pool and Finca Rosa Blanca in general, is their focus on sustainability. They grow their own fruits and vegetables for the restaurant, use solar power for majority of their electricity needs, have a warm farm that produces it’s own fertilizer and employ 100% local staff. The pool was no exception. Instead of using chlorine and harsh chemicals, they use a process called ionization – with silver and copper that leaves the water crystal clear and softer than regular pool water.
– Sprawling and Lush Property –
Over 30 years ago, this 30 acre property, was nothing but a muddy motocross field. Since then, Sylvia X. Jampol and her family transformed the land into what they envisioned it should have been all along, a piece of Costa Rican paradise. The land was reforested with native plants and a sense of community was born. The main house with its eclectic artifacts and natural, flowing architecture went up first and was the foundation of the property. It now hosts 8 studios and suits serving travelers from all around the world. As time went on, additional villas and accommodations were added to the property, including “Cielo”, the suite where we stayed. The adjacent coffee farm would not be purchased and turned organic until much later in the journey, in 2010. Now the inn boasts an impressive array of coffee fields with Costa Rican coffee being some of the best in the world.
– Organic Mountain-Grown Coffee Farm –
And of course, if you visit Costa Rica, you can’t escape the coffee culture of the country. An important export, alongside bananas and pineapples, Costa Rican coffee is known around the world, despite only having a small share of the global coffee market at around 1%. But where other countries might focus on quantity, quality comes first in Costa Rican coffee. “Costa Rica is the only country in the world where it is actually illegal to produce any type of coffee other than 100% Arabica—the highest quality of coffee beans.”
While at the farm, we had to take a tour and see firsthand how the coffee is grown and processed. What makes Finca Rosa Blanca an organic farm is its reliance on natural vegetation to protect & nurture coffee bushes. Banana trees, corn plants provide shade, water and wind protection for coffee plants. Squirrels & tropical birds provide natural bug control with zero pesticides. And shade-grown coffee also means that the berries don’t over-ripen in the sun, losing their potency and as a result, a boost of flavor. A cup of coffee after a long tour of the farm turned me, a long-time tea drinker, into an absolute fan of Costa Rican coffee.