Sometimes a three star hotel rating doesn’t tell the full story. A recent three night stay in La Anita Rainforest Lodge, located 90 minutes by car from Liberia, Costa Rica is just such a place. Its rating doesn’t do the place justice. If you were to pick hotels by ratings alone you would miss one of the best, most authentic experiences you could have in all of Costa Rica. This is a place where you can expect five star hospitality from the minute you step out of your car until you the minute you leave.
Here’s how our stay at La Anita Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica unfolded.
We – my husband and I, and two of our very good friends, were met at the airport hotel in Liberia by a driver sent by Pablo and Ana, the husband and wife team behind La Anita Rainforest Lodge. Fermin, our driver was on time to the minute. Although he spoke next to no English, he stopped for photos where requested and took us by his family house en route to the lodge. He was also an extremely careful driver.
We were warmly welcomed on our arrival by Pablo. Pablo’s English is impeccable, as is Ana’s so communication is always easy. After escorting us to our cabins, he informed us lunch would be served almost immediately.
The cabins are all lined up in a row but well spaced – so privacy is not an issue. They are simple inside but very clean with a bed, a night table and a fan. There is a screened in bathroom and a large walk-in shower that looks out to the back part of the property. A safe is included for your valuables. Coffee grown on the farm is provided as is a coffeemaker and fresh milk. There’s a small fridge in the room to keep your drinks cold. You can get beer and wine from the kitchen for a very reasonable price as well.
Pablo joined us for lunch – a hot meal consisting of almost entirely locally grown and prepared food – and quizzed us on what we wanted to do while we were there.
What to do at La Anita Rainforest Lodge
There are plenty of options of things to do depending on how energetic you want to be. For starters you can do nothing but spend a day lazing in a hammock. You could go to the opposite extreme and climb Miravalles Volcano – an all-day outing John and I chose to do. You can go horseback riding or visit hotsprings; take a farm tour and learn how to make hearts of palm ceviche or join a family in the village for a Costa Rican style cooking class. Birding is always an option. Expect to see toucans and lots of squawky parrots.
Pablo and Ana, two agronomists by training, have embraced a four pillars philosophy to include community, environment, agriculture and tourism. This is the most sustainable place I have ever visited. So much thought has been put into growing crops to fit the environment – of 25 C temperatures on average and four meters of rain per year. (It poured hard every day we were there – several times a day on occasion but only for about 15 minutes – and then the sun would come out again.) Their employees all live in the community. Food, like locally produced cheese, is bought from the community. When the tourist season is slow students come to stay on the property and study – leaf cutter ants.
If you are a RUSH fan, then you and Pablo can also bond over music. He is a huge fan and can be seen sporting a different RUSH T-shirt every day – and Pink Floyd as I noticed in the bottom photo.
Truly this is an outstanding stay – and of the best ever for all of us. Go see for yourself is the best advice I can offer – and make it a three or four night stay. A double cabin is $US 85 -$96 per night depending on the season and includes breakfast. Packages are worthwhile and start at $199 per person for 3 days/2 nights with breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as a garden tour included.
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