“An elegant country house with just 14 luxurious and unique rooms, set in beautiful wooded hills above San José”
Behind all the luxury are an inspiring Californian couple who have become, unintentionally, pioneers of sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. Rosa Blanca was the country’s first environmentally-friendly hotel, and remains a model of how to protect the natural world without sacrificing style or comfort.
- An elegant and unique place to stay: each room is a work of art, with sumptuous beds, gorgeous linens and private verandas
- Close enough to offer an alternative to staying in San José - and much more relaxing
- Stylish dining room serving delicious Costa Rican fusion cuisine and fine wines
- Beautiful setting in gorgeous tropical gardens, with stunning views from your balcony
- Sustainable tourism par excellence: as well as having impeccable green credentials, the owners are deeply involved in the local community and contribute profits to schools
- If you like sleek, anonymous hotels, this isn’t for you
- While close to the airport (20 minutes), Rosa Blanca is still a 45-minute drive away from San José itself. However, it’s a relief to escape the city
- No nightlife in the immediate area, so it won't suit if you’re looking for lively bars to meet other travellers
- Not the cheapest place to stay, but worth it!
- No twin beds available, but one suite has a double and a twin, and the villas have 2 adjoining suites with kingsize beds
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Each suite is completely unique. Most are in the Gaudí-esque main house: all white walls and arched windows. Suites lead off a stunning central galleried atrium filled with plants, paintings and intriguing ornaments collected from around the world. There are Junior Suites with quaint bathrooms looking directly onto the view. Also here are two of the Master Suites: Ranchito, has an interior landscape of hills and coffee plantations while the stunning split-level Rosa Blanca has a bathroom overrun by a painted forest, and a breathtakingly romantic bedroom with 360-degree views from its wraparound tower windows. The Jacuzzi is fed by a little stream and the whole suite is utterly romantic.
Since our visit, two more Master Suites have been added. El Cielo Suite is split level with panoramic views while El Guarumo Suite has a romantic lagoon-style outdoor bathtub.
The remaining Junior Suites are shared between 2 villas, which may be hired as whole entities. Every inch of these spaces has been carefully considered and they're filled with little touches to delight the eye. The result is enchanting. Luxurious details include the softest bamboo sheets, fresh flowers and delicious organic toiletries, along with well-stocked minibars, ceiling fans, hairdryers and bathrobes.
There are phones and WiFi but no TVs in the suites - however there’s a television on the landing in a cosy little library for guests to use, along with a fine collection of art books.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
Food is taken seriously here - owner Teri Jampol was once a chef and works with her Costa Rican staff to make delicious fusions of local and international cuisine from locally sourced organic ingredients - some grown in the Finca’s kitchen garden.
Breakfast starts with a choice of fresh juices and a plate of fresh fruit, followed by a cooked breakfast - either international or Costa Rican in style - all enjoyed out on the terrace, with its uplifting views of the landscape. The coffee is particularly good, grown organically on Rosa Blanca’s plantation.
Lunch can be prepared for you to take on your excursions, or eaten on the terrace. The style is distinctly Costa Rican, and our salads and papusas (corn tortillas stuffed with beans) were very good.
Dinner is a real occasion, eaten in the elegant surroundings of the Tigre Vestido restaurant, with charming and attentive staff who really look after you. Sophisticated flavours are reflected in the stylish design of the restaurant, with its polished wood floors, lofty rafters and elegant seating (dark high-backed chairs and comfortable couches) arranged around a traditional tiled fireplace. Tables are beautifully dressed and lit by candles - it's a romantic place for couples and a relaxing environment for friends. Start or finish with a cocktail or a glass of fine wine in the bar - Rosa Blanca’s list of Latin American wines is well-chosen.
The food is among the country’s finest: choose from 2 salads, 2 starters and 2 main courses. Delicious concoctions of Pacific fish and organic vegetables introduce new ingredients and complex sauces. We had delicate smoked fish on a bed of fresh greens and sweet potatoes, tiger prawns in lemon couscous, exquisite salads with fresh herbs, and local fish or organic meat in the most subtle sauces with surprising ingredients. A perfect last dinner before you leave Costa Rica.
- Organic produce
- Vegetarian menu
- Take the sustainability tour to discover Finca Rosa Blanca’s impressive efforts to protect the environment and contribute to the local community. Explore nearby villages, with visits to the local school (sustained partly by profits from the hotel) and the senior citizens centre, which produces rag rugs for the hotel
- A tour around the Finca’s organic coffee plantation is fascinating; alternatively, you can take a more commercial tour around the famous Café Britt plantation, with tastings included
- Early morning bird-watching with Manolo, the Finca’s incredibly knowledgeable resident naturalist guide, is amazing
- Hike in Braulio Carillo National Park amongst stunning pristine rainforest; Manolo can accompany you if you want a guided walk. The park includes the Barva volcano, where you can do a wonderful hike to the crater, seeing wildlife along the way
- Head to the Poás volcano and call in at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens on the way - a great day out for children
- Visit the handicraft workshops that produce the famous painted ox-cart wheels at nearby Sarchí - and wonderful wooden items too. Complete the trip with a walk in the lovely Else Kientzler Botanical Garden
- The Finca arranges day trips to San José for museums and sights, including the National Theatre, the Central Market, the Gold Museum and the Jade Museum of pre-Columbian artefacts
- Go on a river rafting expedition on the Pacuare river (grade III and IV), the Reventazón river (grade II and III), or the more gentle Sarapiqui river (grade I and II), which is more of a float trip. Manolo takes the latter trip as the wildlife is amazing
- Book an organic spa treatment - there's a whole range to choose from including hot stone rubdowns, Reiki, volcanic mud wraps and a decadent chocolate exfoliation. Afterwards, swim in the pool - ionised, solar-heated and beautifully situated on a rise, with wonderful views from its loungers and outdoor Jacuzzi
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Hot air ballooning
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children are welcome at Finca Rosa Blanca, though the hushed atmosphere might suit older kids better. The villas each house 2 Junior Suites and can be hired as whole entities, and the 2 Master Suites have additional beds. Children would enjoy splashing about in the pool, going horse-riding and taking trips to the local volcanoes and waterfalls.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking