TRAVEL

Checking In to Santarena Hotel, Costa Rica

To be honest, Costa Rica wasn’t on my bucket list, but I am so glad we ended up booking a 5 night stay this summer. It was sort of a very last minute, spur of the moment, situation. The initial idea, well… Mr. LA’s initial summer holiday idea, was for us to finally go to Mexico, to visit friends who was also there on holiday, and then go on to Chile. None of us had any idea how far away Chile actually is from LA, a direct flight is about 12 hours, and I was not prepared to do that for just 5 nights, especially with my upcoming flight to Copenhagen coming up too. After a bit of research, we came across the newly opened hotel Santarena, just an hour drive from Liberia, Costa Rica. We loved what we saw online and booked.

Did we love Costa Rica? Indeed. July is considered low season, which we really appreciating. Not too many tourists anywhere. We really hadn’t planned much and only had one day trip outside the hotel area, so a full on country review is pretty hard for me to do. But I’ll say this: the country is a lot bigger than I thought, and with relatively bad infrastructure, driving just takes longer than usual.

Hotel Santarena is a new hotel, just opened February 2019, in a newly developed area called, Las Catalinas. Literally, a piece of paradise. Since 2016, an Atlanta entrepreneur has been developing on the 1200 acres car-free resort town fronting a black beach of the Pacific Ocean.

The entire resort is build like a little town, full of the cutest studio apartments and seven-bedroom Spanish colonial-style houses with local artisan shops and restaurants neatly packed in throughout the many cobblestone streets – and the 45-room hotel Santarena is the newest addition.

I love the style of the hotel. The rooms are very affordable and perfectly sized; most comes with its own balcony too. We had a view of the courtyard, but were told that if you want the very best views, you should consider the one of corner suites. Everyone can enjoy the stunning views from the rooftop pool – make sure to make it up for at least one sunset.

We enjoyed every minute, from the breakfast and dinner at the hotel restaurant, to the kindest staff and great interiors.

All photos by Allan Torp

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