I love luxury, I love boutique. I make no apologies for it. I love chic hotels with rich sophisticated interiors, refined facilities, breathtaking views, elegant surroundings and dazzling service. I love sampling lavish award winning food, exploring new destinations, and enjoy stylish, comfortable, and sumptuous living.
But do these always have to come hand in hand with a cost to the environment, local society and future generations?
Last year my husband and I embarked on a journey to Costa Rica. After a 23 hour journey across the Atlantic, through foggy skies, live volcanoes and bumpy winding roads with no signs, our carriage pulled up to a magnificent set of gates in Santa Barbara, Heredia. Behind these lies a luxury boutique hotel set on a splendid organic coffee plantation, the name: Finca Rosa Blanca.
Welcomed by the sweet sounds of salsa music, tweeting birds, and Spanish chatters, I soon came to realise this was luxury like I’d never experienced before. Our private hut, whilst encompassing many of the amenities expected in a hotel of this calibre, had no sign of a television. This was perhaps the greatest shock to my system. However, I soon came to realise why. Our little kitchen, architecturally stunning and ‘Gaudiesque’ in style (like the rest of the building), greeted us with some home grown organic coffee and the balcony with spectacular views of the grounds and the city that lay beneath. This hotel was all about the great escape, the escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to a happier and more tranquil way of life.
The games room, horse riding tours, Jacuzzi and walks through the grounds were a real treat. The farm’s open and honest display of recycling and organic plantations were inspiring. By using the hotel’s environmentally friendly soft bamboo bed linen, organic toiletries, onsite shop selling local arts and crafts, and joining in on the coffee plantation tours, we were also able to experience and learn about a sustainable and environmental way of working that many first class hotels can only aspire to.
The hotel’s award-winning restaurant enabled guests to experience the fruits of organic labour at their best. Set outside on a stunning wooden veranda overlooking the grounds, the restaurant uses talent, imagination and a great deal of precision to deliver stunning seasonal dishes that are organic, local and cutting edge. All beautifully presented and executed, I tried a variety of delights, all of which were exquisite however, it was the light fillet of pork with sweet coffee sauce that took my breath away. As my palette came into contact with the sweeter and more flavoursome ingredients, my mind began to wander… why had organic always been portrayed as a fad heralded by extremists when it had so many benefits for everyone including me?!
Looking back on our trip, I now somehow feel that by being at the Finca Rosa Blanca hotel I was involved in a little magic that not many people get to experience. Finca Rosa Blanca is a breath of fresh air. It’s a first class boutique hotel that’s been a financially successful business for over 20 years, yet it’s managed to do this whilst connecting with and helping the local community and environment. So why can’t other hotels here manage to do the same thing? What’s even more brilliant is that Finca Rosa Blanca has managed to create a superior boutique hotel that engages with customers, promoting the greater good and allowing them to feel inspired and truly indulged by their experience.
To find out more about the Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn you can visit their website www.fincarosablanca.com.