Naturally intoxicating, Costa Rica is the perfect setting for travellers searching for a definitive clarity in their style of life and sustainable endeavors. As well, countries around the globe – including Sri Lanka, Jordan, Bhutan, Australia, Peru, Norway, the USA, El Salvador, Colombia, China and Canada — all have their eyes on this small country to help direct them towards eco-friendly tourism and sustainable infrastructures. Is it because Costa Rica was the first Latin country to implement electricity (which by the way is water based)? Or maybe it’s due to their litany of sustainable hotels and rich flora and fauna, which includes 130 species of freshwater fish, 160 species of amphibians, 210 species of mammals, 850 species of birds, 9,000 species of plants, 1,000 species of butterflies, 34,000 species of insects and much more.
“When it comes to Costa Rica, many think solely of beaches and sun,” says Hans Pfister, CEO and principle of Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages a number of Earth-friendly, Central American hotels. “And while those are certainly two amazing draws, there’s so much more to discover.” Hans’ statement is so true as my wife Misa and I had come to Costa Rica looking for ocean water and sunbathing. And though the initial mission was accomplished, we were led 4,000 feet above sea level in the Heredia area 25-minutes outside of Costa Rica’s capitol San Jose?. Here is where we discovered the Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, the most interesting boutique hotel encountered thus far on our worldly travels. We arrived as cosmopolitan newcomers and left as sustainable experts.
Don’t be distracted by the innovative hotel’s name. Although the founders harvest organic, shade grown coffee on a 40-acre plantation, Finca Rosa Blanca’s reputation speaks for itself in terms of ecotourism. The art deco property features 8-acres of tropical gardens with a chlorine-free swimming pool (a copper/silver ionization system replaces chlorine) with solar panels to heat the water, and an enchanting waterfall. There are fig trees older than most countries; over 100 bird species on the property; a recycling and regeneration operation (utilizing coffee pulp as plant fertilizer for example); magnificent views of the valley; and artwork sourced from local talent. Upon arrival to the pictorial reception lobby, you instantly adapt to the imaginative decorum of owner Glenn Jampol’s vision for a luxurious yet sustainable concentrated property. Enlightenment was absorbed instantaneously. Nonetheless, not until entering the distinctive junior suite (13 total suites with two masters) was the design direction of Jampol — an artist by trade — realized. The chambers felt like an adult playpen with imaginative murals; a Jacuzzi; private verandas; wall embedded couches; high teepee-like ceilings; and of course a coffee station. The common areas include an art infused library and entertainment facility; a gift shop that caters to local crafts and organic products; a gourmet restaurant — El Tigre Vestido Restaurant and Bar Buho — featuring Latin-fusion dishes; and a full-service spa which we immediately visited for a couple’s massage package. Did I mention it was our 8-year anniversary celebration?
Since Finca Rosa Blanca is close to San Jose? it makes for an easy trip upon arrival into Cost Rica, or on the way out. Your time can be occupied by pure leisure or a few of the properties activities including a tour of the coffee plantation (our activity of choice); ziplining through the rainforest; an early-morning bird watching tour; hiking to an active volcano; learning the elaborate art of coffee cupping; or simply strolling through the busy streets San Jose?, enjoying the markets and museums. Whichever you choose, each will be indicative of why Costa Rica is at the top of its game. In fact, Glenn and his hotel have been the recipients of several awards, honors and achievements, with the most prominent being its label as Costa Rica’s very first certified sustainable hotel – number one for the country’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism program list. Additional achievements include:
- Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Standard Setters Award
- El Tigre Vestido Restaurant wins first-ever Bandera Verde (Green Flag)
- Named one of Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Eco-friendly Hotels
It’s no coincidence that Finca Rosa Blanca is so far advanced in its respect for the environment and Costa Rican wildlife. It’s Glenn’s passion and his mission to do everything positively in his power to continue to strive for a sustainable ecosystem and environment. Why else would he only allow electric vehicles on property? Visit www.fincarosablanca.com for more information.