Costa Rica
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These are my opinions of Costa Rica and the accommodation. I think we scored a big hit in our choice of hotels!

Costa Rica
Costa Rica is  -6 hours from the UK. The currency is the Colones. (1US = 505 colones) although US$ are widely accepted.
The people are exceptionally friendly and helpful, probably more so than  I have experienced anywhere in the world. All drivers are courteous to Tourismo vehicles. The streets are mostly clean and rubbish free.
Nature trails
During our guided natural history treks we saw very few mammals, birds and butterflies – far fewer than led to believe. We had expected to see many more colourful birds such as wild toucans or macaws. In the main, the treks have too many people with chatter in abundance. For me, the enjoyment was when I could wander off ahead of the group and listen to the many peaceful nature and bird sounds of the forests and a small babbling creeks. I was really happy when we saw a lot of birds/wildlife in Tortugeuro.

Tour Organisers
Planet Cruise organised our flights and the cruise on the Star Flyer. Many attempts were made to convince them that our transfer should not be at 12noon from San Jose to Peurto Caldero (2.5 hour drive) when the ship started boarding at 4pm and sailed at 10pm. There is nothing at the port apart from an air-conditioned room!
Our land tour was organised by the Costa Rican company, Horizontes, and Catolina was exceptionally helpful. I told her what we wanted to do and we discussed the hotels to achieve the best possible for character that suited our needs. The drivers and accommodation were exceptional.

Star Flyer cruise ship
Our home for a week was cabin 509, one of the nicest cabins on the ship being on the Main Deck. The cabin has the same amenities as the standard outside, but is much more spacious with picture windows, a mini-bar and a larger bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The downside to these cabins is that window & door open on to public thoroughfares rather than the sea (albeit the thoroughfare was not used extensively). Warning! The TV & DVD player was in a very dangerous position in cabin 509 and my partner banged his head whilst standing up straight. This required hospital treatment with trauma headaches that ruined the rest of our holiday. The headaches persisted for over 4 weeks.
More so than on most cruises, the cabins are tight on manoeuvering space. Even with a double bed in our 129-sq-ft. room, we kept bumping into each other. The small bathrooms have more than adequate storage space, mostly in the shelves behind the mirror. However, it was a tight squeeze between the wall and sink to sit on the toilet (not easy for some obese people, I imagine) and the toilets, occasionally, didn't  have the suction strength necessary to flush.
The ship boasts more than average space per passenger but that certainly wasn’t true when it came to the sailing days – there was a definite lack of reclining chairs so if you didn’t get there early you could not relax in the sun.
We, and others, found that there were too many people on the trekking tours meaning that it took a long time for the guide to show you any wildlife through his telescope and the chatter was enough to frighten anything away from the trail. The horse-trekking in Quepos was a waste of time – you went up a stony track used by locals and back down again – hardly a forest trail!

Peace Lodge, Poas
Located on the grounds of La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park just one hour from the San José International Airport, the lodge is a magical environment of natural wonders of the rain forest and the splendid creatures that inhabit the enclosures. The luxury accommodations complement the beauty of its rain and cloud forest setting. Every room has a Jacuzzi bath tub and shower that transform into waterfalls with the turn of a knob (a red or green stone in the shape of a frog) and stone fireplace with push button log effect fire. Care has been put into the detail, from the handcrafted canopy beds and love seats to the original stained glass and illustrated artwork. The large balconies have rocking chairs, hammocks and custom stone Jacuzzi tubs. Picture perfect views of the La Paz River Valley and the towering Poás Volcano complete the experience.
The huge Dryas Iulia suite had a canopied four poster bed which required a step to get into it. The plunge pool and large Jacuzzi are situated outside of the room, with a larger ‘Trout’ pool in the grounds if that is preferred. The walk up the steps to the restaurant and up/down the hill to the wildlife displays/waterfalls kept you fit to wear off the excellent food from the restaurant.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. The excellent service coupled with the environment and exhibits make this a perfect place to relax at peace with nature.
In the grounds there the Waterfalls Nature Garden has many very interesting and well maintained wildlife displays. The Peace Lodge was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Honeymoon Hotspots International” program as one of the eight most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world.

Tortuga Lodge, Tortuguero
The Lodge is ideally situated on 146 acres of private land on Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast, near an important turtle nesting site (nesting takes place between July and Oct). The setting is wonderful – there are no roads, the only access is by bus/taxi for 3 hours (1hour is on rough stoney tracks through the banana plantations and then a 1 hour boat -ride, or a 30min flight  in a propeller plane. At the lodge the rooms are very basic with no TVs, no phones, and not even any glass in the windows although there are window 'nets' to keep mosquitoes and other ‘bugs’ at bay. Fresh air is the order of the day, combined with the warm smell and mysterious noises of the jungle. On the verandahs are rocking chairs and hammocks to relax in whilst taking in the peace and quiet of the garden and the canal scene. Or swim in the pool whilst watching the iguanas alongside.
The airport that takes visitors to and fro to San Jose is situated just across the canal but there are only a few flights a day so the noise of the propeller planes is more an interesting spectacle than a disturbance. When visitors wish to cross the canal to explore or walk to Torturguero town you ask for a boat transfer and hen it’s time to return simply wave and a boat will cross to collect you.
Meals include a hearty breakfast, three course fixed lunch and dinner. The food and service is excellent. It is very peaceful and relaxing to stay at Tortuga Lodge.

Hotel Arenal Kioro, Arenal  
Arenal Kioro is a fabulous place with a natural viewpoint to the Arenal Volcano. The hotel has 27 acres of undulating land, surrounded by two streams (La Palma and Kioro) with crystalline waters that begin to flow in the Arenal Volcano National Park. It has many paths where plant species are identified. The many thermal springs are set in a cascading rocky area surrounded by wonderful gardens.

Our very large suite comprised of a kingsize bed, sitting area and Jacuzzi tub all with direct open views across the gardens to the Arenal volcano. In addition there was a reception hall with a daybed, a lounge and bathroom. The restaurant has large open windows to view the Arenal volcano.
Some of the rooms are a few minutes walk up hill so the hotel offers a shuttle service to your room from the restaurant and hotel lobby. The staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly.

Hidden Canopy Tree House Boutique Hotel,  Monteverde
If you want to wake to the sound of birdcall in a romantic, oversized bed made of tree roots, bathe in your own personal waterfall fantasy shower made of stone, soak in a Jacuzzi looking out onto the forest and be pampered with fresh-baked goods and drinks at sunset, this is the perfect place

Located in the mountains at an elevation of 1530 meters (4600 feet), this idyllic Bed & Breakfast hotel is surrounded by fine gardens with waterfalls and a striking view of the Gulf of Nicoya in the distance. We stayed in the secluded two-level Eden tree house chalet whose treetop setting features a sitting-room and kitchenette area on the upper floor with patio and balcony. The lower level has a bedroom with a king-size canopied bed, fireplace and a bathroom with a separate stone waterfall shower and a private jacuzzi in a garden balcony all with forest views. The 4 cabins and main house have been designed and built to the highest standard and to the Californian earthquake standards

5pm is the time for drinks, snacks and socialising on the hotel balcony, whilst watching the stunning sunset across the Nicoya peninsula 40km distant. No evening meals are served but there are plenty of good restaurants in Saint Elena, a short taxi ride away or food can be brought in from one of the restaurants at cost + $10. Tea and coffee in the cabin is free and the food and drinks in the minibar are very reasonably priced.

The friendly service provided by Jen and her staff is exceptional. They go out of their way to be helpful. My only negative was that you are asked to remove your shoes in the main house and cabins and my feet got cold on the chilly evenings. Disposable slippers would have solved the problem and Jen tells me that she is currently seeking a supplier. This is truly a wonderful place to stay.

Hotel Arenas del Mar, Manuel Antonio 
Adjacent to Manual Antonio National Park, Arenas del Mar is in a unique and spectacular nature setting. It has stunning views of Manual Antonio National Park, the Pacific Ocean, the two beaches - Playa Espadilla and Playa Playitas, and the surrounding rainforests. Iguanas and other wildlife such as sloths, capuchin monkeys and agouti can be seen daily.
Our Ocean Breeze Suite had a fully air-conditioned bedroom and a large living area, both with the addition of ceiling fans, a full size pull-out sofa, mini bar and large bathroom and smaller shower/bathroom. There is a TV in the bedroom but not in the lounge. The hot tub on the deck of the suite is the perfect spot to relax surrounded by the rainforest and sea breezes and listening to the ocean waves. Unfortunately, our suite was not elevated so the view of the pacific was spoilt by the adjoining forest scrub land – this was not what we expected.
The rooms are showing signs of age, especially the floors. The minibar is stocked with the ‘free gifts of the day’ which is a drink and some sort of snack, like a chocolate biscuit or tortilla chips. Beware, if you don’t drink/eat them that day they are removed or you are charged a high price for them - $4 for a coca cola!
The staff are very friendly and helpful but the time between placing an order and delivery in the restaurants varied from about 20mins to 1 hour. Time, indeed, to relax and enjoy the scenery and sound of the waves crashing on the shore.  This is probably one of the best placed hotels in the area, in its own woodland and having direct access to the two beaches.