My husband and I had a fantastic stay at the Casa Grande Mountain Retreat. The place is nestled into the tropical rainforest-covered mountains with their multiple four room cabins and main dining hall. The flowers, shrub and tree plantings around the grounds are well cared and colorful. The mountain views are extraordinary with warbling, buzzing birdlife right outside your door.
The restaurant on the grounds serves breakfast and dinner, and the food was excellent. The servings are plentiful which we found out on the first night. On subsequent nights we ordered house salads and shared a dinner. We loved the coconut oatmeal and fresh squeezed orange juice. The coffee comes from the Utuado region and is superb.
There are a couple of hiking trails that you can access directly from the grounds. We enjoyed both of these trails. Don't miss the riverwalk with Jose, who is also a waiter at the restaurant. For $25 pp, Jose leads a 3-hour guided hike along and up a river/stream. Jose is very affable and knowledgeable about the plants, animals, and insect life in the area. While we were hiking, we came upon the couple who owns the land and allows Casa Grande to use it for hikes. They were harvesting wild vine roots which where as large and log-like. They gave Jose one of the roots to take back to Casa Grande for the cook to prepare that night. We were leaving that afternoon so missed the dish with regrets.
Another thing we did on recommendation of the front desk person was to go to a coffee plantation called Cafe Gran Batey. The planation was about 20 minutes away and was also a great authentic experience. Daniel Morales and his mother, Lotty, showed us the coffee fields, grinding and roasting equipment and process, and then prepared the best coffee I ever had!.