We just returned from renting this entire mansion for our family of 10 people. It was a wonderful experience. The mansion is so unique and beautiful and full of original artwork to enjoy. The bedding is of high quality in each bedroom and the living room has a huge LCD TV with every channel you can imagine. The simple driving instructions took us easily to the mansion coming from San Jose. The hotel was very well maintained and Erika is one of the sweetest people on planet Earth and a true professional in all respects! Her english is perfect and I could talk with her for hours (and did) and enjoyed each minute of it. The mansion is air conditioned and extremely comfortable. There is a security guard stationed in the yard area 24/7, the grounds are simply beautiful and the pool is delightful and maintained by a full time gardener. You will not want to leave this paridise. I highly reccommend this spot for anyone and especially for large families that want to rent the entire place, as we did. You can enjoy your time together so much more staying in a place like this. The grocery store on the corner is well stocked with everything you could possibly need to procure for a great visit and the owner give you the "run of the kitchen".. Each morning the attractive housekeeper prepared a continental breakfast of coffee, sliced fruit, and toasts. If you are like us and desire a more hearty breakfast, you can buy eggs, and ham or bacon and prepare it in the electric skillet to complete and add to the breakfast.
My Brother hired the "chef" that is mentioned by some other reviewers for a family meal on our 2nd night at Forest Hills. He visited in the morning to plan the menu and set the serving times for appetizers and dinner. The labor fee was $200 for he and his assistant's services with my brother also paying for the groceries which the cook did the shopping for. The cook and his girlfriend were extremely hard workers and worked most of the day shopping, prepping and cooking the dinner. Because of the very limited cooking equipment (a bbq grill, microwave, and an electric skillet) the cook could not meet planned appetizer and dinner times. (over an hour late for dinner). The food was good with some items being excellent and others being mediocre in my opinion. I grew up in the restuarant business and I'm critical so other family members could have other opinions. The price per person ended up being around $40 per person. I truly believe once Erika is successful in getting the awesome commercial oven and stove that is currently present in the mansion kitchen working, hiring this cook could become a good value, but not now.
The first night we were at the mansion we all dined at a local Jaco restaurant called Lemon Zest. This is an EXCELLENT restaurant owned and operated by Richard Lemon from Florida. Richard owned a very upscale, fine dining restaurant for many years in Florida and like us began visiting Costa Rica on vacation and fell in love with the country. Richard saw the need for an "American style" fine dining restaurant and sold their highly successful restaurant in Florida and began Lemon Zest in Jaco. It is a family operation and the service is simply incredible. The bar drinks were handmade and fantastic and every one in our group of 10 had a delightful meal. It is rare in the US for the chef of a fine dining restaurant to come out into the dining room and meet with guests, but Richard came out, chatted with the group, and made us feel welcome, introducting us to his wife, son, and grandchild. Richard even made two different types of bithday cakes for us and both were delicious. These meals averaged less than the $40 mentioned above (with drinks) and everyone of our group of 10 meals came out at the same time (which is rare in CR).. I had a filet Mignon with was as good as any I have experienced in the US. I can't stress enough what a great restaurant this is!