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“Absolutely Perfect Stay”

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Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Stuart, Florida
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Absolutely Perfect Stay”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We loved Finca Rosa Blanca staying there for 4 nights! We were in Costa Rica earlier this month with the sole purpose being a visit to this storied coffee plantation and inn - we were not let down.

After an airline debacle with AA that got us to Costa Rica 3.5 hours later than we expected, without our bags, we exited the airport to see Harrison (still) waiting for us. He took us on the 25 minute ride from the airport to Finca Rosa explaining a bit about Santa Barbara and Finca Rosa - very knowledgeable and friendly.

Check-in was smooth and quick with welcome fruit drinks - we were in our room less than 15 minutes after arriving. We stayed in the main house - La Piedra. Although this is the smallest room on the property, it certainly boasts one of the best views at the inn. We had a view of the flora & fauna of CR and could see San Jose & the Central Valley all lit up at night, but we were far enough away not to hear any noise. Actually, aside from birds, we didn't hear much of any noise. The room was perfect - complete with sitting area, spacious bathroom and a large bed. Each night they turn down the beds and leave these delicious coffee-chocolates. During our stay we saw very few guests.

The grounds of FRB are beautiful and well-kept. You can go for walks through the plantation, bird watch, look at flowers, or just sit by the pool. The buildings themselves are tastefully decorated and teeming with charm.

The restaurant was phenomenal, albeit pricey. We had our meals included in our package stay so we didn't care too much. Portions are large, so if you are a light eater, you can probably split meals. Jorge, Luis, and Marvin took care of us during our stay and each knew us by name and what we enjoyed. Jorge introduced us to the warm chocolate cake dessert (you must try this, it's amazing!). Luis and Omar brought us fruit juices they made special. On our last night Marvin lit a fire in the fire place for us and took our pictures there. He also had a 3-course alcohol surprise for us as well. All the meals were made with fresh ingredients and wonderfully blended with local flavors and produce. During the day they also have a coffee and cookie time in the afternoon.

The pool and hot tub are located at the top of the property. While we never swam in the pool we did use the hot tub a few times and enjoyed it thoroughly. Just a walk up there is worth it.

We did a number of tours as our package was the Nature & Adventure one. Manolo was our guide for everything but the coffee tour and he was amazing. We did the Poas Volcano tour and he helped us identify 18 species of birds while we were there in addition to explain about the volcano and cloud forest. While driving he'd stop anyway for pictures, we even stopped to see a 2-toed sloth on the side of the road. We also did the La Tirimbina Rainforest Tour with Manolo. It was great! Lots of birds, ants, snakes, and other critters. Like watching Planet Earth. You also get to walk on this 800' swingy-bridge. After that we did the river boat tour as well. Saw all kinds of birds, caiman, iguana, monkeys, etc. The best part about all of these tours is that we were the only ones so they were essentially private! On our way back to the resort Manolo found a good local restaurant where we had lunch. Did the San Jose tour. Neat to go to once, but probably wouldn't go again. Manolo did hook us up with some excellent food and beverage at the Central Market though. We also did the birding tour with him right around the hotel. Manolo was an excellent guide and scientist. He'll answer all your questions and gets you excited about the ecosystems and wildlife of Costa Rica. A huge thanks! Leo took us on the coffee tour and cupping session. Another intelligent and personable guide. We very much enjoyed learning about organic farming, sustainability, and coffee. You'll learn more than you ever thought existed about coffee. He even gave my wife a couple of handfuls of coffee beans (in their various forms) so that she could use them in her classroom for biology and chemistry lessons. Thanks for sharing your love of coffee, Leo!

Overall, this was one of the best places we've ever stayed. We were well rested, fed, and educated. You'll lose track of time and the stresses of your life at this place. Eduardo worked reception most days. He was friendly and helpful as we rearranged our schedules a bit.

The only bad part of the trip was having to leave. Thank you FRB for being the perfect end of our summer. We'll be back in the future, we hope.

Room Tip: La Piedra has a beautiful view with the waterfall in the lobby right outside the door.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BG26_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear BG26_2: Wow, another phenomenal review written in detail. Thanks so much and also for being so appreciative of what we are trying to do. I think you summed up our mission when you wrote,
"We were well rested, fed, and educated. You'll lose track of time and the stresses of your life at this place."
This is exactly how we would like our guests to perceive their stay with us. We always try to persuade our guests to stay 3 or 4 nights as there is so much to do close by and yet after a day of tours and marvelous experiences, you can relax and pamper yourself afterward with our cuisine from Chef Oscar Picado, the hot tub, the 30 acres of grounds, the 8 acres of gardens surrounding the hotel and then dine and later sleep in the cool climate at night which is great for the evenings. You really got the most out of our small hotel and I am so glad you shared all of your experience with us. And we loved the cool photos.
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English first
Savannah, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

While I would certainly not hesitate to stay here again, there were a few details that were overlooked that prevent me from giving Finca a full score of 5. That being said, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful getaway close to the main airport. Although it’s a bit pricey, I doubt you will find a better location to anchor the beginning or ending of your Costa Rica adventure.


First, the good stuff. This place is gorgeous! Our experienced driver had quite the struggle finding this place, but off-the-beaten path only adds to its charm. Half an hour from the SJO airport, it feels as if it’s a whole world away. You can enjoy the San Jose skyline at night and watch planes take off without the stress and chaos of urban-ness. The buildings were organic and artsy and quirky, the grounds were immaculate, and you could not have asked for a more friendly and welcoming (and mostly bilingual) staff. We never passed by any service person without sharing kind words, blessings, and beautiful smiles. We very much enjoyed the outdoor dining at the onsite restaurant, and, although there was no room service, the fabulous wait staff was more than accommodating preparing crispy calamari and roasted watermelon for us to sneak off to our balcony. Our favorite meals were the tuna, chicken with coffee sauce, and the ribs, but we were a little disappointed in the fillet mignon, which must have once been part of some very muscular Costa Rican cow. And you MUST order the espresso ice cream before you leave! Leo’s coffee tour was awesome, and I would recommend doing it early in your stay because it allows you to meet other guests, which very much enhanced the remainder of our visit. The hot tub and pool were gorgeous and warm even in the cooler, higher altitude air. Also, make sure to take your camera with you *every* time you leave your room, because the landscaping, birds, butterflies, moths, and lizards were amazing!


Sadly, there were a couple of details that should be pointed out that might have improved our stay. When we first arrived (a couple of hours after check-in) and were shown to our room, it was obvious that it had not been turned from the previous guests. (To their credit, however, their policy is twice daily cleanings—which did happen for the duration of our visit.) Second, even though we stayed in the villas, there was less privacy than you might expect. The walls were thin, and the balconies are so close you can easily carry on a conversation with your neighbors (it would be up to you whether this would be a plus or minus). Our friends who stayed in the main house noted that they could also hear everything that was going on in the rooms around them. I did notice that the “waterfalls” in the main house and by the pool helped to defray the noise, but they were rarely turned on during our stay. Also, along the same lines, while this would be an absolutely wonderful place to bring your children, the acoustics are bright in this place, and I would be concerned about having to keep your kiddos under constant control in order to maintain the romantic environment this B&B exudes. This just seems a better fit for couples, adult get togethers, or professional solo travelers than for families with young children. Another issue that arose involved the fact that we had no wifi in the villas; when I inquired in the office, telling them we had no problem connecting in the café but that we had no service in our room, they promised to look into it, but the problem was not addressed or resolved during our stay. (Again, this could be a positive or negative, depending on your perspective. Sadly, I am internet addicted.) Finally, when planning your excursions, we would advise against the cultural visit to Sarchi unless you are flying out the next day and need a few more souvenirs. The ox carts and folksy factory were interesting, but it is a relatively long drive (we combined the trip with the Poas Volcano tour), and the focus of the Sarchi experience was on tourist trappy stores.


I would most definitely stay here again! It’s a romantic, fairy tale experience, and it was a beautiful way to wrap up our trip. On our last morning, we were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lounge in the hot tub, and take a few final pictures before having to leave for the quick trip to the airport. Wilson even went to the trouble of cutting down a PVC pipe (that protected a painting we had purchased) so that it would more easily fit into our luggage. Again, I cannot speak highly enough of the staff! Be sure to check their website for specials so you can extend your stay! Also, pester them to add the coffee chocolates they leave on your pillow to the gift shop inventory, because they are divine, and they would have ended up being my favorite souvenir!

Room Tip: I would probably have preferred to stay in the main house in a room with a San Jose view balcony...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elizabeth_and_Brett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Elizabeth and Brett; What a lengthy and detailed review- thanks so much for taking all the time to write about us. It was very good to read your comments. I am very sorry about the lack of WiFi in the villas, this was an issue with ICE our national telephone company who provides our internet. Last week, we invested in a satellite antennae which we bought from ICE and which they installed to increase the speed and coverage, which seems to have done the job. Unfortunately, in a developing country sometimes things aren't as consistent as they are in more industrialized countries. I am sorry you heard your neighbors, as the walls are actually 6" thick concrete and stucco so I imagine the noise came from under doors or through open windows. We are looking into how to try to make it even quieter- thanks for pointing this out to us. Again, we really appreciate your taking the time to write this point by point analysis and we hope to see you next time.
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Me and my brand new wife made our first stop here on our honeymoon to Costa Rica. We arrived really late (around 1AM) and the security that met us was as welcoming as an old friend. He assisted us with our luggage and made us feel at home right away. We stayed in a room that had a private garden, one side of our room was facing the jungle. It took me a little while to get used to the sounds of the jungle to get to sleep. We woke up and headed straight to the breakfast desk, the desk overlooks the surrounding mountains and area. It was a really nice view. The breakfast was amazing, I had the dish that loosely translated into horse carriage that was a typical casado type breakfast. The fruit drinks and the coffee was also spectacular. We had dinner and lunch here also since this place is pretty secluded. I had the pork loin and my wife had the eggplant lasagna both were perfectly cooked. the drinks at the bar were really delicious also, we has tico sours which is like a mojito but with guaro pronounced wado. If you do visit I would suggest doing the coffee tour and tasting. It was a learning fun experience. Hopefully Leo is still around to show you the grounds. He was a very nice Italian/American ex-pat that is very knowledgeable, friendly and fun.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite in the main guest house at the end of the building that was very quiet and did...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Daniel M: Thanks for the wonderful and witty re3view of Rosa Blanca. I particularly liked your description of "Huevos a Caballo" which does translate into "eggs a la horse". I am so glad that you enjoyed the food so much, which is one of our many focuses here at the hotel, as we feel that all the arts, including the culinary ones, are essential in the holistic enjoyment and experience of a small hotel. We are about experiences and service and I can see from your review that you were very appreciative about it all. I am assuming you stayed in the room "Las Aves" which has its private garden and volcanic stone walls covered in ferns and lichens and it is really a peaceful place to relax. Again thanks for the great review and we will be waiting for you next time when you arrive.
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saint louis
Level Contributor
56 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

We stayed one night on our way out of San Jose. The rooms were charming and quirky and very comfortable. The hotel is tucked away out of the action so it is quiet and feels very remote without being hours away from San Jose. We had an excellent breakfast and very nice service the short time we were there.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank lwohara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear mkb5560745; Thanks for taking the time to write in about Finca Rosa Blanca. I sincerely hope you will have more time with us when you come to Costa Rica next, as we have an abundant list of day trips, tours and on- grounds experiences that you should experience. Saludos!
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new york, ny
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2012

We were staying in San Jose for a night before an early morning flight home after a stay at their sister resort, Arenas del Mar. Finca Rosa Blanca couldn't be more different than Arenas del Mar, but still wonderful. We only had a little time to to explore but the grounds were beautfiul. The service was friendly and helpful. Dinner was the best meal we had in all of Costa Rica!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank tskd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear tskd: I am so glad you had a nice night here at Ros Blanca. Also, mentioning our food as do many guests, always helps to reinforce the pride that our incredible chef, Oscar Picado has. He uses the whole greenhouse to produce organic vegetables, greens, herbs and condiments for his amazing panoply of dishes and has planted even more recently. Next time you will have to stay more time so you can try more of his cuisine and of course to get to know our shade grown organic coffee plantation and tour the facilities. See you next time?
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jacksonville beach
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2012

This is a small boutique hotel, nestled (and I really mean tucked away) in a lush tropical setting high in the mountains of Santa Barbara (near Heredia and San Jose). The place is like something out of a romance novel. The staff (every single staff member) were the nicest and most accommodating group of people I have ever run across. They were sure to know all (me, husband and son) our names, which made our stay so personal. The grounds were breathtakingly beautiful. Perfect place for a honeymoon couple, family (with older children), older couple--just about any person and/or event. Each room has either a terrace (upstairs) or huge patio (downstairs) with amazing views. Cleaner than any hotel I have ever stayed in, twice daily housekeeping service. Restaurant was amazing--nice menu for ever diet (great vegetarian items). View of the city of San Jose, especially gorgeous at night when all the lights are on. Beautiful pool and hot tub. Be prepared to relax too much.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank cathy m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Cathy m; Wow, such a great review and really something that we can all be proud of. I have read this to the staff and they were so thrilled and excited to have been lauded so by one of our guests. We do indeed try to know every one who stays here- one of the benefits of a boutique hotel is that we are small and personal and like to make everybody feel like this is their home away from home. I want to say how much I liked your photos, especially the one of the interior "sala" which really shows the beautiful "Ronron" wood floor we put in about 25 years ago. I hope you and your husband and son can return soon so we can pamper you more. Again thanks for taking the time to write about your stay.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Fell upon this jewel by mistake when we were looking for a place to stay that was close to the airport. We stayed in alot of nice places through our travels in Costa Rica but Finca Rosa was by far the best. Very unique reminding us a little of Antoni's Gaudi's work we saw in Spain.
The plantation and garden's were beautiful as well. The environment was peaceful and relaxing. Great spa as well as food. Everyone was attentive and the rooms were very clean. More set up for adults then for kids. Nice place for a honeymoon.
The only disappointment was we could not stay longer

Room Tip: If more than 2, request LaVentana. In the main house 1st floor. Ample room with an added small bedro...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mkb5560745
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElGrandote, Owner at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear mkb5560745; Thanks for the nice comments- we are very happy that you enjoyed your stay so much. Next time you will indeed have to stay longer and see some of the many sights and experience the many tours we have close by. Of course, we are always inventing new foods from our organic garden and you can really enjoy more new dishes next time you are here. And thanks for the nice photos also.
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Additional Information about Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn

Property: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn
Address: Apartado Postal 41, Santa Barbara 3009, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Heredia > Santa Barbara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Barbara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is a world-class 13 room resort located in the middle of an organic shade-grown coffee plantation with lush colorful gardens and awe inspiring views of the Central Valley below. The recipient of many awards for being a global leader in responsible tourism and luxury, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is the perfect choice for discerning and knowledgeable travelers who want to be surrounded by beautiful coffee fields while nestled in a cozy world famous hotel awarded with the highest levels of certified sustainability. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is part of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Hotel Santa Barbara
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation And Inn
Country Inn Heredia
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn Costa Rica/Santa Barbara

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