This review is long overdue but not because of the quality of our time at Finca Exotica. We traveled to this incredible, singular, and stunning lodge in April with our two boys ages 6 and 9. Instantaneously it became home, even though it is worlds apart from New York City where we live.
Words really defy our experience. The grounds are both stunning and fascinating - all manner of fruits and plants grow here that we ate time and again, in delicious and unexpected combinations, during our meals. The design of Casa Grande and its furnishings - all of it done by former architect and owner Markus - ends up yielding this supremely elegant and alluring lounge in the tropics. The thatched-roof casitas are simple by design, but between them and the riches delivered by Casa Grande, the grounds, and then the incredible natural surroundings ... you have everything you could possibly want and more than you could possibly imagine.
A few shout outs:
Gaby is a gorgeous, wonderful, warm and terrific host who strikes that perfect balance of attention and remove. She provided everything we needed but also left us alone as much as we needed, too. No cloying attention. Perfect.
Markus is clearly the visionary behind the place and that vision is unique. I still can't come up with words to describe that Casa Grande, but it's beautifully appointed and with a great vibe. He's got discriminating taste and it shows - from the menus, to the presentation of the food, to that cocktail table made out of a ship's rudder, to any other detail you can think of. At the end of the day, Markus is an artist in his own right and his creation (those hammocks that our kids fell asleep on every night!) is wonderful.
Coco was the cook when we were there - his cross-cultural cooking was totally unexpected in the Costa Rican jungle ... and delicious. We had crispy-good preparations of local fish, curries made with Finca Exotica coconuts, salads from a crazy plant that grows on the grounds, and the best sandwiches for hiking, ever (I think Thomas made those - he's the bomb, too). Since our kids were a little intimidated by some of the intense and unusual flavors sometimes, the team amenably delivered special requests when/as needed. Thank you!
Jody gave a terrific tour of the garden and introduced us to the Ylang Ylang, wild asparagus, Magic Fruit, Star Fruit, and any other number of edibles on the property. Plus, she lead an amazing yoga class from probably the best Yoga perch I've ever downward-dogged on - amazing.
Finally, a shout out of the attractions if you will - touring Corcovado National Park is a must. The walk is long to the park's entrance, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also, the kayaking trip offered through the lodge is INCREDIBLE. It was the last thing we did and the memory of slicing our paddles through the mangroves as the sun set (and amidst all those birds) will stick with us forever! The conversations at Finca Exotica's dining room table - with people of all ages, nationalities and experiences - were always warm, open, and enjoyable. Just hanging out at the lodge, swinging in the hammocks by the sea, catching hermit crabs on the beach or hiking on its grounds delivered sweet rescue. I can't say enough good things about this place and the memories it yielded are as precious as they come.
Thank you, Gaby, Markus, Coco, Thomas, Jody, and the whole team - you rocked it (on par with the incredible Costa Rican singer songwriter who performed each night that we were there)! You helped to create an unforgettable time for all of us. Hugs - Henry, Beth, Ben and Gabe
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Finca Exotica eco lodge is a Wildlife Refuge property in this pristine area of Costa Rica, and the closest place to Corcovado National Park accessible by car.Our beach lodge is equipped to meet all of your needs – be it a romantic couple’s escape, a group retreat, a professional conference or a family vacation. Our facilities surround our central meeting place, Casa Grande, which hosts the organic food restaurant with a communal dining table and stretches out to an amphitheater suited for presentations and lectures by day and dance parties by night. Between them is the bar and together they all encompass the terrace where you can lounge under the open sky or swing in a hamock in the shades of almond trees, while Scarlett Macaws are feeding on them. Tents, cabins, rentals and other facilities stem out from this centerpiece to provide easy access near the beach, an isolated meditation ambiance and quaint trails that lead you through the labyrinth of exotic plant life. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Finca Exotica Hotel Carate
- Finca Exotica Ecolodge Costa Rica/Carate