A calm breeze often blows through the Turrialba Bed and Breakfast. Whether visitors lounge on the patio, on the balcony or in the air-conditioned rooms, a relaxing atmosphere makes for a great stay for anyone spending time in this Caribbean slope town.
The 12-bedroom hotel in the heart of Turrialba provides plenty of ways to take it easy. Guy Leblanc, the hotel’s charismatic owner, bought the hotel in July 2009. He’s created a serene setting for guests, many of whom come in after a rigorous whitewater adventure on the world-famous PacuareRiver. Leblanc’s hotel emphasizes relaxation after adrenaline-filled days.
“There are people here for the week – they come back at 5 or 6 in the afternoon,” said Leblanc, who hails from the U.S. city of New Orleans. He added that most of his guests come to Turrialba for the outdoor sports. “They have dinner that night and then they’re free to relax and sit out here and talk about the day.”
Those returning from a day of exploring have the option of stepping into the Jacuzzi, playing darts or pool or just sitting around in the deck chairs and drinking wine or beer from the bar that opens from 5 to 10 p.m. daily.
The hotel’s facade is a bland green wall. However, once visitors step inside, the full expanse of the hotel unfolds into three separate casitas (little houses). Connecting each living area is a courtyard that may be the most stunning part of the hotel. Lush greenery surrounds a large koi pond with a miniature waterfall splashing down into it. While this setting makes for an enjoyable evening, the breakfasts are difficult to top.
Guests can get the day off to a good start with a morning meal made by the hotel’s Tica cook, María Jiménez. Some of the best típico Costa Rican food can be sampled in the hotel’s dining area, including some standout gallo pinto, the national rice-and-beans dish of Costa Rica, served with simmering beef.
If not much is going on during the day, guests should take a look around from the hotel’s rooftop deck. Up there, one can read, chat or admire the cityscape and active Turrialba Volcano rising up in the distance.
Leblanc, who lives at the hotel, enjoys joining guests for breakfast and will work to make anyone’s stay more enjoyable.
The hotel offers guests free Internet and phone calls to the United States, as well as a reading room with a large selection of books. Leblanc is making renovations to the hotel’s front office and redecorating the courtyard scenery. Along with the koi pond, the hotel features wood carvings decorated into doors, stone sculptures and nods to the New Orleans Saints, last year’s Super Bowl champions.
Guests who choose to do their lounging in their rooms will be treated to air conditioning and private bathrooms with hot showers. But in a country that stresses the outdoors – or at least being outside – Turrialba Bed and Breakfast wants guests to take in some fresh air and nature.
“I first started visiting Costa Rica 25 years ago,” Leblanc said. “For some reason, when I stepped off the bus into the earth in Turrialba, something just reached out and grabbed me about this place. I fell in love with it instantly.”
Getting There, Rates, Info
Turrialba Bed and Breakfast is 25 meters north of the Central Park in Turrialba, 60 km east of San José. From the capital, drive east to Cartago on Highway 2. Arriving in Cartago, you will see signs for Turrialba; continue east on Highway 10, passing the towns of Paraíso, Cervantes and Juan Viñas along the way. By bus, Transtusa offers frequent service leaving San José from Ca. 13, Av. 6/8 (2557-5050, www.transtusacr.com, ¢1,170/$2.30).
Nightly room rates, including breakfast and taxes, are $50 single, $70 double and $85 triple.
For information, call 2556-6651 or visit www.turrialbahotel.com.