When the taxi dropped Chelsea and me off at Hotel Bougainvillea, my first thought was, "this looks like a totally ordinary hotel".
Then we walked inside...
A not so ordinary hotel
When we walked into Hotel Bougainvillea we were greeted by a large and impeccably decorated lobby. We quickly checked in and I practically ran to our room, dying to take the 40 pound backpack off my very sweaty and sore back.
The minute I reached my room, I threw myself on the unbelievable soft bed and claimed I never intended to get up again. "This is the most comfortable bed in the world," I told Chelsea, "I see no reason to ever stand up again".
But soon the call of our sunny balcony was too much and we stepped outside to enjoy the weather and the view.
After soaking in our beautiful rooms, we decided to explore Hotel Bougainvillea's massive grounds.
The gardens at the hotel felt like a jungle.
Various paths wound endlessly through trees and flowers we had never seen. There was even a trail shaded by a canopy of trees that surrounded the tennis courts and let out at the hotel pool.
We climbed all the view points, smelled all the flowers, admired all the ponds, and basically fell in love with the place.
The perfect place to start and end a long day
While at Hotel Bougainvillea, Chelsea and I decided to take a day tour to Volcán Arenal. Getting there was no easy task, but Hotel Bougainvillea was the perfect place to figure it out.
The staff was more than happy to help us with any and all our needs. The night before one woman at the front desk explained everything we needed to know about buses and taxis and even helped me print vouchers and decide when to set my alarm.
At 5:30 the next morning, the front desk staff perkily called us a taxi even as we grumpily fought the fact that we had to wake up.
That night, we were exhausted after a long day exploring hot springs and volcanoes (more on that later). But we were lucky to find that taxi drivers knew exactly where our hotel was and getting there was cheap.
Then we had the luxury of spending another night in those magical beds.
Don't skip breakfast
Before leaving for Manuel Antonio today, Chelsea and I had just enough time to enjoy the buffet breakfast at Hotel Bougainvillea. My tip to you? Follow our lead.
Like any Costa Rican breakfast, the fresh fruit was out of this world. They also had a wide variety of options for guests of all tastes. From scrambled eggs and cereal to beans, rice, and tortillas, there was a little bit of everything.
Chelsea and I were particularly obsessed with the prestiños, which are thin, fried, pancake magic things. Technically they are pan-fried sweet crêpes served with maple syrup, but I'm going to stick with pancake magic. Whatever you call them, do yourself a favor and eat them as soon as possible.
A peaceful hotel just outside the city
Hotel Bougainvillea is in a fantastic location. It's easy to get to from San Jose and most taxi drivers know where it is.
That being said, it's a pretty secluded and quiet hotel. You won't feel like you're in the middle of town, but it's easy to get to town if you want.
Between the fantastic space, good food, and great service, a stay Hotel Bougainvillea is a wonderful option for your trip to Costa Rica.