San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Prepare Your Love Nest Hotels Booking Up Fast for Valentine’s Day

ACCORDING to the National MeteorologicalInstitute, February will offer the perfectweather to warm up a romantic weekend at oneof Costa Rica’s many luxury hotels – a great wayto celebrate Valentine’s Day and surprise yoursweetheart.To give couples a head start on planningamorous getaways, here’s a brief description of afew of the country’s distinctive hotels, includingrates and special events being held to make thecelebration even more memorable. All priceslisted are per person and include tax unless otherwisenoted.Hotel Casa Turiré, according to marketingdirector Tony Benavides, focuses on weddingsand honeymoons, with 16 rooms, a lake, beautifulgardens, and a restaurant and bar. Currently,Casa Turiré is offering a special package forTicos and foreign residents: $95 for a standardroom, including breakfast. The hotel is alsooffering a two-for-one (per couple) package at$130 plus tax. Couples can find the hotel in thewarm town of La Suiza de Turrialba, east of SanJosé. To learn more, visit; for reservations, call 531-1111.At the luxurious Villa Caletas, couples willfind romance everywhere: in the lush gardens, atthe pebble beach or at the unique infinity pooloffering majestic views of the sunset. Couplescan also enjoy fishing, horseback riding or boatand nature tours.The hotel offers 36 rooms of different types:standard deluxe rooms, in which lovers canenjoy ocean views from their balconies; juniorsuites, with both ocean and mountain views andprivate swimming pools; and a master suite, featuringits own private garden, swimming pool,terrace, Jacuzzi living room and ocean view.Couples should try the Mirador Restaurant,which offers international cuisine with a Frenchstyle. A concert by the group, Swing en 4, with aspecial performance by trombonist Luis Bonilla,will be offered in the hotel’s spectacular outdooramphitheater Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are$18 for the general public, $15 for guests andhalf price for children under 12. Act fast; at presstime the hotel had only one deluxe room availablefor the weekend of Feb. 12, at a rate of$192.04 per night. Villa Caletas is on the central Pacific coast, three kilometers after the main entrance toPunta Leona and then two kilometers west. For reservations,call 637-0606 or visit is more romantic than walking hand in handalong Playa Tamarindo, arguably one of the most beautifulbeaches in the country, in the northwestern province ofGuanacaste on the Pacific coast. To stay close to the waves,couples can spend their romantic getaway at HotelCapitán Suizo, on the beach surrounded by native treesand colorful gardens. Visitors can stay in one of the hotel’seight bungalows, 22 spacious rooms with terrace or balcony,or an apartment overlooking lush gardens. Couplescan choose from activities such as horseback riding, diving,snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, sportfishing,surfing, boat trips, table tennis, badmintonand golf. The hotel also offers aninformation desk for activities and tours,a boutique, and laundry service. Ratesaround Valentine’s Day are $140-440.Capitán Suizo is in Tamarindo, 200miles northwest of San José, 45 milessouth of the international airport inLiberia and two miles from the airport inTamarindo. Call 653-0292 for reservationsor Sí Como No, in ManuelAntonio on the central Pacific coast,reported 80% occupancy over Valentine’sweekend at press time. Althoughthe hotel is not offering special activitiesto celebrate Valentine’s Day, it’s alwaysworth it to stay in one of its 60 rooms.Couples can choose from a standardroom with jungle view, a superior roomwith partial ocean view, a deluxe roomoffering a panoramic view, or a deluxeor honeymoon suite with ocean view.Among the hotel’s attractions are theadult and family pools, a private wildliferefuge, butterfly and tropical water gardens,two outdoor, ocean-view restaurants, a movie theater,a spa and an art gallery and gift shop. For more info, call777-0777 or visit to Alejandro García, operations manager ofthe Hotel Claro de Luna in Monteverde, the hotel’srestaurant Pizzería de Johnny will be offering a specialValentine’s dinner, and couples staying at the hotel willreceive a 10% discount. The hotel is next to a horse farm,surrounded by breathtaking scenery with views of the Gulfof Nicoya and the mountains of Monteverde. Claro de Lunaoffers a “mahogany-wood house,” with beautifully finishedrooms and a large, gorgeous bathroom. Breakfast is included;Internet access and tours are also available. Call 645-5269 or visit Punta Islita was recently chosen, for the secondtime, by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report as “one of the24 most captivating hotels and resorts in the world.” One ofthe country’s most romantic getaways, the hotel is set in thehills on the Nicoya Peninsula, overlooking the Pacific.Tennis courts, spa, exercise facilities, driving range, natureand adventure tours, sportfishing, jeep safaris, hiking, treetopadventures and horseback riding … the activities areendless.According to marketing director Ligia Vargas, PuntaIslita will be holding a romantic dinner for couples on thebeach with torches, candlelight and live guitar music.Vargas says some of the rooms have their own Jacuzzis orsmall pools. Rates range from $198-385, plus 16.39% tax.Make your reservation at 231-6122, and fall in love withthe hotel by visiting preferring to celebrate around San José canenjoy a delicious, romantic dinner at the Real Inter-Continental Hotel, in the western suburb of Escazú.Azulejos Restaurant will be serving a buffet dinner includingchocolate fondue, two glasses of sparkling wine, a rosefor the ladies and a bottle of white wine. The menu will beavailable at lunch and dinner for $36. A second option isdinner at Mirage Restaurant, where couples can choosefrom six entrées (rose and two glasses of sparkling winealso included) for $48. If you decide to stay for the weekend,rates are $226 plus tax for a standard room and $256plus tax on the executive floor. Call 208-2210 to make yourreservations.The Costa Rica Marriott, in San Antonio de Belén,Heredia, is another option for lovers wanting to stay aroundthe Central Valley. Reservations supervisor DeyaniraAlvarado says the hotel offers rooms in the executive area,including continental breakfast, and snacks, non-alcoholicbeverages and canapés in the afternoon, for $261.87.Guests can enjoy the pool, tennis courts and a choice offour restaurants: Casa del Café, La Isabella, Castilla andVilla Hermosa. At the latter, lovers will be able to celebrateValentine’s Day with a romantic dinner including a rose forthe ladies and live music by Grupo Expresso, performing aFrank Sinatra Special. Dinner costs $27 and is available6:30-10 p.m. Call 298-0000 to reserve.

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