San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bring in 2008 with a Bang in C.R.

If you’re ready to party this New Year’s Eve, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place to guzzle champagne, kiss your loved ones and count down to midnight. Parties are in the works around Costa Rica, both the mellow, dinner-party variety and rowdy, all-night bashes. Here are a few to get you in the mood to yell “Happy New Year!”
White House Costa Rica (288-6362) is hosting an elegant five-course dinner followed by a Brazilian bash at its restaurant, The Capitol Grill.
Diners will have a few options for the first four courses; temptations include baby clam chowder, slow-cooked prime rib and roasted salmon. The meal wraps up with crème brûlée and a glass of champagne, and costs $100 per person, excluding tax but including entrance to the Brazilian New Year’s Eve party to follow.
Guests are encouraged to heed a few Brazilian New Year’s superstitions, including wearing white to bring peace and prosperity, jumping on your right foot at midnight to attract good things, and sucking on seven pomegranate seeds and putting them in your wallet to bring you money year-round.
This unique party will feature dancers and lots of music, and White House’s location in the hills of San Antonio de Escazú, west of San José, makes it an ideal spot for watching fireworks go off around the Central Valley.
Only one seating is available for dinner, so those planning to attend should make their reservations soon, advised General Manager Brian Frazee.
As is yearly tradition, the Holiday Inn Aurora (523-1000) in downtown San José is throwing a bash complete with carnival-style entertainment, a comedy show, live music and buffet dinner with drinks.
One payment will get you access to all this action, but the hotel was still deciding on the price at press time, according to Holiday Inn Special Events Manager Verónica Fallas.
Those who want to gamble for good luck in 2008 can take to the tables at downtown San José’s Club Casino Colonial (258-2807), where in addition to slot machines, tables and a poker room there will be live music, drinks and a buffet dinner. The buffet and drinks are courtesy of the house to gamblers, and available to non-gamblers for a price to be determined, said administrator Laying Chang.
If you’re hosting or attending a party and need to bring food, BocArt Gourmet Shop and Cooking School can make it easy for you with tasty, ready-to-go bocas.
Colorful bites of vegetable rolls, tricolor pasta, figs with nuts and meat with olives and raisins are among tidbits you can choose from to create a colorful snack table at your party.
Owner Inés Araya recommends calling at least four days in advance to place your order (588-2454). BocArt has two locations in Plaza Itskatzú in Escazú and in the northeastern suburb of Guadalupe, 300 meters south of Clínica Católica.
Those heading to the beach to celebrate New Year’s can choose from several parties. Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort in Playa Herradura, on the central Pacific coast, is calling its swanky shindig “Night of Lights.” The celebration begins at 8 p.m. and includes an open-bar reception followed by a buffet dinner and live music until 2 a.m. It’ll wrap up with fireworks, dancing and a prize raffle. The cost is $230 per person, with tax and beverages included. Special prices are available for children. For more information, call 630-9015.
A few kilometers south in Jacó, Doce Lunas Hotel is the place to be on New Year’s Eve. The band Massy Ferguson will be coming down from the U.S. city of Seattle to set the tone for the night with pop and rock sounds. A Canadian DJ will follow for the after-party, said General Manager Brian Sam.
The evening begins with a tasty dinner. Sam said the menu is still being finalized, but he hopes to offer prime rib if it’s available, accompanied by fresh breads, potatoes, vegetables, soup or salad and dessert. The food, along with two glasses of wine and access to the music afterwards, is $60 per person, not including taxes. Reservations are recommended (643-2195, 643-2211). For those who want to dine elsewhere and come to Doce Lunas for the concert, the cost is ¢7,500 ($15).
About an hour south in Quepos, El Gran Escape restaurant (777-0765, 777-0395) is putting on its traditional New Year’s buffet complete with seafood treats such as tuna sashimi, ceviche and peel-and-eat shrimp, followed by a dessert buffet.
A comparsa group will put on its own carnival, and the tables are a great spot to watch the fireworks in downtown Quepos.
For $60, patrons can enjoy the meal, have a glass of champagne at midnight and stay the night to enjoy the view and entertainment, said owner Christel Cherrix. Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance.
In the northwestern Guanacaste beach town of Playas del Coco, Café de Playa Beach and Dining Club (670-1621) will groove in New Year’s with a salsa concert by Son Urbano.
A dinner is also in the works (menu to be determined). $100 per person, excluding taxes, gets you a meal, a bottle of champagne, a space on the dance floor and a view of the fireworks. Reservations are recommended.

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