San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Potrero Hotel Needs Finishing Touches but Has Potential

Hotel Mediterraneus may not yet be a palace on the beach, but it does show potential. About a mile from the entrance to Playa Potrero, in the northwestern Guanacaste province, this self-styled “colonial Mediterranean ” hotel opened for business at the beginning of August, but is still unfinished.

Though some rooms feature modern (somewhat un-Mediterranean) furniture, big-screen TVs and refrigerators, others are still unfurnished or are awaiting a final coat of paint. Proprietors of the hotel said they are hoping to promote the hotel in the coming months and complete it with the resulting income.

All guest rooms face the long, wavy-edged pool, which is perhaps the hotel’s best feature. The pool is fed by a small waterfall at one end that trickles water over a sloping stone wall. Perched atop the waterfall is a small wading pool surrounded by short palm trees. Dippers can stand beneath the gently falling water for a soothing, cool shower.

The hotel’s Amataterra Restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from Costa Rica’s beloved gallo pinto rice and beans dish to saucy seafood plates cooked with local, natural ingredients.

The spa, named Caelitus, “from heaven,” features a pebbled floor that provides a light foot massage when walked upon. The semicircle-shaped, private massage rooms face a restful garden of small palm trees and tropical plants, which guests can enjoy through a series of naturally lit bay windows.

The hotel also offers yoga classes, with group sessions led by an in-house professional instructor; however, the setting for classes, which during a recent Tico Times visit consisted of a small, sandy soccer field, needs improvement.

Room rates vary depending on the season from $160 to $192, including breakfast but not taxes. For information, call 2654-5349 or 2297-1029, or visit

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