San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New Year’s parties to ring in 2012 around Costa Rica

Hotels and restaurants throughout Costa Rica are busy planning New Year’s Eve festivities to ring in 2012. If you’re looking for a party to go to, here are a few options:

The Aurola Holiday Inn off Parque Morazán in downtown San José will celebrate the new year with a dinner at its 17th-floor El Mirador restaurant, offering bird’s-eye views of the city. Each guest receives a half bottle of wine and 12 “lucky” grapes at midnight. The cost is $45 per person including tax and service. The restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. For information and reservations, call 2523-1000, extension 9258 or 9456.

The Crowne Plaza Corobicí Hotel in Sabana Norte will treat guests to music by three orchestras, Karibú, Madera Nueva and Erick Sánchez, on New Year’s Eve. The $89 ticket includes buffet dinner, one glass of champagne and lucky midnight grapes. The party runs from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Reservations may be made at 2543-6000, extension 775 or 654, or at

The Barceló San José Palacio Hotel in La Uruca, on the highway to the airport, invites guests to its Bosque Bar to celebrate the new year. A buffet dinner begins at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $59 including tax. Musical group Papel y Lápiz will entertain, and a glass of champagne and lucky grapes will be provided for guests at midnight. For information and reservations, call 2220-2034, extension 745 or 715. 

On the west side, the Beacon Escazú in Escazú Centro and the Grand Tara hotel in the hills of San Antonio de Escazú will both serve New Year’s Eve dinner buffets. Ring in 2012 with a midnight carnival (accessories provided) and fireworks display. The cost is $65 including tax (half price for kids 6-12). To make reservations, call the Beacon Escazú at 2228-3110 or the Grand Tara at 2288-6362.

The Real InterContinental Hotel, next to Multiplaza Escazú, will celebrate the new year with a party in its Salon Real. Doors open at 9 p.m. and a buffet dinner will be available from 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tickets cost ₡64,000 ($128) for adults and ₡25,000 ($50) for children 6-12, including tax. Guests will be given party favors, lucky grapes and champagne for the midnight countdown. A DJ will entertain the crowd and the band Fachas will take the stage at 11 p.m. Child care and a children’s buffet will be available for kids 3-12. Tickets are on sale at the hotel; call 2208-2100. 

The Costa Rica Marriott Hotel in San Antonio de Belén, northwest of San José, will offer dinner buffets at Antigua and La Isabela restaurants from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Live music, a midnight carnival, complimentary glass of sparkling wine and free valet parking are included in the tax-inclusive $125 price ($38 for children). For information and reservations, call 2298-0207/0206.

On the central Pacific coast, the Best Western Kamuk in Quepos will offer a three-course New Year’s dinner at its Mira Olas restaurant and bar. Dinner begins at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks. Tickets cost $43 including taxes. For reservations, call 2777-0811 or e-mail

In the northwestern province of Guanacaste, Hotel Punta Islita will ring in 2012 with ¡Carnaval!, the hotel’s New Year’s tradition since 1994. Tickets cost $75 not including tax. Guests are asked to dress “beach festive” for the celebration at the Borrancho Beach Club Gardens. Events begin at 6 p.m.; a beachside barbecue will start at 8 p.m., followed by live music. Guests will receive masquerade party favors before the beachside fireworks show. For more information, call 2656-2020 or e-mail

The JW Marriott at Hacienda Pinilla, south of Tamarindo, will offer a choice of three events for New Year’s Eve. The Banquet Ballroom will have a dinner buffet, premium open bar until 1:30 a.m. (champagne and sparkling wine not included), a carnival set and band music by Martha y Los del Barrio. The cost is $170 per adult and $80 for children 6-12. Or ring in the new year at the Azul Restaurant Lounge with dinner, open bar until 1 a.m. (champagne and sparkling wine not included), a carnival set and a DJ spinning house and progressive music, for $80 per adult or $45 for kids. The Mansita Restaurant will offer a family-style New Year’s with a dinner buffet, glass of house wine, carnival set and background music for $79 per adult or $40 for kids. For reservations, call 2681-2000, extension 5632, or email

–Dominique Farrell & Ellen Weathers, Tico Times

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