A.M. Costa Rica
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Manuel Antonio
Report: Page 2
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Better than average
sunset
on the beach
in the area
of Manuel 
Antonio
 

Photo By Rick Little
Page 2
Patricia's special report: Manuel Antonio & Quepos

Photo by Rick Little
La Terraza Exotica is an architectural jewel



 
 
 
 
 
 


Photo by Patricia Martin
Divisamar has a jacuzzi, too
 
 
 
 
 

Photo by Patricia Martin
Patricia's shoes await in her suite at Si Como No
 
 
 
 
 

Photo by Patricia Martin
Interior of suite at Si Como No
 
 
 
 

Photo by Rick Little
Nearby mountain cloaked in morning clouds
 
 
 
 

Photo by Patricia Martin
This moth disguises itself as an owl to avoid predators. Displaying it is Maurilio Cordero, project manager of the Nature Farm and Butterfly Botanical Gardens
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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DRIFTING WITH THE TIDE

Next, I stayed at Divisamar Hotel and Casino on the coastal road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio. This charmer with a pool and jacuzzi offers pretty rooms with queen-size beds at $60-85 for two with breakfast, while the master suite accommodates up to six people at $160 with breakfast, all plus tax. Divisamar is one of the few Tico-owned hotels in the area, and what you´ve heard about that warm Tico hospitality is absolutely true! At present, the casino is inactive, awaiting new management to get the dice rolling again. Son Erick, who helps run the family hotel with his parents Alvaro and Felicia Asch, takes your reservations plus your casino inquiries at 777-0371; e-mail: divisamr@racsa.co.cr.

Erick brought out the family photo albums one evening, recalling how his parents came from San José some 30 years ago to a tangled jungle with no roads and no electricity. In those days, access was an 8 to 12-hour boat ride from Puntarenas to Quepos. Getting from Quepos to Manuel Antonio by horse took at least another two hours, crossing rivers without bridges. But I musn´t steal Erick´s thunder. You´ll want to hear the rest of his pioneering stories from his own lips.

FOOD, WONDERFUL FOOD 

Casual fare is available on either side of Divisamar at both Café Milagro and New York Pizza, while Barba Roja across the street offers a lovely view with happy hour and seafood dinners. Many of Divisamar´s guests dine at Karolas and El Gato Negro nearby, or else head for Quepos for the international food of El Gran Escape and Mexican food at Dos Locas. The choice is endless, and we´d use up all of cyberspace listing every one. Maybe on the next visit, I´ll enlarge my repertoire of restaurants and my girth. 

SERENDIPITY BY THE SEA

Talk about good timing, I just happened to wander by Villas El Parque when La Terraza Exotica restaurant was celebrating it´s grand re-opening under new management. Partners Rick Little and Wayne Anderson from Atlanta acquired the services of Chef Paul Redmond who´s well known in Quepos/Manuel Antonio. The restaurant itself looks like a platform in the sky with open sides, and provides the best in food and drinks, ambience and vistas. 
 

EAT YOUR HEART OUT

For appetizers, you´ll find such delights at Terraza Exotica as garlic mushrooms on olive toast, grilled goat´s cheese on sun dried tomato crostini, and deep fried cakes of shrimp and pork in sweet and sour sauce. Ready for more? Main course choices might be red snapper or tuna steak, or perhaps the loin of pork stuffed with marinated fruit. 

A favorite is bound to be the delicious chicken brochettes skewered with mushrooms, onions and peppers, and those who have the patience to wait 20 minutes will be rewarded with Chef Paul´s paté in puff pastry served with wine and mushroom sauce. Desserts change regularly, but will probably include apple pie, and pears in red wine. 

Friendly owners Rick and Wayne keep the music soft as the sunsets, and the service personal and attentive. They can be reached at 777-2250 or at littlerick@hotmail.com should you wish to organize a large party, or just drop in to see them at their platform in the sky.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Si Como No resort is a great favorite of mine. Every time I go there, it feels like a homecoming . . . except that home was never like this! No, I confess that our family homestead did not have magnificent suites overlooking the jungle and the Pacific waters. And somehow, my parents forgot to add the two superb restaurants, swimming pools, spa, art & gift shop, and private THX/DVD laser movie theater that Si Como No has. 

Still, the hotel casts such a magic spell that I always feel completely at home, utterly relaxed. And so will you. Based on double occupancy with buffet breakfast, the tax-included accommodations range from $187 to $291. There are 60 rooms, including three deluxe honeymoon suites with terrace jacuzzis. It may sound like a small town with those numbers, but the feeling is one of privacy and coziness, thanks to hiding the units away in the tropical lushness of the ocean-view hillside. 

COME AS YOU ARE 

Don´t let the luxurious facilities intimidate you. The hotel is definitely a barefoot kind of place. Dressing up here means shorts and a t-shirt, as you´ll discover when you spot General Manager Jim Damalas looking like a happy beachcomber. Jim´s enthusiasm for people and nature plus his high standards of excellence in the hospitality business make the hotel the star that it is today. 

No wonder Jim has been chosen by the Costa Rica Tourist Board (ITC) as spokesperson for private sector tourism, to do promotional trips to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11. As to his latest nature crusade, Si Como No has joined other regional businesses such as Café Milagro, Villas Nicolas, Hotel La Mariposa, Hotel Makanda By The Sea, Amigos del Rio, Vela Bar, and El Gran Escape, to form the ASCOMOTI association, dedicated to saving the beloved mono tití monkey from extinction. To follow up, contact monotiti@racsa.co.cr, website www.ascomoti.org, and also see the Nov. 16  article at www.amcostarica.com/111601.htm

SPA LA LA 

This marked my first stay in the newly developed section, where gorgeous units and a second swimming pool and jacuzzi were already in place. The additional poolside grill and swim-up bar are nearing completion, and the spa center will be waiting to rejuvenate your body and psyche with its four treatment rooms, one of them in an outdoor nature setting. Look into the spa-package vacations on the website www.sicomono.com, e-mail reservations@sicomono.com, or telephone 777-0777 for full information. With everything from lava rock massages to mud treatments, coffee and coconut body scrubs, seaweed wraps and aromatherapy massages, you´ll forget what stress feels like!

GET HITCHED AMID BIRDS AND IGUANAS

A specialist in tropical weddings, Si Como No tailors the blissful event to the bride & groom´s every wish and whim, and prepares adventures for all the guests during their stay. Renewal of vows for married couples has also become the in thing. Interested parties should contact Erika Aceveda at 777-0777, ext. 203, to find out how to repeat "I do" in an unforgettable way. Preserving the occasion is Fernando Edwards Carcamo, talented web designer and wedding photographer, who may be reached through the hotel or at his company, as follows: fernando@nextms.com; tel. 273-4336.

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