We are frequent travelers to the Central America and the Caribbean, but this was our first time in Costa Rica. This is a beautiful country, with beautiful people -- inside and out. In short, nothing could be more befitting a place than The White House of Costa Rica.
The pictures and descriptions of The White House simply don't do it justice. There is a certain air about this beautiful home that transcends images and words. There is no way not to relax – to put the craziness of the "real world" behind you as you open the giant, hardwood door and cross the threshold into this post-modern masterpiece.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with open arms by Tanîa, who went above and beyond our expectations by assuring the refrigerator, pantry and water cooler were stocked exactly to our request. Her presence during our visit would prove invaluable as she happily arranged for excursions, taxis and the general needs of our party of eight throughout our visit. She and the rest of the staff made us feel at home and are reason enough for a return visit – sooner than later.
The house is elegant yet livable, comfortable, and nicely appointed and we loved the artwork. Need a break from the heat? The air conditioning works perfectly. For most of us, the swimming pool and evenings on the beach watching the sunset was the perfect foil to the Costa Rican sun. I understand there is a television in the "TV Room," but I can't imagine wasting a moment of the amazing surf, sandy, trees, wildlife, swimming pool and sunsets to turn it on.
Want to get out of the house for a bit? There are plenty of fun shops, restaurants and watering holes to fit any budget or taste. Most of the locals we met spoke very good English, and those who didn't were patient with our broken Spanish. To round things off, portions are plentiful and everything is reasonably priced – particularly for a tourist economy.
One exception for us was the restaurant next door. Pranamar's decor and ambiance is second to none. You should experience breakfast, lunch or dinner overlooking the reflecting pool at least once. This place is tranquil and romantic, but for our taste, the service and food quality is lacking for the price point.
Our stay lasted one week, but the experience will last a lifetime. If you’re planning a visit to Costa Rica, you should stay at The White House. The country is hot, the house is as cool as it gets, and the people will have you missing this place the moment you leave.
--BOB AND SANDY