Amatierra Retreat And Wellness Center
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Wonderful retreat at Hotel Ama Tierra.
If you're in Costa Rica, you must stop at the Hotel Ama Tierra.
It is centrally located between Areanal (volcano town) and Manual Antonio (beach town).
It's the perfect stop between the two. In fact, check it out no matter where you are travelling in Costa Rica.
My wife and I live in New York City and have busy lives. We were in need of the ultimate getaway. We ended up choosing Costa Rica and spent 10 days visiting.
Our favorite 3 days were at the beautiful Hotel Ama Tierra. We were welcomed as soon as we arrived, made to feel comfortable and then given plenty of space to enjoy our stay. We spent time relaxing by the pool, walking the grounds and paths around the hotel and enjoying the wonderful view. Our bungalow was spacious, comfortable, nicely decorated and private.
Our favorite part of our stay was visiting with the hosts Bob and Jill. They had wonderful stories to share and are warm and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable.
Ask Bob about his experience at Woodstock when you go. Ask Jill for one of her Yoga classes. My wife and I took 7 a.m. Yoga classes every morning... the perfect way to start our days.
The food was the best we had in Costa Rica. Everything was delicious and organically made. The second floor balcony, where we ate our meals, overlooks the countryside.
We went to Arenal before our stay at Hotel Ama Tierra and Manuel Antonio after leaving. We found ourselves wishing we could go back to Hotel Ama Tierra.
The next time we go back to Costa Rica we will be staying with Bob and Jill at Hotel Ama Tierra. We highly recommend you stop by as well.
AmaTierra is Great!
AmaTierra was, quite simply, the best place we stayed in Costa Rica. A gorgeous setting nestled cozily in a hill with spectacular views. The beautifully appointed rooms have a great bathroom, with a shower that made me feel I was back at home. I could say so much but I think "Loved AmaTierra" from Tucson has said most of it! I agree wholeheartedly.
Jill and Bob went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. We'd had a long, grueling ride there from the beach (the roads around Ama Tierra are the best I saw in Costa Rica; the same cannot be said for the roads in Guanacaste!) and they immediately saw to our needs. I mentioned to Jill that our eight-year-old was missing her hot dogs and ramen soup and, for her dinner that night, there was ramen and a turkey dog! She's a kid so I'll excuse her but how she could skip the fabulous meals, I don't know. Amazing, healthy dishes prepared perfectly.
I took a private yoga class with Jill and really enjoyed it. My only regret is that we didn't leave enough time for a massage.
Everything, from the wonderful meals to the snacks and coffee in the room, to the comfortable beds and the extensive DVD collection (not to mention satellite TV) make this an ideal launching point for your sightseeing (Jaco, Turu Bari, Athenas, etc.). The Central Highlands, where AmaTierra is located. is not a prime tourist destination but I thought it the prettiest of all the areas we saw on our 15-day visit to this amazing country. And the casitas are so comfortable, that it's easy to want to stay in the casita or the hammock the whole time! We ended up staying an extra night because we loved it so much--and because we were assured (correctly) by Jill and Bob that we could make it to the airport without any problems the next morning.
A Honeymooner's Paradise
My husband and I had the priviledge of having this hotel as one of our stops during our honeymoon and loved it. The staff and owners made us feel at home and the property itself was like a tropical paradise. The food and atmosphere were so inviting we would definitely recommend it highly to couples or anyone in need of an escape from the everyday! We are already looking forward to going back for our anniversary!
Relaxing getaway at Tia Ama
We spent 10 days in Costa Rica and had a fantastic holiday, we visited three very diverse areas, each was excellent. We spent 2 nights at the Hotel Tia Ama, the rooms, the food and the company were excellent. Bob and Jill our hosts wnt out of their way to cater to all of our needs. We spent probably the best day of the holiday visiting the local Tarribarri park which was arranged through the hotel.
When we visit Costa Rica we will definately stay at the Tia Ama again.
Loved Ama Tierra Hotel
We just returned from a 10-daystay in Costa Rica, where we stayed in 3 different places. Our favorite was the AmaTierra, a lovely new ( 2 years old) 10-casita hotel just off the road that runs between San Jose and Jaco, in an area called the Central Highlands. The grounds are forested with native trees and many flowering plants very well-tended by the 2 gardeners.
There are birds galore, including 2 kinds of toucans, cuckoos, unique wrens, motmots, etc, etc. We are experienced birders and were
constantly picking up our binoculars. The sounds of the birds are
mesmerizing.The casitas have a very zen feel, soft look, very very clean, as is the whole property; comfortable bed, large tropical-feel bathroom. Our room had windows overlooking the hillside, and ceiling fans. There is no real need for A/C, the breezes are refreshing.We also had a small patio with 2 chairs and a hammock chair to sit and enjoy the lovely air.
The casitas are arranged on the sloping hillside just adjacent to the main lodge, where meals are taken family-style on a lovely balcony that overlooks the far mountains. The main building has a comfortable lounging area inside with wine and beer available. Each room has it's own coffee maker with Costa Rican coffee,TV with DVD player, and the owners have a large collection of movies to choose from. There is a beautiful pool below the level of the balcony, and the owners bring out tea and ice water to guests enjoying a dip in the afternoon.
The whole property has a very tranquil feeling, very Pura Vida!
The meals were delicious, prepared by a local chef who focuses on
local ingredients, wonderful fresh vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish dishes, done in a Tipico style that we found more interesting and flavorful than much of the Tipico food found elswhere. Breakfasts
included many kinds of fresh local friut, rice and beans if desired, eggs, meats, breads, and terrific Costa Rican coffee of course.
The location is great, too, only an hour or so to many nearby
attractions, including the beaches on the Pacific, Canopy parks,
National Parks for viewing rare birds and other wildlife, where guides are easily hired. The AmaTierra owners were very helpful in assisting us with arranging our days to take in the things we considered highest priority. They know how to arrange most anything you need.
The owners are interesting, having chosen to purchase the hotel as a retirement lifestyle. The woman is an accomplished and well-known
herbalist from Arizona, as well as a yoga instructor and massage
therapist. She offers those services to guests. Her husband worked in the music industry for years in the U.S. and has quite a collection of jazz and other recordings available for soft background dinner music.Our 2 teenagers, known to be fussy about food and lodging, were happily at home there, and loved the ambience, the exotic tropical feel, and the food! We will definitely return, hopefully again and again.
AmaTierra (formerly known as La Finca Que Ama) is a real gem. The place is intimate, well managed, and incredibly restful. We spent two days there before heading to the beach and it really set our trip off on the right note. Within minutes of arriving, Jill, the owner with her husband Bob, fed us a delicious, refreshing salad, put us immediately at ease, and within a couple hours, my wife was getting a fantastic massage and we were lounging by the pool -- totally relaxed and recovered from our trip. The pool is lovely, if a little small, and the bungalows are spotless, comfortable and nicely appointed. Lastly, and this is no small thing in Costa Rica, the food is FANTASTIC. Truly. It's simple, healthy, hearty, and plentiful. The meals we had there were by far the best we had in our week in Costa Rica. I even miss them in NYC. Go to AmaTierra and chill. There's no place like it.
Amazing place and owners
La Finca Que Ama was the perfect place to unwind between tourist heavy Arenal and Manuel Antonio. Neta was there to greet us the second we got out of our vehicle and was more than accommodating, making us a light lunch right when we got there (not usually offered), and then not even charging us for it! Even better, the lunch was delicious! Actually, all the food there is - the breakfasts and dinners, which are included, are made with care and the best ingredients. You eat family style (which would make a New Yorker nervous!) but it was so much fun - we talked the whole time about everything, and before you know it, you have been sitting there for three hours. One of the nights there was a blackout and we ate by candlelight - a once in a lifetime experience to eat in absolute pitch blackness on a balcony with a thunderstorm around you.
The rooms/casitas are so cozy, with a semi-separate living area where you can watch the direct TV channels, or one of the many DVD movies Neta and Arbel have. A perfect thing to do either before or after dinner. The rooms are very clean, and actually have a bathtub, a whirlpool tub, to boot (rarely do places in the Costa Rica have a tub). You almost feel like everything was especially set up just for you!
We stayed there two nights and the first day we just chatted with Neta and Arbel and watched a movie, but the next we went to nearby Turabari National Park, which keeps you busy for a full day. You can do a canopy tour (which we did, very fun and safe), go horseback riding, walk their trails with an informative guide, do a maze, see their butterfly farm, eat lunch, etc etc.
La Finca Que Ama owes all of its charm and hospitality to Neta and Arbel. You leave feeling like you made two new friends who you want to keep talking to! Plus Neta is so helpful with your whole trip in general - I must have emailed her dozens of times before my trip, even asking her questions about what kinds of shoes to bring (bring sneakers plus walking sandals like Tevas or Keene's). She always wrote back right away, and did everything possible to make things easier and enjoyable for you.
Unforgettable Hospitality at La Finca Que Ama!
We spent 1 unforgettable night at La Finca Que Ama. It was a privilage meeting Neta and Arbel; this is a true B&B experience as it was meant to be.
We've never had such a warm welcome as Neta and Arbel gave us, not anywhere else in any B&B or hotel in the world.
Location: La Finca Que Ama is in the small town of San Pablo de Turrubares about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport. Located in the Central Valley highlands. It makes a good stop between Manuel Antonio and Monteverde.
As soon as we arrived in the rain, Neta came right down to our car and introduced us to Jorge, one of their dedicated employees. Jorge took care of our luggage in the rain. Gracias, Jorge!
We were welcomed into the delightful main house, built with an open-air deck with a wonderful mountain view. Neta asked us if we would rather go to our casitas (rooms) right away or stay and talk and have a drink.
All 5 of us chose to stay and talk with Neta and Arbel and have a drink. (Coffee and tea are included in the room price, beer is supposed to be extra but Neta didn't even charge hubby for the 1 beer he had. She is generous in many ways.)
We sat with Neta and Arbel and had a great conversation before dinner and got acquainted. We felt like we were welcomed in like new friends! Neta and Arbel are very genuine people. Arbel is an artist with a talent for humor.
The unique main house at La Finca has the reception area, office space, public bathrooms, cozy sitting area with view, dining area and deck with view, and don't forget Arbel's humorous art.
Then we went to our casitas to freshen up before dinner. Each casita (room) is snuggled into nature. Our casita was like a small cottage, about the size of a hotel room inside, but cozier. Our 2 casitas were comfortable and homey, with private bathrooms with hot water, and had special touches like fragrant hand-made soap wrapped in banana leaves.
Very comfty Queen bed. Casita is for 2 but can be made up for 3 or 4. We had 1 double and 1 triple. Attractive and homey sitting area in casita with DVD player. (Neta has DVD library with 200 movies available, included in the room price.) Fans and screened windows. The casita my hubby and I shared was the perfect size for 2.
Dinner was served on the open-air deck at the main house, with the misty clouds stealing in and dressing the mountain view in mystery. Lightning and a bit of rain added a dash of atmosphere.
Dinner was an unforgettable experience, wonderful food and a variety of it. Great company. Arbel's father, Areia (spelling?) was visiting and joined us for dinner. Fascinating conversation, even my 18-year-old youngest daughter joined in. I know she appreciated being treated as an adult by Neta and Arbel, instead of as the baby of our family.
We discussed politics, Costa Rica, humor, jobs, everything. My young adult children took part in the conversation. We felt like we had made new friends. When we were leaving, my youngest daughter told me this was her favorite hotel so far and that Neta and Arbel were very interesting and unique people to meet.
After eating the rather bland food of Costa Rica, dinner at La Finca Que Ama was a real treat. Neta had asked about our dietary needs in advance. We were served Neta's grandmother's chicken recipe, tomato and avocado salad (no lettuce) with a splash of lime or lemon and other flavors, mashed veggie similar to sweet potatoes, flavorful green beans, vegetable soup, rice, and a light dessert, coffee, tea, wine. Everything home-made and delicous.
Wonderful dinner! Be sure to reserve in advance if you want dinner and the extra charge will be added to your bill when you check out. (You DO WANT dinner.)
We were introduced to the kitchen staff by name. Everyone is important at La Finca Que Ama. It is like family.
Nice breakfast included at the time you like. Wish I'd had more time to linger on the deck at breakfast and write some poetry. But it was time to say goodbye and do the 4-hour drive from La Finca Que Ama to Monteverde.
Some details I left out:
Attractive mid-sized pool, very clean. Didn't have time for pool though!
We only had a 1-night stay and next time I'd like 2 nights here. (If you need something to do besides relaxing and conversing, the new Turrubari park is about a 15-minute drive away and has plenty to do. We didn't visit it though.)
La Finca Que Ama is in a refreshingly non-touristy area near a little town. We like to get away from the tourists sometimes, a nice balance for a trip.
Neta's e-mail is on her web-site. I e-mailed her with questions and she gave me a lot of help and encouragement in planning my trip, before I even booked a room at her hotel! I was looking forward to meeting her. On the drive to La Finca Que Ama, away from the other tourists, I started to wonder if Neta wasn't real, and only existed in internet legends. However, she is very real, and she's a unique and generous person, an inspiration, though I'm 20 years older than she is. Arbel and Neta had this wonderful place built for them, hiring local contractors. Their staff is Tico.
La Finca Que Ama is snuggled into nature. You will see lovely fat toads, butteflies, and if you're lucky you'll see toucans.
La Finca Que Ama and Neta and Arbel have made a great impression on us, and have a special place in my heart. I hope to visit them again on a return trip to Costa Rica. This is a true B&B experience as it was meant to be!
Serenity at its Best! La Finca Que Ama our Hearts...
How would I describe La Finca Que Ama? Serenity, Beauty, Creativity and Hospitality beyond expectation.
Neta and Arbel, Owners of La Finca are some of the best, most gracious hosts of any B&B imaginable. It started from the planning stages when Neta (knowing me only by corresponding by emails), helped me plan the most awesome trip. After all the planning we arrived at La Finca in the evening hours only to find that she had Dinner waiting (family style) with the other guests present to welcome us to paradise in the Central Valley. After settling into our rooms....all terraced down a beautifully naturally landscaped hillside....we joined the group for dinner and wine. Unfortunately we were only at La Finca for one night, But did stay comfortable in our rooms listening to the creatures of the night in our first stay in Costa Rica. We awoke to daylight to see La Finca during the day hours.....A whole new view! How beautiful and serene it was. We took a hike down through the
trails surrounding La Finca and saw the most beautiful Flora and Fauna I have ever witnessed. Hard to believe it was growing just right outside our door. We then joined Neta for Breakfast......Yummmmmmm!!! Fresh Fruit, eggs, tuna mousse bagels.........need I say more? Yet another delight. Eating breakfast high on a terrace overlooking the central valley....what a sight.
Most importantly was the conversation. Neta and Arbel are a very interesting couple who have experienced so much and enjoy sharing their life as well as have a sincere interest in knowing about yourself and your experiences as well....enchanting couple - truly.
We laid by the pool and took in the beautiful surroundings before we scurried off to our next adventure into Manual Antonio.
Neta and Arbel and their La Finca are pure gems and Anyone that travels through the central valley should definitely take the time to Experience the beauty and charm of La Finca Que Ama.
Scott Carrico - Louisville, KY
New hotel not yet in the books
The views from this place are beyond spectacular. Although it is further out from San Jose than other, more popular "just outside of San Jose" hotels (like Vista del Valle and Xandari, both of which we stayed at), the views from the balcony of the main building (in which is located the dining area) and from the infinity pool, rival the very best of them! Had we known of these stunning mountain vistas, we definitely and gladly would have driven out a little further after our arrival to start our holiday there.
Guests are in for a special treat if they happen to book on a night when Arbel takes over the kitchen and prepares a gourmet spread of traditional Israeli dishes infused with fresh, local ingredients. Dinner is enhanced tenfold if Neta and Arbel join the dinner table. Conversation with them is intelligent, entertaining and always thought-provoking.
The pool, though small, was the cleanest of all that we had seen throughout the trip. The cabins were perfect. The beds were probably the most comfortable and the decor was the perfect blend of homey, artsy and 'just-right'. And for those in need of a little creature comfort, each room is equipped with satellite TV and a DVD player. Neta and Arbel told us they keep a library of over 200 movies on hand for guests. There's no cabin fever here!
With little or no background in the tourism industry, Neta and Arbel have put together a totally charming, beautiful and well appointed inn. Neta proudly told me that only one tree was removed in the entire construction of the finca. Not only is the staff from the nearby town, by her lawyer, accountant, architect are also all ticos.
Neta is firm believer in empowering the Costa Rican woman through education and employment and she is also an avid contributor to community life in the town.
Though the location is a little remote (we didn't see any other hotels nearby), this place is perfect for anyone looking for the quietude and beauty of a mountain retreat.
(It should be noted that the hotel is located near to Turu-Ba-Ri park. We didn't visit it, but three women who stayed at La Finca at the same time we did spent the day in the park and had a blast. The hotel is near to Jaco and a good stop on the road to Manuel Antonio, which is how we ended up there.)
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