Skip to main content

See also:

The Ultimate Getaway

The Ultimate Getaway-slide0
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

When a hotel embodies the essence of adventure, it becomes an outpost to escape from the world! Arriving at the entrance of the Alta Hotel, I immediately realized this resort is going to be different from all of the others. The architecture resembled a Moorish- Spanish castle with the theme carried throughout the rooms.

Curved arches topped the doors and walkways, hand crafted metal work graced the chandeliers, balconies, and even toilet paper holders. The owner Michael Caggiano, President-CEO, is an American who fell in love with Costa Rica's lifestyle and moved there.

The Executive Chef Carlos Zuniga has a great attitude. He encourages their guests to challenge him if they want anything special. Only a great chef can dare to say that! His menu is as exciting as the hotel. I was surprised to find such diverse selections as Moroccan chicken, Dwenjang Korean salmon, Indian T-bone steak, seafood gumbo, Cajun calamari, jambalaya rice, and more! I have never seen strawberry tenderloin steak before.

Chef Carlos uses natural fruits and imports his meat from Chile. With all of their special recipes, I could not decide whether to choose the salmon in port wine sauce, tilapia in mango sauce, tenderloin in mushroom truffle- sauce, passion fruit glazed duck, or sea bass in saffron sauce! When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Michael contacted some of the great chefs of New Orleans and invited them to stay in his hotel.

They taught his staff how to cook Cajun specialties and now there is a touch of New Orleans in San Jose, Costa Rica. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch with a beautiful view. You can order anything on the menu the whole day. Chef Carlos is ready for parties, weddings and business conferences in their banquet room, around the pool, and in the garden.

This was the perfect setting after an action packed tour of Costa Rica's jungle, beaches, volcanoes, and exciting villages. The rooms in our suite were exceptionally big, with a hall, storage closet, and a balcony that measured 50% of the size of the rooms. On a clear day we could see the Pacific Ocean! The tub was built up as though it was a throne, with tiled stairs to the top.

The Alta Hotel, (888)-388-ALTA-2582. San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America. www.thealtahotel.com