Casa Turire: Colonial-Style Hacienda Enfolded in Fertile Tropical Valley
A long driveway lined with tall palm trees leads to the front cul-de-sac of Casa Turire Hotel. It's the kind of pageantry that would seem fit on a tropical estate for a royal family, but the 16-room hotel itself—vibrant and lovely in its own right—doesn't seem content with navel-gazing, instead deferring its attention and respect to the majesty of Costa Rica's lush ecology. Balconies overlook the rolling hills and shimmering Angostura Lake where travelers glide on kayaks and canoes. Orchids, bamboo, and red anthuriums lend local character to on-site gardens, which are frequented by toucans, parakeets, and butterflies. The grounds open up to views of Turrialba Volcano in the distance, and the hotel ably sets up adventurers on excursions to rainforests, farms, and rushing rivers.
In the Standard rooms, chairs hewn from local timber grace the balconies, which present panoramic views to Turrialba and the lake. Sunlight creeps across the floor's satiny auburn wood. Sojourners can sink into two queen beds (or in some cases one king bed) or a comfy armchair as ceiling fans lazily stir the air above. A complimentary daily breakfast in the hotel restaurant fuels sojourners with toast, sausages, and gallo pinto, as well as marmalade, eggs, and cheese.
As they meander across the verdant, palm-dotted grounds, travelers can stop for a dip in the outdoor pool or hot tub, or detour to the lakeshore to secure rental canoes and kayaks. Guided horseback-riding tours pass through the area's tree-shaded hillsides and dazzling vistas, and are led by seasoned vaqueros with saddle-embedded navigation systems. After a morning or afternoon on the trail, the Veroliz Spa welcomes tired muscles to a pacific realm of restorative services, including chocolate exfoliation ($85/hour) and volcanic-mud body wraps ($85/hour).
Turrialba, Costa Rica: Natural Splendor with a Wild Edge
The mountainous terrain around Casa Turire brims with biodiversity, and a 10-minute walk from the hotel resides the CATIE Botanical Garden, a sanctuary for more than 4,400 floral specimens from ecosystems in Costa Rica and around the world. The agriculturally inquisitive can embark on a plantation tour where they'll learn about traditional farming methods of coffee, sugarcane, and macadamia nuts.
The regal Turrialba and Irazu Volcanoes jut out into the landscape just a little more than an hour's car ride from Casa Turire. Irazu's summit is easily reached by car, and rewards intrepid eyes with views of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as a neon-green sulfuric lagoon in its crater. Whitewater rafters on the nearby Pacuare River tumble across Class IV rapids under the expert guidance of bilingual guides, with pickup and drop-off service arranged by Casa Turire's hospitality maestros.