A guest blog by Richard and Daniela Hammond. They are residents in Costa Rica, Architects and Founders of Inverse Project www.inverseproject.com
After almost 3 month of working from home and home schooling in San Jose, the Costa Rica Government took the step to allow a partial opening of hotels in Costa Rica under special sanitary guidelines and protocols.
We took advantage of this to make a weekend trip to Senda at Monteverde, famous for its tropical cloud forests and biodiversity. We were lucky to secure a booking on the first weekend of the opening on June 6th.
We drove Friday after virtual school ended and were on the road by 3pm. The drive was smooth and the fact that the final stretch of the road to Monteverde is now newly paved allowed us to reach our destination in under 2 ½ hours. If anyone knows what that road was like before, you’ll know what a huge improvement this is.
We arrived in the early evening and were greeted by some of the friendliest and most professional hotel staff to be found anywhere. They were clearly well trained in the new health guidelines and protocols. We had our temperatures taken, distancing was practiced, the staff wore visors at all times, including the groundskeepers. All these protocols would give any concerned guest peace of mind.
Senda consists of 28 luxury rooms within free-standing cabins that are spread around a beautifully landscaped property. Currently, only 50% of the rooms are open to guests. It is a fully renovated property and the newest in the Cayuga Collection of hotels. And true to the philosophy of Cayuga, it provides an exclusive experience authentic to the place with deeply embedded concepts of sustainability.
As architects of hotels ourselves, we really did appreciate the design elements of the property. Choice of furniture, use of natural materials and the general flow of spaces is well considered. All the hot water is supplied by rooftop solar collectors.
Our room was spacious and comfortable. The stocked mini fridge was 100% complimentary which says a lot for the way Cayuga thinks about providing a sense of value. The Beautyrest mattresses were very comfortable and allowed for a very peaceful night’s rest.
The restaurant called Sapo, required reservations to ensure the number of guests does not exceed the health requirements. Menus were downloaded via a QR code on the table. The wait staff again were very mindful of all distancing protocols.
The included breakfast gave us a great start to the day. I chose the Typical Costa Rican breakfast which was a good choice considering the 4 hour hike into the MonteVerde Cloud Forest Reserve that we had planned. The Senda staff made the reservation for us, which was required due to covid measures aimed at controlling numbers in the Park.
The Cloud forest walk is a magical experience, a place that is densely packed with countless forms of life. The branches of every tree become mini botanical gardens in themselves. At the high point of the trail, we reached the continental divide at about 1600m above sea level. From here you can see the green forests, hugged by clouds, extending all the way to the Pacific ocean.
On the morning of our last day we explored the trail that starts at Senda and then continues into the adjacent private Agouti reserve. We did come across an Agouti, the largest rodent in Costa Rica, like a large shy Guinea Pig with longer legs. Along the rail are a number of giant emergent trees whose stature is humbling.
We were grateful for this opportunity to get some relief from the Covid-19 quarantine and help support the hospitality industry which has suffered greatly in recent months. We hope to have the opportunity to visit another Cayuga hotel especially after seeing their attention to the details and how seriously they are taking the health ministries guidelines and sanitary protocols.
We returned refreshed and ready to face our next zoom call!
Richard and Daniela Hammond, Architects and Founders of Inverse Project
Richard and Daniela paid a reduced rate available for Costa Ricans and Residents at Senda. If you are interested in learning more, contact us at email@example.com or Tel. (506) 4040-0421.