This morning on Facebook, Independent Traveler asked their fans ‘What’s the best hotel breakfast you’ve ever had?’
Everyone has one, but of course there’s a story how I found one of the best hotel breakfasts ever.
Now, I normally don’t choose to stay in proper hotels when I travel, as I much prefer the authentic feel of a bed and breakfast and staying with a local family, which I planned for during a trip to Costa Rica in May/June 2008. For the most part we stayed local, but thanks to Tropical Storm Alma things got changed up a bit.
“This is the first time a tropical storm has hit the Pacific coast in this location in 120 years,” said José Joaquín Aguero, an IMN meteorologist. “The last time this happened was around 1887.”
OF COURSE 1887 was the last time this happened. Obviously our hearts went out to the people above all. It was incredible to see how they dealt with the devastation. I remember seeing women walking out of their homes while carrying children on their shoulders. Not to mention that they were wading in water that was easily up to their waists. We only saw this from the road, which was maybe 50 feet away, but I remember that we were both very emotional watching this from the sidelines.
We had been headed down the Pacific coast to Manuel Antonio from Monteverde. We had to stop for the night in Playa Hermosa (a beach town) because the rain was so hard and it was dark. In the morning we continued, but only got as far as Parrita. We were told we couldn’t go any further because the water on the road (yes, one way in, one way out, wouldn’t recede for four DAYS.) Alma was fierce and we saw the waves as we stood on the beach (probably not the smartest thing we have ever done) to prove it.
While out for drinks in Playa Hermosa, at a bar on the beach, I remember the lights going out and the bands equipment shorting out. We were basically in a bar on the beach (it was on the water but other than a roof there was no protection) so we could feel the rain since it was coming in sideways and easily see the lightening right over the ocean. Instead of sending us home, the staff put candles on the tables, the band decided to sing acoustically and we ordered another round.
The next morning we needed to make a change of plans, and quickly, as the water was getting out of control. We met an ex-pat American who rearranged our itinerary for our last few days. He directed us to another part of the country, closer to San Jose, but still far enough outside that we felt like we were still in the countryside. We also had to make a few calls because we were going to be dropping off our rental car in Manuel Antonio to fly back to San Jose for our connecting international flight. Getting a refund proved to be a bit of a challenge because it was a non-refundable airline ticket, but being that we couldn’t physically drive to Manuel Antonio due to the road closures, it would be impossible to get on the flight. Also needed to reroute our rental so that we could return it in San Jose.
Anyway, through the kindness of this ex-pat American who gave us ideas for where we could spend the next few days, we were able to visit the surrounding towns outside of San Jose which were lovely. In addition to the excellent hospitality we had already received, we had the opportunity to stay on a coffee plantation and we were able to enjoy Alajuela, a less touristy Costa Rica.
We decided to stay in San Jose on our last night, which without this storm, wasn’t on our itinerary. We decided to live it up our last night in a lovely boutique hotel, complete with cocktails and a dip in the roofdeck hot tubs. (If you know me, you know this is not the way I travel!)
Dinner our last night we cabbed to a local restaurant keeping with my passion to keep it local, but breakfast the following morning, in the hotel, our last in Costa Rica was probably the best HOTEL breakfast ever.
I point the hotel distinction out because I have enjoyed many amazing breakfasts when staying at bed and breakfasts and I wouldn’t be able to pick the best. The best part of those is being able to share with local families and really experience the local flavor, both literally and figuratively. More on that in another post.
Thanks to the season, we had juice and smoothies, made from Costa Rica’s finest fruits. Fruits I never heard of, or tasted before, and we had a field day trying them all! I don’t remember the rest of the breakfast but those juices were the best.
What was your favorite hotel breakfast?