Nothing livens up your breakfast like having a monkey come flying in through an open window and stealing a banana from a nearby table – all before shimmying up a telephone pole, crossing the wire and sharing the bounty with his troupe.
This isn’t the sort of thing that happens at luxury hotels. That’s one of the reason I prefer low budget.
But I saw a place in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (where this monkey business took place), that made me open to the idea of some luxury accommodations now and then.
La Mansion Inn is surrounded by jungle and ocean. At night, it’s dark and peaceful. It has a bar called The Bat Cave for people who want a high-quality beer (not easy to find in Costa Rica) and a taste of La Mansion’s luxury.
How luxurious is it? Well, presidents have stayed there. It lives up to the name, with a flavor more like you’ve stumbled into someone’s private estate than into a hotel. But it was also friendly – none of that “are you here to steal the silverware?” vibe from the staff. That might come from what are some pretty reasonable prices: $125-$295 for a standard room, depending on the season. The presidential suites, though, run $650-$850.
The views from the pool and balconies are amazing. La Mansion is up on a cliff, so you’ll have lots of visibility. You can also get hooked up with a tour or a deep-sea fishing trip.
I’m certain I’ll get back to Costa Rica one of these days. After spending a day or two in San Jose to take in a Saprissa match and load up on pupusas, I will head right back to the airport and catch a flight to Quepos, followed by a brief taxi ride to Manuel Antonio.
Even though the odds are against your breakfast fruit getting pilfered by a primate, you can get your fill of monkey and iguana encounters just by taking a quick walk down to Manuel Antonio National Park. Check out the trails, lounge on the beach, grab a fresh coconut – and watch for the monkeys!