Travel Costa Rica! Casa Elsa in Manuel Antonio

Casa Elsa

As you know my trip to Costa Rica and Casa Elsa is part cooking adventure, so I’ll have a video featuring that part of the trip very soon. But there is more to travel than food alone, because this is Manuel Antonio National Park, the gem of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Natural beauty is everywhere. In fact this park is so well preserved that it almost perfectly represents the mid-Pacific coastal region of this country much as it must have been when the Spanish conquistador Juan Vasquez de Coronado first came upon it in 1563.

So as much as I love cooking and sharing what I love about cooking with the readers of this blog, as well as the people I meet on these occasional cooking adventures. I don’t want you to forget that this trip is just as much about the beauty of the country as the food I encountered here.

Adding to the natural beauty all around us in Manuel Antonio, there is also the beauty of the 7,500 sq ft ocean view villa we’re staying in. It’s called Casa Elsa and today I thought I’d take you on a tour of this beautiful home. It really is a masterpiece of archtiecture right in the middle of the jungle.

Casa Elsa at nightIt was designed by Costa Rican Architect Jorge Mojica and is often described as “an orgy of whimsical modern architecture.” Casa Elsa amenities include 4 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms, modern kitchen, infinity pool, many large decks and a jacuzzi. There is wireless high-speed internet, maid service, pool maintanence, on site 24-hour security guard and a local concierege to answer all your questions.

But what I love most about this amazing house is that it feels like a modern tree house. It is completely open air. The only rooms fully enclosed are the bedrooms and bathrooms. Everything else is open right onto the rain forest and ocean beyond. The dramatic sloped roof and ceiling protects you from the sun and rain. So whatever the weather you are right outisde enjoying the views au natural! This open air concept includes the modern kitchen. Wait til you see the video of me cooking in that open air kitchen.

But “yikes” you think. Does that mean the house is open to the animals? Why yes it does. In the most delightful way. As long as you don’t try and feed or touch them, the monkeys will pass Squirrel Monkeys at Casa Elsathrough the house on their daily trek across the forest! Just sit back and enjoy the show. They won’t hurt you, and they are a pleasure to observe. We’ve seen diminutive red Squirrel Monkeys and their bolder cousins– White-Faced Monkeys. Everyday!

The animal show didn’t stop with just the monkeys and their antics. At night there were peccary-like agouti in the trees. We even saw a two-toed sloth creeping its way along a rope suspended across the road to protect these animal as they make their nocturnal journey seeking food.

casa elsaHave I made you wish you were here? Well guess what? You could be. I chose to sing for my supper… err well cook for it so to speak! But Casa Elsa is available for rent. Go to their web site and see all the details.

I have traveled to some amazing places in my life. I have even been to Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio before. But I have never experienced a vacation home like this one. We are already trying to figure out how we can go back next year!


Greg Henry

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