Get a 2x1 El Silencio Cloud Forest Guide Tour when you book the hotel with the promo code VB-CFGT/E.
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Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Nature Reserve
Situated on the crest of a beautiful mountain in the central Costa Rican highlands, Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel is
cradled by the El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Private Biological Reserve. This 2000-acre sanctuary protects
one of the world’s most rare jungles — the cloud forest. With only 2% of these unique ecosystems left on the planet, that a hotel is able to operate as an integrated part of the surrounding environment is extraordinary. In doing so, Villa Blanca has become a world recognized example of what is possible, helping Costa Rica expand sustainable development by achieving a proper balance of preservation, biodiversity education and land use.
Originally owned by former Costa Rican president Rodrigo Carazo de Odio and First Lady, Estrella Zeledon de Carazo, Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel has truly become a cherished Costa Rica experience. The Carazo’s vision was to capture the simplicity, charm and deep respect for the land that is the spirit of the people of the San Ramon area. As the former president had authorized new National Parks, created the University of Peace and initiated the rural medical care program, his hotel, situated where it was, would have to become something more than just a lodging destination. It needed to be an inspiration.
Years later, this hotel would bring the president and his wife together with another visionary, making possible the extraordinary place that Villa Blanca has become today. That visionary was Jim Damalas.
Over time, the relationship between Jim, the President, and Mrs. Carazo, revealed a shared goal of Costa Rica leading the world in developing sustainable eco tourism. The Carazos knew Jim as an experienced hotelier in Costa Rica, with a successful property in Manuel Antonio already recognized internationally as a leader in sustainable lodging practices; so when they wanted to “retire” from the hotel business, they did not put it up for sale. They decided to pass the torch to Jim.
In 2003, Greentique Hotels (formerly Green Hotels of Costa Rica) acquired Villa Blanca. Work began in April 2004 to transform Villa Blanca into the kind of hotel that the two men had dreamed about. Seven months later, Jim and his design team — architect Rita Chavez Casanova and building coordinator Johnny Alvarado, had converted Villa Blanca into an upscale, nature-oriented boutique hotel and spa. A full- blown renovation and remodel, the project required a local crew of up to 157 men and women over its initial seven-month phase.
Today, Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel delivers one of the most compelling and satisfying guests experiences in all of Costa Rica. Only 60 kilometers from the International Airport, its location affords guests an array of guided and selfguided cloud forest tours, adventure activities including canopy tours, horseback riding, hiking, and tours to nearby Arenal volcano and San Ramon, Costa Rica’s City of the Poets.
Nowhere is the Greentique Hotels reputation for high-end accommodations and outstanding, personalized service better realized than at Villa Blanca. The rooms reflect rustic, turn of the century Costa Rican rural influences with all the comforts and appointments you’d expect from a quality boutique hotel, including in-room fire places, Jacuzzi tubs and a well-stocked snack and refreshment bar.
El Sendero Restaurant offers phenomenal dining presented in a breath taking room overlooking the edge of the cloud forest and out across the rolling hills. The cuisine is a fusion of traditional regional dishes and sumptuous classics from across the country, enhanced by innovative sauces, spices and combinations of fresh herbs and vegetables hand selected from the hotel’s organic gardens. An extensive wine list and some of the most sumptuous deserts imaginable,prepared by our award-winning pastry chef Jose Carlos Chacon, are yours to savor and enjoy. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily and the made-to-order breakfast is always complimentary to hotel guests.
Balanced living is part of the Villa Blanca experience. The enticing meals are thoughtfully prepared with nutritional sensibility and organic ingredients that compliment their exquisite flavors. The serenity and peacefulness of the cloud forest sooth the soul and can be enjoyed from the back patios in each casita or along the five kilometers of user friendly trails that wind through the preserve. The hotel’s hacienda-style great room features inviting areas with comfortable sofas, chairs and fireplaces and a wonderful bar where guests unwind and socialize. Relaxation can also be found at Serenity Spa, where massage and other spa services sooth the body or help to work out the kinks from the day’s adventures.
The Greentique Hotels commitment to developing sustainable eco-tourism is an active practice at Villa Blanca, not merely an intention. That practice involves the hotel in several levels of operational sustainability, including recycling, biodegradable cleaning products and energy usage management. Additionally, its commitment to the community is seen in its staff, 95% being local residents who in a reflection of the region’s warm and engaging spirit provide the distinctive, friendly service that is a signature feature of the Villa Blanca guest experience.
One the hotel’s proudest sustainability programs is its on-going relationship with INBio, the National Biodiversity Institute.
INBio operate an actual field research laboratory on the hotel grounds. This is the only hotel in Costa Rica where such a program exists and the work done at Villa Blanca is part of an international database shared with scientists and researchers around the world. A special tour takes you into the cloud forest and through the research station to see the active research being done on butterflies, moths and their relationships with plants, other insects and humans that comprise this spectacularly diverse ecosystem.
In January 2007, Villa Blanca received Five Green Leaves by The Certification of Sustainable Tourism (C.S.T.), Costa Rica’s highest award for sustainable practices and operations. It was the first time in 10 years that Five Green Leaves had been awarded. For those wanting to express their support of sustainable practices in eco tourism and the hospitality business in general, Villa Blanca is a choice one can make to travel well and travel right while in Costa Rica.
In May 2009 Green Hotels of Costa Rica as a leader group in Sustainable Hospitality received the 2009 Corporate Sustainable Trend Setter Award from the Rainforest Alliance at its annual gala, held at the American Museum of Natural history in New York. The award recognizes the hotel group’s “on-going dedication, innovation and leadership in environmental conservation”
The Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel is the realization of the vision of the Carazo Family, now delivered by Greentique Hotels as one of the most remarkable hotel, dining and nature-based vacation experiences in Costa Rica. If you want a true sense of what makes this country so special, you’ll discover it at Villa Blanca.