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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Up, Up and away we went to........

Our 44th wedding anniversary was the occasion and San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, was the place. When we traveled to our hotel after hours and hours of travel time (I do all our arrangements) I thought for sure I had really chosen this one wrong because as our taxi traveled down the dark streets to get to our hotel, there was bars on all the buildings and
barbwire all along the tops........and then....out of nowhere this appeared before us.....

Hotel Grano de Oro

The wonderful history behind this luxurious place is that after a Canadian couple had visited here many times and come to love Costa Rica, they bought this mansion
and turned it into a beautiful hotel and restaurant in the downtown area. It has been so successful that they have enlarged it once and they have also built a refuge for young girls to give back to their beloved city.
These are all views from in and around the hotel....

The open air part of the dining room (borrowed from the web site for a broader view)

looking up to the rooms above the courtyard.

the fountain at night

from our table at breakfast in the courtyard and a close up of the flowers found on all the tables.

Their food was often a little different and this was a wonderful morning surprise

Chorreadas: Costa Rican Corn Pancakes...made sweet style and topped with finely chopped fruit (papaya, cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple) with creme on the side.

4 cups fresh corn
1/4 cup milk or water
1 tsp. salt
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp. oregano

Whirl everything (except oil) in a blender till smooth. Pour into a bowl and warm oil in a cast-iron pan on medium-high heat. Scoop out 2 spoons full into the pan and spread into a circle like pancakes. Lower heat slightly, let it brown lightly (about 2 minutes), flip it over and cook till golden. Put aside on a plate covered with a towel to keep warm and keep making more till the batter is gone.

It is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish. Serve with cultured sour cream or your choice of toppings! Simple, easy and tasty.

SWEET version: omit the garlic and oregano. Add 4 Tbsp. of your choice of liquid sweetener or 1/4 cup sugar.

CHEESY version: before flipping the pancake, sprinkle your choice of cheese on top and flip it. Make sure your pan is well greased to keep the cheese from burning into your pan.

Comments from the cook.......these can be made dairy-free and totally vegan.

A quiet seating area heading into the bar and these wonderful candle holders were on the bar looking back out to the open air patio......I wanted to steal one:) Actually I tried my best to buy one but the owners had brought them here from a neighboring country and wouldn't part with any of them.

Wouldn't they have made a wonderful souvenir for my newly painted bathroom?

Here are just a few on the many, many plants found in the hallways and on the way to the spa

up close

(to be continued)


Nancy said...

Hmmmm, the barbed wire would have made me cautious, too. However, I looks like you found a gem in the end. I can't wait to see more.

Allison said...

Oh, how luxurious! I would definitely take the "sweet" version over the "cheesy"... though I like that you call it cheesy!! xoxo

texwisgirl said...

wow! that is awesome!!! love the building and all it's understated gradiosity (if that's possible!)

Flora said...

Oh My it looks absolutely WONDERFUL!! And congts on 44 years!!! Have fun!!!

Flora said...

Also thanks for the recipe ... I am always looking for vegan breakfasts!!! Will give it a try.

Farmchick said...

What a beauty of a place. Love the hotel. The barbed wire would have made me a bit cautious too!

Chatty Crone said...

Congrats on you 44th anniversary - it looks beautiful there - my son and his wife love it there too!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Looks like an okay place to stay! I am enjoying your adventure. My parents hosted a boy from San Jose for a year back in 1979..he always wants us to visit:)