Recently concluded a wonderful 3 week stay in January 2015 at Eden Atenas. I stayed in the Family apartment which has 2 separate beds, a full kitchen and private rancho. This setup was perfect for accommodating a friend that came down for the week. There are a lot of particulars that make Eden Atenas a terrific place.
Breakfast: It really is a super breakfast and overall great start to the day. Jan includes freshly squeezed juice or smoothie, fresh fruit, from SCRATCH bread dish (ex. raisin bagel french toast), and a protein entrée (ex. scotch eggs.) Every day you get all of those courses, but different dishes. Also a good way to connect with other guests. The dining is outside, so there is always something in nature for the table to observe and comment on, so little likelihood of struggling to find topics to talk about with your new friends. Note - breakfast is not included in the price of the apartment since it has a full kitchen - but we chose to pay the $10 pp almost every day since it was so great. Well worth the money.
Beauty: Jan is a horticulturist and she and Avtar have created beautiful, colorful, bird and butterfly attracting grounds. Pictures really don't do it justice. While on the property - whether at breakfast, on the open air rancho, in the pool, or rocking on the deck - you are enveloped by the lushness of the property. Even if you're not actively admiring it, it's always in your peripheral and provides the overall feeling of walking around in a surreal bubble of pretty.
Amenities: The wifi connection was great (I can speak for the Family Apartment which had it's own access point), the pool was well maintained and large enough to do laps in, the shared cooking facilities were a great option for those staying in one of the guest rooms - 2 burner cooktop and full size refrigerator for food storage, water cooler available for all by the pool (although water is safe here to drink), comfortable chairs in the common areas, free parking. A few evenings, Jan offered to make a community meal for purchase (always delicious), or Avtar would bring out their TV monitor to the rancho and we'd have a movie night. These were not previously scheduled activities and I suspect the offerings of them vary greatly based on the time, energy and resources available, but were great perks when they happened.
Transportation: I was traveling without a car and had no difficulties. The taxis are abundant - VERY easy getting to/from Atenas for groceries, etc. (Farmers market is on Friday, plus several good grocery options in town) You simply call the taxi company and within 3-4 minutes, a car arrives. It's about a 5 minute ride into Atenas (unless construction) and $3-$4 each way. I probably took a taxi close to 10 times from the property and it never took longer than 5 minutes to arrive. For almost everyone - it's not going to be a walkable distance into town due to the distance, hills, heat, and lack of safe walking path for about 1/2 of the trip. Also, Atenas is a big enough town to get good bus service. From Atenas, my husband and I headed to Quepos/Manuel Antonio for our next leg of our journey via bus - excellent mode of transportation. Ample room for luggage in an underneath luggage compartment, $9 fare, comfortable seating, 3 hours as expected. From the airport to Eden Atenas, Avtar arranged a driver for $35 that was waiting for us at the airport and even stopped in town so I could pick up a few groceries. Trip time was ~30 minutes.
Weather: Perfection. Every day for the 3 weeks was like this: Low humidity (terrific hair), temps in upper 70s, low 80s F, sun for most, if not all day. There are some cloudy and breezy periods, but when it was cloudy, it was never for the full day.
Owners/Staff/Dogs: Avtar, Jan and Wanda are all interesting, genuine people and very helpful and trusted resources. In addition to helping arrange things, I also called a few times while out and about for advice - a great comfort to know I had a local resource to help if anything came up. The two dogs on property, Max and Lily are wonderful. Great personalities and attentive to the guests (Max in particular) For me, it was an added bonus to enjoy their companionship.
Re: stuff to do - I wasn't there with the intention to do a whole lot. I was looking to just sort of 'be' for a while, study, and soak up the beauty, and this was the perfect environment for that. We did do the El Toledo coffee tour w/lunch afterwards - highly recommend. We also went to Zoo Ave which was really enjoyable as well.
Room Tip: Family Apartment - Tons of space inside and outside on the private rancho. I don't think the we...
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