Looking around the gardens of our Alajuela Airport Hotel, we counted no less than 8 active birds nests! There are Motmots, Yiguirros (clay robins or pigeons), Thrushes and more all looking to make homes. The Motmots are the most interesting as they like to make nests in holes. We found a motmot busily making a nest in the side of a large hole that we had dug to improve drainage and were about to fill in. We had to stop! We have nests in trees, nests on gutter downspouts, nests in our lemon tree outside our Restaurant, nests on our motion sensor floodlights at the front gate, nests around our pool, in our baby Eucalyptus tree and an ostentatious triple decker mansion being built in a Christmas palm near the main walk to Reception!!! We know there are more but these are the most obvious!
Clearly the local avian population has been reading our online comments about being a Garden Oasis near the San Jose Costa Rica Airport!!!
So far only one nest has actually completed its function successfully with the hatching of three Yiguirros. About three weeks later we watched as the mother taught them how to fly. What a big first step to take after being cramped up in the nest for weeks! Another has bluish eggs (not sure what type as the mother is very elusive) and the other nests are either too high up or are still in the process of being built.
For us at Hotel La Rosa, this is a great sign as it shows that even with thousands of guests a year, we are able to maintain a balance with nature and in fact provide a suitable green area for them to breed and feel sufficiently secure. We hope that many of these birds come back next year to continue the cycle! In the mean time, for the summer and fall months, we still have our giant bird bath – our swimming pool, which is a favorite of a surprisingly large number of our local birds who can frequently be seen splashing around on the steps or in some cases actually diving into the pool for a bath.
Come join us at La Rosa and you can too enjoy our property, pool, and gardens with all the flora and fauna it supports!
We have been very grateful for the increasing business at our San Jose Airport Hotel especially during these very difficult economic times. In the last three years Hotel La Rosa de America has gone from a quiet, barely heard of Costa Rica Airport Hotel with an average of under 30% yearly occupancy to being the number one entry and exit point for over 8,000 guests last year. We have also recently expanded, adding two new large family suites which have been very successful and we are still finding that on many days we have limited or no space left! Naturally this has resulted in a need for employee and services restructuring at the Hotel. Thus, in a process that started in June 2010 and was finally completed 01 December 2010, we have completely overhauled all aspects of our customer service and redirected efforts towards improving and enhancing the overall guest experience. One of the main components of this task was to fully restructure and retrained our employees to meet the expanding needs of our Costa Rica Airport Hotel.
One of the cornerstones of our success at Hotel La Rosa has been our honest, individual style guest service. It is our policy to ensure that every guest has the opportunity to interact and talk with staff about their trip plans, or trip experiences and of course to ask any travel related questions they may have. We want to ensure you have as best as possible a Costa Rican experience here in our host country! Of course, this was much easier to do when we had half the guests coming to our hotel! Thus, we have had the pleasant task of being in a position to hire more staff during a recession. Due to the current difficulties in the Costa Rican Tourism economy, and the necessity of so many hotels needing to downsize, we have been able to access a very wide selection of trained workers needing employment in a stable position. Now as a result, we have five new employees, all of whom have completed Hotel La Rosa’s training program and we feel are now well equipped to assist with guests needs.
Part of our new season’s goals are to provide a better overall experience for our guests. Our guest’s feedback, repeat business, and guest referrals provide the single largest component of our international marketing campaign. Thus ensuring guest happiness and loyalty is extremely important for us. We know we are one of over a hundred and fifty
competing Costa Rica Airport Hotels! To that end, La Rosa staff will ensure that all guests will still feel like they have entered a Hotel that still provides Bed and Breakfast personalized service. Another major change for the 2011 year is our breakfast service. We have completely changed the way we present our breakfast. It is now in an all you can eat buffet style. Our kitchen staff now prepare almost double the options we provided for in the 2010 season including eggs and on certain days, the Costa Rican favorite, “Pinto”. Returning guests can still enjoy our famous Banana Bread – the secret recipe that came all the way from Raffles in Singapore many years ago! If you like tropical fruit, you will have a feast at La Rosa! We offer a minimum of five different types of seasonal fruit including what we think is the “best pineapple in the world” – the Costa Rican Pina Dorada. This local variety of pineapple is much sweeter and less acidic than normal pineapple.
Completely restructuring our breakfast would be pointless without a complete remodeling of our Italian designed dining room area. New for 2011, the dining area now displays new curtains, a much warmer sandy paint colour on the walls, a greatly expanded buffet display area, new chairs, and all new table cloths. The tables have also been re-organized to offer greater privacy for guests during breakfast time. Just outside, we are re-doing the flowerbeds to the rear of the property to increase the beauty of the breakfast area view. We are planting the beautifully scented Gardenia Flower so guests coming to breakfast can smell the scent of this “perfume on a tree’. These changes are designed to increase the early morning enjoyment for our guests – especially those who have just arrived from long flights the night before and have yet to actually see the beauty of Costa Rica.
Another objective for the hotel is to become recognized as a 3 star hotel. To this end, we continue to upgrade hotel infrastructure services, using environmentally friendly solutions wherever possible. Also, we now have 24 hour, 7 days a week night concierge service. No matter when your flight arrives, we will be waiting for you! At this time our Reception area will still close at 10 pm however, this will not be a problem for late arrivals or early departures as our night staff are now fully trained to deal with most guest needs.
Hotel La Rosa de America has spent five months of the low season restructuring in preparation for the 2011 high season. Though we recognize this process never ends (nor should it!) we do feel that our Alajuela Airport Hotel is now in an even better position to provide great service to our guests, both repeat and new alike!
Well, it is pretty likely that most businesses that receive thousands of guests from around the world end up with some pretty interesting, even unlikely stories from time to time. For us at La Rosa de America, one of the most bizarre stories commenced about four years ago.
The Gardens of Hotel La Rosa are a sanctuary for scores of birds, animals and interesting insects all busy trying to make a home away from the noise, pavement, cars and the excessive number of dogs owned by Costa Ricans in the populous San Jose Airport region.
One day, four years ago, a baby tree squirrel tried for the first time to hop from one mango tree to the next. (Costa Rican tree squirrels are aggressive jumpers and can easily jump from tree to tree) However, this poor fellow got all knotted up, missed his landing zone and fell to the ground. In doing so he broke his back and was now a paraplegic squirrel. Normally this is where the story would end as in the wild, the survival time of this squirrel would be measured at most in hours. However, the staff at La Rosa rescued the injured squirrel, bought a cage and cared for him. Charlie the squirrel became the unofficial mascot of our Alajuela Airport Hotel.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature never really let up on Charlie and he slowly became sick and eventually died undoubtedly from complications resulting from his paralysis.
So, La Rosa was without a mascot (we have no dogs on the property unlike most hotels as it is too hard to keep them from barking when they hear another dog bark at 2 in the morning!) Therefore, we acquired a Guinea Pig in a moment of “weakness”. Chancha is now about six months old, more or less fully grown and sits/squeaks proudly outside the reception door happily greeting guests. More likely, we suspect she is mostly hoping for more food! Thus the name “Chancha”… which in Spanish is a common reference to coins destined for the “Piggy” Bank.
Chancha has already nosed her way into the hearts of many children who have recently visited our hotel – and more than a few adults too! If she is out surveying her domain when you arrive, do remember to say hi to her!