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Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

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Camillus, NY
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Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

A friend of a friend, has recommended a restaurant called Montasario. He says that it is a converted monastery and overlooks the city. Get seem to find it. Help? And comments?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

Maybe you are asking about EL MONASTERIO, located at the hills of Escazu...overlooking San Jose, some of Heredia , Alajuela...in a clear night is an incredible place...the place was builted by an Italian Inmigrant...never really was a Monasterio but in some ways looks like one...it is a high end kind of place! Great food...great service!

roadadvisor@hotmail.com

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Camillus, NY
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2. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

You rock Luis! It actually is called Le Monastere and has French cuisine. It looks very nice. Thinking about it for our last night before flying home. Still figuring out the last 24 hours or so. Checking out from MA area hotel on Sunday and planning on driving towards SJ airport. Would like to see/do something along the way. Fly out Monday at 2:00 pm Any suggestions? Still figuring out where to stay near San Jose or airport. I owe everyone a HUGE trip report when I get back.

Pensacola, Florida
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3. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

www.thealtahotel.com in Escazu has free airport xport

usually book on www.expedia.com from $100...

kentucky
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4. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

This topic has brought back memmories for me. In 1974 I did my student teaching at Costa Rica Academy. It was in a monestery near Ojo de Agua. Does anybody have any idea whats going on with the property now and how to get to it. I would love to drive by. Thanks! Holly

Tampa, FL
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5. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

Personally, my favorite special evening thing to do is to head up into the mountains for dinner at one of the "mirador restaurants" overlooking the sparkling lights of the central valley. There are actualy MANY such places and I recommend everyone try it at least once. However, I always try to include an important caveat. You go to those primarily for the view while you eat, which can described in no other words than truly spectacular. The food at them, on the other hand, tend to be much more mediocre for what you'll pay. However, if you can keep my warning in mind and just go for a decent meal in an exceptional setting, you won't be disappointed. The other thing to keep in mind regarding those places is that they're all also fairly pricey cab rides from where most people stay.

El Monastere (www.monastere-restaurant.com) is considered by some to be the fanciest mirador restaurant (and by others the most overpriced). It certainly is in a very interesting building. The food is pretty good as well but also incredibly expensive by CR standards. Add to that the cost of getting there as it is probably the furthest out and highest up of the Central Valley miradors (in Santa Ana de Escazu). You could probably do just as well for less money at one of the other miradors which are closer in.

qwovadis already mentioned the Alta Hotel. What he failed to mention in his usual terse reply is that hotel ALSO has a highly respected restaurant (www.thealtahotel.com/laluz.htm) and will afford wonderful views both during your dinner and AFTERWARDS from your room. If you stay there, you'll save yourself the trouble of having to go up and down the hill for dinner.

There are plenty of other mirador restaurants (a couple of which are also parts of hotels) such as the Capital Grille in the White House Resort Hotel(www.whitehousecostarica.com/restaurant.html) the Pico Blanco Inn (www.hotelpicoblanco.com/restaurant.html) and the Mirador Valle Azul and the Mirador Tiquici (all located a little closer in San Antonio de Escazu).

One more place I should mention is located in an entirely different direction but which also has excellent views. That place is the Mirador Ram Luna in Aserri/Tabarca, which is in the mountains south of SJ. It is another really good one mirador restaurant, not nearly as upscale as those others heading out past Escazu but much more moderately priced and, like I said before, its really the view that you're paying for anyway. The other places ARE more exceptional in terms of the food itself, but if you can go to the Ram Luna on a Wednesday, you'll be treated to a really nice buffet of typical tico food, a colorful floor show of local music and dance and, of course, the views. All for probably 1/3rd to 1/4th of what you'd spend at El Monastere. That is something to consider.

You can find out more about Ram Luna, La Luz and El Monastere as well as a few other really good restaurants in the city of San Jose itself at toenjoynature.com/COSTA_RICA/…INDEX.HTML

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

This sounds like a lovely thing to do. These sound like "nice" restaurants. Is this something we could do with a couple of well behaved but young kids? When you say "expensive" what are we talking? Say a standard dinner for two with wine and dessert? Under $200?

Tampa, FL
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7. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

I'd say dinner for 2 with wine and dessert should be well under $200 but definitely over $100, particularly if you get expensive wine.

You could probably do it with a couple of well-behaved kids, no problem. I think a better question would be whether the haute cuisine and fancy surroundings would be something wasted on your kids.

Now if you want to talk about a mirador restaurant that IS very kid friendly, then the Ram Luna would definitely be it on their Tierra Tica night. The price is very family friendly at $28/pp (on other nights entrees run ~$8-15). I don't know if they have a kids price, but that's the same price for a family of 4 as you'd pay for just a couple at the Monastere. That buys you an all-you-can-eat buffet of typical tico dishes plus beverages (including alcoholic drinks). And it comes with a floor show that includes a Marimba band, folk dancers in colorful native costumes (and an english narrative explaining the story that goes along with it), then guys in those giant paper mache carnival heads come out and all the children in the audience (as well as the adults) can join in with all of them out on the dance floor, finally the night is capped off with a fireworks show around 10PM (which personally I thinl pales in comparison to the lights of the valley that you get to enjoy all night).

The hitch for you is that unlike those other mirador restaurants, it is located in the mountains south of SJ and I believe you said in another thread that you'll be staying over an hour west of SJ in Atenas. That's a long way to drive back home that late at night. There are tours that will do the driving for you but those run close to $50/pp. Maybe you could hire a driver who knows the roads for the night.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

That does sound like fun! Thanks. You are right that we are staying in Atenas, so the drive doesn't sound appealing, but we'll see how we go. Once we have spent a few days we may be up for it. Those touristy "cultural" nights are cheesy, but fun.

Tampa, FL
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9. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

This is off the original topic of this thread but since we're mentioning cheesy cultural kid-friendly tours. A lot of people will tell you that the coffee tour at the Doka Estates above Alajuela is the "best" coffee tour to take and, in many ways, it is. It certainly is the most educational. But, IMHO, the other highly popular coffee tour (Cafe Britt in Barva just north of Heredia) is much more kid-friendly. It covers mostly the same info as Doka but presents a lot of it in a hokey little skit that they've put together where costumed "actors" tell and perform the history of the coffee industry in CR. It may be too hokey for teenagers who are too "cool" for such things, but I'm sure younger kids would like it more than Doka.

Chicago, IL
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10. Re: Restaurant that is a converted Monastery?

Vancouverite, since you are staying in Atenas, have you tried the El Cafetal Mirador? Beautiful view and good food.