My Xandari Villa

My third time to visit one of the most expensive hotels that I like in Costa Rica gives me a third different and bigger room/villa. I rarely show this many photos of a room, but because it is unique, I decided to this time along with the Art in My Villa, yesterday’s post.

This “room”  is called a “King Junior Suite” meaning just one king size bed in multiple rooms or spaces, a large suite or villa. They call all their rooms villas because most are in separate buildings and all are large.

From the lobby and restaurant main building, you walk through the gardens on a beautiful winding, paved path to the entrance of #5 in this case:

Private Entrance Compound

Kitchenette by front Terrace

 

Living Room

 

Valley-View Terrace

 

Bedroom

 

Bathroom

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Shower behind blue wall overlooking private garden. Toilet in separate room behind me.

This exceptional hotel is just 20 minutes from the San Jose Airport, thus a starting and ending location for many international tourists coming here, like the people I visited with this time from England, Germany, France, Canada and the U.S.

Yet they are immersed in a tropical rainforest with hiking trails, 5 waterfalls on the river, wildlife, both wild and cultivated flowers, a small farm for the kitchen, a wonderful Spa and restaurant. Some things are worth paying more for!   🙂   I do this occasionally here while other times I “rough it” in the wilderness to be closer to nature. I like both experiences! And the way Xandari combines both luxury AND nature! Plus now they house the Charlie Doggett Photography Library!   🙂   That alone makes the visit worthwhile!   🙂

Luxury is attention to detail, originality, exclusivity and above all quality.
~Angelo Bonati

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica

Art in My Villa

Yes, the rooms at Xandari are actually villas or little houses, even for one person! My one-bedroom villa was larger this time and as big as my house in Atenas, with smaller kitchen but everything else bigger – but I will share photos of that tomorrow.

Now, here are some cell phone shots of most of the art displayed in my villa. Most date back to another era of art when the original artist-owners, the Broudy’s (now deceased), built the place. It is kind of a mixture of “folk art,” maybe “hippie art,” woodcraft, stained glass, pottery, and some other styles I can’t label – just unique and colorful and thus, along with the immersion in nature, gives this place its own personality.  And remember, this is just the art in my one room out of thirty-something rooms/villas (many bigger)! Plus art in the gardens & restaurant!   🙂   And I realize that a lot of people today will not like this art, but I find it refreshing & creative!   🙂

One Villa’s ART

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

~Thomas Merton

Xandari Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Dragonfly & Squirrel

Dragonfly

This dragonfly and squirrel round out my photos of wildlife at Xandari, having already done posts on Birds and Butterflies. The latter giving me 4 new species! Dragonflies seem to interest everyone almost as if magical or “fairy-like” as butterflies, though the larger ones are easier to photograph than these tiny blue ones. See my separate photo galleries for Costa Rica Dragonflies and for Costa Rica Damselflies for more of this magic!

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Variegated Squirrel

IMG_9155-A-WEBAnd finally, every man’s pest, the squirrel, in this case the Variegated Squirrel, the most common in Costa Rica. But there are other species of squirrels and I have galleries on 3 of them:

 

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

~Martin Buber

 

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica

Xandari Birds

I’ve seen more birds at Xandari in the past, but 15+ is not bad for this close to the city on very windy days! No new birds for me though this second time to photograph a Rose-breasted Grosbeak shows up the “rose” color more than my earlier shots in Monteverde. And I love the way the Yellow-throated Euphonia appears to be hollering at me in the feature photo! 

Otherwise most of these are pretty bad photos which I will blame on the wind and the dense dark forest, making birds most difficult to photograph. The pair of Lesson’s Motmots are more interesting than my usual solo shots of them and that blue tail maybe the best motmot tail yet for me!   🙂

My main reason for going to Xandari this time was to install my “Charlie Doggett Photo Books Library” in the lobby of the hotel for guests from around the world to enjoy and I even got to observe some guests using the books already! Plus I just love this little nature retreat with 5 waterfalls, 4 miles of nature trails, some of the best flower gardens anywhere along with spacious villas for rooms and super-good food and private jacuzzis! A very relaxing retreat again!

Xandari Birds 2020

 

Xandari Nature Resort

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”

― Robert Lynd

¡Pura Vida!

My Costa Rica Birds Gallery

Butterflies

January is not considered the best month for butterflies like June and July but I seem to always see a lot at Xandari and this week is no exception! Only 6 species this time, BUT 4 ARE LIFERS! That is 4 new species I have not photographed before, so not bad!   🙂   Maybe it is the different time of year that gives me new species – whatever, I’m glad! I am now up to 95 butterfly species in Costa Rica! See my CR Butterfly Gallery.

I will try to do a birds at Xandari post tomorrow, my leaving day, or the following day. Just not as many as in the past, being very windy in January!

This Week’s Butterflies

See my Costa Rica Butterfly Gallery

 

Butterflies are God’s confetti, thrown upon the Earth in celebration of His love.     – K. D’Angelo

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari Costa Rica

My Photos in an Art Gallery

One reason I was happy that Xandari would house my library of Photo Books is that the entire hotel is an art gallery with art literally everywhere, inside and outside. It was built by an Artist/Architect and his wife an Art Teacher. In another post I will display the art in my villa this time – different every visit!

The above stained glass window is in the reading room of the lobby and my photo books are on a book shelf at the entrance to that reading room. In earlier Tennessee days I tried to sell photos at art fairs calling them “Nature as Art” which fits this arty nature retreat very well. I’m happy to be a part of Xandari!

 

Today was my very full day with an early morning birding hike with excellent guide Jose and a lovely couple from England, followed by breakfast and a tour of the only Starbucks-owned coffee farm in the world which I will tell you more about later, then an afternoon late lunch, relaxation massage, a desert at dinner time and I’m ready for bed! With lots of photos to process tomorrow, my last full day here.

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari 2018-Enchanted by Nature
Just one of 29 books in the library!
Brilliant Book cover
And the other one about Xandari!  Plus all of my other Costa Rica photo books!

To see all of my Costa Rica Photo books, go to My Bookstore at Blurb where you can preview any of the books for free electronically! Best if viewed in full screen mode of course!   🙂

Better Sunsets Tonight

If I keep trying maybe I will get a really good one on one of my 4 nights here!   🙂

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Sunset, 13 Jan. 2020 from Villa #5, Xandari Costa Rica
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Sunset, 13 Jan. 2020 from Villa #5, Xandari Costa Rica

 

When I admire the wonders of a sunset . . . my soul expands in the worship of the creator.     ~Mahatma Gandhi

¡Pura Vida!

Good Night from Xandari

My first afternoon was settling in, photographing the room, hiking the upper level of trails photographing mostly flowers and having a really great dinner! I love it here! Maybe my favorite hotel in Costa Rica! But I’m too tired to process photos tonight and this sunset is not great but will have to do. Good night!   🙂   Much more tomorrow!

¡Pura Vida!

All Over Costa Rica!

I was thinking of doing a Costa Rica Map on a cork board with map pins showing where I’ve been – which is a lot more places than most people I know here among both Ticos and Expats. Then suddenly in my electronic mailbox appears an email from Google Maps titled: Google Maps Timeline 2019 Update.  Yep, it included the feature photo map above and some other stuff  that seems to go back to 2015, my first year here when I began traveling Costa Rica. It seems I approved them tracking me (my cell phone) back then and this is what I get! Should I be afraid of Google or send them a thank you note?   🙂

The big red blob in the middle is the space between Atenas & San Jose that includes Alajuela and all the places I go there including the big SJO Airport. I cannot explain the red dot in the Pacific Ocean, but if you study the map more you will see the large green area in the south-southeast above Panama that has no red spots for my visits. One main reason is that it is the Talamanca Mountains, much of which is indigenous reserves with no public roads going through there plus protected national forests not allowing travel. My May trip will put me on the Western edge of that area at Chirripó and my visit to the Bribri Yorkin Reserve had me on the eastern edge. And that is it!   🙂   So just 17 more parks/reserves to go!   🙂

After 37 national parks & reserves are visited, I will do a photo book like I did with all of Tennessee’s State Parks in my photo book A Walk in the Woods Through All 54 Tennessee State Parks. There are technically only 28 national parks here! But the nine reserves count as equals and for my nature photography purposes especially, so I’m saying 37, with only 17 more to go! I don’t have a car which slows me down a little! But I will get there!   🙂

See links to the photo galleries of the 20 National Parks & Reserves I have already visited  or for all of my travels over Costa Rica browse through the family of galleries:

Costa Rica Trips (80) which is the best collection of my photos here!

 

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”

~Claude Monet

¡Pura vida!