Finca Austria Resort, Costa Rica – An earthly delight
November 7, 2018
‘I Finca better leave right now, before I fall any deeper’
How Finca Austria made us loose our minds, think there’s no point in our lives anymore and never want to return. A place so rich in the world’s most exotic wildlife, overlooking a valley, with birds flying off in the distance towards the Pacific Ocean – could one imagine this beautiful villa atop a grassy mound in the Garden of Eden, a creation of Adam and Eve themselves?
Finca Austria, Nosara Costa Rica
Like us, coming to Finca Austria located in Nosara, Guanacaste Province, may seem like the journey of a life time if you go by car, but when people say that the best places on earth are the hardest to get to, it’s true. As you can see, Finca Austria looks incredibly moreish and dreamlike but it’s so invisible, we had trouble believing it was real and thought we might go down in history as a mysterious Airbnb couple that got trafficked off to Yugoslavia by a drug gang. We had already dribbled with excitement checking out Finca Austria’s immersive 360-degree tour (click here http://360.cr/fincaaustria/), knowing we had the whole super villa to ourselves for 8 days. No one could prepare us though – from the bottom of the mountain, you cannot see it. We loved that you really had to see it to believe it. As we ascended the rocky mountain road, everything started to feel like a super exciting scene from Jumanji with animals, crawlies and birds cascading everywhere. We realised Finca Austria was not somewhere to arrive but is part of an awesome discovery. Come to Finca Austria with a foreboding sense of adventure, simply expecting nothing less than the highest level of luxury.
Love yourself through Fincas’ glittering water amenities, experiencing total intimacy with the sounds, sights and scents of the exotic paradise around you. Living right beside you are your native species – the howler monkeys, awaking you each morning, the butterflies, dazzling you with their colours and the birds, that live in the jungle right outside of your window. Experience the beauty of nature right from the comfort your own super-chilled villa. Backlit against earth shattering views, the sun rise, and fall are some of the most cherished moments belonging exclusively to you when you stay here. Built so high up in the atmosphere you feel yourself floating with the clouds in the blue tinged valley below you, Finca Austria is the most beautiful place in the world.
Casa Colibri is the largest of all four properties in the Finca Austria resort, raised towards the heavens atop a grassy mound. This super villa has four jungle oak styled, banana coloured bedrooms. The honey moon suite which we slept, has one of our favourite spaces in the villa which is an open roof-top terrace with a terracotta jungle bath, shower and bed. At night you can run a hot bath in the sky, and wash under the stars. This bedroom also has a second roofed terrace with a bed outside partitioned by decorative wooden arches. The large en suite family room is literally stunning, with three beds, two bathrooms, and an amazing view of the jungle. On top of this, there is an extended outdoor stairwell leading to an open roof terrace with a 360-degree panoramic view of the landscape. Every sink, every shower, and every bath in this property has been custom built from a stylish stone or wood, they are then beautifully arranged making every room feel well thought out and scenic. This property has been so well designed and has so many areas to discover. Downstairs, there is a large living area with a supersized, comfy sofa area which banks onto the guest’s kitchen – it has about everything you need to cook up a storm and make fresh watermelon smoothies in the morning. The two en suite bedrooms downstairs mean you can have up to 10 people stay in this property. One of the things that makes Casa Colibri so distinct is the dark oak wood which you will notice, most of the flooring, door frames, side boards and wood panelling is designed from. Casa Colibri can be all yours for a price tag of just £727 per night.
Outdoor Amenities and Fitness Area
The huge outdoor chill area is a complex of places to relax, unwind and feel beautiful – a clear reflection of Nosaras’ essence, well-being and zen, infusing its way into the resort. A long roof terrace surrounds the entrance and poolside area which has been custom built from stone and wood to house two massive dining tables, a big stone bed with super-sized mattress, an outdoor jacuzzi bath with drinks bar, an outdoor shower, loud Bluetooth speakers, an outdoor stone barbeque and hammocks everywhere. This heavenly area of the villa is accessed from the tall sliding doors of the kitchen which reveal many places to lay down, laze around and bathe in the sun, facing the glorious view of the jungle, valley and down the mountain towards the Pacific Ocean. The swimming pool (which can be lit up at night) has a shallow area with inbuilt bubble beds and this steps down into a 30-meter infinity pool area, reflecting a mirage view of the skyline as you take in the sounds of nature. The best shower in the world by the side of this pool was dubbed ‘the naked shower’ because it faces directly out to your own exclusive paradise. Once you put your clothes back on, stroll around the corner and the butterflies will mystically follow you. Skip along the pathway kissing the beautiful plants, cacti and humming birds which live there and arrive to some stairs – they lead to an outdoor gym and mirrored yoga studio, cooled by ceiling fans, of course. The studio is cleverly positioned so that you can see the reflection of the landscape as you work out. You’ll find a barbell, a bench press, yoga mats and a range of free weights. In the upper Villa, you can find a basketball court, travel down the hill to the lower part of the resort, there is a soccer field and a tennis court.
Food at Finca Austria
In Casa Colibri, the ‘guests’ kitchen’ is equipped with a blender or two, a coffee machine, an oven, a large sink and everything else you would need to cook for a family, but there’s more. Out the back, there is the staff’s kitchen, it is fully equipped for an industrial level of cooking. If you desire, Finca Austria comes with its own private chef and you should contact Markus Weigl or Christoph Felber about the meals their chef, Tony can prepare for you on your stay. If your keen chefs like we are, then you can cook to your hearts content using local food you can find in the markets in Nosara. If your girlfriend depends on a morning coffee for her survival, they have a full scale expresso coffee machine with milk frother. Anything else you can think of to cook with from cake tins to orange juicers, they’ve got it covered. I managed to make American pancakes every morning, bake a carrot cake which lasted all week, cook deep pan American style pizzas for dinner and then had them cold for lunch, roast vegetables with slow cooked pulled pork, fish dishes and even barbequed meat outside. One of the most accommodating things about staying in Casa Colibri was the food options it presents along with the facilities you need to cook anything you want.
How can such a magnificent jungle be the back drop for this architectural masterpiece? Well, Markus Weigl (owner) says, “It was built with very little technical equipment – and lots of material stemming directly from the Finca and its surroundings. The houses are really handmade”.
One day back in the year 2000, Michael Van Muysen presented Markus and his wife Barbara with the idea to be one of four couples that could all together buy a piece of land in Costa Rica, Nosara. After two couples decided not to continue with the project, Diana, Michael, Markus and Barbara continued, starting with the construction of two houses up the hill in 2006. The two houses have been designed, planned and built by Michael and his wife – up to 50 locals worked for Finca to finalise the estate in 2012. Many of the workers joined a soccer team named “Finca Austria FC” which Michael and Markus were the majority owners of, which later won the amateur championship of Costa Rica in 2012. They built a soccer pitch, a tennis court and a saloon on the side of the sport facilities with a dike that protects the lower part of the property from flooding during the rainy season. In the coming weeks, Markus will start to build a condominium project in Samara (25 km south of Nosara) http://www.360.cr/samara/
For a chance to explore and zipline through the clouds of a jungle, learn cool facts about Costa Rican wildlife and then handle some of the beautiful creatures up-close, head down to the best adventure park in Costa Rica, Selvatura Park. Located in Guanacaste Province, Monteverde, not only does Selvatura offer guided tours and night tours through the jungle, it offers superman canopy tours and traditional ziplining through the clouds of the jungle. After the main activities, you can take a mesmerising walk around the entire circuit of the jungle, on Selvaturas’ hanging bridges. We know that this park takes proper safety precautions with all of their extreme activities as they did not allow us to zipline whilst lightning took place.
I just need to make a personal announcement – we were totally impressed by the level of cleanliness of Selvatura park, the toilets where immaculate and the restaurant was also in top condition. Despite arriving 3 hours late, the level of professional customer service we received at reception was incredible from the moment we arrived, to the moment we left.
Firstly, we were briefed that we would still make all of the activities we had booked and then, we were shown to the parks restaurant to be fed a delicious fresh salad, a homemade pumpkin soup, pork chops with gravy and roasted root vegetables. For desert, a selection of delightful homemade cakes – the banana bread was delicious. We were so impressed at the high end quality of food and cocktails available at Selvatura Park and the politeness of the waiters, all in such a remote location. After our walk in the jungle, we checked in with our coolest tour guide, Juan Manuel Santamaria who took us through the butterfly enclosure and then to see the insects – which grossed us out! When you come to Selvatura Park, don’t be bored off by the hummingbird enclosure, they are a real spectacle to see and the birds actually land on your fingers!
Selvautra Park is the closest place you can go before being inside one of the original Jurassic park movies – just without the dinosaurs!
October in Costa Rica is known to be the rainiest month of the year without fail. Unless you are down to get lucky with the weather, I wouldn’t be as crazy as us when we decided to travel to Costa Rica during its lowest season. But actually, we got a full 6 days of blazing sunshine and settled with just two odd tropical showers on our trip to our fairy-tale abode, Finca Austria – the most beautiful place in the world. Markus Weigl, owner of the Finca Austria Resort sent us a WhatsApp message during our trip, ‘You are really super lucky with the weather… must be some sort of witchcraft – super lucky!’.
Visiting Nosara at this time may have been a risk, but we actually got the isolation we needed from work and a chance to recalibrate. I came back to the UK with a fresh perspective on my business. We got to see Nosara for what it truly is because we were some of the only people visiting. In October, all of the charming restaurants, bars, hotels and businesses are primarily closed because it’s river, ‘Boca Nosara’ can rise up to three meters above river level following tropical rains, resulting in extreme floods. Nosaras’ welcoming, kind hearted nature caught us by surprise. To be honest, the people of Nosara seem remarkably happier than your average Londoner. When a family of four or five can live in a tiny house perched on mud and still have more of a positive outlook on life than you do, some strong questions are posed – especially when you consider these people had to evacuate their homes just days before we arrived after rains. We never came across a single Costa Rican who was un willing to help, give a direction or crack a smile. We admired the true Costa Rican spirit and love from the natives in this remote village because they showed us, love is all they need.
Nosara is far from being a ‘developed’ place at all, and this is exactly why the ‘little paradise’ is so special. Everything you come across is totally untouched and in its natural state. Every road is made from mud and every beach has been left just the way it is. If you love the sands then you will love Nosara for its five natural, untouched beaches, Playa Ostional, Playa Nosara, Playa Garza, Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones which are all around 30 minuets drive from the Finca Austria resort. Our favourite beach of all was Playa San Juanillo, which is the kind of beach you would buy if you could afford it. One huge benefit of visiting Nosara in October is the opportunity to see hundreds of nesting sea turtles on Playa Ostional, a rare sighting which can occur anywhere between 9pm and 5am throughout July and December. Olive Ridley, Leatherback and the Pacific Green sea turtles come ashore in huge numbers every year to nest and lay their eggs on Playa Ostional. Nosara is known for its exceptional Yoga centres, its surfing, fresh food and general healthy well-being. Authenticity is found everywhere in Nosara – in its milky skylines, vast green jungle and airbrushed beaches. It’s a place to reset your mind and think about the nature that you are part of.
Getting to Finca Austria
When you come to Finca Austria you will land in San José International Airport (SJO), you can drive west like we did, or in the high season, take an in-land flight which lands directly in Guanacaste Province, Nosara. By car and without geo coordinates, you may have trouble finding this pot of gold over the rainbow, so be sure to speak to Markus before traveling and they will advise the best way to get into the resort when you come to stay.
We want to say a huge thank you to Fincas’ estate manager and host, Christoph Felber, who accommodated every single one of our needs throughout our stay, the fantastic owners Markus and Barbara who are the kindest and all of the super friendly staff. Our trip simply wouldn’t have been possible without Christoph, he made everything so special for us on our anniversary. We hope anyone reading this article has the pleasure of meeting him and his adorable dog, Rusty when you come to Finca Austria.
It was spellbinding.
If it’s not the everyday panorama of clouds in the nearby valley, the fairy-tale mirage bouncing on the surface of the Pacific Ocean or ‘the naked shower’, then it’s the truly unspoiled jungle surrounding you that makes you want to scream that opening line from The Circle of Life…
NANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA!!!
Article written by: Lewis Andrews.
Contact Markus and Barbara Weigl to book your stay.