Pura Vida! Private Villa Living in Costa Rica
This article originally published in Great Golf Magazine
For most travelers, food is an integral part of a trip. The culinary traditions of a place provide insight into the people who live there, and when we break bread together, our differences seem to melt away.
Whether a place is known for its food like France, or is an undiscovered gem like Costa Rica, each destination brings something to the table. During a recent stay at the private Villa Manzu, I had the opportunity to delve into Costa Rican cuisine in a way staying at a luxury hotel simply wouldn’t provide.
Villa Manzu is a spectacular 2,787 square-meter residence perched on five acres of rocky cliff affording 180 degree views of the Gulf of Papagayo on Costa Rica’s Northern tip. The house is the definition of luxury but the vibe is the definition of unpretentious. Within a day of being on property, the house already felt like home and the banter with the chefs, butlers David and Luis, and general manager Jenifer flowed as if we were old friends.
Having recently been hit with a food allergy, the minute I took a bite of pastry chef Sabrina’s gluten-free brownie, I beelined for the kitchen to hit her up for the recipe. Not only was it the best gluten-free treat I’ve ever tasted, it was the best brownie period. I wasn’t surprised to learn that prior coming to the Villa she worked at the nearby Four Seasons resort.
Executive Chef Mariano Fernandez also recently left the hotel world for Villa Manzu. The 31-year old Argentine came from the El Mangroove hotel in Costa Rica, following a stint at a Michelin recommended vegetarian restaurant in London. His culinary influences also come from working in Argentina and Mallorca.
“Spain influenced me a lot. My father was Spanish and you can see a lot of Mediterranean going on in my kitchen, along with some strong French bases” he said.
Read the rest of the article from Great Golf Magazine here.