Wouldn’t it be nice to dine in a restaurant that only served freshly-made meals made with locally-sourced ingredients, vegetables picked that same day, sauces that didn’t come from a jar or can, bread hot out of the oven, juices that only a moment ago were whole fruit, and desserts loving crafted by an on-site pastry chef?
In fact, you can. This is what is cooking at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The renowned Costa Rica eco-adventure hotel at the base of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano recently renovated its restaurant and kitchen to be bigger, better and fresher!
Known in the USA as “Farm-to-table” style, this is the real deal at Hacienda Guachipelin, using ingredients found in Costa Rica and always freshly made.
How fresh is fresh? A large portion of Hacienda Guachipelin’s fruit, vegetables, spices, eggs, milk and cheese are harvested daily from the working horse and cattle ranch’s 3,400-acre farm.
Eggs come from 300 free-range chickens in a huge henhouse. Milk arrives in the kitchen at 6:30 every morning, hot and steaming from just-milked cows at the cow barn. Kitchen staff makes its own farmer’s cheese, served at breakfast. The restaurant also keeps almond milk and soy milk for persons with lactose allergies.
In a large area of fields and livestock enclosures, long rows of tomatoes, bell peppers and celery grow organically in the sunshine. Lettuce, basil, cilantro, jalapeno chilies and cucumbers fill an organic hydroponic greenhouse near the kitchen and restaurant. Out in the aromatic spice garden in front of the greenhouse you can find dill, parsley, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, turmeric, ginger, and two kinds of oregano.
Natural juices and marmalade jams are made fresh at the hotel from oranges, lemons, guanabana fruit, cas, guayaba, passion fruit, watermelon, papaya and pineapple that is either grown on the property or bought from small regional farmers. There are no processed sauces from jars or cans, no MSG, nor any boxed juices or pre-prepared foods.
Breads and desserts are made on site by Hacienda Guachipelin’s pastry chef, and all baked in wood-burning ovens (the wood comes from the farm). The restaurant even has many gluten-free bread options for people with gluten allergies, including gluten-free pizzas. At breakfast, corn tortillas are handmade in the traditional Costa Rican style.
Hacienda Guachipelin has its own bees and is producing honey. Drinking water at the hotel is natural spring water produced on the property. Coffee served in the restaurant comes from a small farm in Naranjo, Costa Rica that is owned by a friend of Hacienda Guachipelin owner, Jose Tomas Batalla. Tilapia fish comes from a local farm in the nearby town of Canas.
“We don’t cut corners. We make as much as we can homemade,” commented hotel owner, Jose Tomas Batalla. “We want to run our hotel with mindfulness.”
Hacienda Guachipelin focuses especially on using typical Costa Rican fruits, vegetables, breads and meals. “We want to give people an authentic experience of being in Guanacaste and Costa Rica,” said Batalla. “We are rescuing the culinary traditions of Costa Rica and Guanacaste.”
The Hacienda Guachipelin restaurant has been expanded to seat 250 persons, with a dedicated area for groups, hotel guests and day tour visitors. When the hotel is busy, meals are served buffet style; however, there is always an a la carte menu available.
Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin
You can dine at the best restaurant in Rincon de la Vieja when you visit award-winning eco-hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. Recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2015, Hacienda Guachipelin offers some of the best adventure tours in Guanacaste, Costa Rica and nature tours at Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
Hacienda Guachipelin’s Adventure Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Not only hotel guests get to enjoy Hacienda Guachipelin’s popular Costa Rica adventure tours; many day visitors staying in other Guanacaste locations come too.
Article by Shannon Farley