We didn’t know it was a gay hotel until we arrived, and even then it took us a couple of days until we knew for sure.

My friend Phoebe and I hadn’t seen each other for about 6 months. I was living in Colombia at the time and she had just travelled to Mexico for a holiday. We decided to meet in the middle and have a bit of a vacation together, along with another girlfriend Claire who accidentally flew to San Jose, California (Oops!).

Prior to the trip, we all talked via Skype and email, and tried to figure out our Costa Rica itinerary. Where we should stay? What we should do? Where we should start?

We were flying into the capital, San Jose, mid-week so we decided to find somewhere there and stay for a couple of nights before making our way to the beaches and rainforests that Costa Rica is known for.

We found a beautiful spot, out of the busy city center, and what was supposed to be an overnight visit quickly turned into a 4-night we-never-want-to leave-this-place kind of stay. We quickly felt at home with our new friends at Casa 69. Sure, maybe the name should have been a clue that the hotel was for gay couples looking for a private getaway, and hey, there are even notes on the website saying the place is gay-friendly. But we had no idea, and we couldn’t have cared less anyway.


We met some of the warmest, funniest, loveliest people at Casa 69. We sat in the lounge room and watched Mexican soap operas with the guys that worked there, we chatted about our love lives and were on the receiving end of some true pearls of wisdom, and when it was time to pack up our suitcases and leave Casa 69 for good, there were tears shed and promises made to return.

We spent our last night watching fireworks from the rooftop, hugging, taking selfies and vowing to come back again, someday.

If you’re ever in San Jose, Costa Rica, and want to meet some of the loveliest people in the country, head to Casa 69. Don’t forget to tell them I said hi.