Well life continues to inspire me and when you wake up in the morning you have no idea where you will end up that night. This is what I buzz off. However before I had even got my bus to San Jose, I sent a quick fire e-mail to a place that intrigued me – the Hemingway Inn in San Jose, Costa Rica. Having looked at a few of the hostel and hotel options in San Jose, the name struck out. How amazing would it be to stay in the Hemingway Inn? And what was the Hemingway link? I took my nomadic backpack and wanderlusting soul to the Costa Rican capital city to check into this place.
Arrival at the Hemingway Inn
After a long border bus from Nicaragua and a quick fire taxi from the bus station, I arrived before 8pm at the Hemingway Inn. As a budget traveller and one who likes to recommend budget options, the Hemingway Inn is normally above my budget. But I was just too intrigued by the name, no budget would matter for a night. And so I arrived.
On arrival, a gentleman on the stairs interrupts me as I ask for a single room. Life is about to get inspiring once again. For this man is Deacon Blake. Deacon Blake runs the Hemingway Inn. Deacon Blake is an author, a world traveller, a man of more wisdom than your recent teeth and a cool guy to chat to. Suddenly I was inspired. First up, I get my keys and I’m shown to my room. I’m opposite Hemingway…he’s in Room 4.
I’m in Room 8. Henry Miller’s room. Yes him that was once mentioned in the Manic Street Preachers song Faster, the song that received more complaints than any other in Top of the Pops history in the UK…it’s a cosy room and is $50 US a night including breakfast.
As I start my serious quest to visit 100 countries, (please VOTE for my 99th country to send me to) this was just an incredibly inspiring place for the night. I loved it. And with the Hemingway link, I advise all travel writers, poets and Hemingway fans to stay here. Here are 10 reasons why you should stay here.
1. Ernest Hemingway stayed here
It’s true. There’s no bulldog or beating around the George Bush. Hemingway stayed here, wrote here and possibly, found love here. Mr. Ernest Hemingway was here. That’s why they can use the name, that’s why it’s a famous guesthouse and that’s why I felt suitably inspired. This is my number one reason I stayed here.
2. Deacon Blake runs it
The owner is author Deacon Blake who has released the book Mercenary Justice. Deacon is a well travelled man. We had many chats during my stay and his company provided endless stories, humour, inspiration and off the wall stuff.
3. The Hemingway Bar
OK so it’s not officially called that, but the bar in the back was the place where I celebrated having had a local beer in EVERY country on mainland America. Could not have predicted a better place to celebrate it, and this wasn’t even planned – it’s just the way life happened!
Let’s name check the countries – Guyana, French Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, USA, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay…and finally my beer in Costa Rica to celebrate 23/23.
4. The Hemingway Breakfast
Again, maybe not what he ordered or cooked but you can be sure he had some food here. I went for the pancakes and a strong Costa Rican coffee.
5. The Hemingway Wall and Cabinet
In the lounge on the right from the reception, there is a wall of photos and memories from Ernest Hemingway’s life – whether from his time here in Costa Rica or his time travelling and writing all over the world.
7. Hot Showers
I had been in Nicaragua just before crossing into Costa Rica and obviously something had now changed – hot showers!! Of course my hostels in Nicaragua were cool and all, but cold water just doesn’t kill as many germs. Before I headed down to the bar to celebrate and chat to Deacon Blake, I had a long cosy hot shower for the first time in a week! Pure bliss!
8. Comfortable Rooms
The Hemingway Inn lives up to its name accommodation wise too. This room was great – I got an excellent night’s sleep, the bed was great and I had a reading light of course!
9. Excellent Location
The Hemingway Inn is situated in Barrio Amon, which is the oldest district in San Jose. The location is perfect for walking all round San Jose. Basically all the main sights I wanted to see (except the football stadium on the outskirts) were within walking distance!! The Cathedral, museums, markets, theatre etc.
Pure inspiration was found here. I have been planning to release a book for a long time now, and yes it will be a while longer. But it wasn’t only from meeting Deacon Blake that I got inspired, I also met travel writer Michael Miller who is an expert on San Jose and is releasing a book on the best things to see and do in the city.
Michael and I had our laptop working time in the lounge as well as chats about travel and releasing a book. Michael and I toured the city together, he showed me around, and we bounced ideas off each other. It was all inspiring.
So in short, if you’re a Hemingway fan or you have something special to celebrate or want to stay somewhere with a bit of charm and escape your backpacking budget for a night of inspiration – this is the place. I’m forever thankful for the fact they had a spare room for me and I had the pleasure of staying in the Hemingway Inn on my journeys. I recommend this place!!
Here are my videos from my time staying in the Hemingway Inn. It was all too magical: