My wife woke up Saturday morning and said to me, “I would like for you to give us your attention today. All of it.”
I knew this was one of those moments. I could say no and end up putzing around online all day between projects, or I could say yes and embrace the opportunity to be with my family, unplugged.
Perhaps, I thought, we could explore that new restaurant down in Avellanas that just reopened for high season. Two birds?
This is how we ended up heading south to our old stomping grounds and dropping in on Soul Shine, a beautiful small hotel and restaurant in the jungle by the beach. Having followed this place on the gram for a while, I knew it was purchased last year by a young couple with two small kids who relocated from Israel.
For those folks who started up businesses right before the pandemic struck, life has been challenging, especially in a place where tourism drives the almighty dollar.
It’s really impressive and a testament to their dedication that Soul Shine is still shining, and creating a magical space full of love and goodness. Their passion for food and hospitality is on full display.
Traveling south from Tamarindo, follow the main road and branch off to the right toward Avellanas and Pinilla. When you see Hacienda Pinilla, head left to the dirt path over the bridge. Follow for about 15 minutes, depending on the state of the road, and Soul Shine will be on your left, before Lola’s.
Plenty of room to park right by the restaurant.
We sat down at a long table and ordered basically everything on the brunch menu including fresh squeezed orange juice and Cass, mint and ginger. Be prepared for loads of foods and flavors.
While we waited for food, which wasn’t very long, we walked through the tropical gardens and checked out the stylish cabinas, each with their own veranda and outdoor shower. There is also a central, open air, covered kitchen in which guests can cook their own meals.
The boys discovered a TRAMPOLINE in the garden, right by the pool, perfect for a pre-meal jumping adventure. (and post-meal)
Back at the table, we tried the rise and shine, the shakshooka, and a beautifully prepared goat cheese breakfast pastry. What they don’t tell you is they will fill the table with salads, dips, spreads, condiments and flavors galore. The eggplant dish is a secret family recipe. You will be delighted when they refill it for you - it’s amazing!
Honestly, the green salad and Iraqi curry sauce were probably my favorite things. My kids loved the fresh organic eggs and homemade challah. After feasting on such wonderful flavors, the boys and I hopped into the pool and enjoyed the sunshine. The pool loungers are PVWK approved.
It is such a peaceful environment and a great spot for families. It sounds like they are on their way to a well booked busy season, but do check them out if you’re heading this way and looking for an amazing spot, delicious organic food, space for kids, and proximity to waves.
And, here’s a little hint - they are small enough that your extended family could book them out. It could be your own private paradise for a bit, everyone with their own cabina.
If you live nearby, stop by Soul Shine for a yummy meal in a beautiful location. If you happen to be visiting the area, their brunch should be on your to do list, and if you’re planning a trip, check their availability.
Check the video below for footage of the gardens and cabinas. We will be back!