Here are some general notes we took about costa rica:
very clean hotels/restaurants/etc. even though most are open-air (esp. the bars and restaurants – even the bar in Puerto Viejo which had a sand floor was extremely clean).
paper napkins and toilet paper are thin. at the hotel la pradera that we stayed at in La Fortuna there was actually a toilet paper dispenser which released one sheet of paper at a time. pretty nifty and novel for us.
paper towels generally aren’t used in bathrooms etc. with towels being used and cleaned and reused again. the object in these measures being sustainability of the environment.
silverware in restaurants often comes in a small clean plastic bag though packaged plastic silverware is rarely offered.
restaurants and hotels can appear closed because of how dark they are but they are indeed open for business, only the lights aren’t being used unless its absolutely necessary again in the interest of sustainability but as this creates a more cozy and relaxed ambience patrons don’t mind. Some shop owners will turn on the lights and a/c when you walk in the door. I noticed this was a common practice in Mexico as well.
air conditioning is also optional, although much more necessary in regions with warmer climates, such as the carribean coast, than in more northern regions, such as monteverde.
Costa Ricans take pride in their establishments and their service so it’s been easy to come to expect the best here.