A DOGS FAVORITE: Pandora is the Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant in Alajuela


Hotel Villa San Ignacio welcomes dogs.  Our latest amenity for our pet-guests is a menu specifically for dogs.  The three-item menu is designed for traveling dogs’ needs with easy to digest, tasty items portioned for a 10 kg dog.  Both the hotel and restaurant are pet friendly and follow protocols and guidelines for patrons dining with dogs.

Pandora’s staff engaged Rita to taste-test the new menu.  Young, active, and weighing 20+ kilos, she happily tried all three items priced and portioned for smaller dogs.   To determine the correct portion based on a dog’s weight, we compared calculations.  Our research compared the two most useful equations:   70(10kg)3/4 ≈ 400 Calories/day; and, in simpler math, multiply 35 to 40 calories per kilo per day.   A dog’s meal at Pandora is assumed to be the second seating of the day.  If 10kg dog requires around 400 to 470 kilocalories a day, each menu item is portioned at approximately half the daily required calories.

Check out the menu here!

Meet Rita, Hotel Villa San Ignacio's resident dog and dog cuisine taste tester
Meet Rita, Hotel Villa San Ignacio’s resident dog and dog cuisine taste tester


Arroz con pollo is a popular dish in Costa Rica.   Sometimes referred to as “arroz siempre”, this dish can be consumed at soda’s, most restaurants, and many celebrations.  Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. Maybe this is the first time flying in a plane, or this is your dog’s first time to Hotel Villa San Ignacio.  Either way, the excitement may cause some digestive turbulence.  Our comforting canine Arroz con pollo includes four indigents:  rice, boiled chicken, carrots and celery.  Our recipe does not contain onions, garlic, or spices. Arroz con pollo has 250 Kcal per serving.

Pandora's arroz con pollo for your dog
Pandora’s arroz con pollo for your dog


Our Pumpkin Meatballs are Rita’s favorite!  Chef’s Yerar and Andres created a recipe with ground beef, mashed pumpkin, shredded carrot & parsley.  Crafted with lean beef, the 40oz meatballs have about 65 calories each.  The pumpkin meatballs are high in Vitamins A & B, iron & zinc.  Our serving portion at Pandora includes 3 meatballs, at approximately 200 calories.

Rita's favorites - Pumpking Meatballs
Rita’s favorites – Pumpking Meatballs


The digestive bowl is prepared with three easy to digest ingredients:  Rice, pumpkin & one poached egg.  An egg offers a great source of nutrition for dogs – high in protein, fatty acids that help support inner health and healthy skin and fur as well as vitamins and disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. Pandora’s digestive bowl has approximately 290 calories

Tasty and soothing digestive bowl
Tasty and soothing digestive bowl


Dining out with your dog is much easier now.  Many public spaces welcome dogs.  However, we do have to follow laws that the Ministry of Health in Costa Rica have published that address dogs in restaurants.  Regulation of Food Services to the Public Decree No. 37308-S, in its article 61 prohibits the entry of domestic animals (dogs, cats or others) inside restaurants.  This law does allow the entry of guide dogs.  We comply with this law and seat our patrons with pets on the terrace and in the garden when the terrace is full.  We strongly suggest that you make a reservation for both you and your dog and avoid a rainy afternoon/ evening when we may have to seat you in our covered bus stop!  We offer an enjoyable experience to all patrons and comply with the ministry of health requirements.

Dining out with your dog
Dining out with your dog

In preparation to dine out with your dog, socialize your dog.  This allows you to evaluate how well your pup reacts to strangers, loud noises, other animals, and other situations before you bring them to a restaurant. If your pup does not react well to these situations, it is best to leave them at home.

Take the time to train good table manners.  Make sure your pet responds to your command to be calm and sit or lie near your chair and not on the chair or your lap.  Be courteous to other patrons!  Do not allow your pet to wander and disturb other guests.  Your pet needs to be always on a leash. These simple rules allow us to continue to invite dogs to enjoy Hotel Villa San Ignacio.