Home to numerous national parks, this country’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty will take your breath away. Here you can spot a wide variety of exotic wildlife, like monkeys, sloths and jaguars; join a zipline tour to soar through the rainforest canopy and get a bird’s eye view; or wander through a cloud forest, such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and San Gerardo de Dota. Go surfing at Tamarindo, Jaco and Playa Grande, or relax on the popular beaches of Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa and Playa Flamingo. The land’s heritage and culture can be experienced at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and the National Museum of Costa Rica.
EL Mangroove, Autograph Collection
Set on Playa Panama, overlooking Papagayo Bay in Guanacaste, El Mangroove offers a secluded location surrounded by nature, yet is just a 20-minute transfer from an international airport. Hip and bohemian, the resort is jungle-chic, with thatched roofs, in-room hammocks, private cabanas with wooden shutters and a seaside pool that’s a contemporary designer lagoon. Take yoga classes, borrow a bicycle or a paddleboard courtesy of the concierge, or hop on one of El Mangroove’s own boats to explore the coastline. There are two restaurants; the more relaxed Matis and Makono for formal dining.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Housed in a gated community perched between two beaches (one calm for sun-worshippers and bathers, the other conducive to watersports), the Four Seasons enjoys an exclusive address. Indigenous and eco-friendly materials have been used to build the resort, bringing a jungle luxe to the property. There’s much to do onsite from dance lessons to wildlife tours and day-long activities for those of all ages. Play on the Arnold Palmer championship golf course, or on the five clay and grass tennis courts, dine at the Four Seasons’ five restaurants and book treatments in the 18-room spa.
W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal
Hidden above the mangroves of Guanacaste on a nature reserve and beside powder-soft white sands, W’s property in Costa Rica certainly has that castaway vibe. Except that it’s also uber-trendy, with a bold modern design inspired by the local Tico culture. From the brightly coloured mosaic-lined bar, to the spa — created to feel like a butterfly metamorphosis, everything about this hotel. Its Latitud 10° Norte restaurant offers Costa Rican-Thai fusion food, the Cocina de Mercado’s is an open-market concept with show kitchens and then there’s the Zona Azul Beach Club for those wanting to kick back to some cool beats. Book one of W’s 150 bedrooms with a view of the Pacific Ocean and hand-painted decor.
Makanda by The Sea
This adults-only boutique hotel is located in the town of Manuel Antonio, 100 metres above sea-level and among 12-acres of wildlife sanctuary in the tropical rainforest. Each of its serene and secluded villas has been uniquely designed, offering features like private jacuzzis and outdoor showers. Amenities include an outdoor infinity pool, a gourmet restaurant, a bar, a spa, a yoga deck and a restaurant serving contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and seafood. Makanda by The Sea is close to Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica, where you can spot monkeys, sloths and tropical birds.
El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Stay in a rustic-chic eco-lodge with a cosy fireplace, an outdoor shower and direct views of the forest from your own private deck. The resort is set in Bajos del Toro, in the cloud forest of the Central Highlands and makes use of local materials such as wood, bamboo and river stones. Indigenous ingredients and traditional techniques also feature strongly in the full-service spa and in the restaurant, Las Ventanas, where farm-to-table Costa Rican cuisine is made with fresh, organic ingredients sourced from the lodge’s own farm and the surrounding community. El Silencio Lodge & Spa is committed to sustainable tourism practices; using renewable energy, composting and supporting local conservation and community development projects.
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Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
The Nicoya Peninsula is home to the Punta Islita beach resort. Choose from 57 guest rooms, suites and villas, some with private plunge pools and outdoor showers. The hotel caters separately for adult-only and family groups, with an outdoor infinity pool reserved for guests 16 years of age and older, as well as a seafront kid-friendly pool. Further amenities include a full-service spa, a fitness centre, a golf course and access to various outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and horseback riding. Dining options include the elegant 1492 restaurant, for international cuisine with a Costa Rican twist, and the Beach Club for fresh seafood and grills.
Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo – a Concept by Hyatt
153 guest rooms at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo are designed to blend in with the natural surroundings of the peninsula, with views of either the ocean or the forest. Like many hotels in the area, it places a focus on conservation and environmentally-minded practices. Water sports, hiking and golf are available and guests can take part in cultural experiences, such as traditional cooking classes and local market visits. The Andaz Costa Rica has two restaurants, a lounge, a poolside bar, a full-service spa, a fitness centre, and three outdoor swimming pools, including one exclusively for adult guests.
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
Live the hacienda lifestyle at the W Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa. Ideally located close to Tamarindo town, beside Mansita beach and within easy reach of four other beaches at Hacienda Pinilla, it provides ample opportunities to go surfing, visit turtle nesting sanctuaries and observe the area’s rich biodiversity. But you don’t need to leave the confines of the resort for an active holiday; the resort has its own equestrian centre, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course. All of the guest rooms have balconies either with garden, pool or ocean views, as well as soundproof windows, total blackout curtains, plush pillow-top mattresses and marble bathtubs.