The tiny country of Costa Rica has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. This little slice of paradise offers pristine jungles bursting with wildlife, adventure activities galore, toasty winter sun and of course plenty of tropical beaches. Children and adults alike will love the white-tipped waves which are perfect for surf lessons, the long stretches of golden sand and watching the sunset into the ocean after an action packed day. The country is filled with excellent accommodation options, including some stunning properties by the sea. Here, we have listed the 5 of the best luxury beach hotels on offer.
1. Punta Islita
A unique mix of Spanish colonial design and indigenous Costa Rican touches make this luxury hotel a charming place to stay. This beach paradise offers guests the option to stay in a comfortable room, or upgrade to an exclusive private villa surrounded by lush forest. Whichever option you choose, all accommodation options feature works by local artists and complimentary WiFi, and villas have the added extras of a plunge pool plus exceptional privacy.
Away from the rooms, the area surrounding the property allows guests to enjoy including horseback riding, hiking, yoga, golf, wildlife spotting including turtles and monkeys, zip-lining, art and cookery classes. There is an extensive wildlife conservation project nearby which the hotel fully supports by practicing sustainability and involving the local communities.
2. El Mangroove
Sipping a cocktail whilst watching the sunset and listening to a DJ spin out come chilled tunes is what this resort is all about. Celebrities flock to this exclusive resort, and with it’s minimalist design and eco-friendly credentials, it’s easy to see why. Verging on the edge of being a contemporary landmark, this hotel has some impressive amenities including glamourous poolside cabanas, all right next to the Pacific Ocean.
Nestled within the jungle, the hotel has been blended perfectly with the natural surroundings and this laid-back luxury style has been continued into the rooms. Each features plush, cloud-like beds plus air conditioning, 42” flat screen TV’s, a walk in closet, iPod docking station and WiFi to name a few. This is without a doubt, THE place to be seen in Costa Rica.
3. Arenas del Mar
Situated within walking distance of the spectacular Manuel Antonio National Park, this ultra-luxurious hotel boasts an idyllic location. This hotel goes a step further, as not only is it classed as a 5-star property, but it also has 5 stars for sustainability and is completely carbon neutral. Each of the 38 rooms offer WiFi, a coffee machine, complimentary mini-bar along with locally produced toiletries all surrounded by serene beach-themed decoration and views of the jungle. Balconies and Jacuzzis are optional upgrades, and a full range of Spa treatments can be enjoyed for those wishing to truly immerse themselves in luxury.
The respectful nature of the hotel spills over into its onsite restaurant which prides itself in using organic, locally sourced goods including fresh fish, fruits and vegetables – often served with a glass of biodynamic wine. Further afield, this area has plenty of activities for guests including stunning beaches, nature walks and cooking classes.
4. Casa Chameleon
Looking for your dream honeymoon hotel? The adults only resort of Casa Chameleon, surrounded by exuberant tropical beauty, should definitely be on your radar. Enjoying outstanding views over the pristine beaches of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais, the views alone are 5-star. Celebrities and the elite have long used this property as a secret escape, and it remains to this day a very well-kept secret. A stay here will turn a romantic holiday into an unforgettably intimate experience, offering complete seclusion and relaxation.
Just 6 private villas are spaced throughout the grounds, and all feature WiFi, a spacious balcony, air conditioning, king size beds draped with fine linens, plunge pool, rain showers, hammocks, organic toiletries, minibar, natural furniture and an iPod docking station. Casa Chameleon will charm all of your senses and give you the once in a lifetime experience you are seeking.
5. Four Seasons Papagayo
Having recently undergone a jaw-dropping $35m renovation, it goes without saying that this hotel is one of the leading luxury properties in Costa Rica. Located on a small strip of land surrounded by not one, but two beaches, plus blue ocean and dense jungle, the location could not be better. For those seeking to truly escape and relax on holiday, there are few places which can step up to the task as well as the Four Seasons can. A full spa promises to take guests on a journey to ‘Pura Vida’ through use of its natural and locally sourced treatments.
Activities to suit everyone are on offer, including horse riding, surfing, zip lining, wildlife watching, golf and hiking. And at the end of a busy day there are 5 culinary venues to be enjoyed which serve simple dishes and fresh fish or fusion dining and steaks. This hotel truly is a once in a lifetime experience for those seeking the extraordinary.
Simon Williams is Director of Bespoke Latin America. Bespoke Latin America is a luxury travel company specialising in tailor made holidays to Latin America.