Voux Travel reveals its 4 Best Costa Rica Hotels & Resorts to enjoy this definitive tropical paradise that’s bursting with wildlife, adventure and luxury.
1. El Alma Soul Retreat, Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Wake to the melody of exotic bird-song. Stroll onto the floating deck, hovering magically over the gardens. Sip fresh local coffee or juices while gazing across the Pacific. Then while away your days at El Alma Soul Retreat around the pool, on secluded beaches or with a round golf next door. Whether it’s a soul, yoga or tango retreat – or you come for the incredible setting alone – this hilltop hideaway is ideal for recharging batteries.
El alma is Spanish for ‘the soul’ – and this luxury villa is all about re-connecting with yours by de-connecting from the world. There is WiFi, but you won’t find a television. Instead, you’re invited to discover pura vida through massages, walks, or simply absorbing the tropical views. Inside this is a serene, designer escape. Expect open spaces, a soothing palette of neutral earth tones and bespoke artisan furniture such as Balinese wood screens.
• A luxurious escape from the modern world, offering yoga and meditation
• Tree-level infinity pool, ‘floating decks’ and Pacific Ocean views
• Tropical garden for soothing nature walks
El Alma puts you on a hillside on the Península Papagayo, arguably Costa Rica’s pride and joy. Most of it is untamed national parkland, bursting with wildlife. From the air, the contrast between emerald rainforest canopies and sapphire seas is a hint at the paradise beneath. Think picturesque bays, quiet beaches, manicured fairways and scuba diving with rays and turtles.
2. Rancho Pacific – Uvita De Osa, Costa Rica
An adult-only, exclusive hideaway in one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular settings, Rancho Pacifico has just five suites and five villas in natural gardens that are surrounded by 250 acres of pristine rainforest. With a capacity to accommodate just 20 guests, a spa, complete with gardens, two infinity-edge Jacuzzis, pools and inventive cuisine, this is a very special place in which to reconnect, rejuvenate and relax.
Overlooking the fabled Whale’s Tail and a jungle canopy covered mountainside, the accommodation is in six ocean-view villas and suites, two spa suites and two tree-house villas, all with private garden areas and decks. Each one has contemporary furnishings, original works of art and unmatched ocean and jungle views.
• Award-winning architecture, private gardens and sweeping sea views
• Telescopes in the clubhouse for whale watching
• A range of spa treatments, infinity-edge Jacuzzi and spring-fed soaking tubs
Take the private Bosque Puro Trail 1000-feet up to the top of the coastal mountains into the cloud forest. Or, go on a boat excursion to a remote part of the Osa Peninsula via the Sierpe River. Sightings of monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, tree frogs, toucans and parakeets are commonplace. You can even whale-watch with the telescopes in the Clubhouse.
3. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens – Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Imagine waking each morning to the sight of the Arenal Volcano. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens puts you right at its base, circled by exotic rainforest. With striking eco-luxury casitas right in the heart of the jungle, it’s little wonder Nayara is known as one of ‘the most romantic hotels in the world’.
Nothing is too much trouble here. In fact, a stay at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens is about pure pampering. Natural beauty is the order of the day at the spa, high up in the rainforest canopy with open pavilions for treatment rooms. A couple’s massage or mud wrap could be accompanied by the sound of tropical birdsong and trickling water. Once mind and body are restored, treat yourself to dinner in one of four characterful restaurants.
• Secluded sanctuary in the heart of a tropical forest
• Bungalows have private balconies overlooking the rainforest and volcano
• Mountain slope spa for treatments with a view
You don’t have to go far from Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens for an adventure. Capuchin and howler monkeys call the trees here home, as do toucans and hummingbirds. Explore further with guided canopy, volcano and night walks. Take a water safari by canoe, kayak or boat, visit the nearby hot springs and go chasing waterfalls. Or take to the skies on a zip wire – an unforgettable experience.
4. Nayara Springs – Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Deep in the tropical forest of Arenal National Park, Nayara Springs has an out-of-this-world setting. The volcano will be just outside your window, natural hot springs bubble nearby and bright-billed toucans perch in the trees. Designed to be private and peaceful, this boutique retreat is Costa Rican through and through.
A sanctuary in every sense of the word, at Nayara Springs a personal host is dedicated to you and your needs. They can suggest treatments in the rainforest spa, arrange bridge walks through the forest canopy, or simply point you towards the infinity pool. With day and night restaurants, and access to the dining rooms at nearby Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample Costa Rican cuisine too.
• Adults-only escape, the sister property to Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens
• Thermal spring plunge pool with every villa
• Personal host to make each stay extra special
Adventure awaits footsteps from your villa. Walk through the rainforest to catch a glimpse of three-toed sloths, monkeys and dazzling butterflies. Go on a horse-riding tour to the volcano. Or unleash your daredevil spirit with a skytram trek on zip wires over the rainforest.