Reader’s Find: A Sustainable Costa Rican Retreat
While driving around Lake Arenal last May, I came upon a sign for Rancho Margot (doubles from $140, including breakfast, a ranch tour, and yoga classes), a “self-sufficient organic ranch.” It’s also a totally off-the-grid resort with 18 beautifully appointed, terraced bungalows. It sits right on the lake, in the middle of a breathtaking river valley surrounded by 148,263 acres of forest. Yoga, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, and rappelling are just some of the things you can do there. But what I found most inspiring about Rancho Margot is its sustainable approach. It creates its own electricity with hydroelectric turbines and uses energy generated by composting to heat water for showers and a pool (with a swim-up wet bar). Most of the food is produced on the ranch, which has a chicken coop for fresh eggs and a dairy where guests can help make cheese. I’d recommend this place to anyone looking for paradise off the beaten path. —Tomas Loebel, Daytona Beach, Fla.
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T+L Asks: If You Could Live at Any Hotel in the World, Which One Would You Choose—and Why?
La Locanda di San Francesco (doubles from $265), a 14th-century palazzo, has the most magnificent views of the countryside. —Anne Bingham, Austin, Tex.
I’d love to wake up each morning with the sun shining into my cottage at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff (doubles from $650)—simple yet luxurious. —Blake Miller Vossekuil, Charlotte, N.C.
Las Casitas del Colca (doubles from $395, including meals and activities), in Colca Canyon. Fresh air, fantastic food, amazing spa, plus beautiful views. —Michelle Guy Nicholson, Fort Rucker, Ala.
I’d choose Grand Wailea (doubles from $564), on Maui. To swim in the ocean and sit under whispering palm trees every day would be magical. —Laurie Workman Malenfant, Colchester, Vt.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet (doubles from $585), a prison turned five-star hotel with the best beds—you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. —Caroline Roe, Madison, Wis.
Coming Next Month: If you were to plan an entire trip around food, where would you go—and what would you eat?
Your Hotels Hit List
Here, the most clicked-on hotels on TravelandLeisure.com at press time.
1. Kaawa Loa Plantation, Kealakekua, Hawaii
2. Hôtel l’Oursin, St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
3. Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul
4. L’Oustau de Baumanière, Les Baux de Provence, France
5. Relais Sant’Elena, Bibbona, Italy
6. Art’Otel, Berlin
7. W Retreat & Spa Maldives, Fesdu Island, the Maldives
8. Sapibenega—The Kuna Lodge, Panama
9. Cavallo Point—The Lodge at the Golden Gate, Sausalito, California
10. Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Lincolnville, Maine