Hotels in Costa Rica
Hotels in Costa Rica are practically as diverse as the country's eco-system. While there are outstanding five-star hotels in San Jose, many of the best retreats are located on otherwise uninhabited beaches and within little-explored jungles. Here, our top picks for eco-tourist digs.
Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat is set on 12,500 acres of rainforest just outside the busy city of Alajuela. Make a reservation at the resort's restaurant to eat meals prepared with fresh ingredients straight from the on-site garden.
Kura Design Villas is one of the best hotels in Costa Rica and an excellent choice for laid-back adventure. The villa sits in a rainforest in the not lesser-explored Osa Peninsula, just a 20-minute drive from the town of Uvita. It has great views of jungle-lined beaches.
Florblanca Resort is a collection of private villas staggered on a beautiful hillside steps away from Playa Santa Teresa. Of all the hotels in Costa Rica, this one offers some of the largest and most luxurious villas. The attentive service and the food are also fantastic.
Manuel Antonio is replete with upscale hotels, but none are closer to the beach than Arenas del Mar, a five-star 11-acre property within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park.
The Terra Spa at Gaia is set in the rainforest with views of the Pacific and a menu complete with Reiki energy treatments and Thai and Swedish massages. For a real treat, try the chocolate indulgence massage, which involves an indigenous cacao scrub.
Overlooking the Central Valley, this spa village features five private jalapa treatment quarters where guests enjoy mud wraps, facials, and exotic Costa Rican body treatments and luxuriate in open-air Jacuzzis.
The intimate Spa Tranquila is reached via jungle stairway and offers an array of treatments and perks. Guests await massages sipping specialty teas in anti-gravity chairs, and they also have access to infinity-edge Jacuzzis, spring-fed soaking tubs, and several relaxation areas.
The Four Seasons Spa could be its own boutique hotel.
Up in the hills above Tamarindo, this spa is legendary, namely for it’s famous “Spa Day,” which lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes transportation, three treatments, and a gourmet lunch served with fresh tropical fruit and fine wine. Don’t miss the Indonesian soaking tub.
Despite what some guidebooks may tell you, Jacó is not a family destination. But Hotel Villa Caletas, which sits on a mountaintop above the seediness with its own Greek Theater and large infinity pool.
For eco-conscious families looking to bond with each other and their natural surroundings, there’s Osa Peninsula’s Lapa Rios Ecolodge. The upscale lodgings are set in a 1,000-acre rain forest reserve with excellent trails and abundant wildlife.
For a large family, it’s a huge relief when all the food is taken care of.
Hidden in a cloud forest near the Póas Volcano, this extravagant property feels a little like Disney Land Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio’s Tulemar has topped the Trip Advisor lists of family-friendly hotels in Costa Rica and the world, and for good reason. The beachside, jungle compound is totally secure and offers a range of accommodations—including connecting rooms—that sleep up to 10 people.
Situated in the mountains of Alajuela, this romantic inn doubles as a coffee plantation and offers tours of its 30-acre organic farm, processing plant, and roasting house.
In downtown San José, this is the hostel everyone will tell you stay in. And for once, everyone is right. Attractive murals adorn the walls in this backpacker Mecca, and a refreshing swimming pool beckons outdoors.
Just a few minutes from Playa Uvita on the southern Pacific coast, this upscale hostel features tree houses and private cabinas alongside its open-air dorms and tent space.
In the country’s best backpacker town (Puerto Viejo), this is the best backpacker crash pad. People call it “the vortex,” because thanks to the chill atmosphere, amazing art-covered walls and reasonably priced but delicious restaurant, nobody ever seems to leave.