Don your slippers and your waffle cotton robe, because Costa Rica is ready to pamper you like nobody can. Here, we’ve got all the right ingredients for massage: There are the tropics-inspired products smell like coconut and coffee and feel soft and cool on the skin. The lush rainforests and gently lapping waves along the coast make for an ideal backdrop. And many of the kind, intuitive Costa Rican therapists have a way with their hands.
Although there are hotels with adequate spas in the country, a select few seem to place a good spoiling above all else, creating both elaborate and intimate spaces dedicated to relaxation and pleasure. These havens attend to all the senses—lighting scented candles, playing ethereal music, offering exotic teas, and inventing innovative new ways to sooth the body and the mind, Tico-style.
Los Altos de Eros
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.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
The Four Seasons Spa could be its own boutique hotel. The gleaming, multi-level behemoth has 18 treatment rooms and it offers everything from couples massages to rainforest aromatherapy to a Costa Rican coffee scrub, which is performed with organic ground Arabica that apparently gets rid of cellulite.
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. No matter the treatment, you are in capable hands here.
Xandari Resort & Spa
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. Incredibly, it’s only 20 minutes from the airport, and appropriately offers a “Welcome to Paradise” massage that comes with wine and Jacuzzi time.
Gaia Hotel & Reserve
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. The best part about Gaia’s spa is that a stay comes with a complimentary 15-minute treatment.