El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Costa Rica has long been known as an eco-travel destination, but El Silencio—a serene retreat on 500 acres opened in 2008 by the owners of the nearby Hotel Punta Islita—presents an unusual level of luxury for the green-oriented adventurer. Designed by prominent Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher in a “rustic zen” style, the 16 cottages each feature a private deck, outdoor whirlpool, gas fireplace, and top-of-the line amenities (L’Occitane and more), and all have views of the majestic Poás Volcano. Guests can tour the 1,300-square-foot organic garden to learn about the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are served at the in-house restaurant. And the resort lives up to its name: there are no in-room TVs or even cell-phone reception.