Costa Rica is an endlessly beautiful place with blue skies, epic swells, and biodiverse terrain. Cloud forests, emerald mountains, lush jungles, sandy beaches, and bioluminescent bays make it a playground for outdoor adventure, nature travel, and ecotourism. Zip lining, chasing waterfalls, and volcano treks have a place in any well-crafted Costa Rica itinerary, as do surfing, snorkelling, and soaking up every sun-splashed second on the stunning stretches of Pacific and Caribbean coastline. By Lindsay Cohn
Keen on doing a dedicated beach vacation or simply want to tack on a few days of sun and surf after inland exploration and snoozing at a tree-shrouded eco-lodge? When you’re deciding where to spend the night, the happiest nation in Central America has some amazing options — from big-name properties that preside over private crescents to more boutique stays right on the sand.
The Costa Rica beach resorts ahead invite visitors to experience the true meaning of Pura Vida.
Here are some of the stunning Costa Rica beach resorts
Four Seasons resort Costa Rica at peninsula Papagayo
Luxury reaches new heights at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. The meticulously manicured grounds and dazzling indoor-outdoor design set the tone. Upscale amenities include a tranquil spa with rituals inspired by local healing traditions, a fitness centre, multiple infinity pools, serviced beach cabanas, and a championship golf course. As to be expected at a property of this calibre, the staff goes above and beyond with no detail overlooked. From cold towels and freshly cracked coconuts upon arrival to the warm send-off when you depart, the entire experience redefines a five-star Costa Rica vacation.
Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas
In Costa Rica, some properties straddle the line between hillside and beachfront. Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas, an adults-only hideaway on the Guanacaste coast, is one of them. A sustainable thread runs throughout the resort, which leads the eco charge through water conservation efforts and does regular beach cleanups. Each of the 21 villas shows off a private terrace, saltwater infinity pool, and expansive sea views. Getting delicious food delivered straight to your door is one of those hotel perks we all love, but in-room massages? Well, that’s another level of vacation relaxation. Plus, it’s just a short walk or golf cart ride down the path to the beach.
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
A tropical paradise where luxury and lush surroundings shine, the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo — a concept by Hyatt — offers the serenity and seclusion of a jungle stay while still being beachside. Clustered across the 28-acre property, rooms give off modern tree house vibes with lots of wood and huge glass windows. The spa encourages rejuvenation through massages and facials, as well as well-being practices like reiki and sound healing. Guests can also sign up for all sorts of activities, from snorkelling to pottery painting, or just bask in the sun.
Looking for an easygoing escape? Perched on the powder-soft sand in the low-key town of Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula, Florblanca exudes laid-back charm and a sustainable soul. It’s relaxed, intimate, and at peace with the tropical vegetation that’s all around. Accommodations follow suit. Beachfront villas are unfussy, but not without contemporary comforts like soaking tubs, carved stone sinks, and king-sized beds. Plus, each one provides a sense of privacy and ease, courtesy of handwoven hammocks. A dedication to holistic well-being is ingrained in everything from seaside yoga and early morning surf sessions to farm-to-fork cuisine and voluntourism activities.
W Costa Rica — Reserva Conchal
Parked on Conchal Beach, the W Costa Rica — Reserva Conchal is certainly a fun place to vacation, but it doesn’t have the same party-forward energy as many of the brand’s other outposts. Don’t worry, this splashy, modern resort still has a swim-up bar that serves fruity cocktails, as well as the punchy atmosphere you’d expect from a W property — yes, there’s even a club called Zona Azul — but that stuff comes secondary to the rooms and suites with private plunge pools, outdoor thrills, golf, spa sessions, and dining. It’s more sundowners after surf lessons than spending the entire day partying.
The distinction between a hotel and a resort typically comes down to amenities. By that definition, we’d call Nantipa a boutique resort. It has a spa sanctuary with two treatment rooms, a foliage-framed infinity pool, and stand-alone bungalows featuring indoor-outdoor showers, hammocks, and private plunge pools. There’s also a beachfront restaurant called Manzú, which serves delicious casual fare and craft cocktails. Guest can partake in on-site mixology classes, yoga sessions, and movie nights, or have the concierge coordinate surf lessons, horseback riding in Mal Pais, and excursions to the Montezuma Waterfalls.
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is one of those beautiful Costa Rica beach resorts that instantly makes guests feel at ease, right at home, and like they never want to leave. It’s decidedly family-friendly, with spacious rooms and suites, ample amenities — including a free-flowing infinity pool, hammocks, multiple restaurants, a kids’ club, and a gorgeous beach — and babysitting services. Basically, it’s a vacation destination in and of itself. That’s not to say adventure-oriented travellers won’t want to venture beyond the manicured grounds. Those eager to explore can check out a nearby turtle nesting sanctuary or head to the town of Tamarindo.
(This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com)