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Costa Rica is the perfect destination for all types of travelers on many different budgets. If you have a taste for the finer things in life, you can rest assured there are plenty of luxury accommodation options throughout the country. We round up the best places to vacation in this tropical paradise.
Los Altos de Eros is a true utopia. The small boutique bed and breakfast is elevated in the hills behind Playa Tamarindo, offering guests vast views of the valley, rainforest and Pacific Ocean. With just six rooms, staff outnumber guests here, so you are guaranteed top service, whether it’s sipping cocktails by the pool or indulging in a deep-tissue massage. The sunset couples massage followed by romantic meal for two comes highly recommended. It’s adults-only, ensuring a tranquil, romantic stay for you and your other half.
Voted the number one luxury hotel in the world by TripAdvisor, Nayara Springs is another luxury adults-only hotel located on the fringes of the Arenal Volcano National Park. Each villa has its own private plunge pool fed by natural hot springs, plus a four-poster bed, private garden and cabana. Start your day with a complimentary yoga class followed by cashew nut-crusted French toast sprinkled with brown sugar and a cup of Nayara’s own Costa Rican coffee. The Nayara spa really is worth a visit, with treatments – such as a chocolate clay body wrap and a volcanic mud mask – offered in a private open-air pavilion.
Eco-luxury is super-popular in Costa Rica, and nowhere more so than at Hotel Punta Islita, where environmental activities are included with your stay. From July to November, you can watch endangered sea turtles laying their eggs, or visit the Wild Scarlet Macaw Reserve; art sessions, cooking classes, horseback riding and zip lining are all complimentary. Dine on fresh fish at the Pacifico restaurant or take a dip in the exquisite infinity pool with a swim-up bar overlooking Islita Beach.
The Springs Resort and Spa is one of the most luxurious hotels in La Fortuna, perched high above the Arenal valley with jaw-dropping views across the rainforest. The eagle-eyed among you might remember it from TV shows The Bachelor and Keeping up With the Kardashians. Unwind in the natural hot spring pools before booking a treatment at the world-class Springs spa. The hotel is also child-friendly, so you can sip a cocktail at the Ginger Sushi Bar while your kids make new friends in the games room. They will love kayaking down rapids, rock climbing and wildcat feeding at the Club Rio Adventure Center.
If you’re wanting to stay in the country’s capital San José and want five-star accommodation, look no further than the Real InterContinental. Indulge in a massage or facial at the largest urban spa in Central America before dining at one of the four on-site restaurants. Fancy sushi? Head to the Nau Sushi Lounge. Prefer a steak with an open view of the kitchens? Opt for the Factory Steak and Lobster restaurant, followed by a nightcap at the Zambra Lobby Bar, which is usually buzzing with live music.
Nalu Nosara is a beautiful luxury eco retreat in Nosara. Each villa has its own pool, manicured yard, fully equipped kitchen, inviting living space, indoor and outdoor showers and two or three bedrooms. The design is modern, open, airy and light. Nalu Nosara is the perfect base for those interested in surfing, yoga and spending days surrounded by nature. The location is ideal for walking to and from the beach, as well as being close to restaurants, bars and shops. There is also a yoga and fitness studio with a variety of classes throughout the week.
Lorna Turnbull has contributed additional reporting to this article.