The Best Luxury Hotels in Costa Rica

Hotel Riu Palace delivers all the amenities you'd expect from a luxury resort
Hotel Riu Palace delivers all the amenities you'd expect from a luxury resort | © Sylvie Bouchard / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Jenn Parker
1 December 2020

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.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica / Expedia
Fancy stargazing over dinner? Navigating the jungle trails on an e-bike? These are just some of the activities on offer at the Four Seasons Costa Rica, as well as stunning ocean views from its privileged hillside location. Drop the kids off at the kids’ club and play tennis at one of the five courts, swim in the four outdoor pools or even play a round on the 18-hole golf course. Authentic local art and materials adorn the interiors, and volunteering experiences give you the chance to give back to the real Costa Rica.

W Costa Rica

Map View
Courtesy of W Costa Rica / Expedia
The hedonist’s choice, W Costa Rica is tucked away between the mangroves of Guanacaste and the endless white sands of the Playa Conchal. A bold, vibrant retreat for free spirits, W Costa Rica is known for its lively party vibe and dazzling interiors. There’s a range of dining options, from creative Thai cuisine to local market fare, as well as a spa with a champagne bar. The hotel even has its own beach club, Zona Azul, keeping the pura vida party going from day to night.

Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica

Luxury, Chain Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica / Expedia
Located right on the sands of Matapalo beach, the Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica provides guests with a sustainable stay while still delivering all the amenities of a luxury resort. Sleek rooms and suites, a full-service spa and four swimming pools complete with swim-up bar are found here, alongside ecotourism activities in the nearby national park and the chance to spot real-life cowboys driving their cattle through the local landscape.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort

Resort, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo / Expedia
Let the rainforest in at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort. Located on a large private peninsula, this resort has folding floor-to-ceiling windows in every room and balconies (inspired by bird’s nests) with river stone rain showers and plunge pools. Even the spa invites you to reconnect with nature: three outdoor treatment rooms feature specially curated sounds of birdsong and ocean waves. Three pristine beaches, a range of dining options and activities from pottery painting to weekly community projects all make Andaz a memorable place to stay.

Los Altos de Eros Boutique Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Los Altos de Eros Boutique Hotel and Spa / Expedia

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.


Nayara Springs

Boutique Hotel, Love Hotel, Spa Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Nayara Springs / Expedia

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.


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  • Hotel Punta Islita

    Boutique Hotel, Resort, Eco Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Punta Islita, Autograph Collection / Expedia

    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

    Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of the Springs Resort and Spa / Expedia

    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.


    InterContinental Costa Rica

    Chain Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Real InterContinental Costa Rica at Multiplaza Mall / Expedia

    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

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Nosara Beach Hotel / Expedia

    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.

    About this place:

    Beach, Boutique, Eco friendly, Modern, Relaxed, Self-Catered

    Lorna Turnbull has contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on December 1, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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