The Best Villas in Costa Rica, From Luxury Resort to Rural Retreat

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas
Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas | Courtesy of Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas / Expedia
Photo of Alex Robinson
18 December 2020

In Costa Rica, life is everywhere. Hummingbirds whirr around sweetly scented frangipani flowers. Toucans and butterflies float across forest paths and canopy walkways. Cicadas hiss, tree frogs chirrup and even the laziest of stays will leave you reenergized and refreshed by the joyful abundance of living things. Our pick of Costa Rica’s best villas will give you a true taste of pura vida – pure life – the perfectly apt national greeting.

Oxygen Jungle Villas

Hotel, Apartment
4.7/5 (203 Reviews)
Hotel Oxygen
Courtesy of Oxygen Jungle Villas / Booking.com
This is a honeymoon-intimate, adults-only retreat outside Marino Ballena National Park on the Central Pacific Coast. Whether you’re relaxing in one of the 12 glass-walled villas or taking a dip in the infinity pool, the view is of pristine rainforest – unblemished by roads or buildings. The ocean is fringed with pearl-white beaches, and trails lead to secluded waterfalls with a soundtrack of trilling birds. And if you can bear to tear yourself away, the dining options of Ojochal are only a 25-minute drive away.
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Villa la Perla

Hotel, Apartment
Villa La Perla
Courtesy of Luxury Retreats / Airbnb
La Perla is a four-bedroom villa with its own infinity pool – the hacienda-style architecture is a stunning counterpoint to the blue Pacific it overlooks. Rooms have views of a sandy half-moon bay where the evening sun sinks into the ocean, silhouetting the masts of the luxury yachts in the marina. With plush rooms, lush grounds and breathtaking views, luxurious La Perla is moments from the beach and its ample accommodation makes it perfect for a family getaway.
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Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

Hotel, Apartment
4.7/5 (385 Reviews)
Cala Luna Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Cala Luna Boutique Hotel / Expedia.com
Cala Luna is in the popular village of Tamarindo, surrounded by resorts and condos. This means you can enjoy all of life’s luxuries in a breathtaking natural setting. The secluded villas, with little gardens around a private pool, come in soft, warm tones and are beautifully mood-lit for after-hours intimacy. The kitchen employs farm-to-table, local, organic ingredients, and after you’ve dined there’s a plush spa with a comprehensive wellness menu and the palm-shaded beach a 10-minute walk away.
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Hotel Villa Caletas

Hotel, Apartment
4.6/5 (570 Reviews)
Hotel Villa Caletas
Courtesy of Hotel Villa Caletas / Expedia.com
Skip the standard rooms at Caletas. It’s all about the villas, which are an Instagrammer’s paradise. With acres of polished Italian marble, Ionic columns and exuberant neo-rococo statues, they feel like Versace-decorated mansions. Beds have velvet pillows, opulent infinity pools are lined with blue mosaic and the views are tropical Capri – steep ridges swathed in lush forest falling to shimmering Pacific bays lined with beaches. This is very ’90s Miami – and we like it.
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Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

Hotel
4.8/5 (108 Reviews)
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve
Courtesy of Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve / Expedia.com
Villa Blanca’s mock-ranch-house villas are on the edge of one of Costa Rica’s largest stretches of cloud forest, Los Angeles Biological Reserve. Expect whitewashed walls, terracotta roofs and rocking chairs on terraces – the perfect place to rest your head after a day exploring the region’s biodiversity. While there are canopy walkways, waterfalls and volcanoes nearby, the reserve is the main draw: the trees are carpeted in soft mosses and there are more than 900 species of birds to spot, from sapphire blue hummingbirds to the long-tailed resplendent quetzal, Central America’s elusive equivalent to a bird of paradise.
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  • Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas

    Boutique Hotel, Resort, Golf Hotel
    4.6/5 (335 Reviews)
    Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel &Villas
    Courtesy of Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas / Expedia.com
    The Nicoya Peninsula juts into the Pacific like a curled thumb near the border with Nicaragua. Its remoteness has so far kept the eastern corner of the country relatively untouched. The town of Tamarindo lies here – between rainforest and a long, broad beach of soft sand. The sea is so close to Tango Mar’s luxurious villas that you can taste salt on the breeze. Awaken to sun-flooded mornings, and relax: the resort has one of the highest sustainability ratings on the Pacific coast.
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    Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat

    Boutique Hotel, Garden Hotel
    4.5/5 (33 Reviews)
    Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat
    Courtesy of Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat / Expedia.com
    With its single dirt street, Santa Teresa village is about as remote as the Pacific Coast gets: it’s at the end of the road on the eastern Nicoya Peninsula. It’s an under-the-radar spot for surf-loving celebs. Model Gisele Bundchen has a house here and actors such as the Hemsworths are frequent visitors. Like their homes, and the handful of other Santa Teresa hotels, Pranamar is low-profile and new-age – wooden bungalows sit under shady coconut palms just off the beach. There’s a spa offering energy massage and wellness retreats run by yoga instructors from California. Life’s a beach.
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    Luxury Coco Villas

    Hotel, Apartment
    Map View
    Luxury Coco Villas
    Courtesy of Luxury Coco Villas / Expedia.com
    This seven-bedroom villa with its own private pool is in the heart of Costa Rica’s condominium coast: a vast swathe of American-owned villas that pepper the Pacific lowlands near the Nicaraguan border. You’ll hear more English than Spanish and see more swimming pools than wildlife, but nowhere in Costa Rica has more sunshine hours. The long crescent of sand at Coco Beach is soft and powdery, there are golf courses and even a casino on the doorstep and Liberia International Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
    These recommendations were updated on December 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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