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

Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica | © Arctic-Images / Getty Images
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

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.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
Full-service spa
24-hour front desk
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Villa la Perla

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.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
24-hour front desk
Terrace
Smoke-free property

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

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.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Beach towels
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

Hotel Villa Caletas

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.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Beach towels
Express check-out
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

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.
Everything you need to know

At a Glance

Free WiFi
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Restaurant
In-room accessibility
Full-service spa
Conference space
Concierge services
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning/laundry service
Multilingual staff
Terrace
Bar/lounge
Smoke-free property

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  • Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas

    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.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    In-room accessibility
    Full-service spa
    Fitness facilities
    Dry cleaning/laundry service
    Multilingual staff
    Terrace

    Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat

    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.
    Everything you need to know

    At a Glance

    Free WiFi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    Concierge services
    Terrace
    Bar/lounge

    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.