Long regarded as the playground of budget backpackers and nomadic hippies, Montañita has been moving steadily upmarket in recent years as wealthier travelers begin to discover this happening beach destination. As a result, tourists are no longer confined to dingy hostels thanks to an influx of chic boutiques which have popped up around town. Here are the best.
Perched on a hill at the back of town, Ohana is a hit for its tranquil garden that overlooks the sea. Polished bamboo is used extensively throughout the site, including the elegant interiors of its well-appointed cabañas and dorms. As the name suggests, in-house Spanish classes are held in an idyllic oceanfront setting.
This fancy three-story wooden hostel that peers over the sea has become a haven for backpackers who crave a little luxury. Quality linen, furniture, and cleanliness are a cut above the rest, while an eco-friendly attitude ensures everyone has a guilt-free stay. Located just meters from the beach, each room has a spacious balcony with ample deck chairs and hammocks.
Perfect for larger groups, the stylish Punta Hills Montanita has numerous fully-equipped apartments with all the necessary amenities for an enjoyable stay. A funky and chic design blends seamlessly with traditional wood and bamboo materials, while its first-rate swimming pool, spa service, and restaurant just add to the appeal.
Probably the finest boutique in town, ME Hotel feels a little out of place in Montañita due to its ultra-chic contemporary design. Each of the 16 rooms is spacious and airy, with some even featuring a Jacuzzi overlooking the sea. It’s not that close to the beach, although guests seem happy enough to lounge around its expansive pool complex amid a lush garden setting.
Those after a surf lodge with a bit of style should check in to Balsa Surf Camp, a funky offering on the northern end of town. Set among a pristine garden, Balsa is the ideal place for the discerning surfer who seeks sophisticated accommodation away from the rowdy party crowd. Virtually the entire complex is made from locally-sourced wood and bamboo while indigenous textiles adorn each room.
A longtime favorite in Montañita, this 21-room mini-resort is popular for its extensive and lovingly manicured garden that stretches all the way to the beach. Although each room is clean and well furnished, it’s the outdoor space that really makes this place shine, especially when utilized for a spot of early morning yoga.
Just after a clean and quiet hotel for a reasonable price? Then check out Mauna Suites who offer some of the best value midrange accommodation in town. Cozy and comfortable doubles go for as cheap as US$30 at times, a bargain for the quality of room and service provided.