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2 weeks ago

The Best Hotels in Costa Rica

From jungle canopy suites to adults-only retreats, these hotels are the cherry on top of any Costa Rican adventure.

By Toby Louch

The Central American paradise of Costa Rica began to gain popularity with tourists during the late 80s, by the end of the 90s, travel was boosting its economy more than bananas, coffee and pineapples combined. An early poster child for the eco-tourism movement, today Costa Rica sees almost three million visitors each year. But where should all these travelers stay? This tropical haven is certainly not short of budget spots, but for those looking to add a drop of luxury to their Costa Rican adventure, we have compiled a list of the best hotels in Costa Rica.

For the environmentally conscious traveler, Costa Rica proves to be an excellent choice. Almost 24% of its land mass is considered either a national park or protected area, the highest percentage of any country in the world. Similarly, while only covering 0.03% of the world’s landmass, Costa Rica boasts around 5% of its biodiversity, to the delight of flora and fauna lovers. Many of the best hotels in Costa Rica really lean into the country’s impressive sustainability record, offering travelers the opportunity to make their stay as low-impact as possible.

Of course, no two travelers are the same, with each decerning visitor looking for something a little different from their Costa Rican vacation. To satisfy the hopes and dreams of the many, this list includes a wide variety of options; from mega luxurious rainforest lodges provided by some of the biggest luxury hotel brands in the world, to small, beachfront boutique hidden gems. So if you’re looking to capture some of the ‘Pura Vida’ the country is so renowned for, take a look at some of the best hotels in Costa Rica.

Origins

Origins costa rica
Origins / ©Origins

It’s always best to start from the beginning, and this first hotel delivers it in name alone. Origins is a series of luxury lodges located in the idyllic mountains of northern Costa Rica. Positioned as ‘the new definition of luxury ecolodge,’ this is the ideal spot to tune out from the outside world and sink into your new tropical lifestyle.

Featuring a wide variety of different lodges, the largest of which is 2400 sq-ft and includes three separate bedrooms. Just because you’re in the jungle, it doesn’t mean you’re not living in absolute luxury. Lifted high above the ground, these abodes include relaxing plunge pools and feature 180-degree views across the estate, nearby volcanos and Nicaragua Lake.

When it comes to food, Origins is ready to impress. There is a series of on-site chefs who utilize local ingredients, some of which are grown on the estate, to deliver exemplary haute cuisine. If you’re looking to immerse in Costa Rica’s mountainous jungle, Origins is surely one of the best hotels.

Originslodge.com

[See also: The Most Beautiful Wineries to Visit in Italy]

The Springs Resort and Spa

Best hotel costa rica
The Springs Resort and Spa / ©The Springs Resort and Spa

Heading a little south, travelers arrive at The Springs Resort and Spa in Arenal, one of the most popular spots for tourists visiting Costa Rica. One of this hotel’s selling points is the wildly impressive nearby Arenal Volcano, which stretches over 5000ft high, with Springs featuring one of the finest views of the volcano that can be found anywhere.

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Called Springs thanks to, you guessed it, the hotel’s natural hot springs, this resort is ideal for those looking to relax, the on-site full-service spa certainly helps as well. Visitors have a huge amount of choice when it comes to accommodation, ranging from smaller guest rooms to vast five-bed villas with hot tubs and private swimming pools.   

The dining options are just as varied featuring an upscale fusion restaurant and a sushi restaurant in addition to more relaxed style dining. There are also several bars that make the perfect spot for a nightcap.  

thespringscostarica.com

[See also: The Most Tranquil Hotels in Tuscany]

Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo

Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo / ©Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo

No list of the best hotels in Costa Rica is complete without a mention of Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo. Positioned as ‘Latin America’s ultimate coastal retreat’, unlike the previous two hotels, the Four Seasons can be found on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, on a small peninsula that helps form the beautiful Culebra Bay.

Those familiar with Four Seasons will know that their properties deliver the highest levels of service and Peninsula Papagayo is no exception. The mixture of decadent Costa Rica villas, residences and rooms include private pools, beautiful terraces and breathtaking panoramic views. The most expansive residence Casa Las Olas is over 18,000 sq-ft and can host up to 12 adults, ensuring even the extended family can enjoy this paradise together.

Using this resort as a base, visitors can adventure into the jungle on ziplines or wilderness hikes, spend the day horse riding, or perhaps go paddle boarding in the bay. In the evening why not head to the lively Añejo, a crudos and tapas bar that transforms into the heart of the hotel.

fourseasonscostarica.com

[See also: The Most Idyllic Hotels in Lake Como]

Lapa Rios Lodge

Lapa Rios Lodge
Lapa Rios Lodge / ©Lapa Rios Lodge

Heading to Costa Rica’s south for the first time, we arrive at the stunning Lapa Rios Lodge. This beautiful spot sits at the edge of a peninsula on the country’s Pacific coast, just down the road from the showstopping King Louis Waterfall. Providing an authentic rainforest experience, without compromising on comfort, since opening in 1993 Lapa Rios has prided itself on protecting over 1,000 acres of both primary and secondary rainforest.  

Today, guests can select from a mixture of treetop canopy suites, ocean and rainforest view bungalows and the glorious Lapa villas. These four villas sit above the forest canopy and include vast floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to soak in the view at any moment. The expansive outdoor terrace includes a both a private rain shower and plunge pool, perfect for cooling off in the tropical heat.

One of the best hotels in Costa Rica for wildlife lovers, if you’re lucky you may spot the whales, dolphins and sea turtles that regularly explore the bay below.

Laparios.com

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Nayara Tented Camp

Nayara Tented Camp best hotel costa rica
Nayara Tented Camp / ©Nayara Tented Camp

For travelers to Costa Rica looking to take glamping to the next level, Nayara Tented Camp ticks all the boxes. The ideal stay for those looking to connect with this country’s incredible natural environment, Nayara offers visitors a new style of luxury.

Choosing from either the Nayara Tent, a glorious two-adult, two-child tent that sits on stilts above the canopy; a Family Tent, two tents connected by a communal outdoor living space that sleeps six; a grand tent, which sleeps six with even more space; or even a private residence, which is perfect for groups of up to 12.

The ideal spot to unwind from the real world, if it’s yoga you’re into perhaps something a bit more up-tempo like white water rafting. The unique style of luxury provided by Nayara Tented Camp ensures it’s one of the best hotels in Costa Rica.

nayaratentedcamp.com

[See also: The Best Luxury Hotels in San Francisco]

Kura

Kura costa rica
Kura / ©Kura

If relaxation is one of the most important draws for your Costa Rica trip, perhaps this boutique, adults-only hotel is the right choice. Kura is positioned as ‘the most glamorous romantic resort in Costa Rica’ and we can see why.

Featuring only eight luxury suites, this private escape is perfect for those looking to avoid everyone else. Following the design concept of tropical minimalism, Kura’s suites are ultra-modern and designed specifically with couples in mind, however, they still fit perfectly with the natural environment. The most exclusive master suites span an impressive 1500 sq-ft and are positioned separately from the other suites.

While you’re not enjoying the incredible suites, the hotel is close to the whale coast which is home to seven beautiful beaches. Whether seasoned pro or complete novice, this could be the ideal opportunity to give surfing a go. Or for something a little more relaxing, why not take a hike to the sizable 120ft Nauyaca Waterfalls.

kuracostarica.com

[See also: The Best Hotels in Los Angeles – and Inside Their Top Suites]

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare Lodge
The Jaguar Villa at Pacuare Lodge / ©Pacuare Lodge

Heading back inland, we arrive at our final destination, Pacuare Lodge, a luxury eco-hotel with only 20 suites. Situated on the secluded banks of its namesake, the Pacuare River, this jungle hideaway is perfect for those looking to get lost in the magic of Costa Rica and is sure to be one of the best hotels in the region.

Keeping things simple yet sophisticated, the lodge follows the Indigenous Cabécar style architecture. The lodge offers an impressive selection of suites and villas. The Jaguar Villa is the most luxurious pick and essentially places guests right in the rainforest. Teak furniture and hardwood flooring keep this 3700 sq-ft villa classic, there is also a private spring-fed pool and quaint hammock and sitting area.

If it’s adventure you seek, why not spend an afternoon canyoning, which includes a mixture of rock climbing and rappelling. Those looking for something a touch more relaxing could always check out the onsite Jawa Juü Spa, which specializes in rainforest remedies.  

pacuarelodge.com    

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