If someone told you that there’s a country on Earth that has no active military and generates 99% of its electricity using renewables, what would your first thought be? Well, we’re not talking about some far off alien utopia, we’re talking about Costa Rica. Their culture, the flourishing jungles, and their five active volcanoes are reason enough for you to pay this Central American nation a visit. That is, if you haven’t heard of their luxury hotels.
Costa Rica’s luxury hotels are so unique, we could barely encompass what each brings to the table. A plethora of distinct jungle adventure bases, oceanside adult resorts, spiritual eco-retreats; we’re barely scratching the surface.
There’s no better way to start our list than with a hotel in scenic Arenal – Costa Rica’s capital of adventure. After all, if the Kardashians found The Springs Resort & Spa good enough to film an episode of their reality show there, we can’t possibly have any qualms with the location. In the middle of a lush jungle, facing the great volcano of Arenal, the resort presents a slice of heaven; a must-visit one at that, should you find yourself in Costa Rica.
The lofty, golden-hued main building is imposing, akin to a palace in the middle of the rainforest, as strange as that might sound. The surrounding hot spring pools, teetering into waterfalls toward the vegetation below, add a one-of-a-kind flavor to the whole exterior. The inside of the resort is beige-themed with wooden decorations, ceilings, and furniture. But, words cannot do justice to the interior – you have to see it to fully grasp the affluent, comfy, yet adventurous ambiance.
The rooms, suites, bungalows, and villas couldn’t have anything more in the way of making your stay at the resort as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Each of them, 74 rooms in total, have views of the majestic Arenal Volcano in the distance, no matter whether you’re on the first or the top floor. King-size beds, safes, minibars, marble floors, electric kettles, seating areas, multiroom bathrooms with whirlpool tubs – you name it; The Springs Resort goes the whole nine yards in terms of amenities.
The resort doesn’t disappoint even in terms of food options, despite being in the middle of a jungle. If you’re after fine dining, head over to Las Ventanas, and if you’re craving seafood, Tres Cascadas will be your go-to option. Should you want to sample some Latin cuisine or have a cocktail or two, pay the Treetops Grill a visit.
Prices for double rooms start at about $360 depending on the season, while the suites’ starting price-point is around $1500 per night.
Our previous listing might’ve been the perfect getaway in a remote patch of the Costa Rican jungle, but if you thought that The Springs are remote, La Paloma is truly off the beaten track. For starters, we wouldn’t suggest driving, as the roads don’t bode well for the inexperienced driver. You could take a boat ride from Sierpe, or land by plane on the local airstrip. Despite the trouble you might go through to get to La Paloma, once you’re there, you’ll see that it’s absolutely worth it.
Upon arrival, each and every one of the guests undergoes a boat trip and, after a drive through a jungle, arrives at the main hotel area. After that, you have the choice to book in-room massages or relax in the 32-foot swimming pool; there’s no better start for a holiday than that, at least in our book. Beyond that, other than hiking and exploring, you could also pay a visit to the nearby beach. Simply put, the guests at La Paloma are treated like royalty.
Other than the expanses of untouched nature, you’ll also get to enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific from the picturesque hillside. The rooms are separate bungalows scattered across the resort, while the characteristic, classy interior gives you a sense of separation from the outside wilderness, yet should you want to be one with nature, you need only step outside.
The rooms and suites have wooden floors and ceilings, while the vast windows give you uninterrupted vistas. They also include safes and some have balconies. The only knock on the rooms themselves is probably that some of them lack air conditioning, but take into account that throughout the day you’ll most likely be exploring, so you’ll barely notice the difference. At night you could open the windows and enjoy the jungle breeze; it makes for great sleeping weather.
The in-house restaurant is housed in a tower-like structure, providing excellent views, while the food options are numerous. You could go for an a la carte international menu, or opt for a delicious four-course dinner. Everything’s prepared with the freshest ingredients and served by incredibly attentive waiters. And the best part? Complimentary wine.
Prices start at $335 per night, per person in low season.
Our third luxurious rainforest retreat on our list is Pacuare Lodge Hotel. Equally remote, scenic, and adventurous, it adds one more layer to the secluded experience – electricity-free rooms. Reaching the lodge is an adventure unto itself; you can choose to brave the river via long rafts, accompanied by experienced guides, or book a 4×4 wild ride through the jungle.