Tucked at the very tip of a beautiful Peninsula on the western coast of Costa Rica, you’ll find the equally beautiful Four Seasons Resort. We visited this unspoiled land to enjoy everything this incredible hotel has to offer.
The combination of relaxed luxury, epic Latin American scenery, impeccable, warm service, and excellent facilities make this stunning eco-resort an absolute dream to visit. We were welcomed with open arms and soon fell head over heels for the place. The Four Seasons resort seems to perfectly reflect this exotic country in which it makes its home. It fits into its beautiful environment perfectly, and you receive a vibrant Costa Rican welcome, the comfortable synergy with its home made us love it here all the more.
There’s no Four Seasons rewards program, but if you are a regular guest of the Four Seasons or even want to try this iconic brand for the first time, you can take advantage of complimentary loyalty style benefits at Four Seasons hotels, including free breakfast, hotel credit, room upgrades, and welcome gifts by booking your next stay via our luxury travel concierge.
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The best airport to fly into to reach Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is Guanacaste Airport in Liberia (full name Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport). This is the second largest international airport in Costa Rica, the other being San Jose. Liberia Airport is a short 30-minute scenic drive to the resort, whereas if you fly into San Jose. It’s more like a four-hour drive.
The location is nothing short of amazing; the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica is located on the very end of the Peninsula Papagayo in the northwest province of Guanacaste on the West Coast of Costa Rica. This enviable spot means the resort has a sandy beach on either side. From the main swimming pools, you can quite literally see the ocean on both sides! It’s hard to fully appreciate how close these beaches are but because they lie on opposite sides of the Peninsula, they feel totally different from each other too!
The gated community of Peninsula Papagayo is home to 3 exclusive resorts, residences, a private club, a marina, a host of restaurants both in the resorts themselves and several independent too, the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, a nature center, and an adventure tour company. There’s a lovely relationship between the establishments here, the hotels talk about each other’s restaurants, and they even provide complimentary travel anywhere on the Peninsula. We loved this. Often when you stay in a resort, you can feel limited to just that hotel. If you’re lucky, there may be a sister hotel, but here you can explore further yet in the utmost comfort with your driver delivering and collecting you, pausing only to point out wildlife on route!
Best Time To Visit
The dry season in Costa Rica runs from December through to April. This is when the weather is at the hottest and driest! It’s also peak time, so expect prices to be higher and the resort to be at its busiest. This may well suit you, but we actually found the tail end of the wet season to be a magical time to visit. We visited in mid-October when everything was green and in bloom. We saw very little rain, literally less than an hour in a couple of days, so for us this was more than worth it to be able to appreciate the stunning greenery.
Style & Character
The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica has the usual very high finishes, impressive architecture, a huge open lobby, and beautiful restaurants with an impressive style that will have your Instagram groaning. But it’s more than that here. The exotic Costa Rican flair shines through everywhere.
I love how you enjoy both the familiar Four Seasons luxury while also loving all the native touches. The décor calms and relaxes you from your initial welcome at the lobby as you sink into their comfortable sofas and check into paradise. The rooms themselves are a beautiful sea of calming neutral shades with natural materials again reminding you where you are and the public spaces are mainly left wide open to make the very most of the warm Costa Rican air and create a lovely flow to the resort.
Service & Facilities
The facilities here are nothing short of excellent. There are two huge freeform swimming pools. At both, the loungers (more day beds, really) are always given a front-row seat in the pools. There’s never any trouble finding a day bed, and your biggest decision is sun or shade! Once you’re settled, you are waited on hand and foot. The poolside staff are an absolute joy. Whether recommending the perfect cocktail (they got it spot on, we hated each other’s and loved our own) or telling our daughter her dolphin impression was brilliant, they add to your time here.
As well as being served food and drink on your lounger, there’s complimentary sun cream on hand so no excuse to get too many rays, and should it slip your mind, there’s also Aloe Vera to soothe your skin. Tucked by one of the pools there’s also an oversized whirlpool grotto. This is set slightly down from the main path and the overhanging plants give a feeling of tropical privacy.
You are spoilt having two sandy beaches within steps of each other, but each has a different purpose. One of the bays is much calmer with more sheltered waters, so it’s perfect for water sports. The other beach takes in beautiful views across to the Santa Rosa National Park and was our favorite spot to grab a lounger, really relax and soak up those views.
The endless facilities cater to all visitors. If you are an active or adventure traveler, the hotel itself offers hikes, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and the concierge is always on hand to advise and suggest an activity. Or the concierge can introduce you to their adventure partner, Papagayo Explorers, who welcome all Peninsula guests and assist with their every exploration requirement! You can also hire to try a round on the Arnold Palmer championship golf course overlooking the ocean, play a round of tennis on one of the five courts, work out at the newly renovated state-of-the-art fitness center, or maybe explore on an electric-assisted bike. If you can pull yourself away from the ocean, you can go horseback riding, or walk across hanging bridges. The choice really does go on and on!
If relaxation is key or you’re looking for a wellness retreat, then the spa offers a full program both in the spa itself and with a series of classes and experiences. Why not enjoy a massage, body treatment, or facial in one of their 18 lavish treatment rooms?
We made the most of their activity program and loved the introduction to stand-up paddle-boarding class. There can be a few views better designed to motivate you up onto your board! We also really enjoyed the animated cocktail-making and rum and chocolate-tasting classes. With an emphasis on local produce, the mixologists were full of facts and passionate about their craft and country while ensuring a huge amount of fun was had by all too! We burnt off those cocktail calories at a very funky Latin Dancing class and myself and my daughter fell in love with the incredible workout space for our Yogalates class (a fusion of Yoga and Pilates) on a balcony overlooking the ocean, a completely tranquil experience neither of us will ever forget.
For families, the hotel is just perfect too. Four Seasons are well known for welcoming their little guests just as well as the full-size ones, and Four Seasons Costa Rica certainly outdid themselves in this regard. The Kids For All Seasons kids club was just fabulous. When they found out they had their very own (very shallow!) kids-only pool, complete with miniature sun loungers, our children knew they’d found their happy place! The club’s range of activities is excellent, too, and the welcome from the lovely staff was so warm that any shyness soon disappeared, and they couldn’t wait to return to make their tie-dye t-shirts and Costa Rican jewelry! While the children reveled in the activities at the kid’s club, we were overjoyed to finally settle down at the adults-only pool. You are almost on the sand here, so you can admire the ocean and the pool as you relax in complete and utter blissful peace!
The service was the Four Seasons dream we hoped for, but the passion the staff all feel for the resort went further than that. They were just delighted to welcome us; nothing was too much trouble. There are golf carts available. You can request one whenever you need one or contact the concierge. These were an absolute highlight for our children. The drivers are just charm personified, and when they offered to take us up to find the monkeys. Of course, we said yes. We got lucky, and he found two mums with their babies playing in the trees, a magical sight we’ll never forget. The wildlife was a big part of our time here and the monkeys. There are so many lizards, you share breakfast with the tropical birds, and our favorite was the Coati, a member of the raccoon family, who had clearly had the Four Seasons service training. They couldn’t have been friendlier or happier to welcome us to their country!
One of my very favorite things about the service has got to be the Four Seasons app! Yes, this does operate at all Four Seasons hotels, and it’s always a sensational service, but with such an extensive activity program, with restaurants to book and golf carts to call, we made so much use of this app it was insane! They were absolutely lovely, so efficient, and so friendly. To be able to sit poolside and book your dinner and your excursion and ask for a tip for tomorrow night was so easy. Of course, ending every exchange with the Costa Rican refrain “Pura Vida” – meaning “Pure Life” and given as a wonderfully positive answer, greeting, and parting by everyone you meet – we loved it!
There are four buildings that hold 120 guest bedrooms. It’s pretty hard not to get an ocean view here, but the ground-floor Terraza Rooms do have more of a tropical forest aspect, though most definitely with an ocean peek! Higher up, you’ll find the Brisa Rooms and the Cielo Rooms on the top floor, which offer fabulous ocean views. All the rooms are spacious with equally huge and private fully furnished terraces. Ours had both a dining table and a large L-shaped sofa, ideal for us all to spread out and lounge about with a pre-dinner drink admiring the Costa Rican sunset. The rooms are air-conditioned, but one of my favorite things was that even with the doors closed and the air-con going, you can still very clearly hear the ocean! Your bathroom is, of course, the full marble bathroom with two sinks, a separate bathtub, and a walk-in shower that you expect at a Four Seasons hotel, wonderfully reassuring.
I have a real predicament deciding the best rooms at the Four Seasons Costa Rica! We were staying in one of the Cielo Rooms which are located right in the heart of the resort literally steps from the pools, beaches, restaurants, and all the facilities. Take the path a little higher, and you come across the Canopy Suites, which seem to float above the dry jungle on their stilts. These benefit from being more private. Many have their own plunge pools, which take full advantage of the stunning ocean views, you are slightly further from the action but for some people, this is a huge plus.
I think for a family, the rooms are perfect. For a couple, the suites would really work better as they offer more privacy and a more exclusive feeling. There’s also an interesting difference in the ocean experience too. You can’t avoid an ocean view here, but the rooms being lower down than the suites do come with those ocean sounds too!
I loved falling asleep each night to the mesmerizing sound of crashing waves and waking to the same reassuring sound of nature. Just idyllic. I’m not sure this would be quite so evident higher up, but then the ocean view only gets more magnificent. Not a bad choice to have to make really. You literally can’t go wrong. All the rooms and suites are just dreamy here!
For larger groups, there are some absolutely stunning three-bed suites with everything you need to make a real home from home in Costa Rica. As well as suites, the sensational private residences offer the utmost in luxury accommodation with gourmet kitchens and your own private butler and are located so your infinity pool enjoys the most panoramic ocean view imaginable.
Food & Drink
It’s hard not to expect a treat where the food and drink of the Four Seasons Costa Rica are concerned, the reputation is excellent, and we were not disappointed! The range is impressive, with a lovely choice of totally different cuisines and atmospheres at the restaurants.
Several of the main restaurants and bars are arranged along an attractive little strip perfectly positioned to take advantage of the poolside views. At night the pools are beautifully lit, and it really does make for cool, relaxing views, another excuse for an Instagram upload! The ocean and those beaches can be found at either end of this strip, thanks to the clever positioning of the resort to take advantage of both sides of the peninsula.
An amazing breakfast is served at the spacious Bahia restaurant; return here during the day for lunch and in the evenings for a Latin American feast created in their wood-fired open kitchen. We absolutely adored breakfast at Bahia, the service was just delightful; they are always on hand to offer you more coffee, juice, or any extra portions – always a resounding yes, please! The Costa Rican Breakfast was delicious, and great to try their local flavors, but then the Eggs Benedict was also divine; my biggest problem was always making a decision on what to have!
Next to Bahia, you’ll find La Reserva, a private tasting room housed in an inside-only bar with a statement wooden island at its heart. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here as this is the home of the hotel’s classes! So, our cocktail and the Rum & Chocolate class were held here. While we played being mixologists, our children relaxed with some coloring and books in the adjacent open-plan lounge room, and we joined them to finish off our masterpiece creations!
Next along is Añejo, a crudos and tapas bar open for all-day dining. We ate here the first night, and it served as the perfect welcome to the resort with some of the best poolside views and a creative menu. We tucked into lots of fun, picky bits. All washed down with great cocktails.
Pesce, an Italian restaurant, is the final establishment along this charming little strip. This evening-only restaurant boasts a large indoor area and a beautiful patio with those views again across both the ocean and the pools. We loved the vibe and the cuisine here so much that we managed to squeeze in a return visit! The service is warm, and every bit as efficient as across the whole resort, and the food is delectable. The lasagne was quite literally the best either of us has ever tasted. Our children loved the children’s menu but were so taken with a taste of my Linguine Al Pesto Genovese (with 24 months aged Parmigiano Reggiano – divine!) that on our second visit, despite my protests that it is quite a generous portion, they both demolished an adult-sized portion of this, with hopes that somehow, we could recreate this genius-level creation at home!
Further afield, a sophisticated steak restaurant Nemare can be found on the golf course, and the Tennis Centre is home to the relaxed Palapita Tap House; the place to go for Costa Rican street food washed down with a local craft beer or two.
For a taste of paradise in truly tropical surroundings where the ocean and wildlife become just as much a part of your stay as the welcoming service, wonderful facilities, and delicious food and drink, you’d struggle to do any better than the stunning Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica. We loved our time there and already, a month later, return to those memories time and time again, something we look forward to doing until we can visit again!
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