Rugged Costa Rica is a stunning mix of pristine beaches and vast protected jungles with unbelievable wildlife, including spider monkeys, quetzal birds, waterfalls, and volcanos waiting to be discovered. The best luxury hotels in Costa Rica include Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas, Andaz Papagayo, El Alma, El Mangroove, Florblanca, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Hotel Aguas Claras, La Paloma Lodge, Los Sueños Resort, and The Springs Resort & Spa at Arena.
Wherever you decide to stay, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, Hilton, and other loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our concierge.
Here is our pick of 10 of the world’s best luxury hotels in Costa Rica:
1. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
Papagayo is a magical Costa Rica peninsula, a 20-minute drive from the Liberia International Airport. Blessed with year-round heat and a lush landscape of sandy beaches, rugged coastline, cloud-forest havens, and rainforest canopies, expect a stay here to satisfy your beachside dreams and offer a surprising array of exciting wildlife in stunning surroundings.
We recently reviewed Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo commands views over the undulating and forest-covered peninsula. The resort stretches over 250 acres, with the bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The entrance gate is cleverly positioned to take advantage of the views as the bay first comes into view. The vista that embraces you as you arrive is straight out of the movies.
The hotel foyer is an airy mix of pillars and bamboo ceilings. Head down the stairs, and the room opens to showcase two of the hotel’s pools, including a central pool, sundeck, and a separate family pool. Staff cannot do enough, offering towels, cool washcloths, and ice water, plus the stations supply complimentary sunscreen or after-sun.
To one side of this Four Seasons peninsula is a grey–sand beach. On the other, a crescent of palm-shaded white sand. Other facilities include an excellent spa, golf, numerous eateries, and a lobby bar. Everything you need for that luxury trip away. A stay here is the stuff dreams are made of.
Wherever you are in the world, Four Seasons hotels are consistently one of the best hotels in that city or resort. There isn’t a Four Seasons loyalty program, so you will never be able to book a free stay by racking up and redeeming points, or by collecting points on your credit card and spending them at a Four Seasons hotel. It can’t be done. But you can get discounts at Four Seasons hotels and benefit from special rewards at Four Seasons hotels for no extra cost by booking your next stay via our luxury travel concierge.
2. Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas
Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas is undoubtedly the best boutique hotel that we know of in Costa Rica and it is not just us with this opinion. This hotel is multi-award winning, being named in the Top 10 Hotels in Latin America by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2019, receiving a prestigious Forbes Travel Guide 4-Star Rating award, and being a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award Winner in 3 separate categories.
Located on Costa Rica’s pristine and exotic Guanacaste peninsula, Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas is perched high on the hilltop, above the new walkable town of Las Catalinas. Just 45 minute’s drive from the Liberia Airport.
Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas features 21 private, one-bedroom villas with personal salt water plunge pools and ocean views overlooking Sugar and Penca Beaches. This ‘adults only’ boutique resort allows you to experience the best Costa Rican adventure and culture.
If you look to the sea from Las Catalinas, the Pacific stretches for miles in every direction and beckons with its beaches, swells, and warm waters, which are ideal for great swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and more. Turn your gaze toward land, and you’ll find over 1,000 acres of tropical forest, hills, and valleys that can be explored on foot, bike, or horseback.
The resort enjoys panoramic ocean views, minimalist contemporary design, an incredible ‘zero edge’ infinity pool, and a terrific sunset bar scene at Sentido Norte Restaurant and Bar. If you’re looking to relax, the resort also offers in-villa spa and beauty treatments, as well as yoga and wellness experiences for an additional fee. If you choose to venture outside the resort, guests can partake in ziplining, horseback riding, and birdwatching, not forgetting the top-notch, thrill-seeking 80 kilometers of mountain biking, hiking trails, and popular triathlons that all lie nearby!
3. Andaz Papagayo
Nestled where the Gulf of Papagayo meets the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort extends over a vast hillside with breathtaking views over the ocean and to the mountainous behind. The reason to travel to this Andaz Papagayo Resort is to bathe in infinity pools shaded by jicaro trees and framed by views of the cobalt blue bay.
The 153 deluxe vibrant yet stylish rooms become one with the lush natural vegetation behind the resort. There are two cascading outdoor pools. The main infinity pool (complete with complimentary suntan lotion) overlooks the trees where monkeys pass by. Sit out by this pool in the evening and expect to see families of white-faced monkeys jump past in the trees, making their way down to the beach. There are also iguanas and lizards, hummingbirds, and butterflies attracted to the flowers in and around the resort.
Spend the afternoon on two of the resort’s secluded sandy beaches. The Prieta Beach Club, which is about 15 minutes away by shuttle, is offered exclusively to the Andaz and Four Seasons guests. The black sand hotel beach is closer, shaded by trees with a drink and towel service, countless beach chairs, free kayaks, and snorkeling gear.
The Andaz Papagayo is stunning and has made it onto “The Hot List” of Conde Nast Traveller in the UK and USA and Travel + Leisures IT LIST- so it is not just me that thinks this place is rather special.
4. El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Hotel
Panama beach in Costa Rica’s north-west corner is home to the trendy El Mangroove, an Autograph Collection Hotel. This is your best Marriott hotel choice in Costa Rica. El Mangroove sits in 17 acres of lush, tropical grounds and takes its name from its location in the dense mangrove forest on the chocolate sand shores of Playa Panama.
It is also situated on the Papagayo Peninsula, where you will also find the Hyatt Andaz and the Four Seasons outlined above. The bustling Playa del Coco and offers tranquil waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Golfers are well served by the nearby Arnold Palmer signature golf course, and scuba divers should try the shark-friendly Bat Islands.
This eco-sensitive property promises “20 minutes from touchdown to sand” as it is the closest resort to Liberia International Airport. This means that you can be lazing in the Presidential Suite in under half an hour and enjoying its plunge pool and direct beach access.
This luxury beach boutique hotel has 85 sleek suites which offer a boho-chic vibe. These modern, comfy rooms feature open-air living rooms with quirky local art. They bring the outside in with their outdoor lanai, which offers the perfect relaxing place on comfy chairs and hammocks.
Feast on the sensational gastronomy of the elegant restaurants. During the day, try the light bites offered by the Matiss restaurant in an oceanfront sandbox setting. As the evening approaches, this open-air lounge offers stylish dining and cocktails to beating tunes.
Start the night by chilling at the bar, enjoy the scene, and watch how the sun fades. With a live DJ and a mixologist who will mix you killer cocktails, the nights at El Mangroove will soothe your soul! Watch out for the beach night barefoot events, full moon parties, and cocktail star watching.
The sprawling pool and chocolate sand beach area are stylish and flanked by an array of poolside lounges. The poolside cabanas have flat-screen TVs, fully-stocked minibars, and an exclusive concierge who will serve you whatever you want. For something a bit different, the outdoor center at the beach will rent you light-up paddleboards for sunset journeys.
Relaxing at this beach-side hang-out is easy. An onsite spa will relax you before you hit the gourmet restaurants and enjoy the thumping tunes from the live DJ. The house music, sun-soaking, moon-gazing, and decadent lifestyle make El Mangrove feel like South Beach in Costa Rica.
5. La Paloma Lodge
La Paloma Lodge sits at the top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and backed by the lush tropical jungle. The property is located on 14 acres and is just a short walk from the cool waters of Agujitas River and secluded black-sand beaches.
Accommodations include 7 bungalows and 4 rooms, all equipped with air-conditioning and offering a sanctuary for those looking to reconnect with nature. The newest addition is the private 3 bedroom Luxury Beach House, which is off-site and offers quiet seclusion amongst nature while still having access to the amenities and support of the lodge.
Relax amidst the richness and splendor of the tropical jungle. From your balcony, watch monkeys playing in the trees, catch a glimpse of scarlet macaws soaring overhead or relax poolside with your favorite book. Explore Corcovado National Park, snorkel in the clear waters of Caño Island, and indulge in all that this tropical paradise has to offer.
6. The Springs Resort and Spa at Arena
With a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano, natural hot and cold springs, five unique dining experiences, and an impressive full-service Spa, The Springs Resort and Spa at Arena promises to overwhelm you in every aspect of quality, service, and design.
This Costa Rica luxury resort perches one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley on a mountain ridge just six kilometers north of the active volcano but safely outside the government-declared danger zone. This luxury hotel’s higher altitude relative to other hotels in the area allows for not only incomparable views of the Arenal volcano, the lush valley, and the surrounding towns that sparkle at night but also access to the area’s famous prevailing breezes.
In fact, the name Arenal volcano is an indigenous word meaning “Window of the Wind.” With an average daytime high temperature of 80˚F in the shade and nighttime lows averaging 70˚F, you are sure to enjoy countless comfortable hours in your balcony hammock, al fresco dining, or sipping a frothy tropical cocktail in one of our spring pools or our private Arenal hot springs.
This luxury Costa Rica resort sits on the shores of the Pacific coast. Located on the pristine beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, in an unspoiled tropical jungle overlooking the world-famous surf of Playa Santa Teresa, Florblanca offers a vacation experience like no other.
At Florblanca, you will always enjoy fresh, healthy, and locally grown food prepared by our chefs at Nectar. Stimulate your senses with surfing, hiking, horseback riding, or zip-line excursions. Connect more deeply with the world around you with professionally guided sessions of Yoga or Pilates. And when you are ready to thoroughly indulge, try any of our relaxing and rejuvenating body treatments at the stunning Spa Bambu.
After all this activity, retreat to your own private beachfront villa, enjoy our luxurious amenities and marvel at the natural beauty, serenity, and energy of Florblanca.
8. Hotel Aguas Claras
Set just a hop and a skip from the golden sands of Playa Chiquita in Puerto Viejo, Aguas Claras is the only five-star hotel on Costa Rica’s sunkissed Caribbean Coast. Nestled amidst tropical gardens beside the ocean, this is a sustainable luxury destination where nature, arts, and community harmoniously intertwine.
The life work of a local Costa Rican artist, Hotel Aguas Claras, offers modern, characterful accommodation, with every corner of the boutique resort designed to deliver the Caribbean experience at its very best.
9. El Alma Private Villa & Soul Retreat
For a tropical hideaway high up in the mountains, pick El Alma Private Villa & Soul Retreat. This villa is set in a tropical paradise within the lush green hills of the Papagayo Península, with views of the Playa Prieta on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The gardens are a huge part of the experience here, and you will find yourself spending a lot of time outside; there is a pool, Jacuzzi, and pool decks with a hanging day bed, plus a patio with a pergola and a beautiful rancho. The views from the garden over the Pacific are take-your-breath-away fabulous, and the garden really is the ideal place to relax and disconnect.
10. Los Sueños Resort and Marina
Los Sueños Resort and Marina is located on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast with its own beach and built around a horseshoe-shaped bay. Initially, this was a rural beach and a sleepy little village. Nowadays, it offers one of the largest and most luxurious resorts in Costa Rica. Set around the expanse of the Marriott Los Suenos, with an integral marina and golf course, this resort represents a world of adventure, excitement, incredible landscapes surrounded by lush rainforest.
Los Sueños actually encompasses a private 600-acre rainforest reserve; the 201-room five-star Marriott hotel; over 500 luxury residences and lavish villas; a full-service 200-slip international marina; an exclusive Beach Club for residents and an 18-hole championship golf course.
Los Sueños Resort and Marina are located close to the capital of San Jose, which makes a nice beach escape for those limited on time. The waters at Los Sueños Resort and Marina are a lot more tranquil than at surrounding beaches, making this a safe place for swimming.
Carara National Park nearby has a lot to offer to nature enthusiasts. Famous for its crocodiles in the Tarcoles River and mangroves, where you can see birds such as toucans, macaws, and herons. The trails in this park will allow you to see abundant wildlife and impressive flora.
Other activities include deep-sea fishing, sport fishing, golf, horseback riding, hikes in the rainforest, and zipline tours. If you prefer to laze by the pool, paddle on the beach, and enjoy fine dining in and around the marina.
For me, the highlight of any resort is the Oceanfront Beach Club, and Los Sueños Resort does not disappoint. There is an impressive, free-form swimming pool and jacuzzi, shower and change facilities, expansive decks, fountains, a swim-up bar, and an elevated, white sand beach with shade palapas, with a spectacular view of Los Sueños Marina and Herradura Bay. This pool and white sand beach are exclusive to homeowners and offer safe, calm waters.
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