Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Shawandha Lodge offers peaceful, eco-friendly accommodations in the heart of Costa Rica’s South Caribbean coast. Located four hours from San Jose and four miles from Puerto Viejo, the nearest town, the lodge’s setting fosters a sense of remote relaxation. Every aspect of a stay here reflects the custom touches of its owners, fashion and interior designer Maho Diaz and Nicolas Buffile, an ethnological documentarian and restaurant owner in Cataluna.
Just 14 tranquil bungalows are nestled within five acres of tropical rainforest at the sea’s edge, harmonizing seamlessly with the natural environment. The thatched bungalows are built in a ‘neo-primitive’ style, incorporating native materials such as bamboo and palm, and ceramic mosaic designs by local artists in each bathroom. No one bungalow is exactly like another in terms of décor, yet all have comfortable king-size beds, private en-suite bathrooms, and a spacious veranda with a hammock for relaxing.
The on-site restaurant, Wandha, offers some of the finest cuisine in the region, with a French touch flavoring the tropical offerings. Meals feature fresh local ingredients including fruits, vegetables, eggs, seafood and rich Costa Rican coffee. An open-air lounge area completes the facilities at Shawandha. Guests feel immersed in the rainforest as they are surrounded by prolific vegetation – more than 200 types of trees, plants and flowers – and resident wildlife, including a chorus of tropical birds and howling monkeys. Just 600 feet away, accessible only by walking trails, is the pristine beach of Playa Chiquita, with a long expanse of white sand and crystal-clear water. Playa Chiquita is an active member of the Blue Flag Program, which is committed to sustainable beach development and use.