Voted one of Central America's best hotels by Conde Nast Traveler, the grand Marriott San Jose offers resort-style accommodations amid a 30-acre coffee plantation setting. Surrounded by lavish gardens, the colonial hacienda-style hotel is both elegant and relaxed, with every conceivable guest amenity. Luxurious rooms feature heavy, dark-wood furnishings, supremely comfortable beds, spacious, well-appointed bathrooms, work desks and in-room Wi-Fi, and wrought-iron balconies with magnificent views over the sprawling Central Valley and mountains. Enjoy recreation opportunities with two palm-shaded outdoor pools, tennis courts, state-of-the-art fitness center, and walking paths through the lush gardens. The spa offers a range of indulgent treatments, while several sophisticated restaurants and bars serve diverse cuisine featuring Japanese, Peruvian and other Latin American specialties.
Tiskita Jungle Lodge
Punta Banco, Costa Rica
Tiskita Jungle Lodge on Costa Rica’s remote southern Pacific coast lies at the heart of an 800-acre private rain forest reserve comprising primary, secondary and reforested areas. This multi-generation family-owned ecolodge is the only accommodation in this undeveloped area just a few miles from the Panama border. Tiskita’s nine hand-built cabins, crafted from fallen hardwood trees, contain 17 guest rooms that survey the sea from a high ridge. Each cabin has its own veranda with comfortable sitting chairs and hammocks. Cabins have ceiling fans, private bathrooms and a covered stone shower that opens onto the rain forest. Common areas include the main lounge and dining area open to the fresh ocean breezes, a small natural history library for browsing, and a swimming pool surrounded by gardens. In the game area, play ping pong, foosball or chess. Meals are prepared with fresh local fare, incorporating some of the more than 125 types of organic tropical fruit grown on the estate. Wildlife abounds in these lush environs: squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys and white-faced capuchins swing through the trees, sloths cling to high branches, agouti nose through the underbrush, and 275+ bird species thrive in this verdant habitat, along with endemic frogs and reptiles. Guests will enjoy a sense of supreme isolation at Tiskita, since the lodge is located about as far as you can get from the usual tourist track in Costa Rica.
Sur de Uvita, Costa Rica
Cristal Ballena is located adjacent to Ballena Marine National Park along Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast, just south of Dominical. The 4-star boutique hotel is surrounded by 30 acres of tropical gardens, set on a hillside between the sea and rain forest backdrop. The location affords fabulous ocean views and dramatic sunsets, with cooling breezes off the jungle-draped mountains behind. Airy, Mediterranean-style suites offer spacious accommodations in a tranquil setting, with magnificent views from private balconies accented with plants. Each suite incorporates decor made from natural materials and is fully furnished with a four-poster bed draped with a gauzy canopy, sitting area with large desk, private bathroom, air conditioning plus ceiling fan, satellite television, Wi-Fi, telephone, mini bar, safe and coffeemaker. A full breakfast buffet is served each morning at the Pura Vida restaurant and bar, located outdoors on the covered terrace next to the 1,300-square-foot swimming pool. Lunch and dinner, featuring local and international cuisine, is also served here or in the fully air-conditioned Salon Cristal. The Spa Cristal offers a full range of treatments inspired by Costa Rica's natural environs, including chocolate, papaya and marine wraps, coffee scrubs, hot stone massages, facials and more. Rain forest hiking paths leave from the hotel grounds, and Uvita Beach, famous for its whale-tail shape, is accessible via a relatively short walk down to the shoreline.
Savegre Hotel & Natural Reserve
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica
Sheltered within lush cloud forest in a deep river valley in the Talamanca Mountains, Savegre Hotel and Natural Reserve enjoys a setting of exceptional tranquility 55 miles south of San Jose. This family-run 4-star ecolodge is located at a cool 7,200 feet within a private nature reserve bordering Los Quetzales National Park—the ideal base for exploring the wonders of the tropical cloud forest. Abundant birds, including many hummingbird species, flit among the extensive gardens while a network of nature trails beckons guests to explore the surrounding forest, filled with waterfalls and wildlife.
Spacious, newly updated cottage-style guest rooms are scattered throughout the verdant grounds, providing comfortable accommodations in harmony with the natural environs. Large en suite bathrooms have basin, toilet, hot shower and hair dryer. Knotty pine walls and ceilings lend a rustic, cozy feel inside, while individual terraces invite relaxing outdoors. The main lodge includes a restaurant with huge picture windows that survey the surrounding gardens. The bar and lounge area center on a circular fireplace, for convivial socializing on cool mountain evenings. Time permitting, guests can enjoy a Jacuzzi, massage and other therapeutic services in the Del Rio spa.
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