Tropical allure meets modern luxury in a jet-set holiday to sunny Costa Rica
Fly to Costa Rica in just under 11 hours, have a snooze, watch a film and arrive refreshed ready for rejuvenation in a paradise setting.
With average annual temperatures of between 21°C to 27°C, a holiday to Costa Rica gives visitors ample opportunities for luxuriating by the pool, ice-cold drink in hand.
Located between Panama and Nicaragua, Costa Rica is a luxury destination like no other – with a large expanse of tropical rainforest to explore, enticing natural beauty can be found around every corner. Those in search of adrenaline-inducing days out can take part in climbing, ziplining and scuba diving to immerse themselves in the abundance of scenery and wildlife.
For a little retail therapy, head to the vibrant capital San Jose with it’s eclectic architectural mix, variety of shops, bars and restaurants galore. While those purely wanting to unwind can do this too with stylish resorts providing peaceful and inspirational settings for reviving tired souls. As a small country, with the capital at its centre, it’s easy to travel around and take everything in on your holiday.
There are numerous resorts, which all have one thing in common, excellent hotels and beaches to die for. El Jobo brims with tranquillity through its alluring stretch of sands and tropical rainforest backdrop. Head to Playa Tamarindo for surfing, relaxation and sumptuous stretches of sands with a sprinkling of colourful wildlife.
Playa Conchal, located in the north of the Guanacaste province, has delightfully warm waters for swimming and snorkelling and a selection of chic hotels. Move away from the touristy spots to discover deserted pale sands, palm trees and exotic birdlife, such as Playa de Matapalo, which boasts a variety of rustic beaches.
Living the high life in Costa Rica
Playa de Mataplalo exudes natural charm, exclusive hotels and wonderful natural attractions. Adventurous types may want to treat themselves to a horse ride through the volcanic national park and enjoy the natural indulgence of a dip in one of the bubbling mud pools before cooling off under a refreshing waterfall.
Have an exhilarating round or two of golf in Playa Conchal at the championship Garra de Leon course, considered to be one of the best in Central America. Hotels in the area pride themselves on their chic a la carte restaurants, perfect for fine dining and socialising.
With a choice of 4* and 5* hotels, El Jobo promises pure indulgence through a sheltered cove and abundance of plant and birdlife. Non-motorised watersports provide an active alternative to sunbathing, or culture vultures can check out the museum of Costa Rican Culture.
Playa Tamarindo provides a good selection of modern amenities, with everything from souvenir stands to independent shops. Or those in search of serious retail therapy can head to the Garden Plaza Mall which is full of boutiques and restaurants.
Other luxury holidays to take a look at
If luxury is the goal, but you want to look beyond Costa Rica, there are plenty more options. The Caribbean islands offer a classic break with dazzling beaches and a large selection of excellent hotels. Gran Canaria, an island with chic hotels, exclusive beaches and boutique shopping is another option. Or, why not consider Mexico’s exclusive Playacar, offering a luxurious base from which to explore the intriguing Mayan Riviera.
But, if Costa Rica has won you over check out our handy travel guide to find out more. Here are a selection of decadent hotels to whet your travel tastebuds.
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Boasting a secluded beachfront setting and full entertainment programme the 5* Riu Palace Costa Rica Hotel exudes class. The four a la carte restaurants, including Japanese and Italian dining experiences, ensure plenty of choice, with further restaurants at the neighbouring Riu Guanacaste Hotel. Head to the beach for snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing or have a workout in the gym. For drinks and relaxation the Daiquiri lobby bar, Stars lounge bar and terrace and Melody plaza bar provide elegant setting in which to unwind.
Cool interiors decorated in cream and brown tones ensure the stylish Playa Tamarindo hotel has a distinctly boutique-style vibe. Extra touches like the swim-up pool bar, seafront restaurant and access to the beach club will offer guests a holiday that whispers relaxation. A free shuttle bus service to the resort centre is available for those wanting to explore further afield, but with so much to do on-site guests may not want to leave the comfort of their poolside lounger.
Set right on Conchal Beach in lush tropical gardens, the 5* Westin Playa Conchal Hotel is stylish, modern and comfortable. The huge lagoon-style pool offers a venue for a complete battery re-charge with delicious food available in the eight hotel restaurants. Sporty types can try their hand at snorkelling, tennis and kayaking, plus enjoy golf or indulgent spa treatments for an additional cost. In the evenings head to one of the four bars for a cocktail and watch the nightly shows and entertainment.
It's 5* all the way at the luxurious Dreams Las Mareas Hotel, with it's eight restaurants and glistening stretch of private beach. The two swimming pools, surrounded by loungers, and elegant Barracuda poolside bar create a laid-back atmosphere. There's even a swim-up bar if getting out of the pool seems too much like hard work. Stay in shape at the fitness centre, try a yoga session or try out snorkelling or kayaking. It's entertainment aplenty, with a weekly beach party, theme nights and parties and a music lounge and nightclub to check out.