Lush gardens and manicured lawns surround this gorgeous, hacienda-style, luxury hotel overlooking a scenic lake. From the royal palms that line the driveway to the patterned tile floors and art-nouveau flourishes above the windows and doors, Casa Turire is an exercise in attention to detail. High-ceiling guest rooms have hardwood floors, elegantly upholstered furniture, sumptuous drapes and bedcovers on the queen or king beds, and bright, tiled bathrooms with tubs. Balconies look onto the lake or the beautifully landscaped pool area. The soaring plant-filled atrium is a civilized spot in which to relax after a day's adventure, or you can curl up in a leather chair in the library, or try out the pool table in the sitting room with an adjoining full-service bar. The restaurant offers exquisite faux finishes and trompe l'oeil murals and serves sophisticated dinners that are surprisingly reasonably priced. The extensive breakfast buffet is excellent, too. If you hanker after even more luxury,
the suites are exceptional, with Jacuzzi tubs, hydro showers, flat-screen TVs, and private terraces. The two-story master suite has a wraparound balcony. New, groomed trails around the lake offer pleasant shaded walks and bird-watching opportunities, and kayaks are available for paddling on the lake.
8 km (5 miles) south on Carretera a la Suiza from Turrialba, Turrialba, 30502, Costa Rica
/2531–1111; 877-750–6855-in North America