Overlooking the ocean from a forested ridge, this secluded and sublime hotel is luxury incarnate, with villas, casitas, suites, and spacious rooms sprinkled around the bougainvillea-bedecked hillside. King-size beds have rough-hewn wooden bedposts and filmy curtains, and bathrooms are tiled, with deep tubs and mosaic detailing. Casitas and suites have their own private plunge pools or outdoor whirlpools and private gardens with a hammock, one of the main attractions for
the many honeymooners. A massive thatched palapa covers the main restaurant, which opens onto an infinity-edge pool with an endless ocean view and a swim-up bar. Breakfasts, included in the rate, are excellent, as are lunches down at the breezy Beach Club, with its own oceanfront swimming pool. The food at the flagship 1492 Restaurant, though good, still doesn't reach the heights you would expect here. Service is impeccable and very personal—everyone knows your name. If you overdo it with the activities here—including golfing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and zip-line tours—stop by the tranquil, garden spa for sybaritic massage treatments using local herbs. The hotel works hard at being sustainable; its extensive community involvement has earned it the top five-leaf rating.
16 km (11 miles) south of Playa Carrillo, Punta Islita, Costa Rica
/2231–6122-in San José; /2656–2020-hotel; 866-446–4053-toll-free U.S.