This lively, barefoot inn—shoes come off at the bottom step—is set on a precipitous hillside with a spectacular panorama that includes a colorful garden and scarlet macaws foraging in the almond trees that line the beach. Energetic owner Terry Conroy makes sure everyone joins in the fun, and his serene wife, Katya, makes a mean margarita. Steep stairs are plentiful here, including a 500-step "Stairway to Heaven" up to an even loftier lookout, where the odd puma has
been spotted. Comfortable rooms in the lodge have huge ceramic bathrooms. Two wooden cabins are perfect for those craving privacy. The Monkey House cabin is great for families. Less-expensive tentlike tiki cabinas sit on 10-foot platforms and share a bathhouse. Inventive meals with lots of fresh fish are served on two breezy terraces with spectacular views of the coastline. The breakfast buffet is served on a huge patio where monkeys come to feast on bananas. There's also a small, spring-fed plunge pool with a hammock rancho, a yoga deck, a spa, a shaded beach pavilion, and a bird-watching trail through primary forest. The hotel organizes beach and trail rides on horseback.