Costa Rica Romantic Resort Recommendations

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Jan 6th, 2006, 02:05 PM
  #1
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Costa Rica Romantic Resort Recommendations

We would like to go to Costa Rica and are looking for ideas on nice romantic resorts, preferably outdoor shower, etc. probably 3-4 stars class of resort, but 5 stars starts to get a little rich for what we're used to. We would like to go in April, but could be flexible on the dates. We're not sure which side of the island is preferred, or if there are clearly some resorts that would be a shame to miss. We'd like to be able to tour at least a little bit, zip line tour, small town shopping, snorkeling,etc. Can you help us zero in on a few ideas?

Thank you!!

Apprenticeship
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Jan 6th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Hi Apprenticeship,

I trust you meant INDOOR showers

The best resort in CR is at the Arenal Volcano. The name is Tabacon Resort. It is probably the equivalent of a 4 star in the States.

The resort is built at the base of an active volcano. Watching a volcano erupt from your hotel room is unbelieveable. It is best viewed late at night(4am), but worth getting up!

They have also carved out an intricate maze of hot tubs. All are filled by springs which are heated by the volcano you're looking at!?!?! Full bars are always in reach


The Arenal Volcano is the absolute highlight of the country, but it is a bit of a drive from the coasts.

West Coast is definitely better than east and the Quepos area (Specifically Manuel Antonio) is better than Flamingo or Tamarindo. Costa Verde is a nice hotel in Manuel Antonio, but maybe not romantic enough.

If you want a true romantic secluded resort. Playa Conchal fits the bill. Completely isolated, very nice, and on the beach (Near Flamingo/Guancaste airport)

Buen suerte
Clark
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Jan 6th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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How about any other ideas for nice resorts with secluded rooms? Not a resort in the middle of nowhere, but the option to be NAKED on the deck/veranda without the neighbors watching? We aren't looking for a nude resort, but a place where you can really feel comfortable outdoors. Ideally on the beach, close to a small town and good snorkelling close by. Any ideas?

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Jan 7th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Couple of things - First CR is not an island - I am sure that was just a slip of the mind wandering!!1

I agree - just love those outdoor showers! Bosque del Cabo down in the Osa Penisula has wonderful outdoor showers. Don't know if this place will fit your ideas - but do give it a look - http://www.bosquedelcabo.com/

Others to look at that would be romantic and get rave reviews. These are not large resorty types of places. Maybe this will give you a start to finding that perfect location! There are many more if these don't work for you.

Punta Islita
http://www.hotelpuntaislita.com/
Casa Chameleon http://www.hotelcasachameleon.com/
Villa Caletas http://www.hotelvillacaletas.com/
Hotel Milarpa http://www.milarepahotel.com/

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Jan 7th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I will check these out. You're right. My mind was wondering when I said island. We had been looking for a caribbean resort and then decided to zero in on Costa Rica. If you catch this note, please read my other post this morning about Arenal Volcano resorts and beach resorts. Thanks for the recommendations dfarmer!!

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Jan 7th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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If you want to be secluded, you might try Nicuesa Lodge. I can't guarantee you could be naked outside you room w/o being noticed, but you've got a good chance. It's in Golfito. You take a puddle jumper, and they'll pick you up in a boat. It's secluded -- no roads. Stay in one of the private cabins. The showers are open air -- jungle all around -- and a nice deck. Pretty private, but I'm sure the other people at the lodge including the staff would prefer you wear clothes at the beach. The food here is excellent, and there are miles of trails to hike, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, etc. It's a really cool place. It's a simple, rustic style but very nice -- made of beautiful wood. No fancy amenities but tons of atmosphere -- you can hear the animals eating the plants outside your room at night!

Sandy
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Jan 7th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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p.s. At Nicuesa, once it's dark they light lanterns all along the pathways, and the dining room is lit w/ candlelight only. Very romantic! And if you walk out to the pier at night you will be amazed at the sky. There is nothing to blot out the stars -- you see every star in the sky. It's astounding.

Sandy
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Jan 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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I would second the recommendation of Punta Islita and Bosque Del Cabo. Others with some character would be the Iguana Lodge, Tiskita Lodge, or Si Como No but none of them are cheap.

PI has a nice package with a place called Bosque de Paz called the jungle beach package- quite a good deal

I would respectfully disagree with the first poster- Tabacon is an overpriced badly run tourist trap.

"But it looks so nice on the web?" -

Don't waste your money. Visit if you must but don't stay there. Check tripadvisor.com- it dosn't even make the top 5 in Arenal let alone Costa Rica.

April is a good time to visit- in many places the "green season" rates begin.

Go to the local library- you can check all the major guide books before you buy one. For budget travelers Lonely Planet is worth giving a look.

Outdoor showers are common and very easy to find- enjoy
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Jan 8th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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I will third the recommendation for Punta Islita. PI is the most romantic resort I've ever visited -- we were there in 2001 and are returning in 4 months. The rooms are arranged up the hillside so that each has a beautiful view of the beach and ocean below. If you spring for the casita with private plunge pool, you will have privacy outdoors (I can't speak for the other room types). The casitas are next to each other, but there are very high privacy hedges between each. You will have a private patio with a plunge pool and hammock for 2. The patio is bordered by your casita, privacy hedges on 2 sides and a fabulous view down to the ocean. It is heavenly. We got a good deal for a 5-night package in an auction on luxurylink.com.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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Suggestions: Flor Blanca in Malpais...hard to get to...but we have heard that it's great once you are there. We did not stay there ourselves, but have had wonderful recommendations. Or try Sugar Beach at Playa Pan de Azucar, very small boutique hotel. There seems to be no problem with being topless on the beach. The Americans didn't do it, but the European ladies sure do, and our American husbands were very appreciative, although pretending not to look. Quite amusing. Best of luck wherever you stay. You will love CR.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Interesting about the topless sunbathing.

Tico and Tica friends of mine have told me they find it rather vulgar and offensive.

Jerry
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Jan 9th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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If nudity and topless sunbathing is a consideration for travel then certainly you need to read about that particular countries culture and values. Respecting our places of travel should be of great importance to us all.

Here is what the Lonely Planet guidebook says.

"Costa Ricans are generally quite conservative, and that applies to dress. Women travelers are advised to follow suit to avoid calling unneccessary attention to themselves. On the beach, skimpy bathing costumes are quite acceptable, although topless bathing and nudity are not. Some women travelers, especially Europeans, tend to think that what they do on the Mediterranean they can do in Costa Rica beach areas. Going topless may be fine in other places, but it is seen in Costa Rica as insensitive, rude and generally unacceptable."
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Jan 9th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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I also love outdoor showers! I recently did a search in Costa Rica for my honeymoon and came across two small "resorts"...and we were pretty much looking for the same thing you are looking for. Check out Florblanca Resort and Punta Islita Resort...both located on the west coast on the Nicoya Peninsula. They look amazing and definitely where I would go for my honeymoon. A few other people mentioned them as well. I have been to Tamarindo in Guanacaste...which was a great area...but stayed in a private house...so I don't know of any resorts there. We also went to the beach at Playa Conchal...which was amazing...white sand and great snorkeling...within driving distance to Tamarindo...but again not sure of any resorts. Hope that helps some...
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Jan 9th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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We loved the Lost Iguana resort in ARenal, our luxury suite was $160 a night and it was a big room, very nicely decorated, we were on first fllor with a nice patio surrounded by tropical vegetation for privacy and a jacuzzi on the patio, with walls on 2 sides and open to the tropical vegatation on one side. Volcano view from the patio. (Volcano view from every room.) Our Luxury suite had a dual-shower head large shower room with volcanic rock, plants growing in shower room, screen overhead so it's open to the moonlight. If you turn out the lights you do feel like it's an outdoor shower, romantic at night. I'm not sure that every luxury suite has this same exact shower, there might be some variation. My kids had a regular room (maybe called deluxe), and it was also very nicely decorated, much smaller though, and also had a nice private patio. Shower rooom was nice but not nearly as romantic as our shower room in luxury suite. I don't think the standard room has the 2-person jacuzzi either.

From what I have read from others, I do believe the luxury suites at Lost Iguana are more romantic than the rooms at the Tabacon. You can pay to use the hot springs at Tabacon even if you don't stay there. Or you can go to Ecotermales, smaller hot springs, where we went one evening about 2 hours before closing.
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Jan 9th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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I've been to FlorBlanca and it's really nice. The showers are open-air, there's a beautiful bedroom w/ king-size bed and a huge open-air living room. No mosquitos either! Very good food and the most beautiful pool.

Another special place is Tango Mar in Tambor. They have lots of different styles of rooms -- very very nice.

Sandy
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Jan 9th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Yes, generally Ticos don't like public nudity at all. My friend was guiding a group of Danish travelers who took off their clothes at the hotel pool. My friend was embarrassed to death and the hotel staff got very upset. They ended up telling them that they had to keep their clothes on.

Sandy
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Jan 10th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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I agree about the public nudity. I certainly wouldn't do it in CR or anywhere else, however, I just mentioned that it was what I saw. I think we Americans, Costa or North, are more modest than the Europeans. At my age, they'd be yelling for me to "put it on" not take it off. I also agree that when in Rome, etc. If the ticos do not care for public nudity, then that should be respected.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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Hi apprenticeship. Disclaimer: I've not yet been to CR!!
My son and d.i.l. went last year. One "romantic" place they stayed (first and last night) was Xandari, in Alajuela near the San Jose Airport. If i recall right from their description, the shower there is sort of open-air but enclosed with walls? Anyone here know for sure?
They also stayed at Paradisus Playa Conchal and loved it, and said the room was great, but it's a big resort as opposed to small more intimate. It's "all-inclusive" and is often hard to find inexpensive accom there. As others say here, the beach at Conchal is lovely.
Another place that sounds wonderful and romantic from the Fodorite reviews here, is Peace Lodge.
Here are web sites for these:
http://www.waterfallgardens.com/lapaz-peacelodge.htm
www.xandari.com

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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Xandari is beautiful. It is peaceful and quite, with nice walking trails and a delightful spa.

The showers are indoors, but with a glass wall with a view of a private courtyard.

Each villa has a completely private courtyard in the front with an area to sunbathe. In back there is another semi-private area to sunbathe with your own deck with a magnificant view. The view from the restaurant is fantastic, particularly at night when it is candle-lit and very pretty.

We stayed in Xandari for two nights in November and highly recommend it.
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