Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Punta Islita

16 km (11 miles) south of Playa Carrillo, Punta Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica Fodor's Choice

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, and all activities, including horseback riding, ziplining, and sea-turtle spotting, included in the rate. 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 thatch palapa, supported by tree-trunk pillars, covers the main restaurant, which opens onto an infinity-edge pool with an endless ocean view and a swim-up bar. Buffet breakfasts are excellent, as are lunches down at the breezy Beach Club, with its own oceanfront swimming pool. The food at the flagship Pacifica 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, which include golfing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and zipline tours, stop by the tranquil garden spa for massage treatments using local herbs. The hotel works hard at being sustainable; its extensive community involvement in creating the Punta Islita art village has helped earn it the country's top five-leaf rating.


  • gorgeous views
  • ultraluxurious rooms
  • top-notch service


  • isolated
  • distant
  • rocky beach
  • very pricey
  • steep paths to and from restaurant and beach club
  • but there is a shuttle van
  • distant, rocky beach
  • very pricey
  • steep paths to and from restaurant and beach club, but there is a shuttle van


Green, Romantic, Service, Views
Near the beach


Phones: -2231–6122-in San José | -2656–2020-hotel | 866-446–4053-toll-free in U.S. | -2565–3500-in San José


56 units
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

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