I feel like this is probably the most awaited post in a long time. Actually, I had no plans to write it, but when the number of questions on “where to sleep in Costa Rica” was over 100 in a day, I gave up on answering them individually.
So here it is – especially for you and at your request. This is a summary of all the best and most recommended accommodation in Costa Rica. Each one is unique and offers a different experience. Some places are small family lodgings, and others are unbelievable, luxurious, and eco-friendly retreats. I think that everyone will find something for themselves.
I spent weeks looking for these places before my trip, and then I tested each of them on myself. These are my personal choices, and no one pays me to recommend them. If you are reading this post and you were one of those who asked for it, and you use my other posts when planning your trip, for example, about Costa Rica, I have a personal request for you – Dear Reader.
Under each post, there is a green button that allows you to buy me virtual coffee (BUY ME A COFFEE), in other words, support me and my blog in exchange for the knowledge and travel experience that I share.
This is the only kind of monetization for my work that I have on the blog. As you can see from the beginning of its existence, which is already 5 years, I have not had affiliate links, banners, or annoying ads that pop up from everywhere. I’m not doing it on purpose to provide you with the best Travel and Keep Fit experience.
In practice, if each one of you who asked me for advice and help in planning a trip to Costa Rica would buy me a friendly coffee in exchange for the time that I spent doing this, I would not have to focus on external jobs but instead, I could spend that time writing and creating even more detailed “ready to go” guides for you.
So to the point.
I traveled the length and breadth of Costa Rica, living there for many months. Depending on how much time you have and what you are up to, the exploring of this country can be arranged in a million ways. Therefore, the order of the following places is random, and you can adjust them to what you are looking for.
San Jose and the area
My first accommodation in Costa Rica, and it makes me smile when it comes to my mind. Hotel Pibi Boreal -a small but charming bed & breakfast with just 5 rooms, each with a large balcony overlooking the rainforest. Floating like a cloud in the rainforest canopy near the airport, this family-run Pibi Boreal hotel is one of the most peaceful, quiet, and relaxing places in the Alajuela area. Pibi Boreal is located exactly between Alajuela and Santa Barbara, a typical colonial town, in a private rainforest reserve, surrounded by two rivers. Just 15 minutes from Juan Santa Maria airport (SJO). It’s the perfect place for the first night in Costa Rica, and I stayed there for a few days, making it a base for visiting the surrounding national parks. On the first morning here, I saw a Costa Rican toucan by my balcony after waking up. Definitely a good omen! :)
Most of the luxury hotels in Costa Rica are small, eco-friendly, and boutique places. They are unique, surrounded by pure nature, and guarantee privacy, which is everything that makes up luxury in the modern world. When I first discovered Ecolirios Boutique Hotel & Spa, I knew that I had found something really special that will make my stay in this country a long one. And I wasn’t wrong.
Ecolirios is just over two hours’ drive on the scenic road from San José. The hotel has only five apartments. They are all located in the rainforest and are architectural pieces of art. Sophisticated décor created with the use of Costa Rican wood and natural light creates a space for relaxation. Ecolirios Boutique Hotel & Spa is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, a honeymoon, or simply relaxing in a natural setting. For me, this place embodies what is most beautiful in Costa Rica – nature, cordiality, and wonderful, unforgettable moments.
Read a full post about this hotel here: Ecolirios Boutique Hotel&Spa – a luxury eco-friendly cottages in the Costa Rican jungle
Hotel Azul Ocean Club Beachfront
AZUL Ocean Resort Beachfront Boutique Hotel is located in one of the five world-renowned “Blue Zones” between the Pacific Ocean and the Costa Rican jungle. The rooms are furnished with the highest quality materials, including quartz, Italian porcelain floors, and spacious bathrooms with outdoor showers. Each room has a patio with a hammock overlooking the ocean, so you can swing to the sound of the waves all day, and there is a great wellness spa and a restaurant serving delicious meals. It’s such a perfect place to take a break from intense exploring of Costa Rica and enjoy being here and now in a beautiful setting.
The Retreat Costa Rica
Amazing luxury wellness paradise in the heart of Costa Rica. The Retreat Costa Rica is not only exclusive boutique wellness and spa resort, surrounded by an organic garden with stunning views of the Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. It is a place where you can take care of your body and soul renewal, take a break from the chaos and pace of everyday matters, and focus on yourself. It is a place that each of us needs from time to time – surrounded by beautiful nature, with breathtaking sunsets, a healthy menu, holistic regeneration treatments—refined down to the smallest detail so that each element gives a sense of balance and brings relief. Luxury in many dimensions.
The Retreat Costa Rica has 13 unique and elegant rooms, the Vida Mia Healing Center and Spa, two organic restaurants, an organic coffee plantation, two saltwater pools, a yoga studio, a meditation patio, organic gardens, and hillside paths. Everything is located in the central valley region, considered “one of the best climates in the world” by the National Geographic Society.
Read the full post about this hotel: The Retreat Costa Rica – luxury wellness&spa paradise in the heart of Costa Rica
Central Costa Rica and Arenal area
La Finca Lodge
If you look into the dictionary, the exact translation for La Finca is “The Farm”, but for Costa Rican people, La Finca has a very special meaning.
It is more than a place to live and work, La Finca is identity, it is a place where families grow, where values are inherited and passed on, a hard work ethic, respect for others and their work.
So La Finca Lodge is great accommodation and activities for everyone. Private, safe, peaceful, and surrounded by nature – a place like no other, a little piece of the real Costa Rica! All rooms and villas overlook horse pastures, rainforest, and misty mountains. There is also a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and an organic greenhouse. In the garden in front of my house, I was able to admire toucans and tropical birds every day.
La Finca Lodge is only 16 kilometers from La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano), yet it borders wildlife, rivers, and forests. For me, it was a base for exploring the Arenal area. Wonderful place!
Monteverde and the area
El Tucán is a place for those who are into nature and tranquility. It is located on the outskirts of Santa Elena. Hence, close to all attractions of the Monteverde area. The cabins are located on a coffee farm, which looks really amazing. The equipment is very basic but sufficient. You come here for panoramic mountain views and great sunsets.
You can use the football field, walk around the banana and coffee plantations. Guests have at their disposal outdoor tables and a small kiosk.
The important thing is that you need a 4×4 car to get here. Additionally, it is worth taking into account that these are mountainous areas and there is no heating in the cabins, so you need to have warm clothes with you. One more thing: the owners don’t speak a word of English.
Western Costa Rica – Coyote Beach
Casa pequeña / Costa de Oro
Casa pequeña (= small house) is located directly on the Costa de Oro beach (part of Playa Coyote), 5 kilometers southwest of San Francisco de Coyote. This “pequeña casa” represents typical Costa Rican style: a large room with a partition wall, brick bed, wardrobe, and desk.
You can prepare small, cold snacks in the dining area (with a coffee machine, fridge). There is no KITCHEN, so you can’t cook anything, but the owners (a lovely German couple) run a fantastic beach restaurant next door. One of the best seafood I have eaten in Costa Rica!
This place was my last one before I left Costa Rica, and I stayed here for 10 days. It was an idyll. The beach is the most beautiful one that I have seen in Costa Rica, and you have it literally to yourself because not only do a few people live in the area, but they are also not tourist places. I would come back with no hesitation.
Domenical and the area
Colibrí Jungle House – Dominical
Colibrí Jungle House is located in the mountains above Dominical and Hatillo. It is just 10-12 minutes from Dominical, where there are supermarkets and restaurants. The cabin is in the middle of a dense jungle, giving you a truly Costa Rican experience of communing with nature. This is where I saw the most animals and birds – sloths, monkeys, toucans, coats, hummingbirds. Heaven on earth, and at the same time, the house is super modern and beautifully decorated. Colibrí has a fully functional kitchen, a large bedroom, a large bathroom with a washing machine, and a beautiful outdoor shower (taking a shower under the palm trees – fantastic experience). The kitchen opens onto a living room with a TV, a comfortable sofa, and a large fold-out armchair. Patios with an outdoor dining area surround the house; there is a grill in the back. There are streams, a waterfall, and trails nearby. I lived here for a couple of weeks, surfing the local beaches. It was great!
Casitas Del Rio Unique Relaxing Riverfront Retreat
Casitas Del Rio are three “jungle” Casitas on the river bank. Each has a porch where you can sit for hours and watch the hummingbirds in the beautiful privacy of the jungle. The place is excellently located within walking distance of beaches, grocery stores, restaurants. The small town of Uvita and the beautiful beaches of Playa Ballena, Playa Colonia, and Playa Hermosa are a 5-minute drive from Casita. Dominical, a popular destination among surfers with its cheerful bohemian vibe, is a 12-minute drive north.
There is a private guarded parking lot next to the apartment, as well as a swimming pool. The area offers great mountain and coastal scenery, kayaking, zip-lining, horse riding, hidden waterfalls, and surfing. It is definitely a place for longer holidays, and for example, combining work and relaxation. Actually, all of the above places that I have told you about are perfect for this. You know that I work all the time, no matter where I am, so I tested it on myself. And the conditions for creating a mini office and the quality of the Internet make it possible.