Luxurious in every way, the 16-room adults-only Nayara Springs resort is the best in the area for couples looking for romance and privacy – but many will not want to dispense with views of the volcano. Spacious and rustic but luxurious rooms that include various services (minibar products, international calls free of charge) and devices (Bluetooth music players, espresso coffee makers). Its closest competitor is the Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, which is its sister hotel and a family option (this one has views of the volcano). The hotel is a 15-minute drive from La Fortuna town, but most guests seem to prefer to spend most of their time at the hotel.
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas
Tulemar Bungalows & Villas combines the privacy of a bungalow with the convenience of the complete services of a hotel, without being pretentious at all. It has 45 luxurious residences distributed in a 13 hectare resort that has private access to Tulemar Beach, where one of the restaurant with exclusive view to the sea in Manuel Antonio. The rooms range from cozy but older bungalows with floor-to-ceiling windows to the incredible Casa Las Nubes, with amazing architecture and a semi-covered infinity pool. All units have free Wifi and a personal concierge. Buena Vista del Sol serves food and drinks alongside one of the four infinity pools, but breakfast is not included in the room rate.
Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens
The beautiful 44 individual bungalows of Arenal Nayara, the restaurant, the wine bar and the spa are located on incredibly leafy grounds. Some of the facilities are small (pool, spa, gym) but guests come here for private bungalows with special touches such as an outdoor garden shower and a terrace with jacuzzi and hammock. It is more luxurious than the nearby Kioro Arenal, but the Kioro rooms have better views of the volcano.
Gaia Hotel Reserve
Guests will truly feel pampered at this adults-only luxury hotel with 29 rooms. Set on the slope of a 6-hectare nature reserve, Gaia feels appropriately exclusive and private, and has attentive and personalized service. The rooms are spacious and airy; the grandiose views never end, and the gifts abound: breakfast, Wifi, a mini spa treatment (to name a few). Keep your eyes on iguanas, sloths and the like.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Undoubtedly among the most luxurious resorts in Central America, the Four Seasons is as close as possible to perfection. With two beautiful beaches, sea views from each of its sumptuous rooms (decorated with materials such as wood, bamboo and stone) and an 18-hole golf course, the resort makes it possible for guests to spend their entire vacation in the site. For those who choose to explore beyond the peninsula of Papagayo, it should be noted that the highways of Guanacaste are in poor condition.
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
Tabacon is the original and best known resort in the Arenal Volcano area and is deservedly famous for its 18 natural hot springs at the Tabacon Spa property up the street, which are the largest in the region. This 102 room environmentalist spa resort and local institution is a sensual Eden in a relatively remote area on the west side of the volcano, about 20 minutes drive from La Fortuna and other sights. The rooms are large, modern and sophisticated with beautiful views of the rainforest (and sometimes the volcano).
The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal
A wonderful place for wealthy Americans and their children, The Springs, a luxurious 47-room resort, offers 65 acres of uninterrupted pools and hot springs, restaurants and activities – all tucked away on the slope of a volcano and practically in the middle of the nothing. (Expect a long and busy car ride to and from the hotel, which will discard all day excursions outside the property). The Club Rio recreation center allows guests to experience everything from descent down the river to horseback riding on site. The rooms range from standard hotel rooms with good views of the volcano to villas in the image of the Swiss ski lodges.
Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort
Travelers looking for a minimalist luxury in the jungle will find the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, an architectural monument that seems to be built on the side of a cliff. Hyatt’s boutique fashion line, Andaz, is known for its high style and creative approach to hotel design, and Papagayo’s luxurious remote location is no exception. Set along 11 acres of rolling hills, Andaz’s 153 minimalist rooms, the three restaurants, the 1000-square-meter spa and the 24-hour gym are housed in dozens of tree-like buildings. But the high design of the hotel is not always functional or convenient, as do the crowds of guests waiting for golf carts to transport them around the property.
Arenas Del Mar Beach and Nature Resort
Arenas del Mar proves that staying in an ecological resort does not have to be an experience lacking in amenities: Its 38 contemporary rooms are among the nicest in Manuel Antonio, its restaurant is excellent and its public spaces embody the rustic luxury. The property’s lush rainforest, as well as its two beautiful white-sand beaches on site (a rarity in the area) and its diverse wildlife make guests truly connect with that nature that the resort’s design has preserved so meticulous way. But the 5-hectare property is steep, so you’ll have to call a hotel golf cart to go pretty much anywhere.
Hotel Punta Islita
This rustic, luxurious and extremely remote getaway is worth the two and a half hour drive from Liberia airport. The rooms are not as impressive as those of the larger luxury resorts in the region, but the unparalleled views, the imposing infinity pool and a rugged and beautiful (though rocky) beach make up for it. In addition, this is a hotel with heart: Punta Islita takes care of the environment and helps the local community.