Smouldering volcanoes, dense rainforest, caves, hot springs, long stretches of pristine white beach, and some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet—is there anything Costa Rica doesn’t have? The country is a dream destination for any traveller, which at least makes the search for the best Costa Rica hotels a little easier.
As befits a country with such a variety of things to offer, Costa Rica has hotels to suit every holidaymaker. Whether you’re hunting for luxury resorts with epic ocean views, boutique hotels that prioritise a personal experience, or eco-lodges where nature comes first, this Central American nation has it all.
Expect ultra-photogenic design alongside the most important home comforts. Endless opportunities for adventure and outstanding local cuisine. Spas with bliss-inducing all-body treatments as well as the chance to spot caimans, macaws, toucans, sloths, and a million types of butterfly.
The country is also at the forefront of the fight against climate change and many of these eco chic Costa Rica resorts offer guests the chance to enjoy sustainable holidays too, with farm-to-table restaurants, solar energy, and other green initiatives.
Our selection of stays includes the best beachfront hotels in Costa Rica, where sandy toes and epic sunsets are the name of the game. The most luxurious hotels in Costa Rica, where exclusive tours and exceptional service create a stay fit for an A-lister. And we’ve even got the best hotels in Costa Rica for couples—because there’s nothing as romantic as lounging in a hot spring surrounded by the sound of the rainforest.
The 9 best hotels in Costa Rica
Andaz Papagayo Resort by Hyatt
Located in the exclusive natural playground of the Peninsula Papagayo, and one of the best five-star hotels in Costa Rica, the Andaz delivers an authentic Costa Rican experience. Exhibiting work and hosting musical performances from local artists, this eco luxury retreat in Costa Rica pays the highest respect to local traditions and culture.
The decor mixes driftwood, shells, and organic textiles while you also have all the hallmarks of modern opulence, including two infinity pools and three restaurants. There’s a massive spa and guests also receive complimentary flip-flops, hats, and hand-made beach totes.
At tranquil Papagayo Bay, you can swim, snorkel, kayak, gaze into glittering waters from onboard a stand-up paddle, or sunbathe on golden sands. Come evening, listen out for the distinctive cry of howler monkeys as the sun sets. And, in the morning, sample a unique blend of coffee crafted by local distributors, Cafe Britt. All of which is to say, this is easily one of the most luxurious hotels in Costa Rica.
Address: Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste Province, Papagayo Peninsula, 50104, Costa Rica Price range: $$$-$$$$ Website: www.hyatt.com
Situated 3,000 feet above sea level in the Talamanca mountains, environmentally friendly Kinkara offers true nature immersion. Reimagining the whole idea of boutique resorts, it offers a selection of luxury tents, tropical trees alongside flower beds shaped into mandalas, and a gushing river flowing beneath jagged peaks, including Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica’s tallest mountain.
The canvas tents have everything you could need, including solar-powered fairy lights, while nearby are immaculately maintained communal bathrooms. Guests can go for a swim in the river, explore the nearby waterfalls, bike along mountain trails, take a yoga class, or participate in a temazacal—a traditional sweat lodge ceremony.
Afterwards, lounge in a hammock or peruse a book in a rocking chair, before gathering around the fire pit to star-gaze in the evenings. This is what people think of when they imagine slow travel.
Address: 100m Norte Pulperia la Valencia, Santa Elena, Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica Price range: $$ Website: www.kinkara.com
Casa Chameleon Hotel Las Catalinas
Looking for a romantic retreat with your loved one? Somewhere intimate and memorable? Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas is an adults-only boutique hotel with incredible Pacific ocean panoramas and a personal touch.
Situated on the top of a cliff and surrounded by 1,000 acres of jungle, this luxury resort has 21 villas, each with its own private saltwater plunge pool and open-air shower.
You may never leave your private bolt hole, but if you do, there’s an infinity pool that is crying out for an Instagram photoshoot, yoga sessions, and the resort’s restaurant, Sentido Norte. Cocktail hour is announced by a gong and the lighting of three fiery jets in the pool.
Like all the best luxury hotels in Costa Rica, Casa Chameleon offers guests a range of activities, including ziplining, horseback riding, a sunset catamaran cruise, and a visit to nearby Rincon De La Vieja National Park. This world-class stay is easily one of the best boutique resorts in Costa Rica.
Address: Playa Danta, Potrero, Provincia de Guanacaste, Las Catalinas, Costa Rica Price range: $$$$ Website: www.casachameleonhotels.com
Lapa Rios Lodge
One of the country’s first eco lodges, Lapa Rios is one of Costa Rica’s best destinations for sustainable holidays. Located on the wild and rugged Osa Peninsula, it’s not a hotel that’s easy to get to and therein lies its charm.
The aesthetic is all palm fronds, hardwood, bamboo, and plenty of hammocks. To tempt those looking for barefoot luxury and responsible travel, Lapa Rios Lodge also boasts a chemical-free pool, a yoga deck, and views of the nearby Golfo Dulce, named by National Geographic as one of the ocean’s wildest places.
There are 17 private luxury lodges scattered around winding pathways, plus a restaurant whose recipes were so popular with guests, it published its own recipe book. Not to mention the iguanas, frogs, macaws, monkeys and 300 species of bird that make their home in Central America’s last remaining tropical lowland rainforest. All of which combine to make Lapa Rios Lodge one of the top environmentally friendly resorts in the country.
Address: Puntarenas Province, Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica Price range: $$$ Website: www.laparios.com
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Nature Resort
Villa Blanca is located within the Los Angeles Private Cloud Forest Reserve, surrounded by tropical mountain rainforest. If Cloud 9 exists, it’s probably high up in this remote jungle corner.
Drop your bags in one of the resort’s rustic casitas—19th-century style chalets with jungle views, terraces, and fireplaces. Then head to the main lodge where you’ll find El Sendero restaurant, as well as a lounge, bar, spa, and games room.
What makes Villa Blanca superior to many of the country’s eco resorts is that it also endeavours to educate guests about the local environment, offering lectures and guided tours, including a night trek where you’ll get to experience all the nocturnal flora and fauna that call the cloud forest home. There’s even a research station on-site, making this one of the top eco tourism hotels in Costa Rica.
Just popped the question to your partner? The resort even hosts intimate weddings in its tiny and ornate chapel.
Address: Ruta Hotel Villa Blanca, Provincia de Alajuela, San Ramón, 20208, Costa Rica Price range: $$ Website: www.villablanca-costarica.com
El Silencio Lodge & Spa
We’ve already gushed over Esencia spa at El Silencio but we had to mention the eco resort again because of its unrivalled power to rejuvenate, restore, and inspire with the ultimate back-to-nature experience.
Easily one of the nicest hotels in Costa Rica, El Silencio is set amongst pristine cloud forest. It consists of 16 suites and 8 villas, each with a private wooden deck that’s perfect for bird-watching. Each suite is also assigned an eco concierge who can point out flora and fauna on a guided tour and arrange tree plantings for you.
Wander the resort’s private trails or visit the nearby waterfalls or Hummingbird Garden. There’s also the Adventure Park for those craving something more high-octane, where you can zipline over the tree canopy or abseil down a waterfall, making this one of the best hotels in Costa Rica for families too.
The hotel’s restaurant, Las Ventanas, serves fresh and organic produce, most of which is grown on-site. And while you’re dining, staff will be tucking a hot water bottle between your sheets, ready for bedtime.
Address: Bajos del Toro, Alajuela, San Jose Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica Price range: $$ Website: www.elsilenciolodge.com
Drake Bay Getaway Resort
One of the best resorts in Costa Rica for nature lovers and perfect for those interested in eco vacations, Drake Bay Getaway Resort is located in the untouched and untamed wilderness that is the Osa Peninsula.
The main lodge is built from teak and recyclable steel frames. There are steel straws in the restaurant, cabin temperatures are maintained using passive cooling techniques, food is sourced locally, and recaptured rainwater is used to water the gardens.
There’s also a high chance you’ll spot toucans, white-faced capuchin monkeys, and tapirs as you wander around. If not, you’ll definitely hear them as you settle in for the night in one of the resort’s five boutique lodges on stilts, each of which features a large granite walk-in shower and views of either the Pacific ocean or Corcovado National Park.
Experience private wilderness tours with knowledgeable local guides or book onto the snorkelling tour to Caño Island Biological Reserve. Afterwards, treat yourself to an on-terrace massage before following up with dinner at the Drake Bay Cafe.
Address: Drake Bay, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Price range: $$$ Website: www.drakebaygetaway.com
Finca Rosa Blanca
We’ve mentioned how we adore the farm-to-table ethos of Finca Rosa Blanca’s restaurant, El Tigre Vestido. And the best way to elevate the dining experience? By booking into one of the hotel’s 14 rooms afterwards.
This eco resort is located in the highlands above the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. Owned by an artist couple, it’s beautifully designed with sculptures, murals, and mosaics alongside the ubiquitous hummingbirds and butterflies, courtesy of the nearby jungle. The decor is quirky and playful and there’s a farm on-site where the restaurant sources its ingredients, as well as an organic coffee plantation for a morning pick-me-up like no other.
Book into El Targua Spa for a full-body scrub or a hot-stone aromatherapy massage. Or explore the grounds where there’s a spring-fed infinity pool and a hot tub. Yoga and salsa lessons are also an option. Meanwhile, solar electricity and an ambitious recycling and regeneration plan also make Finca Rosa Blanca a top choice for green travel.
Address: Calle Rosa Blanca Heredia, Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Costa Rica Price range: $$-$$$ Website: www.fincarosablanca.com
Arenas del Mar Beach & Nature Resort
Easily one of Costa Rica’s best beachfront hotels, Arenas del Mar is cautious to pay due respect to the stunning natural landscape in which it’s situated. Sustainability is paramount here and the property is totally carbon-neutral with solar panels to heat the water, rigorous recycling practices, and a design that seamlessly integrates the hotel into the surrounding rainforest.
Rooms are simple, elegant, and natural-feeling, featuring local art on the walls and large private terraces. There’s a spa, two pools, and two restaurants, both serving delicious and nutritious gourmet meals.
Arenas del Mar has access to two wild and tropical beaches—Espadilla and Playitas—where there’s usually hardly a soul to be seen. Walk along the shore to Manuel Antonio National Park or take a surf lesson. Guests even get assigned a local naturalist guide so they can learn more about the spectacular fauna and flora on their doorstep.
Address: Arenas Del Mar, Puntarenas Province, Manuel Antonio, 60601, Costa Rica Price range: $$$ Website: www.arenasdelmar.com
Frequently asked questions about hotels in Costa Rica
The best hotel to stay in Costa Rica is Andaz Papagayo, an eco luxury resort featuring a spa, easy beach access, beautiful decor, and an on-site farm. For more inspiration for your trip, check out our guide to the best hotels in Costa Rica.
The most luxurious hotel in Costa Rica is Arenas del Mar Beach & Nature Resort near Manuel Antonio National Park. It offers superb ocean views, access to two gorgeous beaches, two exceptional restaurants, two pools, and a spa.
Celebrities have often been spotted at Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas, one of Costa Rica’s first eco hotels. This adult-only boutique hotel features six private villas, each with spectacular views of the tropical landscape that surrounds the resort.
If you’re trying to decide whether to visit the Pacific or Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, we recommend the Pacific side because there’s more to do, including national parks, beaches, and some of the country’s best hotels.