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Best Hotels in Costa Rica

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About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most popular South American countries to visit, in part because its jungles, rainforests, cloud forests, and gorgeous beaches are all rich with opportunities for adventure and exploration of the natural world. Costa Rica has a well-established network of national parks and reserves protecting around a quarter of the country, with a visitor infrastructure carefully designed to avoid endangering the incredible biospheres the park system is there to protect. So you’ll find some of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Costa Rica are right in amongst the most beautiful and protected regions: exceptional eco-hotels and lodges which bring money into the regions to feed back into conservation projects.

All this means that Costa Rica offers an unrivalled opportunity to experience the greatest density of plant and animal species in the world. For example it has around 1,500 different kinds of orchid! Its exotic animal life includes toucans and macaws, capuchins and howler monkeys, sloths, caimans and the beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly. Costa Rica is also renowned for its activities - watersports and hiking, surf schools, yoga retreats, epic zip lines, caves to explore and mountains and volcanoes to ascend, on two feet or two wheels. It's also at the cutting edge of sustainable tourism, with infrastructure favouring alternative power sources and blazing a trail in farm-to-table dining.

Where to stay - which region?

  • Alajuela is part of the central region, spreading out from, and around the capital San José.
  • Puntarenas is on the central Pacific coast, much loved by beach-lovers, those looking for an incredible backdrop against which to relax, and avid explorers - this is where the dense rainforests and jungles can run right up against the ocean.
  • Limon is on the quieter, more isolated Caribbean side, loved by whitewater rafters, sea turtles and mosquitos.
  • Guanacaste is where you’ll find the volcanoes, dry forest parks and some fabulous surf beaches.
  • Arenal, and the sparse plains and mountains around it are sparely populated, but a fantastic place for a farm-stay or a horse trek.
  • While the southern stretch, heading down towards the Osa Peninsula and the South Pacific, is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, loved by naturalists, botanists and explorers alike, and anyone seeking a really beautiful, and remote, tropical beach.
  • You’ll find the coffee plantations around Heredia.
  • The best hot-springs are around Quesada.

This fascinating country is so diverse that choosing the best places to stay in Costa Rica really depends on why you're planning to visit. Is it for the beaches? For the wildlife? Or for the volcanoes and rainforests? Use our guide to the best hotels, lodges and resorts below and start planning your trip.

The Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica

For The Trip of a Lifetime

  • Casa Chameleon has ten villas, decorated with nature in mind, and organic materials used as much as possible. Each villa is extremely luxurious, and its own plunge pool, there’s also exemplary service and an superb restaurant.
  • If you’re looking for luxury amidst the lush rainforest then Nayara is for you. 44 elegant rooms and suites in forest bungalows with wood floors and conical roofs. There’s a semi-outdoor spa and a choice of four restaurants, serving everything from sushi to tapas.
  • Peace Lodge in Vara Blanca, Alajuela, follows similar lines: it's a magical collection of cosy lodges and villas set within the cloud forest. The lodges have open fireplaces, exposed stonework, beamed ceilings and large terraces - perfect for making the most of the spectacular views. The restaurant specialises in Costa Rican delicacies.
  • Just an hour out of San José, the El Silencio Resort & Spa offers total seclusion. There are 15 luxurious rooms, decorated largely with natural materials, a fabulous spa and an outdoor yoga studio set within the forest. Plus great food and exceptional views.

For a Beach Break

  • Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is a charming, laid back property that caters for both families and couples. Set on a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach, with rainforest to the rear, here you can experience the best of both sea and jungle. Rooms are rustic chic, but for something special book a treetop suite, with its outdoor bath tub and fantastic views.The restaurant champions local organic produce, plus there's a pool, spa and daily yoga lessons.
  • Luna Lodge is a wilderness retreat set in thick forest. It's minutes from the beach (with some great surf) and is well priced, with accommodation to suit a range of budgets. They offer a range of jungle tours. Rooms are simple and chilled.
  • Sandwiched between the ocean and the rainforest, the Clandestino Beach Resort is a 12 room hideaway. The rooms are spacious, the decor inspired by organic materials, and the seafood restaurant is very romantic. Explore the rainforest, try out some water sports, or simply relax in its idyllic surroundings.
  • Playa Cativo is a luxurious eco-lodge with an enviable position between the beach and the jungle. The decor is contemporary and the windows are huge - as well they should be, with these views. The restaurant offers farm to table dining, the pool is tranquil and there’s a great spa. The region is rife with bird life, with 360+ species known to live in the area.

For The Jungle

  • If one of the reasons you’re visiting Costa Rica is to experience the local wildlife, then the Rancho Pacifico is perfect for you. All around the hotel are jungle canopies where you can spot sloths, monkeys; jaguarundis, anteaters and an impressive array of colourful fowl - just for starters - and out to sea you might spot whales. There are just five suites and five villas, and it’s adults-only.
  • Makanda by the Sea is a beautifully designed, nine room, adults-only property right in amongst the jungle canopy. Each of the rooms is different, all contemporary and all with plenty of glass and sporting luxurious bathrooms. There’s a very romantic outdoor restaurant, and a lovely spa.
  • The Gaia Hotel and Reserve is a hilltop hotel set on its own nature reserve right next to the Manuel Antonio National Park in the Puntarenas region. The 20 contemporary rooms have polished wood floors, crisp white linen and local artefacts. The infinity pool overlooking the forest is simply spectacular.
  • Rio Perdido is nestled into the forest in Fortuna, surrounded by jungle. There are 20 chic, contemporary suites and an award-winning restaurant, plus hot-spring pools and a thermal river.
  • Secluded in the rainforest, the Pacuare Lodge has been creatively designed to complement the surroundings, a successful blend of architecture and nature. There are just 12 rooms, with carefully placed windows and freestanding bathtubs overlooking the forest canopy. The food is excellent.

Our Picks in San José

  • The Hotel Grano de Oro is in the historic, central neighbourhood of Barrio Don Bosco. There are 39 traditional rooms fitted with antiques and dark wood panelled walls. The best have their own private patios.
  • Just outside the city proper in Heredia, an area of wooded hills and nice views, is the Finca Rosa Blanca, an elegant country hotel with 14 rooms, large frescoes, jacuzzi baths and parquet flooring. You’re surrounded by coffee plantations and the restaurant and bar are known for their gourmet dishes and exotic cocktails.

Some of the Most Romantic Hotels in Costa Rica

  • Nayara Springs in Fortuna is a luxurious, adults-only boutique hidden in the Costa Rican rainforest. There are just 16 rooms, arranged in secluded villas with private plunge pools and enormous outdoor bathrooms, and beautiful terraces. There’s a choice of five different restaurants, so you don’t need to leave the resort.
  • For a more intimate jungle experience, consider the Villa Buena Onda, an eight room, adults-only boutique hotel with minimalist design and large terraces. There’s a spoiling spa and a pool with a swim-up bar.

For an Eco-Friendly stay

  • The Lapa Rios Ecolodge is a secluded eco-lodge surrounded by jungle, and just a short stroll from a beach of soft white sand. There are 17 thatched cabins, designed with open walls to commune with nature. They each have their own large terraces and luxurious bathrooms, and the food is excellent.
  • Kura is a hilltop collection of rooms and private villas surrounded by jungle and looking out towards the South Pacific from huge windows and terraces. There’s a gorgeous infinity pool and a small spa. Kura uses drip technology to water their lush gardens, and relies on solar panels to power the hotel. A great place for birdwatchers.
  • Rancho Humo in Guanacaste is a contemporary eco-lodge in a spectacular spot on the plains of the Tempisque River delta. There are just ten rooms with light, airy, floor to ceiling windows and contemporary art. There’s also a spa and pool.
  • The Harmony Hotel is an eco-hotel hidden in the depths of the jungle around Nosara - though still just a short walk from beautiful white sandy beaches. There are just ten secluded, simply designed bungalows, with their own patios, where you might meet some of the local howler monkeys, iguanas and hummingbirds. 

For Great Value

  • For a budget stay, consider the Luna Nueva Lodge in Alajuela, an eco-lodge hideaway with 14 rooms. The rainforest location is stunning, and staying here will educate you on the conservation of the region, with an emphasis on organic farming and rainforest protection. 90% of the food served in the excellent restaurant is grown on the property.
  • For great value in San José, try the Hotel Alta Las Palomas, in Santa Ana, with splendid views of the whole San José area. This is a small, contemporary hotel, wth just 23 rooms, with reasonable rates and an excellent restaurant. The hotel will help you organise tours if you need them to.
  • For a great value rainforest stay, check out the Xandari Resort & Spa, a colourful, tranquil retreat set in beautiful, tropical gardens. There are 24 brightly coloured rooms with plenty of light and stunning views. The restaurant is lovely and there’s a spoiling spa.
  • If you’re here for the beach and the rainforest together, the Azul Ocean Club Hotel is an elegant, 15 room hotel right on the ocean. The rooms are whitewashed and make the best of the wonderful views, there’s an excellent restaurant, and you’re just steps from the beach. 

For an Apartment or Villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner,

Travel Information

  • Costa Rica has two international airports, the larger hub being Juan Santamaría International Airport, which is just outside San José, and the smaller being Daniel Oduber International Airport, which is near the northern city of Liberia, closer to the beaches of Puntarenas and the volcanoes of Guanacaste. You can fly direct from the UK, or from Paris or Madrid, but there are more choices if you’re prepared to go via the US.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
  • Costa Rica has only two defined seasons, the dry season, known locally as summer, which runs between December and April, and the rainy season, winter, which runs between May and November. Generally the dry season, November especially, just after the rains, is the best time to visit, but your best time to visit will be highly dependent on which part of the country you plan to visit, as some places are fantastic in the wet, and really come alive, and some are just wet.

Still not sure which to book?

See all » 20 hôtels in Puntarenas

  • Blue Surf Sanctuary North Santa Teresa, Puntarenas 4 rooms from £98

    Families  -  The bungalows sleep between 3 - 5 while kids will love the pool, spacious garden, and access to the beach
    Beach Life  -  Just a stroll away from white sand beaches that host the best variety of surf and breathtaking sunsets
    Active Holiday  -  The hotel offers a Surf & Yoga package, perfect for those who want an active holiday
    Great walks  -  Hike throuhg Cabo Blanco National Park or Curu Wildlife Refuge and spot wildlife and tropical plants along the way
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenParking

    A small boutique hotel tucked away in the forest yet just a stroll from Santa Teresa's beaches. A handful of bungalows are spacious and simply styled with exposed beams, private terraces, and hanging day beds. With surf and yoga at the forefront of this property, this is ideal for an active break. See More

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  • Clandestino Beach Resort Parrita, Puntarenas 12 rooms from £112

    Active Holiday  -  From watersports to jungle treks there are numerous activities to keep all entertained.
    Surfing  -  Excellent waves for both amatures and professional surfers alike.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    An ocean front resort tucked in the Costa Rican rainforest. Spacious rooms have an organic feel with natural hues and materials being used. Dine in the romantic restaurant specialising in seafood. Spend days exploring the rainforest or lounging on the white sand beach. A tropical haven. See More

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See all » 9 hôtels in Alajuela

  • Finca Luna Nueva Lodge Alajuela 14 rooms from £84

    Foodies  -  Sample a piece of the forest with 90% of the ingredients coming from the property which grows organic and biodynamic produce.
    Eco break  -  A hotel with a cause. Luna Nueva protects large areas of primary rainforest and boasts an enormous medicinal garden.
    Great walks  -  Take an educational walk of the forest with one of the hotel's guides.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    An eco lodge and homely hide-away in the depths of the rain forest. With the property's emphasis strongly lying on conservation be assured of a learned stay; from organic farming to rain forest protection. Dining is a particular highlight with almost all of the produce coming from property. Superb. See More

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  • Xandari Resort & Spa Alajuela,, Alajuela 24 rooms from £117

    Hideaway  -  A colourful haven in the heart of the rainforest.
    Birdwatching  -  Spot birds right from the property including squirrel cuckoos, motmot, tropical kingbirds and various hummingbirds.
    Sights nearby  -  Make a trip to the active Poás volcano; a stunning sight.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Be awoken to joyful colour in this tranquil retreat set amidst tropical gardens. Bright rooms feature splashes of vibrant hues, plenty of light and stunning views. Feast on Costa Rican specialities in the candle lit restaurant and unwind over a massage in the spoiling spa. A rejuvenating stay. See More

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See all » 8 hôtels in Guanacaste

  • Azul Ocean Club Hotel Playa Azul, Guanacaste 15 rooms from £116

    Back to Nature  -  Explore local nature reserves and witness turtles nesting.
    Beach Life  -  Located right on a white sandy Playa Azul beach.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a tour of Palo Verde National Park, one of the best bird watching sites in Costa Rica.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    An elegant ocean front club set in lush gardens. Light and airy white washed rooms benefit from lovely sea views. Feast on excellent cuisine in the Seaside Restaurant. Just steps from a white sandy beach and multiple tours are on offer to the surrounding nature reserves. A tropical paradise. See More

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  • Rancho Humo Guanacaste 10 rooms from £133

    Back to Nature  -  Boasting an outstanding location amongst the wetlands and bordering the Palo Verde National Park.
    Birdwatching  -  Head out into the wetlands with the hotel naturalist.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A contemporary eco ranch boasting a spectacular location on the plains of Tempisque River delta. Smart rooms are light and airy with floor to ceiling windows, crisp white linen and contemporary art. A glorious spa and tranquil pool provide utter rejuvenation after a day outdoors. Rural bliss. See More

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See all » 4 hôtels in Limon Province

  • Banana Azul Talamanca, Limon Province 22 rooms from £58

    Beach Life  -  Located in lush tropical gardens just steps from a white sandy beach.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.
    Adult Only
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A charming adult-only boutique hotel set in lush gardens on the coast. Boho-chic accommodatio vary in style from two-bed apartments to cosy studios; the best feature private pools. A laid-backed beach club serves up Caribbean delights. Banana Azul's a tranquil spot made for total relaxation. See More

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  • Tortuga Lodge and Gardens Tortuguero, Limon Province 29 rooms from £147

    Back to Nature  -  A luxury property located riverside and set amidst the jungle.
    Sailing  -  Take a guided boat ride through Tortuguero National Park in search of the bountiful wildlife.
    Fishing  -  Fish for Tarpon or Snook on the Atlantic coast.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets

    A chic lodge with an enviable locality deep within the jungle. Airy lodges are all wood and glass. Large terraces are the ideal spot to take in the view. Sample local delicacies in the atmospheric restaurant and enjoy lazy hours lounging by the pool. A glorious spot to really get back to nature. See More

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See all » 3 hôtels in Uvita

  • Oxygen Jungle Villas Uvita de Osa 12 rooms from £155

    Active Holiday  -  Between the jungle and the sea there's a vast array of activities to get involved in.
    Back to Nature  -  Just in the surrounding area toucans, sloths, and howler monkeys are all common.
    Surfing  -  A well known area for surfing. Classes and rentals are available from a nearby surf shop.
    Sailing  -  Spend an unforgettable day searching for whales and dolphins.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A boutique collection of Balinese-style villas in the Costa Rican jungle overlooking the Pacific. Smart villas feature mosquito framed four-poster beds, plenty of glass and luxury bathrooms. An infinity pool boasts epic views and the spa is utterly spoiling. Adult-only and undeniably romantic. See More

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  • Rancho Pacifico Uvita 7 rooms from £261

    Back to Nature  -  A wildlife lovers haven with monkeys, sloths, jaguarundis, anteaters, parakeets and even whales all commonplace.
    Honeymoons  -  An exclusive adult-only hideaway with 3 villas, 2 treehouses, and 2 luxury suites
    Sailing  -  For memorable days out take a boat to spot whales and dolphins.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a guided tour through the hotel's own sanctuary.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet

    An adult-only haven set overlooking the famous Whale’s Tail Beach. Spacious suites, treehouses and villas connect seamlessly with the abundance of nature all around. Beyond the hotel’s alluring tranquility, find an endless array of activities on land or by sea. The perfect romantic getaway. See More

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See all » 2 hôtels in San Jose

  • Hotel Alta Las Palomas San Jose (Escazú) 23 rooms from £109

    Local exploring  -  The hotel organises a huge range of tours so that you can truly get to know Costa Rica
    Back to Nature  -  A trip to the stunning Poas Volcano National Park, 20 miles away, is a must!
    Sights nearby  -  The Parque Diversiones amusement park is great fun and only a short distance from the hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    Hotel Alta Las Palomas is situated in the city Santa Ana and offers splendid views of the San José area. The hotel's interiors are decorated in a contemporary style with plenty of colours being used whilst their La Luz restaurant serves up truly excellent cuisine! A wonderfully relaxing stay. See More

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  • Hotel Grano de Oro San Jose (Avenida 2 y 4) 39 rooms from £116

    City Style  -  An elegant hotel complete with fabulous restaurant. A glamorous stay.
    Local markets  -  Explore the lively Artisan Market and scour for a bargin.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    A chic boutique hotel well located in the historic residential neighbourhood of Barrio Don Bosco. Traditionally dressed rooms feature antique furniture, dark wood panelled walls and the best have private internal patios. A glamorous European evening is worthy of a visit alone. Fabulous. See More

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See all » 2 hôtels in Heredia Province

  • Poas Volcano Lodge Heredia Province 12 rooms from £94

    Active Holiday  -  Head out hiking up the volcano or alternatively just wander around Poas National Park
    Total relaxation  -  Enjoy some peace and quiet at this rural spot
    Great walks  -  Head over to the La Paz Waterfall Garden which has superb walking trails and three beautiful waterfalls
    Birdwatching  -  There's a hugely diverse array of bird species to spot in the local area!

    Poas Volcano Lodge enjoys a mountainous location and offers spacious rooms with wonderful views. The exterior's modern architecture contrasts highly with the rustic use of stone and wood which create an incredibly cosy feel inside. Be sure to visit the delicious restaurant! A great country escape. See More

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  • Finca Rosa Blanca Heredia Province 14 rooms from £258

    Country Escape  -  Surrounded by coffee plantations and with endless outdoor pursuits to get involved in.
    Birdwatching  -  Rise early for bird watching tours accompanied by the hotel's expert guide.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

    An elegant country property nestled in the wooded hills above San Jose. Eccentrically dressed rooms feature large frescoes, hot tub baths and parquet flooring. Spend days exploring the surrounding plantations by foot or horse and return for lavish Latin-fusion dinners and cocktails. Fabulous. See More

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See all » Other hôtels in Costa Rica

  • Selva Bananito Lodge Costa Rica 11 rooms from £78

    Families  -  Ideal for parents and older children: forest horse riding, river tour and wildlife trips to learn about the native animals
    Back to Nature  -  Be at one with the rainforest, wrap around balconies to see the views and superb guides to learn about the area
    Birdwatching  -  850 species of resident and migratory birds
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.

    Eco lodge next to La Amistad Biosphere Reserve is hammock heaven. Cabins are made from sustainably sourced materials, with mosquito-netted beds, breathtaking forest views and eco-bathrooms. Each cabin has a large deck and hammock. Main lodge serves simple yet lovely meals. An unforgettable stay. See More

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  • Hacienda Altagracia Cajon, Costa Rica 50 rooms

    Back to Nature  -  Set admist rolling hills and tropical rainforest, this hacienda hotel makes a beautiful back-to-nature retreat
    Local exploring  -  Explore the local area with one of the hotel's many packages, from horseriding to trekking in the highlands
    Families  -  Families are well-catered to at this hotel, with amenities for children and a kids' menu at the restaurant
    Cooking classes  -  Learn to cook a traditional Costa Rican meal with a hotel cooking class, taught by locals
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This luxury, tropical hacienda getaway is set amidst spectacular natural beauty. Offering well-appointed casitas and a restaurant serving exemplary dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Unwind at the chic spa after a trek to a remote Boruca village; a great choice for adventurous families. See More

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