Few entertainment and dining options within walking distance
Beach isn’t always safe for swimming
Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa is an upscale hotel located on picturesque Playa Esterillos beach. Its 20 bungalows and villas have dazzling, open-plan layouts that include wet bars and private terraces. The property is defined by imaginative art and architecture, with its rooms, restaurant, spa, and pool area all exuding oodles of color and character. The hotel’s secluded setting allows its beach to remain blissfully uncrowded, but guests without a rental car may find the location a bit remote. Travelers may want to compare amenities and rates with Florblanca Resort in Santa Teresa.
Upscale beachfront hideaway with a laid-back vibe and attention-grabbing design
Alma del Pacifico was founded by artist Charlene Broudy and her husband, architect Sherrill Broudy. Their influence is prominent throughout the property, with Sherrill responsible for its multicolored buildings and over 150 of Charlene’s works decorating the rooms and common areas. The unpretentious, art-filled reception area sets the stage for a property that’s intimate, distinctive, and inviting.
The hotel’s bungalows and villas are laid out across four acres of well-kept grounds. Fluid lines, dramatic colors, and abundant mosaics give the property a somewhat Gaudi-esque feel. Iguanas and lizards can often be spotted skittering along the paths that wind through ornamental and herb gardens. Macaws and other birds fly between rows of neatly-trimmed trees.
The hotel is ideal for both couples and families. The roomy bungalows and villas can accommodate up to five people, with sofa beds included and extra cots available. The pool area can get busy at times, but for the most part, the atmosphere is relaxed and low-key.
Alma del Pacifico, right on the soft and sandy Playa Esterillos beach, is located along a dirt road in the community of Esterillos Este, where it’s bordered by large, undeveloped tracts of land. There are a few restaurants within walking distance -- some of which belong to other hotels -- but the setting is otherwise quite isolated. There is no nightlife, nor are any attractions accessible on foot (besides the beach). Taxis can be ordered at reception, but the location is best suited to guests with rental cars. The buzzing surf town of Jaco is a 25-minute drive away. Manuel Antonio National Park and Carara National Park can both be reached in around an hour by car. It’s about a two-hour drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport and San Jose.
Colorful rooms with wet bars, furnished terraces, and sofa beds; private plunge pools in some
Arched ceilings and curving architecture give guest rooms at Alma del Pacifico a dynamic look. Practical materials like tile, concrete, and wood are paired with vivid artwork. Some walls feature tribal-style masks and splatter paintings, while others hold geometric tapestries or animal sculptures. Beds are adorned with multicolored throw pillows and fringe-accented runners. Large windows illuminate the rooms with plenty of natural light. All rooms have sofa beds as well as kitchenettes with coffeemakers, minibars, and a small selection of glasses. Flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and work desks are also standard. Fresh fruit, flowers, and some free snacks are set out to welcome guests.
Terraces are furnished with patio tables and/or loungers. Some have views of lush gardens, while others overlook the Pacific Ocean across a green lawn. Deluxe Beachfront Villas offer private plunge pools. Open-concept bathrooms have pleasantly scented bath products by Raw Botanicals. Most have twin sinks as well as mosaic-tiled showers facing private gardens. Toilets are in separate cubbies. Bathrooms also offer closets, which hold bathrobes and personal safes. Most include outdoor showers as well.
Two mosaic-detailed pools, excellent open-air restaurant, and access to a scenic beach
Alma del Pacifico offers a number of standout features. The hotel has two side-by-side swimming pools, which are surrounded by an artistically landscaped deck with integrated planters. Beige loungers and patio tables are shaded by thatched roof huts or beach umbrellas. The lap pool is adult-only, while the semi-circular pool is open to kids. Both pools have pretty mosaics and fountain features, and there’s also a small round whirlpool.
The hotel’s restaurant and bar, Mosaic, is quite romantic, featuring an open side that offers wonderful ocean views. Painted pillars run around the periphery of the restaurant, supporting its thatched roof, while latticed chairs encircle wooden tables topped with white tablecloths. It’s particularly atmospheric in the evening, when the interior is illuminated by candles and fairy lights. A basic continental breakfast is included in the room rate, with hot items available for a surcharge. The lunch and dinner menus feature a variety of local and international options, with a focus on seafood. Many dishes incorporate vegetables and herbs grown in the hotel’s own gardens.
Blue loungers and thatched roof shelters are set on a wide, green lawn overlooking the coast. Several hammocks are looped between palm trees. The lawn eventually gives way to the gray-black sands of Playa Esterillos. There are few other hotels found on this long beach, which means guests often have it completely to themselves. It’s ideal for walking and surfing, with swimming also possible when the tide is coming in.
The hotel’s spa has four treatment rooms decorated in bright color schemes designed to represent the elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The spa offers manicures and pedicures, as well as massages, wraps, scrubs, and facials, many of which incorporate organic local ingredients like chocolate, coconut, and coffee. Other amenities include a small gift shop that sells Costa Rican arts and crafts. The hotel offers wedding planning services, with ceremonies hosted outside on the beach or in the gardens. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout, and there’s free parking on-site.
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