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Hotel Sugar Beach 3.0

Playa Potrero, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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  • Elegant rooms with balconies/terraces with garden and ocean views
  • Direct access to a picturesque, uncrowded stretch of beach
  • Tranquil setting amid 24 acres of forest
  • Regular yoga classes held on an elevated ocean-view platform
  • Some rooms have multiple bedrooms, kitchenettes/kitchens, and living areas
  • Cute infinity pool with lounge chairs
  • Breezy restaurant and bar plus free breakfast
  • Free on-site parking
  • Children under 12 stay for free


  • No restaurants or attractions within walking distance
  • Wi-Fi only in common areas
  • Small pool

Bottom Line

Hotel Sugar Beach is a three-pearl property located on Playa Pan de Azúcar, a 15-minute drive north of Playa Flamingo. The hotel’s 27 guest rooms are tasteful and simple, with some including kitchenettes and separate living areas. There’s a decent restaurant on-site as well as a yoga pavilion, both of which are set in distinctive wooden rotundas. With a peaceful stretch of beachfront and a large forested property that attracts diverse wildlife, the hotel is a good choice for guests who want to relax and connect with nature. There’s nothing within walking distance, however, making the location too remote for some. Costa Rica Yoga Spa in Nosara gives an excellent alternative for yoga-focused travelers, although it doesn’t offer beach access. 

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Intimate boutique hotel with an emphasis on nature and eco-friendly practices 

Hotel Sugar Beach is nestled within 24 acres of forest, where clusters of howler monkeys can often be spotted in the treetops, and huge iguanas lounge on sunny patches of ground. The lobby’s warm tones match the inviting color palette of the guest rooms, while its rounded shape mirrors the layouts of the yoga pavilion and restaurant. Stone pathways curve gently through the shady grounds, with the open-air restaurant and yoga pavilion offering scenic perspectives over the property. The forest thins out as it curves down to Playa Pan de Azúcar, an idyllic stretch of beachfront where guests will often find themselves completely alone.

Eco-consciousness is a priority of the hotel, with its energy, recycling, and water conservation programs earning it level four (out of five) on the CST Sustainability Certificate by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism. As the only big property on Playa Pan de Azúcar, the hotel is also largely responsible for the beach’s Blue Flag award. Hotel Sugar Beach draws a fairly even mix of families and couples, and with such a large ratio of space to number of guests, it rarely feels crowded (aside from perhaps the small pool). The laid-back atmosphere lends itself to strolls on the beach and quiet evenings spent relaxing on guest room terraces. Travelers interested in nightlife or activities may find it too isolated.


Out-of-the-way location on a low hillside bordering Playa Pan de Azúcar

Hotel Sugar Beach is set on a remote, winding road north of the fishing village of Potrero on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific Coast. Aside from beautiful Playa Pan de Azúcar beach, there aren’t any attractions or dining options within walking distance. Guests without rental cars need to rely on taxis to dine off-property.

It’s a six-minute drive to Potrero, which offers a number of restaurants and grocery stores, or 15 minutes by car to the busy beach town of Playa Flamingo. Liberia’s airport is about an hour away by car, and Rincon de la Vieja National Park can be reached in two hours. 


Understated guest rooms include mini-fridges as well as balconies or terraces

The 27 guest rooms at Hotel Sugar Beach are individually decorated, but most feature a pleasant mix of dark wood and wicker furniture. Warm, earthy color palettes, including deep oranges and golds, are common throughout. All rooms offer safes, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs. Artwork is minimal, but most pieces have a local feel, and every room has a wooden entrance door featuring a hand-carved image of an indigenous animal. Roomy balconies or terraces with garden or ocean views are also standard. Most of these outdoor spaces are furnished with a mix of loungers and wooden tables.

Unfussy bathrooms have round sinks, plenty of counter space, and relatively modern fixtures. Pump dispensers of shampoo and lotion are provided, along with bars of soap. Some rooms have basic shower stalls behind curtains, while others have glass-block showers.

One-, two-, and three- bedroom suites have high ceilings, microwaves, and separate living areas. The five-bedroom Sugar Beach House villa offers a full kitchen, office, living room, and ocean view patio. 


Direct access to a serene beach, restaurant with free breakfast, and an open-air yoga pavilion

Although there aren’t any private beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Pan de Azucar comes pretty close. Hotel Sugar Beach is the only large property that backs onto the beach, allowing its beige sands to remain pristine and quiet. The waters are generally safe for swimming and snorkeling, but it can be a little rocky in some areas.

The hotel’s open-air restaurant is set on a lovely wooden rotunda and decorated with a few pieces of colorful artwork. Free breakfast is served here in the morning, and includes a selection of several different dishes. The restaurant is also open for lunch, dinner, and drinks with a menu focused on Costa Rican cuisine and international dishes.

There’s a small, lagoon-shaped pool with an infinity ledge. A low, stone wall wraps around part of the pool, and its narrow concrete deck offers beige lounge chairs and a few wooden tables. The property also includes a yoga space, which is set on a rounded, open-air pavilion overlooking the hotel’s forest-filled grounds. Mats are provided, and the platform is available for individual practice as well as group classes. 

Wi-Fi is offered only in the common areas, not in rooms, and a computer is available for guests' use in an air-conditioned business center. There’s free on-site parking as well. The hotel can arrange airport transfers (fee) and tours, in addition to hosting weddings and yoga retreats. 

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Playa Pan de Azucar, Playa Potrero, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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