Take a look at the best beach hotels in Province of Guanacaste.
The laid-back, upper-middle-range, 34-room Hotel Capitan Suizo is one of Tamarindo's most revered properties. Its location at the southernmost end of Tamarindo Beach is more private and less traveled than other parts of the busy stretch of shoreline, making it attractive to well-heeled guests who prefer a quieter vibe as well as the perks of a spa, gourmet restaurant, private pool, and attentive service. The spacious bi-level rooms and Bungalows feature separate living areas and private terraces, some with direct access to the beach, while the jungle-like backdrop of flowering plants, tall palms, and dramatic Guanacaste trees keeps guests in touch with nature, including active families of howler monkeys.
Sueno del Mar Beachfront Bed & Breakfast is a three-pearl bed-and-breakfast located on Langosta Beach. This small property’s four rooms and two casitas feature distinctive Central American decor, whitewashed walls, and vaulted wooden ceilings. Nestled amid tropical plant life, the small pool and beach have a private, secluded feel. And the hearty free breakfast served on an airy patio is well above-average. The property's location in the town of Langosta feels out-of-the-way, but the nightlife and shopping of Tamarindo is about a 20-minute walk or a short drive away. Travelers may want to compare rates and amenities with Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel.
Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel is a three-and-a-half-pearl adults-only property located in the buzzing town of Tamarindo. The hotel’s 43 guest rooms are polished and tidy, with many featuring striking themed decor. Playa Tamarindo is right across the street, and there are ample dining and entertainment options within easy walking distance. True to the hotel’s name, amenities aim to create the feel of a hidden paradise, including a lagoon-shaped pool shrouded in greenery, secret pathways, and a private garden with gated access. Travelers who prefer a more streamlined, sophisticated look might consider the nearby Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel instead.
Hotel Villa Amarilla is a funky, laid-back, eight-room, budget-oriented bed-and-breakfast with a surfer vibe, a prime beachfront location, and colorful, friendly owners who go out of their way to make guests feel at home. The hotel lacks a pool, but the ocean and Tamarindo’s famous surf break is just steps outside the back gate. Rooms are basic and bright, individualized by colorful murals of sea life and sunsets. Guests can prepare meals in the communal outdoor kitchen or walk to Tamarindo for a variety of dining options. Hotel Arco Iris is a similar option that does have a pool, but it's not nearly as close to the beach.
Travelers seeking minimalist jungle luxury will find it at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo — an architectural stunner that appears to be built into the side of a cliff. Hyatt’s hip boutique line, Andaz, is known for its high style and creative approach to hotel design, and the chain’s luxurious Papagayo’s outpost is no exception. Spread across 28 hilly acres, the Andaz’s 153 minimalist rooms, three restaurants, 11,000-square-foot spa, and 24-hour fitness center, are housed in dozens of tree house like buildings. But the hotel’s high design isn’t always functional, or convenient, as seen by the hordes of guests who continually wait for golf carts to shuttle them around the property. The neighboring Four Seasons is even more luxurious, while El Mangroove by Enjoy Hotels is cheaper but still chic, and has a more convenient location.
Easily among the most luxurious resorts in Central America, The Four Seasons is as close to perfection as it gets. With two beautiful beaches, ocean views from each one of the sumptuous rooms -- decorated in materials including wood, bamboo, and stone -- and an 18-hole golf course, the resort makes it possible for guests to spend their whole vacation on-site. Those who do choose to explore beyond Peninsula Papagayo should note that the roads in Guanacaste are in poor condition.
This ultra-remote, rustic luxe hideaway is worth the bumpy, two-and-a-half hour drive from Liberia Airport. The rooms aren't as impressive as those at larger luxury resorts in the region, but the unparalleled views, stunning infinity pool, and ruggedly beautiful (if rocky) beach more than compensate. Plus, this is a hotel with a heart: Punta Islita is environmentally friendly, and gives back to the local community.
The three-pearl Ocho Artisan Bungalows is a gorgeous hotel with eight unique bungalows on the beach in Tamarindo. Beautiful bungalows feature tented fabric ceilings with local wood finishes, and they're equipped with kitchenettes and large outdoor patios. Ocho’s small pool is surrounded by cushioned daybeds, and the hotel has a handful of surfboards for guests to take to the beach. There’s a tiny lobby bar, but no on-site restaurant or breakfast service, although guests can easily walk to the shops and restaurants in Tamarindo. Travelers looking for a hotel with more amenities might prefer Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas, though it isn’t on the beach or within walking distance of downtown.
Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa is an adult-only, four-pearl property located on the Gulf of Papagayo. The resort’s 202 rooms have elegant decor, along with thoughtful features like special two-sided compartments for room service delivery. From the sizable fitness center to the attractive pool areas, the resort’s facilities are polished and modern. Secrets offers all the perks you would expect from an all-inclusive property -- including lots of dining and entertainment options -- along with a few welcome bonuses like a la carte restaurants that don’t require reservations. It all comes at a price, however, with the resort’s rates among the highest in the area. Travelers looking for a more affordable all-inclusive alternative might consider Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica on Playa Matapalo.
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.
Chic retro decor and a happening atmosphere make upscale The Harmony Hotel one of Nosara’s most sought after spots. The hotel’s juice bar and open-air yoga shalas attract health conscious guests during the day, while its trendy restaurant, sushi lounge, juice bar, and cocktail bar are popular nighttime hangouts. Harmony’s 24 rooms are scattered across its lush property, and feature Midcentury inspired decor with vaulted wood ceilings and private patios with hammocks and outdoor showers. Amenities include a beautiful pool and small spa, plus great freebies like Wi-Fi, breakfast, daily yoga classes, beach bikes, and loaner iPads -- but nightly rates are among the highest in Nosara. Travelers looking for something a bit more affordable might prefer the nearby Living Hotel -- which still offers free breakfast, yoga, and bikes.
Bahia Pez Vela Resort is a three-pearl hotel located a short walk from Playa Ocotal. There are 40 individually decorated three- and four-bedroom villas -- some more stylish than others -- all of which have dining and living areas, washer/dryers, and full kitchens. On-site amenities include two infinity pools, a wonderful restaurant, and access to a small private beach. The low-key atmosphere and quiet location are best for families and those focused on relaxing rather than partying. Travelers who want to be closer to more entertainment and nightlife options should compare rates and amenities with Sunrise Condos of Tamarindo.
Casa Conde Beach-Front Hotel is a laid-back all-inclusive property with an outstanding beachfront location. The upper-middle-range hotel has 50 rooms split between older and newer sides -- newer rooms are worth the upgrade, considering they’re larger, brighter, and have more modern amenities, while older rooms have paper-thin walls and lack natural light. Casa Conde's best features are its two large pools and direct access to the humongous Playa Panama. While there is only one restaurant, food at the hotel is surprisingly tasty for an all-inclusive. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, a small fitness center, and a kids' club, but most of the guests here are adults. Families may prefer the more lively Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa in Playa Flamingo.
The 32-room Bosque del Mar is an upper-middle-range, contemporary boutique hotel set on the shores of Playa Hermosa. The hotel offers spacious suites with separate living and bedrooms as well as glass walls that open to private wood-deck terraces, some facing the ocean. A soaring, modern tree house-like structure encompasses three stories of property features, which include an open-air restaurant and a breezy second-floor lounge, both which overlook the ocean through a gorgeous canopy of old trees.
This 28-room upper-middle-range resort is set on the shores of Playa Potrero, an uncrowded, black-sand, crescent-shaped beach that’s ideal for swimming, not surfing. The resort caters to active travelers with free fitness and yoga classes as well as to those who crave a more sedentary vacation. Rows of lounge chairs are arranged by the pool, on the lawn, and along the beach, allowing guests to enjoy the ocean views. Rooms, ranging from cozy Standard Rooms sleeping four to Suites with kitchens, appeal to both couples and families, and have colorful fabrics and plenty of Costa Rican flair.