Take a look at the best value hotels in Province of Guanacaste.
Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel is a three-pearl, adult-only hotel located a short walk from lively downtown Tamarindo. The hotel’s nine guest rooms feature stylish, minimalist decor with a Zen feel and understated color schemes. The eco-friendly outdoor pool and common area have a refined, relaxing feel, and a wonderful free breakfast buffet is served on a scenic second-floor terrace. Other freebies include use of bikes, snorkel gear, and boogie boards. The hotel’s location on a gravel road isn’t particularly inspiring, but it’s under a 10-minute walk to the shops, restaurants, bars, and beach of central Tamarindo. Travelers looking for a hotel with direct beach access might also consider Sueno del Mar Beachfront Bed & Breakfast.
Costa Rica Yoga Spa is an intimate, all-inclusive, eight-room retreat set on a breezy mountaintop overlooking the distant Pacific and the protected Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Catering to yoga retreats, the hotel offers immaculate, although basic, bunk rooms with shared baths as well as more sophisticated suites with private baths and air-conditioning. Wellness is the focus for most guests, and they tend to spend time meditating, practicing yoga, enjoying massages, or writing in journals as they sway in the rope hammocks that line the terrace corridor outside the rooms. While the resort is not located on the beach, the staff provides daily shuttle service to nearby beaches and can also arrange surf lessons and a variety of adventure tours.
With just six rooms, Rancho Armadillo Estate is a tiny mid-range hotel that feels like an intimate bed-and-breakfast. The hands-on owner, Rick, makes guests’ experiences memorable by recommending local restaurants, suggesting tours and activities, and offering helpful hints about the area. Though it’s not on the beach, and not within easy walking distance of downtown Playas del Coco, Rancho Armadillo has a quiet, secluded feel that can’t be found anywhere else in town. Amenities include a small pool, a communal kitchen and dining area, a covered terrace with hammocks, and free Wi-Fi. For those who find the hotel’s rooms to be a bit dated, nearby Villa Buena Onda has a similar atmosphere and more luxurious accommodations, but rates are significantly higher.
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.
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.
The Lodge las Ranas is a mid-range, mountaintop boutique hotel close to the town of Samara. Its 10 tidy, tree-house-like rooms offer canopy beds and lovely balconies equipped with wooden rocking chairs, perfect perches for up-close viewing of local howler monkeys and toucans as well as gazing upon the distant Pacific. Hot breakfasts, a shaded pool, and a tiny lounge keep guests occupied but most spend their days away from the hotel, exploring the local beaches. Walking to town is possible, but it requires navigating the steep driveway, followed by a trek down a dirt road.
Quinta Esencia B&B is a quaint two-and-a-half-pearl hotel located a short walk from Playa Brasilito beach. The bed-and-breakfast’s four guest rooms are delightful and down-to-earth, decorated with eye-catching colors and charming curios. The tiny property’s amenities include a small hot tub and a comfy, thatched-roof common area where guests can help themselves to free coffee or use the communal microwave. Ample dining options can be found in the town of Brasilito, and there are two decent beaches located within walking distance. Travelers who prefer to stay right on the beach might also consider Sueno del Mar Beachfront Bed & Breakfast in Tamarindo, although rates tend to be pricier.
Hotel Arco Iris is an immaculate, mid-range, 13-room boutique hotel with a sparkling pool, a restaurant run by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and perfectly manicured gardens. Located just outside the noise of Tamarindo, yet still within walking distance to the nightlife and beach, Hotel Arco Iris offers rustic-chic private bungalows with hammocks and Deluxe Rooms with terraces that overlook the gardens. If ocean views are a must, The Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas has ocean views and lower rates, but its pool gets noisy and its rooms are drab.
With affordable nightly rates and an excellent location in downtown Samara, Hotel Belvedere - Playa Samara is one of the best bang-for-your-buck options in the area. This budget hotel is located on a quiet, residential street that’s within a five-minute walk of local shops, restaurants, bars, and the beach. Hotel Belvedere has 22 colorfully decorated rooms, beautifully landscaped gardens, and a small pool and secluded hot tub. Guests can purchase breakfast for an additional fee, but it isn’t always available during the off-season. Wi-Fi is free and works well across the property. Travelers looking for something a bit more polished might prefer Hotel Villas Playa Samara, a beachfront property with pricier nightly rates.
Hotel Cantarana is an intimate, five-room budget-oriented boutique hotel with a laid-back surfer vibe, a shaded pool, personal service, and a notable restaurant set among a canopy of trees. The hotel is located within the Las Baulas National Marine Park, home to hundreds of species of birds and a prominent nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles. The hotel’s biggest draw, though, might be the uncrowded, surfer-friendly Playa Grande, a quick walk away along a dirt road. Those seeking nightlife can drive 30 minutes to reach the bars of Tamarindo, yet most guests at Hotel Cantarana opt to spend their evenings on guided tours observing nesting turtles or holed up in the basic but comfortable rooms outfitted with king-size beds, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs.
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.
The Conchal Hotel is a nine-room, budget-oriented boutique hotel with lush gardens, colorful decor, and an attractive courtyard pool. Guests love the personal service provided by the on-site hosts, the free continental breakfasts featuring freshly baked breads, the tidy rooms, and the low rates. However, getting to the beach is more of a a chore than a stroll, requiring a 5-minute walk along a busy road without sidewalks and a quick jaunt over a precarious bridge before finally reaching the soft sand of Playa Brasilito.
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.
Tamarindo Hostel Resort is a practical, two-pearl property located in the heart of Tamarindo. The hostel’s 16 dorms and private rooms are no-frills but tidy, with all offering AC. There’s an inviting upstairs common area with dining tables and hammocks, plus a sizable shared kitchen -- but no pool. The hostel’s atmosphere is relaxed and social, and there are tons of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood for guests looking to party. Budget travelers searching for a property with direct beach access could consider Hotel La Laguna del cocodrilo, though it also lacks a pool.
This 18-room, no-frills surfing mecca sits on a prime stretch of Tamarindo Beach perfect for learning to surf. The vibe is friendly, laid-back, and fun. Guests are encouraged to kick back in the two lively restaurants, the brewery, or the tiny pool. There's also a busy surf shop that outfits guests with surfing gear. Rooms are bare-bones basic, lacking clocks, TVs, and adequate lighting, but that’s part of the plan. Guests don’t come to Witch’s Rock to lounge on high-thread-count sheets (they're pretty thin) or linger in luxurious bathrooms (hot water is sporadic), they come to hone their surfing skills and embrace the camaraderie and campy lifestyle that goes along with the sport.