Costa Rica's jungle-inspired spa
18 Treatment rooms
At the very core of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo lies its spa, a full-service oasis that acts as the resort’s spiritual and restorative center. Perched high above Playa Virador with breathtaking views of sand beds melting into the turquoise waters of the Pacific, the large, 18-treatment-room spa is a all about holistic health in a setting that elicits a sense of peace and connection to nature.
Located on Costa Rica’s northwest coast, the spa is just one part of the sprawling 2,300-acre luxury resort on the peninsula, where the rainforest meets the sea. Like the hotel, the design of the spa complements the area’s natural beauty. Open-air treatment verandas transition seamlessly from grassy lawns into enclaves of relaxation; outdoor whirlpools framed by grand palm leaves offer privacy with views stretching from the lush jungle to the ocean horizon. Tropical breezes flow freely through the bright seating area and earthy décor accents convey a tranquil, Zen-like feel conducive to relaxation.
Honoring local culture, the spa draws inspiration from ancient Central American healing traditions and the surrounding environment. The expansive treatment menu includes unique services that incorporate indigenous ingredients into body scrubs, wraps and massages. Exotic components like fragrant ylang-ylang leaves and oil straight from the coconut are expertly mixed into scrubs, masques and aromatic scents throughout the spa.
Signature services stay true to those long-held local practices with one-of-a-kind options that include the Volcanic Mud Wrap (featuring local mineral-rich clay), the Organic Costa Rican Coffee Scrub (using ground Costa Rican coffee infused with natural oils) and the top-rated Bamboo Healing Massage (incorporating fresh-cut bamboo to apply deep pressure). The therapeutic deep tissue massage speaks to the many active eco-adventure travelers here to soothe sore muscles after a surf lesson, a stand-up paddleboard tour, a kayak excursion or a lengthy nature hike.
Conceptualized by internationally known designers BraytonHughes Design Studio, the spa stays true to the resort’s vision to bring the outdoors in through eco-inspired touches. Dreamy frosted glass creates privacy, and the natural environment is echoed through tropical hardwood accents, intricate rattan furnishings and a unique two-story rain wall where cascading water flows over glossy green glass tiles into a freshwater rock pool.
As part of the resort’s extensive 2014 renovation project, the spa was freshened up with a more extensive list of indulgent treatments, and a new luxury boutique that carries everything from beauty products to designer accessories. The spa also now has a full-service hair and nail salon that features locally inspired treatments like manicures that incorporate coconut and coffee.