Answers from Our Experts (1)
Finding a place to stay in Costa Rica can be a daunting task, but it’s not for lack of options — it’s not uncommon to find $300-a-night luxury resorts down the street from hostels offering hammocks to rent for $5, with every imaginable option in between. You get what you pay for is a good rule of thumb, but Forbes Travel Guide’s editors have chosen five places to stay that give extraordinary value for their price.
1. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica. Located in the resort development of Papagayo on Costa Rica’s west coast, this full-service resort manages to deliver something for almost every kind of traveler, from serious golfers (there’s an Arnold Palmer-designed course) to spa-lovers, families to honeymooners. Spy monkeys in the trees surrounding this lodge-like resort, or take part in one of the many complimentary activities, like sea kayaking and guided hikes.
2. Hotel Belmar. High in the mountains around Monteverde Cloud Forest lies this rustic hotel, one of the first to bring tourism to Monteverde. The area has since become a destination for peace-seeking hikers and nature lovers drawn to its unique high-altitude climate. The hotel’s recent renovations have earned it the highest sustainability distinction possible in Costa Rica, paying tribute to its long history of preserving and conserving the cloud forest’s natural environment.
3. Silencio del Campo. This collection of free-standing cabinas in the shadow of Arenal Volcano is our favorite in the area. Its on-ground hot springs may not be as large as Baldi’s (across the street), but they’re free with your stay and only footsteps away — not to mention less crowded and with reasonably priced poolside drinks. Best of all is the complimentary breakfast, which offers variations on the Costa Rican classic of ‘gallo pinto’ that are better than you can find in town for any price — all while sitting next to the hotel’s friendly pet parrot.
4. Posada El Quijote. Evening flights to San Jose mean a lot of travelers scramble to find a hotel near the airport before heading to the beach, and usually they find themselves in one of the chain hotels lining the road outside Alajuela. Escazú, a prosperous suburb southwest of San Jose, offers another option in the hills overlooking the Central Valley. The higher you go, the better the views, but our favorite is Posada El Quijote, a bed and breakfast in between the hustle and bustle of the capital and the quiet countryside in the mountains that surround it. Built in a Spanish colonial style and a mere 20 minutes from the airport, the inn offers spacious rooms surrounded by the best dining and shopping options for miles.
5. Villas Oasis. The road from Quepos to the Manuel Antonio Park is hotel after hotel, with roads leading back to a wide selection of vacation homes in the surrounding jungle — but our favorite place to stay combines the best parts of both. Villas Oasis bridges the gap between rental house and boutique hotel, with three suites that sleep anywhere from two to 14, as well as an onsite concierge available to take care of your every need. Its lush gardens makes it feel secluded even though it’s within walking distance to some of the area’s best restaurants, while well-stocked kitchens in each suite mean you can skip going out and simply grill the fresh fish you caught earlier. All this and a beautiful pool make it the perfect place for larger groups and families, or those looking for a more personal touch than a hotel or house rental.