by Fiona Tapp
Swaying gently on my balcony hammock, gazing down at the infinity pool and out towards the ocean, I relax into a midday nap in this secluded retreat. But even though it feels as though I have been transported to my own private paradise, I am actually only 20 minutes away from Liberia International airport, the gateway for many of the 1.7 million annual visitors to Costa Rica.
This Central American country is known for its coffee, ceviche, and beautiful beaches but what many people don’t realize it’s that it’s also the oldest democracy in the Americas and one of the safest and most stable destinations in the region.
Villa Buena Onda , in the Guanacaste province, started life as a private family villa and the 8 bedroom, 2-story mansion set on 2.5 acres of tropical dry forest still feels like the very antithesis of a corporate chain hotel. Here you experience true personal service in a tranquil setting, you’ll feel special and that’s the point.
The two-tier pool is the star of this property, visible from most rooms and the outdoor dining area. It has a modern, sleek design yet manages to integrate seamlessly into the environment due to its natural stone construction. The adult-only designation here makes it the perfect romantic locale.
Each room features comfortable, contemporary decor, large flat screen tvs, and sumptuous linens. Small touches like authentic Costa Rican coffee, robes, and the softest towels help to increase the luxe factor. Bathrooms are very large and come supplied with bottles of the hotels own organic products with fresh scents of banana and ylang-ylang, my shower featured a huge corner window overlooking the ocean and mountains beyond.
Three daily meals are included in your room rate and feature a mix of international and Costa Rican flavors, some highlights include the traditional breakfast of Gallo Pinto, a succulent steak sandwich with red onions and horseradish and boozy banana pancakes.
A daily complimentary shuttle takes you to three local beaches, the prettiest of which is Playa Hermosa. Expect to be known by name at this exclusive property where you’ll experience outstanding personal service, it’s like having a team of butlers assigned to make you as comfortable as possible.
You can also book additional tours, I recommend the ‘Hidden Beaches’ tour led by Pacific Coast Discovery tours, where you’ll explore the caves and beaches around the Papagayo gulf before enjoying a delicious BBQ lunch. During the trip, you may see dolphins, rays, or turtles and enjoy stand up paddleboarding, fishing, snorkeling and more.
Back at the hotel, an outdoor yoga platform and full-service spa provide yet more opportunities to de-stress you’ll return a whole new chilled out you!
Villa Buena Onda
Del Ancla 200 este y 700 sur, Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Rates start from $307 a night and includes three meals, WiFi, and free international calls.