Hotels and Resorts
- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Backpackers have few choices except Cabinas Mar y Mar (tel. 506/2670-1212, $15 pp), facing the beach. It has 17 no-frills rooms with fans and private baths with cold water only.
The Coco Palms (tel. 506/2670-0367, www.hotelcocopalms.com, call for rates), on the west side of the soccer field, offers 48 spacious, adequately furnished air-conditioned rooms arrayed along an atrium corridor, all with fans, cable TV, and WiFi. They vary markedly; some have whirlpool tubs and kitchens or kitchenettes. There’s a beautiful swimming pool and sundeck and the delightful Restaurante Coco Sushi, plus a supermarket.
The pleasing, pet-friendly Italian-run Hotel Pato Loco Inn (tel./fax 506/2670-0145, patoloco [at] racsa [dot] co [dot] cr, $38 s/d low season, $48 s/d high season), 800 meters inland on the main drag, has attractive air-conditioned rooms. Three triples, one double, and two fully equipped apartments feature orthopedic mattresses and modest furnishings with hardwood accents. Its intimate restaurant serves great Italian fare.
Laura’s House B&B (tel. 506/2670-0751, www.laurashousecr.com, $50 s, $60 d) is run by a delightful young Tica and offers seven lovely albeit simply furnished air-conditioned rooms in a two-story house. Ablaze with cool white decor, all rooms have ceiling fans and clean private bathrooms. Downstairs rooms are pleasingly cool; some have bunks. There’s WiFi, parking, and a pool in the courtyard with hammocks.
Farther east, the Villa del Sol (tel. 506/8301-8848, www.villadelsol.com, from $45 s, $55 d low season; from $50 s, $65 d high season), set amid lawns, is a homey bed-and-breakfast with an open atrium lounge. Seven air-conditioned rooms vary considerably, though all have ceiling fans and simple decor blessed with lively colors. Five have private bathrooms and balconies plus king-size bed. It also offers six studio apartments. There’s a swimming pool and whirlpool tub. It has secure parking.
I love Hotel Puerta del Sol (tel. 506/2670-0195, www.lapuertadelsolcostarica.com, $60 s or $70 d low season, $70 s or $90 d high season), an intimate hotel with an Italian aesthetic. The 10 air-conditioned rooms feature tropical pastels, enveloping king-size beds, and wraparound sofas built into the soft-contoured walls. All have ceiling fans, TVs, phones, WiFi, safes, fridges, coffeemakers, and patios. Two are suites with refrigerators, and casitas have full kitchens. A small airy lounge has games and a TV, and there’s a garden with a charming lap pool and gym. The restaurant excels. Free scuba lessons are offered in the pool. Rates include breakfast.
Sportfishing fans should head to Hotel Flor de Itabo (tel. 506/2670-0290, from $55 s or $65 d low season; from $70 s or $85 d high season), about one kilometer before Coco. It has 10 spacious standard rooms, seven deluxe rooms with whirlpool tubs, and eight bungalow apartments. The Sailfish Restaurant opens onto a pool in landscaped grounds full of parrots and macaws. There’s also a casino. The hotel specializes in fishing trips.
For peaceful seclusion, I recommend Rancho Armadillo (tel. 506/2670-0108, www.ranchoarmadillo.com, $103–150 s/d low season, $150–206 high season). This beautiful Spanish colonial–style hacienda, on a 10-hectare hillside finca 1.5 kilometers from the beach, has six spacious air-conditioned bungalows, including a two-bedroom suite. All have fans, magnificent hardwood furniture, wrought-iron balustrades, lofty wooden ceilings, hardwood floors, colorful Guatemalan bedspreads, stained-glass windows, “rainforest” showers, coffeemakers, refrigerators, and cable TV. There’s also a house for families or groups, plus an open-air kitchen beside the swimming pool, a gym, a mirador lounge with hammocks and rockers, and a library. Meals are offered by request. The estate is available for exclusive rental during peak season, with Rick, the owner, as chef (he was for years a professional chef). Rates include breakfast.
My favorite place to relax is the Café de Playa Beach & Dining Club (tel. 506/2670-1621, www.cafedeplaya.com, $160 s/d low season, $200 s/d high season), a chic club with a circular swimming pool and “parachute” canopy over wooden sundeck and open-air sushi bar, plus lounge chairs on the beachfront lawn. It has a Hobie Cat and yacht. This hip conversion of the former Hotel Vista Mar has five totally remodeled rooms with a super contemporary aesthetic fitting for Manhattan or Beverly Hills. Each of the suites is distinct. And divine!
The largest hotel in town is the Coco Beach Hotel (tel. 506/2670-0190, www.cocobeachhotelandcasino.com, $55 s or $65 d low season, $92 s or $98 d high season), formerly Hotel Coco Bay, with elegant rooms in contemporary vogue.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition