These boutique hotels offer you a unique, top-class experience in Costa Rica.

We’ve all been eager to get back to travel and Costa Rica is welcoming visitors with open arms. With dry season just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your Costa Rica vacation. 

But why choose Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica? What makes this group of boutique hotels so special? 

For starters, the members of Costa Rica’s Small Distinctive Hotels are boutique hotels with fewer than 60 rooms. They cater to guests who want unique options in their accommodations, and they are luxury hotels that meet the expectations of their travel-savvy guests.

Eight of the nine hotels have earned TripAdvisor’s 2021 Travelers’ Choice Awards in Costa Rica in the Top 25 Hotels and Best Small Hotels categories. Two have also ranked in the Most Romantic category.

Here are our top recommendations for your next trip to beautiful Costa Rica. 

Hotel Villa Caletas near Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

TripAdvisor has listed Villa Caletas as one of the 25 Top Hotels in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, it is also ranked in the Top 10 Romantic Hotels category. The tropical colonial style at Hotel Villa Caletas includes Latin American earthenware and European art, oriental rugs, and terracotta masks. Near Jacó Beach, and just an hour’s drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport, the tropical rainforest views complement truly fantastic Pacific sunsets. 

From its hilltop perch, the boutique hotel offers you first-class facilities and service. El Anfiteatro, a Greek-style amphitheater, has spectacular gulf views and serves meals all day on the outdoor terrace. The same backdrop provides the perfect atmosphere for elegant, candlelit dinners at El Mirador Restaurant.

The hotel has 52 rooms and suites that offer a mix of views: tropical gardens, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Amenities include terraces and private hot tubs. If themed rooms or suites take your fancy, choose from one of seven overlooking the Nicoya Gulf in the hotel’s Zephyr Palace.

The hotel’s private Caletas Beach is an adventure in itself. Four-wheel-drive vehicles take you down the mountainside path to the beach. But for a better chance to spot iguanas, agoutis, macaws, and monkeys, and if you’re up for the hike to the beach, you can take the Friends of the Forest Trail. Once at the private pebbled beach, you can enjoy the romantic seclusion on the beach from wooden, curtained gazebos.

Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa in Arenal, Costa Rica

Arenal Kioro, also among TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice for the 25 Top Hotels in Costa Rica, mixes luxury with its luscious green surroundings, a fabulous setting with views of Arenal Volcano. The hotel is set on 27 acres and bounded by two streams—La Palma and namesake Kioro. The lush gardens include private hot springs for your enjoyment.

The hotel’s 53 suites include two terraces with views of the volcano, hydro-massage facilities, air conditioning, standard amenities, and internet connection at no additional charge. Guests can also enjoy relaxing spa treatments.

The chef’s unique offerings, inspired by international cuisine, are on offer at the hotel’s  Heliconias Restaurant. House specialties include meats and seafood. In addition, Restaurante Orquideas is open for snacks and a themed dinner nightly.

With more than 14 adventure tours, you can hike to a dormant crater, try your hand at rock climbing, or kayak on Lake Arenal for a combination of water sport and birdwatching. Or, you can simply relax at the hot springs. It’s all up to you.

Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas

The 43 rooms at Tango Mar sit on a 150-acre exclusive, private beachfront reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula. Among Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice for the 25Top Hotels in 2021, the mix of luxury accommodation, attentive service, and exuberant jungle wildlife makes it the perfect hideaway.

The hotel offers luxury accommodation for groups and individuals, with a mix of offerings: oceanfront rooms primarily for families or groups and tropical suites for couples. The hotel’s Tiki suites and deluxe beachfront rooms meet the exacting requirements of the most discerning guest.

Tango Mar serves international, gourmet cuisine, as well as Costa Rican fare. At The Cristobal Restaurant, overlooking the Pacific, you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner in a casual and romantic setting. For lunch or light meals, El Pirata serves sandwiches, cocktails, and salads throughout the day.

In addition, the property has a 9-hole golf course, two tennis courts, and four swimming pools. Tango Mar offers tours if you want to explore the protected Nicoya Peninsula.

The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel of Nosara, Costa Rica

According to TripAdvisor, The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel is among the 25 Best Small Hotels in Costa Rica. It was also named in 2019 (and nominated in 2020 and 2021) as Costa Rica’s leading hotel by World Travel Awards, the travel industry’s premier rating program.

As the hotel’s name suggests, The Gilded Iguana has been Nosara’s premier surfing hotel since 1988. With direct access to Playa Guiones—the area’s best-known beach—surfers come to experience one of the most consistent surf breaks in the world.

The Gilded Iguana goes beyond the basics, including complimentary Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant, and breakfast daily. The hotel’s amenities are more than a match for the best Costa Rican hotels. Designed for your comfort, the hotel’s rooms include handmade, artisanal décor, custom furniture, and high-end furnishings.

The surf school and club are open to all surfers, regardless of age or experience; it’s set about 200 yards from the beach. The hotel’s instructors, certified by the International Surfing Association, can help you find the proper surf break for your abilities and hone your skills.

You can also take advantage of the hotel’s mountain biking program with bike rentals and weekly rides. The instructors on-site can show you a different beach or jungle experience that you won’t find elsewhere. If yoga, lounging by the pool, or beachcombing is on your schedule, The Gilded Iguana has that too!

Hotel Belmar in Monteverde, Costa Rica

TripAdvisor has named the Hotel Belmar one of the top hotels for romance (12th). It’s also given the hotel its Travelers’ Choice Award for Small Hotels in 2021; Business Insider’s review of eight incredible hotels in Costa Rica includes Hotel Belmar.

This boutique hotel sits in the lush cloud forest of the Monteverde Reserve on nine acres; six of them are untouched forests and home to endangered species. With a focus on eco-tourism, Hotel Belmar supports the local community and works to preserve the environment, giving you an insider look at the “real” Costa Rica.

Hotel Belmar emphasizes your experience with nature, whether it’s through yoga classes or private trails on the property. Tours include visiting a coffee farm or wildlife refuge, horseback riding, and ziplining. The hotel also has immersive programs for farm-to-fork dining and cocktails; you gather the ingredients and learn to make it all yourself.

The Perfect Costa Rica Vacation

Regardless of which hotel you choose, you can be assured of a one-of-a-kind Costa Rica vacation while sitting in the lap of luxury when you book with us. Reach out today and let us help you create your perfect Costa Rica trip.  

Whether it’s a romantic rain-season getaway while the kids are in school or the upcoming holidays, you can’t go wrong with a distinctive property from Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica.