Pura vida (Spanish for pure life) is a phrase you’ll hear often in Costa Rica. Upon arrival at the year-old Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, guests are ushered into an untraditional check-in area and provided cool towels and fresh juice while taking in the Peninsula’s gorgeous private cove. Even though it’s just a five-hour flight from New York (JetBlue has a new nonstop flight from JFK to Costa Rica’s Liberia Airport) guests feel like they’ve been transported a million miles away.
The eco-chic, bamboo-laden buildings that house the 153 rooms and suites (conceptualized by Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher) authentically blend into the lush 28-acre landscape and are scattered around the property.
The ONDA spa features organic, local ingredients and herbal remedies in their relaxing treatments, offered in nine spacious spa suites set off from the idyllic landscape. Two cascading infinity pools (one is adults-only) and two secluded beach areas (all the beaches in Costa Rica are public) make for many lounging options the resort. We loved special touches like cool cucumber wedges, aloe vera leaves and refreshing fruit-infused waters offered poolside.
Mixologist Clark Jimenez runs the extensive cocktail program (we loved their Negroni) at the property’s three restaurants: Rio Bhongo, where a lavish buffet of eggs, local specialties like rice and beans, pastries and cereals is served daily; Ostra for seafood-focused fare and the tapas-style eatery Chao Pescao (don’t miss the oven-baked Rolatas, rolled flat bread stuffed with arugula, mozzarella and figs). All of the dining options feature stunning water views.
Our favorite details were the massive rainwater shower rooms that look out onto the glimmering bay and open up onto each room’s patio. The resort felt indigenous, modern and cozy, and the service was attentive but not overbearing.
Below, Andaz Peninsula Papgayo Resort‘s Mariella Cabezas tells us about the most sought-after room on the property.
The most requested room:
The Andaz rooms.
What makes it so special:
Even though this category of rooms is our standard category, the layout, spaciousness, design and views make these rooms a great option. Special features such as the walk-in rain showers that open into the balcony and the complimentary Andaz amenities such as hats, branded flip-flops, WI-FI, non-alcoholic mini bar and local snacks give a great value to the guests.
$1,200 per night.
Your personal favorite:
The Andaz Large Suite.
It is a stunning 164-square-meter suite with floor-to-ceiling windows that open into the terrace and a private plunge pool.
The property’s unique Cultural Insiders Program, which includes twin Faherty swimsuit brand founders Mike and Alex Faherty, who will provide guests with their own “How to Surf Costa Rica” guide revealing a list of the hottest hidden surf spots in the country. For guests booking the Witch’s Rock Surf Package, which includes a full day excursion to Witch’s Rock National Park plus a professional photographer to shoot the ride, they’ll also receive Faherty Brand board shorts or a Faherty Brand bikini as an amenity, along with a goody bag of surf wax, sunscreen and a Faherty Brand baseball cap.