10 Handpicked Boutique Hotels in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a terrific vacation spot where visitors can enjoy the beautiful sun and surf on its beaches, the rich flora and fauna of its rain-forest… visitors can take advantage of different activities such as eco-tours, outdoor adventures, cultural tours, romantic getaways, all on a single trip. It is the embodiment of “Pura Vida” that continuously attracts visitors to this pristine Central American paradise filled with lush tropical rainforests and different types of accommodations to fit any traveler’s budget (there are plenty of budget-wise accommodation options as well as luxurious boutique hotels in Costa Rica).

We’ve recently completed a tour of dozens of Costa Rica’s boutique hotels and in this article we are going to share our opinions on the things we liked about each one. This will help you make an wise decision for choosing your hotel before visiting this beautiful country.

Check Out Our Top 10 Boutique Hotels in Costa Rica

Below you will find a list of our top 10 boutique hotels in Costa Rica that will help you make a wise decision when choosing a high quality accommodation to stay at while in Costa Rica:

1) Studio Boutique Hotel (Santa Ana, Costa Rica)

Boutique Hotels in Costa Rica - Studio Hotel

Costa Rica Studio Hotel is a three-story five star boutique hotel located in an upscale location in Santa Ana, which is a town that belongs to San Jose (Costa Rica’s capital) that is convenient for travelers because it offers plenty to do, see, taste and buy, all at walking distance. The atmosphere of the hotel is of refined luxury and surprising comfort. They offer top notch personalized client service.

Amenities include a small fitness center, a relaxing roof-top pool and comfortable lounge. These rooms all have a very contemporary style and they are extra spacious; each room is fitted with a flat screen TV and offers free Wi-Fi services. The prices will not be any higher than most chain hotels and the comforts are vastly superior.

For staying in San José, close to the Juan Santamaría International Airport, of all boutique hotels in Costa Rica, Studio Boutique Hotel is out top pick.

2) Hotel Mountain Paradise (La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica)

Mountain Paradise Hotel

This boutique hotel is also in a very convenient location, it is actually more of a resort style accommodation with 46 rooms, some of which are brightly colored bungalows looking like something from a charming Mother Goose Rhyme.

There are artificial waterfalls, private hot tubs and some amazing views of the mountains and the Arenal volcano. Wi-Fi service is also included, and they have two restaurants. The one featuring Costa Rican cuisine offers a spectacular panoramic view of the volcano and the pristine countryside.

3) Nayara Boutique Hotel, Spa & Gardens (La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica)

Nayara Hotel and Gardens

Nothing says like luxurious like a 300-ft. Yacht or the Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, which is a 16-room accommodation catering to adults only who want to get away from it all for a bit of privacy. The large bevy-like rooms, may not have a view of the volcanoes, but they do have plenty of free amenities including a mini-bar, international calls, and more.

Nayara is also conveniently located close to different attractions such as, hot springs, restaurants and zoos. The hotel is located just 15 minutes ride from the town of La Fortuna, although few guests want to leave the comforts of the hotel.

4) Makanda by the Sea (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

Makanda By The Sea

Makanda by the Sea is another upscale boutique style accommodation beautifully situated in the hills around Manuel Antonio. Although portions of this resort are under constructions, Villa 12 has recently become available and is one of the most luxurious units you could hope to find. There are infinity shaped pools, modern kitchens and two-bedrooms, and an attentive staff to cater to your needs.

All of the accommodations have a clear view of the ocean and comes with a daily breakfast delivered to your room. The local Sunspot Restaurant and the communal pool have both received top marks from their guests. Note: The hike to the nearest beach, on the other hand is a bit long and tedious.

5) Gaia Boutique Hotel and Reserve (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

Gaia Hotel & Reserve

Guests visiting these accommodations can expect to be pampered in this adults only boutique hotel. Gaia is tucked into the a hillside on a beautiful natural reserve covering 14 acres. The location itself makes this hotel secluded and exclusive.

The staff is attentive, the rooms are spacious and well ventilated by means of windows that offer spectacular views that never end. Breakfast, Wi-Fi and a mini spa are all freebies included in their stay rates. Be sure you keep your eyes open for the local wildlife.

6) Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)

Issimo Suites

Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa is not the largest hotel around, but it is arguably the most romantic spot your could find in all Manuel Antonio. Each room features minibars, jetted tubs, and ocean views. A deluxe breakfast buffet is served daily at no charge in the Issimo restaurant.

The pool featured in this hotel is open 24 hours and is a little small. Adjacent to the pool is a cocktail lounge. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted here, to keep the atmosphere as relaxing as possible.

7) Lapa Rios Ecolodge & Wildlife Reserve (Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica)

Lapa Rios Eco Lodge

Lapa Rios is Costa Rica’s original Eco-lodge, their luxury accommodations are located in Osa Peninsula. This is nothing like what you would find in a Cancun resort, visitors here will enjoy spectacular vistas while learning about sustainable tourism and making a deep connection with the natural environment.

There are 16 bungalows on the premises that stretch over a thousand acres of natural paradise. There are many comforts here to pamper the visitor as well. An exquisite restaurant, panoramic ocean view pool and luxurious rooms. This is the refined and comfortable way to get to know nature at its best, without having to drag on the rough side. Of all boutique hotels in Costa Rica, Lapa Ríos is definitely our top pick from an Eco-Tourism point of view.

8) Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat (La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica)

Leaves and Lizards

This is a nine room eco lodge sitting on a fully functioning farm, just about the most unique experience in the Arenal area. There are wooden structures perched high over the tropical forest you could literally “hole up” in something that “Frodo Baggins” would find appealing. There is a “Tolkien meets Hanna-Barbera” feel to the curious location. You are sure to find it exhilarating.

There may not be many of the conveniences that offers most of the boutique hotels in Costa Rica (A/C and TV have yet to be installed), but what would you rather do? Watch TV or enjoy the beautiful vistas that surround this unique hotel that seems almost lost in time. The place is remote as well, about a half-hour outside of La Fortuna. You can surely expect to experience an adventure you have not seen before.

9) Villa Buena Onda Boutique Hotel (Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica)

Villa Buena Onda

This is a seven room, all inclusive boutique hotel in an upscale area that just screams convenience, comfort and luxury. The quiet atmosphere you will find here is due to the fact that only adults are permitted here.

The decor and surroundings are quiet and stylish and it is the perfect place to take in some views. The beach is not too far away either. Guests can actually catch a shuttle bus to Playa de Cocos, only five minutes away.

This is one of the few boutique hotels in Costa Rica that is all inclusive.

10) Villas Alturas (Dominical, Costa Rica)

Villas Alturas

This hotel has been recently renovated and now presents the perfect alchemy of style, character and natural surroundings. It is actually an adventure just getting there and a good set of wheels is required. (We were greeted by a sizable brown snake when we entered the parking lot, probably stopping by on his way back to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary next door)

There are only seven villas available at the moment, with either one or two bathrooms depending on the personal need of the guests. There is a restaurant that offers purely organic foods and even has an extensive vegetarian menu. There is a bar adjacent to the outdoor swimming pool, and each day your made to order breakfast will be brought to your door.

From the terraces you will be greeted with spectacular views this altitude can provide. You will see the Pacific Ocean, Uvita’s famous Whale’s Tail, and more.