“Intimate and exclusive: just a few secluded suites in a private beach retreat, in unspoilt southern Nicoya Peninsula”
And there - surprisingly grand and very elegant - you’re amazed to find a sleek, colonial clubhouse, open to the murmuring surf. Lights are low, the music is mellow, and staff are waiting to mix you a drink. A private chef cooks a couple of locally caught fish, which you eat gazing out at the limpid green pool, cooled by sea breezes, before you stroll along those leafy paths to bed. Hidden in the foliage, your room is a little Balinese-style wooden house, lit with candles, filled with exotic treasures. Although there are a few of these casitas, you’re barely aware of anyone else: perfectly maintained gardens guarantee privacy. Shower en plein air, or, if you must, learn to surf from the beautiful beach just steps away, complete with overhanging palms. Do nothing terribly taxing. This is a very romantic place indeed. Lie back and dream.
- Perfect for honeymooners - or anyone in search of an exclusive beach retreat in the heart of nature
- The Balinese style adds a mysterious exoticism to the jungle casitas, and the open-air bathrooms are wonderful
- Run by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, whose eco-credentials are impeccable: it’s rare to find a place combining true sustainability with luxury
- The service is charming and personalised: nothing is too much trouble
- Guests are welcome to use the spa and restaurant at Florblanca, just a few hundred yards along the beach
- The roads along this part of the Nicoya Peninsula are terrible; take a transfer from the airport, don’t drive here
- The casitas can feel a little dark and there's no air-conditioning (except in the Guestroom), but it’s all part of the lost-in-the-jungle feel
- It's near the road - you may hear cars from your villa during the day, particularly in the Premium Junior Suite
- The style is charmingly exotic rather than slick and sumptuous. Nature is all around!
- It’s not cheap (though better value in the 'green' season), but this is a special experience
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ other meals by arrangement)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
There are just 5 almond wood casitas, which are hidden in jungle so pristine that not a single tree was cut down to build them. Each is a little colonial plantation house with folding doors carefully placed in the overgrown foliage to preserve perfect privacy, with secluded porches.
The romantic feel continues inside, with canopy beds decorated with Balinese textiles and hung with mosquito nets. Both the Master Suites and the Premium Junior Suite have kingsize beds; the Junior Suites have queensize beds. The Master Suites are largest, as their lounge area has 2 daybeds and a dining table for 4 people.
There’s no air-conditioning, but all sides of the casitas are open to the ocean breezes thanks to louvered doors, and there are little bamboo blinds you can lower. There are comfortable rattan recliners and carved wooden settles upholstered in Javanese-inspired linens, next to walls in bold mustards and deep green, with stained glass windows. Bright contemporary paintings and stylish sitting areas with 1920s-inspired lamps and elegant sofas create a relaxing atmosphere.
The open-sky bathrooms are huge and gloriously open to the elements, but thankfully completely private. The showers are good and hot, and the design is contemporary. Natural, organic and biodegradable toiletries are provided by a local company and are deliciously aromatic. Driftwood hangers on a rope form the wardrobe.
There's also a simple Guestroom available on request; it’s smaller than the casitas and lacks a private deck area, but fittings remain high quality and it is the only room with air-conditioning.
Bathrobes, safe boxes and well-stocked complimentary minibars are provided; there are fresh flowers, too. Daybeds in 4 of the casitas can be made up as extra beds for families, but note that none of the bedrooms can be converted to twins. There are no televisions or phones to disturb the atmosphere of seclusion and silence, but WiFi is available throughout the resort.
- Extra beds
- Mosquito net
- Outdoor shower
- Safe box
Meals are served on the terrace outside the clubhouse. Breakfast is superb; after delicious plates of tropical fruit, you’ll be offered a freshly cooked breakfast of your choice, including the traditional Costa Rican favourite of rice and black beans. Complimentary water, tea and coffee are available here throughout the day.
Lunches and dinners are prepared by local chef in the small restaurant – think chicken quesadillas and mahi-mahi with garlic-yucca mash. They’ll chat to you during the day and ask what you fancy: everything seems to be within their realm and they use the freshest local produce. You’re guaranteed a quiet, romantic atmosphere for dinner, with tables decorated with tropical flowers and lit by candles in hurricane lamps, Cuban music playing gently, and the sound of the ocean murmuring close by.
We started with prawns and mushrooms with coriander inside little horns of puff pastry, before our main of roast sea bass on potato and garlic mash, with a cherry tomato salsa and tiny steamed courgettes. A delicate passion-fruit cheesecake followed. All absolutely delicious. There’s a very small wine list (literally just 6 reds and 6 whites), though it has some good choices. And with lovely views over to the illuminated swimming pool, it felt relaxed but exclusive. Guests staying in a Master Suite can have meals served in their casita on request.
Alternatively, you can walk (or staff will arrange a free transfer) to Florblanca next door, for excellent Pacific Rim-inspired cuisine in a smart modern setting. Or it’s a short hop into Santa Teresa and Malpais, where there are many good local restaurants. Staff will happily talk you through the choices and book somewhere to suit you.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Organic produce
- Restaurants nearby
- Lie on your balcony and gaze out at the waves, or sprawl on an elegant couch in the clubhouse and sip a drink; from the pool a path leads to a couple of hammocks and sun beds on the sand
- You can have massages, wraps, facials and private yoga classes in an open-air studio by the sea. If you want the full spa experience, the Bambú Spa at Florblanca is open to Latitude 10 guests, and free transport can be arranged
- Surf boards and boogie boards are available to borrow, and staff will arrange surf lessons with an excellent local teacher
- Explore the nearby Curu Wildlife Refuge, with howler and spider monkeys, scarlet macaws and tropical birds - many of which can be seen by kayak. Snorkelling and turtle viewing trips to Isla Tortuga are also available
- The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve at the very tip of the Nicoya peninsula is one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica and offers an incredibly array of wildlife, together with stunning landscapes and the gorgeous Playa Cabo Blanco beach
- Borrow a bicycle and ride along the sandy track into the main drag of Santa Teresa: there's lots of surf shacks, as well as smarter restaurants and shops
- For those who want an adrenaline rush amidst their relaxation, the Malpais Canopy Tour is apparently quite a thrill: zip-wiring at speed through the jungle at tree-top height. Malpais itself is a beautiful town, worth lingering in for an hour or so afterwards
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Plantlife / flora
- Well being
- Zipline tour
Latitude 10 is definitely pitched at a grown-up market, and its design and facilities are sophisticated rather than child-friendly. That said, children are welcome and often stay if the resort is hired as a whole - it's a perfect place for a family get-together. Most rooms have daybeds which can be made up as a bed for a child (there's a small charge for kids aged 6+), but there are no baby cots. There are lots of activities which older children would enjoy in the area.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Master Suites have 2 daybeds and a lounge area, plus dining tables for up to 4 people.