“Intimate and exclusive: just a few secluded suites in a private beach retreat, in unspoilt southern Nicoya Peninsula”
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.
Since our visit they have also made a simple Guestroom available, 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.
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.
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)
The Master Suites have 2 daybeds and a lounge area, plus dining tables for up to 4 people.