“Sensitively designed eco-hotel set in lush blooming gardens, with a spa, organic food and a white-sand surf beach”
The clean, modern bedrooms have been built with the environment in mind; clearly much thought was put into their materials and the imprint they would leave. Aptly, their modern take on 70s surf-style décor and furnishings are simple and unfussy so as not to distract from the real purpose of your stay - getting outside.
Facing the pool, Cocos rooms lie along the 2 open-air corridors of the horseshoe-shaped main building. Smallest and cheapest in price, they have an enclosed wood-decked patio with a heated shower and hammocks.
The Bungalows, set in the tropical garden, are bigger and more private (though still close enough to each other that we could hear our neighbours’ children in the morning - ask for a bungalow on the outskirts of the gardens). Each has a seating area inside with jaunty striped sofas and bamboo armchairs for lounging, and a lovely raised deck outside with rocking chairs, hammocks and plenty of room for surfboards and bicycles. For families or groups there’s also a 2-bedroom Suite (with 1 large bathroom) hidden in the garden.
Fittings are simple - white sheets on enormous kingsize beds, high beamed ceilings, tin roofs, hessian lamps, rocking chairs on wooden decks, a minibar stuffed with post-surfing health bars, and much-needed air con and ceiling fans.
The functional but spacious tiled bathrooms have delicious shampoos and body washes by Red Flower, a US range of organic, 100% biodegradable and biocompatible beauty products. When you shower, the water is then reused to water the hotel’s banana trees, ginger plants and heliotropes.
Meals are generally taken in the open-sided restaurant at wicker tables and chairs. Food is local and organic, with vegetables provided by the hotel’s patch.
Breakfasts, particularly, are very good. Guests return from surfing to tuck into smoothies blended with protein powder (surprisingly delicious), homemade granola, fruit, and the Breakfast Burrito (food of champions: a tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and avocado and served with fries).
Lunch can be taken in the restaurant, by the pool or at The Juice Bar, an attractive rancho-style, open-sided bar with a thatched roof. This serves more health-restoring fare: fresh juices, salads, tuna burgers and the like. There are plenty of variations on the Tico staples of black beans and rice.
The dinner menu has a global feel with ceviche, satay and coconut curry (and lots of vegetarian options). I’d say, for the most, stick to the Costa Rican dishes, which are cooked with confidence. When we were there, some US guests complained about the prices, but the exchange rate for Europeans is kinder and, in volume and quality, our meals were good value. Cocktails are delicious and the bar is an appealing place to hang out.
Alternatively, you can walk to the local restaurants at night: there are fireflies to light your way, but the hotel provides a torch, too. In the village, ensure you drop in to Robin’s to try the owner's superlative peanut butter ice cream (such is their colossal calorific content, she’ll only allow you 2 scoops a day!). For a romantic experience go for a candlelit meal at La Luna, a restaurant overlooking Playa Pelada, with outdoor tables lit by candles and moonlight. Lastly, don’t leave Costa Rica without eating some extraordinarily good Italian food, served in the strangest location (a tree house), at La Dolce Vita, just outside Nosara. Let the charming Italian owner pick your meal, knowing you’re in safe hands. If you fancy a drink Kaya Sol is a lively bar in town.
There’s plenty to do, including playing on the long, sandy beach, boogie boarding, wildlife spotting, having ice cream at Robin’s, and splashing in the swimming pool.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Suite has 2 bedrooms (but only 1 bathroom), and all rooms have space for 1 extra bed or baby cot.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There are special early dinners for children, kids menus and half portions of regular adult meals at the hotel restaurant; ice cream parlours and nearby beach restaurants are child-friendly too.