I love planning authentic trips for travelers to experience Costa Rica so it's always exciting when I find new boutique hotels that are unique, secluded and less touristy. Normally I wait for a new hotel to go through its first 'high season' to make sure all the elements are fine-tuned but recently my family and I had the chance to stay at the new Hotel Lagarta Lodge, located in Nosara, about a 4 hour drive from San Jose and 2.5 hours from the Liberia International airport.
I have high expectations for a new hotel and I am pleased to say that they were all met. The road trip to Nosara was pleasant and gave us a chance to experience some very different terrain and environments, driving on a mix of paved and dirt roads; winding through remote and uncrowded tropical forests. Lagarta Lodge is located in a very quiet area and was easy to find.
The gardens were manicured to perfection; styled to look natural and wild. The hotel sits high on a ridge, overlooking the pacific coast and upon entering the lobby I could already see the amazing views and feel the relaxed atmosphere. The hotel restaurant and the upstairs lounge both offer breathtaking views of the coast line, the rain forest reserve, and rivers; anytime of the day.
The hotel has lots of water features including a pool and hot tubs which are spread around the grounds and help set a tone of tranquility. My children loved the pools and would have stayed in them from dawn to dusk had we not visited nearby beaches, Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones, where they also enjoyed collecting shells, stones, playing with the crabs and tiny fishes trapped in tide pools.
The rooms were spacious, comfortable and nicely finished with attention to detail. Two things I always look for are a good hot shower and a comfortable bed with great lines. I was blown away by the shower; it was among the best I've experienced, with an amazing ocean view as well! We felt very safe with the staff and the very private setting of the property. We tried a number of meals at the restaurant and room service and they were all satisfying and well presented. The kids meals were also noteworthy and the kids loved the food and the kid's menu.
Even though we visited in the green (rainy) season, the sunsets were picture perfect and the highlight of the trip. One night I got out of bed because there was an intense lighting storm and went to the outdoor restaurant area by myself to witness the sky lighted in silence every 2 seconds, just extraordinary! There are definitely perks to traveling in the green season. I can't wait to go in the summer, not only for the sunsets but also for star gazing. Since the location has almost no light pollution it will be an awesome place to see the stars.
The hotel is close to the beach and a few rivers, so short hikes and walks were easy to get to – versus driving to find trails. There were nice trails to ride horses, hike, walk and even a few kayaking trips on the local streams, rivers or ocean. There were plenty of activities and guided tours to keep us occupied and to keep the kids interested and excited.
The most amazing part of the property is simply the location – the view from the pool and hot tubs were out of this world and we stayed relaxing in the hot tubs for long periods of time. One especially noteworthy item is that the pool is chlorine free, instead they use a salt combination which was very comfortable and added an element of healing.
Overall, the isolated location with the amazing views helped us feel like we really got away. It was almost as if we were on a remote island but still with all the comforts of home and within close distance to the beaches and town, if we wanted to eat out one day. The hotel offers shuttle services to the town and beach 4 or 5 times a week with a published schedule. It's very convenient if you don't have your own car available.
Lagarta Lodge has an excellent team that can deliver a great experience to guests and I'm looking forward to offering this piece of paradise to my future travelers as part of our new Costa Rica Family Vacation trip or making it part of a custom Costa Rica trip.
If you are ready to plan your visit to Costa Rica call me to start planning a wonderful vacation in the tropics!
Keeping it wild,