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17 Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica for Couples You Must See

Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. But while it’s fun to go there with kids, sometimes it’s good for couples to just reconnect with only each other. So here, I’ve compiled a list of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

In our busy everyday lives, whether we’re parents or not, it’s hard to find the time and the right place to just reconnect with our spouse or partner.

Costa Rica, in particular, is an amazing place. It not only features pristine white sand beaches, but also jungles, rain-forest, volcanoes, abundant wildlife, and friendly inviting people.

While Costa Rica is certainly family-friendly, and I have been there with my kids on many occasions, it is an outstanding destination for couples.

So in this post, we’ll explore the beauty of Costa Rica and what makes it so special. We will answer all of the top travel-related questions and really get to the heart of why you need to visit.

Specifically, will look at the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples. Places that will allow you to enjoy all of the beauty and amenities Costa Rica has to offer.

But places that will really let you connect with your spouse or partner and get back to the heart of what really matters.

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

What is the best area in Costa Rica to stay?

Bear in mind anytime we use the word best, it’s subjective. ALL of Costa Rica is beautiful. Friendly people are everywhere and wildlife is abundant.

That being said, what’s most important to you?

  • Kid-friendly?
  • Travel time from the airport?
  • Beaches?
  • Mountains?
  • Wildlife?

For me, I prefer the state of Guanacaste which is northern and on the Pacific side. It’s easy to get to from the Liberia airport.

I also don’t have the stress of trying to drive in San Jose, the Capital (think driving in NYC).

The Pacific side is also easier to get to than the Caribbean side. Plus I still get amazing beaches, volcanoes, wildlife galore and so much more.

Ready to dive deeper into why I love this area? Check out ALL the amazing Reasons to Visit Guanacaste Costa Rica in one of my recent articles! Just click that link to read it on my site.

Does Costa Rica have all-inclusive resorts?

Being one of the world’s most beautiful travel destinations, Costa Rica, of course, has many of the top-name hotels and all-inclusive resorts.

Whether you’re looking for a top-notch hotel chain like the Westin, The Four Seasons or JW Marriott, you can find that in Costa Rica.

But the #1 ranked All-Inclusive resort in Costa Rica is Rio Perdido located in the jungle forests just a short drive from the Liberia airport.

  • Thermal rivers and hot springs
  • swimming pool
  • nearby zip-lining, mountain biking or hiking
  • wellness spa

Click the image to see more on why Rio Perdido is most certainly one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

Where should I stay in Costa Rica to see wildlife?

Want to see macaws in the wild? In my 5 visits, I’ve only ever seen these magnificent creatures once, around the surfer beach called Jaco.

I’ve never seen a toucan there (in the wild).

Howler monkeys are abundant and I’ve seen them (and heard them) up and down the Pacific coast.  They travel in packs and live in the trees.  Bear in mind their howl is not unlike a lion’s roar and can travel up to 3 miles.

Let’s hear a howler monkey!

But if you’re observant, you can see all kinds of wildlife everywhere in Costa Rica. There are also some great places to do guided nature hikes and walks.

My daughter’s and I love hand-feeding the white-throated magpie jays that live in the northern-most part of the Guanacaste state.  Think blue jays with a black mohawk and a long parrot-like tail.

The locals think of them the way Americans think of pigeons, but we loved them anyway.

Not sure when to start planning your next vacation? Waiting too long can cost you more or cause you to rack up a lot on credit cards.

So I highly recommend you take a moment and review all the most crucial Summer Vacation Planning Steps. I lay them out in a simple timeline in one of my recent articles. Just click that link to read it on my site.

What is the best airport to fly to Costa Rica?

I love the Liberia airport. In fact, it’s the only airport I’ve ever flown into in my 5 visits to Costa Rica. While I have flown into the old one where they roll up some stairs to meet the plane, the current airport is modern.

It has everything a modern airport in the US has even down to a Quiznos.

The main reason I love it is that I can be at some of my favorite destinations within 1 hour (and many in close to 30 minutes). I also don’t have to hassle with driving in busy San Jose!

Plus, living in Texas, it’s only a 3-hour flight from Houston!

What part of Costa Rica has the best beaches?

Again, this will be highly subjective.

Also, bear in mind I haven’t been to the Caribbean side. That being said, for me, there’s no better beach than the Playa Conchal area on the Pacific coast in Guanacaste.

Don’t believe me? Here are 2 of my daughters playing in the sand there.

What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The beauty of Costa Rica is it is pretty much an average year-round temperature of about 79°, and great weather, even during the rainy season.

Of course, if you’re on the beach it may be a little hotter. In the rain-forest and you can expect much greater humidity. But generally speaking, it’s great weather all year.

The summer is considered the rainy season, so from about May to mid-November you can expect very brief afternoon showers.

But having said that, I’ve stayed there a week in July and seen almost no rain, so it’s hardly down-pouring the whole time. The so-called off-season can also get you much cheaper accommodations too!

Think you’re too broke to go on vacation?

Don’t say no until you check out my recent article on some proven ways to have a Great Vacation on a Budget! Just click that link to read it on my site.

So now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s review the . . . 

17 Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica for Couples You Must See

To qualify for my list, hotels and resorts needed to have 5-star reviews with over 400 reviews. They also needed to have a pool, free WiFi and be focused more on couples and less on kids (that does not mean these are necessarily adults only though).

So this list is truly the best of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.  These are also not in any particular order.

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

1. Nayara Resort Spa and Gardens 

This amazing resort features swim-up bars, bathtubs on your back deck overlooking Arenal volcano, a bird’s eye view of the rain-forest with modern luxury and outstanding food options too,

Rated the #2 resort in the world by Trip Advisor in 2015!

This resort can be easily reached from either the San Jose or Liberia airports (but is a little closer to Liberia). Also features complimentary:

  • twice a day housekeeping
  • gym, yoga
  • bird watching tours
  • free breakfast buffet

Did I mention the espresso bar and also the wine and tapas bar? See why Nayara Resort is one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples!

2. Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort

See what makes this one of the most romantic getaways in a short video. Click the pic to see more.

This gem is in the resort area called Manuel Antonio. Fly into San Jose and then take a scenic drive or fly to the nearby regional airport.

Not sure what’s best? Let the resort handle your transportation needs.

Voted Best New Honeymoon Spot by The Knot!

Since it’s the Only LUXURY BEACHFRONT RESORT in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, it’s certainly one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples!

As I mentioned, all the properties I’m featuring at 5 stars with over 1000 reviews each.

This review says it all (but there’s 999 more just like it!):

“Our room and view were beautiful. We especially enjoyed seeing humpback whales, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, butterflies and much more without having to leave the property. The food was fabulous. Most of all, the staff was the friendliest and most accommodating we have ever experienced anywhere.” – Sandy M

3. The Springs Resort and Spa

Ready to see why this place is one of the Top 7 Views in the World? Click the image and check out their video!

Check out what Davie from Florida had to say about their 2018 visit: “If I could rate 100 stars, I would. This place was absolutely amazing. From booking the reservation to checking out, their amazing staff made every moment a memorable experience.”

Like the #1 resort, The Springs Resort and Spa can be easily reached from either the San Jose or Liberia airports (but is a little closer to Liberia).

If you ever watch The Bachelor or Keeping Up with The Kardashians (count me out on both), then you’ve likely seen this gem as it’s featured in both shows.

Voted as one of the 7 Resorts with the Most Spectacular Views in the World by CNN!

4. Gaia Hotel and Reserve

Check out all the features in a quick video by clicking the picture!

Gaia Luxury Boutique Hotel and Reserve, located in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica, is a 5-star Eco-friendly resort.

Check out what Samuel S. of Florida had to say: “Gaia is absolutely stunning!!! As you step out you walk into the restaurant on the top floor of the main building, and you see a breathtaking view of the treetops and ocean. By the way, this will be your view every morning with the breakfast included! Thank you again for the unforgettable experience!”

Beyond that, take advantage of:

  • Complimentary 20-minute massage
  • 2 infinity pools
  • free hourly shuttles to nearby attractions and the beach

5. Peace Lodge

Click the pic to watch a video showing you more about the top honeymoon spot!

Just north of San Jose near La Paz Waterfall inside a rain and cloud forest lies this hidden gem.

Candace of Georgia said “This place is the most beautiful hideaway hotel we’ve ever stayed in! It has an awesome hands-on walk-through animal sanctuary where you can interact with different types of birds, frogs, play with monkeys, get up close with wild cats and even fish for your own dinner! The rooms are so beautifully detailed and each room has a private Jacuzzi on the balcony, an elaborate walk-in Rain Shower, and a large bathtub to soak in.”

The Peace Lodge was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Honeymoon Hotspots International” program as one of the eight most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world outside of the United States. So it’s clearly one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

Each room features:

  • a Jacuzzi tub
  • waterfall shower
  • river stone fireplace
  • handcrafted canopy bed
  • oversized balconies with rocking chairs, hammocks and custom Jacuzzi tubs

6. Tulemar Resort

Check out what makes this place great by clicking the pic and watching a short video!

Tulemar Resort is nestled in a lush rain-forest overlooking the Manuel Antonio coastline.

Surrounded by nature, Tulemar Resort features incredible gardens, walking paths, thriving wildlife, and the ONLY exclusive sandy beach in the region. It’s no wonder this resort makes the list of best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

Lau K of London said “We stayed here and had the most wonderful time. The resort itself is paradise. There is wildlife everywhere. We literally saw monkeys out of our window while lying in bed. The beach is lovely. The staff is outstanding. We can’t recommend this place enough and look forward to returning in the future!!”

  • Luxury villas, bungalows, and private homes
  • Located on Manuel Antonio’s only private beach
  • panoramic views of the ocean and jungle

7. Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

Watch their video to learn more! Just click the pic.

This breathtaking upscale boutique hotel is located in a private cloud forest reserve just a short drive from San Jose.

From their beautifully appointed 19th-century re-creation of a mountain farm village to amenities that include wood-burning fireplaces, private garden porches, and in-room whirlpool tubs, you won’t be disappointed.

With prices starting at only $164/night, what are you waiting for?? Villa Blanca is amazing!

Ann from Laredo says: “Returning to this piece of heaven on earth, we were not disappointed! The seclusion and serenity of the cloud forest offer an ethereal experience! Most importantly, the staff that works here is absolutely exceptional. We are somewhat hesitant to share our love for this place if only because we want to keep it for ourselves!”

  • Outstanding wedding and honeymoon destination
  • Live in harmony with nature in the most unique and endangered types of tropical forests
  • farm to table meals from on-site food sources

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

8. Nayara Springs

The sister property to my #1 listing above and a no-brainer for any list of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

Whereas the first listing is more resort, this is an exceptional boutique hotel in a secluded place of understated luxury. Located in a rain-forest, the only way in or out is via a canopy bridge as to not disturb the forest.

It also gets you breathtaking views, as well as:

  • two oversized infinity edge pools that merge into the forest
  • award-winning spa with outdoor treatment bungalows, sauna, and steam rooms
  • two restaurants and outdoor terrace overlooking the volcano and the forest

Marty of London says: “Stayed 2 nights- originally booked a Suite at sister Spa and Gardens but got upgraded on arrival to Springs- and what a pleasant surprise- the villa was huge (the bathroom was bigger than the living room at my place!) with a warm plunge pool surrounded by vegetation. We were very lucky to see a mother and baby sloth whilst walking around the amazing lush gardens which was a rare pleasure.”

9. The Hideaway Hotel Playa Samara

Learn more in a short video. Just click the pic!

This gem is located on the beach down the Pacific coast a short drive from the Liberia airport.

The #1 rated hotel in the area (out of 17), so clearly deserving to be among the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples. The Hideaway Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel featuring:

  • exclusive beach access
  • high-end mattresses
  • granite counters

Patricia B said: “First of all, this hotel probably has the sweetest and helpful staff we’ve had in our entire stay in Costa Rica. Plus, the food is AMAZING and truly delicious. One of the best things is also the proximity to the beach. The place is clean and the owner really takes care of the whole place. Also, the trees surrounding the hotel are full of monkeys! Overall, we can’t find anything we didn’t like about this place, would recommend it to anyone.”

10. Hotel El Silencio del Campo

Watch a video to learn more about this gem. Just click the pic!

This hotel can be easily reached from either the San Jose or Liberia airports (but is a little closer to Liberia). Located at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano (don’t worry, it is dormant).

The husband and wife team who run El Silencio are proud of their heritage and like to like and run the hotel in harmony with nature. Collect farm eggs or milk a cow while you’re there!

The hotel consists of:

  • 23 villas
  • a swimming pool and thermal waters
  • a restaurant
  • a spa

David F says: “This was our base for Arenal for 3 nights and what a fabulous hotel. The rooms, service from greeting to leaving were simply fantastic. It has pool and spa pools separately running from luxuriously warm through to the hot /cool combination. Hot tub, loungers and spa bar nearby serving drinks and bar snacks.”

11. Tortuga Lodge and Gardens

Check out their video by clicking the pic.

One of the few on my list on the Caribbean side!

Tortuga means turtle (or tortoise) and August through November is giant sea turtle hatching season! Stand just a few feet from a 300 lb green sea turtle!

Veronica said this about Tortuga Lodge: “Beautiful place with a rather stunning view on the river. Amazing gardens. Rooms are lovely, however, no windows mean that you will hear all the noises of the jungle around you. ”

This “rustic elegance in the jungle” features:

  • Balcony views of the rain-forest
  • Guided excursions of the jungle and rain-forests
  • Poolside bar

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

12. Los Altos de Eros

Tropical paradise awaits! Watch a short video by clicking the image.

Located slightly inland from the tourist paradise of Tamarindo, this boutique hotel just a short drive from the Liberia airport.

AM Dietrich of Houston says “Los Altos de Eros is a one of a kind resort. Tucked away at the top of a mountain it is like another world. The resort is small and feels like home. The staff is incredible. The food was the best in Costa Rica. If you are coming you won’t want to leave. The open-air spa was such a phenomenal experience. I highly recommend this little piece of paradise.”

This amazing luxury hotel features:

  • Complimentary transportation to the beaches and Tamarindo (15 minutes away)
  • Is located on a mountain overlooking the ocean
  • Complimentary full breakfast
  • Maid service twice daily and free laundry service for our guests

13. TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge

Click the image to watch their video!

Located within an hour and a half of Manuel Antonio, a short drive from the San Jose airport is this gem.

Hector G said: “Tiki Villas is the perfect place to stay if you’re ever around the Uvita area. The amount of beauty that you’re surrounded by is unreal. Everything from the flowers, rooms, pool, to the service, was perfect. Not to mention all the adventures around the area just waiting to be explored. You will not be disappointed!”

TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge features:

  • Infinity pool with sea and jungle views
  • Adults only
  • Balinese Style” Eco Lodge of 9 spacious villas

14. Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais

Dive in deeper in a short video that walks you through all their features. Just click the pic!

Located on the tip of Puntarenas, Casa Chameleon is a surfer’s paradise; “quaint, bohemian and eclectic”. Let Casa Chameleon arrange a flight transfer from nearby Tambar Airport, or drive from Liberia.

Kyle of Washington state said: “This hotel was amazing, great experience all around. Private villas set in the jungle with an unforgettable view. Dining on the property was fabulous and the staff was incredibly attentive and friendly.”

Casa Chameleon Features:

  • Adults-only
  • Located in one of the world’s 7 “blue zones” (where the average lifespan is significantly longer than average)
  • Individual private pools with each villa

15. Villas Alturas

A short drive down the peninsula from San Jose near Dominical lies this ideal vacation getaway.

Chris recently said: “My wife and I enjoyed our 4-night stay here. The staff was excellent – very friendly and attentive. The sanctuary was a great addition to our stay! Unbelievable views of wildlife and the surrounding area! We whale watched and bird watched all from our front porch over coffee! We really enjoy having our own kitchen when we travel so this place was perfect all around.”

Villas Alturas features:

  • 1 and 2 bedroom tropical villas
  • Full kitchens and ocean views
  • Located next to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary with an amazing array of Costa Rican wildlife

16. Casa MarBella

Located on the tip of Puntarenas, Casa MarBella is the #1 hotel in all of Playa Santa Teresa.

Get a flight transfer from nearby Tambar Airport, or drive from Liberia. Drive from San Jose and take a ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya. Driving is about 5 hours from either big airport, but so worth it for the outstanding scenery.

Casa Marbella, a boutique hillside retreat, offers:

  • Panoramic views of the Pacific ocean
  • All rooms that connect to the infinity pool
  • Luxury condos with full kitchens for under $200/night

Carlotta said “I loved staying at this hotel, the view is amazing, the pool is beautiful, the owners and the staff are friendly. The yoga deck is the perfect place to relax. The owners can give you many great and fun ideas about what to do in Santa Teresa, such as horseback riding, restaurants, surf lessons, etc. The beach and the supermarket are 5 minutes away. It’s a great experience.”

17. Rancho Pacifico

Located south of San Jose near Dominical, Rancho Pacifico is a luxury resort located 2000 feet above sea level, offering majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Segolshani of Austin just said: “It’s been one month since we stayed at Rancho Pacifico and we have missed it every single day since then! If you are looking for true Costa Rica jungle (but with the luxury) then Rancho Pacifico is for you. From the moment we arrived everyone was so enjoyable! The owners were so friendly and their staff was top notch. The villa was incredible as were the magnificent views.”

Rancho Pacifico features:

  • an Adults-only resort
  • either the adventure package or the romantic package
  • luxury villas, suites or treehouses

Did we list all the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples you were looking for?

In this post, we took an in-depth look at what Costa Rica has to offer. We looked at the landscape, the wildlife, and the best travel tips available.

We explored all-inclusive options as well as which airport is best to fly into.

But more importantly, we looked at the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.

Places that will really allow you and your partner or spouse to connect in ways not possible in the US or wherever you are from.

Come see what makes Costa Rica so magical and truly one of the most breathtaking places on Earth!

Make sure to check out my Costa Rica Couples Travel Resource List with links to everything you need!

Some of the images used in this post were acquired from the web and are considered “fair use” under US Copyright law given this post is for the purposes of reviewing these products. That being said if the original photographer prefers us to not use their photo, we will happily swap them out upon being contacted.

Jeff Campbell