Is Costa Rica a Luxury Travel Destination?

Costa Rica is traditionally known as a Nature- or Ecotourism destination.  But ten years ago, the Four Seasons Papagayo Resort opened its doors and Costa Rica was placed on the map of Luxury Travel.  But the vast majority of the guests that visited the Four Seasons stayed in the “bubble” and never dared to explore other parts of the country.  Very few guests would make it to destinations in Costa Rica along the coast like Santa TeresaManuel AntonioUvita or the Osa Peninsula.

Lapa Rios is a “National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World” located on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

Is this changing?  One of the most important “trends” in luxury travel this year – according to a USA Today article of July – is that “Travelers are seeking adventures in less explored areas and craving customized local experiences wherever they roam

Jicaro Island Lodge is a secluded getaway in Lake Nicaragua. Is the Luxury Travel Market ready for a destination like Nicaragua?

So, will the luxury travel leave the branded luxury experiences behind and venture off to explore smaller, more unique hotels, resorts and lodges that provide those local and authentic experiences?

Does luxury travel need air conditioned closed in rooms all the time? Is it OK to have open air showers? How about the six room Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa?

The next generation of luxury lodging brands is entering Costa Rica.  The Rosewood Papagayo is under construction.  Others like Aman Resorts and the Ritz Carlton are said to announce their projects soon.  How will that impact Costa Rica’s standing as a Luxury Travel Destination?  Will all the luxury travel be concentrated in a very small part of Costa Rica?

The Master Suite at Kura Design Villas in Uvita. Eight Suites, off the beaten track, locally owned and operated, authentic experiences. Ready for Luxury Travel in a remote location of Costa Rica?

It will be interesting to see how much the traditional luxury traveler will be willing to move out of his or her comfort zone.  Is travel time of more than one hour from the international airport to your destination acceptable?  Dirt roads and crossing rivers in 4×4 vehicles?  It seems to be working in Safari Destinations in Africa.  Why not in Costa Rica?

Step our of your comfort zone and connect with the locals. How about making some Tortillas with our staff at Arenas del Mar Resort in Manuel Antonio.

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Andrea Bonilla

Co-Owner & VP Operations