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Hidden Gems: Unique Eco-Friendly Hotels

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Rio Perdido

This environmentally sustainable retreat features 30 isolated forest bungalows with terraces and many more desired amenities. The Rio Perdido is completely hidden inside a so-called «dwarf forest» and that seclusion is the key player in the hotel’s passive-wellness program. Eco-adventure lovers will cherish the abundance of hiking and biking trails, the zip-lining course, and the white-water tubing whilst wellness lovers can find relief in yoga, meditation, and the all-natural thermo-mineral pools. However, everybody comes together in Rio Perdido’s open-air restaurant, which serves exquisite dishes created from organic, seasonal, and locally grown ingredients. Moreover, the retreat hires only regional talent. In doing so, Rio Perdido not only supports the native communities but also provides an authentic Costa Rician experience to its guests.

Rio Perdido

Nayara Tented Camp

This tented camp is set in the Arenal region and has been awarded four out of five leaves in the Costa Rican Sustainability in Tourism Program (CST). The Nayara Tented Camp features 29 luxury tents that are perched on a hill overlooking the volcano or the rainforest. In a bid to bring the surrounding nature and culture closer to the guest, this eco-friendly resort has various adventure, observation, and culture tours on offer. Furthermore, the hotel provides an escape for the body and mind in the form of an extensive wellness program that includes different massages and skin treatments, yoga classes, and hot thermal water pools. Moreover, the culinary needs are met in each of the three restaurants and bars, where the chefs conjure up dishes with flavours from near and far, cooking only with self-raised fish and meat and other locally sourced ingredients.

Nayara Tented Camp

Selva Bananito Ecolodge

This pioneering lodge is set in a private reserve, which is also home to the property owners’ farm. The Selva Bananito offers the ultimate eco-tourism experience away from electricity. The rustic, cosy, and spacious cabins were built with waste wood and their water is heated using solar power. Furthermore, the Selva Bananito offsets the carbon emissions of its guests’ international flights. In addition to the lodge’s environmental protection efforts, which are CST certified, it offers a variety of tours and adventures, such as bird watching, tree planting, and horse back riding. Refreshments and meals are served in the “Rancho”, which is also where the bar and small library can be found.

Selva Bananito Ecolodge

Lapa Rios Lodge

This retreat enjoys international recognition for instituting sustainable tourism in Costa Rica and is CST certified. The Lapa Rios Lodge can be found in the middle of a 1000-acre private rainforest reserve and has found the perfect balance between wilderness and luxury. This is also evident in the resort’s eleven bungalows and six villas. These intimate, comfortable, and spacious cabins have astonishing views of the Golfo Dolce and the rainforest canopy below. Here, everyone can connect with nature, whether that is by exploring the rainforest or by absorbing the tranquillity in order to escape everyday life. Hence, the Lapa Rios offers various adventure and wellness programs. When it's time to dine, the organic open-air Brisa Azul restaurant serves various multi-course menus, all cooked exclusively with locally and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Lapa Rios Lodge

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

This resort, located on the Papagayo peninsula, has been awarded the highest level of the CST certification. All accommodations of the Andaz Costa Rica Resort are perched on a hillside and were designed in a modern day treehouse-style. The theme of sustainability and being one with the natural and cultural surroundings is recognizable throughout the hotel. That even includes the activities on offer, such as the various sports programs, wellness treatments, or explorational and cultural excursions. On that note, the four dining outlets and bar invite guests to enjoy the culinary aspect of Costa Rica. This is not only done by serving organic and locally sourced food and refreshments, but also by creating unique atmospheres with astonishing views.

Andaz Costa Rica

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

This is the only hotel located within the Arenal Volcano National Park and was originally built by the renowned Smithsonian Institution as a scientific research station. The Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is not only exceptionally close to the Arenal volcano, but also acts as a bird sanctuary. This lodge is CST certified and hence, applies various eco-friendly practices. Its 48 rooms and two villas do not have TVs but are equipped with private balconies overlooking either the volcano or the rainforest instead. Moreover, the lodge offers a wide array of activities, including various tours, spa treatments, and a museum and the restaurant El Jilguero satisfies any hunger with its local and international cuisine.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa

This luxury resort in the Arenal region has been certified with five out of five leaves in the CST program. The Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa has 105 luxurious rooms and one of the largest networks of thermal mineral springs. These are an integral part of the private reserve in which the resort is set. The adult-only Shangri-La Gardens, the extensive wellness area, and the various adventure and cultural tours contribute further to the nature-conscious experience offered by the resort. Moreover, the exquisite traditional Costa Rican and international cuisine that is served in the two restaurants and four bars lifts the emprise to a whole other level. As expected, all  ingredients used are organic and where possible, locally sourced.

Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa

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