Eco-luxury on the edge of the dramatic Nicoya Peninsula coast
Activity adventure | Beach | Jungle | Lodges | Natural world | Wildlife
This luxury lodge, in the idyllic coastal village of Santa Teresa, is perfectly placed to explore Costa Rica's rugged Nicoya Peninsula, a turtle-dotted headland of white-sand beach framed by jungles that hold the incredible amount of biodiversity for which the country is so well-known. It's all done alongside the likes of wildlife walks, spa treatments in sea-view bungalows, private surf lessons and wine-paired dinners under the stars.
Wrapped in landscaped gardens for the ultimate in privacy, laid-back beach chic is the order of the day at Nantipa, with sleek terrace-adorned villas that vaunt enormous hammocks and indoor-outdoor rain showers in marble bathrooms. Black granite features and concrete walls create a stylishly urban feel, contrasted with wicker and wood furnishings recycled from the trees that were originally cut down for the hotel's construction. Each villa can expect all the mod cons, from flat screen TVs with Netflix to complimentary WiFi, and suites go one up still, with private plunge pools and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that let in spectacular ocean views.
Tear yourself away, though, as there's a whole host of included excursions on offer, from horse riding on the beach to private surfing lessons. But, it's the iconic wildlife that makes this region so special; spot the likes of howler monkeys, iguanas, sloths and rainbow-hued birds on treetop forest walks and hikes in the Cabo Blanco National Park, the first major project of conservation in Costa Rica. There's also chances to head on day tours to the iconic Arenal volcano or Tortuga islands, spotting dolphins, turtles and even seasonal humpback and pilot whales.
Back at base, dips in the jungle-framed pool and massages in the local spa's rainforest bungalows are the perfect prelude to a signature cocktail in the palm-thatched huts of the Manzú beachfront restaurant. When it comes to dining, expect the likes of yellowfin tuna tartare, coffee-infused tenderloin steak and squid ink tagliatelle with lobster, paired with an excellent selection of wines. Multi-course tasting menus and private wine-paired dinners on the beach can also be booked for an extra-special evening.
As with many lodges in Costa Rica, sustainability remains at Nantipa's heart, from its biodegradable materials and treatment plants for recycling water to its solar water heaters and locally-sourced materials and ingredients.