Costa Rica Hotel Guide
How To Pick a Great Costa Rica Hotel
Costa Rica is like many tropical locales; untouched (relative to many U.S. and Europe locations) with small pockets of amenities and stores, hotels, and restaurants. The most famous locales
are usually on the beach, rather than inland. In some places, hotels are the only thing around. That's because hotels are usually the first ones to build in an area, driven by vacationers and
their desire for something pristine, verdant, remote, and romantic. Let's face it, we usually don't go on vacation to see buildings or restaurants, we journey to nature, and Costa Rica has nature
in abundance. Costa Rica has 15 different ecosystems and a vast number of natural wonders, flora, and fauna.
Now, we don't want to give you a feeling that Costa Rica is an underdeveloped country. That is certainly not the case. Almost every amenity you find in the U.S. you can find here. Costa Rica
is the largest U.S. expatriate country in the world. However, Costa Ricans are very conservation minded, and the government has taken the stance that Costa Rica will
forever remain in harmony with the environment, keeping industry low and commercial zones within limits.
What Type of Vacation?
Your journey to Costa Rica begins with the type of vacation you want to take; luxury or economy? Bohemian or high-end? Do you just want something remote and romantic, or do you want a cultural
tour? Are you athletic and adventurous, or do you favor just sitting back and relaxing?
If you have not already done so, you might want to check out our Travel Packages section. Each travel package usually features 3-4 hotels that all revolve
around a certain type of hotel, such as 'boutique' or 'luxury'. Also include are packages that revolve around a particular sport (such as surfing, fishing, or white-water rafting). We've done
all the hard work for you and it's a great way to get a feel for the pricing overall.
By the way, all of the travel packages can be easily modified to switch out hotels, especially if the locations are the same.
Factors in Determining Hotel
Keep these factors in mind when choosing the right hotels.
- Destination: Check out the Explore/Map section for more information on specific destinations, such as Tamarindo or Arenal. For a hotel directory
by destination, use the Hotels by Region on the left navigation bar from this page.
- Location: Read the descriptions of each hotel - we always put statements like 'just 5 minutes from the beach' or '15 minute drive to this National Park' statement in there
somewhere to give you a feel as to the location of the hotel in relation to everything else.
- Style/Type: What type of hotel are you looking for? Luxury or bohemian? Boutique or All-Inclusive? You can find many styles of hotels by looking at the Hotels
by Type on
the left navigation bar from this page. To make things easier, we have a special group of Featured hotels that we like due to their high-end service, location
and architecture. Click here if you are looking for greater detail on Types of Hotels.
- Budget: Although we want you to focus on the trip, not the budget, we do include a price range to give you a feel of 'level' of hotel you're looking at. A big factor that
determines overall cost is the...
- ... Amenities Available: Restaurants, concierge, internet access, ocean views, beachfront, air conditioning, cable tv, etc. - all these factor into the bottom line pricing
of a hotel. Most of the remote locations include all amenities, especially food, because there are no restaurants around to go to! This is especially true of the Osa Peninsula (Matapalo and
If you are looking for a breakdown of pricing, room descriptions or hotel types, click here.
What's with the $$$?
You may have noticed that the hotels have ranges of pricing (designated by dollar signs $$$$) instead of actual costs. There are a number of reasons for this.
One, pricing is hard to update from season to season, and year to year. We have over 200 hotels in our directory (the cream of the crop) and they change pricing throughout the year, based upon
availability, number of nights staying and season. Pricing becomes even more confusing when you consider tours that operate out of these hotels... sometimes the pricing is bundled into the cost
of the room, sometimes it's not. It is almost impossible to give you an exact price on any given day.
Two, you're probably booking an entire vacation, not just a hotel, and the hotel pricing is bundled into the cost of the trip. We get deals that no one else has access to, because we are locals
and have strong ties with these hotels. Chances are if contact a hotel directly you won't get the same deals we do. This is not exclusive to Costa Rica, but hotels the world over.
You should focus on the entire trip, not just a particular hotel and it's pricing. Our travel agents live here, work here, and know Costa Rica better than any outside travel agent. We know how
to fit all the tours, hotels, transport and nightlife into one cost, so you don't have to worry about the details, and you can spend your time dreaming about the type of dream vacation that you
want to take! More information >
Taxes and Tips
Taxes are considerably higher in Costa Rica (around 15%) than other places like the United States. Our travel packages include the cost of all taxes and tips so you don't have to worry about