Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica, is a tranquil paradise in the remote enclave of Guanacaste. Surrounded by ocean and tropical forests this hotel is a perfect place to reconnect with nature and experience authentic Costa Rica. The hotel is slowly and strategically undergoing renovations. During my recent visit, I had an opportunity to stay in Punta Islita this fall and got the first view of the new Honeymoon Suite. This room is a one-bedroom suite with a king, ocean view, and a private plunge pool.
The new room design is the first of many changes to come but the heart of the hotel is within its people and the land it occupies, and that will never change. So read on to get a deeper insight into what vacationing in Punta Islita is like.
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The trip was hosted by the property, which did not review or approve the story.
Inside the Suite
Entering this suite for the first time is an awe-inspiring experience that in time turns to pleasant joy and childish wonder. The design of the room is absolutely breathtaking – a mix of sustainable, locally accented decor and art created by regional artists, paired with clean, modern furniture with a hint of Scandinavian design.
A comfortable king-size bed is located on the left side of the room, looking out directly onto the ocean-view terrace. To the side of the bed are a small sitting area and one of the two TVs. I made a point to keep the curtains open so that the morning sun can gently wake me from a deep restful sleep. A daily Disney moment if you must. There is a spacious sitting area at the front of the room with a circular round table, all looking out at your private terrace. Late at night, you can see the stars sitting on this very couch. With a view like that, I did not turn on the TV once.
The rooms and family villas are nestled down a hill with the lobby standing crown at the top. This casita is at the top as well and offers a private, unobstructed view of the ocean. On the terrace are two sunbeds, a very cozy round wicker couch, and a lovely private plunge pool framed by a green plant wall. The terrace itself is very spacious with enough room for dining, lounging, or even exercising. I quite enjoyed doing morning yoga by the pool with the rising sun.
Here is a moody drone* video of the terrace and the pool for some context in motion.
Now that we have looked at the bedroom and the patio, I really feel the need to say:
“But wait, there is more!”
The second half of this 915 square feet suite is dedicated to bathroom amenities and a walk-in closet. Wooden barn doors separate the bathroom from the bedroom. In this room is a double vanity, facing a picture window that looks out into the wilderness, tropical leaves occasionally knocking on the glass. This room alone can be a hangout spot with plenty of sitting space and a powder station. A step towards the window will take you to the soaker tub and a double shower, all facing the ocean with floor-to-sealing patio doors. It is almost as if you are showering in the jungle to the sounds of ocean waves crushing against the shore. A private spa experience at its best.
Note: There are two other new room categories that have a very similar design: Superior Suite king, a one-bedroom suite with a terrace, and Superior larger Suite king, a one-bedroom suite with a terrace. These units do not have a private plunge pool but the terrace is absolutely stunning and also very private.
The Vibe & Activities
The property runs down a hill, at the foot of which is a field of greenery and a public beach. A quick shuttle will take you up and down the hill directly to the beach and The Aura Beach Club. Here by the ocean, the guests have access to another pool (with a swim-up bar), a range of shaded sitting areas, cabanas, and seaside dining.
The main lobby and restaurants are directly at the top with a grand view of an infinity pool. Most of the fun things happen up here on the hill. The resort offers a healthy range of complimentary eco-activities across Islita including:
- Wildlife and nature hikes as well as turtle excursions
- A guided tour of the nearby villages and beaches
- Complimentary access to Chef cooking classes and learn how to make mazamorra, mixology classes, and candle + keychain-making art classes
- Ability to see a bounty of nature including dolphins, whales, deer, and monkeys
For an additional fee, guests can also schedule various active adventures like horseback riding, canopy zip-lining, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, and even trips with local fishermen. The activity desk, located near the concierge, is open daily.
All that being said, however, I would strongly recommend leaving your itinerary airy so you can enjoy the property to its fullest.
Dining & Entertainment
There are two restaurants on the property:
- Alma, open for breakfast and dinner
- The Aura Beach Club, open for lunch
Punta Islita’s kitchen is based on a strict agro-marine gastronomic concept featuring a zero-km menu. All ingredients are extremely fresh, gathered from the on-property organic garden or neighboring farms and fishermen. Chef Federico Flores has an innovative palette, respecting the culinary traditions and ethnic diversity of the region while taking inspiration from Guanacaste’s natural diversity.
Note: Read more about Punta Islita’s gastronomic culture and concept in Find the Pura Vida life at Punta Islita, even if just for a few days.
Every last Thursday of the month Alma hosts a one-of-a-kind menu for nature hour. It is a special evening celebration during which the guests get to dine in candlelight while enjoying live music. Punta Islita* also has a regular lineup of programming open to the public, including cultural events like Mascarades.
Wellness & Fitness
Nanku Wellbeing Center is inspired by the Chorotega ancestors, the Blue Zone, and thalassotherapy. Centuries-old healing traditions experienced by the people of Nicoya come to the forefront at this resort spa. The range of offerings includes facials, body treatments, and massages all using natural, regional ingredients. One of their signature Ancestral Healing treatments is a two-hour wellness experience that includes a chocolate scrub, a full body massage, and a full body soak. It is a truly rejuvenating treatment for your body and soul.
More on the spa treatment is coming soon in a separate feature.
Here in the Blue Zone sustainability is not a trend it is an ancient lifestyle and that outlook on life, blended with a focus on community, is present everywhere in the resort. From the day the hotel broke ground it has been working in complete synergy with its local communities, prompting eco-sustainable initiatives. These initiatives include wildlife conservation, reforestation, a seed-planting program, sustainable farming practices, and a zero-waste management program.
For Punta Islita, cultural sustainability and community engagement are essential tools for supporting neighbouring communities, creating employment opportunities, and art programs. The hotel owners, Enjoy Group, have also rebuilt the local school and are offering complimentary education in the region.
Hotel Punta Islita, Marriot Autograph Collection
Book directly at hotelpuntaislita.com via marriot.com or your favourite booking site for extra perks: booking.com* / Expedia*/ Hotels.com* / TripAdvisor *
Starting at Honeymoon Suite starts at $487 USD per night, Standard room rate begins at $295 USD per night.
160, Guanacaste Province, Punta Islita, 50201, Costa Rica
Toll Free: 1-866-446-4053 | [email protected]
You can combine your stay at Punta Islita with a stay at El Mangroove to maximize the range of your experience.
In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF50mmF2 R WR and Fuji XF 23mm f/2 R WR lenses plus a DJI Mavic Mini drone*. To see the trip on Instagram look up #xocostarica22.
Oh my gosh so I saw your IG posts about this place and ended up staying here for about a week, it was amazing! Didn’t want to leave haha