It’s been 14 years since Costa Rica and the small dirt track town of Tamarindo first stole my heart.
Studying Spanish in the nearby village of Potrero, my friends and I would hitch hike every weekend to enjoy the pristine beaches, hangout with local surfers and party until the wee hours. It was, in the truest sense of the word, paradise.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the small surf town I once knew is a vibrant, bustling tourist resort complete with an abundance of bars, restaurants and hotels. But whilst the dirt track may have been paved over, Tamarindo hasn’t lost all of its old charm. Venture a stone’s throw off the beaten track and you can still experience all the allure and authenticity that first drew me all those years ago.
The family owned Cala Luna Boutique Hotel and Villas is no exception. Situated between the unspoiled sands of Playa Langosta and the lush vegetation of the Costa Rican jungle, the Cala Luna is a serene wellness-focused retreat where monkeys swing through trees alongside yogi’s practicing their morning salutations.
Winner of ‘The Luxury Eco Hotel of 2016’ at the World Luxury Hotel Awards and listed in Trip Advisor’s 2017 Top Ten Hotels in Costa Rica and Central America, it’s Cala Luna’s desire to celebrate and protect the inherent native beauty of Costa Rica, pared with their understated luxury and laid back atmosphere, that makes it a go to destination.
Featuring a large pool, lounge area, restaurant and private beach, guest can choose between upscale, bungalow-style rooms with vaulted ceilings and ridiculously large baths, or their super stylish two and three-bedroom villas complete with mini kitchen and private pools. For those looking to work on their flow, complimentary yoga classes are offered daily in the pavilion while those in need of a little R&R can head for the spa and pick from a list of intoxicating treatments designed to restore, balance and energise your senses.
But its Cala Luna’s dedication to sustainability and conservation that really sets it apart. With a cradle-to–kitchen focus, the hotel is at the forefront of Costa Rican territorial cuisine, working with what nature has to offer and using organic produce from their farm. In fact, so determined is Cala Luna to become self-sustainable, all left over’s from the restaurant are subsequently returned to the farm and used as compost or animal feed.
Picking from the wealth of indigenous Costa Rican ingredients, the menu focuses on a mouth watering mix of local specialties and Mediterranean inspired dishes, influenced no doubt by Cala Luna’s talented Italian chef and Italian/ Belgium owners.
Of course no stay in Tamarindo is complete without riding some of their world-class surf. Whether you’re a veteran of the waves searching for a secret spot or a surfing newbie desperate to catch their first green face, Cala Luna will set you up with one of Tamarindo’s best certified surf instructors. When it’s finally time to leave the surf, there’s nothing like the picturesque sands of Playa Langosta for a well-earned sunset cocktail while watching the waves roll in from the Pacific ocean.
…A luxury hotel with a conscience, if only more places where like the Cala Luna.