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Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Costa Rica, Central + South America: A balcony of a guest room at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
Peninsula Papagayo , Guanacaste
Costa Rica
Tel: 506 2696 0000's insider take:

Costa Rican architect Ronald Zürcher, who cut his teeth on his brother Harold's famous and beloved Hotel Punta Islita, was responsible for the design of this flashy resort. If you prefer to experience nature with L'Occitane products in your outsize soaking tub, speedy 24-hour room service delivered to your broad balcony, and high-thread-count linens on your plush bed, this is the place for you. The resort straddles the northern extreme of the Nicoya Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the calm Bahía de Culebra on the other. But don't expect smashing views: Most of the 173 rooms are shaded by the tropical canopy. In summer, the trees thin out at the top, so opt for rooms on the upper floors for an ocean outlook. Hit the Arnold Palmer golf course or treat yourself to a Selva de Osa mud mask in the Serenity spa after dumping the kids at their own (free) club; there's even a separate program for teens. Four Seasons has four dining options, the most popular of which is the formal restaurant Di Mare, serving Italian fare.—Updated by Christopher P. Baker

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 91.8
  • Activities: 92.5
  • Design: 90.9
  • Food: 88.3
  • Location: 90.9
  • Rooms: 93.8
  • Service: 94.5
The forest resort's exteriors emulate regional animals: Roofs are constructed from flat clay tiles to represent turtle shells, lizard skins, and fish scales. Suites resembling tree houses have contemporary furniture, local art, and handwoven rugs. Papagayo serves Continental cuisine, and its open-air seating overlooks the pool. Activities include zip-lining, volcano hiking, and horseback riding—"there's too much to do!"

(155 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Beach, Golf, Pool, Spa, Tennis, Water sports

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.