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Capitán Suizo, Playa Tamarindo, Nicoya Peninsula 

Costa Rica, Central + South America: in the shade surrounded by a tropical beachfront garden at a Capitan Suizo bungalow on
Playa Tamarindo , Guanacaste
Costa Rica
Tel: 506 2653 0075
view web site ›'s insider take:

Hidden away in the tropical undergrowth on the edge of Playa Tamarindo, the Nicoya Peninsula's most popular beach, Capitán Suizo is a laid-back hotel for sand-and-surf lovers run by Swiss owners Ursula and Ruedi Schmid. Howler and white-faced monkeys hang out on the lush grounds, and iguanas often join guests to sunbathe around the pool. Most of the 22 guest rooms are split-level and huge, decorated simply in white or pastel shades with teak furnishings and walls of glass. If you're splurging, consider the eight bungalows and a four-bedroom apartment; request a bungalow with an ocean view, as some don't face the shore. At the open-air restaurant, German chef Roland Brodscholl uses local ingredients in fusion dishes, such as papaya soup with coriander and ginger, and marimba players perform nightly. There are a host of activities on hand, from kayaking and surfing to beach volleyball and even Ping-Pong, which means that guests have the best of both worlds here: either filling their days with as much fun in the sun as possible or idling away the hours on their private terrace in the jungle shade.—Updated by Christopher P. Baker

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