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Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Manuel Antonio National Park, Central Pacific 

Carretera Quepos, Km. 2.7
Manuel Antonio National Park , Puntarenas
Costa Rica
Tel: 800 226 2515 (toll-free)
Tel: 506 2777 9797
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Clinging to the top of a mountain within a 13-acre private nature reserve, this contemporary playground on Costa Rica's western coast suggests a modernistic game of Chutes and Ladders, with stone, concrete, and steel staircases leading to the resort's different levels. Water cascades from those levels into the multi-tiered pool or into the channel along the edge of the spectacular open-air dining pavilion or down the spa's stone walls. Studios, the smallest accommodations, are spare and urbane in style, with wide views over green hillsides to the Pacific beyond; though oddly the narrow bathroom runs in a corridor along the room's length behind sliding panels. Among the exceptional dining options at La Luna is a filet mignon with béarnaise sauce over a yucca pancake. Breakfast, butler service, and yoga class are, happily, included in the rate.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: January through March is hot, but there are clear days and very little rain.

Which room to book: Deluxe Suites are higher up in the complex, and have private outdoor space. The Gaia Suite has a private pool.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, Spa

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