- Hotel Grano de Oro (San José): San José has dozens of old homes that have been converted into hotels, but few offer the luxurious accommodations or professional service found at the Grano de Oro. All the guest rooms have attractive hardwood furniture, including old-fashioned wardrobes in some rooms. When it's time to relax, you can soak in a hot tub or have a drink in the rooftop lounge while taking in San José's commanding view.
- Marriott Costa Rica Hotel (San Antonio de Belén, San José area): Of all the contenders in the upscale market in Costa Rica's Central Valley, the Marriott seems to be doing the best job. Everything is in great shape, the service is bend-over-backward, the restaurants are excellent, and the hotel offers all the facilities and amenities you could want.
- Peace Lodge (north of Varablanca): While the bathrooms of the deluxe units are the most luxurious and unique in the country, everything else is done in grand style as well. Each room comes with at least one custom-tiled Jacuzzi on a private balcony. The hotel adjoins the popular La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
- Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (Papagayo Peninsula): This was the first large resort to cater to the high-end luxury market in Costa Rica, and it's still the best. A beautiful setting, wonderful installations, a world-class golf course, and stellar service continue to make this the current king of the hill in the upscale market.
- JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa (Hacienda Pinilla): This large, beachfront resort features fabulous rooms, a massive pool, stellar service, excellent restaurants, and a stunning setting on a beautiful and mostly underdeveloped stretch of coastline.
- Florblanca Resort (Playa Santa Teresa): The individual villas at this intimate resort are some of the largest and most luxurious in the country. The service and food are outstanding, and the location is breathtaking, spread over a lushly planted hillside steps away from Playa Santa Teresa.
- Hotel Punta Islita (on the Pacific coast, north end of Nicoya Peninsula): This great getaway is perched on a high, flat bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rooms are large and comfortable, the food is excellent, and the setting is stunning. If you venture beyond your room and the hotel's inviting hillside pool, there's a long, almost always deserted beach for you to explore, as well as a wealth of activities for the more adventurous.
- The Springs Resort & Spa (near Arenal Volcano): Opulent rooms with extravagant bathrooms, a series of sculpted hot-spring pools, excellent restaurants, extensive facilities, and fabulous views make this the top luxury hotel near Arenal Volcano.
- Villa Caletas (north ofJacó): Spread out over a steep hillside high above the Pacific, these individual villas have a Mediterranean feel. The Greek Doric amphitheater follows the same motif. Carved into the hillside, the theater frequently features evening concerts of jazz or classical music. The "infinity pool" here was one of the first in Costa Rica and is still my favorite. Sitting in a lounge chair at the pool's infinity edge, you'll swear that it joins the sea beyond.
- Arenas del Mar (Manuel Antonio): With large and ample rooms, excellent service and amenities, a beautiful little spa, and the best beach access and location in Manuel Antonio, this hotel has a lot to offer.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.