• Hôtel Le Bergerac (San José): This classy little hotel has been pleasing diplomats, dignitaries, and other discerning travelers for years. Ask for one of the garden rooms or get the old master bedroom with its small private balcony.

  • Villa del Sueño Hotel (Playa Hermosa): It's not right on the beach (you'll have to walk about 90m/295 ft.), but everything else here is right on the money: clean, comfortable rooms; a nice pool; and an excellent restaurant. You can't do better in Playa Hermosa.

  • Sámara Tree House Inn (Playa Sámara): The beachfront studio apartments, set on raised stilts, are just steps from the sand. The whole complex is centrally located and well run, making this the best hotel option in Playa Sámara at any price.

  • Arco Iris Lodge (Monteverde): This small lodge is right in Santa Elena, and it's the best deal in the Monteverde area. The owners are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

  • Hotel Verde Mar (Manuel Antonio): Manuel Antonio has very few "beachfront" hotels, and just one is in this price range. This intimate place enjoys a lush setting, just a short walk through thick trees to the beach.

  • Cabinas Jiménez (Puerto Jiménez): This is the best hotel you'll find right in Puerto Jiménez. Set right on the edge of the Golfo Dulce, several of the rooms here feature private balconies overlooking the water.

  • Cabinas Sol y Mar (Playa Zancudo): These beachfront rooms are a real bargain. In fact, they fall into this guide's "inexpensive" category. No matter, they feel out of that price range with a prime location just steps from the surf, surrounded by lush gardens and shady palm trees. The bar and restaurant here are excellent, lively, and justifiably popular.

  • Playa Negra Guesthouse (Cahuita): Located just across a dirt road from a long desolate section of Playa Negra, the individual Caribbean-style bungalows here are cozy and beautifully done. The grounds are lushly planted, and the whole operation has a refined ambiance.

  • Cariblue Bungalows (Playa Cocles): Try to get one of the private wooden bungalows here. If you do, you might be so happy and comfortable that you won't want to leave. Just 90m (295 ft.) or so away, however, are the warm waves of the Caribbean Sea.

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.