This longstanding hotel is a solid option just steps from the sand on Playa Hermosa. The motif here is Mediterranean, with whitewashed walls, tile floors, and interior archways. Artwork of tropical animals on the walls looks like silk-screen prints, but are actually women’s beach sarongs, framed. Rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, with recently replaced linens, towels, orthopedic mattresses, headboards, mirrors, and 32-inch flatscreen TVs. Rooms on the second floor have higher ceilings and are somewhat preferable. There’s a small plunge pool and a popular restaurant and bar, but the place shuts down around 10pm and is not a big party spot. The beach in front is beautiful (with masseuses doing a brisk business) and the ocean is highly swimmable, with no undertow or riptides—but woe to the surfers who mistake this for Playa Hermosa de Jacó, which has happened. Canadian owner Mike Tesluk, who lives on-site, is very helpful and fun to talk to. El Velero means “the sailboat,” and there is, in fact, a sailboat available for charter.