If you’re searching for a perfect spot to honeymoon and fancy yourself an outdoorsy, seafood-loving, sun-worshiping recluse, look no further than the Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel at Playa Esterillos Este on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. My husband and I recently had the opportunity to honeymoon at the Alma del Pacifico. We had such an amazing time that we made it a goal to travel back every year for some R&R. There were so many aspects of this beachfront boutique hotel that we fell in love with. I'll break them all down below for you...
Make no mistake, Alma del Pacifico is a very secluded hotel. If you’re looking to honeymoon amongst lots of people and to have easy access to multiple activities, this is probably not the spot for you. But, if you’re looking to honeymoon in a secluded paradise and are perfectly content doing nothing other than reading in a hammock, surfing warm waters and sipping mango margaritas on the beach with your partner all day, I highly recommend this venue. There were times when we would go for hours without seeing another soul, which we thought was amazing. It felt as though we had miles of beach to ourselves (and we pretty much did). I’m a very amateur surfer (my husband is more experienced). The waves and open waters were perfect for someone of my (not so great) skill set. I was able to practice surfing on the small, manageable rollers.
The nearest towns are Jaco (a tourist mecca to the north) and Manuel Antonio (a favorite spot for locals to the south). Either is about a 30-minute taxi ride from Alma del Pacifico. We travelled into Jaco one day to get some activities under our belt and ended up shopping, dining and taking a waterfall hiking tour (highly recommended). Everything was set up by the staff at Alma del Pacifico, so we didn’t need to worry about the logistics at all. We simply showed up to the front desk at the designated time, and our driver was waiting to take us on our day-trip to Jaco. After a day in a tourist-packed town, we were beyond ready to get back to our isolated paradise at Alma del Pacifico. If you’re planning on staying for five days or more, though, I highly recommend taking a day to go see Jaco or Manuel Antonio. You can easily set up a tour or activity in these towns (ziplining, waterfall hiking, wildlife viewing, etc.) through the staff at the hotel.
Hotel & Aesthetic
When I think of Central America, I think of color, color, color and water, water, water. Alma del Pacifico didn’t disappoint on either of these fronts. The hotel is full of saturated hues and lively artwork. You know you’re in Costa Rica with every corner you turn. The hotel has an open-air design. The front desk, for example, is completely outdoors. It is situated right along the beach. You essentially have a view of the water (or at least the sand) no matter where you are in the hotel. The architects did an amazing job of blending the structure and aesthetic of the hotel with the existing natural landscapes of the area.
As far as rooms go, the hotel consists of 20 free-standing beach-front villas, the largest of which is 900 square-feet. Their interior is as colorful as it is striking. Wood-paneled ceilings, fresh flowers throughout and historic Costa Rican artwork create an aesthetic that is both welcoming and absolutely compelling.
The Deluxe Beachfront villas each have their own private pool. You can literally go for a quick surf and take a 30-second walk back to your private pool to wash the sand off your feet.
Each villa has its own courtyard-like area and a shower that, with the quick opening of a sliding-glass door, becomes an outdoor shower (which is an unbelievable feature when it’s raining outside). One of my favorite parts of the trip was showering off after a surf and watching scarlet macaws fly right overhead.
The hotel has a beachfront restaurant called the Mosaic. Breakfast was complimentary and put the classic American continental to shame. The meal included beans, rice, eggs, bacon, papaya, mango, toast, coffee and orange juice. Aside from the day we travelled to Jaco, we ate every meal at the Mosaic and weren’t once disappointed. Incredibly fresh seafood, fruit as ripe as I’ve ever tasted, and salty fried plantains became quick favorites of ours. We also loved watching the iguanas that roam around the restaurant eating pieces of forgotten fruit.
Staff & Service
My husband and I have travelled to many places, but we’ve never made friends with the staff anywhere like we did at Alma del Pacifico. I still remember their names and, in some cases, their spouses’ and children’s names. We became fast friends with nearly every person we spoke with, and, being that it is a boutique hotel, we saw the same friendly faces day in and day out. The restaurant staff, in particular, were incredible. They were funny, welcoming and offered five-star service as good as anything you’d get in the States. This is something we really didn’t expect at a remote beach hotel in Central America. Our room was adorned with fresh flowers every single day, and any extra amenities we needed were brought to us promptly.
We entrusted anything we needed - rides to and from the airport, activities booked in Jaco, surf-board rentals - to the front-desk staff, and it all was taken care of promptly and professionally. We didn’t have to worry about whether our ride to the airport would show up on time or if the waterfall-tour company in Jaco would know who we were and where to take us for our tour. As we were on a honeymoon, not having to plan or worry about logistics was such a treat. I really can not say enough about the staff of Alma del Pacifico and their handling of our itinerary and day-to-day needs.
Overall, we fell madly in love with this secluded paradise and recommend it as a honeymoon spot to anyone who is up for a secluded beachfront vacation (with a little adventure sprinkled in).
Do you have a secluded beachfront venue like Alma del Pacifico to share with us? Let us know about it in the comments section below...