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Sitting in the mountains of Perez Zeledon inland from the Central Pacific Coast, Alta Gracia is a new luxury spa hotel that opened in June 2015.
Set in 850 acres of lush vegetation and lovely gardens, the hacienda-style hotel has 50 standalone 'casita' bungalows with leather and wood interiors, well-appointed bathrooms, fireplaces and terraces offering wonderful views over the surrounding hill country.
There are plenty of places for guests to eat and drink at Alta Gracia, including El Bistro, the hotel's breakfast restaurant and all day café; Ambar, the main restaurant for dinners; El Grill for lighter lunches and snacks by the riding area and finally the underground La Bodeguita for subterranean servings of tapas. In the unlikely event none of these appeal, the hotel can also arrange in casita dining. For a leisurely drink, La Cava is a well-stocked wine cellar while the hotel's Casa Grande is home to La Cantina pub-style bar complete with billiards table, and La Bodega del Centro for nightcaps.
Alta Gracia also has the stated aim of becoming one of the finest wellness retreats in Central America, and the Manantial Spa has six indoor treatment rooms, four thatched treatment areas in the grounds, a pool with unbeatable panoramic views and a spa menu with the emphasis on delectable massages. There is also a sauna, a steam room, fitness centre and beauty salon. Guests can also relax in La Biblioteca, a cosy corner to read a book or watch a film in the Casa Grande.
One of the main attractions at Alta Gracia is the equestrian element, with 28 stables on site housing a range of horses to cater for all levels of expertise (or otherwise) that guests can try out in the riding rings and ride along the designated trails around the property that are also perfect for mountain biking. Away from Alta Gracia itself, the beaches and National Parks of the Central Pacific Coast are under an hour away, and the Perez Zeledon region around the hotel is also worth exploration.
Why we love it
Because in a small country this is a lovely little spot off the beaten track that's perfect for a few days of R&R.