It is said before you build your dream home, you should walk through as many other houses as possible.  Download images off Pinterest, trawl through architecture magazines and talk to just about anyone with knowledge about what you should include and consider in your quest for the perfect home. 

This analogy could so easily be ascribed to Costa Rica and how it developed itself as a vacation destination.  It is as though the nation reviewed every conceivable Caribbean destination, drew on the experiences of far flung locations like the Seychelles and the Maldives, captured the excellence of the Hawaiian Islands and out of all of this information created the most idyllic and perfect holiday experience for the 21st century traveller.

Costa Rica, literally translating as Rich Coast, contains so much natural beauty that is was imperative that the country took a holistic view on how to harness the best of its gorgeous Pacific and Caribbean coasts and lush interiors without adversely impacting on the very qualities that set it apart from its neighbouring territories.

Sensible decisions like disbanding its military force in 1948 allowed the subsequent Governments to divert revenues into education.  Consequently, the population of this Spanish speaking nation is well-educated and most of the younger generation can converse with ease in English. 

As well, the Governments over the past decades have created National Parks and Reserves that cover up to 25% of the country’s landmass.  As you can imagine, these sensible actions are the work of decades and have allowed Costa Rica to protect and preserve a country that is on target to reach a carbon neutral status in 2021. 

How impressive is that?

Where to Stay

So now that I’ve given you the pitch on why Costa Rica is such a terrific destination let’s look at some of the magnificent Costa Rica villas has to offer its discerning guests. 

At Exceptional Villas, we’ve been welcoming visitors to our unique, sumptuous and stylish properties all over the world.  We know how to match an individual, couple or family to the luxurious home-from-home that will allow everyone to flourish under a sunny or star-filled sky.

I’m setting out here, my top picks of villas you should consider when considering a trip to this glorious country with a focus on where to stay in Costa Rica.

Papagayo Peninsula

This peninsula is located on the north Pacific coastline of Costa Rica and is within the province of Guanacaste.  Easily accessible to the international airport of Liberia, it has become a very desirable destination for tourists to Costa Rica.

The lush, tropical opulence of Papagayo Pininsula

Its 15 miles of coastline has over 31 beaches each as spectacular as the next.  A Government directive that controls the development of resorts and hotels throughout the country ensures that at least 70% of the peninsula remains undeveloped and in its protected natural state. 

This means that any hotels or resorts are low impact developments, melding into the perfection of the peninsula.  There are large wild tracts of jungle that intersperse between the gorgeous villas and hotels that have sprung up along this coastline.  Here are a few suggestions of some terrific villas.

Interested in more Costa Rica Facts?

Casa De Luna – Four Seasons Resort

This four-bedroomed spectacular villa commands a private bird’s-eye view over the Pacific Ocean.  Located within the world-class Four Seasons Resort, this property enjoys access to all the amenities and sports provided to Hotel guests as well as having a self-contained home that allows guests to sunbathe, relax and swim in privacy.

The living area at Casa de luna villa in costa rica. Opulent furnishings that allow you to luxuriate while being soothed by 180 degrees of Pacific ocean

Casa De Luna

The Resort has an incredible Wellness programme that allows guests to pay for a personal wellness schedule that includes nutritional guidelines, classes, tours, hikes, golf and spa treatments that will combine to return you to the ‘real world’ refreshed in mind, body and spirit. 

With beachfront access and a close proximity to the mountains and forests, Casa De Luna the ideal base for anyone looking for luxurious Costa Rica vacations.

Villa Mel

State of the art, modern architecture that allows sweeping glass walls to frame the stunning views over the ocean, is what this Villa is all about.  5 bedrooms, furnished beautifully, offer every imaginable comfort for your self-contained property.  This Villa comes with its own staff that help you extract maximum pleasure and fun from Costa Rica. 

The Pool side view from Villa Mel

Neighbouring the Four Seasons Resort and sitting on the edge of the famous Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, this property is ideally suited for a multi-generational family or couples who wish to holiday together but have sufficient space to get some quality time-out. 

The grounds, the pool, the terraces and relaxation areas, have unequalled views.  The property is private and secluded with only the sounds of birdsong or a chattering monkey or two to enter your silent enjoyment of Costa Rica. 

With complimentary access to the nearby Prieta Beach Club, you can enjoy all of the amenities on offer.  With a multitude of activities and adventures, Villa Mel could be the ideal base for your most memorable holiday experience.

Read about my Top 10 Things to Do in Costa Rica.

Villa Manzu

If you are in search of an all-inclusive, sophisticated and supremely private vacation experience, let me introduce Villa Manzu.  This 8-bedroomed, palatial property comprising 30,000sqft of exquisite living space in the heart of a private 5 acre estate, is the epitome of style and substance.

Aerial view of Villa Manzu set among the insanely green forest

With two swimming pools, numerous terraces that capture the sunshine and 180 degree views out over the ocean, this is the property that answers every wish. 

The fully-serviced property has chefs, housekeeping staff, gardeners … all of whom are both talented and knowledgeable in all that makes Costa Rica great.  Each of your meals will be created by your award-winning chefs using only the very best of local ingredients.  Your menus will be designed to your dietary preference and you can enjoy your lunches as picnics out and about as you explore the amazing countryside that surrounds your villa paradise.

The Villa comes with surf boards, paddle boards, transport … pretty much anything that will guarantee you a lively and enjoyable vacation.

The wine cellar and delicious cigars are available to guests as is the spa, theatre, bar and party area. 

Cielo Del Mar

Another jewel on the Papagayo Peninsula is the 6-bedroomed self-contained lavish villa that is Cielo Mar

With dedicated housekeeper and cook, you and your group can enjoy the spacious privacy of this beautifully designed modern villa. 

With your own 90ft pool that seems to simply disappear into the distant horizon, you will find plenty of space and light in this incredible villa that floats above the tree tops. 

Elaine and Monica on the sun-drenched balcony at Cielo Mar

EV Costa Rica specialist Elaine meets Papagayo Peninsula property manager Monica at Cielo Mar Villa

A complimentary pass to the nearby Prieta Beach Club and access by golf cart to golf, tennis and spa, this wonderful villa has all of the amenities one would wish contained within a luxury gated resort.  Prepare to be wowed by the unique design of this villa that curves like a bow capturing the stunning views across the Pacific.

Manuel Antonio

Further south along the Pacific coastline, lies Manuel Antonio National Park.  This region of Costa Rica is renowned for its wonderful weather.  With four beaches contained within the National Park and a number of resorts and villas, this ecologically diverse location has become a destination for guests wishing to get up close and personal with nature. 

The amazing lush forests reach the very shorelines and trails within these forests allow visitors to see many varieties of birds, monkeys, sloths, butterflies.  It’s a living and vibrant adventure when you stay along this coastline.

At a mere 82 miles from Costa Rica’s capital San Jose, there is an opportunity to visit this incredible city and revel in some of the architecture and history of this lovely country.

Here are some gorgeous Costa Rican villas that sit tranquilly in this amazing place.

Villa Panorama

This 10-bedroomed property really feels like an amazing boutique hotel.  For you and your party, you will be cared for by a team of staff that ensure your vacation is as carefree as imaginable. 

The sheer scale of this villa allows guests to find lots of relaxing quiet spaces to chill with incredible views over the tree tops down to the ocean below. 

Nature is only an arm’s reach away with the verdant and lush forests, teeming with wildlife surrounding the villa. 

As you lounge by your pool or make the short trip to the beach to swim, you will love each day for the magical adventures it offers.  The size and layout of Villa Panorama is ideally suited to a gorgeous wedding or a very inspired corporate offsite.  Whatever you wish to achieve, this is place to let your imagination soar!


At 4-bedrooms, this modern and sleek villa offers your family or group an incredible vista over jungle and ocean.  The nearby beaches are ideally suited to all sorts of water sports. 

The jungle all around can be explored and the toucans and chattering monkeys will amaze and entertain you as you enjoy some morning hikes. 

Like all the villas we at Exceptional Villas represent, every detail at Mirazul is thought of.  Your private pool and terraces have the luxury of being secluded and private yet allowing you absorb the fabulous views all around.


This wonderful district located on the Nicoya Peninsula within the Guanacaste province is one of the most visited beach locations within Costa Rica

For anyone interesting in surfing, this region has been the ‘hidden’ secret of surf enthusiasts for some time.  It’s not all surfing though, there is, as ever, myriad adventure inland as well as the ubiquitous water sports. 

In addition, at certain times of year, you can watch the annual pilgrimage of turtles as they return to make their nests and lay their eggs.  Tours to view this phenomenon are very well managed to ensure no stress to these lovely creatures. 

As ever, there are some lovely luxury Costa Rica villas available in this wonderful part of the country.


This is a brand new, 8-bedroomed self-contained villa based within a gated community.  It sits between the beaches of Tamarindo and Playa Langosta.  The level of detail and design in this spacious property is incredible. 

The outdoor sitting area at Morazeba luxury villa in Costa Rica is stylish, comfortable, and placed in the middle of a huge amount of scenic grandeur


Whether you are lounging indoors or basking by the sleek pool, every line and feature of this villa creates a harmonious vibe.  The purity of the building contrasts magically with the wild nature that curves around the property. 

You will enjoy a holistic, restful and calm holiday in Morazeba and use it as a base to get out and about in the vibrant town that is Tamarindo.

Casa Alang Alang

This spectacular 7-bedroomed villa was the work of the Californian architect, Steve Adams.  Using beautiful Indonesian building materials, this Balinese inspired property is both luxurious and beautiful. 

With housekeeping staff to provide your daily breakfast and maintain the property, you can increase your levels of pampering by booking a chef to prepare meals to your timetable.  

As well, the exercise studio with TRX equipment and fitness accessories allows you to maintain your daily workouts in a purpose-built space. 

Dining on the terrace overlooking the ocean is a highlight of any stay.

Elevated view of Alang Alang, its rooftop pool and the beautiful surrounding tropical forest.

Casa Alang Alang

You will want to visit the vibrant beach town that is Tamarindo and enjoy browsing through the pretty shops, stopping for a lovely lunch along the way.  Hikes, jungle adventures, water sports are all on your doorstep.  It might be the very vacation that sees you start your life as a surf dude … it’s never too late to take the plunge and Casa Alang Alang is the place to return to after a day duelling with the waves where you can unwind and tell the tall tales of the waves you tackled!

Luxury Costa Rica Villas

It is so refreshing to visit a country where man and nature co-exist in a happy and balanced way.  The fabulous country that is Costa Rica is untainted by the many tourists who visit each year.  Its culture and national pride are everywhere evident.  The amazing luxury villas in Costa Rica and incredible resorts offer modern, sophisticated accommodations perching gently along beaches that are as unspoiled as an undiscovered Eden.

A trip to Costa Rica really becomes a vacation like no other as the concept of wellness and health are intrinsic to any holiday.  Don’t imagine that you cannot sip on some delicious wine and enjoy a fine cigar on your terrace.

Let’s just say, these indulgences will fit easily into a truly balanced day that sees you hiking, doing some deep meditation, yoga, horseback riding and then, each evening, kicking back to unwind further.  For that’s the key to life in Costa Rica – balance!  It’s about finding that happy groove.

We’re waiting at Exceptional Villas to show you the pathway to 21st Century vacation enlightenment … and the pathway leads to Costa Rica.

Find out more about this unique luxury destination with our Overview of Costa Rica.

About Mairead Moriarty

Born and raised in Co Kerry, lived in London, New York, San Francisco, Dublin. Owner of one very battered suitcase, a well-worn passport and a million memories. It seems very fitting for a travel writer that my surname translates as ‘Skilled Navigator’. Apart from an occasion when, aged 3, I got lost in a Supermarket in Tralee, I have managed to live up to my name! Curiosity is probably the driver that has sent me on magical mystery tours around the world. I want to ‘feel’ a place. I want all my senses to be engaged: from the history and geography that has influenced a country or city, the arts and achievements of its natives, anything and everything really. Regardless of whether I am on a local train travelling through Morocco, or poking around in Marconi’s study in Bologna or on a canal boat weaving through the heart of the English countryside, the same rules apply - ask questions, talk to locals, eat what they eat, sit quietly with nature and simply be. Assimilate as much as is possible so as to understand the soul of a place. That is my passion. That is the compass by which I navigate.

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