What We Love
- Choice of one-, two- or five-bedroom villas, with accommodation for two, four or 10 guests respectively included in the rate
- Secluded villas with private plunge pools and panoramic ocean views
- Free WiFi in the Welcome Center
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- Villa 20 is not accessible by vehicle; guests must climb up more than 100 steps to reach it
- The resort is in a remote, little-explored corner of Costa Rica, meaning your stay is BYONL (bring your own nightlife)
- Beaches are a short bike ride from the villas
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
At this sleek, cliffside collection of villas, the floor-to-ceiling windows let nature do the talking. It’s a shrewd choice in northern Guanacaste; travelers can watch spider monkeys swing through the prickly dry forest right from their living room window. Recreo’s rounded, minimalist villas also feature local hardwood paneling and furnishings, stainless steel appliances and unexpected treats such as safari hats, board games and Bushnell telescopes.
Bed and Bath
Bedrooms are spacious and comfortable, with plush down comforters and powerful air conditioning — a must in the tropics. Ceilings are sky high and lined in teak; floors are cut from marble or travertine. Although each villa is different, every guest can count on a large, powerful shower stocked with soothing Raw Botanicals products.
Recreo means playground in Spanish, and there could not be a more appropriate name for this hotel. There is a tennis court, a basketball court, a gym, plus crowd-free beaches that are perfect for kayaking, snorkeling and swimming. Also free: access to the mountaintop lookout, from which you can watch the sunset paint the sky fuchsia over Playa Rajada.
In the Area
The nearby town of Jobo is home to some traditional eateries, but you’ll probably leave Recreo only to explore the region’s natural wonders. Some are closer than others; some are worth the extra effort. Bizarre and lush Santa Rosa National Park is both. Rincon de la Vieja — an active volcano surrounded by boiling mud and fumaroles — also tops the list. Travelers with extras days may venture north to Nicaragua’s colonial city Granada or Ometepe, an island made of two volcanoes. For those who want to partake in Costa Rica’s stereotypical tourist activity, yes, there’s a zipline within driving distance.
How to Get There
We went with two families- 4 adults and 5 children ages 5,6, 8,8, 10. We had a very relaxing laid back overdue family vacation. Villa 7 was perfect for our crew. My husband and I had the 2nd story master suite. One of my favorite parts of the whole vacation was sleeping in the king bed without the AC while the warm breeze blew through the screen doors across my bed each night. Every morning we looked out to see blue skies and the gorgeous pacific ocean (bay like swimming).
Our children loved the pool and our own little private beach- Playa Rajada we will miss you! Technically not private but it felt like that during the weekdays. We did a bunch of excursions that David, the concierge, organized and arranged for us. Our chef, Ernesto, was spectacular. We ate delicious homemade food and desserts so no extra pounds were gained. They had the house stocked with fresh groceries and alcohol which we arranged a couple weeks prior.
We saw white face monkeys around our villa too- so very cool. All the staff at Recreo were super friendly and helpful. The people within the community that surrounds Recreo were very friendly and we felt very safe. If you are looking for a vacation that feels like you live locally, in luxury of course, and don't want to cook or clean this is for you. It's not a tourist type vacation but there is a near by all inclusive resort you could get a day pass to visit.
We also rented a van from the airport and drove into la cruz for souvenirs and a local bite to eat. Guanacaste is so beautiful. Everywhere we drove mountains were in the background including volcanos and the beautiful pacific. We cant wait to go back.
My Husband and I had a one week getaway (from work, kids, and city life) and stayed in a villa at Recreo. We LOVED the house and the views. Each villa is so private on this mountain that is lush with flowering plants, trees and wild life. We had a views of the ocean from our bedroom and pool side. Everything was clean and well maintained. It felt like a very special place. We used the tennis courts twice and hiked up the mountain to watch the sunset. There is a great place at the top with view of the ocean and Nicaragua.
We also had some great day trips: sport fishing with Ryan Lindy Day charters, mountain biking, Zip-lining & white water tubing at Hacienda Guachipelin, hiking at Rincon Valcano National Park (awesome), and snorkeling on local rocky reefs. Yes, we had a very active, relaxing, trip!
David was our host at Recreo and he assisted us in booking all of our events. He was very informative and helpful. Eblin ws our chef and I got to practice lots of Spanish with him. He was a blast and he was a fantastic cook. Really enjoyed having a local to connect with and to learn more about Costa Rican culture with.
I highly recommend Recreo. It is a great place to stay!
Recreo is not a traditional resort; it is a collection of privately owned villas, some of which are available for rent. There is a tennis court, basketball court and a small gym with a few workout stations and a ping pong table. Tennis rackets, basketballs, etc are provided at the Welcome Center. There is also a mountaintop vista with a tiki bar structure, a small picnic table, and wi-fi that is nice for sunset watching. You can also see the windsurfers off Playa Copal from the mountaintop. Recreo is about 1 hour, 30 minutes drive north from the Liberia International airport (LIR), via La Cruz and El Jobo. A rental car is recommended, though it is possible to arrange airport transfers through Recreo, but the community is so spread out and hilly, that walking around is not really feasible. We were in Villa #7, which is a two story home with 4 bedrooms (1 downstairs and three upstairs) each with their own bathroom plus another half bath. Full kitchen, huge dining room table and large living room. There is also a wonderful wrap around balcony and stone deck with outside seating and a dip pool. The view is amazing, over the canopy of trees toward the ocean. The villa was clean and everything functional, though we were mystified by the numerous light switches that seemed to have no purpose. There is one TV in the living room with lots of cable channels. There is wi-fi, but it is not very robust - good enough to write an email or do some research, but not good enough to telework or play videos. There is also wi-fi at the mountaintop, which signal was a bit stronger. Pool/beach towels were provided. Bed and bath linens were soft and clean and plentiful. The master bedroom has a king size canopy bed and tons of windows. Each bedroom has its own air conditioning unit, but the other ares do not have A/C though there are ceiling fans as well as portable fans and huge screen doors to capture the breeze. We also hired a chef for the week, which includes the food and delivery. This was our first experience with having a chef. Ernesto is a great chef - with the exception of a mushroom sauce served on steak one night, we loved everything. Selections for supper included chicken breast, pork chops, steak, fettuccini bolognaise, and beef wraps. During the week, he also made a chocolate Bundt cake with marble icing and two wonderful flans. Though we could have also had a full lunch every day, we requested just fruit and salsa/chips (his homemade salsa was amazing). Breakfasts included scrambled or fried eggs, one morning an egg and potato casserole, and two mornings pancakes. He always had the coffee pot going as soon as he arrived and he was flexible on the times for the meals each day. If you don't hire a chef, there is a decent size market in La Cruz to buy your own food, but there are not many restaurants nearby - this is not a place to plan to eat out every meal. The Recreo staff were wonderful - Kristine provided us prompt and thorough pre-arrival information via email - including great directions from the airport, answers to our many questions, and information on tours/excursions. David at the resort was incredible - he warmly welcomed us even though we arrived later than expected, gave us a tour of the community, told us everything we needed to know about the Villa and area, brought us kayaks and lounge chairs to the beach, helped us arrange two excursions and checked in us everyday just to see if we needed anything. Maid service is available everyday, but we told David we only needed two days during our week stay. Every day, someone came to skim the pool. And, Ernesto was there all day, every day to not only prepare our meals, but he kept the kitchen clean and answered questions. The resort is on the road to Playa Rajada, which is a public beach with no facilities - about a 5 minute drive from Villa to beach. The beach is gorgeous - a crescent shaped, protected cove great for families with lots of shade trees along the sand line. The lady at the rental car desk told us it was her favorite beach. At each end are rocky areas fun to scramble over. It is like a postcard and very few people are there during the week. Weekends are a little busier with local families, but never feels crowded. During our stay, we did two excursions - one full day to Buena Vista Lodge & Adventure Center (a 1:40 drive from Recreo back towards Liberia) and one 5 hour sport fishing/snorkeling tour with Ryan Lindy Charters (a 15 minute drive to the public beach by Dreams Resort). Both were recommended by David and arranged for us by David and we enjoyed both of them. We caught Mahi Mahi and the crew filleted it for us on the boat and we took it home for Ernesto to cook for us. There are critters - ants, geckos, beetles, parrots, mosquitoes, butterflies, bees - we even had a scorpion and a snake visit the living room - this is the nature of the area. Unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to see any of the resident monkeys during our stay. Bottom line - if you want to experience a very private, non-touristy, beautiful area of Costa Rica and be able to relax and enjoy time with your companions, maybe take a couple of excursions and are not daunted by driving on curvy, unpaved, unlit roads, Recreo may be a good choice for you. If you need restaurants, nightlife, activities, oceanfront, hi speed wi-fi, etc - this is not a good choice for you.
We stayed in Villa 7 for the first week of May. The villa was BEAUTIFUL. The view from each room along with the pool area was breathtaking.Villa 7 was not apart of all all inclusive deal, but we emailed Kristine and our 7 day vacation was filled with the most amazing food made by our chef Sandra. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was prepared for us, everything was fresh and soooooooo yummy. They would even bring it down to the beach and set up a whole picnic for us table and all. Beach is about a 5 minute drive but is still pretty much on location. Every day we had the beach to ourselves. We want to give David the manger a HUGE thank you. David was one of the nicest men we have ever met. So kind and helpful for our entire trip. We highly recommend Recreo and would love to come back one day. If you are looking for a sit back, relax do nothing vacation this is it. The resort it self doesn't have any excursions but they are set up with them and will be able to make the reservations for you. Beautiful place and beautiful service.
Our villa was spectacular with beautiful views all around on the wrap around deck. We enjoyed fresh brewed coffee each morning over looking the ocean. It was hotter than h*ll but just the way we like it. The beach was beautiful and the water was very refreshing. We had our own private dipping pool as well which was a great bonus. The food was incredible. Our menu for the week consisted of mostly seafood and it was just to die for. Only bad thing was the horses were crazy. But other than that this place was A++