Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- Choose between the small crescent-shaped beach below the hotel, the swim-up bar in the main pool or the adults-only infinity pool
- The hotel contributes much of its earnings directly to the local community
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- Staff can arrange transfers from the airport in Liberia (from $160 each way) or San Jose ($250 each way)
- Tropical wet season runs from May to November; expect daily showers but the landscape is incredibly lush
- Secluded location but borders a small village
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Since it opened as one of Costa Rica’s first eco-resorts in 1994, the Punta Islita has been a leader in Central America’s sustainability revolution. After a complete remodeling in 2008, the property — which consists of suites, bungalows and villas spread across 80 hillside acres — remains true to its environmentalist core but now offers most of the amenities that modern travelers expect.
Bed & Bath
Deluxe Rooms are a spacious 412 square feet, done up with tile floors, blonde-wood furnishings and white linens, but Suites are worth the splurge for separate seating areas, handcrafted canopy beds, plus outdoor whirlpools positioned on the private decks overlooking the Pacific Ocean. All rooms have sparkling marble bathrooms, TVs, ceiling fans and colorful local artwork.
Beneath a fifty-foot thatched palm ceiling, the poolside 1492 Restaurant serves a daily breakfast of tropical fruit salads, eggs and strong Costa Rican coffee, while lunch and dinner menus are rightly dominated by fresh seafood dishes, including a must-try ceviche and octopus carpaccio. Down on the dark sand beach, the Borrancho Beach Club is an indoor/outdoor dining room for light bites between surfing lessons, dips in the pool or lounging beneath the towering palm trees. Punta Islita’s modest Casa Spa offers nature-inspired treatments, often founded on the wellness beliefs of the local Chorotega culture. The Miracle Mud and Chorotega Arts massages are especially relaxing.
In the Area
Not surprisingly, the area is a hub for lots of adventurous activities, including surfing, hiking, kayaking, sea turtle spotting, horseback riding and ziplining, but set aside some time to visit the on-site Open-Air Contemporary Art Museum, which displays the work (murals, sculpture, paintings) of local artists. Take in the local flora and fauna as you journey down the Ora River on a kayak tour (May–December), and Punta Islita can arrange visits to the nearby Camaronal Wildlife Refuge, the center of Costa Rica’s sea turtle conservation movement. From May through November, four of the world’s seven sea turtle species come here to nest: the Olive Ridley, the Atlantic leatherback, the hawksbill and the black sea turtle.
How to Get There
Most relaxing week! Like no other Marriott! We fell in love with the people- Marvin, who checked us in while we enjoyed a cool lemongrass cloth and welcome drink - more like fantasy island than a Marriott check in- to Antonio, Kervin and Eduardo, who served Costa Rican specialties and pool drinks, to Luis, Viales, and another Eduardo - who led our activities to Liseth and Dianne at the spa - top notch!! Made us feel at home! As others have said, the ride there and back, is harrowing- so don’t rent a car- pay for an experienced driver. We ate dinner at the hotel as well as Kimbute and Don Ramiro. Don Ramiro is definitely worth a visit. Recommend you do not count on an upgrade with Marriott status- even titanium level. After reading reviews, Im so glad I drained my points and booked 2 rooms, and paid extra for a 2 room villa for part of the trip. We did enjoy an upgraded villa for the paid nights, but the last 4 nights were not upgraded- although we did receive complimentary champagne, desserts and cabanas. Even so, was well worth the expense for a fabulous week.
One more thing- it never felt crowded. We enjoyed meeting other families from around the world- mostly North America. Pura vida!
We enjoyed an amazing Spa day here at Hotel Punta Islita! Best massage I have ever had and such a beautiful place. We traveled about 45mins from Samara to get there but it was so worth the trip. The views from the hotel area are breathtaking and the Macaws on the grounds are so very beautiful...a must do if you are planning a trip to this area in Costa Rica!
My family and I stayed in a 3 bedroom 4 bath villa and it was something you see out of a magazine. Our concierge Luis was very attentive and took care of booking all our excursions on and off the property. The service is "over the top", you felt like a movie star. If you like "getting away from it all" and not be around a lot of people this is the spot for you. I recommend renting a cabana on the beach, very inexpensive (We did it twice). A couple of things to keep in mind;, this place is very hilly so if you have trouble walking this could be an issue. Our villa happened to come with a Golf Cart so we were fine, the hotel also has a very responsive shuttle service. The hotel IS NOT near the hot springs, rain forests, or volcanoes. We did all our "site seeing" out of another Marriott property in San Jose and came to Hotel Punta Islita to relax and be pampered. FYI, the closet airport to Punta Islita is Liberia, but we flew into San Jose to do our major site seeing. I scheduled transportation out of the hotel to be picked up in San Jose, it is a 5 hour drive but well worth the time spent. Punta Islita is bucket list destination.