Costa Rica’s Chicest Boutique Hotel Opens Dec03


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Costa Rica’s Chicest Boutique Hotel Opens

Luxurious Magazine Winter 2012/2013 - The Luxury Digital MagazineA new eco-luxury boutique hotel officially opens in Costa Rica in January 2013. Kurà Design Villas is an exclusive collection of six architect-designed villas, tumbling down a tropical hillside with views of the South Pacific Ocean. With the kind of beach-chic ethos more commonly seen in upmarket Indian Ocean resorts, yet using local Costa Rican styles and materials, Kurà Design Villas makes the perfect romantic getaway.

Perched high on a remote coastal ridge, surrounded by the lush tropical forests of Ballena Marina National Park, Kurà Design Villas features a 19-meter infinity salt-water pool, a spectacular outdoor poolside lounge and a spa area. Sloping five kilometres above the shoreline, the location provides cool breezes, dramatic views over the South Pacific Ocean and deep jungle views. 

Luxury lovers will be spoilt, but what they might not realise is that, behind the scenes, these villas are as green as they are gorgeous. The design was carefully thought through to blend in with the rainforest setting, and responsible alternative energy and water sources are used whenever possible: solar panels, solar water heaters, rainwater collection systems, energy-efficient fans and LED lighting.

Kura was designed and built by a Costa Rican couple, architect Martin Wells and biologist Alejandra Umana. Combining their expertise in architecture and biology, and with a shared passion to protect their country’s unique beauty and biodiversity, their goal is to provide a hospitality experience that does not interfere but is in complete harmony with the surrounding wilderness.

“We wanted to prove that being ‘eco’ does not mean we can’t offer beautiful design and elegant hospitality, even if we are deep in the heart of the rainforest on top of a mountain,” says Wells. “Each Villa has been designed to encourage our guests to interact with nature in a very authentic way, whether just relaxing at their villas observing the nature that surrounds them or getting outside and  exploring.”

Sitting on a hillside amid lush greenery with 180-degree ocean views, guests stay in one of six glass-encased Rainforest Villas, their privacy protected by the foliage around them. The open-plan interiors blend tropical minimalism with local indigenous style. Transparent floor-to-ceiling walls separating inside from out slide open and lead out to a black stone terrace with a hammock and views over a dense rainforest canopy. At night the suite are romantically lit by soft purple, blue and red LED lights, which highlights 15ft-high bamboo ceiling and the striking photo of a red-eyed tree frog inlaid on the floor. Couples will relish the his n’ her rain showers as well as the king-sized bed elevated on a pewter platform in the centre of the room. There are no TVs on site; a selection of books, magazines, newspapers and movies are provided, along with an iPad and free WiFi.

Drinking and eating are given as much attention and care as the design, with the focus around the outdoor pool lounge with restaurant and bar. Surrounding the bar are impressive balsa wood masks that a local Boruca tribe hand-carved for the hotel. The menu focuses on Costa Rican fusion cuisine, with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced produce and tropical ingredients. During the day guests can sip Costa Rican cocktails at Diablitos Bar and enjoy romantic sunsets and star-studded nights at the Sky Lounge with its 360-degree view. A 19-metre saltwater infinity pool hugs the horizon and features panoramic views of the entire Costa Ballena while underwater speakers fill your ears with house music. A full-service spa also offers massages, facials and private yoga lessons upon request.


Kurà is close to a number of national parks and reserves, including Ballena National Park, with its four pristine beaches, and Caño Island Biological Reserve, rated as one of Costa Rica´s top diving spots. Exotic wildlife excursions and nature experiences include jungle hiking, boating trips, white-water rafting, ziplining, kayaking, waterfall rappelling and surfing lessons. Day trips to nearby Corcovado National Park, which is the natural habitat of 4% of the world’s biodiversity, can be arranged. Between December and April, humpback whales can be seen off the coast to mate before returning up north.

Kurà Design Villas  | +1 506 839 28150 |