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Everyone likes a bargain when traveling. Well, almost everyone. The so-called 1% – the very well off – don’t really need one. In fact, they may feel that you get what you pay for, and they want it all. That’s where luxury travel in Costa Rica comes in.
Mark Zuckerberg: “Honey, I found a great budget drudgery vacation in Costa Rica for our anniversary.”
Mark’s wife: “You found a great WHAT?! Mark, I’m leaving you.”
Mark: “Honey, I said I found a great bunch of luxury vacations in Costa Rica for our anniversary.”
Mark’s wife: “OK, I’m listening.”
Aren’t vacations, after all, a time to splurge? If you have enough disposable income, Costa Rica may be the perfect place to spend some hard-earned coin on the ultimate getaway.You wouldn’t be the first big spender Costa Rica has met. Mel Gibson has a mansion in Playa Barrigona that he’s trying to sell (just under $30 million, if you’re interested). Quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen have a home in Santa Teresa.
The former wife of “Ye” and her family filmed an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” at The Springs Resort and Spa in Arenal. Rock star Pink got married at the Four Seasons. And other celebs who have visited, worked or lived in Costa Rica include Matt Damon, Will Smith, Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Sheen, Keanu Reeves, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Gordon Ramsay and James Seals.
So if you opt for luxury travel in Costa Rica, you’ll be in good company. (Just don’t say anything about Will Smith’s wife.)
Arrive in style
If flying into Costa Rica first-class isn’t luxe enough, you can always hire a private jet for your party. You can land at the international airports in San José or Liberia – or for that matter, there are a dozen regional airports throughout the country. Even if you fly commercial into San José, you can hire a private jet to take you to Liberia or elsewhere.
Hotels and vacation rental companies partner with dozens of tour and transfer agencies throughout the country to arrange pickup at the airport and transportation to your lodging. Some of these offer luxury rides in Range Rovers, Chevy Suburbans or other high-end vehicles. Of course, you can also rent your own car, including a Rolls-Royce, Mercedes or Jaguar.
Helicopter charters are also an option, as many high-end hotels have helipads, or if not there are local airports and other options.
Your mansion is ready
There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in Costa Rica, starting with the Four Seasons in Papagayo, which is generally considered king of the hill. Reserva Conchal, outside Brasilito, also has two Marriott-branded hotels, the Westin and the W.
But every luxury traveler should consider the advantages of a private vacation home – though instead of “budget condo,” think “extravagant mansion.” Special Places of Costa Rica represents several luxury properties in the Flamingo area, including:
Hacienda del Arbol – 5-bedroom beachfront mansion on the South Ridge with soaring cane ceilings above a central spiral staircase. Captivating views from the large, furnished balconies of each room, plus private infinity pool and deck right on the ocean. Full-time, live-in maid and 24/7 security.
Hacienda Paraíso – 6-bedroom behemoth next to Hacienda del Arbol, one of three “Haciendas” built to the same sky-high standards. All bedrooms have private baths, TVs and their own espresso machines. The giant, oceanfront terrace has an infinity pool, hot tub, monster grill, icemaker and outdoor dining for eight.
Hacienda Casa Amarilla – 4-bedroom Mediterranean-style mellow yellow gem. Huge interior spaces, large upstairs balconies, private infinity pool and African art. The gourmet kitchen is a chef’s dream, and you can dine indoors or out. Full-time maid, 24/7 security and an intelligent touchscreen home management system.
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The Palms Mansion – 4-bedroom beachfront suite created by combining two luxury condos at The Palms, Flamingo’s swankiest condo complex. Each has two bedrooms and three baths, with master bedrooms facing a gorgeous ocean view, and the two are connected by an internal door.
Villa Bougainvillea – 4-bedroom luxury home on Flamingo’s North Ridge with stone courtyard in front and huge infinity pool in back, with an incomparable ocean view. All four lavishly furnished bedrooms have king beds and air conditioning. Exotic features include the arched double front door, medieval arched ceiling and African art throughout.
Casa Lilliana with Apartment – 6-bedroom ocean-view beauty on the North Ridge with new private apartment and top-floor party deck. Sleeps up to 12, with added privacy and kitchenette in the apartment. Jacuzzi, pool, waterslide and endless ocean views.
Villa La Sata – 5-bedroom marvel perched atop a hillside overlooking the ocean. Five bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom, are split between the main house and guest house, perfect for multiple couples or two families to spend time together. Private beach-access stairway leads directly to the sands of Playa Flamingo.
What’s for dinner?
Hire a private chef to provide succulent dinners, or even three meals a day for the duration of your stay. You choose the menu and the chef takes care of the shopping, cooking, presentation and cleanup.
Private bartenders are also available to cater to your liquid desires, from morning bloody Marys to sunset cocktails to craft beer or fine wine anytime.
And while you’re living large anyway, why not bring in a private masseuse or two to pamper your guests with full-body massages? For that matter, why not bring in an expert beautician to offer manicures and pedicures? Nailed it!
Add a full-time maid to keep your home away from home sparkling clean at all times. Some luxury properties already include a full-time maid, but if not, one can certainly be found.
Oh, and don’t forget your private chauffeur, ready to shuttle you anywhere, anytime.
“To the beach, James!”
“Sir, the beach is right there.”
“To another beach!”
What to do, what to do?
Sure, it’s going to be hard to pry yourself away from your splendid home base. But a world of adventure, pampering and leisure await just beyond your doors.
Luxury yacht? Why not? Charter the kind of boat favored by princes and pop stars, and treat your party to an unforgettable ocean cruise. Hot food, cold drink, sunbathing, snorkeling, jet skis and visits to secluded beaches – what’s not to like?
And what if the wife likes fishing and the husband likes spas? Book a deep-sea fishing trip for her to catch a marlin or two, while he luxuriates at a high-end spa like Altos de Eros with cucumber slices on his eyes.Costa Rica is famous for so many adventures – ziplining, ATVs, horseback riding, mountain biking, scuba diving, surfing, whitewater rafting, canyoning, ultralight flights, hiking, birdwatching, hot springs, mud baths, animal rescue centers, you name it. With your own driver and private guide, you can experience all of these in exquisite style.
“James, we want to go parasailing, bungee jumping and waterfall rappelling.”
“Yes, sir, I’ll pull the car right up!”
If you leave me now
The hardest part of your visit to Costa Rica will be the day you have to leave.
“You’ll have to drag me to that helicopter kicking and screaming!”
“Sir, we don’t mind a little screaming, but we prefer to drag people who are not kicking.”
“You haven’t heard the last of me!”
“Sir, we hope not.”