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Reserva Conchal, Costa Rica, is what most resorts in this country only dream of being.
About the Resort
Boasting 2,300 acres of dry tropical forest, parts of it preserved in virgin condition, Conchal is a paradox of big development within a pristine environment. Besides all this nature, Reserva Conchal has two world-class, Marriott-branded hotels — the all-inclusive Westin Golf Resort and Spa and the stylishly irreverent new W Costa Rica — along with several high-end residential communities, a ritzy beach club, some 13 restaurants and the best golf course in Costa Rica.
It wouldn’t be fair to say Reserva Conchal is among the top three resorts in Costa Rica — it’s actually among the top two.
And by the way, you can’t find a prettier beach in Costa Rica than Playa Conchal, where the “sand” is made of seashells that have been crushed by erosion into tiny white fragments. The water is warm, and you can often see people enjoying it on stand-up paddleboards, jetskis or kayaks. The average temperature in coastal Guanacaste is about 79° F (26° C), with little variation year-round. So don’t pack too many sweaters.
Reserva Conchal sits right in front of this unique, remote beach. Like all beaches in Costa Rica, it’s public by law, but those who are not residents or guests of Reserva Conchal have to park in Brasilito and walk a half-mile to get here.
It’s almost stranger than fiction that this Shangri-la is owned by the same Costa Rican company that makes Imperial beer, the Florida Ice and Farm Co. There’s even a desalination plant here that turns saltwater into fresh, so not only does this company make beer, it makes water.
Amenities at Reserva Conchal, Costa Rica
Is there a luxurious spa here? Of course not, there are two — plus gyms, tennis courts, hiking trails, yoga classes, no telling how many swimming pools, and just about anything else that would appeal to those who are interested in health and wellness.
The 18-hole, par-71 championship golf course was designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones II, and it’s both technically challenging and visually stunning. It’s widely considered the best golf course in Costa Rica — the main competition being the links at the Four Seasons in Papagayo, designed by one Arnold Palmer.
Speaking of the Four Seasons … OK, true, it has a legitimate claim to the title of best resort in not only Costa Rica but in all of Central America. But Reserva Conchal has a much prettier beach, and you know what else it has?
Towns! Just outside Conchal’s securely guarded gates, you’re five minutes from the rambunctious and authentically Tico town of Brasilito, where you can eat a cheap casado for lunch in a humble soda, and then stock up on supplies at the mini super. Just try finding any of those things near the isolated Four Seasons enclave, and you might have to drive an hour.
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Reserva Conchal Spas
If you sprain your ankle in one of the sand traps on the Conchal golf course, there’s a hospital five minutes away. For full-time residents with kids, there’s an international private school almost right across the street. And you’re within 10 minutes of Flamingo and Huacas, with easy access to big grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, banks, gas stations and just about anything else you might need. Also, the international airport in Liberia is less than an hour away.
Special Places of Costa Rica is proud to represent some of the most spectacular vacation rental homes at Reserva Conchal. One of these is Villa Catalina Conchal, an extravagant 4-bedroom, 4-bath mansion with a private infinity pool right next to the golf course. As our review says, “If you can find a bigger, better vacation home in Costa Rica, book it!” Another excellent property we offer is Bougainvillea 1204, an elegant 3-bedroom, 2-bath beauty that also overlooks the golf course.
If you’re wondering whether Reserva Conchal has implemented environmentally friendly sustainability practices, don’t even get them started talking about their 96-acre wildlife reserve, solar-powered streetlights, wastewater treatment plants, recycling and composting, organic gardens and other initiatives to keep their carbon footprint light and their special corner of paradise green and pristine.
The wildlife reserve has a network of trails where you can go hiking, biking or running. Its ecosystems include tropical dry forest, an estuary and a mangrove swamp. This sanctuary is home to 32 species of birds, 12 types of mammals and eight species of reptiles.
You can also interact here with Homo sapiens, if you choose, like the ladies who meet up every day to walk their dogs, or the men who routinely call up their neighbors to challenge them to a round of golf. More than 40 families live here full-time, and Conchal fosters a sense of community among them by offering free or nominally priced events like cooking classes, movie nights, kids’ golf lessons, tennis clinics and even “Bubbles and Beauty” spa treatments with champagne.
Reserva Conchal is a gem in the jungle, a beachfront beauty and a place that if you visit just once, you’ll never forget.