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Hotel Highlights

  • Surfers’ paradise with perfect crests
  • Fantastic local, tropical food
  • Hammocks that sway with ocean breezes

Overview

Howler monkeys signal sunrise at Harmony Hotel, where surfers catch some of the best waves on this side of the Pacific. Those who don’t hang 10 can laze on hammocks with smoothies from the juice bar or explore the ferns, palms and flowers that make up this tropical paradise.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Harmony Hotel with us:

A welcome cocktail and a complimentary sustainability tour.

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

24, including 14 suites.

Check–out

11am, but flexible and free, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $200.00, excluding tax at 13 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, one yoga class per person, a sustainability tour, the use of cruiser bicycles in town and free international calls.

Also

Harmony Hotel’s Healing Centre hosts daily yoga classes and guided meditation. Massages and facials use local fruits and plants, including banana, papaya and cacao. Should you forget any beach essentials, the tiny La Tiendita shop sells sunblock, mosquito repellent, surf wax and books, as well as art supplies for those occasional moments of beachy inspiration.

At the hotel

Spa and healing centre, bookshop/boutique, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: fridge, Red Flower toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The Bungalows are our favourite options for their spacious, 1970s-style rooms, and huge decks with rocking chairs and outdoor showers. They feel like your own home at the beach. Of these, Bungalow 26 has a completely private patio, making it the ideal honeymooner hideaway.

Poolside

A heated freshwater pool sits in the heart of the property’s tropical garden, with several surrounding chaises. Palm fronds shade portions of the water for sun-shy swimmers.

Packing tips

Board shorts are essential for tackling the waves and fitting in with the local surfers. The hotel can provide soft boards for beginning surfers, though experienced wave-catchers are welcome to bring their own gear. Leave your vices behind: this organic-minded property is all about the pura vida.

Also

The closest gas station is a 45-minute drive, so arrive with a full tank.

Children

Baby cots are available free. Extra beds cost US$50 each. The hotel can arrange babysitting at the time of booking. Rates start at US$20 an hour.

Eco‐friendly

The property composts, uses solar-powered water heaters, and landscapes with native plants. The staff also works with a local non-profit to protect the local sea turtle habitats and end poaching. In lieu of providing bottled water, the hotel has a spigot near the reception area that provides purified rain-water.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Plantation shutters, ceiling fans on wooden rafters, Caribbean music and woven-mat wall hangings all set the Brazilian beach style of Harmony’s restaurant. The menu focuses on organic and local ingredients in dishes such as ceviche, sushi, Pacific shrimp scampi and a typical Costa Rican casado – a mixed dish of grilled fish, beans, slaw, plantains and fried cheese.

Hotel Bar

The open-air bar has a lounge area where guests can order tropical fruit cocktails, including daiquiris and margaritas. During the day, the thatch-roofed Juice Bar is a popular stop-off between beach visits or after yoga class at the Healing Centre. If you’re still thirsty after smoothies and milkshakes, the hut mixes its own ‘fizzer’ sodas using homegrown herbs and fruit, such as basil-berry and tamarind, lime and ginger.

Last orders

The restaurant serves until 9pm, but cocktails are poured until 10pm.

Room service

None.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Sarongs, shorts and sand between your toes, though shirts are required at dinner.

Top table

Though there isn’t a bad seat in the house, tables on the perimeter near the bar offer pool views and excellent people-watching.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Wave-riders travel from around the world to surf the swells around Guiones. Get in on the action by bringing your own board or renting one from the shack next-door to Harmony. Even newcomers can get in on the action: the long breaks are perfect for less-experienced surfers. The hotel offers lessons in classic surfing and paddleboarding, with available gear storage just off the sand. The beach is one of the most striking in the area, owing in part to the hotel’s driftwood sculpture, which resembles a giant reclaimed Christmas tree. The icon is a good way for drifting swimmers to mark the hotel’s location, and its wood ‘branches’ double as pegs that keep towels safe from errant waves.

Thrillseekers can zoom through the air on a high-speed zipline over the world’s longest canopy, Guanacaste's tropical dry forest, for expansive views of rivers, waterfalls and the ocean.

Seven kilometres north of the hotel is a protected beach where tens of thousands of sea turtles nest, typically at high tide during the new moon. Guests whose visits to Harmony coincide with the subsequent hatchings can visit and see all the hatchlings make their way from their nests to the water. The arribada, or nestings, take place year-round, but the highest concentrations take place in October and November.

Local restaurants

There are several beach-casual restaurants in nearby Nosara and Playa Guiones. A 10-minute drive from the hotel, La Luna in Playa Pelada (+506 2682 0122) serves Mediterranean food and pizza on the beach. A bit further along the sand, Olga’s pours beer and dishes up standard local fare, including beans and rice, to fishermen and visitors. Visit at sunset for perfect views. Il Basilico (+506 2682 1472) serves rep again Italian-style pizza, pasta and seafood at the south end of Playa Guiones, a stroll from Harmony. For a truly home-cooked meal, try Dona Ana’s (+506 2656 8085) in Playa Garza, where the eponymous Ana cooks freshly caught fish, shrimp tempura and local food, which she serves on her patio.

Local bars

 The surf crew in Nosara tends to head to bed early, but those who like to stay out late visit Bar la Banana (+506 2682 4082) on the main road. The lively open-air club features a DJ and theme nights, including reggae Thursdays.

Local cafés

 A short walk from the hotel on the main road to Nosara, Cafe de Paris (+506 2682 0087) bakes puffy loaves of bread and French pastries each day. Even sweeter, the café has outdoor seating and a pool out back. Organico Natural Market on the main road has plenty of provisions for a picnic on the beach. The market operates a smoker outpost – called Fritz’s BBQ – for pork tacos. Robin’s Ice Cream (+506 2682 0617), on the road to the beach in Playa Guiones, scoops tropical ice creams into home-made cones.

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My goodness, Guiones!

The Harmony Hotel

Guiones, Nosara, Nosara, Guanacaste

Harmony Hotel is set just outside the town of Nosara, 266 km west of San Jose, on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.

Planes

Nosara airport (www.nosaranet.com/nosaraairport.html) is the closest airport, with daily flights from the capital of San Jose on carbon-neutral Sansa (www.flysansa.com) and Nature Air (www.natureair.com). Daniel Oduber Airport (www.liberiacostaricaairport.net) in Liberia is a 100km drive (about 90 minutes) and serves most major airlines from several major American cities, including New York, Houston, Miami and Atlanta.

Automobiles

The nearest town is Nosara, a 10-minute drive. The road is poorly lit at night with easy-to-miss signs, so try to arrive in daylight. There’s plenty of free parking.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

 Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Costa Rica and unpacked their yoga mats and shell necklaces, a full account of their beach escape will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Harmony Hotel…  Harmony …
Read more

The Harmony Hotel

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

 Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Costa Rica and unpacked their yoga mats and shell necklaces, a full account of their beach escape will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Harmony Hotel… 

Harmony is a surf paradise. Tidal calendars in the tropical-modern lobby broadcast the best times to break for the beach, and bedside tables are shaped like surfboards in what seems like a subliminal reminder to hit the waves. When the tide recedes, surfers can scrub off in the heated outdoor showers on each bungalow’s secluded deck, or soak in a deep tub beside full-length windows that overlook a private garden. But you don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy the great outdoors: yogis greet the day with sun salutations in a garden gazebo, all before an outdoor breakfast of fresh fruit picked from the surrounding gardens.

Harmony Hotel takes its name literally, working hard to exist symbiotically with the surrounding beach and wildlife, planting banana trees (which are maintained using filtered grey water). In lieu of providing bottled water to guests, the hotel purifies rainwater. Even the décor mimics the surroundings. The open reception area captures the bright colours of sand and sea with honey-hued woven walls and teal, ocean-inspired tiles. The pared-down bungalow rooms tick just the right beachy boxes without verging on kitsch. Welcome to pura vida.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Harmony Hotel's Guestbook below.

 

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