Set on the most pristine beach on a strip that attracts surfers from near and far, Latitude 10 hotel in Santa Teresa is a seaside paradise. The hotel’s six beachfront bungalows are open to the jungle breezes, and the alfresco restaurant has spectacular views of the crashing waves.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $240.50, excluding tax at 13 per cent.
Rates include breakfast and the use of surfboards, boogie boards and bicycles.
Book time in Meridian, the hotel’s open-air yoga and massage studio. Treatments include salt wraps, Ayurvedic flow massages and aromatherapy with local botanicals.
At the hotel
Massage and yoga pavilion, library, gardens, free WiFi. In rooms: minibar, natural bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The two Master Suites are in the best spots, with ideal beach (and sunset) views, and a relaxing lounge area. Each of the six open-plan casitas holds a four-poster bed, shuttered doors and a porch with hammocks. The open-air bathrooms have solar-powered rainfall showers. If you get bugged by mosquitoes, stay in the Guest Room, which is less open to the elements and has air-conditioning.
The ionised infinity pool is surrounded by grass and shaded lounge chairs. Beach and surfing haven Santa Teresa de Cobano in Puntarenas is a 15-minute walk from the hotel.
Your rash guard: Latitude 10 has access to some of the best surfing in Central America.
The hotel offers sustainability tours and eco-excursions for guests who want to understand more about the region’s conservation efforts.
Kids of all ages are welcome.
Even in eco-engaged Costa Rica, Latitude 10 stands out for its green efforts: the hotel functions on solar energy, relies on local food suppliers and uses organic cleaning products. The staff also work to keep the local beaches clean.
Opt for the big round table in the eastern corner, which has excellent views over the pool out to the sea.
Sarongs and surf shorts.
The open-air restaurant, set in the Clubhouse, serves fresh, Costa Rican cuisine that changes daily. The menu is limited to two options per course, and guests are asked to make selections – which could include salads, grilled beef kebabs or local fish – by noon. The wide-ranging breakfast options include burritos crammed with eggs, rice and salsa.
The casual bar pours wine, serves local beer and blends smoothies in tropical flavours (we’re partial to the ginger and tamarind). For a cocktail, try the guaro sour or a banana daiquiri.
Breakfast is served from 7am until 10am, lunch from noon until 2pm, and dinner from 6.30pm until 8pm. The bar closes when the restaurant does.
Latitude 10 is in Santa Teresa, on the southern tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.
Tiny regional Tambor airport is a 45-minute drive from the hotel, and offers daily flights from the capital of San José on carbon-neutral Sansa (www.flysansa.com).
Driving will enable visitors to see more of Costa Rica, but roads are often poorly marked and difficult to navigate. Those who choose to drive from San José will need to also take a 90-minute ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera.
Worth getting out of bed for
After you’ve spotted rare birds, lounged by the pool and sought out a hot-stone massage, head for one of the nearby beaches, such as Malpais or Santa Teresa. Both attract surfers from around the world. Spend the day hanging out and exploring the tiny surf bars and cafes nearby. Those who aren’t ready to tackle the perfect curls can sign up for lessons through the hotel, or get a workout paddle-boarding instead.
Ready for adventure? Costa Rica can easily oblige. Sail above the treetops on a mile-long zip-line canopy tour of Malpais, or zip through Montezuma, then plunge into the park’s famous waterfall. Alternatively, go for a horseback ride along the beach or rent ATVs and zoom through the forests.
A 30-minute boat trip from Montezuma, Isla Tortuga off the Nicoya Peninsula is an uninhabited island with excellent snorkelling and pristine white, sandy beaches.
The town of Santa Teresa has many laid-back restaurants and surf shacks. Up a hill with expansive ocean views, Brisas del Mar (+506 2640 0941) in Playa Carmen serves ultra-fresh fish in Indian, Caribbean and Italian recipes. Try mahi mahi in korma sauce over cumin-scented rice, or paprika-rubbed bass with avocado relish. Slightly below Hermosa Valley School in Playa Hermosa, Koji (+506 2640 0815) serves excellent sushi in a leafy, rustic setting. Beachfront campsite Roca Mar (+506 2640 0250) in Santa Teresa has an open-air restaurant that serves classic Costa Rican dishes from breakfast through dinner. On Sundays, the owners host a family-style barbecue.
Perfectly placed on the beach for sunset cocktails, outdoor bar and restaurant Habanero (+506 2640 1105) pours potent daiquiris and margaritas in flavoursome combos such as tamarind and ginger or jalapeno and mango. Stick around for dinner to try spicy fish tacos, burritos and quesadillas.
Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval prior to review. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Santa Teresa and unpacked their surfboards and swimsuits, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Latitude 10 in Costa Rica…
Fall asleep to crashing waves at Latitude 10 on the Nicoya Península. Each of the hotel’s six boho-chic beachfront casitas opens up to catch ocean breezes and funnel the warm, salty air into netted four-poster beds.
Set in the surfing haven of Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula, the eco-friendly hotel keeps the sea front of mind. Huge shells hold candles at night, and driftwood is refashioned as hangers for each closet. Hammocks and sunloungers dot the grounds for impromptu napping and glimpsing the occasional monkey or iguana.
The hotel takes its beachfront location seriously, and the staff work to keep their footprint small and the surrounding beaches clean. Meals are produced with minimal waste, all using local ingredients, and products are all organic. Becoming a beach bum never sounded so virtuous…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Latitude 10’s Guestbook below.
An over abundant amount of attention from the staff. They gauge the appropriate amount of need and encourage space.