Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Sendero Hotel

Price per night from$144.50

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD144.50), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Surf, starlight and solitude

Setting

Far-flung Pacific peninsula

Backed by a flourishing jungle reserve and overlooking the wild Pacific coast, remote Sendero Hotel feels a very long way from civilization. Abundant surfing opportunities aside (the resort has its own school for beginners to experts), pretty much everything here is designed to help you achieve a state of complete peace. A light-filled yoga studio overlooks the nature reserve, the warm golden sands of Playa Guiones are a mere two-minute walk through a nature reserve that thrums with native birds, bees and butterflies, and there’s a courtyard pool surrounded by so much lush jungle vegetation that, if your noon mimosa was served by a native howler monkey, you might not even bat an eyelid.

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Facilities

Photos Sendero Hotel facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25, of which two are suites.

Check–Out

11am. Check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible where availability permits and guests can otherwise store luggage and make use of the pool, restaurant and other common areas if arriving early or departing late.

Prices

Double rooms from £128.15 ($163), including tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $50.00 per room per night prior to arrival and an additional local city tax of $10.00 per room per night prior to arrival.

More details

Breakfast isn’t included in room rates, but can be purchased at the hotel between 7am and 11am. Prices are around US$8 to $15 for food and US$8 to $10 for fruit juices and smoothies.

Also

Sendero has one fully accessible room with a private terrace that opens directly onto the courtyard for easy access to the pool, restaurant and other common areas. Admittedly, getting down to the beach may prove more challenging.

At the hotel

Surf school, yoga studio, bikes for hire, free WiFi, coffee stations with cakes and pastries from 6am to 11am daily. In rooms: air-conditioning, Bluetooth speaker, mini fridge, beach towels, local organic Aroma toiletries. Only suites have TVs.

Our favourite rooms

Light-filled rooms come with unfussy hacienda-style decor and honey-coloured stone floors. Chic pendant lamps, oversized rugs and cushions, and one-off art pieces by local artists add warm pops of colour to an otherwise cool palette. All rooms come with verdant views but none more so than the resort’s signature Jungle Rooms, where day-beds and outdoor rainfall showers are found on broad balconies that overlook the neighbouring 11-acre nature reserve. Potted plants help preserve your modesty while showering but may not deter the local wildlife. Fear not: you can draw the drapes across if curious coatis or peeping parrots get too close for comfort.

Poolside

Emerge from beneath great fronds of jungle vegetation to discover the courtyard’s saltwater pool, complete with wooden decking and comfortable day-beds. Sunrise dippers will also be delighted to learn that it’s open 24 hours.

Packing tips

If you can already surf like Swayze in Point Break, you may be considering bringing your own board. You’re welcome to do so, and storage facilities are provided, although there are plenty of board types available to rent here, too. You’ll want plenty of downtime in a place like this, so pack light reading material like Michael Crichton’s classic Jurassic Park. It’s set on a (fictional) island off Costa Rica, so the familiar jungle landscape combined with the occasional roar of a howler monkey are bound to make for an immersive read.

Also

Go full hippie with daily classes in the yoga studio, or try your hand at surfing at the resort’s surf school; the gentle waves, sandy seabed and relative lack of crowds at Playa Guiones make it a fine location for first-timers.

Pet‐friendly

A maximum of two pooches under 70lbs are welcome in rooms. Note, however, that dogs are the only animals permitted at Sendero, so you’ll have to leave Izzy the Iguana and Alfie the axolotl at home. A nightly fee of $50 applies for each dog. See more pet-friendly hotels in Nicoya Peninsula.

Children

Babysitting services can be arranged on request and suites can accommodate up to four guests thanks to the fold-out queen sofa-bed.

Sustainability efforts

Built with traditional haciendas in mind, using repurposed clay bricks and tiles and rapidly renewable woods from Costa Rican teak plantations, Sendero Hotel blends seamlessly into the coastal jungle landscape that surrounds it. Inside, bespoke pieces by local artists add colour to bedrooms (and are available to buy in the gallery). Hotel, restaurant and surf school staff are also all local residents, and the majority of ingredients used in the restaurant are organic and locally grown. A series of water-saving measures are in place in bathrooms, while rainwater and wastewater is collected, treated and redeployed to irrigate lush gardens that teem with native flora and fauna. Heck, even condensation generated by the building’s air-conditioning units is collected and repurposed.

Food and Drink

Photos Sendero Hotel food and drink

Top Table

Sunset views and the sweet sounds of jungle nightlife are best enjoyed alfresco on the terrace.

Dress Code

Crisp floral linens and bold tropical prints are the order of the day if you want to avoid being outshone by all that foliage in these lush jungle surroundings.

Hotel restaurant

Sendero’s restaurant has that classic tropical feel. Think honey-coloured clay-tile floors, low beamed ceilings with whirring fans and forests of jungle foliage. The menu here changes depending on what organic goodies are available from the local growers and fishermen, but you can expect the likes of grilled snapper and mahi-mahi, plantain and fresh tropical fruits aplenty. Breakfast is from 7am to 11am, lunch from 11am to 2pm and dinner from 5pm to 9pm. There’s an extensive brunch menu from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hotel bar

Join the après-surf crowd and compare notes over sundowners and street food nibbles. The bar is open 11am to 9pm.

Last orders

This laidback resort shuts up shop at a relatively modest 9pm, but the poolside courtyard is a great space for socialising into the night.

Room service

Available from 7am to 9pm daily.

Location

Photos Sendero Hotel location
Address
Sendero Hotel
Lot J53 Playa Guiones Guanacaste Province
Nosara
50206
Costa Rica

Sendero Hotel sits between a lush nature reserve and a sensational stretch of golden sand on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Expect lazy days on the beach and starlit evenings soundtracked by rolling surf and the sing-song lullaby of jungle nightlife.

Planes

Liberia International Airport (aka Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport and Guanacaste Airport) lies around 120 kilometres and two-and-a-half hours north of Nosara. Sendero Hotel can arrange van and SUV transfers for up to four guests at a cost of $180 and $200 respectively. Additional guests are charged at a rate of $10 each. Prices are exclusive of 13 per cent tax.

Automobiles

A straightforward zip down picturesque Route 21 then across Route 160 to the windswept Pacific coast makes renting your own set of wheels a viable option in Costa Rica. That said, if you’re just here for Nosara’s famous yoga and surf scene, you likely won’t need a car – Sendero Hotel’s proximity to all the best local facilities already has you covered. Adventurers who wish to discover remote beaches and forgotten mountain villages at the end of perilous dirt tracks should consider a four-wheel drive. Rental vehicles are available at the airport and there’s free secure parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Picture yourself reclining poolside, ice-cold coconut water in hand, fronds of tropical foliage tickling your toes as you meditate to a sunset symphony of birdsong from the neighboring nature reserve. Sounds like all the relaxation you could ever wish for, right? But if you did choose to up the ante further still, good news – Nosara is a hub for yoga enthusiasts, with several excellent retreats and studios dotted in and around the town, including one right here at Sendero Hotel.

We’re talking classes with some of the top yogi in Costa Rica, most of which lean heavily into the country’s pura vida philosophy – an admirable commitment to living the good life, with a heavy slice of chill. It’s no coincidence that the Nicoya Peninsula is one of only five designated ‘blue zones’ on the planet, where people are said to live longer, healthier lives than anywhere else. Get a piece of the action with on-site classes that include Pilates, sunset stretches and… salsa dancing. And make sure to sample the bounty of fresh tropical fruits – super-sweet passionfruit, creamy guanabana, refreshing rambutan – that elderly locals with a skip in their step swear by.

Nosara’s other big draw is its beaches – long, laid back stretches of sugar-white sands backed by palm groves, waterfalls and spectacular nature reserves. Follow the short sendero (that’s Spanish for ‘path’, fact fans) from the resort down to Playa Guiones, a five-mile stretch where surfers of all levels ride the breaks and families picnic on the sand as yet another hapless novice wipes out in the shallows. The resort’s pro surf school means you can even have a go yourself.

Local restaurants

All open-plan spaces with tiled floors, wicker furniture and beamed roofs with ceiling fans, surrounded by verdant jungle foliage, the restaurant at Harmony Hotel is every bit the tropical dining room of your dreams. The menu ain’t half bad either, with a focus on fresh local fish and a long list of starters, sharing plates and mains that includes the likes of coconut soup, Caribbean rice and beans, crispy plantain-crusted eggplant, and a sweet and refreshing green-papaya salad. Pro tip: don’t miss the punchy mezcal negroni apéritif. In fact, make it two – after all, Harmony is a mere five-minute stumble from Sendero.

A little further afield, around a 20-minute drive inland, Coyol Restaurant is well worth the trip for its mountain views alone, though the slow-barbecued pork ribs are also a pretty compelling reason to make the pilgrimage. Wraparound windows mean you can enjoy those widescreen sunset views across the hills even if you choose to dine inside, and there’s a fab tree swing that will make you feel like you’re flying long before the Cacique Guaro sugar-cane liquor kicks in.

Local cafés

Coffee is a way of life for Costa Ricans. It was the first coffee-growing nation in Central America (starting way back in the 18th century) and still produces arguably the best beans in the region, as any drinker of the country’s rich and robust brews will surely attest. Try them for yourself at one of Nosara’s premier cafés. The Beach Blend Coffee Shoppe is a roadside favourite that’s popular with locals for its fuss-free menu of freshly ground Costa Rican coffees and belly-busting breakfast burritos. Nearby Rolling Waves ups the ante, adding a side order of freshly baked banana bread and a menu of speciality cocktails, including an unmissable espresso martini and coffee negroni.

Local bars

The Nosara vibe is very much of the laidback variety, so if your idea of a good time is foam parties and all-night raves, it’s unlikely to be for you. If however, you thrive on tumbledown beer shacks and sociable sundowners with friendly local ticas and ticos, easygoing joints like Blue Zone Brewery and the Jungle Cocktail Bar might just feel like a little slice of paradise.

We’re not quite sure the peninsula’s designation as a ‘blue zone’ had anything to do with beer but the brewery’s citrusy Jungle Haze IPA and crisp Pelada Blonde are every bit as life-enhancing as the location. This jungle-fringed tropical taproom is just up the road from Sendero and a stone’s throw from the Ostional Wildlife Reserve, nesting ground of the Pacific Olive Ridley sea turtle.

For a (slight) change of scenery, stumble round the corner to the Jungle Cocktail Bar, where the cocktails are as colourful as the neon-red sign that extends a warm ‘welcome to the jungle’. The bar is part of the Norte Nosara Hotel, so there’s a pool too, as well as snacks, smoothies and even an occasional spot of late-night dancing.

Reviews

Photos Sendero Hotel reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this surf-and-yoga retreat on Costa Rica’s Nicoya’s Peninsula, shaken the sand from their hair and unpacked their stash of unique local artworks, a full account of their off-the-beaten-path break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Sendero Hotel in Nosara…

Costa Rica is all about the pura vida – a desire to live well, live long and keep things decidedly, well, laidback. Nowhere is this truer than around Nosara, where Sendero Hotel has created a remote, off-grid hideaway complete with yoga studio, surf school and oodles more opportunities for downtime. The outdoors is brought indoors by huge windows (many overlooking the nature reserve), locally made pots stuffed with more vegetation than your average garden centre and a courtyard pool terrace that is fairly festooned with jungle foliage. 

Elsewhere, a contemporary art gallery showcases vibrant pieces by local artists that you can buy and take home. You’ll find more colourful local art in your room (also for sale), a fine complement to the views of all that greenery. Grab a morning brew from the resident coffee truck, retreat to your balcony and enjoy the leafy tranquillity and hypnotising sounds of the jungle – surely as good as the good life gets.

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Price per night from $144.50