Nicoya Peninsula, between Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa
Most people travel to Costa Rica to experience its stunning natural environment. Even when tucked within lush tropical forest, few luxury hotels enable guests to fully commune with nature and connect with the local community. Latitude 10 Degrees Resort is unique in the way it strikes this delicate balance.
Nestled within almond trees lining the white sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, home to one of the world’s Blue Zones, the Asian–inspired open–air accommodations at Latitude 10 (technically “Latitude 10°” to mark the position on the globe) offer a mix of comfort and adventure with a keen eye on sustainability.
In fact, the arrival alone invites adventure. Accessible only by four–wheel drive from the Tambor airport, the final thirty–minute journey along a bumpy dirt road through a verdant landscape encourages you to shift gears into a slow and serene pace. The resort itself exudes a subtle elegance; without a watchful eye, one could easily pass by the discretely signed dark wood gate sewn seamlessly into the roadside foliage. Latitude 10 Resort’s exclusive slice of beach on the border of Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa helps preserve the newfound tranquility.
From the stone paved parking area, narrow footpaths wind through dense greenery to a large open-air clubhouse and restaurant. Check-in is casual with the bar doubling as a reception area. The dark wood structure sits camouflaged within grounds landscaped to highlight the natural surroundings. Wildlife is abundant: birds perch in the forest canopy; howler monkeys bellow; and iguanas scurry along tree trunks. Guests can breathe in the outdoors from cushioned wicker furniture decorated in earth tones and wooden tables with views to a salt water pool and the rolling Pacific surf.
The Latitude 10 Degrees restaurant is open until 3 pm. Breakfast is included in the room rate and consists of organic coffee, teas and a variety of well-prepared options. Lunch is a casual menu of sandwiches, salads and quesadillas. Throughout the afternoon, a list of smoothies and fresh fruit juices beckons you. A private chef prepares a daily dinner menu inspired by the freshest local ingredients. (Reservations are required by 11 am.)
Originally a vacation home, Latitude 10 maintains an intimate and welcoming atmosphere while providing each guest absolute privacy. Five suites, or private casitas, wind throughout the property: there are two Master Suites with ocean views, two Junior Suites and one Premium Junior Suite. All suites are just mere steps from the ocean, whose music can be enjoyed from the patios fronting each casita. The lack of TVs and phones is so that the sounds of wildlife and crashing waves dominate the soundscape.
Smartly designed to take advantage of the ocean breeze, each airy casita is lined with windows covered only by bamboo shades. The open-air Asian-inspired design eliminates the need for air conditioning. Ceiling fans whirl overhead to circulate the air. A highlight is the spacious outdoor bathrooms fitted with decorative tiles, rain shower heads and signature organic cosmetics. All suites have either king or queen-size canopy beds enveloped in white diaphanous fabric. Pillow-top mattresses topped with soft sheets and fluffy pillows make for an unforgettable night of rest.
In tune with the growing trend of providing meaningful experiences for visitors that also contribute to the well–being of the local community, this resort offers a comprehensive set of sustainability programs and tours. “Building for the Future” aims to raise funds for local schools in dire need of supplies, sporting equipment and basic infrastructure. “Green Your Trip” allows guests to offset their carbon footprint by purchasing and planting a tree. And Latitude 10 sells its own aluminum water container to help deter the purchase of plastic water bottles. Guests can also tour the schools, take horseback riding trips to local farms and hike around Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve and the Curú Wildlife Refuge. Latitude 10 also offers back-of-the-house sustainability tours.
Latitude 10 is the ultimate destination for outdoor lovers who want to feel immersed in the natural environment without having to forgo the creature comforts of a nice hotel. Service is professional and friendly while cultivating the laid-back atmosphere of a beachside resort. Visitors looking for a more developed set of amenities should consider the nearby Flor Blanca Resort.
Web Address: www.latitude10resort.com
Total number of rooms: 5
Published Rates: $380 to $630 BB ($2,750 to rent the full resort)
Review by Beverly Gallagher, small photo by author, the rest courtesy of Latitude 10.