Nature and refined luxury at Costa Rica’s newest resort, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo lobby checkin
There are no traditional check-in desks at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo. Guests are welcomed in this beautiful open-air lobby. Credit: Contributed

Say the word “resort” to your chicest jet-setting friend, and they will probably scoff. And their eye roll might be apt — a typical tropical beach resort can bring to mind an ecological eyesore with no direct connection to the paradise it inhabits. It’s the place where the local population is forced into Hawaiian shirts while they sling frozen drinks to pale visitors noshing on chicken tenders by the pool.

However, there is a sea change occurring in the realm of resorts: Smart hotel chains have realized that their savvy, informed customers are rebelling against homogenous experiences. Enter the Andaz boutique chain, a subsidiary of Hyatt. Andaz works with the local community and uses local architects and artists to fashion their hotels and cuisine to make for a more unique experience, while also retaining the element of luxury and familiarity that Hyatt clients expect. Andaz is the exact opposite of a behemoth resort chain whose lone architectural or stylistic distinction is the fact that it could be anywhere.

The latest Andaz property to enter the travel market is the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, nestled between the Gulf of Papagayo and the blue waters of Culebra Bay in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It was designed by Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher and is decorated with the work of local artist Salvador Odre.

The staff at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo take pride in where they work; the beautiful outdoors, from Culebra Bay to the surrounding rainforest, is the focal point of the hotel’s decor, rather than a sidenote. Everything is open — the hotel rooms, the dining areas, the walkways between rooms, the path to the beach all let you experience paradise. And if it’s not open, there is glass. With the resort’s open concept, you can take in monkeys chattering in the background, as well as the sweet smell of the rich earth. It was especially nice to see open-air spaces utilized in the hotel’s Onda Spa, where trained masseuses work out the kinks while a natural breeze tickles your back. The same philosophy is applied to the chic, modern hotel rooms, which encourage you to shower with the glass door open so you are one with nature, rather than shut off from it.

When you sit to dine at any of the property’s three restaurants, you are encouraged to be outside. Over tapas at Chao Pescao, you can sip on artisanal cocktails on the deck while vines sway above you. At the more fine dining restaurant, Ostra, the walls are open so you are always looking out to the sea. Casual dining spot Rio Bhongo is surrounded by an infinity pool and bay breezes. And instead of the trees being stripped and paved for your walk down to the private beach, you nimbly meander through the jungle. This resort is paradise, experienced.

Andaz Peninsula Papagayo
Where: Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Accommodation: 153 guest rooms
How to get there: JetBlue offers direct flights to Liberia, Costa Rica, from JFK International Airport. The flight is five hours, then a 20-minute car ride from the airport to Andaz Peninsula Papagayo.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Local

Mugger uses chokeholds in Central Park attacks: NYPD

Cops are searching for a Manhattan mugging suspect tied to at least two attacks near Central Park this week.

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…