Costa Rica Resorts & Romance: El Mangrove and El Silencio
El Mangrove Hotel, in Papagayo Bay area of Costa Rica, is a brand new property located in a cove among natural mangroves, just ½ hour away from Liberia airport (more or less depending on traffic).
The resort features a great large beach (makes the difference versus other Papagayo properties), and has a perfect orientation for sunsets, which happens to be very important for me in planning a romantic getaway for my clients.
El Mangrove is a contemporary hotel with 85 suites, yet very much designed to offer an authentic — but modern — Costa Rica experience. My favorite room category here is the Root Suite.
Here again, all services can be customized, especially their “on-demand gastronomy.
Room amenities are fun! This hotel is perfect for me as it had everything I love: amazing architecture, great beach, amazing sunsets every night, great service, and the food was so unique, customized to meet my expectations.
(The location reminded me a bit of the Mamanucas islands in Fiji.)
On this trip I also visited the sister property of the amazing Punta Islita hotel, El Silencio Lodge & Spa. This 16 free-standing suites property is located 1 ½ hours from San Jose’s airport, and makes for a great first or last stop for a Costa Rica adventure. El Silencio has now become my personal favorite Costa Rica resort, as I believe these two partner resorts are the most representative of the destination of Costa Rica.
El Silencio offers the opportunity to experience the real cloud forest without having to drive all the way to Monteverde. What a micro-climate! It was a huge surprise for me to find cooler temperatures, and a new variety of wildlife.
The 16 suites are very spacious, open-plan bedroom/living room, with a large bathroom (no bathtub), but a big Jacuzzi outside on the open viewing deck. No TV, no WiFi (only in the main lodge area). El Silencio offers privacy and a peaceful respite.
There are two, two-bedroom villas, and one more is in construction. These are perfect for families, and do have TVs and WiFi.
El Silencio’s spa is amazing, and forest-inspired. The farm-to-table dining is truly a great culinary experience, as the hotel’s garden produces most of what guests get to taste (there is also an organic mini-farm). Everything is organic, enhancing Costa Rican traditions.
The property has an amazing team of EcoConcierges. Each group of guests is paired with one of them to assist with anything you need along the stay. Tree-planting, forest hikes, forest immersed private dinner or lunch, eco-thrills activities like rappelling, canopy zip-lining, horseback riding, waterfall hiking, river rafting are all available right on property.
I personally had the best experience there, could not believe the nature, the waterfalls, the hummingbirds. I even learned how to create a mojito with fresh berries, wild tomatoes and different kinds of mints, all fresh coming from the garden!