Set on a lush hillside canyon in a remote oceanfront location, with much of the surrounding land a part of the property, Punta Islita is an opportunity to experience a more authentic version of Costa Rica, but still enjoy luxury accommodations, gourmet fresh, local cuisine, stunning views, a beautiful spa, and several on-property or nearby activities. This resort offers a true sense of place. The rooms were very comfortable and featured local materials and decor. I was upgraded to a Junior Suite which featured a nice outdoor deck with two lounge chairs, a hammock and a private jacuzzi. Great for honeymooners! The Junior Suite Premium substitutes a plunge pool for the jacuzzi.
The beach club is way down the hillside from the rooms and across a typical Costa Rican dirt road (they will golf-cart you back and forth but we could walk it) and has a restaurant, pool with swim up bar, and nice palm-roofed cabanas on the beach with lounge chairs. The oceanfront is on a large private cove (all beaches are public in Costa Rica, but this one seems to have limited access), with lovely rolling waves you can hear all the way up at the top of the hill. The beach is dark and rocky–a natural beauty.
Activities include tennis, zip-lining on site, spa, pool, nature walks, horseback rides, hiking, and a 9-hole golf course. There’s a small but decent fitness room. They have fitness classes and organized activities for children over the holidays. There’s a nice game room with big TV and ping pong table. It’s a quiet spot, best for folks wanting to chill out and relax for a few days, with a little activity thrown in occasionally. There’s a cute hamlet with a local crafts “museum” and a mini-market just down the road; the surf and beach town of Samara (20 minute drive) is an option for a change of scenery and a dinner out on the town.
A highlight here was the food and beverage service. Amazing food–the best I had on the whole trip–really fun bartenders, and excellent cocktails. It wasn’t too busy when I was there in late May, but I can see that hanging out at the bar and mingling with other guests is the primary evening activity. There were some fun young couples among the guests when we were there.
This property also has some 2-bedroom casitas in the main area plus several 2- to 4-bedroom private villas scattered around the hillside–a golf cart ride away from the main reception, spa and restaurant areas. The villas are like the rooms–nice and comfortable, attractive but not over-the-top, with lovely grounds and fabulous views.