The Gilded Iguana — Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
For 30 years now, surfers and beach lovers have descended on The Gilded Iguana, a low-key hotel in Costa Rica’s remote, jungled Nicoya Peninsula, for both its vibe of splendid isolation and adrenalin-fuelled surf break of nearby Playa Guiones. And now, following an extensive structural renovation by Studio-Saxe and interiors spruce-up by San Jose-based Sofia Interiorismo, the 11-room property is all prepped for its close-up.
A new timber-framed restaurant building – spacious and open on all sides to catch the sea-breezes – is the staging area for concerts and casual meals, while the new rooms and spa are set off by long balconies and palm thatch palapas. The interiors are a pleasingly tropical blend of jute, palm, teak, and concrete tiles, each room featuring a spacious, sun-drenched outdoor terrace, garden and outdoor shower.
There are plenty of distractions, the five kilometre stretch of Playa Guiones being the most obvious one, though the arrival of sea turtles during the rainy season to lay their eggs at Playa Ostional’s wildlife refuge and the teaching facilities at the Nosara Yoga Institute might be just the antidote to the office treadmill.§