Andaz — Papagayo, Costa Rica
Set against a panoramic tableau of foam-flecked surf and dense tropical vegetation, Costa Rica’s startling wild beauty has long been a magnet for adventurous thrill-seekers and beach bunnies. And now more so with the official opening of Andaz Papagayo (the hotel accepts reservations from 3 January 2014). Local architect Ronald Zurcher has invested the Andaz group’s first foray into Latin America with a free-flowing silhouette of lush greenery that frames a private beach, two outdoor infinity pools and 153 guest rooms - though ’guest rooms’ is a blatantly misleading moniker to describe some of the accommodation, which is housed in pod-like structures that are a cross between a giant forest beetle and the Sydney Opera House. Woven textiles, timber and natural fibres provide both rooms and public spaces with a cocooning warmth, while the 11,000 sq ft spa is just what you need after a day careening through the surf, hiking up volcanoes, zip- lining and white water rafting.