After 24 hours of traveling, I’m back in London sitting at my dining table.
What a week.
Everything about our trip to Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica was incredible — the country, the villa, the people, the sites. I am so happy I visited!
I took a flight through New York and slept near the JFK airport after a long customs clearance. Early in the morning, I flew to Liberia, Costa Rica with my family. Arrival at the airport is easy, with a nice new terminal and quick customs. Outside, the car was waiting with a smiling attendant. On my phone, the Concierge’s message welcomed me.
We took a 45-minute ride to the resort and were amazed by the entrance to the peninsula — stunning rows of palms opened right to the gulf. After another 15-minute drive, we arrived at the resort. A discreet Exclusive Resorts sign marked the entrance, and we made our way to the Poro Poro Beach Club. There, a gym, restaurant, pool, and access to a small beach laid quietly in front of us.
We enjoyed a simple tasty lunch before being transported to the villa, and wow, what a great entrance! The villa had a terrace, pool, and four large bedrooms ready to host us. There was already food for us in the fridge, and all our activities were booked. There was even a bottle of champagne waiting for us on the table with a welcome note.
Not far from where we were staying is a stunning golf club and the awesome Prieta Beach Club (where we saw a not-to-be-named Hollywood star tanning discreetly a few meters from us). I advise going here to take in the sunset.
We felt like we were the only people in the resort most of the time, and that made all the difference. Although the resort was quite full, as well as the nearby Four Seasons, we barely noticed anybody else — and this was priceless. We felt like a million dollars, every day.
Everybody was welcoming, helpful, and incredibly proud to show us around and help us discover the country, its history, nature, and habits. Never did I see nature so rich in my life. Here’s hoping that the new government won’t relax the environmental protection rules, as overbuilding would kill the awe. The special atmosphere and the attitude of the locals gave everything flavor.
Costa Rica is stunning, and my wife was happy. She’s not a person who stays still in one place, as beautiful as it may be, so we had an activity every day. She’d wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, do yoga at sunrise, then head to the pool for a few laps before coming back to start cooking breakfast before we headed out together on our daily adventure.
We had sea activities, a beach barbecue, lunches on secluded beaches, and turtles and dolphins dancing with us in the waves. We were scared by monkeys trying to send us away from “their” villa, had coati visiting us for lunch, and watched crocodiles on the riverside. The kids went fishing and brought back kilos of fish that were cooked by the local chef.
All in all, it was the local spirit and the preciousness of feeling like the only one there that was truly priceless.
Peninsula Papagayo is a ten out of ten: discreet, inspiring, liberating, and served with heart.
Thank you, Exclusive Resorts, for a wonderful first vacation with the Club.
Photos courtesy of Matteo Atti.