Escaping by Degrees to Latitude 10

Latitude 10 Master Suite

The town of Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is known as a place where vacationers can “get away from it all,” to pristine white sand beaches unspoiled by mega-resorts. A few miles past the center of the laid-back village, one secluded resort takes the concept of escaping to ultimate relaxation even further: behind a nondescript wooden gate lies Latitude 10, a haven of comfort and tranquility nestled in nature and serenaded by an ocean’s gentle surf.

Latitude 10 comprises an intimate cluster of elegant cabins (“casitas”) that blend with the surroundings in a number of ways. Perhaps most unusual is the completely open-air bathrooms — toilet, sink and large hot-shower deck — enclosed by a wall ensuring privacy and decorated with a garden. The bedroom has no windows; shades are drawn at the evening turn-down service, when candles are lit that bathe the room in a soothing, and even romantic, glow.

The casitas are furnished with inviting four-poster canopy beds, and a couch in the sitting areas. The outdoor decks are ideal places to relax: the master suites even have hammocks. All casitas are equipped with ceiling fans that render air conditioning unnecessary. Conspicuously absent are televisions and even phones, making the break from technological intrusions into natural tranquility complete. (Should the need arise, there is a direct dial phone for local and international calls in the office.)

Another thing you won’t find at Latitude 10: room keys. It is a strange feeling not to be issued one when you check in, yet it is also oddly liberating: it is as if wandering throughout the resort is as carefree as moving about your own house and yard (valuables may be kept locked in the room closet’s safe). It helps that the resort — once a family vacation complex — is small, thus limiting the number of total guests at any given time.

Latitude 10 Pool

The centerpiece of the resort is the “ranchito,” or open-air clubhouse, where the bar is located and board games may be borrowed and played. It is also the place where meals are served. Breakfast is included in the nightly room rate; dinner, which is prepared from a limited menu that changes daily, must be ordered in the morning. Most guests eat lunch out: there are excellent restaurants in Santa Teresa, with a surprising variety of cuisines rarely found even in larger cities in Costa Rica. Latitude 10 has bikes for guests to use free of charge to get into town.

Just steps away from the ranchito is the chemical-free infinity pool — and beyond that, the white sand beach, which extends for miles in either direction. Additional beachside hammocks, strung between native trees, beckon where the waves lap the shore.

Also overlooking the ocean is Meridian, the resort’s open-air studio, where private yoga classes are given and massages offered. Latitude 10 will work with guests to design customized packages of wellness services. The staff can also help with organizing excursions and recreational activities in the area.

Latitude 10, which has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability, has taken excellent advantage of the pleasant climate of Santa Teresa to create a resort with a unique atmosphere. Rarely does one get the opportunity to experience so much of the living space out-of-doors, in such a safe and comfortable environment.

Rates are seasonal and range from $210-$490 per room per night. See the website for frequent special promotions or search deals at Expedia.

See more reviews of luxury hotels in Costa Rica.

Text by Buzzy Gordon, who was hosted by Latitude 10 for purposes of review. Photos courtesy of Latitude 10.

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