Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem


Lifestyle

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

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Lifestyle

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

Lifestyle

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

Published By:   •   February 14, 2024

Villa Avellana Is Costa Rica's Latest Luxury Gem

Published By:

February 14, 2024

Lifestyle


Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo is renowned for its exquisite luxury lodgings and private beachfront paradise. Villa Avellana is the latest to catch our eye.

The outdoor lounge incorporates a seating area, dining table and poolside bar PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA

The outdoor lounge incorporates a seating area, dining table and poolside bar

The chilly morning air caresses my face as I paddle along Costa Rica’s stunning Pacific shoreline. I’ve never paddleboarded before, but the calm sea beckons and I feel compelled to answer its call.

soak up some rays by the pool. PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA
Soak up some rays by the pool.

This experience is one of many that guests can expect at Villa Avellana, a new kind of tropical getaway that sits on 3 acres of lush beachfront in a private community on Peninsula Papagayo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

A slow ache creeps into my arms as we continue, but the beauty surrounding me is so intoxicating that I almost don’t notice. The crystal-clear water allows a near-perfect look at the kaleidoscope of coral on the seafloor. Our guide informs us that a local college plants it here because of the calm water, relocating the healthy adults to replenish dying reefs.

A buffet-style lunch spread featuring fresh, local ingredients PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA
A buffet-style lunch spread featuring fresh, local ingredients.

The sun shines without being overwhelming, a welcome respite after yesterday’s rainstorm. Halfway through our excursion, we stop at a private cove and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. I wade out into the seemingly endless expanse, luxuriating in the gentle embrace of the sea. I drag my feet along the ocean floor with each step, a suggestion from our guide to avoid stepping on one of the area’s native stingrays.

As the group I’m traveling with heads back to the beach, we’re greeted by a pack of white-faced monkeys lurking in the trees. We’ve been warned about these creatures—a few days before, our driver animatedly recounted how the tricksters stole a burrito right out of his hands. They stare at us with curious eyes, and a few even let us near, but alas, we have no food and are no longer their marks. They depart gracefully, swinging through the dense foliage with impeccable ease.

The villa is a multifamily property offering only buyouts, with 10 generous guest rooms hosting up to 23 people. I luck out with an oceanfront patio, each night enjoying unbelievable sunsets and the lapping of the waves on the shore before retreating to what the entire group agrees are the softest sheets we’ve ever slept on.

paddleboarding is one of many activities on offer at the villa PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA
Paddleboarding is one of many activities on offer at the villa.

Further exploration of the property uncovers only greatness. Contemporary designs allow the stunning vistas to take center stage, and local art adorns the walls. My favorite pieces are the chic wooden surfboards—they inject a sense of whimsy into the space without being overly gauche. Dips in the 82-foot lap pool are even more refreshing after a day of tiring excursions, while the cozy entertainment room is perfect for laidback movie nights. A two-story yoga deck, where we delight in sumptuous massage treatments in the open air, rounds out the offerings.

many of the bedrooms include private oceanfront patios PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA
Many of the bedrooms include private oceanfront patios.

During our free time, we lounge on the expansive outdoor patio, sipping cocktails, soaking in the views and chatting with the villa’s impressive staff . General manager thomas Freitag leads the charge, overseeing 22 dedicated team members anticipating and accommodating our every need. Two words to describe them? Flexible and fun. They’re more than happy to answer questions and interact (or not) according to the guest’s desires. We like to talk, and they are happy to oblige.

the villa boasts a chic, contemporary design. PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLA AVELLANA
The villa boasts a chic, contemporary design.

We also like to eat, and the food doesn’t disappoint. A nine-course tapasstyle dinner at the poolside bar, complete with a knowledgeable sommelier providing generous pours of her favorite California vinos, might be one of my favorite meals ever. The property’s private chef likes to play with texture in new, unexpected ways, and we dine on mahi-mahi tacos on a crispy beet shell, shrimp-and-sweet-plantain croquettes and Costa Rican oysters. What a feast— and what a place. Somewhere, I know a gaggle of monkeys is extremely jealous.

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