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Costa Rica Day 3: Rainforest Massage, Hot Springs, Lunch in Liberia, Check-in at Andaz Papagayo Peninsula, Play on the Beach, Dinner at Rio Bhongo

Today was also absolutely unforgettable!!  First off, we had another amazing breakfast overlooking the Arenal Volcano.  Then we took that iconic green Club Rio bus down to the river with the other tubing enthusiasts, only this time we weren’t going tubing. We were going to get massages somewhere deep in the rainforest.  Two Costa Rican ladies greeted us when we got off the bus and lead us along the river, over bridges, past waterfalls, and up the steps embedded in the mountain to what looked like a treehouse perched in the rainforest.  Oh my gosh, that’s where we’re getting massages?!  I totally got goosebumps.  It just looked so magical.  And it was!!

Hidden high in the rainforest were two cushioned tables and a natural hot spring with a waterfall right in the open-air room. They even had fancy wrapped towels and rose petals scattered throughout.  The massages were incredible and the best we’ve ever had.  But being in the rainforest hearing the sounds of the trees, the birds, and the river below made the experience even more magical!  I kept saying to myself, we are in the middle of a rainforest right now.  We are in the middle of a rainforest.  I kept pinching myself. Could this really be happening?!

After the massages, the ladies directed us to walk along another trail to discover more hot springs.  It felt like were on some magical adventure in a fairy land.  The place was so beautiful and pristine to be real and we kept discovered all sorts of hidden hot springs.  I felt like the Disney Imagineers had truly left their magic on the place.  I didn’t want to leave.  We needed another day.

iPhone Pics:

Costa Rica Day June 2017 3A

But, we had another part of Costa Rica to explore.  Our driver picked us up at 1pm (yes, get a driver) and we drove three hours to the Papagayo Peninsula.  Along the way, we stopped at an authentic Costa Rican restaurant for street tacos.  They were SO good and SO cheap!!

When Clint and I arrived at the Andaz Papagayo Peninsula Hotel Sunday afternoon, we both secretly yearned to be back at The Springs Resort in Arenal.  The Springs had a warm and cozy rainforest feel to it, whereas the Andaz is a very modern hotel with an minimalistic, edgy millennial vibe.  It didn’t feel as inviting at first, but you soon get in the groove that you are now on the posh Papagayo Peninsula (which feels like Hawaii) and you start to LOVE the place for different reasons!  We fell in love with the resort and the Papagayo Peninsula so much that Clint’s been making plans to retire on the Papagayo Peninsula.  Clint has even started looking at houses and open lots. Don’t worry, it’ll be a while!

We soon learned that the Papagayo Peninsula is new hotspot in Costa Rica and where the wealthy come.  Right now there are only two hotels on the Papagayo Peninsula: the Four Seasons and The Hyatt Andaz (our hotel), which rivals the Four Seasons.  There’s also a marina next door with multi million dollar yachts, a private beach club for residents and hotel guests, and multimillion dollar homes sprinkled throughout.  But all in all, the Papagayo Peninsula remains virtually untouched. However, there are huge plans in the future including a Hard Rock and a hotel built by the same owner of The Springs Resort and Spa.  Nice!

The room at this hotel is absolutely incredible, and is probably one of the most innovative hotel rooms I’ve ever seen. It is such a simple design, yet absolutely brilliant at the same time.  You walk in and on the left is the bedroom area and in the middle is closet and desk, which subdivides the room and to the right is the bathroom. Straight in front of you is the amazing balcony, which feels like an open air living room. You feel like you’re both outside and inside at the same time.  It’s SO cool!  And then there is the bathroom and shower.  The bathroom and shower opens out onto the balcony, so you have incredible views of the ocean below and the lush green Costa Rica coast in the distance no matter where you are in the room.  And total privacy too!  You can’t see another hotel room and they can’t see you.  Nor can anyone see you from down below.  It’s an absolutely brilliant design!  The hotel also stocks your minibar each day with FREE water, drinks, and snacks!  And they give each person a free high-end Costa Rican hat (I wore my every day) and nice flip-flops!  What’s not to love?!

The entire hotel is so brilliantly designed!  They architects wanted to create a hotel that would blend in with the natural environment, and be unobtrusive as possible, and they definitely pulled it off!  The beauty is truly in the details.  Everything in the hotel is hidden among nature and you have to follow trails to find the restaurants, the pools, the spa, and even the beaches.  You just follow the signs and the trails to find your way.  It’s SO fun!  I love the element of discovery.

As you’re walking along you’re thinking to yourself oh my gosh, where am I going?  And then all the sudden you will happen across a swimming pool, or a restaurant, or a further down the path, the beach, which feels like you are on a deserted island because when you look back you can’t even see the hotel.  It’s just you, the sand, the water, the trees, and some hammocks.  We had fun exploring the main beach before it got dark.  This hotel is the place you want to go to feel like you are the only person on the planet.

We had dinner that night at the famed Rio Bhongo restaurant.  That place definitely lived up to the hype!  We were seated at a table overlooking the water and had the most incredible views!  I ordered the traditional Costa Rican dish – the Casado – and it was so flavorful and incredible!  I just kept eating and eating.  It was another incredible day!

Costa Rica June 2017 Day 3B

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