Casey El Koury

El Castillo

Ojochal de Osa, Costa Rica

by: Casey El Koury

  • Why

    A treat to myself and a break from NYC winter

  • When

    February 2017

  • Who

    Solo adventuring

Highs + Lows

  • 5-star service. The hotel staff was pleasantly attentive without being overbearing and truly embodied the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle. Every day at sunset, all staff would join guests on the decks and take time to watch the sun go down – a true testament to their team culture.

  • Seriously – the billion dollar views. I’m running out of adjectives. Pair that with your private balcony and prepare to be blissfully overwhelmed.

  • The staff holds a wealth of knowledge for local adventures (both for the adrenaline junkies and the easily entertained) – they will even take care of coordinating all transportation – just go!

  • Lay back and let the spa come to you – massages, body wraps, and Reiki available in your own private cabana.

  • The hotel hosts an annual Turtle Ball, with proceeds benefiting local conservation and biological reserve programs – hospitality at its finest, serving both people and planet.

  • The beach is a short 10-minute walk – not far by any means, but you won’t walk outside and touch the sand.

  • This is definitely a place to visit with your significant other. Traveling solo, I was envious of all the romance! Though so grateful - the hotel and restaurant graciously hosted nine friends from Reserva Playa Tortuga and myself for a dinner party during my stay. It was a perfect evening.

: 47/50
  • Design

  • Website

  • Life Changing

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Overall Value

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Stealable Stuff

  • Refer a Friend

Important Bits

  • Type

    Luxury boutique

  • Vibe

    Rustic jungle meets classic estate.

  • Location

    Cliffside, in the small village of Ojochal, overlooking the South Pacific. El Castillo is about a four-hour drive south of San Jose. Local-tip: Hop on a 25-minute puddle jumper from San Jose to Quepos (via Sansa Airlines) and drive 45 minutes to El Castillo instead. The hotel is far enough away from the heavier tourist towns to really appreciate the seclusion (Ballena, Uvita, Dominical), but close enough to access their shopping centers and banks if needed.

  • Rooms

    Six total – three ocean view rooms, two ocean view suites, and a garden suite.

  • Music

    Sounds of la jungla – birds, monkeys, locusts, crickets, ocean waves – and every once in a while – some Tico lounge beats.

  • Year Opened

    Originally purchased in 2007, the hotel underwent major renovations and turned over to new owners in 2015.

  • Pool/Gym

    There was an infinity pool and a Jacuzzi, both offering unrivaled sunset views. You can hardly tell where the pool stops and the ocean starts. There isn’t a gym on-site, but you’re in the jungle! You're always just steps away from a waterfall or jungle hike.

  • Restaurant

    Azul Restaurant – open for breakfast (guests only) and open to the public for lunch and dinner. The food was incredible. Mediterranean based, the Chef also boasts specially curated menus throughout the week, like the selection of fresh ceviche and sushi prepared my first night there.

  • Bar

    There is a bar in the main lobby as well as down by the Jacuzzi on the private cabana deck. Locals will frequent the lobby bar, lending to a fun night in. Cocktails are crafted using tropical fruits – my favorite: the love child of dragon fruit x white rum.

  • Minibar

    Mini fridge, stocked with Imperial and other beers, wine, and water. Simple.

  • Wifi

    Yes, open and free.

  • Children

    Adult only hotel.

  • Price

    Luxuriously priced for the area – well worth it.

In the Area

Take a private boat ride arranged by the hotel to the secluded island of Garsa. Awaiting you is a complimentary cocktail, hammocks, beach lounges, and a freshly crafted, open grilled lunch by your private chef from El Castillo.

Adventure to Isla de Garsa

Isla de Garsa Costa Rica

Take a private boat ride arranged by the hotel to the secluded island of Garsa. Awaiting you is a complimentary cocktail, hammocks, beach lounges, and a freshly crafted, open grilled lunch by your private chef from El Castillo.

RPT is a non-profit biological research and education center. They study and protect the biodiversity of Costa Rica – every piece of this country you love, they help ensure it continues to thrive! Pay a visit to the education center, volunteer for a day, or pay it forward with a humble donation.

Pay homage to local conservationists at Reserva Playa Tortuga

Calle Tortuga, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica

RPT is a non-profit biological research and education center. They study and protect the biodiversity of Costa Rica – every piece of this country you love, they help ensure it continues to thrive! Pay a visit to the education center, volunteer for a day, or pay it forward with a humble donation.

El Pavón is a gorgeous waterfall and swimming hole in Ojochal, tucked away in the shady jungle. Most recognized for the large boulder wedged at the top, it is a local spot and hardly crowded during the week.  After your swim, adventure up one last hill to Restaurante Tiliapias el Pavón. You can roam the grounds and catch your own fish for lunch or relax, lay back and enjoy a true farm-to-table experience.

Hike to El Pavón waterfall and the Tilapia Farm Restaurant

El Pavon waterfall Costa Rica

El Pavón is a gorgeous waterfall and swimming hole in Ojochal, tucked away in the shady jungle. Most recognized for the large boulder wedged at the top, it is a local spot and hardly crowded during the week. After your swim, adventure up one last hill to Restaurante Tiliapias el Pavón. You can roam the grounds and catch your own fish for lunch or relax, lay back and enjoy a true farm-to-table experience.

ahl-el-castillo-costa-rica-FEAT

El Castillo

El Castillo Hotel Costa Rica

Must Haves

Best way to book?Hotel Website