This buzzing capital city is surrounded by a stunning valley of coffee plantations.

San Jose is encircled by large coffee bean plantations, the profits of which built the city many years ago. You can sample the delicious ‘golden bean’ in cafes across the city or enjoy a day trip to see the coffee making process in one of the many farms nearby. Historical highlights within San Jose include the elegant National Theatre which was built in 1897 and hordes of pre-Colombian gold in the Museo del Oro. Despite the wide spread of this bustling city, many visitors sidestep San Jose and head to the central valley in which it sits. This is an attractive area to visit, with coffee plantations, waterfalls and short hikes, plus the added bonus of some fabulous lodges and hotels. These properties are perfect for an easy one-night stay after a late arrival to San Jose, but still offer excellent activities and abundant wildlife for a longer stay. The Pacuare River flows through this stunning area, offering thrill seekers some of the best white water rafting in the world, and in the areas surrounding its banks it is possible to go horse riding, zip lining and mountain biking. Being in the very centre of the country, San Jose makes a perfect base from which to start or finish a luxury holiday to Costa Rica.


Our favourite luxury hotels

Grano de Oru San Jose Costa Rica

Grano de Oro

Situated on a leafy street, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis in the heart of the city. Converted from a tropical Victorian mansion, the 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with exquisite service and all the amenities of a fine hotel. Located 20 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the domestic airport, the hotel is ideally located for exploring San José or travelling on to the rest of Costa Rica.

El Silencio Central Valley Costa Rica, luxury Costa Rica, luxury holidays to Costa Rica, tailor-made holidays to Costa Rica

El Silencio Lodge and Spa

A perfect luxury retreat for travellers who seek respite from the stress of daily life. The design of this unique lodge provides a seamless natural immersion that showcases the most beautiful elements of Costa Rica’s traditional rural homes. The main building faces the base of a tree-lined canyon, embracing the surrounding nature. A large outdoor deck wraps around the property with views of the Gorrion River and a dramatic fire pit. The accommodation options here have raised the bar for family comfort and privacy.

Finca Rosa Blanca San Jose Costa Rica

Finca Rosa Blanca

A coffee farm plantation and luxury destination situated in the Central Valley mountain highlands. Located only a short distance from the San Jose International Airport, it has long offered travellers a luxurious, sustainable boutique hotel experience. With a gourmet restaurant onsite which uses locally grown, organic produce and a full spa offering a wide range of treatments, this hotel makes a fabulous retreat. Finca Rosa Blanca holds 5 ‘Green Leaves’ for compliance with the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism.

Dantica Lodge Central Valley Costa Rica

Dantica Lodge

The Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge is situated high in the hills of the Talamanca mountain range, at an altitude of 2,600m, in the middle of the upper montane cloud forest. Each of the eight luxurious bungalows offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and forest. Large floor to ceiling glass windows, some up to 6 metres wide, give you the impression of being in the forest itself. Every Bungalow has its own terrace or garden combining the warmth of the sun in this temperate climate with a view of the valley and primary forest.

Poas Volcano Lodge

A pretty property with an excellent location between the Poas and Barva Volcanoes at 1900m above sea level on the ridge dividing the Atlantic and Pacific zones of Costa Rica. The lodge comprises of 12 charming bedrooms, including five luxurious master suites in the main building. Most are within a few metres of the cloud forest and pastures surrounding the property. Other facilities include a main living room, TV room, dining room and bar, games room, trails, rubber boats and walking sticks and library.

The Retreat, Alajuela, Costa Rica

The Retreat

With a strong focus on wellness of the mind, body and spirit, The Retreat has been expertly designed by Diana Stobo, a leader in the global wellness industry. It offers a seductive blend of luxury accommodation, healthy living and high class cuisine. The hotel has 6 core values on offer for guests, including stress reduction, spiritual connectedness and self care. In support of these values, there is a full spa, gym, swimming pool, yoga studio, fire pit and Jacuzzi. The location alone will encourage you to switch off and relax, with spectacular views across the jungle out to the Pacific ocean.

Xandari Resort and Spa

Xandari is a luxury hotel located in San Jose’s beautiful Central Valley. Just 20 minutes from San Jose airport yet in the heart of the countryside, this is an idyllic hotel. Set amongst coffee plantations, close to Poas Volcano on a 40 acre private reserve with numerous nature trails and a forest within the grounds, this is the perfect place to get back to nature. The 24 spacious villas are each uniquely decorated with bright colours and a contemporary design. They feature private gardens and terraces and stunning panoramic views of the Central Valley.

Pacuare Lodge Central Valley Costa Rica

Pacuare Lodge

A luxury eco-lodge in the rainforest overlooking the Pacuare River. Named by National Geographic as one of the most scenic rivers in the world, this is a truly idyllic spot. One of the highlights of this lodge is the journey to and from it. Guests have the choice of travel by road or rafting down the Pacuare river with experienced guides; an unforgettable experience and truly unique way of reaching your hotel. The 20  individual bungalows offer spectacular views of the river and surrounding rainforest. Thatched rooves, teak floors and canopy beds complete the luxury eco-feel.

Chayote, Costa Rica

Chayote Lodge

Chayote Lodge lies on the outskirts of the Central Valley, in Llano Bonito de Naranjo. Inspired by the rich coffee culture of the region, the lodge’s architecture has been carefully designed to integrate the most noteworthy elements of the coffee pickers’ story and lifestyle. The bungalows resemble the traditional Coffee Receiving Stations known locally as Recibidores. Each of the Recibidor Suites boasts 535 sq feet of space and offers a suspended balcony over a private coffee garden, a king size bed and double sofa bed.

Casa Turire

Set in a beautiful colonial building by La Angostura Lake, Casa Turire benefits from a stunning location. In this lush green valley, the Terrialba mountains can be viewed in the distance, and the gardens of the hotel are filled with both endemic and exotic plant species which attract many different birds. Guests here are spoilt for choice when it comes to facilities and activities. Casa Turire has a gourmet restaurant and adjacent bar, a swimming pool and full spa, horseback riding and leisurely tours in the carriage, use of kayaks on the lake and peaceful walks through the grounds.

The Alta Hotel

This first class boutique hotel is secluded and elegant, and benefits from stunning views over the Valle de Sol. Just 23 rooms and suites allow guests an exclusive experience in this beautifully appointed hotel. Along with acclaimed La Luz gourmet restaurant bar & Lounge, the smoke-free hotel has an outdoor pool with whirlpool and free access to a small gym with sauna.