A friend recently asked if I had come across any “next-level rock-star villas” in Costa Rica, and, without hesitation, I recommended Art Villas. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Art Villas is THE most rock-star residence in Central America, that I have come across at least.
The extensive Art Villas resort is an imposing property comprised of three accommodation types – The Art Villa, The Atelier Villa, and The Coco. A place that is wholly at one with nature (it’s nestled in the Costa Rican jungle) Art Villas is truly like nowhere else you’ve stayed.
The Packing Edit
“Experience the freedom of the imagining mind merging with the organic world. There are no set boundaries between inside and outside.” That’s Art Villas’ vibe.
A phenomenal exercise in modern tropical architecture, The Art Villa is a magnificent five-bedroom, raw concrete architectural construct set on a steep jungle slope. Levitating amongst the verdant hills above Hermosa Beach, near the town of Uvita, with a pool protruding out to the horizon. All rooms sit on a ridge line, for full privacy and spectacular views of surrounding green hills, before the distant Pacific Coast. The Art Villa is just one of the accommodations available on the Art Villas property though. There is also its equally stunning sister property – the three-bedroom The Atelier Villa, with its garden roof, distinctive perforated aluminium canopy, and indoor/outdoor swimming pool. These properties are typically fully booked at least four months in advance, so a quick peep during my stay was all I could wangle. To say that they are uber is an understatement.
For couples and those flying solo, there’s the more modest, yet still awe-inspiring The Coco pods, which is where I stayed. An elegant example of playful glamping, The Coco are a nest of one-bed suite shelters that create a rare jungle-dwelling experience. With futuristic looking clean lines and organic silhouettes, The Coco are set against a dramatic valley landscape, and are connected via suspended platforms and pathways. The layout of each cabin is designed to take advantage of the views. Double beds are positioned on a raised floor, so guests can watch the wildlife while propped up on a woven headboard made out of climbing straps and wire mesh. The walls are all open (with roll-down clear vinyl for when it rains), and a large mosquito net envelopes the bed with an overhead fan inside that cocoon. A simple shower room and some storage for your clothes completes the stylish interior. Outside, a free-standing bathtub on the front deck, allowing for an immersive experience of the dramatic sunsets, confirms that these pods are glamping 2.0.
The Little Extras
There’s a gym and playroom in the main property that all guests have access to. Those staying in the Art Villa can also enjoy the dance hall and large pool. For kids, or grown-ups who want to unleash their inner child, Art Villas also comes equipped with a tunnel which slides guests into a plunge pool – a small body of water which is also accessible to Coco guests. Just be sure to watch out for anyone incoming from the top! A recent addition to the property is The Wing – a yoga pavilion and spa with sauna, with plans for a bigger pool for Coco pod guests.
The Food + Drink
Another unique selling point for the Coco accommodations is the communal kitchen pavilion, which guests can use to prepare their own meals. There is a dramatic cabinet wall in the colour of mamónchinos (a red-hued tropical fruit) containing two large refrigerators and freezers along with food cupboards that need to be locked at night so as not to be raided by the local pizotes (a rodent similar to a racoon). This shared kitchen is not an offering that’s currently clearly promoted on the website or welcome information; still, it was certainly a very welcome offering to me, as I had been solo travelling for a few months and was craving the opportunity to prepare my own clean and lean meals for a change from hotel dining. Well-equipped and spacious, the open-air kitchen, with dreamy views of the surrounding lushness, impressed on all counts.
For those less inclined to do the grocery shopping and their own cleaning up, there is also a chef on-site who can prepare meals, as long as she has sufficient notice. The weekly menu takes a farm-to-table culinary approach and features comfortingly simple dishes, such as poke bowls or pasta pomodoro, and breakfast included eggs or vegan options, with special requests available as well.
The To-Do List
The beauty of the Art Villas resort is that it’s remote, so it’s best to have a car to explore the local town, waterfalls, and beach as taxis can be costly.