Kasiiya Papagayo Luxury Eco Retreat ♦ Papagayo Gulf, Costa Rica
You are looking for a real time out? You want to put all your thoughts aside and earth yourself? We found the perfect place. This place is absolute luxury in a very pleasant way. No forced friendliness or submissiveness, as it is known from other luxury accommodations.
The peace and energy of the environment of this place is the real luxury. Perfect service, amazing food and great accommodation in the beauty of Matapalito Bay. We have never seen a place like this before.
Arrival and location
Kasiiya Papagayo Eco Retreat [ad] is located in the Gulf of Papagayo on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It takes about five hours by car from the capital San Jose to Kasiiya Papagayo in the province of Guanacaste.
If you are not arriving from San Jose, you can alternatively fly to Liberia and drive to Kasiiya Papagayo in about 90 minutes.
The last few kilometers are a bit adventurous. You need an off-road vehicle. We had a 4WD and needed it even though it was dry. Alternatively, you can have your transport organized by the reception at Kasiiya Papagayo. We definitely had fun getting there.
When you pass the entrance gate to Kasiiya Papagayo, check out of the world and enter an impressive place - far away from other hotels or houses.
This retreat is located in a small forest right on the beach at Playa Matapalito - an approximately 300-meter-wide fine sandy beach that slopes gently into the Pacific.
Philosophy, equipment and design
All tents or buildings are constructed in a manner, that they blend with the surrounding nature and are not visible from the sea, when looking at the beach.
The combination of wooden platforms and luxury tents was chosen to keep the impact on flora and fauna as low as possible. After the wooden platforms were completed, nature was given a year to regenerate around the platforms.
The footprint of the Kasiiya is said to be as small as possible in the vision of the owner Mehdi. All energy consumed by Kasiiya Papagayo is generated from solar panels. The vehicles in the resort area are operated exclusively by electricity.
At the time of our visit, there were five guest tents in Kasiiya Papagayo. These are large safari-style tents. All tents arte built on wooden platforms, that are about 1.50 meters above the ground. AThey are far apart of each other, so absolute privacy is guaranteed.
Inside the tent, there is a large king-size bed with an incredibly comfortable mattress and silky sheets. From your bed, you'll have a beautiful view of the terrace, the forest, the palm trees and the sea beyond.
There is a large wardrobe next to the bed where you can store your clothes. The free laundry service is very convenient.
In your tent, you will find a comfortable couch for relaxing and the "minibar box", which is cooled by cooling batteries without electricity. You will also find regional tea and coffee. The tea blends were specially prepared for Kasiiya Papagayo. Choose from the blends Pause, Breath and Discover. Various snacks such as M&Ms, pistachios and nuts are available in small glasses.
Now to the bathroom. This area is separated into two parts. The sink and toilet are in a separate adjoining room inside the tent. The shower and the bathtub are outdoors on the porch of the platform.
For us, this part was the highlight of the accommodation. We especially liked the design of the bathtub and sink. Staggered copper with a little patina in contrast to the dominant wooden look - just wonderful to look at.
All shower and bath products are environmentally friendly and sustainable - also very fragrant and pleasant on the skin.
In addition to the bathroom area, there are two wooden loungers and two chairs with a small table on the terrace.
A staircase leads down from the veranda and a path continues on wooden planks, which merges into fine sand and ends on the beach. Each tent has its own beach access.
There is a Kasiiya kit in the room - equipped with environmentally friendly and also highly effective mosquito oil, radio and headlamps. You'll find an umbrella in case of rain or someone handing over a glass of water or offers a towel. We loved that style of service. Everything was thought of.
Culinary at Kasiiya Papagayo Eco Retreat
At Kasiiya Papagayo, every booking includes full board. Any allergies or intolerances are checked upon arrival, so all wishes can be catered.
With a maximum of ten guests in Kasiiya at the same time, the restaurant area is a very quiet and private experience. All dishes are served to your table. There is always a small but very high quality selection of menu options.
If you want to drink a coffee or tea in cozy togetherness in your tent right after getting up, you will find a small thermos with hot water in front of your door, when you wake up. Brew your own hot drink.
For breakfast, we mostly had egg dishes to taste, tropical fruits, toast with homemade jams, yogurt with granola and fresh fruit juices as well as coffee or tea. When you come back from breakfast, room service was already there and made your room.
At lunchtime, there was always a three-course menu. Really wonderful and very balanced, so we were always satiesfied, but never had an uncomfortable feeling of fullness.
For example, we had a crostini with octopus as a starter, Kasiiya rice as a main course, which is similar to an Asian Nasi Goreng, and delicious fruit sorbets as a dessert.
The place for having dinner is not on beach level like breakfast and lunch, but on a cliff, that towers about 50 meters above the beach. You will be picked up and driven up to the restaurant area with the golf buggy. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the Pacific with delicious cocktails and then take a seat for dinner.
There were also three courses for dinner. The first evening we had a BBQ with surf & turf. Truly awesome.
The second evening, we chose beef fillet for the main course and what can I say - it was the best steak, we have ever had. So far, I've always had the humble opinion, that I grill the best steaks myself, but this Argentinian chef did an excellent job. By the way, the beef was from Nicaragua. I had never had beef from Nicaragua before, but in a long conversation with Sergio - our waiter that evening - I realized that I had missed something so far. By the way, Sergio is from Nicaragua.
The food was fantastic all three days. The quality of the ingredients was outstanding. The service was fast, reliable and the chat with the employees was always very pleasant.
When all guests have finished their dinner, lights are turned off and candles are the only permanent light source. The darkness and the remoteness allow an incredibly clear view of the starry sky and, with a little luck, of the Milky Way.
When you return to your room from dinner, a little sweet treat in the form of chocolate and tea awaits you with a nice saying.
You won't get bored at Kasiiya Papagayo.
Relax on one of the two beaches. In addition to Matapalito Beach already mentioned, you can visit Portuguesa Beach. Both beaches are separated by the cliff, on which the dinner restaurant is located. Both beaches are fine sandy and clean. We really enjoyed taking a long walk there. The water is warm and, depending on weather and current, also very clear.
We were particularly impressed by the abundance of animals in Matapalito Bay. We saw anteaters, raccoons and iguanas in the forest and around our tent.
At night, turtles keep laying eggs on the beach. Unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to witness this. But we could see many fresh traces and holes in the beach.
In the shallow water, eagle rays and mobula rays came close to shore. Incredible feeling.
While snorkeling, we saw green sea turtles and Olive Ridley turtles. Colorful reef fish, lobsters and moray eels are also found on the rocky reef in the bay. Right in the bay is Punta Gorda, a rock in the sea, that is one of the best and most famous diving spots in whole Costa Rica.
You can of course snorkel alone, but we would recommend, that you take advantage of nature guide Manfred. In addition to snorkeling, Manfred guides you in kayaking, hiking or cruising on a stand-up paddle board.
Manfred is from Costa Rica. He is an incredibly friendly and pleasant person. We enjoyed every minute with him. He has incredible knowledge of flora and fauna and of the people and history of Costa Rica. In addition to this, he and the owner of Kasiiya Papagayo are planning some measures to protect the ecosystem in the bay and to educate the area´s children about environment.
All activities, you do with Manfred are already included in your booking.
Everything, that has to do with yoga or other meditation and relaxation techniques is in the responsibility of Bruno. Just ask him about his offers.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the time for that, but Bruno makes a very friendly impression.
If you feel like diving or a free diving, the reception and management team around Catalina, Arbid and Fabio will be happy to organize that for you.
The program also includes SPA service, but our stay was too short for that. Nature was just too overwhelming.
The Wilderness Retreat Kasiiya Papagayo is the best place, we have ever stayed at. Everything is just right here. We didn't find a single point of criticism.
Since we have been guests in many high-end hotels in the past few years, we always notice things, that are to improve. Our dinner conversations are often about what we would do differently, if the hotel was ours.
At Kasiiya Papagayo, there was really nothing to complain about. The owner Mehdi also asked us, if we see any potential for improvement. We had to owe him the answer and that was not out of courtesy.
This place is just incredible.
Watch our video about Kasiiya Papagayo,