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Playa Cativo in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Occupying a serene spot on America's only tropical fiord along the Golfo Dulce, the boutique hotel of Playa Cativo is enveloped in the snug embrace of the Piedras Blancas National Park and set on 1000 acres of lush private rainforest. A tranquil beach overlooks the crystalline waters off the Southern Costa Rican coast and guests set up lounge chairs on the meticulously groomed lawn to gaze across the expanse. All quarters, designed in contemporary eco-luxe style, are kitted out with polished reclaimed hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings, and large picture windows for stellar ocean views. Accommodations are within steps of the sand and offer all modern comforts such as wireless Internet access, ceiling fans, in-room safes and coffee makers. Bathrooms provide soothing rainfall showers, biodegradable toiletries and plush cotton robes.

Playa Cativo is a prime spot to reconnect with nature by way of moseying around the groomed butterfly and bird-filled gardens. Or opt for a more adventurous manner to get up close and personal with Costa Rica's environment: Partake in a nocturnal rainforest expedition, a wetland bird watching tour or a half-day snorkeling excursion all organized by the hotel concierge. If it is pampering guests are after, they can book a plein air massage treatment or find inner balance during an al fresco Yoga class. More of a bookish type? Hole up at the hotel’s library and pick from a well-rounded selection of riveting reads. There is an outdoor fresh-water pool perfect for lazing in the sun after a day spent exploring – and a great spot to enjoy an ice-cold indigenous craft beer with mesmerizing sunset views. For dinner, turn to El Gavilán Restaurant. Seasonal organic produce harvested from the on-site farm and locally caught seafood is repurposed in traditional and modern Costa Rican and international dishes. Sit back, relax and experience Playa Cativo's striking native beauty and natural treasures for the ultimate peaceful beach escape.

Location of Playa Cativo

Playa Cativo
Playa Cativo, Golfito
Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Nearest Airport: SJO

Amenities for Playa Cativo

  • Dining
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Room Service
  • Organic Cuisine
  • Vegetarian Cuisine
  • Bar & Restaurant
  • On-Site Amenities
  • Hiking Trails
  • Library
  • Fitness Center
  • WiFi
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Gardens
  • Beach Access
  • In-Room Amenities
  • Private Patios or Balconies
  • Bathrobes
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hair Dryers
  • In-Room Safes
  • Mini Bar
  • Luxury Bath Amenities
  • WiFi
  • Activities
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Nature Walks
  • Yoga
  • Whale Watching
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Hand Line Fishing
  • Nature Hikes
  • Nearby
  • Beach
  • National Park
  • Interests
  • Active & Adventure
  • Eco Friendly Luxury Vacations
  • Honeymoons & Romance

Reviews for Playa Cativo

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TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is not a review, but a report of our booking experience. In early July 2017 we contacted the Lodge and booked the Wildlife and Birding Lovers package for five nights in January 2018. We paid a 25% deposit (over 1,000 dollars). Unfortunately in mid October we were informed that they 'must rearrange our reservation' due to problems with the construction work being done to expand the property. We were unable to alter our itinerary, so they helped us to book another lodge in the Piedras Blancas National Park. After several emails, our deposit was finally refunded towards the end of November. In January 2018, on a boat trip in the Golfo Dulce, we saw builders working atop another multi storey building being constructed at the Lodge. Importantly, these booking problems were the only ones we experienced during our five week stay in Costa Rica. But beware ... we were disappointed with the cancellation and concerned about the seven week delay in returning our deposit.

Worksop - UK

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wow what an amazing place. We were so lucky that they kept the place open for our stay in December. The hotel is undergoing construction/expansion, which was meant to have finished in Oct but overran, hence it closing from Jan-April i believe. Like the review below we were informed in late October, and the hotel even generously offered us 50% back as compensation against the works. No problems with this refund, and i'm so glad we didn't look elsewhere. The works did not bother us one bit, most of the work was done to the buildings and it looked like just some landscaping to be finished when we arrived just before Christmas. The place is simply amazing, love the feel of the old big house with a few areas to chill in, read, play games, have a drink... We stayed in Cativo lodge, so a bit away from the main building. Perfect with its glassless windows opening into the bay. A couple of loungers in the garden area, and loved how they have a minibar in the porch/veranda area, peferct to enjoy a evening beer in. Oh and the open bathroom, AMAZING. From the toilet you can see the sea, and the shower you can see the hills and the jungle. Also love how they kept to an eco friendly philosophy whilst still providing luxury. Really an example for all hotels. No needless daily washing of towels and bedsheets. Bath products are all natural and eco friendly. And the hotel is powered by Solar and Water power only! Wifi was everywhere, not that you need it with such nature. No need for alarms as the howler monkeys start before sunrise. So much nature around. Also when we were relaxing by the pool one morning the howlers were relaxing on the trees up the hills, so one of the guides set up a telescope so we could spy on them. Just one of the little things the staff kept on doing to make it such an amazing stay. All the staff were wonderful, unfortunately i can only remember a few names now, but what an awesome job they did every day to make our stay and trips perfect. For us at the end of an adventurous 10 days travelling, this was the perfect place to relax and not do a lot, still we explored the grounds, made a couple of trips to the pier, saw the farm, hiked to the waterfall, saw lots of dolphins and did some snorkeling. And all with exquisite service. The Chef was amazing. For three nights we had different veggie meals, and he even let us in to his kitchen to see some of his trade secrets. Delicious and healthy food! Really do wish i was still there more than a month later. I guess my only concern would be how they maintain the level of service when they have more guests. I hope i get to go back one day and find out for myself.

Chi0Nine - London, United Kingdom

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 2 months ago

Our stay at Playa Cativo Lodge was truly spectacular. The hotel sits within the Piedras Blancas National Park and you feel as though you’ve arrived in a part of the world totally remote from everyday life. The boat ride from the port in Golfito, a 20 minute drive, set the stage for us when 6 bottlenose dolphin came up and swam along with our boat. The lodge itself is lovely, and the staff cares deeply both about their hotel, of which they are justly proud, and also about your experience. The rainforest surrounding the lodge is home to magnificent animals which you can see in a variety of ways including guided and self guided tours - in addition to the dolphin, we saw animals such as Coatis, Howler Monkeys, Scarlet Macaws and everything in between. Overall, Playa Cativo Lodge is an amazing gem!


TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 2 months ago

Me, my wife, and our four kids stayed two nights at Playa Cativo. We wish we had stayed a week. There aren’t enough positive words to say about this place and the people who work there. The food was incredible, the people treated us like family, and I’m not sure there’s a more relaxing place on earth. If you want quiet or adventure...they have both. We will be going back!

praterron - Alexandria, Virginia

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 2 months ago

We were the second guests to arrive at Playa Cativo after it reopened in mid-December. The Lodge was closed during much of the rainy season while new guest living quarters were being constructed. While construction continues, it was not intrusive at all and we were hardly aware of it. This may be the first time in all the reviews I've written where I'd like to add another star to the five star rating system. We've come to expect outstanding service in our trips to Costa Rica, but the level of service achieved by the Playa Cativo staff during our stay was above our highest expectation. I'm sure the reopening along with just a few guests were important factors, but service at this level doesn't just happen. It happens because management is committed to it happening. I counted 8 staff members who greeted us with cold towels and drinks when we arrived by boat and immediately informed us that we had been upgraded to the premium level accommodation. We had lunch on the front porch, had a tour of the grounds and then were escorted to our separate lodge about 100 yards from the main facility. I've attached a few pictures to give you an idea of this jaw dropping suite. I'm also happy to report that complimentary wifi is available throughout the grounds not just at the main lodge. Weather was great during our stay from December 15th to the 18th, meals were of a fine dining quality, and our birding tours and particularly the mangrove tour by boat were first rate. The mangrove tour was private with guide and boat captain and included a picnic lunch. We saw roughly 15 to 20 bird species and several crocodiles on the ride along with dolphins riding in our wake on the return trip. On another excursion, we saw our first anteater up close and personal as our guide Luis spotted him climbing a coconut palm only steps from the main lodge. We had a small pool at our lodge so didn't get around to enjoying the large pool facility next to the main lodge. We did have a special barbeque dinner with the other guest couple around the pool, and not only was the meal special but we had the opportunity of getting to know the other couple visiting from Luxembourg. Sunsets were spectacular all three evenings, and after the third we went on a night hike with Luis (our guide for all five of our excursions). We ended up the night hike at our lodge where the staff had prepared a surprise dinner served on our deck including a chilled bottle of wine to accompany the whole red snapper entrée. A waiter was with us during the entire meal to serve each course relayed to him from the main lodge. I still have a hard time believing this happened, but I do have pictures proving it! Upon our departure the entire staff gathered to wish us safe travels by boat to Puerto Jimenez. We won't forget this three day stay at Playa Cativo for a very long time. Bravo!

ValueFinder29455 - Kiawah Island, South Carolina

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