Harmony Hotel, Nosara Costa Rica Review - Balance, Harmony and Tranquility Reign

The drive from Liberia to The Harmony Hotel near the town of Nosara is beautiful; we cross rivers and pass through small towns … stopping at a roadside restaurant for a “local lunch”. Lawrence invites our driver to join us; we make friends with the owner and have a fun time discovering delicious typical Costa Rican dishes, cooked and served with love.

The Harmony Hotel, a sustainable luxury hotel, is a member of the Cayuga Collection which includes nine Small Luxury properties in surrounding parts of Costa Rica.

A local described The Harmony Hotel as Brazilian Modernism with 70’s surf culture and understated elegance. My room, close to the swimming pool and al fresco restaurant is nicely furnished. In addition to the shower in the bathroom, there is an outdoor shower on a large patio that has been fenced in for privacy, and is decorated with a couch and hammock. I enjoy this added amenity and spend down time out there relaxing.

The room rate includes breakfast, and every morning we eat like a local, enjoying a healthy meal that includes a wide selection of dishes: fresh fruits, eggs cooked any style, and the traditional rice and beans mixed with cilantro and butter that is served with a side of sour cream and lazano salsa, a locally made vegetable seasoning. Many of the guests we meet come here often, mainly for the surfing and the hotel’s low key ambiance. There are many Americans living here, and the area is called the “American Project”.


We spend our days by the pool and in the sea.

A path cut through dense vegetation leads to a beach that is strewn with driftwood sculptures in the shape of a sea horse, a turtle and other animals.  The surf rolls in with respect, making this a surfer’s paradise. In the late afternoon, we wade out into the shallow waters, to watch the silhouettes of surfers against the fiery blaze of the setting sun; a horizontal rainbow adds to the magic. I feel an emotional connection to nature that will remain indelible in my memory.

At night we have a drink at the bar, and then settle in at a table for a delicious meal of fresh caught fish and locally grown vegetables.

I take note that the restaurant is filled with a mix of locals and hotel guests. General Manager Andres Fernandez is most gracious in welcoming us and accommodating our needs, as are other staff members. 

The hotel Healing Center, tucked under a thatched roof pagoda style structure, is surrounded by trees and different animals that saunter through. There are daily yoga classes and five massage treatment rooms, including a couple’s suite The Creative Director tells me, “guest therapists come here from all over the world for training. there is a high level of energy and integrity. I would like to see us grow with the local community. We stay connected to the earth; we keep it simple, offering the best for our guests. We’re just here to do healing therapy rooted in safety and alignment”.

The second night we take the recommendation of another guest and make our way to Marlin Bill’s. With flashlight in hand, we follow a dark dusty rutted road to this popular seafood restaurant and bar.  Bill, an American, has lived here with his wife for 21 years. He and his partner welcome us with a heart felt “glad you’re here; thanks for coming”. My blackened dorado is served with mashed potatoes, salad and fresh grown local seasonal vegetables. Thanks to Bill’s jovial personality, honest cooking and fresh fish, it is a memorable and fun evening.

After our three night stay, a shuttle takes us to the tiny airstrip in the small town of Nosara where we board a Nature Air commuter for the short flight to San Jose.  The thrill of flying low over the natural beauty and dense vegetation of this beautiful country is inspiring and memorable.

TerraNova Tours has arranged an overnight stayat The Alta Hotel whichsits high on a hill in the town of Santana, overlooking

San Jose.  Recently purchased by Nature Air, this 25 room castle like gem offers panoramic breathtaking views, and at night the lights of the city below sparkle like jewels. I am happily ensconced in the “master suite”; the terrace is huge. Traditional colorful tile steps lead up to the sunken tub that sits in a window, the walk in shower with two strong massage shower heads is a welcome morning wake up.

After a refreshing shower, we meet Giovanna Jimenez and Bismarck Campos, our hosts from Terra Nova Tours, for dinner in the hotel restaurant which overlooks the swimming pool and the city. The local fish of the day, cooked a la plancha and served with rice is moist, savory and delicious.

In the morning Lawrence goes off on a day of adventure before his flight back to LA.  I meet Frederic Spahr, the charming hotel manager, who comes to the helm with a broad professional hospitality background. Frederic shares future plans for a unique hotel spa and coffee bar.  Bismarck sends a car to take me to the airport, and I am off on a Sansa Air flight back to Liberia.

In Costa Rica the surf is inviting, the sunsets magnificent and the breezes refreshing. Here balance, harmony and tranquility reigns, but it is the warm and welcoming people we met who touched our hearts.

My thanks to TerraNova Tours for organizing our visit to the land of “pura vida”. 

For more info:

Harmony Hotel

Alta Hotel

Nature Air

Terra Nova Tours:  [email protected]   Toll free: from the USA: 1-888-500-2871



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