Marriott International’s W Hotels has opened the W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal, the first W Hotel in the country, which also includes the first full-service bar located inside an Away Spa.
Located within a 2,300-acre nature reserve near an internationally-renowned surf spot, the W Costa Rica includes 150 bedrooms, all designed with the beauty of the natural area – including the nearby beach and jungle – in mind.
The hotel’s spa is designed for guests to detox, retox and "get social", with its own Away Spa Bar – a first for the brand. The spa experience has also been given a makeover, as guests are offered group and semi-private treatments to mix and mingle – with or without a cocktail.
Six private treatment rooms are modelled after butterfly cocoons, a design that pays homage to the country’s 1,500-plus species of butterflies, which make up approximately 18 per cent of the world’s butterfly population.
The WET Deck (the W pool) honours the wheels of Costa Rica’s colourful 'Carreta Tipica' – oxcarts that can be found across the country – with a mosaic interpretation of the mandala-like designs inlaid in the hot tub within the hotel’s pool and throughout the interiors of the sunken Wet Bar.
Designed by Mister Important Design, alongside the in-house design team at W Hotels and Ronald Zurcher Architects, the W Hotel Costa Rica uses elements of the landscape, as well as the historical roots of the region, with design elements that combine land and sea with culture and history.
Upon arrival, guests are ushered through an avenue of 2,000 Bursera Simaruba trees (or “Indios Desnudos”) – a living fence traditionally grown by local farmers to pen in livestock. The brand’s signature 'W' sign is a negative space among a bright red wall that wraps around the Wheels area (valet).
As guests approach the Living Room (the brand’s spin on the traditional hotel lobby), floor-to-ceiling stone and wooden panels line the walls of the hallway, mimicking one of Costa Rica’s favourite instruments, the marimba. The indoor-outdoor Living Room immerses guests in the Guanacaste Forest, with wooden structures towering above the outdoor areas, mirroring the shape of the province’s famous namesake trees.
At the far end of the Living Room, a giant curvaceous wooden pillar is engraved to reflect the textures and patterns of the Costa Rican pineapple, the global symbol of hospitality and one of Costa Rica’s most important economic drivers.
Each of the hotel’s 150 guestrooms features mini surfboards that extend from the walls of each MixBar (mini bar), along with curvaceous wooden headboards inspired by the commonly seen Oropendola birds and their woven basket nests. Spanning the walls of each room’s sleek bathroom and vanity space is a Chorotega-style design, showcasing the artistry of Guaitil handcrafted pottery. Every room has also been fitted with an in-room draft beer tap filled with a local brew.
The Tree House Suites at W Costa Rica are nestled into the mangroves, while The Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) features a large faceted wood wall, expansive bar, fully-stocked library, wrap-around deck, private pool and a marble surfboard which serves as a dining table. The oversized bed is shaped like a cloud and positioned to offer guests a view of the suite’s private pool and the ocean beyond.
"The land of 'Pura Vida' is where the playful spirit of the W brand was born to run free," said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide. "The people, the culture and the beauty of this country all meet to create a paradise unlike any other, and W Costa Rica will celebrate it all."