While “sheltering in place”, drinking my coffee, trying to homeschool the kids, I find myself daydreaming of my happy place. In February, my husband and I were lucky enough to take an adult only trip to Punta Islita. The hotel is apart of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Guanacaste is a special place, it is one of five regions in the word that is termed a “blue zone”, which means that people typically live to be over 100. You can sense the healthy lifestyle of this region where all of the food is locally sourced, it is eco friendly, and the community is intertwined in the hotel.

We took a direct flight from Newark to San Jose. After landing at the airport, we had a car service to get to the resort. It is a 2 hr car ride but well worth the drive to get to paradise. Our driver would also stop to show us monkeys and other local spots along the ways, so it was also like a tour of the area.

When we arrived at the resort we were overwhelmed by its beauty. It isn’t like your typical hotel at all. The lobby area sits up on a hill overlooking the ocean with the most amazing views. We were quickly checked in by Marvin with sipping a complimentary refreshing drink. We were then escorted to our room, well it was more like our own cottage then room. The hotel is not one building, but several cottages, villas and houses spread out among the resort. Some of the villas and houses have their own pools and can accommodate up 10 people, perfect for a family reunion. We had our own patio and hammock looking over the ocean. It was magnificent! The rooms could use a little updating and refresh, but given you are in the middle of paradise, the room wasn’t our priority.

The highlight of the Punta Islita for us was all of the activities that were included in our room rate. Ziplining, horseback riding, cooking class, mixology class, yoga, hiking and much more were all available to do as many times as you would like. The staff was so amazing and you could see how much they care about the guest and community. It was the perfect mix of activity and relaxation.

My husband and I decided to do an activity not included at the resort. We took a 4-hour boat ride to whale watch, fish and swim in the ocean. What a great decision to do so! I didn’t think we were going to see any whales, but not only did we see several we were within 5 ft of them. It was amazing and something we will never forget!

After our activities in the morning, we loved to hang by the pool or the ocean. Because the resort sits up on a mountain, it a little hike to get to the beach. However, they have a shuttle that will take you back and forth from the lobby. There is quite a bit of walking though, so if you have difficulty with stairs this could be a challenge.

The food at the resort was delicious! It was fresh and locally sourced. There are two restaurants on the property. They both changed their menu daily and were very accomodating to make any meal you would like. There was also a restaurant about 5 minutes away that was fantastic. The chef, Miguel and his wife, Maria own and run the restaurant. The menu changes daily based on what ingredients he can source locally. It is a fun atmosphere and a gathering place for a lot of the locals working in the area.

I would highly recommend going to Punta Islita if you are looking for fun, adventure and relaxation in a unique environment! Something to look forward to when all of this craziness is over and we can celebrate! Go to our YouTube channel, Samantha, Sass and Sports to see a full tour of our trip: Costa Rica

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