If you once ruled your backyard from the lofty perch of a treehouse—or even if you ever daydreamed about it as a kid—these soaring homes are a childhood fantasy brought to life. Rising above the riotous Costa Rica jungle, each of these architectural masterpieces boast incredible birds-eye views paired with the kind of luxurious amenities that your youthful self couldn’t even imagine.
Villa Plaisance in Papagayo
With multiple decks, terraces, and an infinity pool that stretch out over the treetops to the Papagayo Peninsula and ocean Villa Plaisance can literally take your breath away. Despite being located minutes from the Four Seasons Resort and private Prieta Beach Club—where guests are given access—this coastal villa feels secluded and tucked away. And every effort has been made to seamlessly fuse this dreamy contemporary home into the surroundings, with numerous openings to the terrace, floor-to-ceiling glass, and an open concept layout for seamless indoor-outdoor flow.
Away from the villa, access to the Four Seasons’ eleven resort restaurants, tennis center, and Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses can easily be arranged, and if you’d like to explore beyond the private sanctuary of Prieta Beach, the public beach of Playa Nacascolo is a favorite among locals, and it’s just three minutes away by car.
El Alma in Papagayo
The many levels of magical El Alma take you from the roots of the trees straight to the topiary. For forest gazing, there’s no better spot to linger than the stunning cantilevered viewing deck equipped with sun beds, or the lengthy infinity-edge swimming pool just next to it. And there’s plenty more reasons to stay outside: There’s also a plunge pool and an alfresco dining area for up to eight. When you do head inside, you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows that keep the treetop views (as well as beach and oceanfront views) front and center. The decor is meant to evoke a Zen-like sense of tranquility, with warm, intricately carved wood detailing and Buddha statues throughout the property. The wooden spiral staircase is also a highlight–its a usable work of art.
When and if you can bear to pull yourself away from this treetop wonderland, be sure to take advantage of the myriad sights and activities nearby. For example, guests at El Alma enjoy access to the members-only hideaway of Papagayo Beach Club, which has restaurants, bars, a spa, a fitness center, and more. Surfers should also check out nearby Witches Rock, one of the most popular beaches to hang ten in the world. Plus, the 18-hole, par-72 Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course is within view of the villa and is just a short walk to the clubhouse.
Casa Java in Santa Teresa
Casa Java has an incredible backstory—400 years ago, this teak mansion was built on the island of Java in Indonesia. Today, it’s been relocated to the shores of Santa Teresa and restored to an exquisite standard of modern luxury. The outdoor living spaces include a saltwater pool, plenty of hammocks and loungers, a dedicated yoga shala, a charcoal barbecue and an alfresco dining table. The airy, lofted second level truly has the look of a glam treehouse, that is, a treehouse with high-tech amenities and an eclectic mix of furnishings. Throw open the many, many shutters to let warm breezes, ocean sounds, and birdsong drift right indoors.
Just step outside to stretch out on the white sands of Santa Teresa’s North Playa or watch surfers tackle the waves; downtown Santa Teresa is also less than 10 minutes away. And by the way, if you’re traveling with a larger party, Casa Java can be rented along with its equally-stunning sister properties, Casa Capitan and Casa Dewa.
Casa Ramon in Dominical
Located near the beach-front town of Dominical and Playa Hermosa, Casa Ramon is a stunning contemporary getaway with panoramic views of the jungle and ocean. For the most treehouse-like perch, head straight to the lofted, ocean-facing viewing platform, settle into the hammock, and settle in. (It’s also an excellent spot to practice yoga.) And that’s just one of many outdoor living spaces, all laid out around the pool and jetted tub complete with a waterfall. Throughout the villa, natural materials like locally-sourced stone and wood nod to the jungle surroundings, and the open layout and high ceilings let in plenty of light and tropical breezes.
When you’re ready to explore the area, it’s a quick one-mile journey to the sands of Playa Hermosa, and five more to a surfing school, the reputable Alegre One Snorkeling, and restaurants, shops, and more in the town of Dominical.
CieloMar in Papagayo
Dramatically situated on a promontory three hundred feet above sea level, CieloMar appears to levitate above the jungle and ocean. But by far, the most incredible spot is the central bridge, which extends into midair far above the treetops and points to where the sun dips below the horizon each evening. The bridge is an ideal spot for cocktails or an al fresco meal, second only to the cantilevered infinity swimming pool which creates the dizzying illusion of swimming three hundred feet above the sea. The structural design is quite unique, a “bow and arrow” style of curving the house in a semicircle around a radial point in front of the bridge, which allows for an open-concept with complete privacy. Truly, this is a place you have to see to believe. The layout alone take a childhood fantasy of a treehouse to a whole new level.
Additional perks include a home theater, a gym, a wet bar, and two private studies; ping pong and foosball are also provided. Plus, there’s tons of sports equipment on offer—nab a bicycle, surfboard, boogie board, kayak, golf cart and clubs, paddleboard, or snorkeling equipment to explore the Papagayo Peninsula.