The luxurious Four Seasons Resort on Costa Rica’s glamorous Papagayo Peninsula just unveiled its reimagined spa—a sanctuary that fuses local healing culture with the beauty of its natural surroundings. Jetsetter takes an inside look.
While hiking, surfing, and wildlife-spotting are some of Costa Rica’s greatest pastimes, it is the locals’ attitude and appreciation for life that connects it all. “¡Pura vida!” (Spanish for “pure life”) is a saying that reverberates throughout the country—more than just a greeting, it’s an entire lifestyle. Needless to say, wellness is taken very seriously here, none so seriously as at the spa at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, a gorgeous 1,400-acre retreat where the rainforest meets the sea. Reimagined as part of a $35 million renovation last December, the sprawling spa is utterly tranquil—all wood and stone and hanging lanterns, with an earthy aesthetic that melts into its jungle surrounds. Forget a single relaxation room: here, pre- and post-treatment areas ensure you never have to mingle with those who haven’t yet Zenned out.
In the new pre-treatment relaxation lounge, gemstone-infused water (rose quartz, amethyst, and clear quartz)—said to improve your pH and oxygen levels—puts you immediately into “no stress” mode. On opposite sides, men’s and women’s locker rooms offer rainfall showers, steam rooms, and dreamy outdoor terraces with hot and cool hydrotherapy pools facing the distant ocean. Warning: lingering here longer than intended is inevitable.
Of course, you’re ultimately here for your treatment. The menu incorporates indigenous ingredients into its body scrubs, wraps and massages—ylang-ylang leaves, local volcanic clay, coconut oils—which pinpoint specific ailments and honor local traditions. The bamboo massage, for example, applies fresh-cut bamboo stems to deep pressure points for relieving stress and muscle tension (ideal after hours spent paddle-boarding or hiking the property’s many trails), while the rainforest aromatherapy massage soothes the senses using essential oils and fragrances you choose yourself (and begins and ends with the calming sound of a rainstick). Enjoy it alongside ocean views, a private sauna, or your own hammam—all 18 treatment rooms offer individual perks.
Your experience doesn’t end after you’ve re-robed. In the post-treatment relaxation area, guests are handed a spicy, rejuvenating juice cocktail (ginger with sugarcane and lemon) while an attendant practices sound therapy with a set of Tibetan bowls. Still not ready to leave this heavenly utopia? Indoor cabanas are private, cushy, and available to linger in as long as you please. Pura vida, indeed.