What comes to mind when you think of the world’s most fabulous destinations for the monied, yachting class? Mykonos or Ibiza, or St. Barts, perhaps. You’re probably not visualizing a place closer to home — say, Central America. And you’re very unlikely conjuring tranquil, low-key Costa Rica. But get ready to rethink what you know — and to tell your friends about it before they tell you.
That’s because major money pouring into a small, posh corner of the country is about to blow up the spot. Or, to blow it up more than the Kardashian clan did when they visited the place in one of their high-publicity multigenerational trips earlier this year. (Even if — oops — Kourtney referenced the destination with an embarrassing fail on Instagram.) We’re talking about the Peninsula Papagayo.
The destination is located in the Guanacaste province, in the country’s northwest. It comprises just 1,400 acres, accessible by a drive of about a half hour from Libera airport — smaller than the airport in Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose, but now easily reached by way of nonstop flights on airlines like Alaska from such popular launch points in the U.S. as LAX.
And Miami-based international luxury hospitality and residential real estate investment and development firm Gencom is right now pouring a whopping $100 million investment to overhaul the resort and residential destination.
The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica located on the peninsula — which already held the impressive distinction as the only Forbes five-star resort in Central and South America — has just closed for renovations. It's expected to reopen around the end of the year with tons of upgrades.
Cabana-lined oceanfront pool
The already stunning, all-ages-friendly resort’s new look will draw inspiration from the local environment, with a more modern design aesthetic from Meyer Davis Studio across all 181 guest room, suites, and villas, as well as the jaw-dropping open lobby with its ocean views.
The Four Seasons' new look
Look out for changes to five food and beverage offerings, plus the addition of the all-new Añejo bar and Library lounge for gathering your squad after a day of jet skiing, monkey spotting, and spa-ing.
Compare this chic look, slated to be complete by December...
...with this pretty but darker vibe before the resort's summer closure:
Insider tip: The resort is isolated — just how its guests like it — so many off-property excursions require a drive of considerable length. One exception? Go ziplining right nearby with star-favorite operator Witch's Rock Canopy Tour — where you'll see plenty of celeb pics, including, yes, those Kardashians, framed on the wall.
Overall, the peninsula has an ongoing focus on sustainability and wellness, and has its own network of miles of bio-diverse nature trails dotted with animal species for spotting. It will also get a new macaw sanctuary.
But here’s perhaps the piece de resistance, set to make Papagayo the new It-destination for wealthy sun seekers: The massive cash infusion will also go into enhancing Marina Papagayo; the 180-slip luxury marina is a premiere destination for superyachts, and the only place they can feasibly dock between Baja, Mexico and the Panama Canal.
So who’s ready for a sunset sail with a fine bottle of bubbly?