Las Catalinas is an innovative 1,200-acre, creatively designed, mostly car-free, seaside town constructed along a beautiful cove and surrounded by a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Guanacaste.
Developed by an Atlanta-based entrepreneur as a utopian-style community comprised of multiple neighborhoods, whose Old-World ambiance comes from contemporary cobblestone streets and bubbling fountains, this area is not a tropical Disneyland or a sun-splashed amusement park. Las Catalinas was built with the intention of creating a unique, sustainable, livable, functional community for both visitors and permanent residents.
Inspired largely by New Urbanism and the seaside hill towns of the Mediterranean, construction began in 2009. Presently, there are almost 100 homes; several small, design-savvy, deluxe boutique hotels; retail shops; eateries; and office space, with an evolving master plan including plazas, parks and an expanding residential district with panoramic views. Most of its 1,200 acres will remain undeveloped with conservation initiatives in place to preserve the area’s original lush environment.
There are about 25 miles of world-class hiking, running and mountain bike trails around Las Catalinas, all with spectacular viewpoints. The town is also flanked by two of the best beaches on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, great for body surfing, boogie boarding, standup paddle-boarding and sea kayaking. For snorkeling, the clear water is perfect for watching rays, reef fish and turtles, and excellent scuba diving is just offshore. Instruction and PADI certification are available for beginners. Swimming pools, a fitness center, colorful clothing boutiques, food markets and beachside restaurants are also available. The town even boasts a Montessori preschool for local kids, and day-care services for visiting children.
A tiered portfolio of rental homes at Las Catalinas offer properties ranging $180–7,000 per night, while hotels like the 45-room Santarena Hotel, the 21 adults-only villas at Casa Chameleon, and the intimate Posada San Rafael all provide deluxe accommodations. For those looking for more permanent housing, homes and flats are available for purchase, ranging $250,000–8.7 million. There are currently about 150 full-time residents and children.
Several major airlines service both Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport and San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport. Liberia is the closest airport to Las Catalinas (45 minutes’ drive), while Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, is another option.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
It is amazing to be marking the 19th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards with our December issue. We look forward to hosting a gala evening at The Ritz-Carlton LA Live in Los Angeles on Dec. 6 to present the best the industry has to offer, all selected by you.
Palm Springs became a destination of legend when Hollywood’s biggest and brightest during cinema’s “Golden Age” turned the desert community into their glamourous backyard. While restaurants and hotels epitomizing definitive Palm Springs luxury open, adapt and change with the times, it says something that one of its hottest restaurants sets up an outpost back in Los Angeles. And that’s exactly what chef Michael Beckman and restaurateur Joe Mourani did on the southern tip of the always-evolving Fairfax District.
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Six Senses recently announced plans to open its first Australian property in Burnham Beeches, a heritage mansion built in 1933 and situated on the 22 hectares of fern glades and forested hills of the Dandenong Ranges. The property lies 24 miles from Melbourne and neighbors Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, one of the country’s finest examples of domestic Art Deco.
My husband and I recently traveled to London, England, on vacation, our farthest trip since the pandemic started. We were there for longer than a week and planned to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible during our stay. Ahead of our trip, we knew we would want to mix in some relaxation, so we booked a couple’s massage at The Lanesborough’s spa halfway into our visit.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Since my last name is Kapitanski, I had to learn how to sail!” joked Boris Kapitanski while telling me about the 45-foot catamaran yacht he chartered with his wife and friends to sail through Croatia. They could have had it all: the captain, the chef, all the water toys, everything anyone would want to make their trip exactly how they desired. Yet they chose to forego most of that. “We like to cook. The kitchen was enclosed with windows on the top deck. We sailed past the most beautiful surroundings,” he reminisced. Jagged cliffs, textured forests and land singing with wildlife drifted by while they grilled freshly caught fish.