travel blackbook: NOSARA

by Wednesday, January 4, 2017

GIRLS GONE MILD

From Nantucket to Nosara: a blACKbook wellness retreat 

hollyAs many of you know, I am a huge fan of places that are hard to get to. So when I decided to take the big trip from the Grey Lady to Nosara, I immediately knew I was in for a treat. This once sleepy surf town on the northwest coast of Costa Rica has certainly changed over the years… but with a mindful evolution of a resort town comes quality vacation experiences.
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After a busy Stroll weekend of early libations and late night parties, I knew I needed a getaway … and saying yes to a wellness week was the perfect was to get bACK to neutral. Here is how my girls and I savored a week in NOSARA.




THE STAY… 7 Palmas 

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We decided to go the VILLA route in Nosara and stayed at 7 Palmas. This four bedroom, three and a half bathroom luxury villa is situated just a five minute walk to main beach, and has one of the prettiest pools I have ever seen.
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With an entire jungle located right behind the waterscape, you truly feel like you’re in a lush rainforest! When I’m on a retreat, I love the ability to cook in at night, create lavish breakfasts of fresh fruits and savor decadent local pastries.
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7 Palmas offered a chefs kitchen as well as an indoor and outdoor dining area that had us totally feeling like we were home from the moment we arrived. (We even cooked in three of our five nights!) Designed as a perfect multi-family house and also ideal for couples, this new property is open, airy and filled with natural light.
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The second floor master bedrooms each come with their own private decks, a/c, and master suite baths with massive showers, duel vanities and a separate bathroom stall.
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While Nosara is as a safe space, it was also nice to know the home came with a security guard at night, just to add to the feeling of really being taken care of on all levels. 7 Palmas also has its own personal concierge from Pura Vida Management with Surfing Nosara … They had it so our rental car was at the house when we arrived, they made our dinner reservations on busy weekend nights and answered every question we had via WhatsApp at rapid speed.
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Pretty much it was the most seamless experience from the sweet landing to the (saddened) departure. Check out how you can stay and play at 7 Palmas this winter by clicking below:


THE SURF… SAFARI SURF SCHOOL

surfing Nosara is known for the waves… and yes, I am a total novice surfer, so when I knew we were going to hang ten, I promised myself two things… One, I would not get too down on myself if I couldn’t get up on the board. And two, by God, I was going to get up on that board.
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We connected with the best of the best, The Safari Surf School which has been teaching surf lessons and giving the ultimate surf experience in Nosara since 1999. This local company offers so many different options when it comes to the waves that I felt like I wanted to come back to spend a week with them alone! Our surf instructors, Marlon and Helberth, were like old friends, making sure we felt just as comfortable on the board on land as we did when we headed out into the water.
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In just two lessons, we were all surfing and catching wave after wave. It was a highlight for sure and these guys made us feel like we were just one of them… love this company! (And yes… I did get up… after the second lesson and it was one of the best feelings ever!) Find out more about this surf company below:

SAFARI SURF SCHOOL


THE SAND: PLAYA GUIONES

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The beaches in Nosara are some of the prettiest I have seen… but take note.. it gets HOT during the day and this is a place that boasts an active community. So you’re best getting a morning beach session in, then enjoying a healthy lunch and a yoga class in the afternoon and coming back for sunset, a surf and a cervesa around 4:30PM.
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I also love that there is a town law that no structure can be built within 200 meters of the beach… every slice of sand heaven is incredibly pristine and will always remain so. And trust me… those Nosara beach sunsets are divine.


THE SHIVASANA… BODHI TREE & HARMONY HOTEL

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 Everybody say OMMMMM…. As my friend Jess said, “Nosara is a vortex of good vibes” and yoga is a huge part of this special spot … Bodhi Tree and Harmony Hotel both have extraordinary offerings on a daily basis. I brought down one of my favorite Nantucket yoga instructors with me to be able to have yoga at our villa at 7 Palmas as well as take classes together in the town.
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The Bodhi Tree feels like yoga in a tree house and has such a beautiful entrance that you can’t help but pause and reflect for how stunning this space is… The practice was amazing and we took a level two class with a beautiful instructor named Melanie who made each one of us feel incredible. Afterwards we went upstairs and enjoyed some smoothies and WiFi and relaxed in their lounge… magic spot for sure.
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I had one of the most transformative yoga experieces in Nosara at the Harmony Hotel. This stunning studio makes you feel like you are in a jungle… Our yoga practice was brought to us by an amazing woman named Terra who led us through an intermediate class with one of the best playlists I have ever practiced with. I highly recommend looking into this stunning hotel and checking out their yoga schedule. We loved exploring the hotel’s property and finishing it off with lunch at their gorgeous restaurant.


 THE FULL NOSARA EXPERIENCE

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When I tell you that this Nosara Experience felt like a dream… it’s because what I am about to describe will most definitely sound surreal. Still rivers, lush wildlife, paddling though a calming rainstorm then walking to a deserted black sand beach where our guide cut up fresh pineapple and opened up coconuts for us to sip water from… yesthis happened. We took our final afternoon in Nosara to explore the natural side of the village with the Experience Nosara adventure tour company! Looking for a workout while you savor the wildlife? Sign up for a guided tour and grab a stand up paddle board or a kayak and get ready to really soak in the surroundings… the scenery will stay with you long after you’ve gotten back to your hometown.
 EXPERIENCE NOSARA


EATS + DRINKS

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Looking for late night action? Keep driving. Nosara is most active for snacking and sipping during the day and at sunset, with many spots closing before 10PM… But don’t get me wrong, this was exactly what we were looking for. While we enjoyed shopping for local food at the Supermercado…
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…we also loved the convenience of the street food and food trucks and would often grab fresh coconuts on the side of the road and hydrate right there!
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Our favorite lunches included fresh strawberry and goat cheese salad, chicken tacos, and jalepeno mango margaritas at Beach Dog Cafe
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… we loved grabbing smoothies at The Harmony Hotel‘s Juice Bar and savoring a lunch of local fish and innovative sushi and their beautiful restaurant…
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…and when it comes to dining, you can’t go to Nosara without relishing a sunset and a unforgettable delicious dining experience at LA LUNA … this place feels like Galley Beach meets Costa Rica with a locally inspired menu (get the pizzas, ceviche and antipasti platter) and a beyond fresh cocktail list to boot! Bring that camera… you’re going to want to freeze time here!



 11 NOSARA TRAVEL BLACKBOOK MUSTS:

1.  BEST COLD PRESSED JUICE: BODHI TREE

2. AMAZING YOGA CLASS: HARMONY HOTEL

3. AUTHENTIC BREAKFAST SPOT: ROSI’S SODA TICA

4.  HOT NEW COFFEE BAR: OLIA 

5. HOT BOUTIQUE: BAZZAR

(and be sure to grab a dress and wear it to the owners’s amazing Tulum inspired restaurant LA CASA)

6. HOT PLACE FOR SUNSET: LA LUNA and any beach spot

7.  BEST WAY TO GET AROUND: QUAD! get a 4×4!

8.  DELISH TREAT: That Harmony Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookie

9.  MUST HAVE COCKTAIL : Mango Jalepeno Margarita at BEACH DOG CAFE (ps… head their Tuesday nights for Open Mic Night!)

10. HOT LATE NIGHT SPOT: SKATE PARK

11. TOP LOCAL’S DINING OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Solada’s SODOS in GARZA



 TRAVELING TO NOSARA:

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GETTIN TO NOSARA: There is a direct flight from Boston to Liberia that leaves on Saturday through JetBlue that is one of the most seamless ways to travel… for those looking for more flexibility in your dates, American Airlines and Delta are great choices to fly … when you arrive, you can either rent a car for the 2 hour drive to Nosara or hire a shuttle to take you there directly. I would recommend getting a van to pick you up and renting a car when you arrive in the town.
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 Coming from Nantucket:  it’s always a hop, skip, ferry or plane ride out to get to Boston… And the best way make sure you can get to your early flight out (or a good night sleep on your way back home) is at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor at the airport. Our flight for Costa Rica left at 6AM out of Logan and came back into Boston at 11:45PM … so we made it easier on ourselves, and stayed and played at this Hyatt… just a four minute ride from Logan Airport! Love this hotel stopover as you get free shuttle to and from the airport! They also have a delicious and expansive menu that you can get with room service or if you’re in the mood to socialize, head down to to their lively bar and dining area which gives some of the most gorgeous views of Boston that I have ever seen! Click below to book before your next trip out and receive 15% off your stay just by using code 22049 under corporate code to get the discount!
 HYATT BOSTON


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Ready to experience Nosara for yourself? Check out this amazing video below, made by Stu + Drew that will make you want you book your vacation today!

Beach Dog from Stu & Drew on Vimeo.



until next time, Nosara… and there will most definitely be a next time!

xx
blACKbook

 

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