This is the real deal, beach gem resort. Nestled far from the main airport (SJO), you need to make a concerted effort to get to Nosara. We drove nearly five hours from SJO by toll highway 27 (worth it for a smoother ride) and then by back roads...not worth it AT ALL if you are arriving at night like we were - if your flight gets in after 2:30pm I suggest you stay at a hotel in San Jose or at the ALoft hotel - Starwood Property- which is right near the Avis and National/Alamo rental car area (so you may secure your rental car which takes awhile and then get a good night's rest before making the drive).
Nosara turns out to be a huge ex-pat community. We had the pleasure of having a couple of conversations with Robin of "Robin's" which is a great local restaurant within walking distance which serves organic food offerings and homemade ice cream and sorbet (I enjoyed the "Coffee to Die For" ice cream and a veggie burger.) Robin is an American from Washington, D.C. who has lived in France, Russia, Botswana and Japan to name a few. We later saw her on the beach and she was so friendly and helpful with places to go and with helping us plan our journey on to Nicaragua.
Harmony's juice bar with organic espresso drinks is worth a visit. Lots of lush surroundings for a chill atmosphere make this a memorable place. The Harmony flow yoga class at 8:30am was nice but not as challenging/leveled as you might expect from a yoga class. Seek other yoga options at the Nosara Yoga Institute or the newer Yoga place just past Robin's.
Harmony's food is great. The complimentary breakfast offers plenty of options, and feels very civilized. I love that they call the traditional American egg dish the "Gringo" breakfast for the name alone prompted me to try something else! Before dinner we each had a speciality cocktail (I tried their ginger infused vodka which was very nice) while we played backgammon at the bar. For dinner we sampled from the sushi menu for our appetizers and then both tried some of the Tico specialities for our mains. We rounded out dinner by splitting their Flourless chocolate cake with Coffee ice cream (and coffee chips - just like chocolate chips only so much more delicious!) One of the best desserts I have ever had!
Ok - now to some realities about the rooms. Our room smelled musty - serious "camp cabin" smell. But I let it go because you have to realize it's relative to the location you are in. Also, be prepared that, with the lovely weather and near constant pleasant breeze, you will feel more like you are in a 4-star cabin than in a traditional hotel. We stayed in room 22 which is connected (shared wall) with room 23. Both are "bungalows" which is the 2nd tier price point. From what I saw, room 26 would be a much better option as it is a stand alone room. We shared a wall with a 20-something honeymooner couple and lived every moment of their non-stop mission to stay in their room as much as possible on their honeymoon. I wouldn't say that the walls are paper thin by any means, it's more that you have open windows with screens on them and you inevitably hear the noises you would so rather not hear. Another lack of privacy between rooms 22/23 is that your outdoor showers literally share the same wall, so if both rooms are showering at the same time you might as well have a conversation with one another you are so uncomfortably close.
Ok - let's round it back off with a positive. The location is safe - we arrived on a Saturday evening after the restaurant had closed and ended up walking across the street and we met another couple staying at Harmony and ended up walking together to the Nosara Beach hostel (bring a flashlight or headlamp to help you navigate the dirt roads on foot at night) for a really mellow outdoor party that culminated in fireworks! The vibe feels so chill and friendly here - still a true travel gem worth visiting.
The beach is just a 5 minute walk from the property. Easy. I wouldn't say the beach is as picturesque as ones you might find in the Caribbean, but it makes up for it in authenticity. Hanging out there at sunset you will find couples walking their dogs, families building a fire, and surfers riding their "dinner plate." It's the real deal.
Welcome to CR - big sky country. Well worth a visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Harmony Hotel is the perfect combination of low-key luxury, nature, wellness and sustainability. Situated on Guiones Beach in Nosara, Costa Rica, a spot well renowned for its beautiful surroundings and impressive surf, this is an excellent place to unwind, relax and get in tune with your natural rhythm. ... more less
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