The dreamy idyllic images on the El Mangroove website pull you in and invite you to ‘chill’; a promise delivered the moment you step foot on the property. El Mangroove is situated on the coast of Papagayo Bay, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It is a soft landing spot for sun-worshipping, water sports, and the most divine sunset gazing. My arrival at El Mangroove came on the heels of three weeks in the Costa Rica jungle and chilling is exactly what I was hoping to do.
First Impressions of El Mangroove Hotel
Smiling and anxious-to-help faces, an ice-cold welcome drink tea and cool face cloth made it easy to slip into the big easy instantly. The “groovy meets modern” intention is woven throughout the entire experience at El Mangroove. There’s no battle between the casual you and the elegant you, both can exist equally. I was personally escorted to my room by Carlos who is a local and very happy to be spending his days interacting with travellers from all over the world who find refuge on this paradise of a bay.
Every room at El Mangroove is a beautiful marriage of contemporary and casual decor. The suites, ranging from the El Mangle Suite to the Bark Suite feature king-sized comforts; My Bark Suite getaway had an open-air den inviting me to enjoy a luxurious and private siesta in my own hammock where I enjoyed a grilled chocolate sandwich snack in my room one afternoon when napping called to me. The neighbouring air-conditioned room provided all of the modern luxuries to appease the most discerning traveller. The feather-topped bed with a private view of the mangroves was so dreamy it was hard to leave it each morning and the roomy walk-in shower was so luxurious it felt like having my very own in-room spa.
Delicious Farm-to-Fork Fare
Every morning started with an unlimited breakfast buffet with choices to appease any desire. Fresh tropical juices, locally roasted coffee, a chef’s station with eggs prepared any way you like and many options ranging from continental to the local gallo pinto (black beans and rice). I found many delicious and nutritious options for my vegetarian diet. The pool side lunch menu included Bazooka Guacamole, Patacones (plantain crisps), veggie tacos and a “Blue Cheese” Pizza with granny smith apples, toasted walnuts, arugula and cheese, it was simply divine. Smoothies by the pool became my staple afternoon treat and the chef even prepared a strawberry banana smooth in a whole pineapple for me one afternoon.
Get Moving in Nature
One of my favourite parts of my stay at El Mangroove was the seamless and beautifully thoughtful blend of a luxurious invitation to dip in the pool one minute, and feel sand between your toes on the beach the next. Guests are invited to book a private or group yoga class, take out a stand up paddle board or kayak or take a bike to explore the local area. There is also a fully equipped gym on site. Adventure activities such as rafting, hiking, scuba diving and surfing are all a short drive from the hotel with tours and teachers available on request. El Mangrove is also located near a number of natural wonders from National Parks to attractions such as the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and the iconic Río Celeste (a blue volcanic river) and thermal mineral pools.
After a day of exploring, Bearth Spa awaits. Nestled among the trees, the serene spa setting was where I was left blissed out by the hands of one of the skilfully trained massage therapists on site after my hour-long Bliss Massage. I was led from the main spa building along a raised pathway floating above jungle grasses to my very own private open-air massage platform. The natural soundtrack of the jungle sounds and warm breeze made this massage like none other, it truly was pure bliss. The full spa menu is vast and delicious and includes massage, body treatments like a seaweed wrap and an aromatherapy body polish, facials and hand and feet pampering.
Getting to El Mangroove Hotel
While you feel like you are world’s away, everything is a short drive from the property; Liberia International Airport is just 20 minutes drive and El Coco is just 15 minutes drive from the hotel. El Mangroove really is the perfect landing spot to go in any direction, literally and figuratively.
El Mangroove Hotel, Autograph Collection
Gulf of Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica