Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle

By Anna Jones / Published by Dwell

Studio Saxe has designed a boutique hotel and yoga studio amid the jungle in Nosara, Costa Rica, an area known for the pursuit of health, wellness, and surfing. Its contemporary design reflects the local ethos while embracing the tropical environment it inhabits.

Nalu by Studio Saxe is composed of three individual pavilions—Villa Jardín, Villa Sombra, and Villa Sol—which are strategically placed in the landscape according to local wind and solar patterns, and to forge a visual connection to the jungle and ocean. The purposeful arrangement provides privacy for guests and a sense of exploration as they traverse the tropical environment to their abodes. 

The villas sit harmoniously within the tropical landscape, shaded by trees and vegetation.

Andres Garcia Lachner

Each villa is composed of a series of spaces, varying from two to three bedrooms, and offers different views out to the ocean. Overlapping timber roofs made from recycled teak planks and built by local craftsman provide shade from the powerful sun. 

The underside of the overhanging roof represents the area's local craftsmanship.

Andres Garcia Lachner

Each villa is equipped with its own saltwater swimming pool and outdoor shower. 

Andres Garcia Lachner

Large, operable glass doors from the open living, kitchen, and dining area connect the interior living spaces to the exterior landscape. 

Andres Garcia Lachner

The wood tones in the ceiling are reflected in the wood flooring and furniture.

Andres Garcia Lachner

Similar to the open spaces, the sleeping quarters have operable, sliding glass doors and clerestory windows that allow the tropical air to freely pass between the exterior and interior. 

Andres Garcia Lachner

An outdoor shower accessed from the interior bath provides a private retreat under the sun and sky of the landscape.

Andres Garcia Lachner

Slatted roofs above connecting walkways allow dappled light to fall below while framing the view out beyond.

Andres Garcia Lachner

At the center of Nalu is the yoga studio, a simple wood-and-steel structure that provides a space for exercise and meditation. The simplicity provides versatility, making it suitable for other recreational activities as well.  

The yoga studio is surrounded on all sides by the jungle.  Light, shadows, and wind pass through the open structure. 

Andres Garcia Lachner

The tropical modernism of the resort provides the perfect backdrop for exercise and relaxation in the Costa Rican jungle.

Andres Garcia Lachner

The tropical modernism of the resort provides the perfect backdrop for exercise and relaxation in the Costa Rican jungle. Rates start at $255 per night; to book a stay, visit Nalu online.

Photography by Andres Garcia Lachner

Anna Jones is a designer and founder of MOD Design in Des Moines, IA. After receiving a BA in Architecture, she…


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