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

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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. 

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 1 of 10 - The villas sit harmoniously within the tropical landscape, shaded by trees and vegetation.

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

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. 

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 2 of 10 - The underside of the overhanging roof represents the area's local craftsmanship.

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 3 of 10 - Each villa is equipped with its own saltwater swimming pool and outdoor shower. 

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 4 of 10 - Large, operable glass doors from the open living, kitchen, and dining area connect the interior living spaces to the exterior landscape. 

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 5 of 10 - The wood tones in the ceiling are reflected in the wood flooring and furniture.

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 6 of 10 - 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. 

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. 

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 7 of 10 - An outdoor shower accessed from the interior bath provides a private retreat under the sun and sky of the landscape.

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 8 of 10 - Slatted roofs above connecting walkways allow dappled light to fall below while framing the view out beyond.

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

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.  

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 9 of 10 - The yoga studio is surrounded on all sides by the jungle.  Light, shadows, and wind pass through the open structure. 

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

Decompress at This Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat in the Costa Rican Jungle - Photo 10 of 10 -

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