Barrio Jesús de Atenas, Costa Rica

Photo: The Retreat Costa Rica

Summer is, sadly, over. You desperately clung to it in September. When everyone around you started pulling out boots and sweaters, you stuck with bathing suits and flip-flops. As gourds and pumpkins began filling the produce aisle, you ignored them in favor of more heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn. Instead of going on hikes or to football games, you kept returning to beaches that got less and less crowded. With the arrival of October, you can’t deny autumn any longer, though.

But you can escape from it. You need a break anyway. The last few months—full of weddings, barbecues, and fireworks—have been fun, but they weren’t quite as relaxing as you’d hoped. Your calendar was packed. Your sleep schedule was way off. Your gym routine was ignored. While your healthy meals were offset by late-night ice cream and way too much wine.

So it’s time for a reset. You need a quiet, remote resort. A gorgeous view would help, too. You need a spa where you can swim and work on your neglected yoga poses. A farm-to-spa body treatment wouldn’t hurt either. You need to eat lots of garden-fresh vegetables. Cutting out dairy and refined sugars—at least for a little while—can’t be a bad thing. Plus you need a few good nights sleep. A pillow-top bed, high-thread-count sheets, and a down-alternative comforter should pave the way for a full eight hours.

Photo: The Retreat Costa Rica

The Retreat covers each and every one of your requests. Though only 40 minutes from San José’s airport, the resort feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. It sits atop a quartz mountain. It’s surrounded by a jungle that’s home to colorful birds and curious monkeys. And it has a view of the Nicoya Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

The menu at the Cristal Lotus Spa features a tropical fruit smoothie facial and a hot volcanic stone—two of the country’s most active volcanoes are nearby—massage. Its yoga house has French doors that open to a terrace overlooking the Central Valley. The pool, with its tiered waterfall, has the same view. The Boca Dulce Restaurant serves three-course dinners that might include sea bass with quinoa risotto one night and trout with lavender-infused mashed potatoes the next. You can learn how to make your favorite recipes—plus pick up tips about fermenting and juicing—in the teaching kitchen. It feels like the heart of the whole resort.

Then there’s Cacao. Your little retreat is whitewashed, save for one bright turquoise wall. It has a cozy sitting area and windows that let in lots of sunlight. Organic cotton bathrobes and slippers are in the bathroom. While the queen-size bed is topped with everything you need to sleep soundly. There’s no doubt you’ll be dreaming about an endless summer tonight.


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