Places & Spaces: The Costa Verde Hotel

Costa Verde offers Costa Rica’s most original eco-suite: a vintage airplane in the rainforest.

Costa Verde nestles in the rainforest above the Pacific Ocean, next to Manuel Antonio National Park. Like many hotels in Costa Rica, it is low-rise with impressive green credentials. The owner, an ex-Peace Corps volunteer and an environmental activist left a 30-acre biological corridor around the property with the rainforest grounds sustainably maintained.

Wildlife is literally on your doorstep, as ridiculously cute squirrel monkeys perform acrobatics in the trees. The hotel’s motto is actually “still more monkeys than people.” You can’t get closer to nature than the open-air studios with no AC, no TV and no glass windows but with breezes that will keep you cool, and wild forest sights and sounds will keep you entertained (think iguanas, sloths and toucans co-starring with mini-primates).

What could be more environmentally responsible than a recycled accommodation? Here you can stay in an old passenger airplane – still in mid-air (kind of). The “727 Fuselage Home” is a suite 50 feet up in the jungle, with two beds and two baths, accessed by a private staircase with balcony views of the sea.

The hotel’s other aviation-themed talking point is a C-123 cargo airplane used in Nicaragua in the 1980s, which now serves as a restaurant and bar. El Avion, which was a CIA-funded Contra transport, sits cliff-side in peaceful retirement – if only those walls could talk…

Rates for the 727 suite start at $400/night plus tax; open-air studios $127/night plus tax; views, U.S. political scandal ghosts and wildlife shows included.

Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.

Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.