As I was swinging lazily in the lush hammock on our private terrace 400 meters above the Pa cific Ocean surrounded by rainforest, I knew I was living the life of dreams. In fact, that’s how the mind-blowing aesthetics, clean lines and eco-sustainability of the sexy yet eco-friendly Kura Design Villas started: as a dream-match between an architect and a biologist.
Voted one of the hottest destinations of 2013, Kura Design Villas is the perfect place to enjoy the finer things in life and maintain a sparkling clean eco-conscience at the same time. Starting with a commitment to protect the local environment, local biologist Alejandra Umana and architect Martin Wells wanted to share their love of the country’s biodiversity and beauty with a hospitality experience that enhances, not competes, with the surrounding wilderness. And in October 2012, Kura opened its solar-powered doors announcing to everyone that yes, you can have it all!
Did you know...Kura means Jaguar in the native Borucan language.The jaguar is the highest symbol and is seen to symbolise the transition between a warrior and a god with the power to see through chaos and darkness.
They say the devil is in the detail, and here nothing is left to chance, with either architecture or sustainability. Set on a mountain ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean near the town of Uvita on the West Coast of Costa Rica, the minimalist design allows the lush rainforest to blend in with the elegance of the hotel. Unless you pay attention to it – and you should – you wouldn’t know the place is a model for sustainable tourism. Amidst the impressive balsa wood masks hand-carved by a local Boruca tribe and the sleek modern design, the sustainability efforts include photovoltaic solar panels for electricity, solar water heaters, LED lighting throughout the entire property, reutilization of treated wastewater, drip irrigation system for property gardens and much, much more. But let’s be honest: whilst very little can compare to the natural beauty of Costa Rica, Kura comes pretty close. Kura offers everything you could ever imagine in a luxurious boutique hotel and then a little bit more. We’re talking six open-floor villas with high ceilings and private expansive black-stone terraces decked out with hammocks for two and white marine vinyl lounges that are positively inviting. Slide open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors to reveal the king-sized beds, bamboo ceilings, sliding glass-doors, double rainfall-style showers and – how could we forget – your own private wine cellar and espresso coffeemaker. No wonder this place is popular with honeymooners and couples looking to lock themselves in their room for a week!
The ionization infinity pool and pool lounge are two good reasons to venture out of the privacy of your villa. With features such as an underwater sound system, you can easily let the hours fly by watching the rainforest-clad mountain steep down into the Pacific Ocean beneath you with one of Kura’s signature drinks in your hand.
"The breathtaking views include the Whale’s Ta il sandbar formation and Caño Island – rated one of Costa Rica’s top diving spots with turtles, dolphins, stingrays, barracudas, tuna, white-tipped reef sharks, silky sharks and the occasional whale shark."
Not ready for diving but would wouldn’t mind a swim at the beach? No problem. The friendly Kura staff will pack the car with food, drinks, beach chairs and a beach umbrella and then whisk you away to their private beach entry only 15 minutes away. If you want to experience Costa Rica’s biodiversity, the Southern Pacific region has the largest area of protected land designated to parks and reserves in Costa Rica. You can explore the wildlife in the Corcovado National Park, the Ballena National Marine Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and more. If you’re in the mood for a shorter exploration, hit one of the jungle treks around the Kura property. In fact, you don’t need to go very far at all to experience the wildlife! We enjoyed an amazing lunch watching toucans in the tree only meters away, and throughout the day you can hear the roars of howler monkeys from deep in the jungle. And with all the comforts of this boutique eco-lux hotel, you have every reason to roar a bit yourself.
Can’t afford a holiday right now? Opt for a virtual vacation! Researchers have found the anticipation of travel generates an increase in positive feelings about your life as a whole, family, finances and health!
At Kura, when you think things can’t get better, they do. The Spa offers indulging treatments ranging from 3 hours Rainforest Therapy (A$350); to freshly cut Wild Green Bamboo deep pressure massage (A$120); a body scrub and wrap using local organic chocolate, mango, coconut, green tea and cinnamon (A$200). We didn’t call this place perfect for honeymooners for nothing! Why not enjoy a couple’s massage with the very fitting name Kura Paradise?