Smitten Spotlight

Andaz Peninsula 

Papagayo Resort

Costa Rica

Property: Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

Country: Costa Rica

Region: Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste, on the northern Pacific coast overlooking Culebra Bay

Time difference: GMT -6 hours

Property size: 153 luxury rooms and suites with balconies, some of which have private plunge pools

Best time to travel: December to April marks Costa Rica’s dry season, which means more tourists but generally more favorable weather. Honeymooners in Costa Rica during the green season, May to November, tend to experience brief downpours in the late afternoon but fewer crowds and reduced prices.

Flight time to Costa Rica: Minneapolis to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, also known as Liberia International Airport, roughly 5 and a half hours nonstop, or 8 hours with a short layover and connecting flight. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is about a 30-minute drive from Liberia International Airport.

Why I’m smitten: Unlike some of Costa Rica’s other most sought-after properties, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is relatively easy to reach—while remaining surrounded by the biodiversity for which Costa Rica is famous. The modern resort’s architecture was influenced by its natural surroundings; the property features large, open-air spaces for a relaxed and luxurious vibe, including at each of its three restaurants.

The resort not only offers honeymooners plenty of dining options, serving authentic Costa Rican and Latin American flavors, but it also boasts two swimmable beaches (as opposed to the many beaches ideal for surfing rather than swimming in Costa Rica) and an Arnold Palmer 18-hole championship golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Culebra Bay. Consider this your warning: If you bogey, expect some taunting from the monkeys keeping an eye your game.

Travel tip: Once you and your new hubby or wife find your favorite drinks at Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, learn how to make them by taking a mixology class from the master at Chao Pescao, one of the resort's restaurants (Wai Wai, anyone?). Once you return home, you’ll be able to mix the drinks yourself—a fun and delicious way to relive a part of your honeymoon months, years, and decades later. Cheers!

(All photos courtesy of Hyatt)