Unlike many hotels, no two stays at Origins Lodge are the same. This isn’t the world of check-out times or breakfast ending on the stroke of nine o’clock. Your stay is crafted around you.
On arrival - or in advance, if you’re a planner - the concierge will ask you what type of experience you’re craving then plan an itinerary to match. Adrenaline junkies can go for non-stop adventure - white water rafting, tubing, hiking, horse riding. Burnt out city dwellers can go no further than the spa or heated plunge pool on your private terrace. Whatever your mind or body craves, Origins will provide.
The estate’s 111 acres is home to a third of Costa Rica’s wildlife. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean creepy crawlies lurking under the bedsheets. You feel very close to nature, but the rooms are pristine. The hotel is actually only five per cent of the estate. The owner keeps the other 95 per cent as a sanctuary for nature. It’s always reassuring to know that your presence isn’t at the expense of the ecosystem.
The staff’s enthusiasm for the estate is akin to the pride all Costa Ricans have in their homeland. On a nighttime nature walk around the lagoon, the staff guide shared the fascinating nocturnal habits of toads and exotic fish. On a hike up to the waterfall, another guide spotted a sloth sleeping right above us and we hugged the oldest tree on the estate - 250 years and counting. Wildlife is everywhere in Costa Rica, but this was the only place where I got close to the animals and away from the crowds of tourists that fill up the national parks.
Although golf buggies are on hand, I recommend walking around the property if you really want to take it in. It’s such a joy to spot the toucans singing above you in the treetops, or to take a closer look at the plants, flowers and trees that line every path. If you want to live more mindfully, this is the perfect place to start, with so many colours, textures and smells anchoring you in the moment.
The cabins are your own private sanctuary, with so much land in between them that you feel like you’ve been gifted your own rainforest. Dome-shaped with living roofs, they’re thoughtfully designed to blend into the landscape. Lots of other details bring the outside in, like the bath products made with plants grown on the estate and presented in bottles made by people Indigenous to the area.
The coffee and chocolates in the room are also made locally. Origins certainly earns its 5* - but you don’t feel that it’s luxury at the expense of local people or land. Most of the fresh ingredients used in the on-site El Salto restaurant are grown here, too, with homegrown flowers decorating every dish. Every detail is a reminder of just how much nature provides when we protect and nurture it.
With a maximum of 21 guests, Origins has an intimate and tranquil atmosphere. As everyone is on their own schedules, there isn’t much mixing between groups, so it’s best suited to couples, small groups of friends or families. Choose your companions wisely, though, as you’ll be spending lots of quality time together. Nothing here is rushed. Lunch and dinner are long and lazy with at least three courses. Breakfast was so good I went to bed looking forward to it.
Watch the video above to see Origins for yourself.