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WHY IT RATES: Experience a true wellness retreat in the heart of Costa Rica at the new Hacienda AltaGracia. – Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, the highly anticipated holistic well-being resort, opens today in the verdant foothills of the Talamanca Mountains. Set on 180 bird-song-filled acres, AltaGracia offers a perfect balance of soul-stirring wellness and unbridled adventure for those seeking total well-being. Located adjacent to one of Earth’s five Blue Zones, where locals live to more than 100 years of age, the 50-casita resort presents a balanced blend of eastern and western therapies – both age-old and cutting edge – in partnership with THE WELL, the leading New York City-based wellness provider. Rooted in the belief that transformative well-being should be both peaceful and exhilarating, AltaGracia stimulates the senses with thrilling exploration and meditative escape, complemented by inspiring culinary journeys that offer the best of Latin American cuisine showcasing the region’s natural bounty.
“Hacienda AltaGracia will be a place where guests can move fast or slow, explore the destination and their inner selves, and connect with our community while reconnecting with their loved ones,” said Mark Wright, general manager, Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection. “Well-being means something different for everyone – for some, it’s a riveting adventure, and for others, it’s meditation – or a combination of both. At AltaGracia, guests will find balance and purpose, ultimately transforming mind, body and soul.”
A well-being destination like no one has ever seen before, THE WELL at Hacienda AltaGracia invites guests to reset, rewind, and recharge while rekindling each individual’s personal connection to Pachamama – Mother Earth. Drawing on time-proven local healing traditions and cutting-edge science, the extensive wellness offering includes East-meets-West healing therapies, transformative treatments, expert-led health coaching and workshops, a calendar of seasonal retreats, and daily fitness and mindful movement sessions from aerial yoga to qigong and forest bathing.
Every wellness journey begins prior to arrival with a complimentary virtual health coaching consultation, offered by THE WELL’s trained team of health coaches. A discussion about each guest’s health history and wellness goals, this session informs their stay, whether interested in rest and recovery or raising their adrenaline through thrilling adventure.
Wellness experiences on property start at Casa de Agua, THE WELL’s energizing heart. Inspired by Earth’s apothecary, this glass-walled oasis is dedicated to purification and relaxation rituals using only hand-harvested, plant-based Costa Rican clays, loofahs, and oils activated by water, heat, and steam. Like a greenhouse in which the rarest plants bloom, this hydrotherapy center with its vast swimming pool, experiential showers, steam rooms, and saunas provides the ultimate cleansing and renewal for body and mind.
Treatments in the eight tranquil treatment rooms range from THE WELL Craniosacral Facial and signature Maderoterapia, a holistic massage technique using wooden tools to balance energy, reduce stress, and improve the flow of the lymphatic system, to Hierbas y Flores, a nature-inspired deep massage utilizing freshly picked herbs and flowers. THE WELL also offers state-of-the-art recovery experiences using pioneering technology, like Celluma light therapy, lymph boots, and infrared cabins, as well as a comprehensive fitness center and a host of outdoor settings for treatments, movement classes, and meditation. These include a healing garden, a rancho (pavilion) dedicated to mindful movement, and THE WELL Crystal Rancho, which hosts a nearly 700-pound crystal and provides an unparalleled setting for integrative energy healing. Immersive experiences include the signature herbal River Bath on the banks of the Calientillo River, a ritualized journey designed to immerse the senses in the natural world.
Hacienda AltaGracia is both a sanctuary and springboard, offering a host of active adventures and cultural excursions to complement its culinary and wellness experiences. The resort’s intuitive Compas – each guest’s dedicated liaison and experience designer for their stay – curate finely tuned experiences and multi-day itineraries to enrich and fascinate at the pace each guest desires, expanding horizons both literally and figuratively.
El Rio is the property’s natural playground, with a spectacular network of adventure pathways and three miles of walking trails winding through lush jungle. Guests can stroll these trails to the tallest tree in AltaGracia’s forest, where they will ascend to the tree canopy and discover a hidden tree net offering magnificent views over the jungle. Hiking to the awe-inspiring Mina Escondida Waterfall is another possibility, as is horseback riding to Don Nery’s neighboring farm to learn the arts of tortilla making and sugarcane distillation, before sitting down to a hearty, home-cooked lunch.
Representing a significant portion of the planet’s biodiversity with over 900 bird species, the surrounding tropical forests offer rich opportunities for wildlife exploration. Accompanied by an expert naturalist, guests can identify colorful species as they search for the majestic and elusive quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Nocturnal treks reveal a whole new world of fascinating creatures by headlamp, from vividly hued frogs to armadillos, pizotes and possibly even ocelots. Nighttime also reveals dazzling skies above AltaGracia, and stargazing sessions can be paired with astrologer-led birth chart readings.
AltaGracia’s central location and private airstrip make every corner of the country accessible. Guests can head south to the Osa Peninsula and Isla del Cano National Park to snorkel, dive, fish, and beach hop; spend a day with the Boruca tribe in their native reservation; or visit Tortuguero National Park, where they will paddle traditional canoes upstream to a remote village. Other adventure opportunities include surfing trips to Uvita and exploring Guayabo, an ancient lost city, followed by a white-water rafting experience down the sacred Pacuare River.
Authentic culinary odysseys
Each of the resort’s five dining venues is guided by the philosophy of eating close to nature, with curiosity a key ingredient and dishes reflecting well-being and vitality. Hacienda AltaGracia’s deep connection with the land emphasizes sustainability, while experiential dining on-site and off dovetails with curated adventures to stimulate and excite.
Inspired by the seasons and the incredible natural produce of the region, dining at AltaGracia is an experience of indigenous Latin American life that awakens the explorer in every guest. Prioritizing authenticity, exploration, and community, Arno Janse van Rensburg and Liezl Odendaal, the husband-and-wife chef team, work closely with local growers and purveyors. With a focus on flavors unique to the valley, they draw on ancestral cooking and preservation techniques and the bounty of El Cultivo, the chef’s organic garden.
Founded on farming and community, rustic Grano is AltaGracia’s signature restaurant telling a story of place, traditions, and ingredients sourced exclusively within the borders of the country. Set alongside Los Establos, the resort’s stables and Picadero riding ring, barbecue-and-rodeo-inspired Cienfuegos spotlights a land and sea dinner menu cooked over a traditional coconut husk fire, to the backdrop of a live equestrian show. Mercado is AltaGracia’s pulse, where freshly baked pastries, coffee from the resort’s own coffee plantation, and all-day grab-and-go options are available alongside locally brewed beer and biodynamic wines. Offering light and refreshing alfresco family dining, Picoteo is located beside the resort’s family pool. Overlooking the adults-only infinity pool with panoramic mountain views, Las Brisas features an elevated menu and a laidback rancho bar serving signature cocktails.
Marrying cuisine and exploration, AltaGracia’s dining experiences extend far beyond the resort’s restaurants: Guests can tuck into a traditional cowboy breakfast of gallo pinto in the stables before a morning spent wrangling cattle; trek through the forest to discover a picnic laid in a hilltop clearing, or join a foraging expedition and culinary workshop in El Cultivo to uncover sustainable cooking techniques and the plethora of local ingredients. From coffee tasting tours with Los Jilgueros, the local coffee cooperative helping to harvest and roast AltaGracia’s beans, to a guaro aperitif experience, working with a mixologist to infuse this sugarcane-distilled liquor with ingredients from the garden, culinary adventures are customized to complement each guest’s daily itinerary.
Welcoming by design
Envisioned by New York-based designer, Nina Gotlieb, the welcoming interiors at Hacienda AltaGracia are defined by natural fibers and warm, neutral tones, using every opportunity to bring the outside in. Rustic, weathered, wooden elements meet richly hued leather and linen, creating an inviting aesthetic that flows outdoors onto sun terraces beneath vine-covered pergolas. Options range from spacious one-bedroom casitas – a number with private plunge pools – to lofty family-friendly two-bedroom accommodations, with expansive terraces which inspire indoor-outdoor living.
An all-embracing stay
A stay at Hacienda AltaGracia is covered by a holistic, all-inclusive rate. This includes dining and personalized adventure and wellness programming to allow the time, space, and freedom needed to explore the destination and oneself. From the moment of arrival, a sense of anticipation is balanced by a feeling of coming home.
An accessible place apart
Perched above the cloud line with sweeping views of the San Isidro Valley, Hacienda AltaGracia is a place apart, yet is easily accessible from both the capital San José and Liberia. The resort’s daily charter between San José and Pérez Zeledón offers convenient access, with all details arranged through the resort team. With the exclusive arrival service at San José’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, guests can seamlessly transfer to their charter or a scenic 30- to 60-minute private flight (from San José or Liberia, respectively) over the country’s majestic southern mountain ranges allowing guests to land directly on the property.
To celebrate the opening of AltaGracia, guests may take advantage of an exclusive opening offer, which includes a complimentary sixth night when staying for five nights or more – in addition to AltaGracia’s holistic rate, which includes all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, daily activities, ground transfers, and a dedicated Compa.
SOURCE: Auberge Resorts Collection press release.