Hotel Punta Islita - A Unique Costa Rica Wedding Destination
While searching for the most unique wedding destinations in Guanacaste for couples wanting to have a truly amazing beach wedding in Costa Rica, we discovered Hotel Punta Islita. For our article, we interviewed Paola Bolaños and Alonso Bermúdez, the hotel’s Events Planner and the General Manager, who gave us an extensive tour of the hotel and access to a honeymoon suite, standard room, locations for wedding day events, and restaurants. If you are looking for a unique beach venue for your Costa Rica destination wedding, we hope this article makes finding the right place that much easier.
LOCATION & TRANSPORTATION
Hotel Punta Islita is located on the Pacific Coast and is isolated in a dense rainforest near the southern-most tip of the Guanacaste Province that extends into a peninsula. There are a number of ways to arrive at the hotel.
The nearest international airport is Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR), which is approximately 2.5 hours from the hotel. They can arrange a shuttle that will take you directly from LIR to Hotel Punta Islita.
You can also fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, which is about 4-5 hours from the hotel depending on traffic. There is also the option of chartering a private flight or helicopter from San José to Islita Regional Airstrip. Hotel Punta Islita can also arrange transpiration to sites and activities all over Costa Rica.
Before booking your flight, we recommend contacting the hotel to help you determine which international airport to select as your destination taking into consideration the various means of connecting transportation.
REPUTATION, HISTORY & DESIGn
As one of the three hotels comprising Grupo Islita, Hotel Punta Islita is a luxury, 5-Star boutique hotel where couples have been having unique destination weddings in Costa Rica on the beach since 1995. The first of its kind in Guanacaste and in most of Costa Rica, namely with respect to its infinity pool, Hotel Punta Islita was the dream of two brothers – one an architect and the other a rancher – who constructed the hotel in what was considered the middle of nowhere in Guanacaste.
WHY HOTEL PUNTA ISLITA is UNIQUE
Upon arriving, you will be greeted by friendly hotel staff offering you a cool, damp towel, making it clear your comfort and happiness are their priority. Add to this its remote location atop beautiful hills enveloped in a dense jungle teaming with exotic flora and fauna that overlook the Pacific Ocean – in addition to its luxury accommodations, its amazing infinity pool and restaurants that have marvelous views of the ocean and rainforest, its world-class spa, its complimentary eco adventures, cultural activates, and learning experiences – and you have a truly unique wedding venue in Costa Rica.
Hotel Punta Islita is unique for another reason that is not readily apparent. When constructed in the 1990s, the town of Punta Islita suffered an economic crisis due to an international price drop in its primary export: beef. The brothers Zürcher sought to ameliorate this situation by developing Hotel Punta Islita in order to create a variety of long-term and sustainable employment opportunities for the town’s residents directly and indirectly related to the hotel. Ever since, they have been committed to the well being of not only their employees, but also to that of the town, which is reflected in the happiness of the hotel’s employees, which directly affects the customer service experience.
BEST TIME FOR a Hotel PUNTA ISLITA WEDDING
There are many factors to weigh when planning your destination wedding. Two of the most commonly overlooked are the weather and when the busy and slow seasons are.
The summer in Guanacaste is from the end of November to the end of April and is considered the dry season. The winter is from May to November and is the rainy season, with August, September, and October experiencing the most rainfall in Punta Islita. According to Mr. Bermúdez, the best to get married at Hotel Punta Islita – if your plans permit – is in November and December, their springtime, which is when it is not too hot and the foliage is ardently green, the sun shines bright in a deep blue sky. If planning to wed in the rainy season, the hotel has adequate covered locations for your wedding day events.
BUSY / SLOW SEASONS
The busy season starts with the beginning of the summer, peaks from late December to April, and tapers of in late April and May. As such, and as is the case everywhere, expect to pay more for travel, accommodations, and services, to find fewer rooms available, and to be see more people everywhere. This is due not only to in influx of tourists, but also to the fact that Costa Ricans tend to vacation during this time as well. Regardless, getting married in Costa Rica is a marvelous and memorable experience any time of the year.
WEDDING PLANNING SERVICES & PROVIDERS
Hotel Punta Islita has an in-house wedding planner who will help you organize your dream Costa Rica destination wedding and will provide you with her elopement and wedding packages upon request. As for your wedding day providers, the hotel can attend to all your dining needs, whereas Paola Bolaños will send you a list of their recommended providers – the officiant, florist, entertainment, photographer, and videographer, and stylist, for example – whom you can contact directly.
BRIDAL PREPARATION SERVICES
On your wedding day, you can have all your bridal preparation needs – your hair styled, makeup applied, and manicure and pedicure all done in the comfort of your own room or in their amazing spa.
WEDDING CEREMONIES – TYPES AND SIZES
Hotel Punta Islita accommodates all types and sizes of weddings consisting of up to 200 guests – from elopements and small intimate weddings, to large weddings that are all day affairs. Depending on the size of and schedule of a wedding, they can manage 2 per day. Whatever your dream wedding may be, for Ms. Bolaños and Hotel Punta Islita, there is nothing more important than making it a reality.
We love photographing beach weddings
Need a photographer for your beach wedding?
The hotel has 34 guest rooms, 4 Standard rooms, 8 Junior Suites, 8 Premium Junior Suites, 14 Deluxe Suites and 22 Private Villa, 10 with 2 bedrooms and 12 with 3 bedrooms, all of which will have your and your guests staying in luxury. Their guest rooms are uniquely scattered about the mountains facing the Pacific Ocean, ensuring all rooms have mountain and rainforest views, with most having ocean views. Given their isolated location in the mountains further from the main building, the Private Villas are the most private guest rooms and have unique ocean and rainforest views. When preparing for your wedding day, knowing that all guest rooms are equipped with air-conditioning will put your mind at ease.
1. HONEYMOON SUITE – The Junior Suite
Isolated in the rainforest, Hotel Punta Islita’s Honeymoon Suite is perched atop a hill, affording it stunning views. In the bedroom area, you will find a gorgeous king-sized canopy bed handcrafted by local artisans that looks out to a private wood deck where there is an amazing whirlpool from where you can see the Pacific Ocean below in the distance. It’s an amazing suite for a one-in-a-lifetime wedding night.
Likewise nestled in the mountainous rainforest, the hotel’s standard rooms come with two double beds, a private terrace with a hammock where your wedding guests can while away their free time gazing at the surrounding mountains covered with a tropical rainforest
Featuring two double beds or one king-sized bed, Hotel Punta Islita’s luxury deluxe accommodations are a great option for your guests who want a room with a partial ocean view and a terrace where they can enjoy the views of the mountains and oceans in a hammock.
4. Junior Suite Premium – Casitas
Their Premium Suites or Casitas (little houses) are free-standing cottage-like accommodations that have a king-sized canopy bed, a spacious area for socializing, a private terrace with a canopy, a petite garden and a comfortably-sized pool from where you can enjoy a great view of the rainforest, mountains, and ocean below. This is also another great option for your Honeymoon Suite if you wanted more spacious accommodations.
5. Private Villas
Privately owned yet managed by Hotel Punta Islita, the private villas located on its property have all the characteristics of a luxury beach house. They have either two or three bedrooms, a full kitchen, a large living area, a private garden, and a delicious pool to relax in while taking in the amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and rainforest-covered mountains. If you or your guests choose a villa, you will have complete access to all the hotel’s facilities and services.
LOCATIONS - THE CEREMONY, DINNER, & RECEPTION
Although Hotel Punta Islita has a number of standard locations all over the hotel where you can have your wedding day events, they are very flexible when it comes to planning your wedding. Which locations you choose for which event will depend on the size of your wedding, the time of year, and which sort of wedding you want to have.
1. Los Cocos Beach Club Gardens – Wedding Ceremonies
If you want a medium to large beach wedding with up to 120 guests, Los Cocos Beach Club Gardens is the place. The lush open lawn area of the garden is populated with numerous palm trees and has an amazing view of the beach from which mountains jut up from its sands. The lawn area is comprised of two sections – one for wedding ceremonies and the other for the receptions and dinners. After your ceremony, you can just walk over to the other section and have the same great view. You also have the option of having your reception and dinner in Los Cocos Restaurant depending on the size of your wedding.
* Hotel Punta Islita can arrange to have your ceremony directly on the beach if your wedding party consists of no more than 30-40 guests.
Los Cocos Bar & Pool
Los Cocos Bar & Pool is located next to the lawn and garden area location for wedding ceremonies. It has a submerged bar covered by a thatch roof, a delicious pool, and an amazing view of the beach, Pacific Ocean, and the mountains covered with rainforest.
2. Wood Deck – Wedding Ceremony & Dinner
Near the hotel’s main restaurant, Pacífico Restaurant, there is a quant wood deck that is a great place for an elopement or small wedding ceremony and dinner with no more than 15-16 guests. It is a lovely location for a romantic, intimate dinner where you can take in the views of the ocean and mountains before or after tying the knot.
3. Los Cocos Restaurant – Wedding Receptions & Dinners
Another option for your wedding reception and dinner if getting married on the beach or lawn area by the beach is Los Cocos Restaurant. Able to accommodate up to 40 guests for a buffet-style dinner, it is a wood structure is covered by a pitched, thatched roof supported by columns made from trees with open walls that allow for views of the garden and beach.
4. Pacífico Restaurant – Wedding Receptions & Dinners
Located on the same level as the Reception Building, Pacífico Restaurant is the hotel’s main dining area and can accommodate 120 in its covered area and an addition 80 on the terrace. Though similar in design to Los Cocos Restaurant, Pacífico Restaurant is a more elegant and refined structure and dining experience. Located near their famous infinity pool, which is partly surrounded by a wood deck, it has some of the most dramatic views of the beach below and the surrounding mounting given its elevation.
5. Private Villas – Wedding Ceremonies, Receptions, & Dinners
Another option for a Hotel Punta Islita Wedding are its Private Villas. They are amazing venues for a small, private wedding of 30-40 guests where you can have your ceremony it a manicured garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean and rainforest-covered mountains and the reception inside or outside your villa. The hotel can even provide catering at your villa or you and your guests can have dinner and celebrate your nuptials at Pacífico Restaurant.
Close to the hotel, there is a small Catholic church if interested in a formal Catholic ceremony of no more than 40 guests. If interested in this option, we suggest you contact the hotel's wedding planner far in advance of your wedding date to ensure you complete all the Catholic wedding requirements as per the church.
Say I do with SAnd between Your Toes
Start Planning Your Dream Beach Wedding!
SITES & ACTIVITIES
In addition Hotel Punta Islita’s marvelous infinity pool, its beautiful beaches, its amazing views, you can enjoy and partake in its complimentary excursions and activities at the hotel, as well as others beyond the hotel.
AT THE RESORT
Before and after you tie the knot, you can take part in the hotel’s Authentic Costa Rica program: complimentary cultural and learning activities at the resort and in the town, eco-adventures, cooking lessons, art session, horseback riding on the beach and in the country, zip-lining amongst others that are available to all guests.
BEYOND THE RESORT
Costa Rica is a geographically diverse and beautiful country. While here, have the hotel organize an adventure to some of Costa Rica’s breathtaking waterfalls and volcanoes in Tenorio, El Rincón de la Viaja, La Fortuna, or in Poas where you can see and experience other unforgettable sites and activities to make your destination wedding that much more adventurous and memorable.
Traveling can be taxing. Spending months planning your dream Costa Rica wedding is as well. Hotel Punta Islita has just the thing to make you forget it and relax in their first-class spa.
Spacious and luxurious, and with views of the rainforest, Casa Spa (House Spa) is an ideal place for you to unwind and let its massage therapists pamper you. Its large, dimly-lit massage rooms have high ceilings and tasteful, hand-crafted wood furniture and culture artifacts as decorations, as well a an indoor and outdoor whirlpool for before or after your treatment.
Hotel Punta Islita is a tropical paradise. Due to its isolated location, it is notably serene and the surrounding mountains and rainforest, as well as its views of the Pacific Ocean, make every happening at the hotel a tranquil and visual pleasing experience. While at its beach, and beach-level pool and restaurant, you can hear the waves crashing softly on the pristine beach that stretches far into the distance.