Reimagining the Costa Rica Wellness Retreat

While Costa Rica is often our clients’ first choice for adventure, it’s also the ideal setting for your next dreamy wellness retreat.

For those looking to get grounded and recentered, a stay at Hacienda AltaGracia with our friends at Auberge Resorts Collection comes Smartie approved. This retreat weaves wellness and sustainability into what feels like the expansive estate grounds of an old friend. Fifty casita accommodations rest in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone near one of the world’s five Blue Zones. Boasting 180 acres of untamed rainforest filled with tropical birds, a coffee farm, horse stables, and an organic chef’s garden, this is your escape for those seeking a new approach to total well-being.

But, before plunging into our exclusive look at AltaGracia’s wellness journey, let’s explore what this remote region of Costa Rica has to offer.

Where is Costa Rica’s Southern Zone?

Costa Rica is famous for its rainforests. But the Southern Zone makes for a truly unique exotic expedition tailored for your ideal wellness retreat. Here, you’ll find some of the quietest cloud-covered rainforests in the country, each rich with wildlife. For example, the Talamanca Mountain Range is an expansive range of cliffs and forests. It also includes the Cerro Chirripo, Central America’s highest elevation at 3819 miles above sea level. You can then explore the city of San Isidro de El General. This city is bursting with local culture, including plenty of local shopping, farmers’ markets, and the Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary.

What should I expect from Auberge Resorts Collection and Hacienda AltaGracia?

This property is ideal for guests looking for an authentic wellness retreat in an off-the-radar destination.

Each of Auberge Resorts Collection’s properties are rooted in simplicity and a feeling of home. Hacienda AltaGracia takes that concept and nestles it between Talamanca Mountain Range and San Isidro Valley. This property is ideal for guests looking for an authentic wellness retreat in an off-the-radar destination. It was even hailed by Travel + Leisure as a resort “certainly worthy of making your bucket list”.

A stay at Hacienda AltaGracia centers around truly transformative experiences, all brought to life through their Holistic Stays program. This all-inclusive rate covers all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, including customizable dining to complement your calendar of daily activities.

The resort also provides guests with a personal Compa. The Compa is a dedicated experience designer who will tailor bespoke adventure, wellness, and cultural activities for their daily itineraries. For example, head to Cienfuegos after your aerial yoga class for a menu inspired by Argentinian asado and Korean BBQ. Then, dine fireside while watching Costa Rican horse show.

What makes Hacienda AltaGracia’s wellness experiences so extraordinary?

This Costa Rica resort’s wellness retreats boast a mix of treatments inspired by native traditions. THE WELL at Hacienda AltaGracia is a collaboration between the New York-based wellness brand and Auberge Resorts Collection. Founded by Rebecca Parekh, Sarrah Hallock, and Kane Sarhan, THE WELL seamlessly blends its signature self-care routines with local culture.

Begin your unique treatment at Casa de Agua with a powerful shower that softens the skin. Breathe in fragrant aromatherapy steam before heading to a hot stone massage. Then, choose between lounging in their multi-tiered sauna or plunging into the tranquility pool. All this precedes your treatment of choice; we love the Hierbas y Flores deep massage.

We connected with the resort’s Director of Wellness & Programming, Emily Johnson for a deeper dive into Hacienda AltaGracia’s wellness journey.

SmartFlyer: How have Costa Rican traditions and the region influenced the unique wellness journeys at Hacienda AltaGracia?

Emily Johnson: Our wellness journeys are designed to honor Pachamama – or Mother Earth – as the master healer. A stay at AltaGracia feels as if you are floating among the clouds and overlooking the lush and untouched terrain of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains. The extensive treatment menu of regenerative spa treatments and east-meets-west health offerings emerges from the synergy of nature, ancient traditions, and the latest scientific innovations.

SF: How did you decide on partnering with The Well?

EJ: To create a truly unique well-being destination unlike any other in the world, we looked to merge best-in-class hospitality with best-in-class wellness. THE WELL’s holistic approach to wellness takes guests beyond the typical confines of the ‘hotel spa’, with transformative treatments, therapies, and experiences. This philosophy aligned with Auberge’s own philosophy of creating transformational guest experiences and allowed Hacienda AltaGracia to elevate its positioning as the preeminent well-being destination.

SF: The Immersive Experiences at Hacienda AltaGracia are incredibly unique. For instance, what was the story behind designing the Well River Bath?

The River Bath was an opportunity to utilize the beauty and power of our natural environment to create a unique experience that you couldn’t find anywhere else on earth.

EJ: The resort thoughtfully integrates its natural surroundings in its design and we utilize our location to inform many of our experiences. The Calientillo River, which runs adjacent to our property, is a source of vitality. This area – which we refer to as AltaGracia’s ‘natural playground’ – is rich with experiences. From walking trails to high-canopy tree nets, it caters to all guests through its diverse offering.

The tranquility of the Calientillo River inspired this four-hour ritualistic journey, designed to facilitate internal shifts by bathing your senses in sound, vibrations, and sensations of the natural environment. The River Bath was an opportunity to utilize the beauty and power of our natural environment to create a unique experience that you couldn’t find anywhere else on earth.

First, riverside meditation immerses guests in the sounds of nature and guides them to a state of healing. Therapists use wild bergamot on the spine, scalp, hands, and feet to induce profound relaxation. A submersion in the healing properties of water with a 60-minute herbal bath to warm muscles and purify the body concludes the healing experience.

SF: Tell us more about your Retreats and Longevity Programs. Who do wellness journeys like the Find Your Energy Flow Retreat with John Amaral best serve?

EJ: We are thrilled to have Dr. John Amaral DC lead our first immersive retreat at THE WELL at Hacienda AltaGracia. Wellness leaders like John offer guests a one-of-a-kind journey through daily body and energy work to help both create and sustain new levels of energy, clarity, and fulfillment. We offer retreats to all different kinds of guests and interests. For example, with John’s retreat, we offer three options: Group Sessions only, Group + Semi-Private Sessions, Group + Private Sessions. Guests can then choose from all-day experiences or have them as an add-on to their stay. Whether simply curious or a dedicated wellness enthusiast, our retreats welcome guests to find their personal peace.

SF: When is the best time to experience a Costa Rica wellness retreat?

EJ: Costa Rica is a year-round destination, with various times of the year offering different benefits. In addition to set-date retreats throughout the year, we also offer personalized journeys through evergreen offerings. With THE WELL Integrative Experience, guests can enjoy a four-day customized retreat program available all year round, whenever works for them.

The guest experience starts before they arrive when they meet with their Health Coach who will aid in curating their personalized journey. Through mindful movement, connection to Pachamama, bodywork, and ancient rituals, these four days will leave guests feeling nourished and renewed.

Ready for some ultimate R&R? Contact your SmartFlyer travel advisor and let #smartflyertakemeto a Costa Rica wellness retreat of your own.

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