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This Costa Rica Resort Is at the Forefront of Hotel Design — With a Mid-canopy Trampoline, Stunning Villas, and Treehouse-inspired Rooms

Several design trends, including biophilic architecture, a sense of privacy, and accessible pricing for some rooms, come together in Art Villas, a small resort on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Here, owner Filip Žák describes some of the eye-catching features that make it a bellwether of where the hotel industry is headed in the years to come.

Art Villa

A five-bedroom that’s ideal for today’s multigenerational groups is the property’s crown jewel, and comes with a private pool. “We’re still on a hill in the jungle, so there are always surprises,” Žák says. “Like snakes.” Blending the comforts of a home with the unexpected was a key consideration, according Formafatal, a firm that collaborated on the project. “When designing the interiors, we found inspiration not only in the surrounding wild jungle, but also in the work of the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendez da Rocha,” the firm says in a statement.

The Coco

These affordable glamping pods cluster around an open-air lounge, a setup that’s destined to remain popular for years to come as people prioritize proximity to nature. “For me, it’s not about profit, but about a way of life,” Žák notes. Built from local wood, canvas, and metal, these treehouse-inspired rooms have ocean views. “The interiors are minimalist and playful,” according to Formafatal. “You will not find anything unnecessary there, but at the same time nothing is missing.”

Atelier Villa

This three-bedroom, also with a pool, has walls that fold away to maximize views — and social media photo-shoot opportunities. “I like to say we’re like a zoo, just the other way around: animals come to look at us,” Žák says.

Special Touches

A whimsical slide, wooden walkways, and a mid-canopy trampoline are among the playful design elements. “I’m completely a barefoot guy,” Žák explains. “We create unique experiences where our guests can expand, evolve, and reconnect with their pure self,” he adds in a statement.

A version of this story first appeared in the May 2024 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline “On the Leading Edge.”

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