Kasiiya: An Eco-Luxe Wilderness Retreat All Your Own
July 2, 2019 by Hidden Doorways
By: Allison Reiber DiLiegro
Getting out in nature means different things to all of us. It can mean getting active or kicking back, soul-searching or searching for wildlife, spending time with a loved one or being totally alone. Opened in December 2018, Kasiiya is set on 123 acres of land on Costa Rica’s lush Papagayo Peninsula. With only five suites, guests can spread out and discover nature in their own way. In fact, the team is dedicated to exactly that: Kasiiya means “find your pace” in Swahili.
There are few better places to discover nature than Costa Rica. The country has one of the most rigorous approaches to environmental protection on the planet. Costa Rica plans to be carbon neutral by 2021. In that spirit, Kasiiya was built to have zero impact on the environment. Designed by renowned Paris-based firm AW2, spaces are designed to evolve with nature with touches such as the decks trimmed so trees can grow through and terraces turned so the sun hits just right. If Kasiiya picked up and moved, it would leave no trace.
While at Kasiiya – and hopefully afterwards – guests are encouraged to respect the environment. The property is run on solar power. There are no plastics, but guests can drink treated rain water straight out of the tap.
Sustainable as it is, Kasiiya doesn’t skimp on luxury. The tented suites have air conditioning, WiFi and plenty of outlets. There are battery-powered hair dryers, should you need. Interiors are plush and romantic, with a safari tent feel from vintage-style dressers and fluffy king-sized beds. Outside, there are expansive decks for lounging, dining and private yoga classes.
But first, you have to get there. Set in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, Kasiiya is far-flung but easily accessible. The property is a 45-minute drive from Liberia International Airport, serviced by direct flights from New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and more. As you approach in your 4×4, you’ll be tantalized by glimpses of Kasiiya’s Laguna Beach through the trees, lush and green in rainy season and bare during dry season. Or, there’s the approach by sea. Arriving by boat showcases Kasiiya’s untouched splendor. It looks like a castaway island until the staff emerge from the forest with cool towels and cold drinks. You’re in good hands, after all.
That’s just one of the private beaches – there are three in all. Two are sandy: Laguna Beach, where you’ll find oceanfront suites and the Beach Cabana restaurant, and Portuguese Beach, a nearly untouched, virgin beach. The third beach is pebbly, but perfect for snorkeling at low tide or setting out on water excursions.
The word “excursions” has a regimented feel, but that’s far from the ethos at Kasiiya. Guests are encouraged to eat meals whenever and wherever they like, head to the spa in their own time and explore as they wish. Guides are on hand for kayaking, paddle-boarding and snorkeling along the beach. There’s diving out at sea and surfing in Tamarindo, a surf break one hour from Kasiiya. Back on land, there’s trekking to find Howler monkeys and colorful birds. All of these activities can be personalized and adapted for children. Kasiiya has a unique fitness program, which blends yoga, capoeira and intuitive movement inspired by animals. Yoga platforms are scattered throughout the jungle and beaches, so guests can pick their favorite view for a private lesson.
The most special days end at the spa. Set in the forest, the spa is cooler than the beach, and surrounded by birdsong. Kasiiya’s in-house healer, who trained in Mexico, India and Nicaragua, creates personalized, holistic treatments based on each guest’s individual needs. Or, there are classic treatments like Swedish massage with organic oils made in Costa Rica.
Apart from nature itself, the magic of Kasiiya comes courtesy of the staff. With a team of 20 for ten guests, it can feel like you have Kasiiya to yourself. When you manage to find your pace – your rhythm, your movements, your favorite spots – Kasiiya really is all yours.
Riu Guanacaste Route
Area de Conservation Guanacaste