A Weekend Spa Trip within the Misty Costa Rican Mountains

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A Weekend Spa Trip within the Misty Costa Rican Mountains

Written by: Megan O’Neill


Printed on: November 24, 2022


They are saying it takes a complete week to completely unwind on trip, however clearly “they” have by no means spent a weekend at Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, a spa lodge excessive within the thick-with-mist Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. You sleep in a country casita—a fantasy of large slouchy baskets, artisanal ceramics, wooden accents juxtaposing prospers of glossy marble, and large home windows overlooking 180 acres of flowering panorama overrun with hot-pink hummingbirds and uncommon butterflies. You maintain head-clearing Ashtanga poses in a stunning open-air yoga pavilion. And whenever you order a cocktail—I requested for one thing faintly smoky and negroni-ish—it arrives in what seems like a steam-shrouded jewellery field. Inside an hour of touching down (the 30-minute personal airplane trip to the property from the airport is an exhilarating approach to expertise Costa Rica’s lusciously inexperienced panorama), I used to be firmly in trip mode, fully untethered from my earthly worries.

Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts

  1. B Yoga The B Mat - Strong 6mm

    B Yoga
    The B Mat – Sturdy 6mm
    goop, $96

  2. Anissa Kermiche Jugs Jug

    Anissa Kermiche
    Jugs Jug
    goop, $460

  3. J’Jute Allora Diagonal Basket - Large

    Allora Diagonal Basket – Giant
    goop, $268

yoga studio

Maybe nothing put me proper into the second like floating within the rejuvenating waters at The Well, the property’s spa paradise perched on the high of a winding path edged with espresso crops and colourful blooms. (Simply the stroll to get there out of your casita is sufficient to make you fall in love with the place, particularly at evening, when there are a trillion stars glinting above you.) The supreme pampering begins whenever you step into Casa de Agua, the serene, sky-high-ceilinged epicenter the place you may splay out on colossal slabs of heated marble in your bikini whereas a spa attendant slathers you head to toe in an exfoliating natural concoction and regionally sourced mineral-rich clay. I lay there like a lizard on a sun-warmed rock, getting up every so often to sip some backyard tea and pop gooseberries into my mouth; somebody had stealthily positioned a bowl of them close to my gown.

Methods to Do Hydrotherapy and Exfoliate for Glow at Dwelling

  1. Foaming Physique Polish for Supple Pores and skin

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Body Polish

    goop Magnificence
    GOOPGLOW Microderm On the spot Glow Physique Polish
    goop, $48/$43 with subscription

  2. Psyche-Soothing Magnesium-Salt Bathtub

    De Mamiel Soothe Bath Soak

    de Mamiel
    Soothe Bathtub Soak
    goop, $96

  3. Pink-Salt Shampoo for Shiny Hair

    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

    goop Magnificence
    G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
    goop, $55/$38 with subscription

  4. (Salon-Stage) Hair Masks

    Crown Affair The Renewal Mask

    Crown Affair
    The Renewal Masks
    goop, $58

  5. Replenishing Face Mist

    Mary Allan Skin Care Infused Beauty Water Regenerating Mist

    Mary Allan Skincare
    Infused Magnificence Water Regenerating Mist
    goop, $79

  6. Final Pores and skin Detox

    goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush

    goop Magnificence
    G.Tox Final Dry Brush
    goop, $25

  7. Radiance-Boosting Secret Weapon

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

    Radiance-Boosting Secret Weapon

    goop Magnificence
    GOOPGLOW Microderm On the spot Glow Exfoliator
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription


When the herbs and clay had labored sufficient of their skin-smoothing magic, I rinsed off and spent the subsequent hour earlier than my scheduled therapy oscillating between the heated jet pool and the massive, cooler tranquility pool. It seems hydrotherapy is a robust antidote to email-body (the stiffening of the limbs from an excessive amount of time hunched over a pc). Simply after I thought I couldn’t luxuriate any more durable, my therapeutic massage commenced: a 90-minute haze of hurts-so-good kneading and euphoric scalp therapeutic massage. Afterward, I stumbled—blissed out—to the aromatherapy steam room, earlier than heading again to dress for dinner. (Warning: Going to The Effectively at Hacienda may need perpetually ruined me for all different spas. Fortuitously, The Effectively has areas in Manhattan and Washington, Connecticut.)

Megan at spa
Megan at spa

Grano—one among 5 on-site eating places—is cozy and superbly adorned with plush pillow-padded cubicles, large home windows, fairly wallpaper, and a virtually prehistoric-size cornucopia of Costa Rican fruits which you could’t assist however marvel at (and fondle) whenever you stroll in. The vibe is glossy for positive, however there’s no want to decorate to the nines—I felt vacation-chic in a swishy skirt with a contact of smudgy eyeliner and dabbed-on sheer lip coloration.

  1. G. Label by goop Devin Crop Top

    G. Label by goop
    Devin Crop High
    goop, $425

  2. G. Label by goop Rigby Circle Skirt

    G. Label by goop
    Rigby Circle Skirt
    goop, $795

  3. Jillian Dempsey Khôl Eyeliner

    Jillian Dempsey
    Khôl Eyeliner
    goop, $20

  4. Westman Atelier Lip Suede

    Westman Atelier
    Lip Suede
    goop, $85


The menu itself is cause sufficient to return to Hacienda. South African chef Liezl Odendaal will get 90 % of the menu’s ethically sourced components from Costa Rica (sure areas are categorized as Blue Zones). Each dish that comes out of her kitchen explodes with flavors and textures but nourishes deeply and is generally freed from refined sugar and gluten (Odendaal depends on plantain, yuca, coconut, and chickpea flours). Get the arroz con pollo—pan-fried natural rooster breast with creamy cashew-nut sauce, black beans, and rice crisps made with turmeric rice—and the seared Pacifico linefish with savory coconut choka and lemony oxalis leaves. The steamed blue-corn rolls had been by some means pillowy and healthful (for as soon as, I didn’t miss standard flour), and the avocado ice cream got here bathed in mariola honey. (Stingless mariola honeybees are distinctive to Costa Rica and Central America; their honey is especially excessive in antioxidants and infrequently used medicinally.) Odendaal additionally makes the in-room snacks—decadent nut-and-honey bars, purple-corn bizcochos, and sunflower-seed cocoa truffles. (Notice: If you wish to discover ways to cook dinner like her, the lodge runs wonderful culinary workshops.)

  1. goop Home 10-Piece Cookware Set

    goop Dwelling
    10-Piece Cookware Set
    goop, $300

  2. La DoubleJ Apron

    La DoubleJ
    goop, $120

  3. Il Buco Vita Assisi Nested Oval Platters, Set of 3

    Il Buco Vita Assisi
    Nested Oval Platters, Set of three
    goop, $300

  4. goop x Social Studies Secret Garden Dinner Plate

    goop x Social Research
    Secret Backyard Dinner Plate
    goop, $48


restaurant interior and entree
restaurant interior and entree

The cocktails are their very own little masterpieces. There’s a menu, however the mixologists can actually off-road, translating an incoherent request like mine (“Mmmm, one thing smoky, candy but in addition savory, and powerful however not hangover-forceful?”) into an imaginative, fully unique drink you’ll need to re-create at house.

Moody Bar

  1. Tom Dixon Tank Whiskey Glass, Set of 2, goop

    Tom Dixon
    Tank Whiskey Glass, Set of two
    goop, $100

  2. Reflections Copenhagen MAYFAIR SHORT CRYSTAL GLASS, SET OF 2

    Reflections Copenhagen
    SET OF 2

    goop, $650


One morning we set off down a jungly path on a bird-watching hike; the yellow-headed caracara and grey-cowled wooden rail had been beautiful, and the caña agria, with its ruffled magenta head, was essentially the most showstopping blossom I’ve ever seen. On one other morning, we sipped mugs of the creamiest cashew-milk scorching chocolate (as thick because the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit) whereas steeping in a secluded, vine-tangled river bathtub, a carved-from-the-rocks pool full of fire-heated, herb-infused water from Rio San Ignacio, which meanders by way of the property. I by some means forgot my bikini and ended up skinny-dipping (you may simply inform the spa attendant to maintain the world personal).

Megan hiking & Megan in river bath

Megan hiking
Megan in river bath
  1. Clevr Sleeptime SuperLatte Kit

    Sleeptime SuperLatte Equipment
    goop, $51

  2. Mazama Crater Lake Mug

    Crater Lake Mug
    goop, $36


My husband then went off to a serene poolside restaurant for exquisitely seasoned ceviche, whereas I did a espresso tasting on the attractive Mercado (Hacienda can also be a espresso farm). Two phrases: tahini espresso. So silky and subtly candy, it’s now my favourite approach to make espresso at house. I make a cup of espresso (the pour-over set from Pala, under, is sensible, and the country sample lights up any kitchen), let it cool barely, and dump it, together with a tablespoon of natural tahini—I just like the one from Seed + Mill—into my blender. The ensuing frothy, caramel-colored caffeinated elixir doesn’t even want oat milk.

  1. goop Fair Trade Specialty Coffee

    Honest Commerce Specialty Espresso
    goop, $28

  2. Pala Ceramics Carafe & Pour Over Coffee Set

    Pala Ceramics
    Carafe & Pour Over Espresso Set
    goop, $120

  3. Richard Brendn Pinstripe Mug

    Richard Brendon
    Pinstripe Mug
    goop, $68


What different habits did I carry again with me from Costa Rica? I take longer pauses to take heed to the birds exterior my window. I make a batch of chef Odendaal’s honey-nut granola bars on Sundays so my family is supplied with healthful snacks for the week. I’ve dipped additional into gluten-free baking. And I remind myself day by day that breaks and trip—whether or not which means stopping work early to do yoga in my bed room or just instating a no-phone rule for my subway commute house—are a stupendous necessity.

My Spa-Trip Packing Necessities

It’s releasing to carry only a carry-on, so I take solely issues that may sail proper previous TSA.

  1. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

    Vintner’s Daughter
    Lively Botanical Serum
    goop, $195

    Replenishing after a jungle hike and glow-boosting. That is the one face oil I want—on trip and past.

  2. Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly in Pistachio

    Tower 28 Magnificence
    ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly in Pistachio
    goop, $15

    Sheer, moisturizing, and glossy however not too shiny, and with the cutest packaging.

  3. YINA Divine Bio-Cellulose Mask

    Divine Bio-Cellulose Masks
    goop, $85

    Delivers a surge of hydration—it’s essentially the most soothing pores and skin rehab after a day within the solar.

  4. Manta Pink Hairbrush

    Pink Hairbrush
    goop, $30

    The one brush that may slice by way of my curls and snarls. I apply it to moist hair within the bathe. And it’s lighter than you may consider.

  5. Makanai Hand-Crafted Face Soap

    Hand-Crafted Face Cleaning soap
    goop, $40

    This beautiful charcoal cleaning soap is unbelievable for greasy pores and skin varieties like mine. And the attractive wrapping will be reused in case your cleaning soap isn’t too moist.

  6. goop Beauty GOOGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk

    goop Magnificence
    GOOGLOW Darkish Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk
    goop, $98/$89 with subscription

    I easy this on proper earlier than mattress and—at all times—get up with noticeably clearer, smoother pores and skin.


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