Beyond Mother Nature herself, evolution is the driving force behind global firm AW2’s immersive design for the serene and secluded Kasiiya Papagayo, which transports guests off-the-grid to 123 acres of Costa Rica’s wild jungle overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo. “We fell in love with the project and the place and above all, we were able to create and reinvent Kasiiya Papagayo each step of the way,” says firm associate architect Stéphanie Ledoux. Another remarkable trait: Not a single tree was moved or cut during the building process of this solar-powered resort, which includes electric vehicles.
For a sense of place, each of tented suites is accessed via a private path and uniquely positioned within the landscape, with none delivering the same experience or view of the other. With expansive balconies, the suites appear freestanding as they rise from the ground on timber platforms, which, when removed, will leave no trace of their existence. Inside, local Guanacaste wood is used to strengthen the connection to the land while juxtaposing light fabrics, basket-like light fixtures, and accent hues “chosen from the existing colors of the site at different times of the year,” explains Ledoux, like blues that reference the sky and sea and deep greens and grays that evoke Costa Rica’s rainy season. The luxury-meets-wildlife accommodations are tailored to guests searching for “a unique understanding of the nature in this region of Costa Rica,” she adds. “We want them to connect back to nature and to their inner self.”
Built in the site’s only existing structure is the restaurant with private dining and a viewing terrace, taking in the gulf and terrain from the highest point of the hillside property. The interior and the outside merge seamlessly in the open-air veranda, encouraging socializing and making way for the communal chef’s table, which offers rare glimpses of whales migrating in the fall, Ledoux points out. In contrast, the wood-clad spa is a more private, peaceful haven with one treatment room, where guests can recharge with massage therapy, herbal treatments, and natural scrubs. “We believe that Kasiiya defines a new way of traveling,” she says. “It is about discovering, understanding, and taking time for yourself to pause and breathe.” Beyond the design, Kasiiya Papagayo plans to evolve the holistic guest experience, ultimately creating a beautiful dialogue between architectural design and the natural world that connects with the human spirit for generations.
From: Hospitality Design
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 14 tented suites (80-180m2) (861-1,938 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2019 • architecture & interior design: AW2 (Paris) ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk