If you’re looking for an independent – and unspoiled – boutique beach resort, Tango Mar Beach Resort may be just the right place. It’s situated in Tambor, on the peninsula of Nicoya, on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. The 150-acre resort, which was formerly a ranch, has a guest capacity of roughly 100 and around 70 staff members. It’s located on a long stretch of white-sand, heavy surf beach protected on both ends by rocks and high cliffs.
Just steps above the beach are three pools, including a large infinity pool with a swim-up bar and hot tub surrounded by palm trees. Just down the beach, the resort’s small open-air lobby, covered by a thatched roof, offers Wi-Fi and a small air-conditioned business center with two computers (there is no Internet access in the rooms). Tango Mar is owned by general manager Hilde Cloet and her husband, both from Belgium, who purchased the property in 1997 (the resort was built in 1991).
Accommodations: There is a wide variety of accommodations at Tango Mar, even though the resort has only 35 air-conditioned rooms and four villas. Right next to the beach and the pool is a three-story building with 18 beachfront rooms, each with its own private balcony. Each beachfront room has a king-size bed, desk, shower (but no bath) and TV. Just past the beachfront rooms are five Tiki Suites – large one-room units that have great views of the beach as well. Each Tiki Suite features a king-size bed, hot tub, TV, kitchen and dark wood paneling. A steep flight of stairs through more tropical vegetation takes guests up the hill to 12 Tropical Suites, housed in three round buildings surrounded by palm trees. Each Tropical Suite has a queen-size four-post bed, hot tub for two, TV, coffeemaker, double sink and shower.
Tango Mar is a great place for couples, but it also has some large villas suitable for groups and families. Just past the main building housing the reception area and restaurant is the two-story Royal Villa, which can sleep 10 to 12. Located beachside, the villa has five bedrooms, a dining room and living area, and a kitchen, with a spiral staircase connecting the two levels. Also next to the beach are the Mono Conga Villa and Robinson Crusoe Villa, both of which can sleep six to eight.
The Presidential Villa is located about a quarter mile up the hill from the beach next to the golf course. This very modern, ranch-like structure, which can sleep 10 to 12, features two huge master bedrooms, suitable for sleeping a family of four. Each master bedroom has its own hot tub and walk-in shower. In the same villa are two smaller bedrooms for two, each with its own bathroom. In the villa’s center, there’s a landscaped garden, a barbecue and a waterfall leading to a small pool.
Dining: The resort features the open-air Cristobal restaurant and a bar covered by a thatched roof, both next to the reception area just above the beach. The wait staff is friendly and efficient, and the pricing is reasonable. A large, complimentary buffet breakfast is served every morning. Lunch is served at an open-air poolside restaurant covered by a thatched roof.
Activities: Tango Mar has plenty of ways to keep guests occupied beyond the pool and beach. There’s a nine-hole executive golf course, two tennis courts, a soccer field and stables where rides on the beach can be booked. The resort also offers massages, facials and other therapeutic treatments, plus outdoor yoga classes.
Getting There: Guests fly to San Jose, where they can take a five-hour-plus trip by car and ferry on scenic yet rough roads, or they can take a 25-minute charter flight to Tambor airstrip.
For a customized package that includes Tango Mar, call Elegant Adventures at 770-850-6890 or visit www.elegantadventures.com. For more on Tango Mar, visit www.tangomar.com.--James Shillinglaw