Luxury. What is it really? To most traveling on a vacation and staying in a finely appointed villa or Presidential Suite in a resort, it calls to mind high count Egyptian cotton sheets on a sumptuous bed within an expansive room, replete with amenities that leave nothing to be desired. Or, maybe being able to savor a $1,000 tequila lollypop enhanced with 24 ct. gold flecks. Well, yes, that is luxury, maybe bordering on ostentatious, and something that every high end traveler would certainly appreciate.
But, a suite or villa with those qualities could be anywhere, and so you step outside of your protected environment and you could be in Manhattan, Los Angeles or Cairo. Where is your “luxury” then, outside of your opulent pad? Therein, to me, lies the greater quest – the luxury of a gourmet taste of nature. Let me explain.
I remember a few years back visiting Cartagena, Colombia and staying at a fairly well appointed room in a high rise on the beach. Well, it really wasn’t on the beach; it was just across the highway from the beach. I remember getting up early one morning and going for a walk on the beach. Vendors were already issuing reservation tickets for a lounge chair with sun shading umbrellas. Reservations! The beach was ubiquitous with furniture, and there was little space for anything else, except to walk in a small area of the beach where the tide zone was. This is paradise?
Not from my awareness of traveling around Costa Rica, where except for a few crowded beaches like Jaco, Tamarindo and Manuel Antonio at certain times of the year, basically for most beaches, there are always more vast and endless expanses of sand than people. For my tastes, I like that.
So for me, within Costa Rica, the quintessential “gourmet nature” would be a place I recently visited again – the Casa Oceano beachfront villa. No, I’m not going to describe to you the amenities of the villa, except to say it deserves that term. What I want to talk about is having the good fortune to wake up very early one morning on my last visit and experience a blood red dawn from my bedroom window as the sun was still buried beneath the horizon. Fighting off an impulse to crawl back into bed, I mustered up enough courage to grab my Nikon and walk downstairs. By that time, the opening scene of the day had gone from crimson to deep orange. Bleary eyed, and without even my first morning cup of coffee, I looked across the beachfront infinity pool and snapped this picture.
Now, this is what life is about! I wouldn’t want to get up this early to experience it each day! But for the moment, I was in awe and transfixed. About 15 minutes later as the sun rose, I took this picture:
Later on, the staff arrived and set up the lounge chairs on the sun deck. Now, isn’t this a gourmet taste of nature for a beach lover – right on the beach, not on the other side of the road from the beach, or on a bluff overlooking the beach with no access. From the sun deck, it’s just twelve steps to the sand.
The other benefit of enjoying this gourmet taste of nature is that it’s private. Casa Oceano is located within the Tango Mar Beach Resort – a 125 acre private reserve. It is seldom you will even see anyone on the beach. Casa Oceano on the Tango Mar beach Ah, nature and privacy!
In short, of course when traveling on business, we may not be able to dictate the taste of nature outside of our deluxe accommodations. But, when traveling for pleasure, whether in a condo or villa on the ski slopes of Dear Valley or Aspen, or on a tropical escape, don’t forget to look closely for the real luxury – a gourmet taste of nature.
Forrest Geiger is the Owner of 1 Costa Rica Link.