Uh-oh. Punta Cana may smell trouble. And no, it’s not all the turmoil neighboring Haiti is going through.

A stretch of dazzling beaches are slated to see a variety of new luxe resorts giving Americans more reasons to visit instead over other mega popular beach destinations.

More travelers are already setting their sights on Central America, with countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala rising in popularity.

But let’s not forget Costa Rica.

Long known as a sleepy, laid-back getaway and a haven for surfers, Costa Rica’s Gold Coast (Guanacaste) is actually becoming more golden in the sense of luxury.

With some astonishing new hotels on the horizon, this region of one of Central America’s most renowned countries is transforming into a new tourism hotspot as the next ritzy beach paradise.

Costa Rica’s Sleepy Beaches Are Waking Up

Playa Arenillas in Costa Rica

Covid is such a bore to talk about these days, but Costa Rica was a haven for those looking for a pleasant place to escape when the world was pure chaos.

It’s safe to say many didn’t leave, or if they did, Guanacaste left a lasting mark and is surely set to become even more of a draw now.

Before becoming a luxury beach destination later this year, it’s important to understand Guanacaste’s raw appeal in the event the glitz and glamour of new hotels overshadow what makes this place special.

Costa Rica is known for stunning nature, incredible beaches, and laid-back Pura Vida lifestyle, which is why a variety of tourists make their way to the country.

Resort in Guanacaste

When it comes specifically to Guanacaste, the tranquil beach towns and unspoiled nature are just too good to pass up.

The Gold Coast has drawn a crowd in recent years and already become quite trendy with new boutique hotels, cafes, and yoga studios opening up.

Now one can only hope with the addition of 18 new properties set to open by 2025 that some semblance of authenticity remains.

But this shouldn’t be a major concern as Guanacaste is a huge region of the country and does already have a handful of all-inclusive resorts, such as Margaritaville, Riu, and Secrets, among others.

Hotels Opening In 2024

Playa Flamingo in Guanacaste

Between hostels, Airbnbs, and boutique hotels, and a select few luxury hotels, it’s clear the market had a wide open space for more lavish stays. Man, oh man, is Guanacaste taking full advantage!

There are 16 hotels aiming to open in 2025, but 2 iconic brands are scheduled for this year. Those seeking to level up their stay in one of the most scenic parts of Costa Rica should circle their calendars for the openings of the Ritz Carlton and Waldorf hotels.

Nekajui, a Ritz Carlton Reserve Hotel is not quite ready to accept reservations, but travelers ready to splurge can take a sneak peek at what’s to come on their official website.

Pool at luxury resort in Costa Rica

With no official opening date either, the best guess is “late 2024” as stated on a separate announcement. What we do know is the location couldn’t be better, tucked away on the stunning Papagayo Peninsula.

Expected to open doors in November 2024, Waldorf Astoria Costa Rica Punta Cacique is now accepting reservations for February 2025 and beyond for incredible rooms with layouts from ocean views to private plunge pools.

While not all the details are out for either hotel, if there is one thing for certain it’s that travelers can expect to be catered with the finer things in life while enjoying pure bliss and exclusivity in style.

To 2025…And Beyond!

Female tourist on beach in Guanacaste

Costa Rica is one of the easiest countries to reach in Central America, and it’s a safe bet that more flights will soon begin flying directly to Guanacaste rather than San Jose.

Travelers have a lot to look forward to visiting this vibrant, diverse destination, but over a dozen new hotels certainly top the list.

This is a long-term vision for Guanacaste and as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The same goes for the Gold Coast.

There will still be surfers and all walks visiting Guanacaste’s lovely beach towns and lush jungles, but more luxury travelers will be flocking to this paradise, too, especially with highly anticipated resorts such as Six Senses slated to cut the ribbon in 2025.

Surfers at sunset in Costa Rica

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