There plenty of tasteful, comfortable, eco-friendly luxury hotels in Costa Rica, so the competition is stiff to get your attention. Rancho Pacifico manages to stand out, however, and attracts plenty of guests who can afford to stay anywhere they want. Where else does the restaurant’s bathroom wall have thank-you notes from Sheryl Crow, Anderson Cooper, and Al Gore?

Rancho Pacifico has a whole lot going for it, which you can read in detail by clicking on the photo above or the full review link at the end. The big main draw, however, is the unbelievable location. Perched on a steep mountainside with the “Whale’s Tale” point extending into the Pacific Ocean down below, it’s a panoramic view that only a few other places can compete with.

This is not just a kick-back-and-admire-the-view spot though. The villas are surrounded by 250 acres of private jungle reserve, filled with all kinds of wildlife and teeming with birds. I saw hummingbirds, monkeys, and agoutis while out for a hike to the waterfall pictured here. I checked out toucans, hawks, and a hummingbird without even leaving the restaurant deck.

There’s a whole story behind the careful construction of this hotel and the individual rooms and cabins here are quite architecturally interesting. Thankfully for a place reached by four-wheel drive, the food and cocktails are excellent too. To get the full scoop, check out our review of Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica.