Monday, December 5, 2022

A Weekend Spa Vacation in the Misty Costa Rican Mountains


A Weekend Spa Vacation in the Misty Costa Rican Mountains

Written by: Megan O’Neill

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Revealed on: November 24, 2022

They are saying it takes a complete week to totally unwind on trip, however clearly “they” have by no means spent a weekend at Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, a spa lodge excessive in the thick-with-mist Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. You sleep in a country casita—a fantasy of big slouchy baskets, artisanal ceramics, wooden accents juxtaposing thrives of smooth marble, and large home windows overlooking 180 acres of flowering panorama overrun with hot-pink hummingbirds and uncommon butterflies. You maintain head-clearing Ashtanga poses in a beautiful open-air yoga pavilion. And whenever you order a cocktail—I requested for one thing faintly smoky and negroni-ish—it arrives in what appears to be like like a steam-shrouded jewellery field. Inside an hour of touching down (the 30-minute personal aircraft experience to the property from the airport is an exhilarating method to expertise Costa Rica’s lusciously inexperienced panorama), I used to be firmly in trip mode, fully untethered from my earthly worries.

Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts


  1. B Yoga The B Mat - Strong 6mm

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    The B Mat – Strong 6mm
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  2. Anissa Kermiche Jugs Jug

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    Jugs Jug
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  3. J’Jute Allora Diagonal Basket - Large

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    Allora Diagonal Basket – Large
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yoga studio

Maybe nothing put me proper into the second like floating in the rejuvenating waters at The Well, the property’s spa paradise perched at the prime of a winding path edged with espresso crops and colourful blooms. (Simply the stroll to get there out of your casita is sufficient to make you fall in love with the place, particularly at evening, when there are a trillion stars glinting above you.) The supreme pampering begins whenever you step into Casa de Agua, the serene, sky-high-ceilinged epicenter the place you may splay out on colossal slabs of heated marble in your bikini whereas a spa attendant slathers you head to toe in an exfoliating natural concoction and domestically sourced mineral-rich clay. I lay there like a lizard on a sun-warmed rock, getting up now and again to sip some backyard tea and pop gooseberries into my mouth; somebody had stealthily positioned a bowl of them close to my gown.

Methods to Do Hydrotherapy and Exfoliate for Glow at Dwelling

  1. Foaming Body Polish for Supple Skin

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Body Polish

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    GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Body Polish
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  2. Psyche-Soothing Magnesium-Salt Tub


    De Mamiel Soothe Bath Soak

    de Mamiel
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  3. Pink-Salt Shampoo for Shiny Hair


    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

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    G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
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  4. (Salon-Degree) Hair Masks


    Crown Affair The Renewal Mask

    Crown Affair
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  5. Replenishing Face Mist


    Mary Allan Skin Care Infused Beauty Water Regenerating Mist

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  6. Final Pores and skin Detox


    goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush

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  7. Radiance-Boosting Secret Weapon


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

    Radiance-Boosting Secret Weapon

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When the herbs and clay had labored sufficient of their skin-smoothing magic, I rinsed off and spent the subsequent hour earlier than my scheduled remedy oscillating between the heated jet pool and the massive, cooler tranquility pool. It seems hydrotherapy is a robust antidote to email-body (the stiffening of the limbs from an excessive amount of time hunched over a pc). Simply once I thought I couldn’t luxuriate any tougher, my therapeutic massage commenced: a 90-minute haze of hurts-so-good kneading and euphoric scalp therapeutic massage. Afterward, I stumbled—blissed out—to the aromatherapy steam room, earlier than heading again to dress for dinner. (Warning: Going to The Nicely at Hacienda may need perpetually ruined me for all different spas. Thankfully, The Nicely has areas in Manhattan and Washington, Connecticut.)

Megan at spa
Megan at spa

Grano—considered one of 5 on-site eating places—is cozy and fantastically embellished with plush pillow-padded cubicles, big home windows, fairly wallpaper, and a virtually prehistoric-size cornucopia of Costa Rican fruits that you would be able to’t assist however marvel at (and fondle) whenever you stroll in. The vibe is smooth for positive, however there’s no want to decorate to the nines—I felt vacation-chic in a swishy skirt with a contact of smudgy eyeliner and dabbed-on sheer lip colour.


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  2. G. Label by goop Rigby Circle Skirt

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  3. Jillian Dempsey Khôl Eyeliner

    Jillian Dempsey
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  4. Westman Atelier Lip Suede

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    Lip Suede
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The menu itself is purpose sufficient to return to Hacienda. South African chef Liezl Odendaal will get 90 p.c of the menu’s ethically sourced components from Costa Rica (sure areas are categorized as Blue Zones). Each dish that comes out of her kitchen explodes with flavors and textures but nourishes deeply and is generally freed from refined sugar and gluten (Odendaal depends on plantain, yuca, coconut, and chickpea flours). Get the arroz con pollo—pan-fried natural rooster breast with creamy cashew-nut sauce, black beans, and rice crisps made with turmeric rice—and the seared Pacifico linefish with savory coconut choka and lemony oxalis leaves. The steamed blue-corn rolls have been someway pillowy and healthful (for as soon as, I didn’t miss typical flour), and the avocado ice cream got here bathed in mariola honey. (Stingless mariola honeybees are distinctive to Costa Rica and Central America; their honey is especially excessive in antioxidants and infrequently used medicinally.) Odendaal additionally makes the in-room snacks—decadent nut-and-honey bars, purple-corn bizcochos, and sunflower-seed cocoa truffles. (Word: If you wish to learn to cook dinner like her, the lodge runs wonderful culinary workshops.)


  1. goop Home 10-Piece Cookware Set

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    10-Piece Cookware Set
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  2. La DoubleJ Apron

    La DoubleJ
    Apron
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  3. Il Buco Vita Assisi Nested Oval Platters, Set of 3

    Il Buco Vita Assisi
    Nested Oval Platters, Set of 3
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  4. goop x Social Studies Secret Garden Dinner Plate

    goop x Social Studies
    Secret Garden Dinner Plate
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restaurant interior and entree
restaurant interior and entree

The cocktails are their very own little masterpieces. There’s a menu, however the mixologists can actually off-road, translating an incoherent request like mine (“Mmmm, one thing smoky, candy but in addition savory, and powerful however not hangover-forceful?”) into an imaginative, fully unique drink you’ll wish to re-create at house.

One morning we set off down a jungly path on a bird-watching hike; the yellow-headed caracara and grey-cowled wooden rail have been beautiful, and the caña agria, with its ruffled magenta head, was the most showstopping blossom I’ve ever seen. On one other morning, we sipped mugs of the creamiest cashew-milk scorching chocolate (as thick as the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing unit) whereas steeping in a secluded, vine-tangled river tub, a carved-from-the-rocks pool crammed with fire-heated, herb-infused water from Rio San Ignacio, which meanders via the property. I someway forgot my bikini and ended up skinny-dipping (you may simply inform the spa attendant to maintain the space personal).

My husband then went off to a serene poolside restaurant for exquisitely seasoned ceviche, whereas I did a espresso tasting at the attractive Mercado (Hacienda can be a espresso farm). Two phrases: tahini espresso. So silky and subtly candy, it’s now my favourite method to make espresso at house. I make a cup of espresso (the pour-over set from Pala, under, is sensible, and the rustic sample lights up any kitchen), let it cool barely, and dump it, together with a tablespoon of natural tahini—I like the one from Seed + Mill—into my blender. The ensuing frothy, caramel-colored caffeinated elixir doesn’t even want oat milk.


  1. goop Fair Trade Specialty Coffee

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  2. Pala Ceramics Carafe & Pour Over Coffee Set

    Pala Ceramics
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  3. Richard Brendn Pinstripe Mug

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What different habits did I convey again with me from Costa Rica? I take longer pauses to take heed to the birds exterior my window. I make a batch of chef Odendaal’s honey-nut granola bars on Sundays so my family is provided with healthful snacks for the week. I’ve dipped additional into gluten-free baking. And I remind myself every day that breaks and trip—whether or not which means stopping work early to do yoga in my bed room or just instating a no-phone rule for my subway commute house—are a gorgeous necessity.

My Spa-Vacation Packing Necessities

It’s releasing to convey only a carry-on, so I take solely issues that may sail proper previous TSA.


  1. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

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  2. Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly in Pistachio

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  3. YINA Divine Bio-Cellulose Mask

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  4. Manta Pink Hairbrush

    Manta
    Pink Hairbrush
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    The only brush that can slice through my curls and snarls. I use it on wet hair in the shower. And it’s lighter than you can believe.

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  5. Makanai Hand-Crafted Face Soap

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    This exquisite charcoal soap is incredible for oily skin types like mine. And the gorgeous wrapping can be reused if your soap isn’t too wet.

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  6. goop Beauty GOOGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk

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    I smooth this on right before bed and—always—wake up with noticeably clearer, smoother skin.

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