Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Costa Rica

In a country known for its natural wonders, the 5,643-foot Arenal Volcano is arguably the star attraction. Though the volcano is now dormant, travelers still flock to this lush region for its wildlife spotting, white-water rafting, and kayaking on Lake Arenal. Among the dozens of hotels in the area, we love the newly revamped Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens (the No. 1 resort in Central and South America in our World’s Best Awards, page 79). Dynamic owner Leo Ghitis has outfitted the 50 villas with spacious decks (some have hot tubs), plantation furniture, and, alas, jarring avocado-colored walls. But the jaw-dropping views of the volcano more than make up for the painting faux pas. And the just-opened wine bar serves up some of Latin America’s best vintages by the glass.

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