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TLT-Adventure with a Side of Luxury, Please

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Forget what you thought you knew about Costa Rica. A stay at The Palms Private Residence Club will open up your eyes.

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I am not the outdoorsy type. In fact, my idea of the outdoors can be summed up like this: it’s absolutely OK as long as a nice patio and cool cocktail are involved. So when an opportunity to visit the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica came up, I was a little conflicted. Sure, who wouldn’t want to spend a few days on a sandy beach having tropical drinks accessorized with frilly umbrellas? But Costa Rica, I knew, was famous for something else—plenty of action and adventure. Could I really handle that?

From Phoenix, it’s a quick five-hour flight to Costa Rica, the lush Central American country that’s quickly becoming a hot destination for American travelers. And really, it’s easy to see why: aside from plenty of Latin American culture, fantastic seafood, beautiful beaches and outdoor excursions, the people there are quite lovely and the country is safe to travel through. Lucky for me, a stay at The Palms Private Residence Club proved to be the perfect place to call home for my three-day stay offering the two worlds that I was craving—a bit of adventure with a side of luxury.

The Palms Private Residence Club is an experience in itself; it’s the only property in Costa Rica on Playa Flamingo, a highly desirable beach because, well, it’s gorgeous. The member-owned residence club has 32 two-bedroom luxury villas that can comfortably sleep six. And by comfortable, I mean 2,300 square feet of living space, Viking appliances, marble flooring and bamboo hardwood floors in the two master bedrooms. The large kitchen is perfect for gathering together or entertaining and there’s an expansive patio on both the first floor and the master suite. In short, when it comes to comfort and décor, no luxury is spared.

At The Palms, your villa is literally steps away from the ocean (I could hear the waves crashing up on the sand through my window each night). But perhaps what’s most appealing, other than the scenery, is the private villa atmosphere combined with resortlike amenities. The concierge will happily stock your villa with your requested grocery list prior to arrival. Need a massage? No worries, they’ll come to your suite. Though if the weather is nice, I’d recommend having the masseuse meet you right on the beach.

A business center, fitness room and daily housekeeping are a few of the other amenities included, but the infinity pool and private dining options are two that must be taken advantage of. That tropical drink with the frilly umbrella I fantasized about? It was served up poolside after a day spent traversing the treetops on a zip-line canopy tour.