Road & Travel Magazine - Adventure Travel  Channel

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Climate Views & Videos
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Automotive Channel
Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate News & Views
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Bookmark and Share

Martino Resort & Spa

Be Pampered at the Martino Resort and Spa in Costa Rica

by Rebecca Redshaw

Nestled in the mountains less than fifteen minutes from the San Jose airport is a bit of paradise, Martino Resort and Spa. Sometimes to “get away” and truly relax it’s necessary to be out of a cell phone’s reach.

Martino Resort at Night

It's no accident that Hotel Martino has the aura of an Italian villa. Founded in 1996 by the late Alphonso Martino, who owned four similar hotels in Italy, this Costa Rican hideaway is managed by his son Adriano who continues the dream to “run a five-star hotel with the coziness of a private home.”

We check in with Jonathon at the front desk and he greats Kay, my traveling companion and I by name and sets the welcoming tone for our week’s stay. A short walk to one of the thirty-four junior suites, we settle into our accommodations, which include the usual amenities plus a spacious reading area, refrigerator, and private terrace overlooking the pool.

First order of business is not actually business at all but a tour of the fitness and spa facilities. The state-of-the-art gym is glass enclosed allowing a 360-degree view of the six-acre grounds of tropical plants, trees, and birds. Masseuse Vera Chacon invites us to enjoy the Jacuzzi, Roman-style steam room, bi-thermic showers, and relaxation rooms, all free of charge to guests.

In addition to the abundant types of massages, salon treatments, and packages offered, Hotel Martino is associated with the BioMagnetic and Therapy Center specializing in non-invasive and painless therapy. They also offer discreet accommodations for plastic surgery recovery.

After a dining on the balcony at the gourmet restaurant and a good night’s sleep, my next day begins with a swim in the neo-classic pool. That morning (and every time there after) the pool is virtually my own, which may have something to do with swimming as the sun rises at 6 a.m.

Martino - Spa Treatment

After breakfast (which is included with the cost of the room), we look over the list of possible spa treatments. The logical choice for me after a long flight is the Anti-stress massage. Suffering from a bit of a head cold, Kay opts for the Muraffin Treatment given by Carla Hildago. Listed as the “ultimate moisturizing experience”, Kay’s upper chest, neck, and shoulder region were brushed with the spa’s unique moisturizing hot paraffin and mineral mud. We both leave the spa for an afternoon siesta feeling as if we had been in Costa Rica for a week instead of one day.

The hotel arranges a 4-in-1 tour to savor the many wonders of the countryside, including a coffee plantation, a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary, a buffet lunch on a veranda, and river cruises through the jungle. Even with this “all day” event, you never feel rushed. In Costa Rica, life is enjoyed without watching the clock or racing from one place to another.

Returning the next day to the spa, I ask Vera what the most special treatment would be and without hesitation she says, “Siamese Massage.” How could I resist?

I arrive for my appointment to find both Vera and Carla waiting. The Siamese massage is given by two people moving in tandem, with the timing perfection of synchronized swimmers. With my eyes closed, I drift to a state of euphoria difficult to express with words. My relaxed state lasted well into the evening and the next morning I awake from the best night’s sleep I can remember.

Costa Rica is located on the equator in Central America. Reasonable air travel can be found and hotel rates reflect the season. It is a safe democracy where people exude pura ida - the pure life.


On site:

  • Neoclassic pool
  • Conference facilities
  • Casino
  • Business center
  • Paddle tennis court
  • Bocci ball
  • Spa
  • Cigar Bar
  • Pool table
  • Nature trail


  • Bird sanctuary
  • Shopping
  • Coffee plantations
  • Rainforest tours
  • Golf
  • Guided tours –volcanoes, river cruise, whitewater rafting, canopy tours

Travel Planner
Hotel Martino Resort & Spa
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Tel. 1-866-272-7477 Toll free