Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve & Residences

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve & Residences

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is a resort and collection of luxury-branded residences nestled in one of the most prized locations of Peninsula Papagayo, a private club and resort community in Costa Rica’s northwestern region of Guanacaste. Collaborating with landscape architect and land planner, EDSA, and a market leader in experiential lodging, Luxury Frontiers, SB Architects created a design reflective of Guanacaste and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand, which is renowned for creating immersive escapes in the rarest corners of the world.


Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Project Type

Branded Residential
Destination Resorts

Project Size

1,400 Acres


  • 107 Guest Rooms & Suites
  • 34 Branded Estate Homes & Villas
  • Three Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dining Concepts
  • Private Beach Club & Cascading Infinity Pool
  • Signature On-Site Spa
  • Suspension Bridge
  • Lush Gardens & Open-Air Spaces

The sanctuary is in Costa Rica’s Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Honoring Costa Rica’s position as a prime ecotourism destination and one of the most biodiverse countries, SB Architects’ site-sensitive design weaves tree-house type structures and tents alongside villas, with a light-on-land approach that allows the design to be guided by the natural contours of the land.

An immersive Guanacastecan experience

SB Architects reinterpreted local architectural elements for its design, which immerses guests and residences authentically in the locale and delivers experiences tailored to the ethos of Guanacaste. A “classic zone” at the heart of the resort draws from traditional, hacienda-style architecture and honors Spanish influences, while a “transitional zone” showcases an interpretation of architecture found in the local Guanacaste region across guest rooms, suites, and branded residences. An “organic zone” encompassing the guest lodging, beach club, and wellness spa features treehouse-style architecture inspired by the natural environment.

“Today’s discerning travelers and buyers are seeking the most beautiful, remote landscapes to relax, explore, and deepen their connection to nature. With immersive hospitality concepts informed by research into the traditions and architecture of the Guanacaste region, our team designed Nekajui as a place to soak up the local culture, satiate a thirst for outdoor adventure, and experience the peninsula’s natural wonders through the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand.”

Scott Lee, SB Architects President and Principal

Venturing into nature

Nekajui winds organically from coastal bluffs down to the sandy beach, offering unparalleled access to the peninsula’s natural beauty and a multifaceted architectural journey. Guests will have the option of staying close to the heart of the resort at La Casona, in one of the guestrooms across the site, or in tents or treehouse-type structures that are more remote and casual and organic in design. The design caters to a wide audience with varying appetites for adventure travel, allowing people to delve as deeply into nature and organic experiences as they desire.


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