Development & Design


Inspired by what we had seen, we devoted ourselves to making this treasure accessible to visitors in a sustainable way. For us, green practices are not the product of trendy ad campaigns or marketing strategies. Environmental responsibility is an innate duty - a way of life and our fervent philosophy in all we do at Hotel Rio Perdido. 

We were able to fit all the key service elements into one main building.  The development was accomplished in an area that comprises about 1% of the total land, leaving the smallest footprint possible. Nearly all the property's trail system installation prevented the clearing of the forest. We removed domesticated and farm animals from the land. Of course, we stopped the logging that occurred with previous owners to allow for an accelerated rebalancing of the local ecosystem. Most of the wood used in the hotel's construction was farmed under license, and quite a bit of it came from fallen sources. We currently have hundreds of acres under contract with the national forestry protection agency, and we aim to increase that number moving forward.  

Zero Land Movement Development (ZLMD)

From the start, our commitment has been to keep the land's topography as close as possible to its original state. The development of Hotel Rio Perdido required our ethical duty to observe certain limitations. We elected for structures to be founded on existing geological formations and, when that was not possible, to be elevated by pylons. This style of raised architecture was ideal in conserving the natural hydrology of the terrain. The end result is the ultimate respect for the natural environment. Our philosophy is that if nature is respected, she will generously return her bountiful gifts to our guests.

Meet our Top-Notch Collaborators

Estudio C2 Arquitectura (Esteban Calvo & Rafael Cruz) 

Esteban Calvo and Rafael Cruz are among the youngest architects to have won the prestigious Bienal de Arquitectura. This was followed by the surprise receipt of the Renee Frank Award. Both of these distinguished awards were the result of their work on Rio Perdido's iconic central building.  For over seventeen years, Esteban and Rafael have been an essential cog of the family-operated development group responsible for Rio Perdido. Their collaboration in the primary designs resulted in the most awards for hospitality architecture in Costa Rica's recent history.  Exemplary projects like Tabacon's Grand SpaNayara SpringsNayara Tented Camp, and Rio Celeste Hideaway, among others, were conceptualized by the talented C2 duo. 

Project CR+d - David Darlington & Carolina Barzuna  

Now heading important divisions at Gensler Architecture & Zurcher Architects, the brilliant couple, David Darlington and Carolina Barzuna, formed this boutique design firm for select clients employing playfully creative hospitality solutions. Carolina and Dave are responsible for the very well-received first phase of rooms, known as the East Bungalows, due to their location on the peninsula, nestled between the two main rivers that run through the property. 

VIDA Design Studio (Matthew Flynn, Ana Maria Pinto, & Co.) 

Vida Design Studio was founded by the powerhouse creative couple Ana Maria Pinto and Matthew Flynn. Since their formative days with EDSA, both have worked worldwide, focusing on sustainable land planning and award-winning conscious landscape architecture. Their team is an exemplary showcase of talent and work ethic. 

PARQ (Daniel Cisneros & Felipe Sanabria)

This boutique architecture firm is led by artists Daniel Cisneros and Felipe Sanabria. They take great pride in being among the first to employ authentic, experiential architecture at a local level. They are responsible for the one-of-a-kind second phase Center Bungalows.  This design seems simple upon first glance, but all guests that have the privilege of spending time in these units will experience what we refer to as passive-wellness.  The Center Bungalows' design work took almost two years to finalize and was well worth the time and devotion as witnessed by the finished result. 



Gensler is the largest architecture firm globally. Their Costa Rica office has served as the creative headquarters for all of Latin America. Rio Perdido has greatly benefitted from the talent of professionals such as  Samuel Bermudez and Fiorella D'Alaimo. 

Garnier Arquitectos (Jean Andre Garnier & Co.) 

Founding architect, Jean André Garnier, helped us resolve several internal components within the central building, including the reception and main bar. 

OUSIA (Carmen Cubillos & Co.)

All of our furniture was designed specifically for us and made from locally and sustainably farmed woods. OUSIA, a top interior design firm with many years of experience, made this job possible.