Following the sale of Eyelevel, the successful Prague-based retail branding and production company he co-founded in 2002, Filip Žák and his wife Petra quit city life and headed to the hills of Costa Rica. On a remote plot overlooking Playa Hermosa, on the country’s south-western coast, framed by six acres of emerald jungle, they commissioned a family home, a five-bedroom concrete house designed by Prague studio Refuel Works. They then began slowly transforming their patch into a resort, which now encompasses the original house, Art Villa; a five-bedroom villa, Atelier, just down the hill; and Coco, a collection of four one-bedroom pods.
Žák was keen to create an unconventional getaway in their ‘small and beautiful corner of the world’, working with three different architects to create a unique style for each space. For Atelier, Dagmar Štipánová, of Prague-based studio Formafatal, created a low-key, clean-lined perforated aluminium and burnt teak structure that slots right into the lush thickets of tropical wilderness and, as Štipánová says, ‘erases the boundaries between interior and exterior, while highlighting simplicity and pure lines’. Inside the open-plan space, dappled light filters through the perforated façade panels onto furnishings such as Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s ‘Paulistano’ chairs, and ‘Shibari’ glass pendant lamps by Czech brand Bomma.
Coco, also designed by Formafatal with the Prague-based Archwerk, completes the resort, which includes a fitness suite, a multifunctional space for yoga classes, a 5m-long waterslide connecting Art Villa to the pool at Coco, and a glass-roofed shelter, with mosquito nets for walls, meant for overnight jungle experiences. Spend your days wallowing in Atelier’s infinity pool followed by an evening cocktail on the green roof, which looks out across to Costa Rica’s famous Whale Tail peninsula (an area of land in the shape of a whale’s tail that juts out into the Pacific Ocean) before tucking into a meal cooked by your own private chef using fresh organic ingredients from local farms and markets. Punta Achiote Road, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, tel: 506.840 170 42, artvillas.com. Rates: Art Villa, $950; Atelier, $450; Coco, $150