My wife and I spent a fabulous week at the Villas Casa Loma. This place has to rank as one of Costa Rica's best kept secrets. Absolutely the best way to see this amazing country. Rent yourself an SUV and come stay here. The grounds and accommodations are unbelievably beautiful and peaceful. Stay here and you're within a few minutes of at least a dozen beaches, each one nicer than the last. You can easily have an entire beach to yourself, especially if you're willing to take a short hike. Plenty of excellent restaurants in the area and no shortage of fascinating things to see/do. The owners, Tom and Igor, know everything you could possibly need to know about what to do, and how best to get there.
We had booked 4 days at an all-inclusive resort after our week at the Villas, thinking we'd need a few days of pampering after our week of adventuring on our own. Biggest regret of our lives, we should have stayed where we were!
Absolutely the best way to see Costa Rica.