The owners of the Gaia Boutique Hotel commissioned Studio Saxe to expand their existing hotel in Manuel Antonio, Quepos. This expansion was located in a nature reserve and so the project had to blend in with its surroundings and reduce the impact on the natural environment as much as possible. Therefore, the obvious solution was to create an architecture that highlighted the beauty of the forest by bringing it into the buildings itself, wrapping the main structure around trees and forming paths to navigate the different functions of the hotel.


The rooms of the hotel blur the boundaries between inside and outside spaces, organised into a series of pods. Materials have been selected to subtly transition between the forest and the hotel in stages. Rougher materials are used for the external terraces and circulation routes while the interiors are kept clean and smooth. The goal is to create a hotel environment of the highest possible standards while acknowledging the area of outstanding natural beauty it sits within.

Project Data

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Date of Completion
Gaia Hotel and Reserve
Aprox. 3000m2

Project Team

Design Director
Benjamin G. Saxe