Eight Answers from Graeme Labe & Luca Franco about Luxury Frontiers’ Collaboration with Nayara Tented Camp, Costa Rica
Luxury Frontiers, the San Francisco/Johannesburg-based international firm specializing in the design and development of upmarket, light-on-earth building concepts, was commissioned to design Nayara Tented Camp, a safari-style experience located in Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica. One of the first luxury camps in Central America and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Naraya Tented Camp welcomes guests with low-impact, high-yield, eco-friendly, and comfortably luxurious accommodations, immersing them in the wilderness of the rainforest. Here are some quick facts on Luxury Frontiers’ design for the project:
Tell us about the destination and how that inspired Luxury Frontiers?
Nayara Tented Camp is located within Arenal Volcano National Park, part of the Arenal Conservation Area in northwestern Costa Rica. The Camp is approximately three hours by car from Costa Rica’s capital San José. Designers were inspired by the sense of place, phenomenal views of Arenal Volcano, and the undulating hillsides onsite.
How does Luxury Frontiers’ design create an indoor/outdoor experience for guests of Nayara Tented Camp?
Luxury Frontiers designed 29 air-conditioned tented accommodations sized at 1,496 square feet. Inspired by traditional African safari-style tents and fused with Costa Rican sense of place, each tent has openings that allow for unobstructed views of natural vegetation and the Arenal Volcano as part of the experience. The exterior color blends seamlessly with the surroundings, while interior palettes reflect those found in the natural environment and context of Costa Rica, including tones of rainbow eucalyptus tree bark, shades of green, and touches of leather. A private plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs is a highlight of each accommodation.
What are some notable interior details?
Interior features were designed to reflect natural beauty unique to Costa Rica, including exquisite wooden floors, and a backwall mural of rainforest foliage. The ox wagon wheel was used to inform the stylistic and artistic lines of carved details. Explorer-inspired furnishings nod to a period when luxury was celebrated in a nomadic way, with sunsets greeted with a refreshing drink from the comfort of a stylish, foldable campaign chair.
What are the stand out design features of this project?
The form of the tents is unique in the sense that we have created a bow on the tent’s flysheet, rather than a typical pointed peak. With that, we softened the silhouette against the hillside and created a lovely, undulated curved ridge that runs parallel to the surrounding hills. Internally as well as externally, we have employed custom colors and bespoke furniture. Luxury Frontiers designed every piece and had it manufactured just for Nayara Tented Camp.
What are some of the design elements Luxury Frontiers created for public spaces?
The public areas of Nayara Tented Camp reflect the same local context as the tented accommodations, with sites in areas that offer exquisite views of Arenal Volcano. The arrival experience is breathtaking, with the reception designed as a glass box to frame the volcano. Multiple lounges, entertainment areas, and lookout points are all fronted by an amazing multi-level swimming pool and an outdoor fire pit—a quintessential tented camp experience.
What design details address sustainability and responsible tourism?
In keeping with Luxury Frontiers projects around the world, all buildings at Nayara Tented Camp were designed as floating, light-on-earth structures. Each was built as a modular kit with eco-conscious composite decking for the exteriors and limited use of concrete. Interior flooring is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-approved. Tents are insulated to correct R-values, and though air-conditioned they are properly insulated to minimize power loss. All lighting uses LEDs and low-energy fittings. Luxury Frontiers also prioritized the preservation of heritage trees, minimized site grading impacts, maintained natural drainage, and sourced local plants for landscaping. Natural material was used in paving and walls, turf grass usage was limited, and passive airflow was employed to reduce air-conditioner usage.
Any surprising elements or unique features to detail?
The headboard of each four-posted canopy bed is designed to give the sense of a mural and feeling of being immersed in a jungle setting. Generously sized bathrooms with oversized vanity, double-headed showers inside and out, and large free-standing tub create flow between each element.
Luxury Frontiers used about 8,000 meters of running canvas for the accommodations, including internal and exterior canvas. The canvas was specially selected and custom dyed for the camp. Twelve tented accommodations are identical and connected via a covered passageway, making them ideal for sharing by groups of friends and multi-generational families.
For more information on Naraya Tented Camp visit www.nayaratentedcamp.com.
About Luxury Frontiers
Luxury Frontiers turns locations of remote beauty and wilderness into luxurious and experiential destinations. Often aiming to craft the seemingly impossible, Luxury Frontiers contextually designs and develops upmarket tented camps, treetop suites, and light-on-earth building concepts, constantly pushing the envelope of the hospitality frontier without sacrificing comfort, style, or a sense of place. The pioneering firm specializes in developing all-encompassing turnkey solutions, including architecture, interior design, and procurement and project management, always with the guest experience at the center of each project and experiential programming as the focal point. Architectural design, adherence to the strictest environmental standards, and operational requirements are masterfully fused with a meticulously scripted guest journey that seamlessly connects high-end hospitality and the adventure travel market. Luxury Frontiers is working with leaders and visionaries in the hospitality and real estate industries, including Four Seasons, Aman, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Belmond, Abercrombie & Kent, and Wilderness Safaris. For more information, please visit www.luxury-frontiers.com.