A cool blend of mid-century modern and traditional Japanese, set on a tropical Costa Rican beachfront, this breezy house is far from the crowds yet close to everything.
We love the sense of space. Rooms open into each other, with Japanese-style screens and filmy curtains. Screen doors lead to spacious outdoor patios, and within seconds onto the beach. The architecture is extreme open-plan, with an exposed timber frame that feels almost like a circus tent. Furnishings are chilled out and beachy, giving the house an elegant yet utterly unpretentious vibe.
It’s a great space for getting to know the Malpais community. The house was built in the Nineties by its owner, California-born Alex, and his parents. When he married a beautful local girl called Mary, they started a restaurant three minutes away on foot. Back in 1996, it was just a little pulperia, serving up pizza to the locals. But it’s now much more, a farm-to-table success story and the oldest-running eatery in Malpais. It serves wood-oven pizza and seafood, using ingredients from a small farm just behind it and whatever the sea is currently offering up.
Alex and Mary now have four children, and they live next to the beach house, offering great eats, information on local hidden treasures, and a magical sense of community.