Costa Rica Beach Resorts – 13 Luxury Stays

View of a woman looking out at the ocean from an infinity pool in Mal Pais, Costa Rica
about us

Hi! We’re Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and now live in sunny Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica is home to several beach resorts that offer the perfect luxury destination for your next vacation. These places come at a wide variety of price points and for all different interests from all-inclusive, to adult-only, to family-friendly. 

With thousands of miles of coastline on both the Pacific and Caribbean Coast, Costa Rica is the perfect beach destination. You will have your choice between rugged beaches to places with clear turquoise waters. There are calm places for swimming and spots with big waves for surfing. 

Basically, whatever you want, you can find it here. 

We compiled this list of 13 luxury Costa Rican beach resorts to help you find the brest place for YOU!

Los Suenos

Location

Playa Herradura (near Jaco)

The Vibe

This place has a big resort vibe to it. The property is huge and besides the Marriott resort, there are also several villas that can be rented out privately. 

Amenities

If you stay at the Marriott resort the amenities include access to the 18-hole golf course, pool access, daily fitness classes, spa access, kid’s pool access, and beach access. 

The Beach

The water is usually calm enough to enjoy some swimming. You can also take long walks during low tide along this sandy beach.

Off-site activities

We suggest going fishing, enjoying a catamaran tour, and zip lining. You can reserve these activities with transportation from Los Suenos below. 

Rooms

The resort offers a wide variety of rooms that can accommodate up to four guests. 

If you would like a larger space we suggest renting a villa. This can be done through Marriott’s Homes and Villas website

Dining

There are six restaurants and bars on the property.

JW Marriott

Location

Hacienda Pinilla (south of Tamarindo and just north of Playa Avellanas)

The Vibe

This is a large resort property that consists of private villas as well as the resort. In my opinion, this has a typical resort vibe which makes it great for families who want to mostly stay at the resort and enjoy the on-site experience with occasional day tours.

Amenities

Spa, beach access, pools, fitness center, game room, kid’s activities, 24-hour room service

On site activities

Take an exercise class, relax in the pool, enjoy a spa treatment, explore the beach, work out in the fitness center

Off site activities

We suggest trying your hand at surfing. This area is great for catching waves. Also, taking a day or sunset catamaran tour with snorkeling is always a fun option.

Rooms

This resort offers a wide variety of room options that sleep up to 4 guests. If you would like to rent a villa on the property, that is possible as well through Marriott Homes & Villas

We suggest this if traveling with more than one family. 

Dining

There are nine restaurants and bars located on the property. These include a steakhouse, an Asian-fusion restaurant, an Italian restaurant, and a swim-up bar. 

Jardin del Eden

Location

Tamarindo

The Vibe

This is an adult-only resort located directly on the beach in Tamarindo. It’s a good option if you are looking for a more affordable (but very nice) resort experience that is peaceful but also located right next to a ton of action. 

Amenities

Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate, there is a concierge who will help you plan day activities or transportation, and there are two pools.

On-Site Activities

Chill out in the tropical pool, enjoy the surrounding gardens, walk the short path to Tamarindo beach, relax with a spa treatment

The Beach

This beach isn’t the best for swimming, but it is great for walking or relaxing in the sun or shade. Surfing is a popular activity here and you can easily rent a board nearby. Alternatively, get out on the water with a snorkel or diving catamaran tour. 

Off-Site Activities

Tamarindo offers so much to do. Some more popular activities are; ATV tours, day trips to Palo Verde National Park, zip lining, and of course surfing!

It is always possible to book activities directly through Jaren del Eden, but if you would prefer to organize things yourself, here are a few of our favorite activities in the area with transportation from the resort.

Rooms

This resort has 46 guest rooms. Some rooms feature outdoor jacuzzi tubs and all rooms (except the standard rooms) have a balcony or outdoor seating area. All rooms sleep two guests.

Dining

Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate. Typically the dinner menu offers two options every evening, but they are always happy to accommodate any allergies or dietary preferences. 

Everything they serve is always on point.

Margaritaville

Location

Playa Flamingo

The Vibe

I guess the best word to describe this place is “fun”. You will never run out of things to do here. Everyone in the family will enjoy it. And we love that they offer an all-inclusive package option. 

Amenities

Multiple restaurants, multiple bars, tennis courts, daily scheduled activities, covered kids pool, pools, beach access, and more!

On-site activities

Our favorite thing to do here is to participate in all the daily scheduled activities which are included in your stay. These activities include exercise classes, painting classes, table game tournaments, and more!

Off-site activities

Flamingo is a great place to enjoy the white sand beautiful beaches and ocean views. There are also many nice day trips to take from here including zip lining, fishing, snorkeling, and more.

We included some of our favorites below. 

Rooms

There are multiple accommodation options which range from sleeping two guests up to sleeping six guests. 

Dining

There are four restaurants and pool bars located on the property. It is also possible to order room service. 

It is also possible to book an all-inclusive package if you would like all your meals and drinks included. We suggest this if you plan to mostly stay within the resort property and don’t plan on doing much exploring of nearby areas.

Keep in mind that kids under the age of five also eat for free here if ordering off the children’s menu.

Copa de Arbol

Location

Drake Bay

The Vibe

This is a good place to go if you would like a remote more eco-accommodation option

Amenities

Paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkel gear that guests can use. There are hiking trails, a beautiful beach with beach chairs, an infinity pool, and a jacuzzi. 

This is an all-inclusive resort, so breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the rate. 

The Beach

The beach has darker sand and is backed up by the jungle. It is the perfect place to relax or enjoy snorkeling. 

Off-Site Activities

We definitely suggest taking a day trip to Corcovado National Park if you are here. This is a great way to see a ton of wildlife with an experienced guide. 

Rooms

The accommodations here are actually bungalow-style villas. Some villas can sleep up to five guests. Every villa has a small private kitchen and amazing views. 

Dining

There is a nice open-air restaurant on the property where all meals are served. There is a focus on organic local ingredients. Also, they are happy to accommodate allergies and dietary needs.

Diria Beach Resort

Location

Tamarindo

The Vibe

This place is perfect for people of all ages. The vibe isn’t as relaxed as some other places on this list because it is located right in the downtown area of Tamarindo. But, it is perfect for those of you who want plenty to do nearby without feeling trapped at a resort property. 

Amenities

The resort features multiple pools, outdoor massafes, a casino, beach access, a fitness center, a concierage, and a kids club. 

The Beach

Tamarido beach is a long stretch of coastline that can get very filled with tourists. It is a great place to go surfing, go horseback riding on the beach, take a walk, and relax with the ocean view. 

Off site activities

This resort is within walking distance of all the nice restaurants and shops in downtown Tamarindo. This is also the perfect jumping-off point for tons of adventures. We suggest taking an ATV tour, going zip lining, and visiting Palo Verde National Park. 

Rooms

The rooms are divided into three sections which each have their own pool. 

One section is named the Family Area, so those of you with kids might enjoy that area.

Rooms are standard and can sleep between two and four guests. 

Dining

The resort has six restaurants. There is a Mexican restaurant, a pizza & pasta place, a seafood place, a steakhouse, a coffee & gelato house, and one restaurant that is a bit of a mix.

You will also have all of the great Tamarindo restaurants within walking distance.

RIU Guanacaste

Location

Papagayo Peninsula

The Vibe

This is one of the most popular and largest resorts in the country. If you want the full all-inclusive family resorts in Costa Rica vibe, this is a good option. 

We find it a bit too big for us, but with an active family who wants to all do different things, we think this is a good pick. 

Note: If you want the large all-inclusive resort feel, but would prefer something geared a bit more toward adults and less toward families, check out the adjacent property, RIU Palace.

Amenities

24 hour a day all-inclusive, three swimming pools, a water park, daily entertainment, volleyball courts, tennis courts, fitness center, resort spa, beach access, a free diving lesson in the pool, kayaks to use

Rooms

Rooms range from basic rooms to two-bedroom suites which can sleep up to six guests. 

Dining

This is an all-inclusive resort which means all meals, snacks, and drinks are included in your stay. There are multiple on-site restaurants and dining experiences you can choose from.

Planet Hollywood

Location

Papagayo Peninsula

The Vibe

If you are traveling with kids, this place will be so much fun for the entire family. We also love that it is a new resort with top-notch design and amenities. It’s just an all-around fun vibe.

Amenities

Multiple restaurants, multiple bars, a kids club, several swimming pools, white sand beach access, STARS kids club, splash kids zone, disco, daily and nightly entertainment, and more!

On-site activities

You will never run out of things to do here. We suggest participating in the daily or evening entertainment, relaxing at the pools, enjoy a spa treatment, visit the beaches. Etc. 

Off-site activities

Papagayo Peninsula is a great jumping-off point for tons of adventure. For a fun day trip we suggest a catamaran tour with snorkeling or a visit to Rincon de la Vieja National Park. 

Rooms

They offer rooms and suites which can sleep up to eight guests. In other words, if you are a small family there are options for you, or if you would like to travel with another family there are two-bedroom suites with pool table, balcony, and hot tub. 

Dining

There are seven restaurants on the property. These include a Guy Fieri burger joint, gourmet food buffet, sushi restaurant, Tex-Mex restaurant, steakhouse, Italian trattoria, and a spirit bar.

There are six bars on the property including two swim-up bars, a coffee house, and a premier bar.

Secrets Papagayo

Location

This resort is located on the Papagayo Peninsula near the Liberia International Airport.

The Vibe

The resort is a lot larger than most of the other places on this list with over 200 guest suites. If you have ever stayed at a Secrets resort before, you somewhat know what you can expect. 

Everything here is top-notch, clean, modern, and well-organized. You will definitely have a great visit. If you want a party, tons of activities, and excellent restaurants, this is the perfect place for you. 

However, if you are looking for an intimate setting, this is not it.

Amenities

Secrets Papagayo is an all-inclusive resort with unlimited food and drinks. Some other amenities include; two pools, a fitness center, housekeeping, air conditioning, and more!

On-site activities

Relax and pamper yourself at the spa, enjoy the evening entertainment, play some volleyball on the beach, work out in the fitness center, enjoy a coffee or rum tasting, or take a cooking class.

Off-site activities

The resort will be happy to organize off-site activities for you including mountain biking, canopy tours, deep-sea fishing, and catamaran tours. 

Rooms

There are multiple room options including upgraded experiences for Hyatt Preferred Club Members. All rooms include a balcony or terrace. 

Dining

There are seven restaurants and five bars on the property. As I mentioned above, this is an all-inclusive resort so all food and drinks are included in your booking rate. There is also the option of 24-hour-a-day room service. All of the food (and drinks) here are top-notch.

Dreams Las Mareas

Location

North of Liberia airport, not far from Nicaragua border

The Vibe

This is a relatively new resort (we visited while they were finishing construction and I believ that was in 2017) so everything is really modern. We like that it is a larger resort with many amenities but it somehow doesn’t feel overwhelmingly huge. 

Amenities

Restaurants, fitness center, nightclub, multiple pools, kid’s club, beach access, and more!

On site activities

There is so much to do here. Some of our favorites are; enjoying the daily entertainment with activities such as shows and cooking classes, relaxing by the multiple pools or beach, kayaking, enjoying a spa experience. 

Rooms

There are a variety of room options accommodating up to four guests.

Dreams Las Mareas is a Hyatt hotel, so Hyatt Prefferred members have access to elevated room experiences.

Dining

There are 16 restaurant and bar options on the property. Yes, you read that correctly….16! So, you can literally try out new places on every single day of your vacation.

El Mangroove

Location 

Papagayo Peninsula

The Vibe

The grounds here are beautiful. You feel so secluded in luxury here. Plus, you can’t beat the location. It is only about 20 minutes from Liberia International Airport. We like that it has a boutique hotel feel to it. 

On-site Activities

The property has two restaurants, a spa, beach access, a beautiful pool, and more!

Accommodations

They offer a variety of rooms and suites which can sleep between two and four guests. All rooms are modern and done up nicely.

Dining

There are two restaurants and a bar on the property. One restaurant is open-air and perfect for lunch. The other restaurant is designed to serve delicious fresh local cuisine for breakfast and dinner. 

This resort also offers room service.

W Costa Rica

Location

Playa Conchal

The Vibe

Relaxed luxury that is perfect for all ages and interests. 

Amenities

Access to the Reserva Conchal golf course, beach access, fitness center, spa, exercise classes, and pool. 

The Beach

This resort is located on Playa Conchal which is often considered the nicest beach in the whole country. It is secluded, beautiful, and has perfect waters for swimming or snorkeling

Off-site activities

From Conchal, it is possible to go on a catamaran tour, try SUP, go snorkeling or diving, take a day trip to Palo Verde, and more!

Rooms

There are a lot of different room options here depending on your budget and the number of people in your group. It is also to stay in the on-property villa which has a private pool and five bedrooms. 

Dining

There are five restaurants and bars on the property. We like cocktails from the poolside WET deck, lunch at the open-air Cocina de Mercado, and dinner at Latitud 10 Norte.

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa

Location

Playa Conchal (a nice beach between Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo)

The Vibe

This is a great place for the whole family. There is plenty for the kids to do (especially with the kids club). Also, the on-property golf course is a great perk for all of you golf enthusiasts.

The Beach

This is often considered the nicest beach in Costa Rica. Get ready for white sands and clear turquoise waters!

On-Site Activities

Go golfing in the 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, relax in one of the multiple pools, play tennis, exercise in the fitness center, enjoy a spa treatment, participate in one of the daily activities, have your children learn and enjoy the kids club experience.

Rooms

The rooms range in sleeping two to four guests in various suite options. We like that this resort has rooms for families as well as an adult-only section.

This is an all-inclusive resort, so prepare to enjoy all the excellent food and drinks you would like.  

Dining

There are 13 restaurants and bars on the property. Some of our favorites are the Manglar seafood restaurant, the Triton swim-up bar, and La Sabana steakhouse.

Resort Advice

beach mal pais

Transportation

Usually, we suggest renting a car in Costa Rica, but if you are staying at a resort it is most likely not very necessary because you probably won’t be doing a ton of exploring.

All the resorts listed above will be happy to arrange transportation for you. However, sometimes it can be pricey. We personally suggest a local private transfer company called Adobe Transfers. You can get a transfer price quote here.

Alternatively, if you would like to rent a car, you can find out more about that and get a 10% discount plus other great perks here.

If you are flying into Liberia International Airport and need to get to or from the Liberia International Airport to your resort we highly recommend our favorite family of registered taxi drivers. You can get your price quote from them here.

Packing

Rain jacket, bug spray, nice clothes for dinner, swimsuit, sunscreen, small backpack for day trips, sandals, hiking shoes, everyday shoes, and fast-drying clothing.

Keep in mind that things have a tendency to get wet here and just never dry. Check out our packing guide for more info.

Best Season

The dry season in Costa Rica runs from late December until late April. This is also the busiest and most expensive time of year to visit.

From May until the end of July, resort prices tend to go down a bit. You will likely experience afternoon rainstorms for an hour or two, but besides that, the weather should be decent. 

From August to early December the weather is more difficult to predict. You might have some days that are complete washouts. However, you will have your choice of any resort you want.

To save a bit of money, we suggest visiting in July. The weather should be pretty good, there aren’t too many tourists, and prices are a bit lower.

Safety

You should feel very safe in resorts in Costa Rica. However, keep a close eye on your belongings while out and about. We have never had any issues, but petty theft sometimes happens.

Other Things to Note

– We strongly suggest staying at a beach resort for a few nights and then checking out a jungle destination. Costa Rica is beautiful and has so much to offer. It is always nice to get a taste of the country besides being in a resort.

– Credit cards are accepted everywhere. Costa Rican colones is the main currency in the country, but US dollars are also widely accepted (especially in resorts).

– The main motto for life in Costa Rica is “Pura Vida”. This directly translates to “pure life” and in Costa Rica it is used to mean “everything is good. Life is great.” 

I’m telling you this because I hope everything at your resort stay goes perfectly, but keep in mind that sometimes you just need to relax and enjoy this different culture. People here live in a more relaxed time frame than you may be used to. 

– If you would like more resort or hotel options, check out our guide to all resorts in Costa Rica. Here you can see all the best honeymoon resorts, jungle resorts, all-inclusive resorts, and more!

If you have any questions about arranging your vacation to Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!

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