Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resorts – What You Need to Know

costa rica resort
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 all-inclusive resorts are located throughout the country and offer a variety of opinions based on your travel style. For example, it is possible to stay in a romantic, eight-room, couples-only resort on the beach or you can also find resorts with several hundred rooms which are perfect for families.

We created this guide to help you know what to look for when booking your Costa Rican resort stay and to give you some insight into the best all-inclusive options throughout the country.

Why Costa Rica for All-Inclusive Vacations?

costa rica resort

Your options are endless when it comes to excellent destinations for your all-inclusive vacation. When looking at all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica you will likely find that they are more expensive than resort experiences in some other warm-weather destinations. For example, from the US it is often very affordable to find a resort in Cancun, Mexico.

So, why should you choose Costa Rica over other destinations?

In my opinion, if you are looking to save money, it might be best to head to Mexico or the Bahamas. Your stay will be cheaper.

However, if you want to stay in a place with a great track record in safety, with raw beach beauty, extensive wildlife, and lush jungle all within a small area, Costa Rica is your best bet. Costa Rica is definitely our choice as the perfect Central America destination.

Plus, many of the resorts in Costa Rica are top-notch. You will have your choice between large resorts with tons of amenities or small boutique-style all-inclusive resorts which will offer a more intimate experience.

Now, should you stay at an all-inclusive resort for your trip to Costa Rica?

We think it is a good option if you want total relaxation and don’t want to deal with much planning. Costa Rica is an amazing country, but it can be overwhelming to plan transportation, hotels, restaurants, activities etc. By staying at an all-inclusive resort that kind of thing can all be handled by the resort.

Keep in mind though, that Costa Rica is home to many amazing beach and jungle destinations. Sometimes staying at an all-inclusive resort is not the best option if you would like to explore a lot of the beauty of Costa Rica.

What to Look for When Booking an All-Inclusive Resort

all inclusive resort costa rica


Before booking anything we definitely suggest reading the reviews, both positive and negative. We find that sometimes a resort will have a low review score, but once we read the reviews we see that there may be only a few negative reviews and it is sometimes over very nit-picky things such as “the coffee wasn’t as strong as I like.”

On the flip side of that, read the positive reviews and make sure they sound legit. we have seen resorts before in which the reviews sound to be manufactured by the employees.


When staying at an all-inclusive resort amenities are so important! In Costa Rica you will definitely want to stay at a place with a nice pool. If staying near the beach, check if the resort has beach access and private beach chairs with umbrellas for guests to use.

If you are looking for an all-inclusive Costa Rica resort with a golf course, fishing tours etc. that is also possible to find.

Just keep in mind that some amenities (such as spa services) may not be included in the all-inclusive price. It is sometimes possible to purchase vacation packages which include some bonus services.


hotel room


Many of the all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica are located on the Papagayo Peninsula, just 20 minutes from Liberia International Airport. Most include transportation from the airport, or have a private shuttle that you can add to your stay for a fee.


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However, some of these all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica are located further away from Liberia or San Jose International Airport. To get to these resorts you will need a different form of transportation.

It is best to contact the resort and see how much they will charge for a private shuttle.

The Vibe

costa rica resort

Check to make sure the vibe aligns with what you are looking for. For example, Thomas and I prefer smaller resorts and if they are adult-only, even better! If you have kids you will probably prefer a bigger resort with many kid-friendly activities.

Cancellation Policies

All of the resorts we listed are available on By booking your stay this way you can ensure cancellation up to a certain date. With all the uncertainty with travel at the moment, it is nice to be confident that you can cancel your plans without losing money.

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica

costa rica resort

There are so many hotels and resorts in Costa Rica that it can be difficult to narrow down your selection to the best places based on your needs. Here are our 14 favorite all-inclusive resorts with detailed info on each one.

Secrets Papagayo

secrets papagayo rooms
Image courtesy of Secrets Papagayo

An adults-only resort with tons of amenities. Secrets has locations throughout the world and is a popular all-inclusive resort option for honeymoons.

Location: Papagayo Peninsula, between Liberia airport and Playas del Coco

Amenities: Four restaurants, one cafe, five bars, 24 hour dining services, fitness center, spa, beach access, yoga classes, and so much more!

Why we suggest it: This place is great for couples who want all the amenities of a large resort, but without the craziness that can sometimes go along with that. Plus, it is absolutely beautiful here! The grounds, rooms, restaurants etc. are stunning. It is also located only about 20 minutes away from Liberia International Airport.


W Costa Rica

W Costa Rica is a luxurious resort from Mariott. It is not adults only, but it is definitely best suited for adults.

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

Amenities: Two outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, three restaurants, beach access, spa, on-property golf course, and more!

Why we suggest it: W Costa Rica is located on one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica. If you are interested in an all-inclusive resort with a gold course, this is one of the few options in Costa Rica.


Villa Buena Onda

This is an adults-only hotel that has only eight guest rooms and stunning Pacific Ocean views.

Location: Playas del Coco

Amenities: An a la carte restaurant, cooking classes, Spanish classes, yoga, guided walks, spa, fitness center, pool, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: We love that Villa Buena Onda only has eight rooms. This makes it the perfect place for a romantic vacation. It would be a great spot for a honeymoon or anniversary.


El Mangroove Papagayo

El Mangroove hotel is the definition of beautiful resort design. This place is stunning!

Location: Peninsula Papagayo (between Liberia airport and Playas del Coco)

Amenities: Two restaurants, spa, beach access, a beautiful pool, and more!

Why we suggest it: 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.


The Westin Golf Resort & Spa

This resort is located on a 2,400 acre luxury property and has everything you could possibly want in an all-inclusive resort.

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

Amenities: Golf course, kids club, fitness center, spa, tennis courts, pool, multiple bars and restaurants, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: 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 your golfing enthusiasts.


RIU Palace

riu palace

RIU has two resorts right next to each other (as you can see in the picture above). The RIU Palace and the RIU Guanacaste are both large resorts. However, the RIU Guanacaste is a bit more family-friendly, but also a bit crazier. For couples or families that want a calmer experience, I suggest RIU Palace.

Location: Papagayo

Amenities: Multiple pools, multiple restaurants, beach access, kids programs, spa, volleyball courts, kayaks for guests to use, etc.

Why we suggest it: RIU Palace usually has some great deals which make it a more affordable luxury option. Plus, there is so much to do here.


Azura Beach Resort

This adults-only resort has a modern relaxing feel to it which we think you will love.

Location: Samara

Amenities: Restaurant, pool, fitness center, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: We like this spot because it is one of the best all-inclusive options in Samara. Samara is a cute town to explore and perfect for water activities such as surfing and kayaking.


Occidental Papagayo

Another beautiful adults-only hotel. Keep in mind that the facilities are a bit older than some other places, but the prices are also much more reasonable than in some places.

Location: Papagayo

Amenities: Restaurants, bars, pools, tennis courts, a fitness center, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: We suggest this place because all the ground and rooms aren’t as modern as other places, the amenities are still on point, the staff is still excellent, the food and drinks are great, and the price point is very fair.


The Retreat Costa Rica

The perfect jungle hotel with amazing views.

Location: Atenas (between San Jose and Pacific coast)

Amenities: Restaurant, pool, nature trails, spa, yoga classes, and more!

Why we suggest it: This is a great spot if you would like an all-inclusive resort not too far from San Jose International Airport. It also offers a more jungle feel than the rest of the resorts on this list. Just keep in mind that it is not located on the beach.

Also, the rooms, grounds, and views are magical.


Kasiiya Papagayo

A luxury resort with only five rooms.

Location: Papagayo

Amenities: Restaurant, spa, surfing, yoga hiking, and more!

Why we suggest it: This is great if you want the utmost luxury in an intimate setting. The property has a modern rustic vibe with tented luxury rooms, which we love! Also, the staff here go above and beyond to give guests an amazing experience.


Andaz Costa Rica

andaz papagayo

The Andaz by Hyatt is a luxury hotel at its finest. Everything here feels perfect.

Location: Papagayo Peninsula (between Liberia Airport and Playas del Coco)

Amenities: Spa, fitness center, multiple pools, three restaurants, tennis court, zip lining, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: Andaz is great because it offers an upscale experience for couples or families. For example, there is a swimming pool reserved just for adults as well as one for families. Also, it is possible to stay here as an all-inclusive resort or to opt for a lower-cost option in which meals are not included.


Dreams Las Mareas

A luxury resort for the whole family with amazing ocean views.

Location: North of Liberia airport, not far from Nicaragua border

Amenities: Restaurants, fitness center, nightclub, multiple pools, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: The service here goes above and beyond. The facilities are beautiful, and everyone will find something fun to do here.


Planet Hollywood Beach Resort

planet hollywood

This is the perfect super fun family resort destination. It just opened in late 2018 so everything is super modern and top-notch.

Location: Papagayo Peninsula

Amenities: Multiple restaurants, multiple bars, a kids club, pools, beach access, and more!

Why we suggest it: 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.


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out! Also, if you have stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica we would love to hear about your experience.


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