4 Unforgettable Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resorts for Families

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Destinations, Family Adventures, International

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Change your latitude and your attitude in Costa Rica. With volcanoes, hot springs, beautiful beaches, cloud forests, tropical wildlife, and national parks all vying for your attention, Costa Rica is ideal for outdoor-loving, active family travelers and those dreaming of languid beach days. 

Some of the best family resorts are all-inclusive, taking much of the stress out of vacation planning. These all-inclusive family resorts in Costa Rica have considered your vacation from every angle. From family-friendly suites with cool bunk beds to exclusive family-only lounges, to diverse dining that caters to a wide range of palates, there are activities and entertainment options for all ages. We hope you find one you love! 

 

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Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo 

The whole family can soak up the pura vida feeling at Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo. There’s an addictively laid-back vibe here on the warm, blue Pacific Ocean and underneath the swaying palm trees. 

Of course, you’re going to want to be outside as much as possible – on the golden-sand beach, by the pool, in the mountains – but when it’s time to head in, you won’t be too sorry. The resort’s specialty family suites are just that: truly special. Between white-washed walls with pops of blue and gleaming engineered hardwood floors, find kitchenettes and wet bars, comfy lounge areas, built-in bunk beds, and air conditioning, depending on the category you choose.

 

We’re particularly fond of the Family Bunk Bed Junior Suite at Margaritaville Beach Resort, with one king bed and two sets of twin bunk beds. At 450 square feet, the room accommodates up to six family members comfortably. 

 

One of the many appeals of inclusive hotels with younger children is the meal plan. It’s seamless and simple to account for in vacation planning, yet feels extravagant as you dine freely at the resort’s various eateries. At Margaritaville, families enjoy three meals daily and snacks at four restaurants and cafes, all gratuities for restaurants and bars, unlimited house-brand beverages and spirits (perhaps a drink at the swim-up bar is in order?), including house wine, cocktails, Costa Rica draft beer, juices, and soft drinks. 

 

What To Do At Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo

Choosing what to do next is likely to be the biggest problem you’ll have during your Playa Flamingo family vacation. The resort includes daily activities, from pool volleyball to eco walks to salsa dancing. Or, simply kick back by the sparkling pool. There’s tennis, foosball, movie nights with complimentary popcorn and drink, traditional arts and crafts classes, bingo, tai chi, Spanish classes, pool volleyball … the list goes on.

Take time to explore the ecologically protected Flamingo Beach, known for its incredible sunsets, natural lava rock pools, and waves perfect for body surfing. The all-inclusive package offers two hours of boogie board use per day (plus one complimentary bike rental).

A covered kids’ pool and kiddie play area allows the little ones to run around all day, protected from the sun, while you relax nearby. Need a respite? Trade off with your travel partner so you can slip away to the fitness center or, better yet, the OnZen Spa for a massage or facial. Feeling like a family adventure? Ask about morning dolphin and manta ray boat cruises, sunset snorkeling, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, scuba diving, and volcano tours. 

 

 

kids playing in pool, best costa rica family resorts

Pool time cures all! Photo credit Cor Dulce.

 

Dreams® Las Mareas Costa Rica

Reconnect with nature’s beauty at Dreams® Las Mareas Costa Rica, the kind of place that will leave even your angstiest teens awestruck. Just watch how quickly they’re sereptiously posting snaps of this emerald hideaway on Playa El Jobo (and listen for their unabashed glee when they glimpse a monkey swinging high in a Guanacaste tree). 

You’ll get serious cool points for planning your family’s vacation as soon as you all enter one of the resort’s 447 stunning suites. Each comes with a hot tub on a private, furnished balcony or terrace that overlooks the lush jungle, sparkling swimming pool, or ocean waves. Take things up a notch and reserve a Preferred Club suite. You’ll get special access to elevated concierge service, exclusive entry to the Preferred Club Lounge and other designated areas throughout the resort, and an upgraded suite in one of the resort’s best locations, along with premium amenities. 

 

ProTip: Want to wake up and essentially fall right into your own swimming pool? Stay in a Preferred Club Junior Suite Swim Out, with a king bed or two doubles, and a private terrace with direct access to a pool. It’s like your very own water park.

 

Dreams® Las Mareas Costa Rica’ all-inclusive package is on point. Sideline your worries and cares as you enjoy the Unlimited-Luxury® experience and indulge in limitless dining and drinks as you relax by the pool, listen to live music in the evenings, unwind in your suite or explore the beach. 

 

What To Do At Dreams® Las Mareas

What to do first? There are kids’ clubs for all ages, including the Explorers Club for kids ages 3-12 (complete with a camping adventure) and the Core Zone Teens Club for ages 13-17, with social events and a game room that contains the mandatory video games and table games. Dance with your kiddos at the weekly beach party, watch a spectacular show, take a cooking class, go horseback riding, take a bike tour, or go wildlife-watching. The resort combines the best of both worlds, offering both a relaxed beachside lifestyle and access to Costa Rica’s remarkable biodiversity, volcanoes, and cloud forests. 

 

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Beach, rainforest, ocean, best costa rica family resorts

Cast away your phone and feel like castaways yourselves on a pristine tropical beach in Costa Rica. Photo credit Berti Benbanaste.

 

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

Jet set off to Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, a luxurious Caribbean Costa Rica resort and a great place for your next family foray. This side of the country is fantastically chill, allowing all in the family to decompress in tropical splendor. And it’s remote – you can only access Tortuguero, the resort’s location, by boat or plane. 

While this resort sits at the pricier end of the family holiday budget, consider the rewards. Ideally set for eco-adventures, the lodge is tucked between the Tortuguero River and serene, plantation-style gardens, making you feel like you’re in your very own Eden. Just outside your door, there are activities for days that unlock the mysterious of this diverse ecosystem. 

With delightful names like the Miss Florentina Villa, Mr. Mishak Suite and Papi Brown Suite, the meticulously designed accommodations at Tortuga Lodge ooze charm and sophistication. The Miss Florentina Villa is an ode to the Caribbean Victorian era, complete with a plunge pool, wraparound deck, private master bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling screens, fine linens, a generous living area, an indoor/outdoor solar-heated rain shower and more. 

The lodge itself has an exceptionally private feel (in fact, it’s the island’s only hotel set with its own private nature reserve), with just 29 rooms and luxury amenities. 

Most of Tortuguero Lodge’s packages include charter flight service to the island, as well as meals and tours. If you prefer, you can ask about a land-boat combo from San Jose.

As for those meals, you’ll be treated to the chefs’ excellent, hearty offerings, served a la carte as opposed to a buffet. Locally infused dishes headline the menus, with tempting offerings like quinoa and green papaya salad, traditional Caribbean-style rice and beans, and plantain and fire-grilled shrimp toast. Finish it off with a dish of homemade ice cream – perhaps Ponche de Name, a Costa Rican Caribbean flavor with rum, cinnamon, cloves and ñame (yam). 

 

Tortuga Lodge has thought of everything to welcome you back from your day’s rain-forest adventures. From free WiFi and nightly turndown service, to rubber boots, walking sticks and umbrellas for said adventures.

 

What To Do At Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

The resort offers daily nature walks led by experienced naturalists, tours to turtle nesting sites, boat rides, kayak trips, twilight nature hikes, fishing and more. Too many choices? Post up in one of the hammocks around the peaceful resort and enjoy the surroundings on your own terms. 

 

toucan, rainforest, best costa rica family resorts

Plan the best family vacation ever? Toucan do it! Photo credit Zdeněk Macháček.

 

 

The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort & Spa

Family is revered at The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort & Spa. Get this: They have an entire Family Club Lounge open exclusively to guests staying in Family Junior Suites. How suite (sorry, not sorry) is that? 

Settle into a Bunk Bed Family Junior Suite with a king bed, bunk bed, and sofa bed, plus all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. In between swimming and adventuring, take advantage of the Family Club Lounge with its adorable furniture for young children and entertaining activities. There’s even a private check-in area. 

 

While you’re staying at The Westin Reserva Conchal, a dedicated Family Concierge is on hand to arrange activities and entertainment on- and off-site. Consider a privately led area tour that will take you to a volcanic mud bath and hot springs, horseback riding and even a tucked-away water slide in the rain forest.

 

What To Do At the Westin Reserva Conchal

When it’s time to explore, you’ll find much to love about this eco-friendly retreat set between an exotic forest and an unspoiled beach. Set on Costa Rica’s North Pacific Riviera, the resort strikes the perfect chord between a soothing escape and local adventure. And to streamline it all, with no worries about being nickel and dimed throughout your vacation, the all-inclusive package offers 24-hour room service, a well-stocked mini bar of soda, bottled water, liquor and beer, a la carte breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from any of the bars, pool bars and restaurants, with menus ranging from Latin fare to Asian fusion to northern Italian specialties (dinner reservations are required for the a la carte restaurants). 

 

monkey, rain forest, best costa rica family resort

Your kids will learn how to monkey around from the best. Photo credit Frank Eiffert.

 

Spend your days at the lagoon-style pool, in the Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studio, on the tennis courts, playing beach volleyball, or, if you’re a kid, in the Westin Kids Club (moms and dads can make a beeline to the Heavenly Spa by Westin). 

 

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If you’re the kind of family that golfs together, this is the perfect place. Just steps away from the par-71, Robert Trent Jones II-designed championship Reserva Conchal Golf Course – you might even spot a sloth or monkey clinging to the treetops as you tee off on the manicured Bermuda-grass greens next to the tropical forest and sun-splashed ocean.

Ready to go? Us, too. 

 

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From her home in Seattle, Michelle writes for a variety of internationally based travel companies. When not writing, she’s hiking, skiing, reading, or (in actuality) working her other job as “mom taxi.” Check out her other work at Eagle Eyes Editing.