Where to stay in Costa Rica

 

Where to stay in Costa Rica!

One of the biggest questions when planning a trip is where to stay. The decision is even more difficult in a destination like Costa Rica where you have every type of accommodation imaginable; from rustic, off-the-grid lodges and beachside boutique hotels to luxury all-inclusive resorts. Of course, every family is different with their own travel style and budget so we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite Costa Rica hotels that will give you some options and a place to start when planning your Costa Rica vacation.

The Harmony Hotel

The Harmony Hotel is located on Playa Guiones in the popular surf town of Nosara, named as one of the 20 Best Beach Towns by National Geographic. The owners of the hotel actually met while surfing in Nosara and loved the place so much that they opened The Harmony hotel in 2004. The Harmony is dedicated to sustainability, from the organic food used in the kitchen to the all-natural biodegradable bath products used in their bathrooms and the hotel received a five-leaf rating from Costa Rica’s prestigious Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST).

Great for couples, girls getaways and families with tweens and teens.
The Harmony Hotel

La Carolina Lodge

La Carolina Lodge is located very close to the Tenorio Volcano National Park and the Rio Celeste Waterfall. The cabins at the resort are very basic and there is very little electricity – but don’t worry, after you enjoy a dip in the volcanic river and soak in the naturally heated hot tub, candles will guide you back to your cabin. There is running water, fully operational bathrooms and showers, but while La Carolina is not off-the-grid, it is a bit more like camping than staying at a traditional resort. It’s ideal for those looking for a truly authentic Costa Rican experience to take in the lush tropical surroundings. Be sure to take advantage of horseback riding through their enchanted forest and let the kids milk their cows!

Great for families with school-aged children, tweens and teens, large groups and multi-generational. Also great for adventurous girls getaways.
La Carolina Lodge

Lost Iguana Resort

The Lost Iguana Resort is a quiet resort that sits in the middle of 120 acres of exotic rainforest, which includes a private hiking trail for guests to explore. Each of the 42 rooms at this hidden oasis come with a view of the Arenal Volcano. Just a short walk up the road will take you to the popular Arenal Hanging Bridges and waterfall hike. The Lost Iguana includes a full service restaurant, spa, boutique and two pools. If you want to splurge, book the celebrity suite that comes with an outdoor shower; trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Great for couples, girls getaways, families with children of all ages.

Lost Iguana Resort

Rio Perdido

Rio Perdido consists of twenty individual resort bungalows resting on stilts, perched above the forest floor to minimize the impact on the jungle surroundings. This is definitely a place for adventure; the resort’s Canyon Adventure is a thrilling 15-course system of zip lines, including Tarzan swings, a challenging bridge and via ferratas that soar through the jungle and over the two rivers. Want to get in the water? The White Water Tubing tour takes visitors deep into a canyon carved by Rio Blanco where thrilling rapids break up the slow meandering river. Finally, a soak and mud bath in the resort’s famous thermal canyon springs is a must. Visit in the evening for an even more magical experience. If you can’t stay overnight, day passes are available to enjoy the resort’s activities,

Great for couples, girls getaways, families with tweens or teens. *They may only allow kids ages 12+, best to call for details.
Rio Perdido

Monteverde Lodge and Gardens

The Monteverde Lodge & Gardens is the epitome of rustic elegance nestled in the heart of the cloud forest. This hotel is extremely family-friendly and the garden setting will make you feel as if you’re staying inside a beautifully decorated birdhouse. Enjoy sitting in the large Jacuzzi room, listening to the rain tap dance on the window panels or explore the hiking trails that lead off from the garden. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the area here and you may even stumble across a waterfall on one of your walks. This is a lovely place to stay for all families.

Great for everyone, couples, families of all ages, and multi-generational
Monteverde Lodge and Gardens

Las Catalinas

Las Catalinas is a chic vacation spot for families looking to settle in and embrace the Pura Vida luxe life. It is located on Playa Danta, a quiet, locals-only type beach, also known for its hiking and biking trails. The entire custom-built village of Las Catalinas mixes Costa Rican culture with modern amenities. Everything from studio rentals to large luxury homes that sleep 15 are on offer, and this is a growing community of homeowners, locals and vacationers, all seeking to soak up a true slice of Costa Rican paradise.

Great for everyone, families of all ages, multi-generational, couples, girls getaways.
Las Catalinas

Dreams Las Mareas

Dreams Las Mareas is an all-inclusive Costa Rican resort with over 400 rooms on the property. The resort comes with all the family-friendly amenities you would expect at a resort of this size — plenty of dining options, on-site daily activities, excursions and a kids’ club. The more impressive rooms are in the smaller buildings, which either have private jacuzzis on the balconies or semi-private dipping pools right off the patios, make sure you ask when booking. For some adult relaxation, the spa is a highlight with an impressive outdoor space and a variety of heated pools.

Great for: Families with young children, large families or groups, and first time going abroad.
Dreams Las Mareas

Tabacon Hot Springs

Tabacon Hot Springs is probably one of the most famous and popular hotels in the Lake Arenal area, and for very good reason. Tabacon sits on the largest and only completely natural network of thermal mineral springs, fed by the Tabacón river and naturally heated by the magma found inside the Arenal volcano. Kids are welcome, but there is also an adults-only ‘secret garden’ that features six natural pools, cocoon-shaped hanging cabanas and a full bar. The spa has won numerous world luxury spa awards and is one of the best thermal spring resorts in the world.

Great for couples, girls getaways, families with tweens or teens.
Tabacon Hot Springs

The Springs

The Springs is a luxury resort and spa with some of the most incredible views of the Arenal Volcano. Their network of thermal pools is tucked away in the jungle and includes a monkey slide that will entertain the kids for hours. The Springs also have a wonderful outdoor center called Club Rio where families can participate in river tubing, kayaking, horseback riding and visiting their animal sanctuary. The resort has four restaurants and a 14,000 spa and fitness center. If you do not want to pay the steep price to stay overnight, The Springs do have day passes available as well.

Great for everyone, kids of all ages and multi-generational.
The Springs

 

Westin Playa Conchal

The Westin Playa Conchal sits directly on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Conchal, which translates as shell beach. A large portion of the sand on this beach is made up of tiny shells. The Westin has a lagoon-style pool, tennis courts, kids’ club, a variety of restaurants and an 18-hole golf course. The accommodation is modern and located in bungalow-style houses with only eight rooms to a building. They are surrounded by lush gardens, which makes it feel more authentic and less like a typical all-inclusive resort. The Westin is only an hour from the Liberia airport and is close to the popular beach town of Tamarindo.

Great for everyone, kids of all ages, groups and large families.
Westin Playa Conchal

I was lucky enough to live in Costa Rica for three years. I stayed at or scouted all of these hotels and while some are more my style than others, I feel very good about recommending these ten. If I was going back to Costa Rica I would stay at Las Catalinas and La Carolina Lodge – but I am a girl who loves both rustic adventures and enjoying luxury accommodations.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Andrea Fellman is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Twist Travel Magazine. She is a stylish nomad and expat mom living in Barcelona with her husband, two kids and a dog! She blogs about family travel, expat life, and her online business adventures at Wanderlust Living.

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