Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Central America
Reload this Page >

Costa Rica - looking for a (resort) hotel with good day trips

Costa Rica - looking for a (resort) hotel with good day trips

Old Aug 13, 15, 10:40 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
Costa Rica - looking for a (resort) hotel with good day trips

Sorry if this is a bit vague, but I'm wondering if Costa Rica might make it onto my travel plans in 2016.

I've done some digging but have come up with nothing so far, so here's what I'm after...

1) Generally accessible - whole trip is likely to be 5 days max, so no taking a day to drive from the airport, but could use LIR or SJO.
2) Good for a family stay
3) A number of different things to do in easy reach - so not just a single activity like bird watching
4) And it would likely be in the wet season.

TIA

Tony
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Aug 27, 15, 12:03 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Coast, Best Coast
Programs: Flying whoever is most convenient
Posts: 15,339
we stayed at Arenal Nayara and were very, very pleased with both the resort amenities and the things to do in the local area. however, it is probably further than you would like from the airports, and it is also couples-oriented i would say. that being said there are other resorts in the area that are family oriented and there is so much to do in the Arenal region.
PV_Premier is offline  
Old Aug 27, 15, 12:29 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 177
We're going to Dreams Las Mareas in October for a wedding. I've been looking into tours and found a highly recommended company, Alex on the Beach, that is in the area and looks to have a LOT of family friendly tours (horseback riding, zip lining, white water rafting, fishing, etc). I'm sure there are companies all over the country that have similar excursions. I'm actually really upset we can only go for 4 nights b/c I want to do so many, yet still have time to relax at the pool with a drink in hand. but we're leaving our kids at home so we can only be gone for so long!
jlt19 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 15, 12:33 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 9,900
I've been making trips to Jaco Beach recently and love the area. We usually stay at The Palms which is next to Crocs Resort, which has lovely amenities - and when you stay at The Palms you have access to everything at Crocs, while still having the privacy of a condo. Only about 1-1.5 hrs from SJO.

There's a national park nearby with guides available for guided hikes on trails. I'm not a very active person but I know there is lots of other stuff to do there as well - surfing is very popular. I know the manager at the Palms can help arrange various trips and activities.

Last edited by wrp96; Aug 27, 15 at 12:43 pm
wrp96 is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 4:21 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
Thanks for all this - really helpful starting point and the fact we can get somewhere in an hour from the airport is brilliant news, too...

Might well manage to convince the missus to do this, although is the sea really rough at Jaco?

Last edited by Swiss Tony; Sep 3, 15 at 4:43 am
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 6:15 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TUS
Programs: really nothing anymore
Posts: 326
I also wanted to say thanks to Swiss Tony for bringing up this idea and for wrp96 for mentioning Jaco Beach. I'm now heading to Costa Rica around US Thanksgiving time and will be staying in the Jaco Beach area. At this point I'm at the Crocs Resort as they had a very good price on rooms.

Thanks all!
catmndu is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 2:32 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
I think Jaco might be a bit lively for what we're after but the Marriott Los Suenos looks like a good set up. Anyone have any thoughts?
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Sep 6, 15, 2:32 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
Have now found this place...

http://www.costaverde.com/727.htm
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Sep 7, 15, 8:41 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Michigan
Programs: DL, UA, AA (airline status-free leisure traveler), HH Diamond
Posts: 1,896
Marriott Los Suenos as base for Carara and Tarcoles River

Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
I think Jaco might be a bit lively for what we're after but the Marriott Los Suenos looks like a good set up. Anyone have any thoughts?
We stayed a few nights at the Marriott Los Suenos in 2013. We found a great pre-paid rate of $109 on Expedia, BTW.

We used the Marriott as home base to go to Carara National Park (to see scarlet macaws) and to go the the Tarcoles River (to do a crocodile river tour).

You mentioned family travel. The Marriott had some very elaborate pools, which my daughters greatly enjoyed.

Honestly, if I were to do it again, I don't think that I would stay at a resort as home base, just to leave to do activities. I would either pay resort prices and enjoy the resort, or buy more economical lodging, then use the savings to pay for excursions.
loomis is offline  
Old Sep 8, 15, 5:24 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
Thanks for that

Yep we'd be looking for some adventure rather than lie on a beach when we're there.

Wondering if the Marriott might not add much if we go to that Costa Verde property as well...

Hmmmm.....
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Sep 8, 15, 7:16 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New York
Programs: BAEC Silver, &c.
Posts: 420
I'm definitely interested in suggestions from this thread: I was in Costa Rica last February, and it was wonderful. I'd like to make it an annual thing, as a way to escape crummy New York weather.

I stayed at El Mangroove, which was a lovely resort. I would be happy to return there again. Excellent staff, very good food, nice facilities, and proximity to things like zip-lining (maybe a half-hour drive) and volcano/nature tours. I didn't leave the resort much-- one afternoon to go into town and one afternoon for zip-lining-- but the location seemed very convenient for exploring other areas.

The resort itself is also only about 20 minutes from LIR aiport.
turnleftbrighteyes is offline  
Old Oct 17, 15, 8:39 pm
  #12  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,458
Originally Posted by loomis View Post
Honestly, if I were to do it again, I don't think that I would stay at a resort as home base, just to leave to do activities. I would either pay resort prices and enjoy the resort, or buy more economical lodging, then use the savings to pay for excursions.
I agree with this. Stay at a resort, enjoy it.

I'm heading to CR in mid-November and will stay the 1st two nights at Doubletree Puntarenas. I wanted a couple days at the beach for my kids (4 and 3).

Right now, we are book for three nights in San Jose, but I'm looking to change to just the last night in San Jose. We plan to explore one rainforest/waterfalls and a volcano.

Last, late November we did a short 4 day/3 night trip to Jeju Island, S. Korea and stayed in a different place each night.

I plan to visit the Arenal Volcano being the most active and the Monteverde cloud forest/Children's Eternal Rainforest as one day excursions. I would like to make it to Manuel Antonio national park, but I think we will get enough from the Monteverde area and don't want to sacrifice precious resort time.

If there are any recommendations for cheap hotels in the Arena or Monteverdi area I'd appreciate it. Also, if there is a good location within close proximity to both that's an option.

We are the type to stop and check out a place while driving vs. hoping the plan is all that and a bag of chips .
Chelski is offline  
Old Oct 19, 15, 5:07 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Michigan
Programs: DL, UA, AA (airline status-free leisure traveler), HH Diamond
Posts: 1,896
This lodging, about 30 minutes from Arenal was a very unique experience with kids, Chelski!!

http://treehouseshotelcostarica.com/
loomis is offline  
Old Oct 19, 15, 9:01 pm
  #14  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,458
Originally Posted by loomis View Post
This lodging, about 30 minutes from Arenal was a very unique experience with kids, Chelski!!

http://treehouseshotelcostarica.com/
Thanks for the recommendation Loomis. I saw that one but wasn't quite sold. I'm going to contact the owners to see if they have any openings for the weekend we'll be there. I can see my kids' eyes light up seeing they will sleep in a tree house.
Chelski is offline  
Old Oct 20, 15, 7:55 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
Posts: 6,544
Originally Posted by Chelski View Post
I agree with this. Stay at a resort, enjoy it.

I'm heading to CR in mid-November and will stay the 1st two nights at Doubletree Puntarenas. I wanted a couple days at the beach for my kids (4 and 3).

Right now, we are book for three nights in San Jose, but I'm looking to change to just the last night in San Jose. We plan to explore one rainforest/waterfalls and a volcano.

Last, late November we did a short 4 day/3 night trip to Jeju Island, S. Korea and stayed in a different place each night.

I plan to visit the Arenal Volcano being the most active and the Monteverde cloud forest/Children's Eternal Rainforest as one day excursions. I would like to make it to Manuel Antonio national park, but I think we will get enough from the Monteverde area and don't want to sacrifice precious resort time.

If there are any recommendations for cheap hotels in the Arena or Monteverdi area I'd appreciate it. Also, if there is a good location within close proximity to both that's an option.

We are the type to stop and check out a place while driving vs. hoping the plan is all that and a bag of chips .
I stayed at the Doubltree at the end of my CR trip, in order to get acclimatised to Cancun (my next stay ). It's OK, nothing super-exciting and I guess the kids will prefer the pool to the beach. Get yourself a mossy repellent, though, or stay close to somebody who attracts them more than you. This is not hotel-specific but CR-wide. By the way, the margaritas were also OK.

If you go to the Arenal area, spend an afternoon at one of those hot-water spas. Both you and the kids will love it, once you get over the first shock when you enter a pool where the water is 45 oC hot.
KLouis is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread