The 8 BEST hotels in COSTA RICA

Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

The 8 Most-Popular Costa Rican Hotels on VAX

Gorgeous beaches, vibrant rainforests and dramatic volcanoes await in the fabulous sunny getaway that is Costa Rica. Here are a few Costa Rica hotels and resorts VAX agents love for their travelers to enjoy as they check this exciting destination off their bucket list.

  1. Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica

    Travelers can live in unlimited luxury at the Dreams Las Mareas. Situated in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, this fabulous resort is on the outskirts of luscious green jungles and mountaintops with a palm-studded beachfront view. Dreams Las Mareas welcomes travelers of all ages and is popular for its on-site watersports, live entertainment and outdoor bars and lounges. Families traveling with little ones can take advantage of the hotel’s Explorer’s Club, a fully supervised children’s program with tons of fun activities, or the Core Zone, a trendy teen-focused group with nightly social events, mixers and discos.

  2. Riu Guanacaste

    Located on Costa Rica’s west coast in the region of Guanacaste, the Riu Guanacaste is in a prime location for beach bodies, ocean enthusiasts and fans of ecotourism. This resort takes pride in its ability to guarantee travelers maximum well-being during their stay with its on-site freshwater swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym, sauna, beauty treatments and massages from the Renova Spa. As an all-inclusive resort, guests staying at the Riu Guanacaste have their pick of a wide variety of quality cuisine prepared by expert chefs at each of the hotel’s buffets and themed restaurants. The Riu Guanacaste is also perfect for business travelers as it boasts five fully equipped conference rooms for all your business needs.

  3. Riu Palace Costa Rica

    Also located in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, the Riu Palace Costa Rica sits on the edge of the beach of Matapalo. The Riu Palace Costa Rica offers a variety of beachside activities such as diving and fishing in the Pacific waters. This region of Costa Rica is also well-known for its volcanos and abundant greenery and travelers can catch a ride with one of the several ecotourism companies that stop at the Riu Palace to pick travelers up for guided adventure excursions. This resort is all inclusive and travelers can enjoy the on-site buffet or the four different themed restaurants around the hotel.

  4. Secrets Papagayo

    Just a short 20-minute drive from the Liberia International Airport, Secrets Papagayo is nestled along Guanacaste’s breathtaking Papagayo Peninsula. Secrets Papagayo is an adults-only resort with a romantic atmosphere for travelers looking for their own private getaway. The hotel offers 24-hour dining and bar options, some of which even have themed parties. Those looking to live on the wild side will be happy to find that Secrets Papagayo is just minutes from Coco Beach, one of Guanacaste’s top spots for nightlife.

  5. Planet Hollywood Beach Resort

    Costa Rica’s only hotel with authentic Hollywood memorabilia, at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, everyone vacations like a star. Planet Hollywood is happy to offer what they refer to as “Star Class,” an A-list club where travelers are treated to exclusive amenities and extraordinary service such as access to specialty clubs, bars and events and complimentary access to the on-site hydrotherapy pool. Guests won’t have to worry about living off the map while on vaycay either with Planet Hollywood’s “Plugged-In” philosophy. Just log in to the resort Wi-Fi and download the PH Mobile App for resort maps, free calls to North America and Europe and info on daily events and activities.

  6. The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

    Where exotic forests and pristine beaches meet, the Westin Golf Resort & Spa is a secluded resort in Costa Rica’s North Pacific Riviera. Totaling 2,400 acres, the Westin Golf Resort & Spa has lots to offer including a lagoon-style pool, a WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, championship golf and even tennis courts. The hotel is also near tons of local attractions including a number of national parks and other popular beaches. As implied in its name, the Westin Golf Resort & Spa is the choice hotel for golf enthusiasts, boasting a challenging 18-hole course. Teeing off in beautiful Costa Rica is a memory travelers won’t be soon to forget.

  7. Occidental Papagayo

    Travelers will love the spacious and bright rooms at the Occidental Papagayo, a fantastic 5-star hotel owned by the Barceló Hotel Group on Costa Rica’s west coast. After a long day of kicking back at the pool or exploring in the jungle, travelers can relax in the resort’s beautiful outdoor gardens and enjoy local flora and fauna. The Occidental Papagayo also offers luxury dining options with superb views; travelers can choose from two international a la carte restaurants, a fully-stocked buffet and a nifty snack bar. Once vacation comes to an end, visitors can rest easy knowing they can hop on the resort’s excellent transportation service ensuring travelers’ commute back to the airport is stress-free.

  8. Occidental Tamarindo

    Surfers, explorers and honeymooners alike will find the Occidental Tamarindo in Guanacaste to be the perfect spot to stay during their Costa Rican adventure. The combination of secluded white-sand beach and exotic surrounding vegetation makes for the perfect backdrop to every sunset. The Occidental Tamarindo has something for travelers of all kinds with local tours, an on-site golf course and even a beauty parlor. Animal lovers will want to visit nearby Marino las Baulas National Park where the majestic Leatherback turtles come to shore to lay their eggs each year.