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Thrill & Chill in Costa Rica with Apple Vacations

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Marybeth Ricciardi

Advisor Stories / Marybeth Ricciardi / Thrill & Chill in Costa Rica with Apple Vacations

Zip-lining in the morning. Massages in the afternoon. Walks on the beach at sunset. Falling asleep to the soothing sounds of nature surrounding you. If this sounds like your perfect day, then Costa Rica should be your next vacation getaway.

While there are a number of activities and beautiful scenic views in Costa Rica, Marybeth visited this breath-taking location for a different reason. She visited several hotel properties offered through Apple Vacations in the Guanacaste area. She gave us her feedback as to the pros and cons of each.

Before we talk hotels, what was your favorite activity while in Costa Rica?

Zip-lining! I got to feel like Superman!

What is your advice for someone going to Guanacaste?

  1. The best time to visit Guanacaste would be mid November to mid March.
  2. This area is not as rainy as the interior of the country.

You went on this trip to inspect the hotel properties within this area. What are your observations?

Dreams Las Mareas – To get to this hotel will take you almost 2 hours from the airport. However, the road is under construction and when complete, this will cut the drive time in half.

Riu Palace Costa Rica– This property contains all Jr. suites, wi-fi and 2-bedroom family suites.

Riu Guanacaste – Here, you only get wi-fi in the lobby, has the option of standard, superior and oceanview – the only difference in the rooms is your view.

JW Marriott Guanacaste – With just a 1 hour drive from the airport, no resort fee and other amenities you come to expect with a Marriott, this property was very nice! However, good to note that it is not all-inclusive and the Jr. suites were more like 1 bedrooms.

Barcelo – Great for adults as it has an adults-only pool on site (and 1 additional pool). However, no free wi-fi.

Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal – This resort is is also great for adults. It has an adults-only Royal Club (very nice). But if you are traveling with a family, it also has a family club room available that is close to the pool. There are no ocean view rooms and the public beach has a lot of vendors.

Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa – It’s very spread out. However, there is a shuttle that will pick you up from your rooms. You have your choice of 2 beaches, spa, 5 restaurants and Jr. suites with plunge pools.

Flamingo Beach Resort – Located directly across from the beach, this smaller resort (only 120 rooms) is all-inclusive and has great views.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica – Every room at this resort is either ocean view or partial ocean view. You have the option of a 3-bedroom villa, canopy suites (some have plunge pools) or 2-3 bedroom apartments.