If there is one thing I’ve learned about family travel since we had our first daughter nearly 10 years ago it is this: Every traveling family has its own level of comfort for travel and adventure. I have friends who have traveled to remote corners of the world before their kids were 10, while many families (like ours) are just embarking on the road to fill our passports with more exotic locations. One of the spots on our list: Costa Rica. A destination rich with lush jungles, wildlife, and sandy beaches, Costa Rica offers adventure for every type of family—especially those which like to stay in style and comfort. Here are three family friendly Costa Rica luxury beach hotels big on style and luxury amenities for families.
Four Seasons Costa Rica: Peninsula Papagayo
We are a beach-loving family, so we naturally are drawn to the ocean-centric resort location of The Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. The Four Seasons Costa Rica is celebrating its 10th anniversary, offering special events for guests to indulge in the “Pura Vida,” or “full of life,” lifestyle. The hotel also has the renowned “Kids for All Seasons” program, and features a complimentary kids club for children ages 4-10. There’s even a kids’ pool with shallow beach-style entrance perfect for the little ones. Families can participate in a variety of activities including beach football, salsa lessons for beginners, and a chocolate making class. I love this suggested Family Costa Rica Itinerary, which includes lounging in luxury beach cabanas, family kayaking to Monkey’s Head, and a recommended zip lining canopy tour at Witch’s Rock (just 15 minutes from the resort). The itinerary also includes recommendations for local eats and treats for the family, taking the headache out of planning a 5-day family Costa Rica vacation.
Viewfinder tip: When researching a new adventure destination, find a reputable local tour operator to help.
Westin Golf Resort and Spa at Playa Conchal
If you are looking for a luxury all-inclusive Costa Rica resort, the Westin Golf Resort and Spa at Playa Conchal offers an affordable luxury retreat with many included extras such as meals, select alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, 24-hour room service, and non-motorized water sports and games. The Westin Kids Club is also complimentary for kids ages 4-12, and includes outings on which kids can explore flora and fauna, learn Spanish, or splash and play in the pool. Stay in one of the Family Junior Suites and get complimentary access to the Family Club Lounge, where continental breakfast and happy hour snacks are included in your stay. Another bonus: A family concierge will help you coordinate entertainment and plan tours and excursions.
The Preserve at Los Altos: Manual Antonio
The Preserve at Los Altos is a 4.5-star condo-style resort hotel with a full-service spa, and spacious three-bedroom apartment style accommodations suitable for multi-generational trips or large families. The Preserve is near the Finca Naturales Wildlife Refuge, ADR Adventure Park, and Manuel Antonio National Park. It sits on a private beach. The property also has an infinity pool with ocean views. The Preserve at Los Altos is a 2.5-hour drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, making it a bit of a jaunt with kids, but the resort does offer private airport transfers at a rate of US$165.
Want to explore more top Costa Rica hotels? Check out Expedia’s top Costa Rica hotels as ranked by 2013 Insiders’ Select™ List of The World’s Best-Reviewed Hotels.
What do you look for in a family resort?