The Four Seasons Costa Rica- Something For Everyone

Over the past ten years I have sent numerous couples and families to the Four Seasons Costa Rica and have had always received great feedback, now I can see why.  There are many room categories from which to choose, the dining options and amenities are diverse and the staff are very accommodating.The resort is situated on the Papagayo Peninsula and is an easy 45 minute drive from the Liberia airport.   In true Four Seasons style the resort has nailed every aspect of customer service.  With a staff to guest ratio of approximately 1:1 there is always someone to carry your bag, get you a margarita, cart you to your room, push your chair in as you are being seated etc, etc.  The locals could not be nicer and you never feel like you are putting them out with your requests.  Service is visible throughout the resort.We stayed in a Canopy Suite which was a one bedroom suite with a living room and huge outdoor patio with dinning and lounging area with a hammock that overlooked the ocean.  Lots of closet and bathroom space included.  The entry level rooms are located in low rise buildings along the water.  While many of the rooms are just a few yards from the water depending on the time of year you travel depends on if you can see the water due to the fauna.  These are pretty much entry level size rooms with either one king or two double beds.  However, each room has an enormous size balcony with day bed and sitting area which added a lot to the overall feel of the room.   Almost all of these rooms offer interconnecting which is great for families traveling together.We ate at the bar one night which was busy with good energy. There were lots of good food choices including sushi, steaks, burgers, fish and a number of other more casual dining options. The second night we ate at their Italian restaurant and were very happy with the food and wine selections.   Lunches around the pool were probably the best meals with some very tasty and healthy (and organic) options.  The large salads are definitely hungry man meal worthy with a lot of local food to try as well as Pizza, burgers and other standard American menu options.The hotel has two very large family pools and one Adult Only pool.  The hotel has two significant beaches, one on a more sheltered bay area and the other with more direct waves off the Pacific.   Additionally the Four Seasons shares a beach club with the Andaz Hotel and Exclusive Resorts that has an additional 2 pools (one lap only) and an expansive beach that has a selection of water sports.  If you are a beach oriented person, there are lots of options at the Four Seasons.   We played the golf course one afternoon taking advantage of the twilight deal and were able to play about 13 holes.  The course is very well maintained, has lots of elevation change, a great layout and is well maintained.   If you don’t take your own gear the pro-shop has it all.  Oh ya, you are likely to see 20 or 30 monkeys and a host of other wildlife while on course and in and around the hotel.  The concierge desk had a pretty extensive list of activities to get involved in both on and off the property.  If you are looking for an active vacation refer to their web site and/or reach out to their concierge desk for a list of nearby activities.   The area is well regarded for eco-tourism.You could find quiet beach spots that are very uncontested or busier areas with more actives for families.  One afternoon my husband and I along with our 7 year old son hiked in the lava rocks on the oceans edge to a remote beach.   The property is large (but not too big) and has a lot to offer for everyone.

Andaz Costa Rica- A Bit of Adventure and a Good Value To Boot

I recently spent 2 nights at the Andaz (a Hyatt property) on the Papagayo Peninsula of Costa Rica with my husband and 7 year old son.  The resort is about 40 minutes from the Liberia Airport and shares some of the amenities and is in close proximity to the Four Seasons on the same Peninsula.  The overall esthetic is “modern nature” with a sense of the local architecture blended into modern architecture. All of the rooms are set on a steep hillside set in the trees and overlooking the ocean.  The rooms were very nicely finished with great linens, toiletries and amazing showers with doors that that opened up onto the trees and ocean.    Every room also has a very nice balcony with day bed where you can see and hear the wildlife right outside your door, many monkeys and fantastic bird watching.The pool is very attractive infinity like pool, although a tad busy during a school break week and I found that the sun goes down behind the hotel therefore limiting the amount of sun the pool area gets toward the end of the day.   The hotel does offer the option of using a nearby beach club which is also used by the Four Seasons and Exclusive Resorts guests.   The beach club  has an amazing beach, pool and casual dining/bar.  The ride to the beach club is roughly 15 minutes with free shuttles leaving on the hour and returning on the half hour.   The beach club also offered a host of water sports which we did not take advantage of.    While the location of the hotel may not be the best for late afternoon sunshine it was the perfect location for the most amazing sunrises and moon rises.  We happened to be at the hotel during a full moon and WOW!   The view of the moon rise from the hotel is spectacular.We were very pleased with  the food at Andaz…..breakfasts were amazing.  The hotels has 3 restaurant options including their main restaurant (casual and family oriented) with a diverse  menu and great quality.  Their Tapas restaurant was a great experience and allowed us to sip drinks (great bartenders here) and pick away at a half dozen small plates of food.  We did not get to the more elegant restaurant as we were only there 2 nights but heard good things from other guests.   We found the food prices very reasonable for a resort type of hotel of this caliber.   No sticker shock here….which is a nice change for a resort destination vacation.There is zip lining nearby which, at $85 per person, represented great value for money with a great combination of thrills and an opportunity to see the flora and fauna up close. Our 7 year old loved it and he did most of the zip lines on his own.  The surrounding area has a ton of eco touring available and we saw many families coming and going from what sounded like adventure filled days.  If you are adventurous and inclined to be active this could be a great family or couples getaway.  The resort is layed out well, has  a good gym and spa and leaves you feeling like you did not spend a $million on a vacation.  The Andaz is surely great value.I would not recommend this resort for the elderly or individuals not prepared to walk up and down steep hills and stairways.  Nor would I recommend this property for anyone seeking a “beach” destination as I would not recommend the beach at the hotel (however the beach at the beach club is very good).  The Four Season Golf Course is also a 10 minute drive and accessible to Andaz guests.