Costa Rica, wow, a magical trip.
I strategically chose to visit the country in August to avoid crowds yet still have great weather: it is the start of their rainy season BUT not their rainiest months. Their "winter" or "rainy season/green months" are from August to December, however, the rainiest months are September, October and November. Additionally, we chose to visit the region of Guanacaste, Costa Rica's northwesternmost province, the driest part of the country. This is also important because, although we visited during the START of the rainy season, we were in the driest area, which meant 100% sunny days, and just some tropical storms at night. This also meant less mosquitoes overall. Seriously, best weather and zero crowds. Perfection. Can't recommend the area & time of the year enough.
This said, in the region of Guanacaste, we chose to stay at the Four Seasons, located in Peninsula Papagayo, nestled on a Pacific Coast hillside and overlooking two golden sand beaches, it truly does not get any better than it.
It has two golden sand beaches, one on each side of the property. One beach faces the Pacific Ocean (with more waves) and the other faces the Bay (with more calm waters and all the water activities such as kayak, paddle boarding, jet skis and such are located there) . They aren’t the easiest to access if you aren’t staying at the resort, which make them very quiet and safe! With clear waters and surrounded by lush jungle.
They also have three big pools, two are for the whole family and one is adult-only. As well as a big water fall hot tub. And, they provide tons of water and beach toys for the little ones too, which Sofia was obsessed with and makes you not worry about bringing toys.
They also have an incredible complimentary kids club for kids ages 4-12 open from 9am to 5pm. They not only have every single toy, game and book you can think of but an outdoor patio with swings and slides, and kid size pool too!! You can drop off your kids there at any time during opening hours while you go enjoy the beach or pool on your own or are out for some adult activities. But if your kids are not old enough (like Sofia) you can go in at any time to play (you just can't leave them alone) which was a great option when the sun started to set. We literally did not bring one toy and she had a blast. Lastly, the hotel also offers nanny service for the minis. So if you want to go out to dinner or the SPA after the kids club hours, or have a baby under 4, you can opt for that option instead. The nanny's can come to your room, take them to the beach or pool, or even take them to the kids club to play. It's a 4h minimum and an hourly rate.
By the pool or beach, you are also served with little complementary snacks, like frozen pops, ice cream or green juices, very refreshing!
The hotel had a huge remodel late 2017 and it shows. The front desk, restaurants and rooms are brand new and it's design is out of this world. The rooms are as comfortable as they can be, they also provided with diaper pile, bath tub toys, a crib, diapers, water diapers, wipes, baby bath soaps and lotions... and, I loved that they had a big mosquito nest in the patio, which made it mosquito and insect safe!
Now, let's talk activities. There's so much to do. When you check in at the FS they give you a weekly activity guide with resort activities (some are complimentary some have small fees) here are some.
Yoga Pilates Snorkeling Fitness class Kayaking tour Cycling tour Cooking class Guided nature hikes Mixology class Latin dance class Rum & chocolate tasting Meditation
To name a few! But they also have a concierge service that plans tours further out (zip lining, surfing, ATV) and you can even rent one of their cars, and have boats that take you fishing and island hopping. We did so many activities with Sofia (and the activities where she could not come like ATV, surfing and jet skiing, we took turns).
Sadly,we did not try the SPA at this resort, I guess we will have to go back to review it for you ;) But I heard wonderful things about it.
We did try all the restaurants and wow, we were impressed too. We had daily breakfast (buffet, our fav), lunch by the pool or in the room while Sofia napped, and dinner at Pesce (their Italian cuisine, featuring tons of local seafood) and Nemare (their steakhouse located on the hotels private Golf Course, a sophisticated venue with the best food, the experience was unforgettable).
Sadly, we did not try the SPA at this resort, I guess we will have to go back to review it for you ;) But I heard wonderful things about it.
The hotel which picked us curb side from the airport, super convenient. They picked us up in a big luxury SUV with car seat, cold water, air conditioning and WIFI. A 30min transfer to the hotel.
Finally, I want to add that the location is incredible because so many activities are right there, you don't have to travel far to get to destinations or see wild life, and, the service was impeccable and definitely lived up to the Pura Vida expectations. We will be back!