Ready for your next all-inclusive vacation?
We have the perfect place — Lapa Rios Ecolodge in the southern Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Part rainforest reserve, part all-inclusive resort, Lapa Rios Ecolodge offers a truly unique experience. The best part? Everything is taken care of for you, from airport travel to three course meals to rainforest tours. Costa Rica has a ton of options for all-inclusive resort vacationing. RAVE Reviews has picked out the best of the best!
Vacation is supposed to be a guilt-free, indulgent time in which you can fully relax. You leave the stress of work and real life behind and jump into a new world for a week or two — new cultures, new experiences, heck, maybe even a new tan.
But as we all know, vacations can sometimes end up being even more stressful than real life. We get exhausted by travel, quickly develop decision fatigue, spend too much money. We come back from vacation needing a vacation! Why do we do this to ourselves?
Want to really take a vacation? Consider going to an all-inclusive resort! From the time your plane hits the runway, every little detail is taken care of for you — travel, food, drinks, entertainment. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy. In addition to its stunning beaches, rainforests, and volcanoes, Costa Rica is known for its amazing all-inclusive resorts. Here at RAVE Reviews, we selected 10 for you to consider.
The All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica We RAVE About
Everyone loves a vacation. But all-inclusive vacations are pretty much in a category in and of themselves. They are the ultimate vacations — no worries, just relaxing. All of the resorts on our list feature all-inclusive packages. Maybe you’re familiar with them, or maybe it’s a new concept.
Here’s the general idea: You spend a little extra than usual on a deal that covers all of your lodging, meals, drinks, and some entertainment, depending on the package. Usually these resorts pull out all the stops — tropical drinks, lagoon-style pools, beach-side locations, swim-up bars, tango lessons, night hikes. Seriously, this is the way to vacation.
Location Location Location
The resorts RAVE Reviews selected are all located in Costa Rica. Nestled in the heart of Central America, Costa Rica is a hidden gem. It is the perfect place for a vacation. The country is surrounded by two stunning coasts — the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.
From beaches to tropical rainforests to volcanos to national parks, Costa Rica is one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. Let’s just say, you won’t be hurting for scenic options when choosing your resort. One big factor to consider as you plan your vacation is location. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular regions for vacationers, and what they have to offer:
- Guanacaste: This coast-lined region is located in northwestern Costa Rica. It is a hub for large-scale resorts, due in part to the miles of sandy beaches and its proximity to Liberia Airport. Five of the 10 resorts on our list are located in Guanacaste. It has an upbeat, bustling beach vibe geared toward vacationers.
- Osa Peninsula: Jumping down to the southern tip of Costa Rica, you’ll find the Osa Peninsula. Just a stone’s throw away from Panama, it is much more secluded than the bustling Guanacaste region. This is the place to be if you’re fascinated by Costa Rica’s rainforests. Osa Peninsula is home to Corcovado National Park, one of the most biodiverse places in the world.
- Tortuguero: Over on the east coast — the Caribbean side of Costa Rica — is Tortuguero, a small village located on a tropical sandbar. In fact, it is only accessible by boat! Tortuguero is best known for being the nesting ground for green sea turtles, which also makes it a popular ecotourism site. You’ll find privacy, natural beauty, and serenity here.
Included / Excluded
Before taking out your credit card and booking a week at one of these all-inclusive resorts, make sure you know specifically what is included and excluded in your specific vacation package. We’ve tried to do most of the legwork for you, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for.
Beyond your hotel room, here are the three main categories that are covered in your all-inclusive package:
- Food: Make sure you know what you’ll be eating at your resort. The larger resorts tend to have more dining options, but sometimes lower quality food. Do you want to eat food that is unique to Costa Rica or have the option of Italian food and hamburgers? Do you have food allergies or special diets that need to be accommodated?
- Drink: One perk of a vacation is the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” rule. But some of these resorts don’t include alcoholic drinks in the all-inclusive package. Make sure you know which beverages are complimentary and which cost extra.
- Experience: Part of the draw of being in Costa Rica is experiencing the amazing world around you. Scuba diving, rainforest adventures, canopy tours. Check out what experiences are included in your package, and which ones need to be purchased separately. Most resorts and lodges have at least some free activities onsite, like dance classes, cooking classes, yoga, non-motorized water sports, and more.
No Kids Allowed
Not everyone is looking for the same vacation experience; a big line in the sand separates a family vacation from a romantic getaway. The elephant in the room? Kids. We all love kids…but some people prefer to be the aunt rather than the parent. Catch our drift?
Lucky for you justifiably exhausted parents in need of a kidless vacation out there, we’ve pulled out two all-inclusive resorts that have an adults-only policy. So if you want to narrow your decision exclusively to Villa Buena Onda or Secrets Papagayo, be our guest! Enjoy getting a full night’s rest…or not.
Out of the hundreds of resorts and lodges in the beautiful country of Costa Rica, we whittled our list down to just 10. Want to know how we did it? We’ll tell you — we fully believe in data transparency.
First, we wanted to select only the resorts that offer an all-inclusive package. After all, you’re looking for a vacation in which you can completely shut off all decision-making obligations. From there, we reasoned that the best indicator of a dream vacation is customer reviews. So we turned to the help of Google Reviews, Trip Advisor, and Expedia.
Additionally, we gathered a ton of data we thought was useful to our readers, even if it didn’t factor in to the final score. Not everyone is looking for the same all-inclusive resort experience. As such, we made sure to identify the following information for each resort:
- Average price per night
- Location in Costa Rica
- Family-friendly or adults-only
- Hotel star rating (out of five)
The Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica
Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Welcome to paradise! The Lapa Rios Ecolodge is, hands down, the best all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica. It is the place where “luxury meets nature.” Located on a 1,000 acre rainforest near Puerto Jimenez, Lapa Rios Ecolodge is more than just an all-inclusive resort — it is also a sustainable eco-experience.
You can cater your visit to Lapa Rios Ecolodge to your specific needs. The resort includes packages for four different ways to stay — adventurists, escapists, romantic getaways, and family vacations. For each experience, your stay includes a private bungalow housing up to five people, three a-la-carte daily meals, snacks, and beverages.
You’ll also be able to take part in exploring the amazing ecosystem around you. Lapa Rios employs four world-class wildlife guides to take you on hikes, bird watching adventures, and more. Lapa Rios Ecolodge has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the “Unique Lodges of the World.”
- Committed to sustainability
- Accommodates food allergies
- Secluded bungalows
- No A/C in bungalows
- Wi-Fi only available in lodge
- Price doesn’t include alcohol
Villa Buena Onda
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more romantic resort than Villa Buena Onda. This adults-only all-inclusive resort is based in Guanacaste and catered specifically for a couple’s getaway vacation. Part of Villa Buena Onda’s charm is its intimacy: The 10,000 square foot mansion features just eight bedrooms, meaning the entire staff is focused on you.
Get ready to relax at Villa Buena Onda. In addition to an amazing view of Papagayo Bay, you’ll have access to three nearby beachfronts. Onsite, you can relax in the two-tiered swimming pool, enjoy an alcoholic beverage, or dine at the Nya Restaurant.
Just five minutes down the road, you’ll find Secreto Spa, which also has an adults-only policy. Here you can spend the day getting a massage, body wrap, or facial. Or you can take part in a complimentary cooking class or yoga session back at Villa Buena Onda. Everything about this resort is geared toward relaxation and romantic connection.
- Adults-only policy
- Close to airport
- Access to Coco Beach
- Spa treatments cost more
- Not directly on the beach
- Day passes open to public
Drake Bay Getaway Resort
Perhaps one of the most private all-inclusive resorts of the bunch, Drake Bay Getaway Resort is a small, yet opulent resort that will whisk you away to paradise. It features five luxury cabins that overlook both the ocean and the surrounding jungle.
Drake Bay Getaway Resort takes the responsibility of protecting the amazing ecosystem it inhabits seriously, especially with its proximity to Corcovado National Park. Over 90% of the resort is made from recyclable materials, and the buildings feature white roofing, solar-heated water, and eco-friendly architectural designs.
The Drake Bay Getaway Resort offers over 10 different tours. Fully organized by the staff, you get to experience the adventure and wildlife of Costa Rica. Your options include Corcovado National Park, whale and dolphin watching, horseback riding, scuba diving, and much more!
- Locally sourced meals
- Wi-Fi access
- Located 600 feet from beach
- Tour costs are separate
- Price doesn’t include alcohol
- No A/C
La Paloma Lodge
For 25 years, La Paloma Lodge has provided conservation, sustainability, and community to the Drake Bay region. Built from the ground up, La Paloma Lodge has become a hub for eco-friendly vacationing. It features seven bungalows and four private rooms in the middle of a natural oasis.
The all-inclusive package at La Paloma Lodge is a family-friendly deal, covering all meals and accommodations, as well as a guided hiking trip to Corcovado and beach trip to Caño Island. You can also add on a scuba diving adventure for an additional fee.
La Paloma Lodge is located at the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. You are just a short walk away from private black sand beaches, the Agujitas River, and the lush greenery of the rainforest. When afternoons get too warm, jump into the onsite swimming pool.
- All meals & snacks covered
- Romance Package option
- Secluded housing options
- Drinks not included
- Additional tours cost extra
- No Wi-Fi in rooms
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort kicks it up a few notches with an all-inclusive package the whole family can enjoy. Based near Playa Herradura on the west coast of Costa Rica, Los Suenos Marriott is a huge beachside resort featuring five restaurants and bars, a full-spectrum spa, a golf course, and more.
You won’t swat at mosquitoes or brave the evening heat here. On the other hand, you also won’t encounter a very authentic Costa Rican experience here. Regardless, Los Suenos Marriott provides endless entertainment. While the parents are golfing, the kids can hang at the designated Kids Club.
The all-inclusive package includes all meals, beverages, and your hotel stay. You’ll also have access to a ton of hotel programs. Depending on the season, they offer Latin dance classes, Spanish lessons, tennis, eco-walks, or water games.
- Tons of free activities
- A/C and Wi-Fi access
- Choice of five restaurants
- Minimum four-night stay
- Liquor drinks not included
- Spa treatments cost extra
You’ll encounter luxury at its finest at Secrets Papagayo, an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Guanacaste. The package, called Unlimited-Luxury, takes pampering to the next level. Perhaps most notably, you are able to experience this resort without the (charming but unavoidable) chaos that is children. Secrets Papagayo is just for the adults.
Unlimited-Luxury means you can eat and drink whatever and whenever. Secrets Papagayo features four restaurants and a cafe, as well as room service and numerous bars. Your all-inclusive pass gets you limitless fine dining and top-shelf alcoholic drinks for your entire stay.
Secrets Papagayo has you covered with entertainment, too. You can start your day with a workout in the 24-hour fitness center, cool off in one of the two swimming pools (including a swim-up bar), take part in a cooking class, do a rum tasting, play tennis on the well maintained courts, and end the evening with live music.
- Adults-only resort
- Small dogs allowed
- Unlimited alcoholic drinks
- More expensive than others
- Some negative reviews on food
- Large resort (202 rooms)
Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal
If you’re looking for a tropical climate to practice your golf swing, you’ve found a match with the Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal. This package deal takes all hectic decision making out of the mix. Accommodations, meals, drinks, and childcare are totally taken care of during your stay, leaving you plenty of time to play all 18 holes.
There’s a slight catch: While golf is certainly the main event at this resort, your actual time on the golf course is not covered in the price of the standard all-inclusive package. However, you still get in on lots of free entertainment, like the Kids Club, tennis courts, non-motorized water sports, and live shows each night.
There is a work-around to the golf situation, however. For a little extra, you can purchase the Par 5 Golf Package, which gives you all-inclusive access for five nights, plus four rounds of golf per room. Or you can go all out with the Experience Golf Package, which is a seven-night all-inclusive package covering six rounds of golf per room.
- Family-friendly resort
- Golf package options
- Lots of entertainment options
- Expensive packages
- Spa treatments cost extra
- Can be touristy and busy
Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo
Kick back, grab a drink, and lounge poolside at the Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo. This all-inclusive resort stands out on our list for being the most affordable option. The vibe here is laid-back, fun, and definitely tropical.
Here’s what you can expect in the standard all-inclusive package: It’s no surprise based on the name of the resort that you get unlimited booze, including wine, spirits, cocktails, and Costa Rican draft beer. You’ll also eat well from the three on-site restaurants. Beyond that, there is tons of free fun with salsa dancing, yoga, karaoke, and more!
Part of the Margaritaville Beach Resort’s charm is its proximity to tons of amazing Costa Rican attractions. Within a 15-mile radius, you have access to deep sea fishing, scuba diving, golfing, national parks, beaches, and more. While many of these adventures are not covered in the all-inclusive package, they still give you great options to customize your vacation.
- Multiple all-inclusive options
- Direct beach access
- Room service not free
- Some negative food reviews
- Numerous food/drink add-ons
Let’s head on over to the east coast of Costa Rica, where you’ll find the gorgeous Pachira Lodge. This resort is located directly next to Tortuguero National Park, which is known as the birthing grounds of the green tortoise, and has one of the most vibrant ecosystems in Central America.
Pachira Lodge offers an all-inclusive package that holds you to a tighter itinerary than most. One huge benefit is that the rate covers transportation to and from San Jose. You can travel by car and by boat to reach this gorgeous ecolodge. Onsite, there is a stunning pool fittingly designed in the shape of a turtle.
Depending on how long your stay at Pachira Lodge is, your itinerary includes excursions to the town of Tortuguero, night walks to observe the nesting green turtles, beach walks, and museum tours. If you want to expand from the set itinerary options, you can access spa services or go on a canopy tour.
- Bilingual guide included
- All meals buffet style
- Highly private lodging
- Seasonal nesting turtles
- No A/C
- Alcoholic drinks not included
Hotel Riu Guanacaste
Rounding out our list of the best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica is Hotel Riu Guanacaste. This one is not to be missed. Hotel Riu Guanacaste is perched near Matapalo Beach. This five-star hotel offers the full all-inclusive treatment: 24-hour service, freshwater swimming pools, spa center, multiple restaurants and buffets, you name it.
Once you arrive, you’ll receive an all-inclusive wristband, giving you access to all the restaurants, free entry to the onsite casino, a free introductory scuba diving lesson, and so much more. There is also daily entertainment catered specifically for both children and adults.
This resort isn’t just for the family, though. If your business is looking for a retreat location or a work trip, Hotel Riu Guanacaste features five large conference rooms, letting you fit in both work and play. While this resort is less about experiencing the culture of Costa Rica, it certainly checks off all the boxes of a beach-filled, relaxing vacation.
- Strict policy against rowdiness
- Tons of free entertainment
- Wi-Fi available
- Formal dress code for dinner
- Some complaints about food
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Will my all-inclusive resort have Wi-Fi or A/C?
There are two amenities that tend to be “make or break” factors for tropical vacationers: Wi-Fi and air conditioning. We get it! The whole point of vacation, after all, is to be as comfortable as possible, right? The answer to that maybe isn’t as unanimous across the board as you might assume.
International vacationers tend to be split into two camps (hugely generalized but largely accurate camps, for the record). Some folks go abroad to be pampered (totally fair), while others want to experience the culture of the country (also totally fair).
The short answer to this question is no, not all of the resorts have Wi-Fi or air conditioning. But it’s up to you to decide if that will keep you from going. For example, some of the more remote ecolodges don’t have A/C, but their structures are designed in a way that maximizes cooling effects (white roofs, ceiling fans, tiled floors, etc.).
When it comes to Wi-Fi, it’s totally reasonable to want to be plugged in to your social media and news feeds. On the other hand, you could see your vacation as a time to unplug and be present in the natural world around you. There isn’t one right way to do vacation. All that matters is you finding a place that works for you!
Will I need to pay for anything once I arrive?
One question that comes up a lot with all-inclusive packages is money! An all-inclusive resort means everything is covered, right? Well…not so fast. While the big categories of lodging, food, and drink are included in your package, be sure to factor in a daily budget (albeit a small one) for any add-on purchases once you arrive.
Here are the most common add-on costs you might encounter at an all-inclusive resort:
- Costa Rica taxes (13%)
- Room service
- Spa treatments
- Top-shelf liquor
- Guided excursions
Another dynamic you might experience at an all-inclusive resort is the feeling that it is, well, too inclusive! Some people want to experience the country beyond the resort. Sometimes you can find adventure packages that include a complimentary excursion with a guide from the resort.
But if you want to take a day trip on your own, or take advantage of the myriad excursions associated with the resort (horseback riding, guided nature walks, scuba diving, etc.) you’ll most likely have to pay out of pocket.
Just a heads up, if you want to pay for anything in cash in Costa Rica (tipping your hotel, cleaning staff, buying a beer on the beach, etc.) be sure to exchange some U.S. dollars for the Costa Rican currency, colones.
What are the best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica?
RAVE Reviews is proud to present you with 10 amazing options for an all-inclusive vacation to Costa Rica. All of these resorts embody the country’s mantra of pura vida, or “pure life.” You not only get to experience the blissful zen of vacation, but you can also experience the sights, smells, and sounds of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
We’ve done our best to give you lots of options when it comes to selecting your all-inclusive resort:
- If you’re looking for a kid-free zone, check out Villa Buena Onda or Secrets Papagayo.
- If you’re interested in a smaller resort that is committed to ecotourism and sustainability, start with Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Drake Bay Getaway Resort, or Pachira Lodge.
- If you’re hoping for a fun-filled vacation that offers entertainment for the whole family, take a look at Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort or Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal.
Based on overall customer reviews and our own research, Lapa Rios Ecolodge is the best all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica. Truly though, all 10 of these resorts bring unique flavor, adventure, and serenity to your vacation experience. Find the one that fits your needs and get packing!
So are you ready for the pura vida of Costa Rica? We’ve got recommendations for a few more things to help make your all-inclusive vacation even better.
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide ($17): Don’t get on that plane (or cruise ship) until you’ve got one of Lonely Planet’s Costa Rica guidebooks in your bag.
- BUBM Electronics Organizer ($17): This is for the gadget geeks out there. The BUBM Electronics Organizer lets you keep everything organized in one secure place — cords, hard drives, iPad, and more. It’s made of waterproof, heavy duty nylon to keep your gear safe while you’re out adventuring.
- BCOZZY Travel Pillow ($30): Air travel can wreak havoc on your body. But the BCOZZY Travel Pillow relieves some of that by giving you 360 degree neck support. This soft pillow stands out among the rest by preventing your head from falling forward. It also comes in lots of super fun colors.
- Mack’s Ear Plugs ($13): It may sound silly, but a good set of ear plugs can make or break a tropical vacation, especially if you’re planning on swimming. These lil’ guys are easy to pack, silicone-based, and come highly recommended as the official ear plugs of USA Swimming.
- TravelWise Packing Cube System ($23): It pays to pack smart! This is a five piece set that simplifies the chaos of packing. Made out of durable and lightweight nylon, you can take your closet with you on vacation…and go home with it still organized!