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Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica 4.0

Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Secluded beachfront location and quiet vibe (con for some)
  • All-inclusive plan that covers almost everything
  • Contemporary rooms with terrace whirlpools, minibars, and flat-screen TVs
  • Several pools, including an adults-only pool, infinity pool, and waterslide
  • A la carte eateries such as Mexican and Asian, plus buffet restaurant
  • Seven bar options, such as a swim-up bar, nightclub, and health bar
  • Water sports, daily activities, and nightly entertainment
  • Kids' and teens' clubs with supervised activities
  • Beautiful spa with variety of treatments and small gym
  • Free Wi-Fi (speed upgrades cost extra)
  • No wristbands required

Cons

  • 90-minute drive from the nearest airport
  • Dress code for some restaurants
  • Entertainment noise can be heard from some rooms
  • Guests find some of the food mediocre

Bottom Line

The 447-room Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is an upscale all-inclusive resort with a quiet and secluded beachfront location. Contemporary decor complements the natural beauty of the rainforest and beach surrounding the resort. Rooms have views of either the pool, ocean, or gardens, plus terraces with whirlpools, minibars refilled daily, AC, and flat-screen TVs. The comprehensive all-inclusive plan covers nearly everything, including meals at five specialty restaurants and three eateries, top-shelf drinks at seven bars (including a swim-up bar), activities and entertainment, and even tips. Note that long pants are required for men at some restaurants, but reservations are not. Expect several pools, including an adults-only pool and waterslide pool, kids' and teens' clubs, and water sports. Note that the airport is a 90-minute drive away. Couples may prefer the adults-only Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, which is also closer to Liberia.

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Scene

Gorgeous all-inclusive with relaxed, friendly atmosphere

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rice is surrounded by a fisherman community, tropical rainforest, and the gorgeous mountains of Guanacaste. The gorgeous lush grounds house several different plant species and even hide some local wildlife. Howler monkeys are a common sight, especially on nature walks and guests also frequently spot colorful parrots flying about. The expansive property abuts a lovely beach where loungers and hammocks promote relaxing. Nighttime entertainment and daily activities are offered, but it's largely low-key. The all-inclusive rates draw a mix of families and couples wanting a peaceful retreat, but travelers should be aware that the drive from the airport in Liberia is roughly 90 minutes. 

Location

Secluded beachfront location away from the airport and excursion start points

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica has an isolated location off of Playa El Jobo on the northern Guanacaste coast. There's not much in the surrounding area outside of tropical rainforest and beach, so it's best suited for folks looking to get away and unplug. The resort is about a 90-minute drive from Liberia Airport and around four or so hours from Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose. Its secluded location also makes it far from several excursions and it can take between two to five hours to reach the excursion start points.

Rooms

Contemporary rooms with minibars and terraces with whirlpools

The 447 rooms and suites here are contemporary and pleasant, outfitted with beige tile floors and decor in warm earth tones. All rooms have terraces furnished with whirlpools and dining sets, plus either garden, pool, or ocean views. Bathrooms have walk-in rainfall showers, dual vanity sinks, and upmarket toiletries. Also standard are air-conditioning, minibars that are restocked daily, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and MP3 docking stations. Preferred Club category rooms have extra perks like upgraded minibars and bathroom toiletries, separate check-in, free faster Wi-Fi, and pillow menus. Suites are only available in the Preferred Club category and have elevated decor elements for a more sophisticated look, and add living room spaces. Upgrades with swim-out pools and ocean views are available. 

Be aware that some past guests have complained of nightly entertainment noise being heard from certain rooms.

Beach

Natural, public beach with calm, warm waters and non-aggressive beach vendors

Playa El Jobo is a natural beach with warm water that's calm enough to swim in and wavy enough to ride a boogie board. There are plenty of sunbeds and hammocks set up, and drink service is available. By law, all beaches in Costa Rica are open to the public, so expect to share the sands with non-guests and vendors walking up and down the beach. While they are not particularly aggressive, they can spoil the serene vibe. Water sports here include paddleboarding, snorkeling, and waverunners.  

All-Inclusive

Comprehensive all-inclusive program that covers almost everything, plus no wristbands

Like all Dreams properties, the resort has an Unlimited Luxury concept that truly means all-inclusive. Buffet and a la carte restaurants, on-site activities and entertainment, non-motorized water sports and snorkeling, the kids' and teens' clubs, 24-hour room service, and top-shelf liquor, wine, and beer at bars are all included. Taxes and gratuities are also part of the rate, though some guests prefer to tip extra in cash. Excursions, certain wines, and spa treatments cost extra. As a plus, no wristbands are required.

Food

Main buffet, coffee shop, and poolside grill, plus five speciality restaurants

Eight dining spots are available, including five a la carte restaurants, a poolside grill, coffee shop, and main buffet eatery. Food largely receives positive reviews -- though some past guests have found a few eateries, particularly the dinner buffet, mediocre. A favorite is Hitmitsu, the Asian restaurant, as well as the adults-only Italian eatery. While reservations are not necessary, they can be a good call, depending on the season, especially for those wanting to be at the hibachi table. Other restaurants include Mexican, fresh seafood, and an indoor/outdoor grill near the pool. Some eateries require men to wear long wants at dinner. Room service is available 24/7. 

Drinks

Seven bars with unlimited drinks, plus in-room minibars are refilled daily

Finding a drink at Dreams Las Mareas is not a problem thanks to its seven bars and 24-hour room service. During the day, guests can grab drinks as early as 10 a.m. at one of the resort's three pool bars (including a swim-up bar) and keep drinking through the early hours of the morning at Desires Nightclub and Lounge. Other spots to grab drinks include the Rendezvous lobby bar, Sugar Reef oceanfront bar, and the (non-alcoholic) goodies at the Revive spa bar. 

Features

Several pools with kiddy and adult fun, plus many activities and a spa

The resort's pools -- which are divided into upper and lower areas -- are big winners with guests, and each has their own vibe. The infinity pool is a good pick for folks who want a beachfront view without the hassle of the beachfront vendors, while kids tend to gravitate toward the waterslide pool. There's also an adults-only pool in the middle of the resort. Music by the pool is rarely played or the volume is low, so the vibe is peaceful, though expect poolside games and activities during the day at the main pool. 

One of the most popular on-site activities is the resort's daily wildlife walk where guests can learn about the trees, plants, and monkeys on property. More traditional activities like volleyball, dance lessons, themed nights, yoga, outdoor movies, and cooking classes are also available. Kids and teens have their own clubs here, while parents can head to the spa for a variety of treatments. The Explorer's Club is a supervised activity club for kids ages 3 to 9, while the Core Zone welcomes teens ages 13 to 17 with daily and nightly events. The gym is good enough for a decent workout, housing a few cardio machines, free weights, and an all-in-one machine. Unlike many properties, the gym is not open 24 hours a day. 

For water sports, the resort offers up things like kayaking, snorkeling, introductory scuba lessons in the pool, and even water polo. Things like kite surfing, fishing, and sunset cruises cost extra. Babysitting services are available around the clock for a fee. It's also worth noting that resort credits usually have limits on the amounts that can be spent on certain products or services, greatly lowering their value. 

Preferred Club rooms get access to a lounge with continental breakfast, a bar, daily bites, and a computer. 

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Things You Should Know About Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica

Address

Playa El Jobo, El Jobo, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Also Known As

  • Dreams Las Mareas

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