5 Benefits of Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort in Costa Rica
Last month, the Dreams Las Mareas resort located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica hosted my youngest son and me to five days of paradise.
This was my second experience staying at an all-inclusive resort, which have become my favorite way to vacation. All-inclusive includes a TON of benefits, but I’m narrowing them down to just five for today’s post. Let’s get started…
Food, Food, Food
BY FAR the best incentive to stay at an all-inclusive resort like Dreams Las Mareas is having all food covered in the resort price. This perk includes all buffets, table service (though you may need to make a reservation to secure a table), and quick service options. You can also order room service fee-free, which is a nice convenience, though expect to wait an hour or longer for delivery. We chose room service options on those nights when we just wanted to relax in bed after a very busy day!
Each room at Dreams Las Mareas has a mini-bar that is stocked with soda, bottled water, juice, beer and spirits, and *should* be re-stocked every day. If not re-stocked, you can simply call housekeeping to request a refill (which I did a couple of times during my five days at the resort). There were also a couple of snacks in our room – Pringles and Peanut M&M’s, but only the Pringles were replaced once they were eaten.
Not only is all of the food you can eat included in the price of a resort room, but so is the alcohol. Yup, all of it. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available in the mini-bar (at no extra charge), most restaurants, and several drink stations around the resort (most being near pools). Though you may not find top-quality liquor (I really missed my fav – Tito’s vodka), I found that most of the mixed drinks I ordered were pretty good. I also enjoyed the local beers – Imperial and Pilsen.
The kid and teen clubs are also included in the resort fee, which is a fabulous perk for families. At Dreams Las Mareas, the security procedure for getting kids in and out of the kid’s club was quite strict, which was a huge plus for a parent like me. The days at the club were quite structured, too, with a clear agenda (hour by hour) posted on a board outside the entrance. Activities included crafts, painting, talent shows, and outside time. There were also a few more committed activities like swimming, beach parties, and lunch that took the children offsite so that they aren’t tied to the club building. Parents are given a buzzer device (much like the ones you receive while waiting for a table at a restaurant) after dropping children off for easy communication. If you get a buzz, it’s time to pick up the kids.
Beach & Ocean Equipment
Dream Las Mareas has scuba/snorkel equipment and kayaks available for all guests, which is a pretty cool perk. My son and I didn’t get the chance to try out either, due to a really gusty day (the day we dedicated for ocean adventures), making the waves too high and strong. However, I did receive some positive feedback from other parents who had a ball snorkeling and kayaking in the ocean with their kiddos.
You know the stress of not knowing what to tip for a restaurant, maid, or delivery service? Well, forget about it while you are at Dreams because it’s all included in the resort fee. I LOVE not worrying about having cash on hand or pulling out the smartphone calculator to configure gratuity when I’m on vacation. I mean, a vacation should be the opposite of math, right?
Have you ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort before? What were your favorite perks that it included?
Founder of Mom Spark – a lifestyle blog for moms.