I stayed at the Los Sueños Marriott Golf and Ocean Resort at the end of February 2020 - right before COVID travel restrictions began popping up all over the world. I went with my mom for four (4) nights and while I'm glad we got home before the stay-at-home order went into effect, I wish we could have spent more time in Costa Rica.
Here are some photos of us ziplining at Los Suenos Adventure Park, which we highly recommend!
My mom: Me:
The Los Sueños property was really fun to explore. It has a playground, beach, pools, bars, kids club, golf course, spa, and more. It’s one of those hotels that you’d want to set aside 2-3 days in your vacation just so you could hang out there.
For people who don't find joy in exploring hotels, I'm not sure how to explain it. I guess I love it because you never know what you'll find. Sometimes it's cool art, sometimes it's cool people, and sometimes it's great food. We may not have been there long, but you could say we're hotel exploring pros, so we found the best restaurant pretty quickly.
Our favorite was Bar Ocho. Bar Ocho is in the resort and has a gorgeous view over the bay. They have burgers, salads, nachos, quesadillas - basically, everyone can find something they like. We went there for happy hour every single day we were there - no shame. We ate there multiple times because it was close, delicious, inexpensive, and quick.
We stayed in an Ocean View King Bed room and I didn't know that the room came with a printed, professional family picture until we checked in to the hotel. And when I found out, I definitely didn't assume that included a whole photoshoot. But we ended up really enjoying it as an experience. The photoshoot took about 30-45 minutes and the printed picture is free. You can decide to purchase the rest and we didn’t intend to, but they were too good to turn down! Also, I have to say - their photographer was so kind and friendly! She guided us through posing, laughed with us, and offered us tons of different photo options. Follow her on Instagram here. Here are some of the pictures:
The staff at Los Sueños were friendly and patient, especially given that the only spanish I know is from the last year of doing Duolingo every day. Duolingo is a free app that makes it easy to learn new languages with games, matching, speaking, writing, reading, podcasts, and more. In my opinion, it’s important to learn at least a few basic phrases of the language of the country you’re visiting. I wouldn't say I'm anywhere close to fluent, but I was able to hold conversations and it helped immensely when it came to finding our way around and getting help when we needed it.
According to the Mills Meter (Mills is my last name; the Mills Meter is what I call my hotel rating system), the Los Sueños Marriott Golf and Ocean Resort in Playa Herradura, Costa Rica, scored a 4.3 out of 5.
Why did Los Sueños lose .7?
Some of the restaurants on-site have different menus at different times of days, which makes it somewhat difficult to plan around activities. Los Sueños is pretty far from the airport so transportation can be quite expensive. The beach at the hotel is a bay beach, so instead of being white fluffy sand, it was more mashed down. It's a great beach to find shells, actually. You can see it in some of the photos above.
Here are some things I wish I would’ve known about the hotel before I booked:
Some rooms come with a professional photoshoot... bring a cute outfit!
The hotel is 90 minutes from the San Juan airport, and if the highway is shut down, your driver will take you through the back roads. If you have motion sickness, you’ll want to bring Dramamine or motion sickness bracelets.
You’ll want to have at least 2-3 days to spend at the hotel
You can easily set up activities at the hotel near the front desk. If you set it up through the hotel, they'll have transportation to/from the activity for you.
They have food options on-site for even the pickiest eaters. Depending on how long you stay, you might not need to eat off-location even once for your entire trip.
I'm Anna Mills - a travel agent, blogger, and author of the book "100 Ways to Make Travel More Affordable". I have been a guest on the Trip Sister's Podcast and TripScout's Roadtrip Expert Panel. You may have seen me in Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Opploans.com, or as a Rising Star for Travel Market Report.