Hi! I am still having a hard time deciding between these two resorts. We can fly into either airport, so that is not an issue. Don't want to be isolated at the hotel, as we have our boys with us, who LOVE adventure(ziplines, rainforest exploring, volcanos, etc). If you have stayed at either of these resorts, did you get to do these things? Do you wish you would have rented a villa somewhere else to be more in the heart of things? Thanks so much!
Sorry, I just realized that this is on the forum posts instead of ask and answer. Don't have time to change it now.
-- Edited by lakeshore at Sep 4, 2011 6:44 AM PDT
We stayed at Los Suenos 2 years ago, and i can honestly say it was the best vacation we ever had! At that we had 2 teeange kids (boy and ag irl) and they had a great time as well. We did the zip-line tour throu the hotel---fantastic time! We also did the rainforest tour thru the hotel---alao good. You can get these tours cheaper thru other companies, but not knowing the area, we did it thru the hotel. My son and I did the kayaking---lots of fun! we wanted to do the Volcano, but the day we wanted to go, it was very foggy and raining. We also never did the coffee plantation tour. This hotel is about a 60-90 minute shuttle bus ride away from the hotel. The other Marriott hotel I hear is only about 45-60 minutes away. But this hotel is gorgeous and we were treated very well. Breakfast is great---but very expensive---but they have a coffee shop on premises, so we just ate our breakfas there on most days. Lunch and dinner, we had outside of the hotel on ost days, as we were out touring. I would not suggest renting a car, as the highway sysem is just starting to get modernized, and there are not many street signs, plius the police are hiding everywhere. Let me know if you need additional information. Also, we never had to exchange our money, as the US Dollar is taken everywhere. The hotel is right non the beach, and there are many pools to swim in.
Have stayed at Los Suenos many times and it is a great spot for a first trip to Costa Rica. The hotel has an excelent concierge desk that can assist with most local adventures and has on-site restaurants and shops as well as a great pool for the kids. There is a golf course on site and the marina has excellent access to some of the world's best sport fishing. The town of Jaco is nearby with many economical restaurants for kids and adults alike. There are also serveral restaurants right on the beach and just across the road from the resort. Although traveling the roads of Costa Rica used to be a great adventure there have recently been numerous improvements and I usually rent a car to travel from SJO to the coast which provide a spectacular panaorame of the mountinas and the ability to stop and explore. I would recommend a Garmin with a Costa Rica chip installed that is well worth the investment.
Stayed at the JW 2 times and going back in February 2012. Great secluded beach resort which is 30 minutes from Tamarindo (small town with restautants, surfing and souveniors. JW is a great hotel for couples, great sized rooms and incredible views and the best sunsets we have ever experienced.
For kids is great for the pool and beach. If you want to go on adventures there are ziplining within 30 minutes, white water within and hour scube within an hour.
If you are trying to get to the volcano or rain forest, its a full day trip and may want to stay out there for one night if you really want the experience. My kids loved it when they went about 8 years ago, but their grown now. Hope this helps.