by Hilarey Wojtowicz
Relax and rejuvenate at this beachfront resort in Costa Rica. The JW Marriott Guancasta Resort & Spa offers families guestrooms fitted with one king bed or two doubles and all have grand views of the garden, pool area or ocean. Adjoining rooms are available and cribs and rollaway beds can be requested when needed. Rooms also come with flat-screen TV’s, DVD players with movies for rent, complimentary bottled water, a mini-bar and a coffee maker.
Onsite activities include beach access, an infinity pool, a separate children’s pool, fitness center, spa, biking trail, hiking, water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling, volleyball and more. The JW Adventure Kids Club is available for kids age 4 to 12 daily. Other activities like golf, horseback riding and water excursions are located just off the property and can be arranged at the resort.
The resort has five onsite restaurants and two bars. The Azul Pool Bar is open for lunch and offers refreshing snacks and drinks for a hot afternoon. The Azul Grill is open for lunch and dinner and serves Italian and seafood. The Nao Lobby Bar is open for dinner and offers pub fare and an extensive drink list for adults. The Mansita Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves an international buffet of food. The Sabanero Steak House dishes up classic cuts of meat for dinner. The Tamarine is an Asian-inspired restaurant, open for dinner only, that serves Sushi and other delicacies. All restaurants require casual attire.
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront location
- Kids club and babysitting available
- Five onsite restaurants
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Excellent -> Staff + Room + Grounds, Very Very Good-> Pool + Restaurants, Fair -> Location (far from popular tourist sites), Poor -> Beach Riptide & Sand Quality + Resort Fee (have to pay $30 a day for things you have zero interest in doing no opt out)
What a wonderful resort. From the moment you enter, you feel very welcomed.
Check-in process was very simple and quick. I used 2 of my suite night awards, that were accepted. We were given an ocean-front suite on the 3rd floor with great views of the ocean and pool. Plus, as a Titanium member, we given two metal water bottles as a thank you gift. Lastly, we selected the breakfast as our welcome gift (best choice). As we made our way to the room, we were given a welcome drink in a coconut shell.
The room was amazing. It had a large sitting room, 1.5 baths, separate bedroom with a king bed, walk-in closet and a large balcony overlooking the ocean and a partial view of the pool. Both rooms were very spacious and had a traditional hacienda feel that made if feel very cozy. The sitting room very comfortable, with a large couch and two chairs. The king bed was comfortable and we woke up refreshed. The bathroom was unreal, there was a separate “shower” room. The room also featured, 2 TVs, ceiling fans, a fridge, safe and 4 complementary bottles of waters daily.
It was so peaceful just sitting on the balcony, reading a book, listening to the waves crash on the beach.
We were there during low season, so there was no problem getting a lounge chair around the pool. The lounge chairs were very comfortable as they are padded and each set of chairs has an umbrella for shade with direct access to the pool. There is pool service for drinks and snacks, along with two restaurants near the pool. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. We did not venture into the ocean as it’s very rocky with riptides.
Food was good. Breakfast was the best meal we had. The buffet was extensive with a waffle station, omelet station, fruit station along with traditional beads, pastries, bacon, sausage and local cheeses. There are several restaurants on property but are only opened on a rotational basis. The chimichurri steak and burger were good at Azul. But if you really want a burger, go to Nau Lounge for a better menu and more choices. You can also order off the room service menu in Nau.
The service was fantastic, everyone we interacted with were friendly, engaging and helpful.
While I was a bit disappointed to see resort fees in Costa Rica, it was inevitable. The resort fee was $30 a day which included several planned activities throughout the week. We participated in the morning nature walk and sunset drink on the beach with appetizer. They also offer cooking classes, Spanish language class, bonfire and marshmallow on the beach, along with others.
Overall our stay was awesome and would certainly return for some rest and relaxation. Pura Vida