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Why Take Your Kids to Dreams Las Mareas in Costa Rica

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When I first arrived at Dreams Las Mareas in Costa Rica, it just seemed like a very nice resort. But after a couple of days, I realized there is something special about this place. Located in Guanacaste in the northwest corner of the country, this hotel induced that blissed-out-living-in-the-moment feeling that can be hard to find, even on vacation. We didn’t worry about school or work or anything else. Our biggest decisions each day were things like, “Pool or beach first? Pina colada or strawberry smoothie?” And that’s just what we needed on this mother-daughter vacation. Here’s why you should take your kids to Dreams Las Mareas too.

Water play at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Water play at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Water play

Water is everywhere at Dreams Las Mareas. Expect infinity pools, a winding waterslide, a bubbling hot tub, and a crescent moon-shaped beach beside a bay with mellow waves. Thirsty? There’s a swim-up pool bar (my favorite!). Splashy activities like boogie boarding and snorkeling are included for resort guests. Pay an extra fee for other water fun like Scuba diving, jet skiing and deep sea fishing. Water play doesn’t have to end at night, either, with poolside movies to keep you swimming past dark.

Something that really upped the water game, though, was our room-front plunge pool, just steps from our private patio. Upon arrival, my daughter did a poolside happy dance upon seeing this watery treat. (The rooms above us had their own private hot tubs on their balconies, too!) My 10-year-old and I bedded down in a room next door to my friend, Andrea, and her daughter of the same age. When we wanted to see what they were doing, we hopped in the water and waded on over or tiptoed along the pool’s edge to say, “Hola!” At night, we two moms chatted and sipped wine on our patios while the girls giggled and played in the water.

Walk-out plunge pool at Dreams Las Mareas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Walk-out plunge pool at Dreams Las Mareas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Dreams Spa

The water theme continues at the Dreams Spa by Pevonia. The Hydrotherapy Garden is off the hook with its waterfall jets spraying into a cool-water pool, cut into the side of a mountain. A whirlpool will ease away any travel pains. Choose from an indoor or outdoor relaxation room in which to thumb through magazines or take a little post-treatment snooze. Healthy snacks and tea are on hand as well. Choose from an array of therapies including massages, facials and body treatments. I have been to many spas in my travels, and this is one of my all-time favorites for sure.

Dreams Spa by Pevonia at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Dreams Spa by Pevonia at Dreams Las Mareas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Clubs for Kids and Teens

While mom or dad are off at the spa, children (ages 3-12) can play at the Explorer’s Club. This kids club features a movie theater, an indoor play area, and outdoor playground. Activities include swimming, sand castle building, video games, arts and crafts, and more. On weekends, kids are treated to “camping” night on the beach.

The Core Zone Teens Club (ages 13-17) keeps teenagers smiling while on family vacation with sports, games, a pool table, Foosball, ping-pong, video games, a Euro-bungee and snackbar. There are even late night disco mixers, if they’re so inclined (and their parents approve).

Hamming it up at the Explorer's Club at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Looking oh-so-very cool at the Explorer’s Club (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

All-Inclusive Food and Drinks

With eight restaurants to choose from at Dreams Las Mareas, you’re sure to find something to tempt the taste buds of every member of the family. Oceana’s fresh, delectable seafood and hanging bar chairs wins my vote as best restaurant. For an adult’s only date night, head over to Portofino for swanky Italian cuisine. Himitsu is the only restaurant that requires reservations for its teppanyaki service. World Cafe is where to go for a huge breakfast buffet each morning, with an array of fresh fruits, charcuterie items, omelet station, made-to-order crepes and serve-yourself bloody marys. For a lighter breakfast or mid-day treat, Coco Cafe serves coffees and pastries. El Patio offers up Mexican eats, and there are a few poolside casual fare options for lunch. Hungry yet?!

You certainly won't go hungry or thirsty at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica!

You certainly won’t go hungry or thirsty at Dreams Las Mareas! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Seven bars (including one night club) ensure you won’t go thirsty at Dreams Las Mareas. Soda, juice, smoothies, beer, wine, and cocktails are included for all hotel guests. My daughter’s favorites were the banana smoothies with chocolate syrup and Shirley Temples with extra cherries. Cheers!

Have a seat and swing for a bit at Oceana's Sugar Reef Bar at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Have a seat and swing for a bit at Oceana’s Sugar Reef Bar (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

More at Dreams Las Mareas

Need more reasons to book a stay at Dreams Las Mareas? How about live entertainment, complimentary bicycle rentals, and cooking or dancing classes? It’s also easy to sign up for off-site excursions like zip-lining and jungle-trekking in beautiful Guanacaste with kids. After a few days here, you’ll forget all about your to do list and your inbox and relax into la pura vida, Costa Rica’s laidback way of life.

Read more about Dreams Las Mareas on

Fire show live entertainment at Dreams Las Mareas

Fire show live entertainment at Dreams Las Mareas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

What do you think your family would like most about a stay at Dreams Las Mareas? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you Dreams Las Mareas for hosting my daughter and me at your beautiful resort! All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Rekha Rajan says

    ha ha ha…this is so cool. I have a eight year old daughter and a two year old son. I am guessing I will be able to travel with them in another two years.

    Then again, when I think of traveling alone with them…I start sweating. So, loads of respect for you!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Rekha – The kids club helps a lot because you can get away for a bit of alone time. I say, take them next year when you’re little one turns 3. Happy travels!

  2. Amie O'Shaughnessy says

    Looks fabulous. Many of our clients are requesting Costa Rica these days. Will bookmark!

  3. Kara Williams says

    As a fan of all-inclusives, I’m keeping this one in mind for a future family trip! Love the walk-out plunge pools!

  4. Looks dreamy! I love it when they have both a kids and teen club. The food looked really good in those pics and I love those swinging chairs. I never thought of going to Costa Rica but this resorts makes it look very doable.

  5. This sound so fun. We are thinking of going to Costa Rica for our anniversary.

  6. What a great trip! We’ve never been to an all inclusive, but keep talking about it. And Costa Rica, another one on the bucket list. This would definitely take care of both. So many great things to enjoy at this resort. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) says

    Water everywhere for the mini-me; spa for mamma. I’m in! I love Costa Rica anyway… always looking for a reason to go back!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Francesca – Oh, and what a spa it is! If you’re a big fan of spas, Dreams Las Mareas won’t disappoint!

  8. Dreams Las Mareas sounds like a lovely spot to unwind and enjoy quality time with the kids. I’m sure my teenage daughter wouldn’t balk at a trip to this resort.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Tonya – I love that teens have a club where they can go to get a break from mom and dad (and vice versa!). 🙂

  9. Looks AMAZING.

  10. Going there for March Break with a 5 year old and a 7 year old. Glad I stumbled upon this blog! I am even more excited to go now.
    Do you know if there are ziplining tours that will allow the children?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Asha – The zip-lining tour with Spider Monkey Canopy tour that my daughter and I enjoyed in Guanacaste, Costa Rica was for children ages 8+. Typically the primary concern is weight and height of the child. I don’t know if there are other zip-lining tours in the area that may be able to accommodate smaller children. Enjoy la pura vida in Costa Rica!

  11. Davina Glading says

    Hi, I have just stumbled upon this blog whist looking to staying at Dreams. May I ask if the snorkeling straight from the beach is good. We have a 13 year old “water baby” daughter and she is in her element when snorkeling or diving.
    We don;t want the expense of diving every day so if the snorkeling direct from the beach is good then we may be on a winner…

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Davina – The snorkeling from the shore was pretty good. There are some rocks off to one side of the beach, which makes a good place to go spy on fishies. Enjoy Dreams Las Mareas!

  12. Lindsay Nieminen says

    I’m hoping to take the Family to Costa Rica in January! this looks like a great place to start!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Wonderful! Costa Rica is such a friendly and beautiful country – I’m sure your family will love it!

  13. Joanne Ridgway says

    Hi Colleen,

    Love your site! Getting married at Dreams Las Mareas this December, so excited! Is there an outdoor hot tub by the pools? Thank you!


    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Joanne – Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! There is one whirlpool in the pool area. Enjoy!

  14. Hi, when did you travel to the resort? We are thinking of planning a wedding but want to make sure our beach pictures have some greenery and is not dry! Do you recommend a certain time to go? Thank you,

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Leti – I think we visited in May. From looking at, it looks like the highs in Guanacaste tend to be in the 80s and 90s year-round. The dry season in Costa Rica is from mid-November to April. In Guanacaste, the dry season lasts several weeks longer than in other places. Even in the rainy season, days often start sunny, with rain falling in the afternoon and evening. Hope that helps!

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