Picking the Destination
Costa Rica has always called to us.
To me the waterfalls, the foliage, the food were something I’ve always wanted to experience. Peter was excited to experience real biodiversity and get a chance to use his shiny new Go Pro. While I’ve always wanted to tackle Costa Rica via a tour that let’s us see more than one area of this verdant country, I knew right after our wedding wouldn’t be the right time to strap on a backpack. Instead, we opted for a resort that combined luxury where would could relax and unwind, with a great location for tours and sightseeing. We set off on our Costa Rica adventures in July (the rainy season in Costa Rica) just two days after our wedding. We only had one day that rained for a majority of the time, but because we wanted to see the countyside at it’s greenest and we’re not what you’d define as “beach bums” this time of year worked well for us.
Choosing our Resort
Dreams Las Mareas is situated in the far North of Costa Rica, not too far from the border of of Honduras. Tucked away in a peaceful bay, the resort is surrounded by beautiful scenery and was about 1.50 hours (77.25 km/48 mi) drive from the Liberia airport. While Peter took tons of pictures of the sites while heading to the resort, I slept off weeks of planning and hours of wedding celebrations with my head on his shoulder. We chose this resort because we were drawn to the way AM Resorts offers luxurious amenities, modern design, but in a way that really embraces the location. We didn’t want to feel like we were anywhere and the destination didn’t matter. Dreams, however, is not an adults-only resort, if you don’t want to see heads or tails of kids while on your honeymoon, Secrets Papagayo is owned by AM Resorts as well and is adults-only. We picked Dreams over Secrets because of it’s location, we wanted to be close to Guanacaste National Park for excursions. As soon as we stepped of our NexusTours bus I knew we made the right choice.
The design of the resort seems to welcome the environment in, tinkling water features and the sound of tropical birds welcome you as soon as you step into the open-air lobby. There were no tedious long-lines or confusing check-in process we were immediately welcomed with refreshing cocktails and cool towels to refresh us after our bus ride. We were then ushered into a comfortable check-in area where we were briefed on all the resort fast facts. One of the best parts? No wristbands to interfere with your cute outfits. Dream’s Resorts offers a unique feature called Unlimited-Luxury, what this is means is a lot of the luxurious perks most all inclusive resorts might charge you extra for, are included in the cost of your stay. This includes top-shelf liquor, 24 hour room service, pool and beach wait service, and no wristbands required! This concept is available at Dreams and Secrets resorts.
The layout of the resort is just the right size. Not so huge you feel like you need a break before you reach the beach, but not so tiny you can’t find a comfy seat by the pool. Our favourite spot was a luxurious adults only pool right in between the upper pool areas and the beachfront infinity pool. Technically, this area consists of a couple small pools and it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens. I’ve never seen as many butterflies in my life as I have in Costa Rica. There was nothing more relaxing than lounging in our day bed (which you reserve in the morning in the lobby for an additional cost) and watching the colourful species of butterflies dance over our heads.
The food at this resort is also incredible. We had so many delicious meals at the specialty restaurants and the buffet was fantastic. I know buffets get a bad wrap, but the World Café can kill those stereotypes with ease. This was the perfect location for breakfast, my fave goodies were the little donuts and ability to get mimosas every morning.
Beside the infinity pool by the main building in the evenings the resort has movie nights under the stars! We watched recent releases like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and X-Men First Class. Movie choices were displayed around the resort every morning in the newsletter that could be found in cafes, in the lobby, and by every elevator.
The beachfront is beautiful but it’s not a typical white sand beach. Costa Rica is mostly volcanic so it makes sense why the shores on many beaches here feature darker, coarse sand. But the area is still barefoot friendly! In the afternoons around 3pm you can spot cute Capuchin monkeys in the trees above the activity shack. You can watch them from the beach and take photos or just float along in the beachfront infinity pool, our favourite place to watch, while they jump around and groom each other.
For restaurants Himitsu (sushi and Teppenyaki), El Patio (Mexican), and Portofino were perfect for romantic dinners. We took long naps in the afternoons and ate later in the evenings when families had turned in for the night.
But my favourite spot of all had to be right on our patio. Our room was a Junior Suite Oceanview with a pretty “Happy Honeymoon” banner across the door. The room was spacious with comfortable amenities, a bed you never wanted to climb out of, and a patio with a hot tub. Needless to say we spent every evening in here, watching the sunset, sipping a glass of wine and listening to the birds. With included room service you can even order dinner right to your suite if you’d rather have a cozy night in.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions about the resort, I’ll do my best to answer. Check back for my next post on ziplining and waterfall swimming with NexusTours.