This three-story, modern hotel has a prime location overlooking beautiful Flamingo Beach, along with a huge swimming pool and every water sport that kids of any age could want. Though few of its rooms have ocean views, they are all mere steps away from the sand and surf. It's very family-friendly, thanks to its beach-accessible location, the centerpiece swimming pool with 25-meter lap lanes along one side, plus a shaded kids' pool that is close enough to the swim-up bar that you could save a toddler without spilling your piña colada. There's a dive shop on-site as well as water-sports equipment, and there's a large game room and movie theater for kids. Rooms are standard size, with high ceilings and private balconies or terraces and some new upgrades, including flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers. Get a pool view, preferably on the second or third floor; those with higher numbers have ocean views. The restaurants run the gamut from family-friendly to sophisticated and are filled with exotic flower arrangements. There's also a breezy upstairs Sunset Lounge above the main restaurant where you can order tapas and relax with a view of sand and sea. Other good restaurants are also within walking distance or a quick shuttle trip away.
Hotel entrance on left past Marie's Restaurant, Flamingo, Costa Rica
/2654–4444; /2283–8063-in San José; 877-856–5519-toll-free in U.S.