So vast that guests ride around in the back of biodiesel trucks and the staff gets around on golf carts, this all-inclusive resort has been taken over by the Starwood hotel group and upgraded, redecorated, and rebranded as an all-inclusive Westin resort. The grounds encompass 2,400 acres that include a picture-perfect beach. But in the labyrinthine guest village, the ocean tends to disappear and the only views are of lush gardens and other buildings exactly like yours.
The split-level Spanish colonial–style villas have huge marble bathrooms and elegant, sophisticated sitting rooms equipped with plasma TVs and iPod docks, although you have to pay for the Wi-Fi connection. The "Royal Service" rooms are even posher, closer to the beach, and have their own pool and a private concierge. There's a kids' club, babysitting service, and a section of suites dedicated to families. The resort also has the largest—and perhaps warmest—pool in Central America. Grown-ups can amuse themselves sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, playing the gorgeous 18-hole golf course, playing tennis on one of four lighted courts, or rejuvenating at the spa. There are eight restaurants ranging from Asian fusion to Italian, along with five bars, one of them a disco. The breakfast buffet is fabulous, but meals at the other restaurants aren't as impressive. If you're into the beach, try to get booked into bungalow 1, 2, or 3.
Entrance less than 1 km (½ mile) south of Brasilito, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica