beach club at W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal

The W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal aims to wow you, impress you, and delight you from the moment you walk into the lobby and for the most part they do just that. There’s no big resort quite like this in Costa Rica and if you like to be surrounded by visual flair and good design, you’ll be very happy in this location by the ocean.

Designed by the country’s best-known architecture firm, one who worked on several other luxury hotels in Guanacaste, the buildings and interiors take cues from nature in the tropics. You get representations of flowers, hummingbirds, and trees, the latter evident in the bottle sculptures and support columns in the main building with the Living Room lounge and main restaurant. The sofas are enclosed by wooden structures that make them a kind of nest, while the spa is meant to represent the metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly.

W Costa Rica bartender

The overall effect is dramatic, but that alone won’t make your stay special when you’re coming to stay for three days or a week. Thankfully, the amenities and service are both up to the task, as I found during my visit roughly a year after they opened. There’s clearly a good hands-on management team in place at W Reserva Conchal in Costa Rica and the “Whatever Whenever” service by text or Whatsapp ensures that you’ll get your wish granted in a timely manner when needed.

The various areas of the resort are spread out among multiple buildings, most of them up on a hill and then others down by the beach. Some guest rooms are quite close to the main pool and two restaurants, while others are in three towers set back a bit with more of a view. The spa is close enough to walk to from any of them, but to get to the beach requires a short golf cart ride or a spin on one of the complimentary bikes.

Away spa pool area

Hot and cold pools at the spa, open to all guests

The beach at Reserva Conchal ranks among the best I’ve seen in my four visits to various parts of this country. It’s wide, long, and calm enough for swimming. (You’ll have to venture further up or down the coast a little for surfing.) The beach club also has its own pool long enough for laps and a great open-air bar and restaurants. There are paddleboards to borrow and even a kids club for the little ones.

Yes, a W Hotel with a kids club. While most properties in the chain are clearly geared to couples, this one is fine for the whole family. As they probably anticipated, this is one of the most popular properties in the region for frequent traveler parents to cash in some Marriott Bonvoy points for a family vacation. Most of them seemed to be enjoying the large main pool with plenty of room for everyone.

Rooms here are fun and fabulous, with the pops of color and playful design you would expect from a W. Although I found the all-or-nothing light switches a bit frustrating, the rooms do have good separate reading lots, plenty of places to charge your gadgets, and a smart TV with Netflix and plenty of channels in English. Most rooms have a balcony of some kind and some of the suites have a plunge pool on theirs. Plus mine had a Foosball table!

Suite at the W Costa Rica resort

Overall, this is an impressive resort with three good dining outlets, multiple bars, an excellent gym and spa, and a golf course nearby. They run frequent activities and can set up special experiences like a private dinner on the beach. Sure, there are more intimate and romantic places to stay in this country where independent hotels are in the majority, but if you’re looking for a big resort experience where you can also depend on good service, the W Costa Rica is an excellent choice. Since it’s also only about an hour from the Liberia airport, it can also get you in the vacation groove not long after arrival in the country.

See more photos and our detailed review of W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal. Take a video tour here:

See our other reviews of luxury hotels in Costa Rica.