Nearly all of the all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica are clustered in the Guanacaste Peninsula, near Liberia. The rare exception to this is the Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort, along the Pacific Ocean. The Best Western Jaco Beach Resort is a beachfront 3-star all-inclusive resort south-west of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.
We had already spent several days at the Riu Guanacaste all-inclusive resort at the beginning of our family vacation to Costa Rica. We normally wouldn’t have stayed at a second all-inclusive resort during our trip, but we needed a hotel to break up a long drive between our stay in La Fortuna with kids and our visit to Corcovado National Park with kids.
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Jaco Beach was approximately halfway, so we jumped at the chance to stay at the Best Western all-inclusive resort as a fun treat for our kids. The following is an honest review of our stay at the Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort.
Description of the Best Western Jaco Beach Resort
Unlike some of the mega all-inclusive hotel chains, the Best Western Jaco Beach all-inclusive resort is a big, but not huge hotel. The Best Western is a clean and well-maintained all-inclusive resort and has an excellent location on Jaco Beach facing the Pacific Ocean.
The natural beauty of the Bahia del Jaco is what draws many visitors to this region of Costa Rica. Guests will enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean with rugged, jungle covered mountains on either side of the beach.
Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Location
The Jaco Beach Best Western Resort sits on an enviable piece of beachfront property along a large bay. Facing west you’ll enjoy having the sun out of your eyes for most of the day as you sit on the black sand beach soaking in the amazing vistas of the surrounding mountainous landscapes. Then at the end of the day, you’ll be treated to an incredible sunset over the ocean!
The family-friendly Best Western all-inclusive hotel is along the northern end of Jaco Beach. It’s a reasonably quiet location, being just a few blocks away from the central business district of the town of Jaco Beach.
The Best Western Jaco Beach resort is within easy reach of both major Costa Rica international airports. It’s a quick 87 km / 54 miles drive from the San Jose International Airport and 195 km / 120 miles from the Liberia International Airport.
Best Western Jaco Beach Hotel Amenities
Despite being a modest sized all-inclusive resort, the Best Western packs in a ton of amenities to enhance each guests experience during their stay.
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the all-inclusive resort
- Free sun loungers on Jaco Beach and around the three outdoor swimming pools
- A pool table and ping pong table in the lobby
- Filtered drinking water stations
- A well-stocked souvenir shop
- All accommodation, taxes and tips included
Best Western All-Inclusive Swimming Pools
Guests of this Best Western hotel in Costa Rica will enjoy plenty of swimming pools at this beachfront resort. The main swimming pool nearest the hotel is circular in shape with a tiled island in the middle. Our kids (aged 7 & 9) loved playing in this pool as it was the perfect depth for them. They could touch the bottom, yet the water was about to their chins.
A wooden bridge separates the main pool from the wading pool for small kids. There’s a fun little walkway which crosses the wading pool which is fun for little kids to walk across.
There’s also a new infinity pool near the beach, which is a little deeper at 1.3 m. Although it may be a bit too deep for little kids, there are two very shallow alcoves in the corners which are just 0.3 m deep.
Jaco Beach – Playa Jaco
The Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort is ideally situated on the northern of a long & scenic black sand beach. To be honest, as scenic as it is, Playa Jaco is not the nicest beach in the world and is certainly not the most kid-friendly beach in Costa Rica.
As you leave the resort area and start walking towards the beach, there are two warning signs posted. The first warns of strong currents, recommending only strong swimmers get in the ocean.
The second warns there are manta rays in the area, recommending that anyone in the water shuffle their feet on the ground to avoid stepping on one. I’m pretty sure they meant to watch for stingrays (as manta rays are open ocean swimmers), but either way, I’m not getting in the water.
That said, Playa Jaco is a nice, long beach with great scenery and it’s good for a nice long beach walk. It can be a bit rocky in spots, so a pair of sports sandals will come in handy if you wish to walk a long distance to burn off some of those calories from the all-inclusive buffet.
Plus, because it faces west, you’ll enjoy some epic sunsets over the ocean each night!
Best Western All-Inclusive Restaurants
Being a smaller all-inclusive resort, the Best Western Jaco Beach Resort has just one main buffet restaurant. Located on the second floor of the beachfront hotel, guests dining at the main buffet restaurant will enjoy beautiful ocean views and fresh ocean air.
All three meals of the day are served in the main buffet restaurant. We thought the lunch and dinner food at the all-inclusive buffet was really good. For each meal, there are 15 – 20 hot dishes to choose from, ranging from pasta, to veggies to roasted meat. In addition, there is a wide selection of salads, fresh vegetables, and of course, a generous amount of dessert offerings.
Note, that if you’d like to dine in the main buffet restaurant at the all-inclusive Best Western, you’ll need to make reservations online ahead of time. Don’t worry – just watch for an email from the hotel a few days before check-in with a link. We were able to book breakfast, lunch and dinner in our preferred time slots without any difficulty.
The beach bar also offers food service throughout the day, with mostly snack-type food on offer. The most popular dish served here is a hamburger, but you can also enjoy pizza slices, French fries, nacho chips and a healthy selection of fresh fruit.
Bars at the Jaco Beach Best Western All-Inclusive Resort
We visited Jaco Beach with our kids, so we didn’t spend much time in the bars at the resort. There are two bars to choose from at the Best Western – a bar in the lobby and a bar near the beach. Both offered plenty of seating and a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Excursions from the Best Western Jaco Beach Resort
In addition to its beautiful tropical beach setting, there are so many great things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica. The wide variety of activities in Jaco are one of the reasons why this beach resort is such a popular destination for visitors to Costa Rica.
Here are just a few of the best things to do in Jaco Beach (not included in the all-inclusive package):
Full-Day Manuel Antonio National Park Tour
We finished up our family trip to Costa Rica with a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park with kids. This was my second visit to Manuel Antonio, and I can honestly tell you that it is one of the most special national parks in the world.
Although you can visit Manuel Antonio without a guide, the untrained visitor will only see a fraction of the wildlife that a visitor with a guide will. This full day excursion from Jaco to Manuel Antonio National Park comes with a trained guide complete with a spotting telescope you can use to see and take up-close pictures of the famous Costa Rica wildlife.
2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour
We only stayed at the Best Western Jaco Beach all-inclusive resort for 24-hours, so we didn’t have time for any excursions, but we did a cocoa plantation tour recently while visiting Colombia with kids and we loved it. What makes this excursion awesome is that this cocoa plantation tour from Jaco Beach includes all the chocolate you can eat!!
Zipline and ATV Adventure Combo Tour
Costa Rica is an adventure destination. We enjoyed a ton of adventure activities in La Fortuna with kids, so we’re certain you will enjoy this highly rated tour from Jaco Beach. You’ll enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean as you zipline from the top of the mountain, swim under a waterfall in a tropical rainforest and get all mucky ripping around in your ATV.
Staying at the Best Western Jaco Beach Resort With Kids
The Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort is very popular with families, and for good reason. There were tons of families with kids at the resort during our stay, all enjoying the many family-friendly amenities on offer.
It’s unfortunate that the ocean on Jaco Beach in front of the Best Western is not very kid-friendly, but the sand is still good for sand castles. There were many families playing in the sand, despite not getting to go play in the water. Of course, families can have a ton of fun taking fun pictures on the beach at sunset!
Kids don’t really mind where they get wet, as long as they get wet, so take advantage of the three fun swimming pools at the Best Western Resort. There is a good variety of pool depths within the three pools at the all-inclusive resort, so your kids will find the pool that’s perfect for them. Our kids spent almost the whole time playing in the main, circular swimming pool.
There’s also a super-fun splash pad near the infinity pool. At any given time, you are guaranteed to see little kids running around, losing their minds, chasing the water fountains. Our kids loved the splash pad and it’s likely yours will as well.
The Best Western Jaco Beach has lots of things to do for kids which doesn’t involve getting wet. There’s a small playground with a sandbox for little kids, along with a bigger playground for older kids.
There was a also large inflatable slide near the playground (but I’m not sure if that was permanent or not).
The lobby of the Best Western Jaco Beach has lots of fun stuff for kids, including a pool table, a pig-pong table and even a shelf with many board games.
And, to top it all off, there are plenty of iguanas roaming the grounds. Our kids love iguana sightings as it’s a big thrill to see a large lizard up close.
We hope you’ll enjoy your stay at the Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort as much as we did!
More Family-Friendly Resorts
Dan Brewer is an intrepid family travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world's most captivating destinations. With 58 countries under his belt and a sense of wanderlust that knows no bounds, he has made it his life's mission to share his travel experiences and insights with fellow families who love to travel.
When Dan isn't traveling with his wife and kids, he's either out enjoying the Canadian Rockies he calls home or working on one of his three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Travel Banff Canada and Ultimate Sports Road Trip) or out enjoying the majestic Canadian Rockies her family calls home.