Planet Hollywood Costa Rica: Luxury All-Inclusive Hotel for Families

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If you are looking for a luxury beachfront all-inclusive, look no further than Planet Hollywood Costa Rica. Located just 25 minutes from the Liberia International Airport and boasting multiple restaurants, pools, excursions, and a great Kid’s Club, this is a hotel you don’t want to miss!

planet hollywood costa rica beach resort all inclusive papayago peninsula shot


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As we drove up to the expansive Planet Hollywood Costa Rica resort a bellman opened our doors and took our bags. We then walked a purple carpet while employees clapped, shouted “pura vida” and cheered to welcome us.

Next came a fun family photo in front of the Planet Hollywood sign before I was handed a perfectly chilled dragonfruit and vodka cocktail and spritzed with cool mist. 

That’s the arrival at Planet Hollywood- one of my favorite all-inclusive resorts (even perfect for a honeymoon) in Costa Rica. In this article, I’ll tell you about our family’s experience with two young children at PH Costa Rica.

About Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica is one of the newer and top all-inclusive hotels/resorts located in Northern Costa Rica on the Papagayo Peninsula. The tagline is “Vacation Like A Star” and between the soothing purple decor, Hollywood memorabilia, and amazing customer service, you’ll feel like a star the moment you set foot on the property.

The hotel opened in October of 2018 using the facilities left behind by the Spanish-owned all-inclusive Hotel Papagayo. The same building structures were used, but completely remodeled. The pools were completely redone as were all the restaurants, making the entire property feel brand new.

We chose to visit the resort for my birthday in 2019, both because I was curious about the hotel (we had visited the former property on our honeymoon) and because I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a super relaxing way. We were able to book with a local resident special as the hotel hadn’t been open a year yet, so we packed up the car and headed north to the hotel. 

The bottom line is that we loved our stay and I’d highly recommend booking. Our time there wasn’t perfect, but the minor things we didn’t love were not deal-breakers and we would definitely go back. In this article, I’ll tell you everything we loved and didn’t about our stay.

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beach resort

Location – Getting There and Away

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica is located in the Guanacaste province on the Pacific Ocean. It’s on what is called the Papagayo peninsula. It’s located about 90 minutes south of the Nicaraguan border. 

The property is about 45 minutes away from the city of Liberia and about 30 minutes away from the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport, also known as the Liberia International Airport.  

Nearby hotels include the Andaz Papagayo and the Four Seasons Resort- all luxury properties are near the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. Planet Hollywood is the only all-inclusive resort on the Peninsula. 

(We love to go to this area because our favorite hidden beaches, Playa Nacascolo and Playa Cabuyal are located here.)

One of the huge advantages of the PH resort is that you really don’t need to rent a car if you are flying in and only visiting this resort. The hotel will provide transfers. So that is a consideration when deciding if this is the right place to stay for your family.

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room at the planet Hollywood


There are three types of rooms at Planet Hollywood Costa Rica: aptly named the Junior Suite, the Director’s Suite, and the Producer’s Suite.  Prices range for each room because of size and location to the beach and restaurants, but all have an all-inclusive option.

We stayed in the Junior Suite and loved it. The decor was modern yet Hollywood, and the room was spacious. We had a sitting area, a separate bath, and a dressing area with a huge mirror and lovely lights, and the two queen beds were super comfortable. These rooms are available with an ocean view or a garden view.

The rooms had hot water showers, towels, a desk, wireless internet, a safe, an iron, a coffee maker, and satellite TV.

We especially loved that 24-hour room service was included as we had several mornings where we ordered room service while we got the girls’ sunscreen and bathing suits on, and then had a leisurely breakfast on the patio before heading down to the beach and pool.

It’s important to note that this entire property is located on a huge hill- you’ll walk down to the beach and pool and a few restaurants and the main lobby is at the very top of the hill. There are golf carts circulating, but at check-in and check-out time it was nearly impossible to get a golf cart and we had to wait a long time in the heat. Plan accordingly.


planet hollywood costa rica beach resport all inclusive at night

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Planet Hollywood Costa Rica Amenities

Kid’s Club

I wanted to go to PH because of the Kid’s Club. We love the Barcelo resorts in Costa Rica but the Kid’s Clubs are not very compelling so we are with the girls the whole time. I wanted to have a little bit of alone time with my spouse knowing the girls were happy and safe.

The Kid’s Club has a ton of super fun activities such as Dance Classes, Acting and Directing Classes, and more. However, you should ask for a schedule in advance as we found that many of the activities the girls wanted to do were only once a week and we weren’t there for the days they had certain activities. Otherwise, the Kid’s Club has a pool, ping pong table, crafts, karaoke, and video games. 

Let’s be clear: I am not a huge fan of leaving my kids alone in another country on a family vacation. I’d never done it. So before we left the girls I toured the entire facility, asked a zillion safety questions, and talked at length to the girls who would be watching my kids. 

The facility was safe, clean, and well staffed and the activities were tailored to the kids present. We left the girls for about an hour to try the spa and they had fresh fruit for a snack, sang karaoke on a microphone, and were having a fun dance party when we arrived. They didn’t want to leave. 

spa at the resort

 PH Spa Beauty Bar

The resort gifted me an hour in the spa for my birthday, so my husband and I went to check it out. The spa itself is absolutely gorgeous inside with spacious ceilings, low lighting, and soothing music.

Massage, facials, nail bar, and body treatments are all the name of the game at PH Spa. They also have a huge hydrotherapy pool, contrast showers, and more. I loved the spa and highly highly recommend it. 

 Fitness Center

Near the pool area and on the top floor above the spa is a fully equipped fitness center complete with free weights, weight machines, TRX, and a rooftop outdoor yoga area. 

The PUMPED fitness team offers beach abs classes, poolside Zumba, sunrise yoga yoga under the stars and more. 

We had so much fun with an obstacle course the team set up by the pool. Several contestants were timed as they completed all kinds of fitness challenges, and every participant got a cute PH Costa Rica tank. My husband still has his and my girls still talk about how much fun it was!

Costa Rican planet Hollywood gym

Nightly Entertainment

Every night there is entertainment near the main lobby- we experienced everything from Hollywood movie shows to a silent disco. There is also a local artesian market a few times a week. There were beachside movies and live music as well.

planet Hollywood cocktail

The Beach

The beach at Planet Hollywood Costa Rica is truly a bay. The water is shallow with very few waves, making it perfect for families with young children. You can walk really far out into the ocean and still only be knee-deep in water.

The sand is black, and during Costa Rican summer (December-February) some families say the sand is too hot to walk along. We didn’t have that problem.

A lot of people that I have talked to are disappointed in the beach, and I totally get it. If you are coming from a land-locked area and want to spend days lounging on the beach, Planet Hollywood Costa Rica probably isn’t for you as the beach is pretty underwhelming. The pool is more the star here.

Paddle boards and sea kayaks are free rentals with your stay, you just need to book in advance. There are tons of water excursions on site as well. 

There are locals who are on the public beach and may ask you to book a tour through them or purchase something. They are generally harmless but can be aggressive so if you are not interested in a service just make that known clearly and move on.


planet hollywood costa rica beach resport arial view

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Planet Hollywood Costa Rica can help you book almost any excursion or tour you want. You can zipline (we love Hacienda Guachipelin), visit Rio Celeste National Park, go snorkeling and scuba diving, surfing, horseback riding, jet skiing, ATV riding, and more. The La Leona waterfall hike isn’t far from here either, and it’s amazing.

We had a nice time just staying on the property though, so if lounging by the beach with a pina colada in hand is more your style, this is the place to be!


There are seven restaurants on-site, and we tried them all!  Not all are open for all meals, and you will want to either make a reservation or plan to wait at popular times. If you are looking for traditional Costa Rican food, PH is NOT the place to try it. The food is very American here. It’s good, but not typical at all.

 These are the restaurants:

Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint – fast food delivered poolside and beachside. Kids loved it. Great burgers and fries.

SoCal Gourmet Food Emporium – buffet serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the restaurant that is pretty much always open.

East Sushi and Teppanyaki Bar – This Asian restaurant was INCREDIBLE. You can make a reservation for the Teppanyaki bar but you cannot be late or they will start without you and you can’t sit down. (We learned this the hard way). The table service was still incredible, and they brought food in from the other restaurants that were more kid-friendly. Highly recommend.

Sunset Strip and Steakhouse Grill– open for dinner, typical steakhouse fare. 

Blue-Star Tex Mex Cantina– Very popular for dinner. I was highly unimpressed.

Gusto Italian Trattoria– open for dinner. I love the way Costa Ricans make Italian food and this place was awesome. 

Overtime Sports Bar– everything was good, it was just very television-oriented and dark inside so it wasn’t really my vibe.

What’s Not To Like At Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

We had some friends go to the resort at high season and they really didn’t like it. They felt like it was Las Vegas- tons of hard partying loud music and craziness. We did not experience this at all but we didn’t go during Costa Rican vacation time so there really weren’t many people at the resort.

Star Club

If you choose to upgrade on-site you can become a Star Guest which basically means you get an oceanfront room, a day with a private cabana, and other random amenities. We didn’t like the pressure of this upgrade or the “status” it brought to other guests. We spoke to a family that did it and they felt it wasn’t worth it.

Underage drinking

The drinking age in Costa Rica is 18. When we were at PH the bartenders were checking IDs and ages and they were NOT serving minors. I thought this was great!

But one mom was really mad at the bartender for refusing to serve her 16-year-old son and made a huge scene. If you want your teens to have access to alcohol, this is not the place for you.


You will either plan to walk a lot up and down steep hills or you’ll need to wait for a golf cart to shuttle you up and down the mountain. There were tons of drivers and they were efficient, but we did have to wait occasionally and we couldn’t walk everywhere with the little kids. 

planet hollywood costa rica star club

Book Now

There are several ways to book- you can book directly on Planet Hollywood’s website, or there are often deals that include flights from tour operators such as Apple Vacations.

Finally- Costco Travel includes Planet Hollywood in the offerings they have under Costa Rica all-inclusive resort so you may get a good deal there too.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Hi, I just read your review. We are heading to the PH in Costa Rica in a few weeks and want to do some tours. However, the ones offered at PH are all with early morning starts and for full days. Do you know any reputable tour companies that do half day tours or would it be safe to get a car and do our own thing? We also heard of someone hiring a boat to take them to some beaches in the vicinity. Do you know how we could arrange that? Any advice would be appreciated?
    Thanks very much,.

    1. Hi! I think you can totally rent a car and do your own thing and it will be about the same price as one tour at PH. They have really overpriced tours. I don’t know of tour companies in that area, unfortunately. I would recommend trying to go to Playa Nacascolo while you are there!
      As for the boats, honestly, there are guys on the beach at PH that will do that for you, you can just go down and talk to them. Make sure they have insurance and lifejackets, however.

  2. Going there as well in a couple of weeks, so there are boats on the beach at PH will they take you to other beaches or snorkel sites? Can you snorkel or boogie board off the ocean at PH wasn’t sure what the water was like. i’d like to check out Coco Beach and Tamarindo area will the boats take you there? There is no where at PH to rent a car you have to do it at the airport right?

    1. Maybe I’ll see you there!
      I would say yes to the boats. No to boogie board- maybe to snorkel but not great. If you want to check out other places I’d def rent a car- which you do need to do at the Liberia airport. Thank you for commenting! ~Christa

  3. Does PH Costa Rica charge for a one and three year old to stay and eat? This is not for the Star class upgrade. I’ve been told it’s an average of $70US per night for kids being added to the reservation. Just don’t know the age that’s applicable.

  4. Hi,
    Hope you are well?
    I have just come across your review and it has been so helpful as I am thinking of booking this hotel. Everything looks fab- pools, entertainment, staff, excursions, rooms, food etc… the only thing that I am slightly nervous about is the beach. I know you touched on the beach in your review but I just wondered if there was anything extra you could tell me at all? Basically we will be travelling with our 3 year old daughter and my sister and husband who have a 1 and a 4 year old. I noticed you travelled with children too so hope you don’t mind me asking… I understand it is black sand but do you think it’s safe to sit on the beach, build sandcastles, play in the sand etc as toddlers love to do? Any advise much appreciated. Thanks Samantha

    1. Hi! Absolutely safe to do all of those things. The only caveat is that I would make beach time in the early morning and before sunset as the sand does get really hot during the day. ~Christa

  5. Not a fan. The air in the room is musty smelling. Had fruit flies and other buys. The swarm of termites took it over the top for me, ready to go. The restaurants food was poor, some food was barely warm. The buffet was the best place to eat. The pool is awesome. I have a balcony full of termites.