Central South AmericaAdventure Travel

Star turn at Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

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A junior suite at the Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, which opened last year in the Guanacaste province.
A junior suite at the Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, which opened last year in the Guanacaste province.

With 400 miles of pristine Pacific coastline, an abundance of sloth-filled rainforests and easy accessibility, it's no wonder the Guanacaste province has become Costa Rica's most visited area. And with all of those visitors, there is no shortage of accommodations, from boutique ecolodges to five-star hotel complexes. So how does a new resort stand out in an already competitive market? By offering something for everyone and doing it really, really well.

Enter the Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica, which opened last year and is the brand's first foray into the all-inclusive resort market. Built into the hillside and overlooking a palm-filled beach, the resort delivers on its promise to enable guests to "Vacation Like a Star."

The brand's trademark movie memorabilia and nods to Hollywood abound but never go over the top; the Stars Kids Club, Sunset Strip Steakhouse and personalized in-room soundtrack, for instance, serve the theme well and all add to the fun. 

For the all-out, A-list experience, the upgraded Star Class option ups the ante with a "personal rider" and "personal agent" to answer to your every need; the Green Room, stocked day and night with premium drinks and snacks; a separate pool and bar; a pillow menu; and other special features. Either way, with 90% of the resort's rooms facing the ocean, everyone is made to feel special.

But back to that something-for-everyone idea. For some travelers, a vacation means never leaving the resort. For them, there is a Tex-Mex cantina, an Italian trattoria, a steakhouse, a sushi and teppanyaki bar, buffet breakfasts and lunches, a coffee bar, Guy Fieri's burger joint and more. There's also the PH Beauty Bar, PH Spa (a tranquil haven using all organic products), a fitness center and a kids club with a variety of activities and events to keep children occupied. Between the pool's swim-up bar and impromptu parties and the adjacent beach, on which you can start the day with yoga and end with a sunset mojito, there's certainly no need to leave the property.

However, plenty of visitors to Costa Rica want to actually see Costa Rica, and for them, excursions are offered and encouraged through PH Experiences.

An ideal choice for the quintessential Costa Rican experience is Diamante Eco Adventure Park, which, like the resort, has a bit of everything. There's the country's longest zipline (which is saying a lot for a country filled with ziplines) offering spectacular views from above the treetops, an animal sanctuary and botanical gardens, snorkeling and kayaking, horseback riding, ATVs and even a bar and lunch buffet. It's all on one large, lush sustainable oceanfront property a short ride (provided by Nexus Tours) from the Planet Hollywood.

Back at that resort, for those who want to be slothlike in luxury while also appreciating the country's emphasis on all things eco, that's an easy wish to have granted. Pull up a lounge chair on the beach and look up -- there's probably a troop of monkeys enjoying the beach as much as you are. 

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