Discover Pura Vida At Costa Rica's Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa

Review of Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo | Playa Flamingo
all inclusive
Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo
  • Trip101 Review
Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

If you’re looking for an intimate, yet full service beachfront resort in Costa Rica’s northeast province of Guanacaste, the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa provides a perfect introduction to the country’s “Pura Vida” or “simple life” philosophy. Located approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by shuttle bus from the Liberia airport, this family-owned resort offers a long, quiet stretch of beach, an expansive pool with swim-up bar, delicious food (all-inclusive optional), a full service spa and friendly, helpful staff. Although the busy town of Tamarindo, which is only a 30-minute drive away, is a more popular tourist spot in this area, Flamingo Beach has plenty to offer with its soft sand, gentle surf and easy access to the country’s many surrounding ecological treasures.

Stunning tropical views and all the amenities you need

View from 2nd Floor Poolview Room Balcony

This open-air resort is laid out in a convenient “U” shape, with the large pool in the very center and the guestrooms surrounding the pool in 3 story buildings. All rooms have a balcony or patio, with the best views coming from the 2nd & 3rd floor Poolview rooms (where you can actually see a bit of the ocean without having to splurge on an Oceanview suite). Rooms are clean and simply furnished with the basics including a flat screen TV, coffee maker, mini fridge and more than enough storage space. All rooms offer a selection of snacks & drinks, but be aware that these items are not included in the all-inclusive package.

Everything is close and convenient here, with the staff at the Flamingo happy to assist you with any request. The 2-story lobby area includes an ample gift shop, excursion desk, the spa (definitely worth a visit – book on your 1st day for a 20% discount on massages), the gym and a small casino. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort, covering the lobby to the guestrooms, even providing access at the beach. Additional shopping and restaurants can be found across from the resort in the small downtown area.

Only one main restaurant, but plenty of variety

Arenas Restaurant with the Sunset Lounge Upstairs

Most meals at the Flamingo Beach Resort are served at the Arenas Restaurant, located right next to the beach. Start the day with a full buffet breakfast and for lunch and dinner enjoy a daily themed buffet along with an extensive a la carte menu. Seating is available in the air-conditioned dining room, but nothing beats listening to the ocean from the screened-in outdoor patio. Lunch & snacks can also be ordered by the pool bar and the full dinner menu is also served at the Sunset Lounge, located upstairs from the Arenas restaurant. An all-inclusive option is available here and includes all meals, snacks & drinks. If you feel like venturing out, there are also several restaurants within walking distance from the resort.

Be sure to take advantage of the fresh fruit and fresh fish here, as both are delicious & plentiful. The resort has its own eco-friendly garden off the property where they grow many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs used in their menu items. The a la carte menu offers a diverse selection of Costa Rican favorites mixed with traditional fare. The “Catch of the Day” and the fresh ceviche should be tried at least once and be sure to enjoy a cocktail (like the delicious Green Monster) during Happy Hour at the Sunset Bar. For a change of scenery, take a walk down the beach and check out “Coco Loco” for a tropical drink or a sunset meal right on the sand.

Pool or beach? Take your pick!

Early morning view of Flamingo Beach

Mornings at the pool are a perfect start to the day as the sun rises over the hills behind the property. There are plenty of chairs (with some great loungers right in the water) but the shady spots do tend to disappear first. Grab a book and relax or cool off in the pool with a cocktail from the swim-up bar. Parents will appreciate the covered children’s pool so you don’t have to worry about the little ones getting too much sun.

If you’re more of a beach person, Flamingo is one of the best in the area and is famous for its white sand and gentle waves. The Flamingo Beach Resort is the only hotel located here and although it’s technically “across the street” from the beach, it’s literally only steps away. This is a public beach, however it is not crowded and the resort provides complimentary lounge chairs to all guests. Umbrellas are available for a small fee but there is plenty of shade to be found among the trees which line the beach. The sand is powdery soft here and continues all the way into the clear, calm water. You won’t find any seaweed or shells, just gentle waves, a nice breeze and an easy stroll in either direction. The highlight here comes each evening as the sun sets over the Pacific. You’ll want to grab your camera and prepare to be dazzled by this breathtaking sight… a daily spectacle for both tourists and residents alike.

Endless opportunities to explore

Sunset from the Panache Catamaran Cruise

Whether you visit Costa Rica to explore the rainforests, or simply to enjoy the numerous beaches, there is definitely something for everyone. Zip-lining, river rafting, canopy tours and volcano trips are just a few of the excursions available in the Guanacaste area. Trips can be booked through the hotel’s excursion desk, with several local guides right on the beach or with one of the local tour companies. Check out Ecotrans, with an office located right across the street from the resort, for great prices on tours as well as airport transfers for only 25 USD per person each way.

If you have limited time and just want to get out and explore a bit of the surrounding area, try one of the ATV or Horseback Riding tours. A Sunset Catamaran Cruise is another great local activity, as the marina is just around the corner from the resort. Try sailing with the Panache, an impeccably clean, 46ft yacht with an amazing staff that brings you snorkeling, provides a light snack and offers complimentary cocktails for you to enjoy as you cruise into the sunset.

Pura Vida is in full swing here

The Flamingo Beach Resort takes full advantage of their tropical weather and natural surroundings with its open-air layout, outdoor dining areas, and beautiful pool area. It’s easy to become entranced with the Pura Vida lifestyle while surrounded by the sounds of swaying palms, tropical birds and gently crashing waves, but it’s the friendliness of the people and laid back atmosphere of the resort that allow you to connect with nature and experience a truly relaxing vacation here. Enjoy the fresh food, float in the calm waters of the Pacific and explore the natural wonders of this amazing area during your stay at this well run property.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo
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