Planet Hollywood Costa Rica-11

I was recently invited to jet south with Sunwing Vacations to experience Planet Hollywood Costa Rica. Open since October 1, Planet Hollywood Costa Rica is the brand’s first all-inclusive Caribbean luxury property.

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Located at the base of Costa Rica’s Papagayo Peninsula, the resort offers sweeping coastline views from its commanding hillside location.

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This was my first stay in both Costa Rica and at a Planet Hollywood resort, and I was impressed by how the property’s design is fused into the natural backdrop of the peninsula.

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[A white-faced monkey by the beach]

The all-inclusive experience begins with door-to-door shuttle service from Liberia Airport. On a balmy November afternoon, we’re greeted by a Planet Hollywood staff member who collects our luggage and brings us to the front door of the very posh resort.

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Cool towels on arrival, a cocktail in hand followed by a red carpet walk with photographers snapping our photos — this is definitely a star-minded stay!

Star Class offers a lot of extras including a rider for your choice of bar drinks and upgraded in-room snack selection, access to The Green Room lounge and bar, a 45-minute hydrotherapy session as well as a Star Class pool with upgraded bar drinks.

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[Star Class pool]

In fact, once we’re given a brief introduction to the resort and given our all-access Star Class RFID bracelets (that also open our room door so we can forget carrying a room card or key during our stay), we’re off to our rooms, each one of us with a personal agent.

Star Class bracelet

Standard guests also receive a RFID access bracelet (with a different design to set it apart from Star Class).

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica
[Junior Suite Ocean View room]

Rooms

It’s been a long day of travel but arriving inside my room brings a huge smile to my face. There’s cooling hardwood floors, a good-size working desk with coffee station, a silver couch to chill out on plus a luxurious bathroom with separate rain shower room.

Living area

The dark wood furniture and paneling nicely compliment the brick wall and silver stars above the headboard.

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A full-length balcony offers a view down to the main pool area and ocean. Glass doors have an etched tree and vine motif to match Planet Hollywood’s purple branding.

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The flatscreen TV sits neatly inside its own wooden niche; a small shelf below is designed with a small space to neatly stow the remote. In addition to tons of channels, the TV also serves as a command center.

TV with music menu

You can order room service, learn about the resort’s bars and restaurants, book a massage, get the latest weather forecast and select a soundtrack playlist to enjoy during your stay.

Director's Suite
[A peek inside a Director’s Suite]

Music options run the gamut from Latin Pop, Modern Alternative and Top 40 Global to Caribbean & Reggae – Plus Chill Out! I like the attention to detail throughout the space.

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Dining

East Sushi & Teppanyaki Bar
Our group enjoyed a tasty sushi appetizer followed by a teppanyaki chef who worked his magic with the knives, creating a tasty Japanese dinner for our group (this is the only venue that requires reservations as there’s three tables that can each accommodate 10 people).

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So Cal Gourmet Food Emporium
I began my days choosing from an elaborate breakfast buffet at So Cal. Made-to-order crepes, omelettes and a range of local and classic morning dishes with fresh fruit, coffee and juices — you’ll find it all here.

SoCal Food Emporium
[Just a few of the breakfast offerings at So Cal Gourmet Food Emporium]

At lunch, there’s made-to-order flatbread pizzas, a taco stand with food truck-style Mexican cuisine, ramen noodle house for Japanese and Korean fusion dishes, American classics off the grill and a patisserie for a sweet finish. Grab an outdoor table for awesome ocean views.

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[The view from So Cal]

Gusto Italian Trattoria
Gusto offers Italian comfort food in a romantic, vintage Italian film-themed room. Think candle-lit tables, classic Hollywood sounds on the speaker system and a good glass of wine.

Gusto Italian Trattoria
[Gusto Italian Trattoria]

Guy Fieri’s burgers and fries
[Guy Fieri’s burgers and fries]

Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint
Guy Fieri is no stranger to the foodie scene. From Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint offers meat, chicken and veggie burgers, a variety of fries plus local beer to enjoy by the main pool.

Blue Star Tex-Mex
[Blue Star Tex-Mex]

Blue Star Tex-Mex
Cantina style Blue Star brings Tex Mex to the resort, with some excellent appetizers, tequila flights and yummy south of the border desserts.

Sunset Strip Steakhouse & Grill
Sunset Strip brings a classic old Hollywood vibe to Planet Hollywood. We had the pleasure of dining in their private room surrounded by dozens of wine bottles in leather slings. Above us is a sleek lighting fixture containing rows of meat cleavers and steak knifes around it. Signature dishes include “The Director’s Cut”. As a non-steak eater, I did enjoy their five-spice salmon entrée (there’s a few salads and side dishes suitable for vegetarians as well).

FUEL Coffee Co.
In addition to speciality coffee, don’t FUEL’s tasty gourmet ice creams, served in small scoops so you don’t have to choose just one flavour! There’s also a selection of small sandwiches, pastries and cookies to go with your java fix.

Overtime Bar & Grill
This venue cranks up the sports – and airco – so if you’re looking for a break in the heat, enjoy sports with a cold beer in hand. There’s pub food to go with billiards, foosball tables plus an in-house DJ at night.

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The Premiere Bar and Lounge
A stylish, film-inspired bar, The Premiere is ideal for movie buffs, offering James Bond-inspired martinis, music and movies from the 60’s to the present.

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PH Experiences

From the full-service PH Spa to off-site tours, there’s a lot to do both at the resort and beyond.

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We headed out one day to Diamante Eco-Adventure Park (think zip lining, animal sanctuary, beach fun and buffet lunch with a view); on another day, we headed out on a catamaran to enjoy an afternoon of cocktails, snorkeling, homemade salsa and bean dip, fresh fruit and a stunning sunset following a double rainbow encounter! 🌈

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[Sloth sighting at Diamante Eco-Adventure Park]

Activities

There’s so much to do here! On any given day, you can start your morning with a 5 am beach nature hike, get in a game of water polo, hang out with a DJ at the pool, join a social media workshop, grab a sunset cocktail at the roof top terrace, catch a movie in the theater or get your groove on dancing at both roof top terrace and OT Bar.

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As for keeping fit while indulging in all that wonderful dining, yoga Pura Vida, Pumped PHIT, pool Zumba and Titan TRX are but a few of the movement classes on the program. There’s even a full rainy-day program in place.

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Star Kids Club keeps the young ones entertained with science projects, playtime and the chance to create and star in their own movie (with an on-site costume room!).

Sunwing Vacations offers packages to Costa Rica and Planet Hollywood Costa Rica from seven airports in Canada. Vancouverites take note: next month, Sunwing will offer direct flight service from YVR. Packages include flights, accommodation and airport transfers.

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[In 2005, UNESCO declared the Costa Rican oxcart an Intangible Cultural Heritage item]

Sunwing’s Elite Plus Upgrade offers extra leg room, complimentary advance seat selection, priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, increased baggage allowance (to 30kg) and a free headset.

About Sunwing

The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing has more flights to the south than any other leisure carrier with convenient direct service from over 33 airports across Canada to over 45 popular sun destinations. This scale enables Sunwing to negotiate the best deals and exclusive offers at all of the top-rated resorts across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Sunwing is consistently voted the #1 leisure airline by travel agents and is the perennial winner of the Consumer Choice Award.

I was invited to experience Planet Hollywood Costa Rica via Sunwing Vacations. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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