Last month the Dreams Las Mareas resort reached out to me and asked if I’d like to bring a kid along to experience their all-inclusive, family-friendly spot in Costa Rica. We’ve always talked about doing special trips with the kids at certain times, and decided this would be the perfect “10-year-old trip” for Jafta. New family tradition! (India is already planning our New York broadway tour for her 10th in two years.) I had a look at Las Marea’s website and immediately knew that the zip-lining, pools, beaches, and gourmet food would make this an epic destination for Jafta. We took off on his last day off school – which he was thrilled to miss, and ended up magically upgraded to first class.


And now he’s thoroughly set up for disappointing coach flights for the rest of his life. Or unless he makes a lot more money than his parents someday.

The folks from Dreams Las Mareas met us at the airport (a benefit afforded anyone who stays with them) and then we head out for the scenic drive to the resort. On the way, a guy tapped on the window trying to sell us plantain chips and I was like YES. One of my favorite snacks, and surprisingly difficult to find in SoCal.

I knew from that moment it would be an amazing trip. Our driver stopped a few times along the way to point out monkeys, and even surprised us by doing some monkey calls, one of which set off  a chorus of howler monkeys calling back to him. Very cool. And then we got to the room . . .


The bed, the decor, the view, the private hot tub on our balcony . . . all of it was amazing.


First order of business . . . room service. All included. Jafta got salmon and nachos because of course he did. 


This resort really means all-inclusive. Even drinks. Cheers!


We spent a lot of time by the pool. Jafta made some friends and discovered the joy of virgin pina coladas.

We got dressed up to go to dinner each night, something we always do on cruises, too. They have several nice restaurants on the property. The first night we ate at their seafood spot. 

On our second day, we went on a zip-lining excursion. But first, we took a nature hike through the jungle.


Our guide explained  that termites were an excellent source of protein, so of course Jafta tried one. And then another. And then he just kept standing there eating until I had to pull him away. I’m convinced that he could go on that show Naked and Afraid and beat any adult.


Then we got fitted up for our zip-lining adventure . . .


It was so much fun! A little scary, but exhilarating. The guides kept trying to get us to try crazy positions, like going upside down or backwards, and Jafta was game for all of it. Me . . . not so much.


That nights we walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. It started raining a bit but we were in our suits and already wet so we didn’t mind. Everyone else ran indoors but we stayed put, which meant we had the beach to ourselves. 


Then we went to their sushi restaurant, which had some of the most creative sushi concoctions I’ve ever seen on the menu. Jafta was in heaven, and ate so much that he was nearly sick.


The next morning, I had a spa appointment so I dropped Jafta off at the childcare center. They had a rock wall and video games so he was thrilled. And free childcare while I got a massage? Win-win! The spa was amazing.

At our last meal, Jafta decided he had to make the most of it, so he had steak, hamburger, chorizo, ceviche, fries, and salmon all at one meal. Oh, and a pina colada. We both got a little spoiled on this trip.


We had a great time at Dreams Las Mareas. It was luxurious but also laid-back and relaxing. It felt like great quality time together, and I’m looking forward to going back with the whole family.