We have been to several places for warm weather vacations: Aruba, Cayman's, St. John, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, and I have to rate our vacation at Barcelo Tambor in Costa Rica the biggest bargain of them all. The biggest surprise was the park and aviary in the resort, which provided wildlife watching without having to hike great distances. In fact, without binoculars or a long camera lens, we identified about 15 wild bird species we'd never seen before. There were, of course, another dozen or so domestic or in the aviary, including a spectacular Peacock. Ever see a Scarlet Macaw feed a hungry Green Macaw? We did!
We found the buffet and snack bars to be a bit below average, and the steak and Japanese restaurants to be average, though the steak restaurant has a terrific ambiance right by the water. The gym is also below average, though I've never found a good one in any of our warm weather vacations. The beach is pleasant, and the pools are large and very clean.
We had good experiences with the staff and the operators that did the tours. (It's great if you speak even a little Spanish.) We can heartily recommend the Tortugas tour and the zip-lining experience, and some of the local talent puts on decent live music in the evening (sometimes).
One other caveat: the trip from Liberia Airport takes 3.5 hours on the road, and some of that road is dirt, perhaps as much as an hour of it. If it rains, some portions of the dirt road seem downright dangerous, though our driver seemed unfazed. There is a Tambor airstrip less than one mile from the resort. Next time we go (and we will) we will check out local air travel to get there.
If you're looking for a a bargain in a warm weather vacation, we think you will be pleased at Barcelo Tambor.