Capitan Suizo is highly regarded, and is right on the beach at the south end of Playa Tamarindo. It is about 1 km south of the central part of Tamarindo, so it is quieter there, but you would have a bit of a walk to the majority of the shops and restaurants in the center of Tamarindo. The Diria is right in the center of Tamarindo, on the beach. The hotel straddles the main road, with some of the rooms cross the street from the beach. These rooms are actually quite lovely, as they overlook a large lagoon-style pool with a swim-up bar. It is surprisingly quiet for a location in the center of Tamarindo, The location is very convenient to the surf break at the north end of Playa Tamarindo as well as the shops and restaurants.
I think that you would be pleased with either location. Mid December is a lovely time to visit Tamarindo as it isn't as busy as Christmas and New Year's and is early in the dry season, so things are very green and lush.Edited: 29 May 2018, 15:54
Capitan Suizo is a beachfront boutique hotel with just 35 rooms and recognized by its personalized service and sustainability is implicit on their operation. It is about 10 minutes walking on the beach or the road to get to town which is not bad considering staying in a quitter area of town. Tamarindo Diria is a hotel with over 200 rooms located in the middle of town which helps you to be in the middle of everything (shops, bars, restaurants, drugstores, and a lot more). I will suggest you to see tripadvisor reviews to learn more about them.
But definitely Tamarindo will be a nice experience for your family trip!
LOVE Capitan Suizo. Good for adults, teens, children minus the feeling of being in a big resort.
Have stayed there a number of times over the years. Location, setting, service all fabulous, right on a great beginner surfing beach.
Only problem is it books up fast.
I am at Capitan Suizo right now with my two sons (20&17). This is the place to stay. It’s on the same beach as Diria but more authentic and with everything you’ll need. If it’s a available book a bungalow. It inludes a private outdoor patio and outdoor shower.
Thanks for the input everyone! I have booked the Suizo for many of the reasons that you all mentioned. Family of 4 so the bungalow wasn't an option, but the rooms look great too!