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I have to agree...from a distance

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Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
I have to agree...from a distance

Our last trip was to The Hilton papagayo. It had just undergone a complete renovation as was quite comfortable. The resort is perched on a mountainside with scattered well appointed villas.

The food was awful and the pool area crowded. The beach is not an attraction. The black soot in the sand leaves you covered in black powder. When you return to your room after a day at the beach its like coming home from work as a "chimney sweep"

We drove across to spend a few night at The los Suenos Marriott. We passed by The Doubletree..looked in from the street and hit the gas pedal as far down to the floor as possible. It was surely "A DUMP". I dont understand why some brands like Doubletree would keep a property that is in such despair. Either close the resort and do a complete overhaul renovation ..or.. sell it to Motel 6. But do not lower the image or brand of a particular line if the place is crap....thats my opinion.!!

Marriott Los Suenos was very nice and an authentic Hacienda like feel. We liked the property very much . The shore however is covered in Shale to avoid that. But the view of the grounds and pool area is quite nice.

Several months later we decided to give Costa Rica another try. This type we opted for the NEw JW Marriott Guanacaste. The hotel and resort in tself was very very pretty. Located in a vast private area about 1 hr from the airport. The trip however to the resort was not so good. THE ROADS are horrible and a large SUV is a must. Prepare to swallow alot of dust . Dont ride with the windows open. But once in the property confines its very lush. The pool area is expansive and entirely illuminated at night. Quite picturesque. The beach however ...better than Papagayo but certainly not the white Sand of Turks and Caicos. I unfortunately want it all when I travel. So forgive me for that!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,790
1. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

Thank you...nice report...agree with you no sadn like Turks and Caicos ...but not many nice monkies around Turks and Caicos...!

Thank you once again!

roadadvisor

Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
2. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

I would however make one more trip there. Just to see the Arenal Volcano. But if i cant see the glowing lava running down the mountain ..i would be greatly disappointed!!

In regards to monkeys!! I took a short boat trip around the Hilton Papagayo. We approached a small island and from the boat we saw hundreds of small monkeys all standing on shore watching us come closer. Then several of the larger monkeys started to make their way to the front of the packs. I was starting to approach closer to take better photos...then I just changed my mind and relaxed back in the boat. I think I was having images of the movie "Planet of The Apes" that was close enough in the wild!!

I was in Bali Indonesia earlier this year. we went to the Monkey forest in Ubud. Now that was wild!! I have graet photos of 2 or 3 monkeys on my head and back trying to get a bag of bananas i had just purchased to feed them with. But they were impatient and greedy. They saw the bundle I had and wanted them all, not just one.

Toronto
posts: 926
3. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

The distance from the Liberia airport to the Marriott is 72 km. The first 60km are all on paved roads. Any vehicle can easily navigate the last 12 km. Yes, it's dusty, but far from horrible.

Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,626
reviews: 26
4. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

nature rule #1 don't feed the wildlife! do you really expect them to be polite and patient?

London, England...
posts: 2,265
reviews: 80
5. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

Well you won't be going back then, as the lava never runs down Arenal nor pretty much any other volcano in the world. Think there's one on one of the Hawaiian islands which is the only one in the world which always has lava spewing, anywhere it's very pot luck.

The roads aren't 'horrible', just a little rough. Yes an SUV/4x4 is advisable but who cares about the dust? Every car has a/c anyway so why'd you want to have the windows down?!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,790
6. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

My dear amigo David E..

.I was going to said somenthing about the roads condition mentioned...but I really did not want to be attack by some people that most of the time they said I do not like people been critical of my country and our roads!

Agree with you our roads are not HORRIBLE...honestly and in a humble way...I think they are OK...and in some caes like road 32 and 34 going to Quepos and Dominical...they are in GREAT shape...

Nice not to feed wild life...easy way to make money for some so call animal sanctuaries...but not nice at all for the wild life...all for one picture...hummm that is not nice

roadadvisor

Edited: 2:30 pm, November 26, 2012
Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
7. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

I suppose my words were harsh. The main roads were actually fine. There was however the highway that leads to and from the JW Marriott. . This road which we were forced to take each day that we wanted to go into town was in fact Horrible. But for that I blame the Marriott. I think that to make travel to their property easier and more enjoyable they should reach an agreement and supplement the cost with the government. It would be a win win situation.

I loved the ability to see the monkeys and alligators in their natural environment. I also looked at a new development of homes on the beach in Playa Flamingo. They were absolutely spectacular and on a very scenic beach. I would return there.

So in short I was not disappointed with my

Trip to Costa Rica. The people were extremely warm and friendly. We drove back and forth from Liberia and Papagayo to Los Suenos. We stopped several times to take in the sights and speak with the locals . It was very enjoyable and gave us great insight.

And as far as the volcano....where exactly in Hawaii ? That is just something on my list of things to see. .....by the way, we really enjoyed the Costa Rican motto "pura vida"

Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
8. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

I understand what you say. I guess I did not give it much thought. However we were in a Monkey Forest which was pathed with walkways and many people. The sanctuary sets up stands throughout the park to sell these small bananas specifically to feed the monkeys. Its not as if i went into a remote jungle with a picnic basket of food and started feeding the lions. This was the format set up by the zoo so I thought it was the normal thing to do.

I was only kidding about the polite and patient part. Of course I did not expect them to stand in line and say please then thank you. But I did buy several bags throughout the walk and it was only during the last 10 minutes this incident happened. I was just caught a little off guard, but not really scared.

I do however respect the animals immensely and would never want to scare them or cause them any harm. But it is a wonderful feeling to interact with animals in their own habitats. As long as it is safe for us and then. .....its not about a photo opportunity!!

Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
9. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

In my defense...Please read my other replies. But point well taken.

By the way... I love Bermuda. The new Rosewood Resorts property is absolutely incredible.

The beaches are stunning and the restaurants are better than most 4 star restaurants in NY. ....and to think only about 1 hour 20 minutes from Newark!!

New Orleans...
posts: 1,039
reviews: 78
10. Re: I have to agree...from a distance

I just have to add that the charm of Costa Rica does not lie in it's brand name chain resorts. It's a very hospitable and family-oriented country and, by that, I mean that they welcome you with open arms. The independent or locally-owned chain hotels, boutique hotels, and the bed-and-breakfasts are where the beauty of Costa Rica is. The closest I came to a chain (in my 3 visits to Costa Rica over the past 11 years) was Tabacon, but it's a one-of-a-kind place!

And, hola, RoadAdvisor! Mom and I were just remembering our green coconut water! We just drank some in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the lava has started to flow again!