Stayed here 3 nights during a 16 day trip to Costa Rica. If you don't want to read this novel, here is a summary:
Room: Big, nice
Pool: Pretty and clean
Food: Nothing to write home about
The lobby staff were all quite nice and welcoming. There is a business center off the lobby which has 5 computers you can use for free. ASk for the password at the front desk. There is 1 printer. At least 1 computer has a Spanish keyboard. So, if you are touch typing and weird things are happening, switch to another computer. The business center has A/C which is a delight. You might be spending more time here than you think, once you find out that WiFi in your room costs $20 for 24 hours. There is supposed to be free WiFi in the lobby, but I didn't check.
The hotel rooms are big (we were in room 1107). There are 2 chairs and a table, and on the patio, another 2 chairs. There is a large flat screen tv that shows some English channels. There is also a coffee maker and a safe. The bathroom is fairly large and the water pressure is good in the shower. The shower drains very slowly. The toiletries were good quality. There is mold growing in/on the wall behind the toilet. Although the room was very clean, it smelled like mold every time we entered. It wasn't bad enough to request a room change, and we were exhausted by the 6 hour drive to get to Puntarenas.
The food was average at best. It was very pretty, so it was disappointing to actually taste it. They had a different theme every night (pasta, latin food, etc.). The desserts were gorgeous, but tasteless. We both tried a little bit of a lot of different foods, but never found anything really delicious. They had at least 1 fish dish every night, and if I had to pick 1 thing that was fairly good, it would be the fish. I did find out on the 2nd night that there is a station in the very back that sometimes serves roasted, carved meat. It's pretty well hidden, so you might want to swing by there first to see what's being served.
If you stay for 3 nights, you get a certificate to eat at one of the 2 reservation only restaurants. We picked the seafood one and were very excited about having some good food. It was a nice location, on the beach, and looked very pretty. The bartender introduced himself and brought us some wine, and never once retuned during the meal. The appetizers were tasty (seafood creme soup and tropical salad). The fried sea bass was ok, and the "trapped shrimp" had been pre-made and had been sitting in an oven, and as a result was dry and again, tasteless. The head waiter finally appeared near the end of the main course, saw our empty glasses and asked if we would like more wine. We said yes, please, but the bartender was bussing tables. He finally appeared with a bottle of wine, but went to 2 other tables (behind us) to fill their glasses, and ran out of wine and disappeared AGAIN. We flagged down the head waiter and pointed to our still empty wine glasses, and he looked quite annoyed. He went off in search of the "bartender", and the bartender returned at last with more wine and apologized. It's not like we spent the whole evening drinking wine. We just wanted a 2nd (small) glass with our meal. By the time he finally got there, we were finished with our entrees. Very annoying. The desserts (passion fruit tart and ice cream layered sponge cake) were better than the desserts in the buffet.
I'm very sad to say that the best meal we had here was a freshly made cheeseburger and fries at the snack place out by the pool.
The restaurant directly across the street from this hotel serves very good food. I don't remember what the dish is called, but it is a Costa Rican version of stir fried rice with pork, shrimp, chicken and vegetables that was crazy good and was more than 2 people could eat for about $12.
The main bar at the hotel serves FANTASTIC iced tea that is sweetened and has lime juice in it. I hate sweetened iced tea, and I do not like it with lemon, so I was very surprised how much I liked this drink. The only hard part is getting the bartenders to serve it to you without any liquor in it. :) The service at the bar varies from inattentive to average. If you happen to be a bikini clad female, the service skyrockets to excellent. (And yes, even thought it is an all inclusive, we were tipping, so it wasn't that.)
There is a show in the auditorium every night. We went 1 night and it was again, average. There was a live band on Friday and Saturday nights in the bar that played good music.
The beach is pretty, the water is brown because of the sand being churned up. The pier pictured on the website is falling apart. While we were there, about 2/3 of the way out it was roped off with caution tape. the pools are nice, but only about 4 ft. deep. They have water aerobics several times per day in the pool nearest to the bar. This comes with loud music and an instructor shouting into a microphone.
I suppose they were working on the fire alarm system while we were there because it went off randomly for 2 days (starting at 3am Friday morning).
The property is fairly quiet on the week days, but on the weekends the population doubles, as the ticos come to enjoy the weekend. The hotel staffs accordingly, and everything ran smoothly. They have a 2nd dining area off the buffet that they open on the weekend, and they set up tables in the bar to accomodate the traffic.
A little tip: The buffet area has a thatched roof and is open at the sides. When being seated, look up and note the location of the roof beams. Don't sit under one, because birds perch up there. One morning at breakfast, we were the lucky recipient of bird cr*p that just missed our plates and landed on the table between us. Enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The closest all-inclusive resort to San Jose! Doubletree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica - Central Pacific is a modern, full-amenity, all-inclusive resort hotel. This beachfront Costa Rica Hilton hotel is perfectly situated on the Central Pacific region outside the port city of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Located only 50 minutes West of Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose, and two hours south of Liberia International Airport (LIR). Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. Snacks and drinks available all day long. Two a-la-carte restaurants open for dinner. All-day activities for adults, teenagers or children, nightly entertainment and lounge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Hotel El Roble
- Doubletree El Roble
- Doubletree Hotel By
- Hilton El Roble
- El Roble Hilton
- Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Province Of Puntarenas