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“don't stay here” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bahia Esmeralda

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Bahia Esmeralda
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   100 meters east of Plaza Deportiva Potrero, Playa Potrero, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Colorado
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“don't stay here”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

Everyone was right, rude owners. We showed up a little before the 2pm and they wouldn't let us check in, in the high season I could understand but no one is really here right now. Forcing us to keep our valuables in the car as we killed time waiting for permission to check in. The pool is very small, it would be fine at a one room bed and breakfast but it's only usable by one group at a time here. The rooms were crawling with bugs, we did get bit. The beds are very old and uncomfortable, hard and loud. Get this, they don't even give you blankets. We had 1 (one) single sheet to sleep under. There are resident roosters that think 3am is an appropriate time to crow. There was a generator outside our window that kicked on and off all night. Worst night of our trip, and we've stayed in some scummy places so far.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
    2
    15
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10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Rochelle, NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

While the lodging is decent, the owners are quite nasty people. When we arrived in the afternoon, they asked if we wanted to eat dinner there. I said yes. When we showed up for dinner, the husband informed us that most of the items on the menu weren't available, and we had to give at least two hours' advance notice for the paella. Why didn't they mention that when we said we'd stay for dinner?

Most of the hotels where we stayed had computers with free Internet access for the guests. Not here. When I asked if I could use a computer to look for lodging for the next night, the wife told me directly, "No." Lousy customer service!

The web site and the brochure stated that the hotel offers free breakfast. What a joke! It's stale bread with disgusting fake butter and a bit of fruit.

Worst of all, when I tried to share my disappointment with the owners, they couldn't care less. With this kind of customer service (or lack of customer service), I'm surprised they're still in business. Stay away!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2010

i am at the hotel at the moment and i am so enjoying staying here
the room has pretty much everything you might need and one thing i love is that there are plug sockets everywhere so you can recharge you cell phone, lap top, camera and i pod at the same time.
the italian restaurant of this hotel is currently out of service.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
illinois
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

Having just returned from staying at the Bahia Esmeralda I can honestly warn all travelers not to stay here. With the exception of the room cleaning staff and the groundskeepers. The staff lied to us and treated us rudely. We came to believe this was at the direction of the owner. Our 1st impression was good Juan greeted us and was very helpful. There was a pool table in the "restaurant" and we asked for the sticks so we could play, he went off to get the sticks but after he consulted with the owner we were told that we could not play after 6:00PM because of the noise, on our last night we returned at 8:30 from eating out and a group was playing pool, I asked Juan what had happened to the 6:00PM rule and was told; "Oh they are with the French group" (different rules for different countries??)
The beaches were in fact beautiful, however when we called to ask the distance to the beach prior to booking we where told it was a 2 minute walk, which is true of a beach which is so full of gravel and rocks that it is virtually unswimable. The beautiful beaches where a good 15 minute walk on a hilly, rutted, dusty, dirt and gravel road. Several of us inquired how far was it to the Bahia Del Sol before booking. We came for a family wedding and the rest of our party was staying there. They told us a 10 minute walk. This hotel was in fact at least 2 miles from where we were staying over these same difficult roads.
There were several occasions when the hotel lost water one time for a day and a half. We were told the whole town was out of water and they had to drill a deeper well! It would seem that this must be a known problem that we could of been made aware of prior to our stay. There was no concession made to us for the inconvenience, not even a "we are sorry" no bottled water was offered, no discount to our bill, When we asked for a refund so we could find a more suitable hotel we where told "no". If you do go to this country bring a lot of money, it is very expensive. The food is expensive the taxi's are expensive and if you stay at this hotel you will need to take a lot of taxi's or rent a car because there is nothing anywhere within a nice walking distance. We did have pizza at the hotel the first night we arrived, suggested to us by Juan. The pizza was somewhat like Pizza Hut pizza.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

Where to start...we stayed march 6-13th with a large group for a wedding taking place at a hotel down the street. The room I stayed in was a 3 bedroom suite with other members of our party staying in one bedrooms. The rooms were standard. The fridge is old takes a while to cool things. The couches in our room were useless as they weren't comfy to sit or lay on. The rooms were either 2 hot or 2 cold. My rooms air conditioner shut off after every hour then the room would become really hot. The A/C blows right on you when it is on. In another bedroom the A/C dripped water all over the bed soaking the mattress. The hotel only puts paper thin sheets on the bed. No blankets. The water is always being shut off there for entire days at a time. We had to go to a wedding without taking a shower. Our room, number 17, was located in front of some type of farm so farm animals were always walking around and a pack of dogs barked all night long on a number of nights. We did see monkeys in the trees on this farm which was cool. The house keepers were also very good. While sitting on the patio 2 nights, we had the pleasure of being skunked causing the evening to end quite quickly as it was very unpleasant.
Water issues: The hotel gave us one small bottle of water to split amount 12 adults and 2 kids when it went off. Then they charged us double the cost for a bottle of water thoen the store down the street charges.
This place advertises they offer a resturant open in the evening from 6-9. Well they closed early everyday and 95% of the time they didn't have all the ingrediates for the plates they offered so we didn't get to eat much and they weren't very pleasant or understanding about this. They charged $6.00 for a banana and scope of ice cream. You can get breakfast there for $6.00 for a small plate of fruit or 2 eggs with rice and beans but good luck because one day we got eggs with the rice and beans and a fruit plate with a whole banana and the next day they were out of rice and beans and only gave us half a banana tho we were charged full price for half the food.
The owner: A jerk. It appears they don't like americans.
Taxi Service: RENT A CAR. This hotel skims off the top from the taxi drivers. We were overcharged on a number of times which promted us to stop using them. We had to pay $110.00 for a 30 minute trip while people we knew in the hotel down the street paid $25.00 for the same trip. THEY OVERCHARGE. RENT A CAR BEFORE U GET THERE. Then we refused to take their taxi's the owner spoke to other guests in italian about us without knowing my husband understands it. It was nice that one of the guests did state they agreed with us and that it was unfare to be charged that much.
This hotel is located about 20 minutes walking down dirt dusty roads to the beach. A closer beach was unuseable as there were pelicans and wild dogs all over it.
The rooms also do not offer phones so you are forced to use theirs if you need one as cell phones didn't work.
Food: Not the greatest in this town. Nothing special and expensive. Not impressede.
The pool: It was small but clean. a number of lawn chairs were broken.
We did not this this hotel at all. The owner could have tried to help make our stay better but he walked around like he was better then everyone with his nose to the sky. This is a really small town. You need a car to get anywhere. We were not at all impressed. I strongly urge anyone not to travel to this part of costa rica and not to stay at this resort.
I am willing to offer further advice at a_pannarale@yahoo.com.

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

This was our first time to explore the Playa Flamingo/Playa Potrero area during our summer break 2009.

We choose Hotel Bahia Esmeralda for its location close to hidden beaches recommended to us by local friends: Playa Danta and Playa Dantita.

Access to Playa Potrero: despite negative descriptions about the bad road conditions, we found the access quite acceptable. A recently paved and excellent road connects Huacas with Playa Flamingo. Before you enter downtown Flamingo turn right at Banco Nacional and follow the gravel road to Playa Potrero (less than 10min from there).

We rented one of the fully-equipped apartments (2 rooms) for 3 nights ($ 50/night). Decent interior decoration, lofty hardwood ceilings, working A/C, cable TV, functional kitchenette, dining table and spacious terrace. Very clean, room service every day. A very relaxed ambience, we liked German-shepard Tai who helped us not missing too much our dogs at home and was also helpful in recycling the leftovers from the fridge. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed because of low-season.

If you love to discover secret beaches off the beaten (tourist) paths, don't miss Playa Danta and Playa Dantita, which we mentioned above. From Bahia Esmeralda follow the gravel road to Hotel Sugar Beach (about 4 km from Bahia Esmeralda), pass their entrance and continue the road until you spot the signs indicating Playa Danta/Playa Dantita (entrance to the left with parking lot, you have to walk from there). Playa Danta is close (200m) and the simply wild Playa Dantita another 500m hike over a spectacular cliff; secure, well-marked hiking trail with railings. We spent 2 hrs completely by ourselves on these 2 beaches and when we walked back to our car we met 2 locals jogging down the road. Kind of Robinson Crusoe environment.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2009

We made a last day decision to comb the beaches along the coast before flying out of Liberia. walked into this quaint hotel, walking distance from La Playa Potrero. The rate is very reasonable, as a matter of fact, for our family probably one of the best value so far. We were in this charming suite with three bedrooms, two baths, tiled floor, and full equipped kitchen. They have a clean pool in the center of the hotels. We saw Holler monkeys who lived on the mango trees on the property and squirrels that looked like skunks. Walking distance to the Potrero beach but you really should walk the brief 1 km either on shore or on the street to the next beach: La Playa Penca. It has prestine clear water. Sandy beach. Waves are a bit stronger on the tidal pool end, but we saw people snorkeling.
The desk speaks perfect English. Two people tried to book boat tour and horseback riding for us.
I would come back for a longer stay for sure, with my snorkel gear. By the way, one thing about this location; every 10 minutes you are in a different beach really.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bahia Esmeralda

Address: 100 meters east of Plaza Deportiva Potrero, Playa Potrero, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Potrero
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Bahia Esmeralda 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel & Villas Bahía Esmeralda has been recently constructed and is under Italian administration. It is located in the region of Guanacaste, in the North Pacific, only 3 Km away from Flamingo beach internationally known for it’s gorgeous beaches, for the it’s microclimate which is particularly favourable for all the aquatic activities throughout the year. The Hotel is surrounded by a lush tropical garden. A refreshing swimming pool is available for guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Esmeralda Santa Cruz
Bahia Esmeralda Costa Rica/Playa Potrero

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