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“The Ultimate Guide To Enjoying Potrero” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bahia del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites

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Bahia del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Bahia Potrero, Playa Potrero 11745, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Playa Potrero
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The Ultimate Guide To Enjoying Potrero”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2008

Ok, here it is. Just print this out and it's all you'll need to have a good time at the Bahia Del Sol or in the Potrero or Flamingo area...

First, I'll say that we thought the hotel was awesome. No, it's not the W or the Four Seasons, but it's a really fabulous, intimate hotel, and it was everything we expected it to be. We would definitely stay there again and have already recommended it to our friends and family.

Now, I'll address some of the negative issues about the hotel that I've read here that surely caused some fear in me when I chose to stay here.

Problem #1 - That the staff will overcharge you if you book through them. Well, yeah....duh! They're providing you with a service. If you do your homework though, and don't rely on the hotel staff as your sole source for doing activities then you'll avoid all of this.

Problem #2 - Apparently the restaurant sucks, so we just never ate there, except for the free breakfasts which, admittedly were average. But, let's face it folks...it's free! Apparently it's expensive too. Yet, how would I know? I never spent a dime there.

Other quick things about the hotel:
- The rooms - We were very happy with our room. Big bathroom, safe, cable television, very effective A/C unit, and my girlfiriend was able to watch E! in English (some programs are in english), although I don't think I will be able to ever get the memory of listening to the True E! Hollywood Story of Beckham and Posh in English and Spanish.
- More on the rooms - One of the best things about this hotel is how it's really very small, and unless you stay in a suite your room is on the ground floor facing a huge jungle display out your windows. Honestly, we saw some other hotels around and were happy that ours was so unique, and not like an apartment where you're basically staying on a floor level with a balcony. We see that at home every day, and so we liked the layout.
- Apparently they have wireless throughout the hotel for fee if you bring your laptop
- They also have a computer in the gift shop that you can hop on quickly and they won't charge you for. If you want to stay for longer than 15 minutes or so they will charge you a pretty minimal amount.
- Drinks and cold towels for your face on arrival - it was minor, but a nice touch
- Drinks/Beverages at the hotel - We just had things charged to our room, but others we spoke to had gone to the store and brought their own liquor and beer. Maybe it will save you some money, but it seemed like a hassle to us.

Here are some good things to know:

If you go up the steep road in the town you'll find a bank with an ATM machine. You can use your ATM card here to get US Dollars or Colones.

Also, in Flamingo you'll find a little pharmacy (and it even has air conditioning). We didn't need anything from the pharmacy, but my girlfriend got all excited about the rack of English magazines.

You can walk along the beach from Flamingo to the hotel, but it's about a 20-30 minute walk. We did it once...and that was enough.

They're not easily flagged down from outside the hotel, but you can call them from your hotel room. Try calling a taxi company/driver and agree on a price over the phone. We got the name and card for a local driver and he picked us up from the hotel and took us to Tamarindo (about 30 minutes away) for about $30, which is a fair price. You can ask a driver for their card when you're in a nearby town (Flamingo, Brasilito or Tamarindo). Again, don't rely on the hotel and agree to a price.

There's one just down the road, within walking distance from the hotel. You can get bottled water or whatever you want here.

The hotel has bikes that you can take for free and go check out the nearby towns. The road is a little rough when first leaving the hotel but it gets better on the way to Flamingo. We took a morning ride one morning and went to the white sand beach in Flamingo. It's a pretty average distance and the beach is a nice reward when you get there. Then, on your way back you can catch a bite at Marie's in Flamingo.

ATV Tour
We really loved this activity, because it's a good way to see a lot of different beaches, some very secluded, in just a short amount time. This was also our only exposure to monkeys. Plus, it's a pretty cool sensation to be hauling butt on a 4-wheeler on a wide stretch of beach with the waves crashing next to you. I don't get to do that in Dallas very often. We considered horseback riding, but honestly we were so happy we did the ATVs as we flew past our fellow tourists moving at a snail's pace. Just go over the the beach in Flamingo, and my new friend Julio should be sitting in the shade, next to his ATVs, on the main road in front of the yellow-colored Flamingo hotel. He charges $55 per person for a 2 hour tour. He only charged us $50, but he made me swear that I wouldn't tell anyone. Whoops!

Julio will also come pick you up and take you back to the Bahia Del Sol. For instance, we met him during our bike ride to Flamingo and called him that evening so he could pick us up in the morning.

Souvenirs/Local Shopping
We didn't really care too much about this, but part of the tour involved Julio taking us to Conchal, where there are a bunch of tents set up and locals sell their stuff. We stopped for a little bit and got what we needed. So, if you go on the ATV tour, then you can knock out two Toucans with one stone. Or, if you just want to do some shopping this is a good place to go.

Food (Where To Eat) -

Il Castillo (or The Castle)
This place is right across the street from the entrance of the Bahia Del Sol. It's a good, cheap option for when you want a snack, lunch or even a dinner but don't want to go far from the hotel. We ate here three times, once for dinner, once for lunch, and also just to snack. The place is a weird combination of bar, restaurant and bakery, and I still can't get the Tres Leches cake out of my mind.

Las Brisas
In the town of Potrero and, and apparently easily reached by walking down the beach from the hotel. We thought about going but never actually made it. Others we talked to said the food was average, and inexpensive. The place is known for "ladies night" on Wednesdays.

The Golden Shrimp
I'm ambivalent about this place, although it's a great romantic dinner destination located right on the beach. On one hand, they will come to pick you up from the Bahia Del Sol for free and take you back after your dinner. The people there were also extremely nice. When we arrived in our car, for instance, the owner was standing there to shake our hands and take us to our seat. And they pay attention to the details such as giving flowers to the girls for their hair, having a guitar player come by your table to sing you a song (for a tip), there's a flame thrower girl that pops up on the beach (looking for tips), and they bring you a bowl of water after your dinner that you can dip your fingers in. My problem with this place is that I left the restaurant feeling that I sort of got ripped off. My bill wasn't outrageous or anything ($74 for 2 with wine), but we were unclear on how our bill was so much. And it wasn't worth trying to argue in broken Spanish with the waiter. So just make sure that you know how much things cost. Also, this place had a little bit of the Mexico-effect where you felt like everyone was trying to sell you something. There's the guitar guy, then the flame thrower girl, then a guy comes over to sell his paintings. And what are you gonna say? Nothing...you're a compassionate American and it wouldn't be prudent to be honest and tell the fella that you're not interested before he gets a chance to go through his whole speech. So, you sit there...pretending you're interested. Anyway, good place, but you've been warned.

Mar Y Sol
We tried our best to avoid this place in Flamingo, having read about it in almost every review and guidebook. Yet, everyone we talked to said we had to go. So, we went there our last night. As with the other places I've mentioned (notice the common theme here), the restaurant will transport you for free to and from the hotel. The food and service were excellent. And we had a nice conversation with our waiter who had just decided to move to Costa Rica from Arizona just two weeks earlier. As with almost every restaurant in this area, it's a patio area. And, despite being way up on a hilltop, I remember this restaurant being very hot. We ate fast and then checked out the lounge upstairs, which had much more of a breeze. One thing we figured out here, was that we could have just come here and eaten from their tapas menu ($3 per item) instead of going to actual restaurant below. The restaurant was very good, but if we knew we could have had a light snack that night, we would have probably opted for the tapas instead.

My girlfriend wanted to surf so we called a taxi and went over the Tamarindo one day. We didn't call ahead, just showed up and went to one of the various surfing schools looking for someone to give lessons, and found someone who helped us rent a board and gave us lessons for 2 hours ($31 per person).

Whew! Ok, so in summary the Bahia Del Sol = good place to stay, and we would definitely recommend this hotel for anyone considering going to this area of Costa Rica.

Hope this helps fellow travelers.....

  • Liked — Layout and ameneties of the rooms.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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450 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
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English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2008

excellent .A more friendly atmosphere could be hard to find.Very comfortable rooms,superb breakfast . Well priced wine and dinner menu. .I have stayed their several times,and would never think of staying elsewhere.

  • Stayed March 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2008

If you are willing to sleep in a room that smells like SKUNK (“zorillo”), and the hotel manager believe that this is OK, then this is the right place for you.

If you like diet coke, this is not the place for you….cause they might not have it.

If you can live without room service, or 24H front desk, then this is the place for you.

If you are not convinced yet,… there is a chance you might get food poisoning.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Service, room, and the skuk smell
  • Stayed March 2008
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2008

There is a lot that is good about Bahia del Sol and it's already captured in other reviews. The staff other than most of the front desk is pretty aloof, even silently rude - I think maybe they don't like their jobs much but looking past that the hotel is beautiful and the surroundings wonderful.

Unfortunately, I entrusted some of my travel arrangements to those arranging these things at the hotel. As a solo, female traveller, I needed my hotels to look out for my best interests and two of three of the hotels where I stayed did that. Bahia del Sol - by far the most expensive hotel I stayed at - did not.

I was charged 2-8 times what I should have been for a local taxi ride (15 minutes) and to the Liberia airport (30 minutes). The latter was in an unlicensed, run-down, air-condition-less compact car driven by an unemployed local man. It was a harrowing, hot (+40C in CR that day), expensive ride and, frankly, I feared for my safety.

The former trip was to an attraction that the hotel should have forewarned me about. Instead, they used the opportunity to further ruin my day by helping me part with my hard-earned money quite unnecessarily.

I am trying hard to not let my experiences in Potrero at this hotel taint my otherwise fabulous stay in Costa Rica, but it definitely ended on a low note.

The two staff members at Bahia del Sol who cheated me and put me in danger are solely responsible for this extreme low-light.

Shame on Bahia del Sol for employing staff who would do this to guests.

  • Liked — Grounds and beachfront location
  • Disliked — Being cheated.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2008

After a redeye flight, and a 4 hour drive from San Jose, this oceanfront gem did not disappoint.
Property is centrally located on the shore of Potrero Bay. Quiet location with no neighboring hotels. Various eating and shopping options within a short walk or drive. Hotel is just a couple minutes down a good, but unpaved road. Property is secured by gate and guard.
Hotel grounds are lush and very tropical. All main facilities are open-air...check-in desk, restaurant, bar, etc. Lagoon style swimming pool is sized appropriately for a 30 room hotel. Pool area features child wading pool, and whirlpool that spills into main pool which hosts a large swim up bar. The ocean is safe and calm due to the bay location. A great beach to walk or jog.
Our suite included 2 separate bedrooms each with its own bathroom. It had a large common room with ample seating and a TV with satellite service. We benefited from the large kitchen with full size appliances. Just outside our front door was comfortable patio seating to relax on.
Upon arrival we were all greeted with a welcome drink...some unknown fruity miracle in a glass. Breakfast is also included in the rate and offerings range from standard items you'd find in the states, to delicious local choices. Prices for lunch and dinner were a bit steep compared to what you can find off property, so venture out and try some nearby local eateries.

  • Liked — Clean, quiet, spacious.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Tucson, AZ
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2008

This is our favorite hotel ever! We do a lot of traveling and now we compare every trip to our stay at the Bahia Del Sol. We first stayed at the Bahia in June of 2006. We had no idea what to expect as it was a last minute online booking. We had an amazing time. The hotel property is very calm, peaceful and beautiful and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

After our first trip we decided to return for our November 2007 wedding. 30 of our guests stayed at the hotel and 3 of us were given free upgrades to suites as the regular priced rooms were unavailable. We also planned all the wedding details through the hotel with Roxana (Dinner, Ceremony, reception photographer and a lawyer for the legal requirements). We were thrilled that the hotel was so helpful and willing to go above and beyond to make this a special day for us, but with the distance of costa rica we were not really sure what to expect. Were we pleasantly surprised! The food was wonderful, the spectacular flowers and decorations were beyond my expectations and the staff made sure everyone was enjoying themselves. Every one of our guests raved about about the great hotel ("how did we ever find this wonderful place!") and the fun they had at "the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to".

Since our first visit in 2006 we found that the roads into the area have improved greatly, the restaurant menu has expanded and the hotel seems to be trying even harder to make certain you enjoy your stay. I really can't understand the few negative reviews on this site as we were treated exceptionally well on both trips. In all honesty we felt that we could ask the staff for anything and that they would do their best to accomodate us. By the time we left we felt as if the staff had all become our friends.

I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking for; an alternative to the typical all inclusive American-type resort that you find in places like Tamarindo, a peaceful honeymoon or a perfect destination wedding spot.

  • Liked — Atmosphere Very tropical and low key
  • Disliked — sometimes a little too quiet after 10:00
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Vancouver, BC
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2007

My Fiancé and I booked two weeks at this wonderful boutique Beach Hotel, which is located on a most romantic spot, facing Playa Flamingo and not too far away from the gorgeous La Penca Beach. We sought a romantic and secluded spot to totally enjoy our time away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Bahia del Sol was the ideal location for our purposes. As soon as we arrived, after a long day of travel, we were greeted by a great Front Desk crew who upgraded us to a Suite at no extra cost, followed by "welcome drink". From that point on, our stay got better and better. Hector, Wilberth, Jennifer, Rosse and Mikol were there for us and their service was above par.

The Suite was amazing, spacious and very colorful. A fully equipped kitchen was a great thing to have as well. We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfasts, which were included with the room rate.

Best of all, the sunsets off Potrero Beach, where Bahia del Sol is located, were absolutely breathtaking. If this is not a place for Honeymooners, I don't know what is!!! We actually took off for a couple of days and stayed at El Diria, in Tamarindo, and I tell ya', we couldn't wait to get back to our "home" Bahia del Sol, where the shower is huge and the supply of hot water abundant.

The price was also a super deal. For having booked a two-week stay, we got three nights free! I hope the Management of Bahia del Sol continues in offering this perk to its guests.

Lastly, we have to say that Bahia del Sol was a great place to stay at. We would recommend it to the romantics at heart, who seek to really be away on holiday.

And hey, if you crave the night life, just a two-minute walk from the Bahia del Sol, Il Castillo is a great hang out for those who seek nightly excitement. Dimitri, the Manager, not only does he sing mean Sinatra, he hosts live entertainment, and serves to-die-for Chicken Nachos!!!

We can't wait to go back :-)

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Bahia del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites

Address: Bahia Potrero, Playa Potrero 11745, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Potrero
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bahia del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites 3.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bahia del Sol is located in Potrero Beach, a beautiful beach of warm tranquil waters on the Pacific Coast of Guanacaste. The Hotel offers the guests the quality of a 4 Star Beach Hotel with all the comforts, including Pool, Jacuzzi, and a Spa, framed in an impressive setting that includes tropical artistic gardens with centennial trees, a Tropical Garden with Native & Exotic plants , and an extensive beach front. The location is perfect for soaking in breathtaking views of the tranquil Potrero Bay, romantic long walks on the golden sands, basking in the rich sun and watching the spectacular sunsets of the Pacific Coast.
With miles of uncrowded beaches, stunning coves and undiscovered inlets, Costa Rica's natural environment speaks to your soul. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Del Sol Beach Front Hotel And Suites
Bahia Del Sol Beach Front Hotel Playa Potrero
Bahia Del Sol Beach Front Hotel & Suites Costa Rica/Playa Potrero

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