We stayed here our last night in Costa Rica.
I had emailed ahead of time, regarding our hope to be allowed to check-in a couple of hours early (Noon), as we would be leaving at 5 am the next morning. Though the email I received in reply was non committal "That should be fine if the room is vacated and cleaned", we were happy to find upon our arrival that our room was indeed ready. The first staff person who greeted us (Ruben?) was extremely welcoming and answered our questions about local attractions.
We were also happy with the cleanliness and comfort of our room.
For various reasons including fatigue, a downpour outside, and getting up so early the next day we decided to try the hotel restaurant rather than venture further. We were told it was a fixed menu and price, $15 per person. There was no buffet available at 5:30 when we ate, as we had been asked to come early since the hotel was expecting a large group later on. We did not mind being asked to eat early, or even that the buffet was not yet prepared, however, the food was just terrible. We received a miniscule salad of shredded lettuce, 2 slimy pieces of plantain that were not fried but coated in oil, literally 2 tablespoons of black beans with no seasoning served in a tiny ramekin, 6 pieces of bite-sized vegetables which had been over-steamed into oblivion, and a very small portion of arroz con pollo (basically, chicked fried rice). My boyfriend was very hungry and ate most of his food, despite the poor quality, and was still hungry afterward. The vegetables literally liquified in my mouth and though I was also hungry, could not manage to eat much of this meal. We kept thinking for $15 there would be another course, as is typical in a "prix fixe" situation. But...no. We were offered dessert of vanilla ice cream which we declined. Sadly, this meal managed to be BOTH the worst food, and the MOST expensive we ate in our entire trip to Costa Rica. Even restaurants that cater to tourists, as any traveler in Costa Rica will find, have entrees which are in the $6-8 price range; and of course, much much cheaper food, of good quality can also be found. It seems, that Hotel La Rosa is taking advantage of people who are either too afraid to leave the hotel compound, or have just arrived in the country and who do not know what to expect from the local food. They are upcharging a ridiculous amount for extremely poor quality food.
Normally, we hate to complain as both my boyfriend and I have worked extensively in the food service industry in the past and are aware of some of the challenges that restaurants face. However, hoping that Hotel La Rosa truly wants to improve, we did state to our server/evening hotel host that we were disappointed by the food; and moreover, that it felt incredibly over-priced for what we ate. The server spoke to the manager and stated that the manager told him, because we did not eat the ice cream that we would be allowed to pay only $12 per person instead of $15. This did not address our concerns at all, of the poor quality of the food.
We walked out of the compound and literally 1/4 mile away (take two rights and it is on the corner), found a bar/restaurant that served food. Their "bocas" ("small bites" /appetizers) were larger portions that what we had seen at our dinner at La Rosa. And...which were priced at literally, $3. And...which allowed you to choose your own food, rather than be given a dish of the kitchen's choice. And...which was really tasty! Rather than gross.
Unfortunately, when we returned to the hotel we, like another reviewer found our shower to not work properly. Though we followed the page-long (!) directions on how to use the shower, the water constantly shifted temperature from hot to cold. We were in room #3 which supposedly had been converted, to the better system. We had not had "hot" water all week, as our previous accommodations were more rustic, which was actually better than water that changed from icy to burning of its own accord.
Based on the way our previous concerns about the food had been addressed, we did not bring this issue to the attention of the staff, also because it was clear that it just was not working, and what could they have done? Unfortunately, I got the impression that the owner spends more time in the back room responding to Trip Advisor reviews, rather than addressing the needs of patrons currently in his establishment.
While the pool and grounds are nice and our room was perfectly serviceable, for $90 without consistent water temperature, and feeling ripped off by the restaurant, we will not be returning.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review of our hotel and restaurant. We are glad that for the most part you felt the service and standards of the hotel itself were acceptable. Room cleanliness and guests receiving a good nights sleep are very important to us as an airport oriented hotel!
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Regarding the hot water fluctuation you experienced in your cabin, there was unfortunately little we could do that night (except call the power company which we did) as we were experiencing power fluctuations from the ICE power grid outside our hotel. These fluctuations resulted in inconsistent power delivery to the hotel and as all our water heaters are on demand systems, designed to reduce our impact on the environment, they were affected. Even with the 50 word explanatory card you mentioned, insufficient power prevented the unit from performing as stated. Nevertheless, we apologize for the inconvenience and we will double check the unit to ensure there was no internal damage that could have caused the problem.
We are not certain what happened during your supper service but we regret that you did not enjoy your experience. We are constantly trying to improve our service at the Restaurant and normally we do receive positive comments about the food quality and value. The fact that the Hotel Owner was unable to directly deal with your concerns was in no way meant to indicate that your concerns were not appreciated, only that he had other pressing obligations at that moment. Also, to avoid just such an eventuality the hotel staff have the authority to correct any deficiency deemed to be the responsibility of the hotel in favour of the guest. They receive considerable training to be able to effectively do this duty. The reason for this is to provide greater respect to any potential guest concern as well as provide an effective and rapid conclusion to the issue. At La Rosa, we feel that the employee responsibility and accountability to the guest directly is extremely important in maintaining high levels of customer service and the employees take great pride in the trust the hotel gives them in this responsibility. In your case, the employee was very new to the hotel and only a temporary replacement for another. Though well meaning, perhaps too much responsibility was given to him too early in his training. For this please accept our apology if you feel the situation could have better been dealt with directly by the Ownership.
We do not feel that the comment regarding how or when the Owner chooses to respond to Tripadvisor Reviews is fair or even pertinent to the subject nor the comment suggesting that the Owner does not attempt to effectively interact with Hotel guests.
Ultimately, we do feel responsible for not being able to more effectively respond to your concerns. The Restaurant will be closing shortly during our low season and when it reopens in July, please be assured that your comments along with all comments we have received over the past months will be considered. Continuing service improvements and guest value for money are extremely important to us!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.