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“I miss it already!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Recreo

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Recreo
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   800 West Playa Rajada, 51000, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York
1 review
“I miss it already!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2009

Upon our arrival it was cloudy and started to rain. At which point I was thinking, oh my God, we're going to spend our entire trip inside because it's not gonna stop. Bummer. However, it stopped as quickly as it had started ;-) Our stay was a week long, and it rained more, but for very short periods of time. Overall, the weather was beautiful. When my boyfriend first told me about Recreo it almost sounded too good to be true. Even after booking our flight I was still wondering how good it would be. It turned out to be paradise. At certain times i felt bad for feeling so good :-) I loved it. There was plenty to do to keep busy, the weather fabulous, the beaches were pretty, I felt completely SAFE, and the natives were friendly and helpful. I fell in love with the resort's brown lab puppy and their brown and white horse. Such sweet animals. I love animals, but wouldn't call myself a dog lover, but after hanging with that cute pooch it made me want a dog of my own. Recreo also strives to be Ecoconscious, which wasn't a requirement for us, but it was definitely a really great plus. Also, to top that all off, we're Vegan. We (were fully prepared to eat avocados, beans, and rice for our entire stay) were slightly worried about variety and having something good to eat. Well, our chef, Heidi delivered. Everyday she whipped tasty meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of the things i enjoyed most about Recreo is their attention to detail/"small" things. I would highly recommend a stay for couples, a group of friends that are looking for a fun, private getaway, and families....well, I think that just about covers everyone. Do iiiiiit! You won't regret it.

"This location is perfect for elegant, beautiful, and breathtaking wedding photos"
-jumpedthebroom.com

Fun and inspiring travels to you,

LaRie

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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144 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, NY
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2009

My husband and I spent a week at Recro mid-June for our Honeymoon. We were so blown away that my husbands colleague went in August - soley based on our praise - and also had an amazing time. Literally everyone I tell about Recreo tries to find a way to get there. Trust me... you wont be dissapointed.

Recreo is definately for someone who wants/needs to relax and enjoy truly beautiful nature and jaw-dropping sunsets.

Villa: We stayed at Villa #8. This is the most photographed villa for a reason... the modern yet comfy decor and the layout of this beautiful home is without dissapointment. We were blown away by every square foot - the pictures never do it justice. The master bedroom seemed like it was out of a movie. There is a huge four post canopy bed (SO COMFY) with sheers that you can close around you. The porch wraps around the bedroom and windows show you both the sunrise and the sunset each day. The pool was perfect and overlooked the sunsets every night. This villa is the highest on the mountain so you get the BEST views imagineable. There is even a hammok near the pool and many different seating options on each side of the house.

Food: You get a check off list to select anything you want to be in your fridge when you get there. We had bottles and bottles of every kind of alcohol and beer waiting for us too. All included. We actually took a picture of the two fridges which were stocked FULL of our food for the week.

Our personal chef was Haidi. She was phenomenal! If you book a trip make sure to ask if she is available. While she is still learning english our conceirge Ricardo was always available at least once a day to confirm meal times. The food was simply the best food I have ever had on a vacation. She made everything from lobsters to fish, steak to chicken. Each and every meal had a home made dessert which was out of this world! The first day that we got to Recreo she had a snack ready and waiting - mountains of delicious fruit (which we got with every meal) chip and fresh guacamole (best I have ever had). She was very sweet and humble - not imposing. She also packed us coolers with beer and snack for the beach each day as well. We cannot praise her enough!

Beach: Most days we saw no one else - a couple days there was maybe one other couple or a local family. The scene from the beach was out of a movie with a small island and the white sand wrapping around. Recreo has someone on the beach with a small trailor full of snorkels, flippers, boogie boards, etc which you can use whenever you like, free of charge. We snorckled and saw puffer fish, eels and schools of fish in the clean, warm waters.

Golf Cart: The golf cart was amazing. It really represented the freedom you have at Recreo to really do what you want. You get an electric golf cart to go to the tennis courts, the grounds, the beach, etc on your own. It was tons of fun.

Nicaragua Trip: We did the day trip to Nicaragua. At first we were a little hesitant and the boarder crossing was a little prickly but we are SO glad we took the trip. It felt like a life experience we would have regretted so badly if we had not done it. We were greeted by two guides - David and Augusto. David spoke perfect English and translated for Augusto. Their passion and love for their country was unbelievable. They took care of us like they would have family and were sincerely nice people. We got into their car and had a one on one tour through the major cities in the area. We saw many volcanos, the city of Granada (where we fed monkeys from a boat, got to shop and walk around on our own for a little, bought hand made cigars) They took us to the top of a volcano which had turned into a lake - they even had a band play for us a wedding gift. Along the tour they also bought us traditional wedding gifts from the indian village like mugs, desserts and a neclace. They were truly amazing and the trip was informative, fun and very well organized.

Rincon: This trip is to a national volcanic park. The trip is very affordable and you do canopy zip lining, tubing, a very tasty lunch, horseback riding and you finish with a trip to the mud baths to relax. The zip lining was great - It was high up into the canopy and there were about 20 different zip lines some across, some short, some straight down! You also rocked climbed a little to each podium. There were tons of guides that were very well trained. I felt totally safe and taken care of. The tubing was also amazing! There are very fun rapids and also some relaxing areas as well. If you get stuck someone is there to push you to the next part, or to guide you down a strong rapid safely. They took photos and video of the trip which you can also purchase too.

Weather: The weather was great - it rained at most for 5 minutes a day. It was very pretty when it rained. Sometimes there were lightning storms at night which were also very cool to watch over the ocean.

Massage: I got a massage one of our first days. The massuese was very good, spoke perfect english, and the massage room was very relaxing. I wanted to get a massage every day but unfortunately she got sick and we couldnt fit it into our schedule after that. Make sure you sit down and tell them ahead of time what days you want a massage because she has to travel from another town so they need a little notice.

Lastly my fondest memory is sipping a margarita at the pool watching the sunset every night.... such an amazing trip!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York, NY
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2009

Our group of 4 adults, 2 teens (13 & 16) and a 2 ½ year old stayed 8 glorious days in Villa #11 at the beginning of August (it is the green season, but it only rained twice that I can remember- for less than 1 hour). We had a fabulous time. I heard about Recreo on NY1 Travel Reviews as a Top 10 Travel Deal. My family wanted to travel with friends and this all-villa resort is perfect for group travel. Christina is extremely helpful and informative as you prepare for your trip, answering questions via phone & email. The airport transfers that she arranged were not only seamless, but we were able to avoid standing in long- hot lines because we were ushered through every station by the Recreo staff and/or skycaps (I guess that is what they are called).

Get your nerves ready for a long, bumpy, ride to the resort. The only road leading to Recreo is unpaved- but you get used to it by the end of the trip and learn to appreciate asphalt! Villa #11 is gorgeous. Very metropolitan/ modern in design. The stairs required hand holding for our toddler (we initially booked Villa #5, which is 1 level for that reason, but it was unavailable). The rooms are identical, very comfortable and extremely private. You can’t hear a sound when the doors are closed. All of the rooms and common areas have AC (we heard that this is not the case in all of the villas, so you might want to inquire). The place was spotless thanks to our housekeeper Idit (who also, by the way, does laundry- not enough can be said about returning home from vacation with a suitcase full of clean clothes!). The pool is perfect- water warmed by the sun. It’s hot in Costa Rica, but there always seems to be a breeze at Recreo. The private beach is only about 5 minutes away by electric golf cart. The girls also participated in horseback riding on-site and enjoyed their time- most of it spent taking advantage of WiFi access.

Sandra, was our chef and prepared all of our meals and drink requests. We were not used to eating such large meals 3 times day, but I didn’t gain a pound. My friend and I walked around the resort property every morning- it takes about 40 minutes and is quite a workout because of the steep hills- no need to use the fitness center. I most enjoyed the traditional Latin dishes, but all of the food was tasty. Always fresh fruit/ fruit juices, local produce and a beautiful presentation. I strongly recommend that you be very specific about your food requests and/or bring your own specialty food items. Thank goodness they were able to provide the peanut butter, yogurt smoothies and oatmeal we asked for because that was all that our son would eat the entire trip!

Recreo is at the very northern part of Costa Rica and very isolated. You are closer to Nicaragua than to the rest of the country of CR. If you don’t want to veg-out by the pool/beach the entire time, an excursion is highly recommended. We chose the BuenaVista excursion to the national park in Rincon, at Christina’s recommendation, because they have kid-geared activities, but we all were able to participate- including my 2 year old. We did horseback riding, sulfur/mud baths, waterslide (scary fast- wouldn’t do it again with a toddler, but he was fine), and zip-line (also done with the 2 year old and felt safer with the wonderful guides than I did on the waterslide!). Safety gear is provided for all activities.

Tthe Nicaraguan tour is also highly recommended. When are you really going to have a chance to visit Nicaragua again? You get 2 countries for the price of 1. Our guides for the tour (Agusto & David) were EXCEPTIONAL- one of the best tours I have had! We covered a lot of ground in 1 day, but didn’t feel rushed. They were extremely knowledgeable and very honest about history and culture. They exude a love for their country and pride in sharing it with visitors. We felt that we had a very personalized experience and were very well taken care of. Ricardo, our concierge, also arranged for us to visit a local farm (the CR Cultural Tour- at no additional cost, but we tipped the farmer for his time and the snack that he and his wife provided for us). CR is so rich with unique animals, insects and food, it was nice to see a working farm up close and ask questions.

Final positive comments and recommendations: as other reviews have said, pack light and comfortable- no need to impress the monkeys, iguanas, gekkos and butterflies!, ask Christina about tipping recommendations, speaking Spanish is helpful but not necessary- we got by very well on my NYC street spanglish!, bring plenty of DVDs for the evenings- sun rises early and sets at about 6:30pm so we were asleep by about 10pm every night.

I was too busy enjoying myself to find fault. To be completely fair, the couple we traveled with had some complaints about Recreo: Villa #11 is very sparsely decorated- no pictures on the walls, there are no closets in the rooms- only a dresser (kind of strange- but pack light), we didn’t have any washcloths (provided when requested), they felt that the level of service did not qualify to be described as ‘luxury’, they also felt that we should have been included in the daily menu planning and that poolside service could have been more anticipatory of our needs. If forced to point out the negatives for the purpose of improvement, I might agree with some of my friends’ comments, however, the overall experience could not be diminished by a lack of washcloths. I felt that the staff was lovely and willing to honor any request, the accommodations, services and experiences provided were a value for our money. My family thoroughly enjoyed our time at Recreo.

  • 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
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elkton,md
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

I have been long overdue to write a review about Recreo since we got back to the States on July 2. This place is GREAT! We stayed in Villa #10 which was roomy, gorgeous, and had a fabulous view. Our bedroom (the largest one of the four in the villa) was huge. The king bed was very comfortable and the master bathroom was spacious along with the large shower. Our personal chef Corey was very talented. The breakfasts were unbelievable. The freshest fruit and tastiest coffee ever. The lunches were like 5-star restaurant quality. And the dinners were spectacular, especially the desserts! The beach (a 10 minute golf cart ride) was gorgeous and almost completely private. Your chef will pack a cooler of beer and water or whatever else you want to take down with you. Definately go out in the kayaks at the beach. We saw a sea turtle just 40 yds off shore and you can see parrot fish swimming around if kayak out near the Bird Island.

The concierge, Raul, is a great guy and would stop by the villa every morning to help plan your day. He was very accomodating and would go out of his way to make your vacation what you want it to be.

We did venture out to an adventure park called Buena Vista which was about an hour and a half from Recreo through some adventurous terrain. We rode horses, went to the hot springs, went down the mountain waterslide (my favorite and super fast) and ziplined among the tree tops. We highly rcommend it despite the bumpy ride.

The only negatives that I can say would be the lack of air conditioning in the fitness center, lack of lasting battery power in the golf carts, and the bumpy ride on the 15 mile leg to and from La Cruz en route to the Liberia airport. That's it. Only very minor inconveniences. Some of which I suspect will be soon rectified.

I would rate the staff at Recreo second to none. All were great especially Raul, Christine, Jonathan (our driver), Corey (the chef), and the efficient and almost invisible cleaning staff. Job well done. We are looking forward to returning!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2009

We stayed in Villa #7, which was perfect for me and my husband and extended family. We stayed a full week from Saturday-Saturday. Yes, it was during the rainy season, but it is no different than visiting Florida or the Carolina beaches in the summer when you get the afternoon rain storm.
The house had spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and a mountain range including the Volcano Rincon to the other side. Our chef Caliche and his son Josef were awesome. They accommodated our every need. Though our most favorite was the Tres Leches cake and homemade quacamole and salsa. They packed a cooler for us each day we went to the beach filled with water, beer and fruits.
Raul was a great help at the beach providing us with chairs, fishing poles and snorkel gear. He was also the tour guide for me and my husband while we went and rode the horses. (there are only 3 and he must take 1 of them) While we did that the other half of the family went fishing allowing them to see Costa Rica from a different view while catching grouper, and mackerel which Caliche was happy to cook for us.

We did two tours.
The first tour was the trip to Nicaragua. It was a full day event. They do not tell you this, but you must pay cash for it. It is $90 a person, which includes the tour guide, two meals (breakfast and lunch), a quick horse carriage ride, the boat tour to Monkey Island, and getting into the Park for the Masaya Volcano. They guys really liked getting the chance to watch cigars being handmade and then purchasing them. (cash only) It was an interesting city with a lot of history. We did have a bi-lingual tour guide named Carlos. It is an absolute must because he helps you with translating, meals and immigration when crossing the boarder. Some cons about the trip
1. it is a very long, and bumpy ride
2. it is very third world with people coming up to you begging for money, and food
3. Monkey Island we thought we would get more time with the monkeys, but if the boat driver does not like them then you will not.

2nd Tour Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Guachepelin.
It is an absolute must. We had an unbelievable time. We did the canopy tour, the horse back riding and the tubing. The cost is $60 a person and they take credit cards there. The guides spoke enough English to get by and help you. They were awesome and we all felt safe and secure at all times. The cost also includes lunch, which is buffet style and very yummy. The views were great and the weather was overcast so it worked out well. There told us to not bring cameras so we did not. They have someone that follows your group around with a camera and you can be the dvd at the end of the day. They charge $10 a person for the dvd so for us it was $70. We bought it after our day and feel that it was well worth the purchase. Cons....
1. some in the group were not fond of the horses and the terrain was a little rough for beginners.
2. the lazy tubing was not very lazy... more like class 3 rapids and it did hurt when you hit the rocks

We had an excellent driver, Arceda that drove us around and his son Norman. Norman also spoke English and helped out tremendously. We enjoyed their company and input about their country.

For all that you get when visiting Recreo it is definitely a great deal. We would go back in a heartbeat. We feel that they have a few things that still do need some work
1. air conditioning does not work at all in the gym even though we did ask about it getting fixed.
2. the road from La Cruz to Recreo is not paved and thus a 45 minute drive and extremely BUMPY.
3. The cantina is not an operating bar, which we thought it was instead you can take drinks up there.
4. The insects are enormous there is not pretty way to discuss/ describe them. It bothered us a lot at the beginning of the trip. Yes we understood we were in a jungle, but having to brush them out of my bed before retiring in the evening was not enjoyable. Bring lots lots lots of OFF/ insect reppellant.

You leave relaxed, full of great food/ memories and a different take on life and as they say... "Pura Vida"!

  • Stayed June 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
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CALGARY
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2009

My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Recreo at the end of May and beginning of June! We were initially set to go to Mexico but because of the flu outbreak our flights got cancelled and we were scrambling to find a new place to go! I must say that that was the best bad news ever! Recreo was beyond our dreams for a honeymoon...and we would never have seen it if the flu outbreak didnt happen.

We stayed in Villa 19, the Villa is beautiful. The only negative I have was that it was at the bottom of the mountain, so there were really no great views, but it was only a short golf cart ride up the mountain to the Cantina! The pool in our Villa is the best and the largest, it was so nice to sit by the pool and drink margaritis. Our chef was Carlicci, he was amazing and went out of his way to make our stay great!

We loved going to the tennis court and our own "private beach"! This truly was amazing.
We kayaked, went on a boat tour and snorkelled, went to riccon, and had the most amazing massage!

If there was one thing I would say is, if you are looking for nightlife...this is not the place for you. It is far out of the way, we loved this, but many people may not! If you want peace and quite and just enough adventure mixed in....this is for you!

You cannot beat the price and what you get. When I told my friends that we get our own private villa, own chef, coincerage, laundry service, and electric car(cart), they could not believe it! Next time I am bringing a bunch of my friends with me!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2009

I left recreo 2 weeks ago and I am still raving to all my friends about it. I have never had so much fun in my entire life. Upon arrival I was greated by an amazing staff headed by Kristine. After time at recreo I realized that Kristine was the on-site manager, and let me just say that Kristine is an amazing manager and knows exactly how to treat guests AND employees. The rest of the staff was also VERY accommadating and helpful at all times. The views and activites offered at recreo are second to none. My friends and I ventured to Nicaragua and Rincon, and both day trips were breath-taking.

The villas are nothing short of spectacular and our personal chef was dynamite in the kitchen. I have never ate such excellent food in a consistant manner then I did at recreo. The concierges come to your villa in the morning after breakfast and ask you what you want to do for the day and no matter what you choose to do, it always seems like they are 2 steps ahead of you. I would recomend recreo to anyone!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Recreo

Address: 800 West Playa Rajada, 51000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 190 B&Bs / Inns in Province of Guanacaste
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Recreo 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recreo Resort, a 63-acre mountain and beach estate near Playa Rajada is just 1 hour and 30 minutes from Liberia airport. Choose from one of our private villas, all with private pools and ocean views. During the holidays,included in the price of the All-Inclusive package are airport transfers, a villa cook and housekeeper, all meals and beverages, concierge and all onsite activities including kayaking, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, snorkeling and a range of beach activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Recreo Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
Recreo Costa Rica/Guanacaste

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