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“Lots of money, little service” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ecoplaya Beach Resort

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Ecoplaya Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Bahia Salinas | Plaza Colonial Escazú, La Cruz 837-126, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in La Cruz
Maryland, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Lots of money, little service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2009

Upon arriving at this overpriced resort, my family was greeted by a rude and unhelpful staff. We arrived an hour early for check-in and our room was not ready yet, so we decided to have lunch in the open-air dining area. The food was mediocre at best and was outrageously priced. We have travelled (and my parents live in) in Costa Rica numerous times and have never seen prices (for poor quality food) like this! A BLT sandwich cost $10.

After lunch, our room was ready so we went to check it out. Although it was a nice, clean room with a kitchen, it was not handicapped accessible. We had asked for a handicapped accessible room as my mother is wheelchair-bound. When my father went to the front desk, he was told that the handicapped accessible room was not a suite and did not have a kitchen. Therefore, our party of 4 would not fit in it. My father explicitly asked about this when booking the reservation and this hotel went ahead and booked him anyway, knowing that they did not have the accomodations available to serve our family. My poor mother ended up not being able to shower for 3 days because she was unable to use the handicapped INACCESSIBLE bathroom in our room. We were not even offered a discount. Needless to say, we will not be recommending Ecoplaya Resort to any of our friends and family.

  • Liked — The views from the beach
  • Disliked — The horrible service
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
burlington
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2009

We enjoyed our stay at Ecoplaya very much. Very quiet resort, staff very nice, very laid back. Humberto is their trip organizer and he is excellent with organizing, fun to be around and very helpful. Please keep in mind, that this resort is away from closest town (17km) as other mentioned, which for us was great, we were looking for quiet vacation. There is no bars, no night life or other resorts around (if that is something you are looking for). The beach at Ecoplaya is very windy and mudy water, but there is very nice beach Rajada near by (you need taxi if you don't have a car). The taxi it's local man with older pick up truck, but it does the job to get you around. Also there is no store at Ecoplaya as advertized, so stock up on grocery ahead of time. There is small store at small town on the way to Rajada beach El Jobo, but they don't have any beer or wine.
We truly enjoyed our stay, the only problem we have is, that we forgot my husband's wallet in the safe in the room.
We called from San Jose and the manager promised to mail it to us (we offered to pay for any expence with express registered mail). It has been 2 months and we have been promised couple of times over the phone and emails that they will send it, but we still have not received it.
We tried to contact them in past two weeks and nobody is returning our emails.
We still hope that there will be a happy ending, as we wouldn't want this to spoil our wonderful memories of Ecoplaya.

Stayed November 2008
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New Jersey
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2008

For our third trip to Costa Rica we stayed at the Ecoplaya resort. I will never go there again. The first room they gave us was smaller than we were to get and they then offered a larger room in the cabin section for an extra $20 per night. We told them we would take it for the night and then speak with the manager the next day. The room was horrible. The toilet leaked. Only hot water came out of the shower. There were many red ants and spiders. One of the beds smelled like urine. The next day were given a different but smaller room in the hotel section. It was better but again the toilet leaked. We also were given only 2 bath towels (there were 4 people in our room) and so we had to continuously go to the front desk to ask for more. The restuarant is overpriced ($9 for a bowl of french onion soup) and the tablecloths were stained and had crumbs from the previous diners. This was true of all the free tables the first and only night we ate there. The waitress was rude to the teenager who could not speak perfect Spanish. The pool was okay except for the fact it was old. The hot tubs did not work (unless you enjoy freezing water spraying out of the tub). The area is remote with little else to do except go on day trips to other areas. There are two beaches close by. One is a short walk from the pool area to a bay (Bahia Salinas). One bright spot was renting sea kayaks and going to the Isla Bonanas in the middle of the Bahia. The other beach is a short drive to the Pacific Ocean. This beach is good but beware it lacks any sort of facilities. The resort offers tours and we did take advantage of a day trip to Nicaragua which was okay. The tour guide is the only staff member at the resort who appeared to be interested in doing his job. I would suggest you skip this resort at all costs.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2008

My wife and I stayed at Ecoplaya Beach Resort 7 nites in February and had positives and negatives to say. First of all everyone should know there's a 30 minute drive on a very rocky bumpy road each way to the hotel from the paved road from La Cruz. liberia to la Cruz is about 45 min. You can only use 1st and 2nd gear because of the road condition. Therefore it's mandatory to rent a car from the airport for your stay. A car rental was $138 for the week and about $135 for the insurance. A taxi ride from the airport is about $100 each way, so it's best to rent a car, and you'll need one at the hotel, because there's not much to do there and you'll need transportation to get around to the other spots. They have a list of excursions to sign up for at the hotel and we signed up for 2 or 3, but none seemed available, except for the tour to Nicaragua, which we didn't want. My wife and I are beach lovers and were looking forward to a warm tropical beach. The beach at Ecoplaya was unswimmable, at least during this time of year. The wind usually died down during the nite, but was extremely windy during the day and the ocean water was cold. With the constant churning of the sands from the winds the water was very muddy-colored up until you waded out about 300 meters. So, no swimming and no snorkeling. The pool was unheated, as was the hot tub, and both were very cool. Next, the Santa rosa National Forest is the nearest National Forest, and apparently the only times the animals are visible is in the early morning or before dusk. We were there mid-day and and after paying a $20 entrance fee, only saw one iguana.
Well, I've covered the negative, and now the positive. Kenny, the combined concergie-tour guide was very helpful answering my silly questions, telling us where to go and what to do, and even once even after his usual 12 hr. day, took us on a nite fishing trip off the rocks. Pedro, the maintenance man was also very friendly , and we needed his services a few times. The hotel restaurant was very clean, the staff helpful, the food good, the prices reasonable, except for the drinks. if you're watching y our pennies as I do, each room has a small refrigerator, and you can bring your own booze, beer, and sodas, which you can buy at La Cruz or nearby at El Jobo (about 2 km. away). There is a tax on the restaurant food of 13%, so add 13% to the menu price (10% tip plus 3%), which still ends up being very reasonable.
Next, we had heard about the thieves in CR and never trust anyone. But we found none of that in this area in NW Costa Rica. Even though the people were much less friendly than say, Mexicans, we always felt safe. Maybe the safety issues are much worse in the more touristy areas in Tamarindo and Jaco. Next, the beaches near the hotel are gorgeous - El Jobo, 2 km away, and La Rajada, 3 km away. There were no buildings or houses nearby, usually had these 3/4 mile beaches to ourselves, and were basically what the 19th century pirates would have seen - beautiful, untouched, pristine tropical beaches. Also, much less windy, but too bad unswimmable because of the cold and 2 ft. visibility. Watch out for the scorpions if you put your towel close to the brush. But see these beautiful beaches now, as development seems to be coming soon.
Next, the hotel rooks were very good. The standard 1 BR is very basic, but has a small kitchenette. We upgraded to a master suite - double the size of the standard, with a living room, kitchen, and 2 bathrooms. Very much worth it. I don't know what type of wood they use for the furnishings and doors, but it's beautiful, no knots, and superior to our maple and oak. Any way, I would recommend Ecoplaya wanting to see the beauty of the nearby beaches before development. Kind of like maybe Puerto Vallarta before "Night of the Iguana". Also, would be great windsurfers, although I only saw one there. Also would recommend it for anyone wanting to take an excursion to Nicaragua, because of the proximity. But would be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone else.

Stayed February 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montpellier, France
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2008

We stayed at the Ecoplaya resort for 3 nights in February.

Our room was large, clean, quiet and comfortable. There were quite a few Costa Rican families staying which gave the hotel a nice Tico feel. The food was OK rather than great, but the barman made good cocktails. The front desk staff were friendly and helpful and we had no problems with overcharging as reported by another reviewer - in fact, we were almost undercharged until we pointed out the error.

We went on the hotel’s day trip to Nicaragua. Normally, the trip goes on Tuesday, but they were happy to run it especially for us on a Monday even though we were the only people on it. Although it’s a long day (there’s also a 2-day trip available), the trip was certainly worthwhile, taking us to San Juan del Oriente (where they make beautiful pottery), Grenada and a short excursion on Lake Nicaragua.

We also enjoyed seeing skunks, racoons and cottontails in the grounds at night (not so exciting if you are from North America, but we don’t get them in Europe!)

A couple of words of warning: as we understand is the case for much of the year at Bahia Salinas, it was very windy. Also, you are not in a large resort - there are only a couple of hotels up here and you are limited as to the amount of activities on offer. However, we enjoyed our stay and, in terms of scenery, it was quite a contrast to other parts of Costa Rica.

Stayed February 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2008

Small but private since there are many nice beaches around. We went there with a honeymoon package, but we have to keep reminding them about the things in the package. It's really bad service over all since there is no special treatment. They even tried to cheat us with the wrong room when we told them specifically what we paid for. And then there is a bartender that does not wash the glasses with soap, just tap it once with water and uses them again. If they have a better management and know how their people are working, the place could be a good place to stay. But customer service stinks.

  • Liked — Place
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida07
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2007

We just returned from our third trip to Costa Rica. We decided to check out a different area so we headed to the Guanacaste region up near the Nicaraguan border. Ecoplaya's grounds are beautiful. The rooms are basic and clean and we liked having a small kitchenette. They reccommend having a car and we totally agree. You need it in this area or you're basically stranded. And you'll need a car to get to the two best beaches in the area (Playa Jobo & Playa Rajada). They offered some day excursions and we did take the trip to Nicaragua. We highly reccommend this and Umberto, who helps with all trips, was wonderful. He's very knowledgeable about not only the region we were in but, Costa Rica in general. We did have something happen at Ecoplaya that was a bit troubling.

We booked this trip through RCI and although Ecoplaya offered an all inclusive package we decided not to go with it. On our first night we had dinner in their restaurant and at the end asked for our bill. My husband asked the waiter if we could pay now or do we just charge it all to our room. The waiter told us it was our preference. He gave us the bill but without a total or a place to sign. My husband gave the check back and politely asked our server to total the bill for us. The waiter returned and said that our bill was $77. We were aware that 13% tax and 10% tip were added, but the bill still seemed extremely high. Also, the prices were on the menu in colones. When we questioned the total the waiter got very agitated and stated that our bottle of water cost $4. I got up and picked up a menu to show him the prices. Another waiter came over with a calculator and figured out that the total was $52. The bill was off by $25. By the way, the price was also shown in colones on the bill and that was also off by the same amount. Our waiter was not very apologetic, in fact he seemed angry about the whole situation. We tried to make light of it saying that mistakes happen and we left him an extra tip on top of the 10%. The next morning when my husband walked into the restaurant to purchase a bottle of water, he received dirty looks and snickers from the very same waitstaff. It made us extremely uncomfortable and we did not want to return there to dine.

We met another American couple who also had an issue with one of their checks. They spent the day by the pool and when they got their bill 2 items were added to it that they did not order or receive. When they pointed it out to the waiter, he claimed that they did order those items the day before. They did not and made them take it off their check.

We asked the front desk if there were any other restaurants in the area and they said no, Ecoplaya's was the only one. This is not true! Blue Dream Hotel (and kiteboarding school) has a small bar & restaurant. They offer pizzas and pastas that are good and reasonably priced. We also discovered a wonderful place called Restaurant Copal (near Copal Beach) run by an Italian couple. The food here was outstanding! Fresh fish grilled or fried whole or filleted. Pasta, cheese and wine all imported from Italy. A great selection of meat, chicken, fish and pasta dishes, as well as very tasty appetizers all very lovingly prepared. And the service was delightful. We would definitely recommend this restaurant over Ecoplaya's.

We decided to check out early (3 days early) from Ecoplaya and drive down to Playa Hermosa and Coco beach area. The only bill we had upon check out was for 1/2 hour of internet use. It's funny, I tried to pay in cash ($2.50) for it the day I used it, but the front didn't have any change and told me they'd just add it to our bill. They did add it, plus another $1.50. I didn't even argue with them about it. I was just happy to be leaving.

  • Liked — The grounds
  • Disliked — The restaurant and food
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Ecoplaya Beach Resort

Address: Bahia Salinas | Plaza Colonial Escazú, La Cruz 837-126, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > La Cruz
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in La Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ecoplaya Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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Also Known As:
Ecoplaya Beach Hotel La Cruz
Ecoplaya Beach Resort Costa Rica/La Cruz, Guanacaste

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