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“Nice hotel. Unfortunate event.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Conchal, Bahia Brasilito, Playa Conchal 232-5150, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
sao paulo, brazil
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Nice hotel. Unfortunate event.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

I waited a couple of weeks before writing this review, just to make sure it would be fair and not influenced by my feelings. So let's do it.
Good things first: Westin Playa Conchal is a beautiful resort, with plush gardens and an incredible pool. The room is nice, the grounds are well-kept and the staff is polite. There are quite a few restaurants in the property, which have to be booked in advance for dinner, if you don't want to end up having the buffet as your only option. We were able to book dinner for 3 out of 5 nights, and chose the Faisanella, Mediterra and Cauri. Faisanella was very nice, Mediterra and Cauri just average. The food is not the main attraction at this resort, so just don't expect much. Breakfast was good, and the drinks at the pool bar tasty. There are exotic and harmless animals around the resort, e.g. beautiful iguanas, colorful birds and a lot of coatis!
The bad: beach is not very nice (by brazilian standards), it is a public beach and there are horses right outside the gate, so quite smelly and dirty. We even saw pigs and chicken , so not a very clean place at all. We booked a surf lesson tour to Tamarindo in the hotel with Swiss Travel, which was quite expensive (US$ 190 for 2 persons) and not professional . We didn't even have towels or water provided, the driver/instructor was barely 18 years old, and the van couldn't fit 2 boards and 2 people in the back. In my opinion, a 5-star hotel should choose its partners more carefully and pay attention to the services provided to its guests.
NOW THE REAL PROBLEM: we were robbed while in the pool. We left our phone and ipod inside our bag on the floor, between our chairs, and when we came back both devices were gone. I reported it immediateky and a member of staff called the manager. Meanwhile, quite a few people who were working at the bar and cleaning told me they'd seen a guy without a hotel bracelet around the pool, and thought he was strange, but didn't pay too much attention. Security ran to the beach to see if they could find him, and told me it is quite easy to get in the hotel since the wall that separates it from the beach is quite small(!) The manager told me it was the first time something like that had happened, and asked me to write a report stating my financial loss, which has been paid in full by the hotel( they also didn't charge me for the outside calls I had to make to cancel and block my phone). I won't say this unfortunate event ruined our vacation, but it did spoil it a bit and made us not enjoy CR as much. I have been leaving reviews on TA for a long time, and hope I will never have to mention something like that again. I would still recommend this hotel, but please be aware and careful with your belongings.
I do hope the Westin will enhance security and make the hotel a safer place for all guests.

Room Tip: Guests staying at The Royal Beach Club have access to an exclusive pool and the Faisanella restauran...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yasil A, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
Dear claudiaspiandorim,

Thank you very much for sharing your comment related to your recent visit to the Westin Golf Resort and Spa, Playa Conchal. We are delighted to know that you have found our resort to be a perfect place to enjoy of its well kept gardens, incredible swimming pool and the distinguished service provided by our staff. Nevertheless, we are sorry to hear that playa Conchal was not up to your preferences. As you might know all beaches in Costa Rica are public since we are a democratic country. As matter of fact, our administration does not have any influence on local activities at the beach that can be attractive or the opposite for other visitors.
On another note and not least important, I would like to point out the unfortunate and unusual event that you have encountered at our swimming pool, I honestly regret that such a situation would take place within our property specially when we always strive to achieve satisfaction and security faced to every guest. However I am glad to know that this unfortunate incident was handled the right manner and that you were compensated for the damages and inconveniences caused in our property and specially by situations that have never happened in the past. I sincerely apologize with you and hope that you can visit us again and have a better experience.


Yours in hospitality,


YASIL
ALVARADO
Guest Service Manager / Gerente del Servicio al cliente
THE WESTIN GOLF RESORT & SPA, PLAYA CONCHAL (ALL-INCLUSIVE)
Playa Conchal, Bahia Brasilito, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Welland, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This was a company trip my boyfriend took me on back in November. Since it was off season the resort was fairly slow except for the 200 or so people that were with this company from all over Canada. Its a smaller scale resort so you didn't have to take the shuttle every time you wanted to go some where depending where your room was located. We where in building 29 which was located fairly close to the pool, beach, restaurants and mini disco. Less then 3 minute walk to all these amenities, however a little hike to lobby where the free WiFi was located (10 min). The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The staff is very courteous but a little more reserved with their guests compared to other resorts i have stayed. There was no animation staff during the day to get the guests going which can be a hit or a miss. Daily activities at the pool during the day was to a minimum. However there is all kinds of basketballs and such available for guests to use. The staff however is definitely on "island time" expect to wait for some services or if your table needs salt pepper. Ask for anything you need right away.The food was typical resort food. The mirtra is the buffet, went there every morning for breakfast, served the exact same thing each day minus 2-3 dishes that they switched out daily. Awesome omelet station though. Went there for lunch once and it was fairly typical. Spent everyday eating lunch at the Caracola restaurant. Its located right next to the pool and you order off a menu they bring around on an isle - but its good. My favorite thing was probably the chicken wraps and they had this chicken breast dish with rice and black beans - also very good. The food at this restaurant is actually really good and its made to order. Im not a fish person but everyone was ranting about the sea bass. I would have loved to try the spirula restaurant (wood oven pizza) but it was under construction. Based on reviews I read before had it s amazing. We never did the dinner at the buffet, went to the restaurants every night. Mediterra was by far the best. Book this one in advance because it fills up fast! The veggie lazenga was amazing!!!!The Faisanela (Italian) was also very good as well as the Bamboo. Great pad thai and they are pretty accommodating to alter their dishes to meat your tastes. The Las Candelas (Latin) was our least favorite. Nothing on the menu really appealed to anyone. The room service is free and i am a little disappointed we didn't take advantage or this service until our last day. The breakfast that we order was great and within 30 minutes. There was much more variety for breakfast then the buffet. And we didn't have to stand there for 10 minutes for a table.

The beach was beautiful and i was a little hesitant about the local beach thing but no one bothers you. Some of the locals go up and down the beach offering foot massages and back massages for 20 dollars or less. If you are not interested they wont push which is great.
We did the catamaran snorkel tour which is pretty much a booze cruise. Unfortunately the ocean is far too murky with very little reefs around...not worth the tour. You are better off getting snorkel gear from the resort and using it on your own beach for free. I will have to warn you on one thing...sea lice. Its jelly fish larva and you cannot see it coming but it stings. I dont know if it was the time of year we went or what, but almost everyone on the catamaran got stung and they never warned us about it. As soon as we got back on the boat they had a bottle of vinegar ready for us and asked if we needed any, would have been nice to have known before hand. My boyfriend got stung while snorkeling on our beach, but someone brought a benadryl pen which took care of it instantly.

We did the horse back ridding tour with "eddie the cowboy" one of the guys on the beach. Just go directly to him and set it up. He was fantastic, he took our camera and took some of the most beautiful photos of myself and my boyfriend running on the beach with the horses. He must have taken over 100 photos. It was 50 dollars for the 2 of us for an hour and it was worth every penny and some.

As for night life there wasn't a lot. The abalone is a mini disco operating at night and is pretty much the only place to get a drink after 10pm. Music was pretty good and everyone tends to get a little dressed up. Girls with high heels beware! I destroyed a heel in the deck - I got stuck. Put a fair amount of bug spray on before as its by the water so there's lots of bugs.

Went into town for some shopping one day. Great place for surfing and there's places to rent some gear. The employees at the shop don't hassle you like other places i have been on vacation but you can barter with them a bit.

All in all it was a fantastic vacation, great place for some R&R. Great for couples and families. Would not recommend to go with a big group of friends if your wanting to party.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Saint Joe, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We went to the week of December 15-21, 2012. 2 weeks prior to our trip I had noticed that my room had been down graded. I called and was insured that we would have our King. When we arrived we were told that we still had the 2 queen room. They had us waiting for several hours telling us that they were working on a King. When in fact they weren't the only room for us was the queen. We even tried to up grade up to a suite and still nothing. We have stayed at several other Westin properties and never had this kind of problem. In fact they have gone over and beyond so this was quite a surprise. We did look at other resorts around the area and will be staying somewhere else. The property its self is beautiful.

The best meals were at the buffet. Warning do not eat at the steakhouse...Meat is tough and at $40.00pp it was not worth it. We tried to get reservations for the Mediterranean Restaurant and was unable to obtain a reservation we even went to the restaurant and was told that there was no tables available when in fact the restaurant was at 1/3 of the capacity and it was like everynight that we were there.

Their are a few employes that are exceptional but the over all staff does only the minimal including the maids.

I have never written a review that wasn't praising but, I had been in the Hospitality Industry for over 35 years. In fact for most of those years I was on an opening team for Hotels/ Resorts. I think this property has a lot of work before they can claim that they are truly a 4 star.

If you do stay make sure when you arrive that you make your reservation at arrival, check your room everyday for wash clothes, towels, TP, etc. (they seem to forget to give clean or restock).

If you are planning excursions diffently book with Swiss Travel Service we had the best time from our bus drive to our tour guide. They are awsome...But the one thing I would advise is that if you do go on excursions brake them up...The trip to the volcano is awsome but a full day (11 1/2 hrs) you do get lunch and dinner pre dinner coctails at the hot springs (fantastic) this trip is so worth every minute.

Enjoy your trip to Costa Rica it is a beautiful country and so are the people.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Let’s start with what stood out - the pool was very pretty with its lush surroundings and small tree-filled islands, and a winding shape that made an already huge pool feel even bigger. And the drinks at the bar were made with real fruit! You can also play pool by the pool and ping pong.
The resort iguanas and raccoon-monkeys (Coatis) can be fun to observe, and if you venture out down the beach or towards the main road you may spot howler monkeys, or at least hear the howl.
The food and service also get high marks except for one blemish which was the Asian restaurant where the service was atrocious! There were six of us dining and after our first glass of wine was poured we were not offered a refill or offered drinks of any kind for the rest of the meal. On top of that our water did not get refilled until desert! I also didn't receive a couple of items that I ordered and one of the main courses was incorrect. When we politely mentioned this the waiter actually because somewhat rude and then unresponsive.
We tried all the all-a-carte restaurants and the French one twice because 1) it was open-air, 2) their crème brulee, and 3) the lobby bar was beside it where the bartenders were great.
For some reason the pizza place wasn't open until half way through the week which was unfortunate because it really was very popular once it opened - great for lunch or a snack at the pool.
We took surf lessons with a small operation call Point Break, and I will give a shout out to Angelo who got me standing on my board several times.
We had beach massages which actually were excellent, and inexpensive. I wish I remembered their names but there was a middle aged woman and a young woman operating straight ahead from the beach entrance. They may get shooed away occasionally by the police but will return later.
Regarding tours I booked the Miravalles volcano/waterfall tour and river tour with Erik outside the beach entrance not because his tours are cheaper (they are but not by that much) but because Swiss Travel didn't offer the tours on days that we wanted to go; some tours would only run once or twice a week. Both tours were guided by Rigo Suave who is full of knowledge.
We took a private sail boat tour and went snorkelling though the snorkelling was disappointing, I can't be sure however that we were at the best location.
It wasn't high season when we were there and not crowded so I can't comment on whether getting pool chairs or dinner reservations are a problem when the resort is busy.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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guanacaste
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Lots has been said about Westin at Playa Conchal, recently renovated, great staff, great view, one of the best beaches in the Costarrican pacific. Great white sand and little seashells to the northern section of the beach. The Thai restaurant "Bamboo" very good , so the breakfast that has a very large buffet, with lots of everything, the only thing that was not good were the pancakes.
One of shows at night was good, but the standard that you would expect in an AI, the next night's show was really good, 3 performers combining magic like presentations with aerial ribbon or drape acts. Never seen that at Conchal before.
The staff at the reception was helpful and friendly, we came in late and they arranged reservations for the restaurants, even though they were fully booked.
The drinks at the pool generous and the bartenders friendly.
The tour office there very informative , and the had large selection of tours offered, like the most visited and sold Adrenaline at Rincon de la Vieja, an active volcano. This is just under 2 hours from Conchal.
For the kids , everything that you would expect to entertain them and lots of the things that they like to eat.
If you like AI's this is the one.

Room Tip: For families, the option of a connecting room is very convenient.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This Hotel is beautiful, the wait staff are excellent, the food is excellent, the pool,spa,tennis courts,golf are all great and best thing about this place is it is all inclusive (yeh its a Westin). This is the perfect place for family get togethers or a romantic trip for two. The staff will bend over backwards to help you at every turn. The only negative I could find with this resort is the ocean. You are on the Pacific Ocean and on this coast the water is a dark blue color. The visibility in the water is very poor and the water is often a little cool. The average temp. in Jan. is about 93 degrees so be prepared to be in the ocean or in the pool. The sand is a combination of crushed shell and sand, but the beach is very nice with the hills as a backdrop. As far as trips go ie. zip lining, monkeys etc., most trips are between 1-2 hours away from this resort,so travel is required. All in All this is a excellent resort, well worth the price of admission.

Room Tip: I recommend getting rooms as close to the beach as possible as older family will have to walk a fair...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Windsor, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

My husband and I spent the week of Jan 7 - 14th at the Westin Costa Rica and had an excellent vacation. Upon arrival we inquired about upgrading to the Royal Beach Club but at $70 per night per person we decided to stay with the deluxe junior suite and it was fine. We were kind of concerened that the pool would be full of kids but it wasn/t a problem. The resort was beautiful and the staff was helpful and friendly. The food was very good at all the restaurants although our favorite was the French. Each morning we ate breakfast at the buffet and found that there was a good selection. We purchased our tours from John who works for Eric on the beach. For the mega tour John gave us a price of $135 but reduced it as the tour was filling up. We ended up paying $100 per person and the tour was awesome. It was nice because there was only 10 people in our group and we didnt have to wait in long lines to do the activities. Our tour guide, Ricky Recardo was informative with a great sense of humor. We took a 4 hour ATV tour with Rigo (again through John) to Tamarindo and it was a blast.It took 1 hour each way and we spent 2 hours at the beach and shopping. We had so much fun that we booked 3 hours the following day with Rigo to go from beach to beach with the ATV in the other direction. ($85 for 3 hours) Outside the resort to the right we found Angie for massage. I/ve had many massages in the past and must say that she was excellent. I highly recommend you ask for her. The only complaint I have is that we did nt book 2 weeks. be returning to the Westin Costa Rica but next time it will be for 2 weeks.

Room Tip: Request a room near the pool.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal

Address: Playa Conchal, Bahia Brasilito, Playa Conchal 232-5150, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Conchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Westin Playa Conchal is an All Inclusive eco-friendly retreat, located between the exotic forests and unspoiled beaches of the North Pacific Riviera of Costa Rica. Our secluded vacation spot is a perfect balance between unrivaled luxury and local culture, giving our guests an unforgettable vacation experience. Our All Inclusive experience includes all meals, drinks, use of our fitness center and kids club as well as entertainment options including non motorized water sports, daily activities and nightly events. The resort also offers an adult only all exclusive experience at the Royal Beach Club where guests have access to a private pool with concierge service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal
The Westin Resort And Spa, Playa Conchal

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