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“Nice resort; restaurant booking system frustrating!” 4 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Playa Conchal
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Nice resort; restaurant booking system frustrating!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

My wife and I recently spent a week at this resort, booked through Air Canada Vacations.

The resort is on large, well-maintained grounds. Our junior suite was comfortable, and the housekeeping staff pleasant, as were the room service staff. The shuttle service around the property was very efficient.

General pool area was nice, with a swim-up bar; however, we were surprised that at a resort of this type, there was no waiter service around the pool - guests had to go the the bar to get a drink. Most drinks were included in the all-inclusive package, but drinks described as "premium" were at outrageous prices - US$14 for shot of a premium Nicaraguan rum!

The beach is outside the hotel grounds and is a public beach - was wonderful for early morning walks; in one direction you ended up at a rocky headland, in the other you passed through a small pass onto another beach. However, once away from the immediate hotel access area, the beach was somewhat mucky - not really dirty, but not clean, as beach users had left garbage lying around.

Food at the buffet restaurant was OK - fairly generic, high volume fare with a passing nod to local cuisine. The food at the à la carte restaurants (french, italian, thai, mediteranean), however, was excellent, as was the service. However, reservations had to be made for these restaurants.

Now my frustration - restaurant reservations could only be made by phone between 8am and 4pm daily. Getting through to the reservation desk was not easy - I invariably had to try 3-4 times. Admittedly, once through you could make reservations for multiple nights. However, on our arrival day, we arrived at the hotel after 4pm, and our excursion next morning left at 7am and returned around 5pm. Called the restaurant reservations and was redirected to the front desk; to be told that the reservations system only worked from 8-4, so we were SOL; and anyway, all the restaurants were fully booked for that night. We decided to try to go to one of the restaurants to see if there was space, and were turned away from two, being told that they were fully booked despite there being a large number of empty tables (over 50%). The third restaurant we tried was almost empty and we were told they might be able to find us a space; food was good and staff very pleasant. However, when we left an hour and a half later, that restaurant was till almost empty, and tables which had been empty in one of the "fully-booked" restaurants were still empty. Really raised questions in my mind about the booking system.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (836)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Broussard, LA
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this property Jan 1-8 for our honeymoon! We loved everything about our stay here! (Yes, we had some snags throughout the stay, but nothing major enough to mention here!)
The weather was perfect when we arrived...especially being we were coming from cold temps back home. The staff was always helpful and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. There were some times when language barriers got in the way (we are from the us and don't speak much Spanish) but we always manage to make it work. We also fell in love with the grounds...from the plush landscaping to all the animals running around (I loved all the animals!!) it felt like we were in paradise!!
The shuttle from the airport was great...it was from Swiss travel and we were the only ones in it. The driver gave us a mini tour of costs rica as he drove us to the resort. Also, we loved the shuttles to get around the resort! We never had to wait long to get one an it was so convenient!
We spent a good bit of our time relaxing at the swim up bar in the pool. The bartenders were great and the mood was perfect for honeymooners. It was busy, but no one really bothered you, Lots of laughs with the bartenders, and really tasty tropical drinks!! It was truly pura vida!
We also loved the pizza and pasta place...I think we ate there everyday for lunch or at some point throughout the day! I'm still craving the ave pizza! We loved how most of restaurants were open to the elements...you could always enjoy the day while eating! We made reservations for the nicer restaurants, but only made it to the Italian restaurant and bamboo. We loved both! We did the buffet often as well. Loved the pasta station! Also, the nightly entertainment was enjoyable...especially the circus night when they juggled fire!
When booking excursions, we booked through Eric on the beach! We ha read reviews on TA about him, and he definitely lived up to his good reviews! He was very well prepared with information on the different excursions, knew exactly what we would like and made the planning very easy for us! We did an adventure tour with zip lining, white water rafting, rappelling and rock climbing and relaxing in volcano springs...the whole trip was amazing!! Even the lunch provided was awesome...some of the best food we had while in costa rica and it felt like we were eating in a big tree house...it was amazing!! We also did massages on the beach at sunset...something to remember! And also, went surfing! That was excellent! Our instructor, Bradley, was an awesome teacher and we were actually catching almost every wave! At the end, he stopped and got us fresh coconuts from some locals...that was living the life!
The Westin also made our honeymoon special, in that one night when we returned from dinner, our bed was covered in flowers, a towel animal and all this greenery...it was gorgeous! There were rose petals leading to the bathroom with a bubble bath run full of flowers and rose petals, sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries! It was a special touch!
Overall, we had an excellent stay that made for a memorable honeymoon!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 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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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

It's Sunday, January 20th at 8:20 and we are sitting poolside and the only ones here. Wonderful.

This is our third trip here, the first two when it was a Paradisus run resort. Came on a direct flight from Toronto on Air Canada a week ago, good flight, easy to clear customs and a typical bus ride here. Buy one, get one deal.

We booked the Royal Beach Club (RBC) cheapest room, king bed, as it is an adult only pool and area. Worth every penny.

The resort is just this close to being perfect, 5 stars, if it wasn't for their lack of attention to small details and only 4 star service. Not crowded at all this time of year, weather outstanding.

The pool:

The RBC pool is great. Freeform and plenty of space. 120 some loungers, 30 umbrellas and 10 cabanas. Never a problem finding a spot. Cabanas are only $20 a day more, so book one. Numbers 8, 9, and 10 are great for sun.

But don't be in a rush. Pool opens at 8:00 but no workers or towels. This cabana is bare and it's now 9:00. So enjoy by sleeping in.

Depending on who's working they are good with water and drinks.

Overall great, but service is only a 3-4 unless John is working. I was surprised the one day he worked with cold face towels and continual drink service. Great.

There is a band of coatimundis that run through twice a day. But don't feed them or you'll be overrun.

Loved the pool and no crowds.


This is a major great upside as the food quality and quantity here is better than the average all inclusive. Spirula pizza is a must, but all the ala cartes were quite good. Cuori (French gourmet), Faisenela (Italian) and Candelas (Latin American) were all very good. Never tried the buffet as RBC has their own breakfast and lunch. Service was generally very good.

Downsides (some picky)

Service just wasn't at the top. Slow and you get the feeling some just don't care. Not all though

I have to say John in the RBC was superb. Worked very hard to make you happy. Our maid for the week was Johanna, and she did a great job also.

If you want a snack after a day at the pool, make sure you bring some. You get one small pack of nuts, a pack of 2 crackers and 4 stale cookies in your room. Don't know why you can't order nachos or something. They should add to room service.

The gift shop is expensive. Same lotion we bought for $9.90 at home was $34 here.

Coffee: the to-go cups at the restaurant were tiny with the little paper handles. Bring a mug. Again, they could fix this.

Grounds:. Very nice and enjoy not hearing leaf blowers at five a.m., but the same leaves and cig butts have been at tower 1 door for a week. Same thing with cups and straws around the pool. Could be cleaner, but again have a feeling it's not important.

Another tip...after you pack take out half your clothes as you won't need much.

Would we come back? Maybe

Room Tip: If you are a couple wanting quiet go with the RBC but second floors pool view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is a very nice resort on a pretty amazing beach. the area right in front of the hotel is nice, but walk about 100 yards to the left and it is amazing. water cold at first, but is actually the perfedct temp to cool down. the pool area is good. swim up bar is awesome. Rooms are really nice and you will likely not spend much time there anyway. Food was good, but do not expect phenomenal food. Italian restaurant was the best, but others were all solid, but do not go here for the food. Pool and pool bar closes at 6pm - bad idea! Best drink was "Miami Vice"! overall a great trip, but many "little things" that they could do better. arrival and check in took too long, internet situaltion is bad, service is great at times and just a little off at others.

if you want to do adventures - horses on beach, fourwheeler tours, fishing, motorcycles, etc., there is a guy on the beach named Erik. We used him every day and had great experiences. he can set up anything and for much less than the resort. we had a small issue with our fishing expedition (not a big deal) but Erik was responsible and took care of everything and gave us free horseback riding for the four of us. He is professional, knowledgable and not pushy like others. Having Erik take care of our adventures was a very big part of our trip! Thanks, Erik......Rob, Gary, Christy, Becky

Room Tip: get a room near the beach and pool
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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,

Guest Service Manager / Gerente del Servicio al cliente
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.
Welland, Canada
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
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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
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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