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“Excellent, just be aware of a few things!” 5 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
Rochester, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellent, just be aware of a few things!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We just got back from a week at the Westin and it was definitely the place you want to go in Costa Rica. Let me say we've done All-Inclusives all over the South, so we have a pretty solid baseline. We would go back tomorrow, and frankly regretted not booking 2 weeks.

Service: Okay, this is the point that I want to make. I know I rated excellent overall, because really it is excellent overall, but the service was not great. Please read the full review though, because you will see why overall it is excellent. I think it is possible that there is a cultural thing here, because no one there seemed to be in a rush to serve us. Whether it was in the morning at breakfast waiting for water, coffee, juice, or getting the rooms cleaned, or getting drinks at the bar; it just seemed quick/efficient service was not their thing. Don't get me wrong everyone was helpful and super nice, it was just somewhat difficult to get them to pay attention to you. I even tried overt tipping, but that didn't seem to help either, which was odd. I actually started bringing water bottles from the room as well as other drinks so I wouldn't be half done my meal before I could get something to drink.

Food: By far the best Breakfast and Lunches of any place I've been to. Ever. Hands done. Amazing quality vegetables and fruit, might sound weird, but usually some fruit is ok and the vegetables at resorts (even 5-stars) leave lots to be desired, but with Westin it is great. Also, they have "Superfoods" dishes highlighted, so it makes it easy to eat yummy, but healthy food while away. Dinner was great at the Mediterrean and Italian restaurants. Dinner at buffet was so-so, as well as other restaurants, although I did have this absolutely amazing crepe at the French restaurant Cauri. Friends we were with got amazing pasta dishes at the buffet with the make your own pasta option, so maybe try that. It wasn't bad at all, it was just that we found Breakfast and Lunch so incredibly good. Turkey Burger and Market Salad on room service is great btw! Pizza by the pool for lunch is good.

Hotel and Rooms: Beautiful x 100. If you are adults only the Royal Beach Club is worth it. So worth it, both pools are gorgeous, but Royal Beach is just even more relaxing for adults only. We were in Royal Beach 2 and the concierge guys David and (maybe Jonathan or Nelson) were so helpful.

Excursions: Book through Erik Garcia and John on the Beach. Better deals, smaller groups, more flexibility. We did major research beforehand and these guys were awesome. Conchal Adventures, we did 2, they were great! If you are going to Costa Rica it is a huge waste to not do excursions, it is an absolutely beautiful country, and safe, safe, safe! We did a river boat tour and saw 2 different kinds of monkeys, macows, crocodiles, iguanas, lizards, geikos, so many birds, it was awesome. Then ATV-ing for Ziplining, which was great too.

Beach: Not the resorts fault, but the beach is public so it is not like other countries where the resort can own the beach. Plus there were a number of trees so it wasn't what I was expecting. Having said that the water was nice and if you walked north or right out of hotel on beach for 10-15 minutes there were even nicer beaches... Playa Flamingo literally took my breath away (I think that's what it was called, beware of the tides though).

Costa Rica: In the Guanaste province basically between December and March, it does not rain. At all. If you need the sun and you want a guarantee of good weather, then visit Costa Rica. Plus it is SO safe (a great place for kids) and you can drink the water, it is the first place I haven't gotten GI symptoms despite always staying at 5-stars and being careful. People are super nice too!

Gym (Westin Workout): By far, hands down, the best gym I've ever seen at a resort, and even most hotels (including 5 stars) in the US, Canada, and Europe. Plus the instructors/trainers (especially Kenny) were AMAZING! If you want to stay in shape while away, Westin Workout makes it easy.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

This is a nice all-inclusive property with sub-par service, activities & amenities. You have to make your reservation early to get into the better restaurants on the property. If you don't, you are stuck with eating at the average at best buffet restaurant. The reservation desk closes at 4:00. If you don't have a reservation by then, you are out of luck. The alcoholic drinks do not contain hardly any alcohol at all. You will get a sugar buzz before you feel any alcohol affect. The only extra activities included are snorkeling & a kayak. All other activities you have to pay for. The beach is public & you have to fend off the local people trying to sell you stuff. For two of us, it was $500 per night. I expected a lot more for my money. I will not recommend or stay at this property again.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WPCManagement, Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Brock F,

Thank you for sharing this review of our resort, its services and facilities. I sincerely apologize for the shortcoming encountered during your visit and I am sorry you did not fully enjoyed your stay.

As you correctly point out, the best way to maximize your dinner experience is by making all your reservations at check-in; I have personally stressed this in all communications with future guests in this and many other channels. Unfortunately this is a common issue with most all-inclusive properties: even if a resort had à la carte seating space for the totality of their guests (without a buffet restaurant, that is), it would still not be able to meet the 7:00 pm demand, which is the preferred time-slot for most customers.

We have shared your observations regarding the alcoholic content on our cocktails to our Director of Food & Beverage, in order to review that all our bartenders are preparing drinks as per the specified traditional recipes. Though this has not been an issue in the past and I had not received such a comment, we will gladly follow-up on it.

Finally, I am sorry you could not partake in the other activities sponsored by the hotel and included in your package, apart from kayak and snorkel. We have approximately 15 different activities on a daily basis, from aqua-fit to bingo, wine tastings or jewelry workshops. These are prominently advertised throughout the resort in flat-screens, fixed signboards at the pool areas and in-room collateral.

I hope that the rest of your stay was to your liking and that our staff proved warm and friendly.

Victor Gomez
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

We were a small group in comparison to the large corporate groups staying therebut we did not feel unattended to. The grounds are stellar ith tons of wildlife roaming around.
Food at buffet was great, perfect after a morning workout at the gym. The best restaurant is the asian, then mediterranian, others trail behind. Swim up bar is pretty busy but a great atmosphere.
Jorges yoga on the beach is worth the 8am wakeup, he is a good dude.
The rooms are giant, a quick tip which they will hate i say is, push the two queen beds together and make one giant bed. We enjoyed the delicious morning coffee and drinks replenished each day.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

The Westin Golf and Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal: what a great destination. Four of us were there Jan. 24-Feb. 2, 2013 and stayed in the Royal Beach Club section, Tower 2. All of the concierge staff was over the top in service. Particular kudos to Erik and Andres----pleasant and always ready and willing to help with whatever we needed. Unlike many properties, I found the staff here very efficient: if they said they would take care of something they did so…and in minutes, not hours! We also enjoyed being able to eat at the Faisanela restaurant for breakfast and lunch, offered only to RBC guests. This restaurant had excellent food and was close to our rooms and pool, a plus at such a large property. Yes the property is huge, but all of the beautiful landscape adds so much and the shuttles are always available to take you wherever you wish.
The nightly entertainment was OK, rather typical of other resorts where we have stayed. However the multitude of day activities was great. We took advantage of the jewelry making, coffee tasting, wine tasting and origami classes. By the way, all of these started exactly ON TIME and were publicized on a daily sheet we received in our rooms. Westin Management take note: Evelyn is a real treasure….kind, knowledgeable, speaks perfect English and is a credit to your country and the resort.

As other reviewers have noted, getting reservations at the restaurants is very frustrating. Thankfully our concierge was successful in helping us with this. We booked when we checked in, but could only do it through Saturday night and we were there 5 more nights. They are strict in only holding the reservation for 15 minutes so it would seem if there is a no-show they could give that table to someone who is waiting without a reservation. Being told they are sold out and then seeing empty tables is upsetting. That being said, we found the food very, very good and varied. Our favorite dinners were probably the ones at Faisanela, but we also enjoyed the duck at Cauri and the steak and sea bass at Mediterra. And as reviewed by many, the pizza and ravioli at Spirula for lunch was amazing. We also ordered room service for breakfast one day and it came right on time and was very good!

Erick on the beach: Our experience was that he was not that friendly (I know we are in the minority for that) and not that much cheaper than the Swiss Travel at the hotel, so we booked with them. Glad we did. The agents that were on our bus to and from the Airport were wonderful and very educational and Eduardo who led our River Cruise was also very good. People who took the river cruise with Erick fed the monkeys and we heard the guides fed the crocodiles, which we would not have been comfortable with. We did book massages with Angel Hands on the beach for $30/hour and they were incredible.

We loved our time at the Westin and would and probably will return again.

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Lauren and I were both first timers to Costa Rica. The Westin was the perfect place for this trip!
All the staff was incredibly helpful and always available to help. The all inclusive option is really great, as it is about 20-30 minutes to Tamarindo (closest town). Food was pretty good overall.
Italian restaurant was very good. One point. Make sure to make reservations if you plan on having dinner at any of the restaurants!! Very important!
Wonderful Pool area, lots of activities inside resort property. Westin can also schedule tour events if you want.
I recommend you talk to Eric Garcia for tours. You will find him right outside the gate to the beach.
His prices are better than inside and usually are more personal and less crowded. Lauren and I did the Buena Vista tour with them and we were the only two! It was great having our own tour guide for the day trip, to zip line, waterslide, and mud bath at thermal springs!!
Carlos, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and very helpful with any questions on our tour.
Highly recommend talking to Eric about any tours you plan!
Also, you should do the Marlin Del Rey sailing and snorkeling tour!! They are a great crew and it is a wonderful 4-hour trip to a calm beach area to snorkle and wander along the beach!
We are already trying to figure out when we can go back!!
We found the people of Costa Rica to be very happy, outgoing, and nice people. Truly and enjoyable trip all around!!

  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melville, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

This amazing place rates at the top of all of our stays. We travel about 6 times a year - every year - and this hotel was amazing. The hotel was beautiful, staff very friendly and respectful. animals run freely demonstrating human cohabitation with animals can exist and without the laws we have in the USA. Food in the speciality restraurants was as good or better than most NY restraurants. service was superb. The Westin is a very clean and tidy hotel. We always felt very safe and as if we were all part of a bigger family.
There was one person that stood out above the rest of the staff and that was "Tri"., he was superb, friendly and extremely helpful and very courteous. i understand he is a supervisor at the hotel and congrats to the Westin hotel for recognizing him. He was very, very helpful to us. He will be among the great memories i will always remember about the Westin. Tri is a real bonafide wonderful person. He helped make our trip as great as it was. We are very grateful to Westin for having him as part of their organization. Westin organization - please recognize "Tri".

Room Tip: choose a room in near room 4041 - perfectly situated.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WPCManagement, Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
Dear MITCHELL W,

Thank you very much for such a raving review of our beautiful resort!

As you correctly point out, local animal species —all of them quite harmless when not molested— roam freely through the resort. As you could attest, nature and wildlife are one of Costa Rica’s most prized possessions and Costa Ricans are very proud of it. Coatis, raccoons, squirrels, monkeys, iguanas, parakeets, woodpeckers, great egrets and much more, are part of our resident guests.

I am elated to know that our Assistant Manager, Marliontri Castillo — ‘El Tri’ to friends— was of such help during your stay. Indeed, we are very proud of him and he is certainly one of many of our local ‘jewels’; he knows this property very well, has a passion for our business and has grown within the ranks to his actual position. I will be more than glad to commend him on his sincere daily effort to please our guests!

Muchas gracias,

Victor Gomez
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caledon, Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

The Westin Playa Conchal was gorgeous! The grounds were well kept, and the staff was so warm and friendly (with the exception of one very rude restaurant hostess who overestimated her importance there - and I wish I could remember her name). The huge pool was amazing and really clean, and the beach was beautiful. Our favourite part of our trip was walking up and down the beach, with the waves crashing in around our feet. This resort is on a public beach, so locals set up little wagons to sell their handcrafted wares. We got our best deals there, rather than paying the overblown prices in the gift shops on the resort. Costa Rican people (Ticos they're called) are wonderful, sincere and kind people who really know what's important in life - family and being kind to one another. It sheds a whole different light on us North Americans, and it made us realize that we don't have to live the crazy rushed life that we do. Life can be simple and wonderful, like the way it is in this beautiful country. They take such pride in what they do, and appreciate the little things. We want to go back, and not just to visit, but maybe in a few years spend our winters there - buy a little place and live life like they do. A special hello to Eric Garcia who sets up excursions for us visitors, and isn't part of the Westin, but was there on the beach from sunup to sundown trying to make a living for him and his family. Gracias Eric! You made us feel very welcome.
Kim and Bill Winkels
Canada

Room Tip: Get a room closest to the beach so you can hear the gorgeous waves.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
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*
Number of rooms: 326
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 And Spa, Playa Conchal
The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal

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