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“great vacation” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Playa Conchal
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“great vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

this was a wonderful vacation all around. hotel was gorgeous, staff was friendly, food was delicious (everything was fresh), pool not crowded, easy to get chairs. weather great. town of tamarindo about 20 minutes away. met nice people, would recommend. our room was in perfect location. easy walk to beach, pool, shops, restaurants and theater. shuttle vans available also. enjoyed the spa as well.

Room Tip: we were thinking about booking a room in the royal section for adults only but did not. heard other...
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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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed at the Westin Golf and Spa Resort from January 28th to February 4th 2013. We were two couples and overall we enjoyed our vacation.
Grounds: the grounds are beautiful and well taken care of. Its a very big resort but they provide a shuttle to get around which is very nice.
Rooms: rooms are clean and the bed is VERY comfortable. The shower is a little silly. There is no door so water leaks everywhere. Be careful.
Pool: the pool is huge and well cleaned. We never had trouble finding a lounge chair either
Beach: the beach is just ok. The waves are really big so it made it a little scary to swim out far. Locals are permitted on this beach. They drive up and down the beach area in their cars and ATV's which disrupts the tranquility. Locals also have booths set up to sell keepsakes.
Food: we didn't starve. Plenty of choices but some members of our group found it difficult to find items that they could enjoy. I found the food good but just remember its not Canada. I found the system to make reservations for the a la carte was a pain. You could only call in your reservations between 8am - 4pm well.....I'm at the beach at those times and if you try to call before leaving your room for the day, well....good luck because the line is busy.
Weather: Its HOT. Loved it and it never rained
Staff: the staff is helpful and friendly
Golf: the golf course is beautiful and worth using
Entertainment: we found the entertainment BORING. But keep in mind there is a disco for those who like to party. We were in bed by 10pm most nights.
Room service: was very good but took a long time to receive our food. It must have been a busy morning for room service orders.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 13, 2013
Dear Red010,

I want to express our gratitude for sharing this great review of beautiful Costa Rica!

I am very happy to know that you really liked our grounds, services, the room (and our delicious and Westin-own Heavenly Bed!) as well as the service and attentiveness of our staff.

As you could ascertain, beaches in Costa Rica are public and can be enjoyed by everyone, tourist or local. Indeed, the down side is that some of these are not as tranquil as certain people might like; yet domestically, it is a well perceived and highly appreciated right.

As per the difficulty for some members in your party in finding enjoyable food options, please do not hesitate to share these directly to me at my email. We strive to offer vast options to our guests with varied menus at our five themed restaurants plus a daily themed dinner buffet.

Again, thank you for all your input and insights!

Quedo a sus órdenes,

Victor Gomez
Hotel Manager
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Toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and friends of ours visited Westin Playa Conchal and just loved our stay here. I am structuring my review based on the following dimensions:

Hotel Facilities and Condition

Lobby – our first impression of the hotel was great. It’s a beautiful, well-detailed reception with rustic fans, marble and an excellent use of mahogany wood. There is tons of seating from outdoor furniture to latin-esque coffee tables and couches. There is also a bar and a restaurant.

Swimming Pool – the swimming pool is quite large with a swim-up bar, kid’s pool, basketball and volleyball net. The water is warm but not warm enough in my opinion and the integrated hot tub is just a few degrees warmer than the pool. They boast having the largest pool in Central America, not sure why this matters but it is a sizable pool. Be aware that if you want a good seat by the pool and shade you better drop off your towel to secure the chairs by 9 am or else you’ll be relegated to the back.

Bars – there are a number of bars including the lobby, swimming pool, disco, and some other restaurants. There is no bar on the beach. The only thing I really drank there were virgin pina coladas and Pepsis so better see other reviews for bars. My friends who did order wine found the replenishing of empty glasses quite slow and thin so something to note.

Restaurants – all the restaurants from menus to design were immaculate! See below for more info on food.

Rooms – we all agreed the rooms were impressive with marble floors, a daily mini kitchen with drinks, beautiful bathroom and a chic elevated bedroom area.

Wi-Fi – You can pay $13 every day for Wi-Fi in your room or get it free in the lobby, just have to bring your own connected device. I would rate the connection as excellent.

Size – the hotel is quite expansive with a number of facilities. There are a number of shuttles pickup trucks with converted truck beds into couches that pass throughout the grounds always willing to offer a ride. You will indeed require a ride, at least sometimes, especially going to the lobby as it is an arduous incline walk and is dark at night. You’ll find a number of other reasons like rushing for dinner appointments, sun and heat fatigue, etc.

Shops – the hotel rents out space for some nice little shops including a great Costa Rican coffee shop. Note the prices at the clothing stores are quite high so try not to forget anything. There are also some artisan merchants selling Costa Rican artifacts and souvenirs. We bought a beautiful rosewood bowl from them for $30.

Onsite wildlife - be prepared to see vultures, iguanas, raccoon, monkeys, exotic birds, herons, swans and coatis.

Service

At our arrival we were welcomed with delicious mojitos, a warm welcome, and easy and quick check-in. The lobby staff were great for the most part with an earnest attempt to aide in a situation, provide helpful information or even take pictures. The shuttle staff were always enthusiastic about providing a lift whether short or long. The bar staff were as efficient as possible in making our drinks but be prepared to wait in some cases as line-ups build. The restaurant staff including hostess, servers, bus boys and food preparers were exceptional and conversational. If I rated the service at the hotel I would give it 4.5 to 5 stars.

Food

Breakfast - the food was nothing short of amazing and equivalent to 4 star dining and sometimes higher (based on Toronto restaurant standards)! The morning buffet is pretty elaborate with a selection of breads, eggs, meats and the freshest local fruits and juices.

Lunch – for lunch there are a few options including the buffet with more lunch-style foods like tortillas, fish, hamburgers and the sort. Also, there is a pizza restaurant that made good pizzas, pastas and desserts. Caracola is a great spot too, try the ‘Especial’ which is a Costa Rican cuisine.

A la carte restaurants – there are French, Italian, Mediterranean, Latin and Asian restaurants that are all better than each other, so hard to pick a favorite! Advice: book all a la cartes restaurants as soon as you can if even you are not a 100% sure you’ll want to go as they’ll get booked quickly.

Room Service – room service is included at no cost and is decent. I say decent only because the food will not as hot or fresh as the restaurants.

Beach

Sands – the sands are white sands (maybe a little beige at times) but soft on the feet so no need for sand shoes. In fact, the roughest sands are at the beach entrance. You’d be well advised to continue left about 500m and on to get the best sands, most private area of the beach and least noisiest part.

Water – well, it’s the Pacific so expect it to be salty. The water is somewhat clear but don’t expect to see the seabed from the top, still it is amazing. The waves have a little bit of an undertow so I wouldn’t recommend babies or young children swim the ocean.

Excursions

The best part of Costa Rica is indeed its eco-tourism and there is certainly no shortage of options. Here are the excursions we decided on. (Note: Arenal was prominently recommended but required a 4 hour drive each way plus almost 8 hours onsite so we decided against it for this trip, maybe next time).

Erik Garcia – As recommended by many TripAdvisors reviewers we met with Erik. You should know there are largely two options for excursions at the hotel including Swiss Tours (endorsed by Westin) and Erik and his crew whose unofficial office is the other side of the entrance of the beach. We chose Erik for the Palo Verde and Ziplinig excursions and Swiss Tours for the Sunset Tour. Swiss Tours will claim they are better for insurance reasons, service and being better than Erik. That is simply not true! We found Erik cheaper, offered better service and more informative than Swiss Tours. Also the Palo Verde tour he’ll send you on will allow for feeding of alligators and monkeys in the boat (both are very safe!). Go with Erik and his crew over Swiss Tours.

Sunset Tour – the tour was on a catamaran with snorkeling, unlimited drinks, and beautiful sunset deep in the Pacific. We also got to see Nicaragua in the distance. The crew were great and led by a tourism expert.

Palo Verde – definitely our favorite part. It’s about a 45 minute drive to the river and on the way we got to see the real Costa Rica – small towns, cute bungalow homes, highway passing cows and some volcanoes. The tour itself comprised of river boat traveling in dirty river with crocodiles, herons, egrets, monkeys, and other animals lurking. The coolest part was feeding bananas to monkeys off our heads and hands. One bold monkey even stole a banana out of our backpack. As for feeding the crocodile our boat leader fed one with some chicken meat. That was quite cool. You can see these in video form from Erik.

Ziplining – if you haven’t been definitely go…it’s wild!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We spent 5 days at The Westin, Playa Conchal in December 2012. Our experience was really good. The service was ok; the room was very clean; the resort grounds well kept, etc.
The beach was beautiful and not crowded. at all.
We've booked a ATV and zip-line tour with Erik. Good service; interesting experience. We rode the ATV for about 1h to the zip-lining place. I liked it because we got to see the villages, Flamingo beach and the area, etc. Loved it.
The food was delicious, but there are not many options on the menu, so we would recommend trying different restaurants so you don't get board with the same stuff :)
We would definitely return to this resort.
Enjoy your vacation!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
melville, new york
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Our stay at the Westin was even better than expected. Part of the reason was the supervisor Tri, who more than extended himself in making us a very happy couple. He gave us a wonderful room right near all the activities which made everything we did so-o-o convenient. The pool is beautiful, the specialty restaurants are good; especially the Italian and Meditteranean restaurants and the workers are a delight. The people of Costa Rica are polite, warm, helpful and a joy to be with. They helped make this vacation a pure delight. I would return to this place in a "heartbeat."

Room Tip: We were on the ground floor, in a junior suite, in the 4000 room area which we loved. We were near...
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  • 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
    • 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.
Rochester, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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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 And Spa, Playa Conchal
The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal

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