We stayed at the Westin Playa Conchal for 8 days and had a great time. Below is a breakdown of the Good and not so good, as well as tips to help.
The Westin is a large property with lots of different options for rooms. There is the Royal Beach Tower (Adults Only). We did not stay here but our friends from our group did and said the rooms were nice. There is also the Family Junior Suites. Getting the junior suite enrolls you in the “Family Club.” See details below. We stayed here since we brought two kids (6 and 8 year olds). These are set up like condos along the resort. We had an upstairs condo that was very clean and nice. We did not hear any noise from any neighbors. The room had a small “kitchen area” with a small refrigerator a small breakfast table, a living room, a large bathroom and a bedroom with two “queen size beds.” The beds are actually barely double size beds. Each of us slept with one kid each night because the beds could not sleep two adults. That was a bummer. The refrigerator is not stocked like a mini bar. It will have 4-6 beers, a few bottles of water, some soda and juice. On the counter was one airplane size of assorted liquors. Not impressive. You can call room service to bring more but they will give you a hard time if you want more than the daily allotment. I called to order more beer because we had another couple over (we wanted to sit on the patio to drink). I was told that 4 is the max I could order, “otherwise, they would charge me.” I waited until the delivery came and gave the guy $5 to bring me more, which he did. I find it odd that an “all-inclusive” hotel would limit your drinks. Our maid service was awesome. They cleaned the room very well everyday and made animals out of the towels. The kids thought that was cool. Shower and toilet was clean. I don’t think the floors were mopped everyday (marble floors). They were probably “swiffered.” My feet had a black film on them everyday which I had to scrub off in the shower daily. One unfortunate feature was that the room lacked any dressers or drawers. We had six suit cases that had to be placed on the breakfast table, desk and half wall. We left our clothes in the suit cases because there was no room for them.
The family club is a nice touch. When we checked in, the kids received a backpack with all sorts of cool things in it including a water bottle and disposable camera. Staying in the family suite, we were a part of the club. This allows you special towels at the family pool and a personal concierge (waitress) to help get food, drinks, etc. There is a kids club (free) open 9am-5pm. The girls who work there are very nice and have a ton of activities for the kids. They made pottery, did tours of the plants and animals on the resort via golf cart, had video games, board games, etc. My kids loved going there.
Tip: Let the kids swim in the morning and have lunch. Take them to the kids club from 1-4:30 so they can get out of the sun.
Restaurants, Bars and Room service
Room service is notoriously late at the hotel. So order an hour in advance. I wanted to get room service breakfast for the kids before we went on an excursion one morning and called the night before. I wanted to have the kids eat at 8:30AM so I ordered the food to be delivered at 7:30AM. The food was delivered at 8:15AM.
Tip: Order an hour before you need it.
The restaurants were all very good but you must have a reservation for the restaurants. I tried emailing the manager who replies on Trip Advisor, Victor Gomez. I told him I was on trip advisor, asked for specific reservations via the email he provides 3 days in advance of our trip. When we arrived, none of my reservations were made, they were unaware of my email, I printed and presented my email to them. The staff apologized and I never received an apology from Victor and he never once approached us or called us to apologize. You are assigned a concierge at check in. We had Eliel as our concierge who apologized and tried to make my reservations for the week. He tried very hard and was able to get some but not all. Thank you Eliel! Victor, this is poor management and customer service on your part.
Bamboo: Great Asian Fusion Restaurant. The food was really good. The staff was pleasant. The restaurant is small, so make your reservation well in advance. I had the spicy chicken soup which was incredible. My entrée was the chicken and chestnuts and was delicious as well. For appetizers, we ordered one of everything and they were all great, including the sushi. Tip: The kids menu is basically the same as the adults. If your kids are like mine, tip the waiter $5 to get chicken strips for the kids.
Italian Restaurant: The trip advisor reviews said that this was the best restaurant on the resort but we were disappointed. The food is upscale olive garden. Set your expectations for that and you will be fine.
Los Candelos: Latin American Restaurant. The food was ok. It is not Mexican food. No tacos, no borritos. If you like local, latin food, you will be fine. I tipped the chef to make a cheese quesadilla for the kids (they could not eat chicken nuggets for a fourth time), had to explain what a quesadilla was. They obliged us, by taking two tortillas, adding cheese and grilling it. The kids were happy. Thank you!
Mediteranean: I tried to get reservations here but couldn’t. Talking to other people, the food was great. Try going there.
Mitra: This is the buffet. Its open most of the time and you don’t need reservations. We had dinner here the first two nights since we could not get reservations anywhere else. It was pretty good. Lots to choose from, clean, but not too impressed. There was lots of local stuff, which looked odd. There was really nothing for our kids besides a deli tray. The kids ate salami sandwiches. The bread was awesome! Breakfast at mitra was really good though, pancakes, waffles, omelets, sausage and bacon, etc. The bacon looks really odd but tasted wonderful.
The pizza place by the pool was awesome! We ordered pizza for lunch everyday by the pool and were very happy. It closes at 5pm and opens at 12 so don’t miss out.
There is a poolside restaurant Caracola. The food was pretty good but what disgusted me were the birds and their droppings. We were being seated and there were bird droppings on the backs of our chairs. I asked the waiter for a wet cloth to wipe the bird droppings off. Their solution was to put seat cushions on top of the chairs. We sat at a table where there was a bird sitting on the beam above. My husband got a surprise dropped on his arm! The annoying part was that the staff did not rush to help, provide a napkin, get rid of the bird, etc. They just accept this. The management should do something about this problem. Add things to the beams, add fans, etc to eliminate the temptation for the bird to it there.
Cauri: The French restaurant. The food was terrible. Don’t bother. It’s also outdoor, covered seating with no breeze. They have ceiling fans that do not work well. I was sweating all through dinner. We ordered the filet and shrimp (surf and turf). The filet was not good and the shrimp smelled fishy.
The weather is gorgeous in Costa Rica so there is plenty of pool time. Get long sleeve swim shirts for the kids and bring plenty of spf. Our kids became slightly crispy and the shirts and hats came in handy.
The main pool (adults and kids) was awesome. (there is also an adults only pool which we did not go to) At the main pool, there is a swim up bar and the wait staff was awesome and fun. Our waiter was Eduardo. He was the best part of our vacation. He was on top of everything the entire time. He knew what I was drinking and had it ready for me. He also makes a special frozen drink which I dubbed “the Eduardo Special.” It is delicious!!!!!! Eduardo was also very sweet and kind and understood what personalized customer service was.
Tip: Please tip the waiters and bar tenders!!! It’s the right thing to do (even though it is an all-inclusive resort). You will also get specialized service.
Do not stay at the pool after 4:40PM (especially if you are eating food poolside). This is the time that the animals come out and they are hungry. We had a late snack by the pool one night and the local raccoons were out and were coming onto our pool chairs, going into the garbage cans, etc. Don’t worry, they won’t attack you, but it’s just gross! Also, they really like the pizza. Finish eating before 4PM and you will be good. Don’t feed the animals.
There are two ways to book an excursion: through the hotel or through Eric Garcia (everyone talks about him on Trip Advisor). Book the jet ski tour excursion through the hotel (the westin has brand new jet skiis) and ask for Eric (not the same Eric mentioned above) to be your tour guide. Regarding the Eric from the jet skiis, he was fantastic! He took us to all of these different beaches and islands. He is a sweetheart! Thank you Eric!
Otherwise, use Eric Garcia to book the rest. He is nice (the hotel people are rude) and is honest with his prices. We did the horseback riding, the zipline and the jet ski tour. I would recommend all.
Next to the activities center at the main pool is an artist named Eugene. He is extremely talented and after speaking to him decided to get a family portrait painted. He booked a time for him to take our picture with a digital camera. We were able to pick the one we liked. Then he spent the next day or so, sketching from the picture and airbrushing our family portrait on canvas. It is beautiful and we are so happy with it. He is very talented. Find him for a portrait.
In summary we had a great time. If they can work on the restaurant reservations, room floor cleanliness and managers getting back to you (Victor), all would be fine. I would definitely go there again. Will watch trip advisor for improvements.
- 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