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“Beautiful Resort, Poor Management” 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
San Leandro, California, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Resort, Poor Management”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013 via mobile

I hardly know where to start with what I have to say about this place. No doubt it is a gorgeous resort. I know that there is a major cultural differences between Costa Rica and the USA. However I expect the management to stand behind a name like the Westin. I feel like management should be training their staff to be far more accommodating, consistent and overall just better communication between them and the staff, then the staff and its patrons. We where here for a wedding and apart of the wedding party so we have had this reservations paid for months in advance. We arrive and they asked for a card for incidentals. Unknowing we handed them our debit card, while other people in our party where told they couldn't use debit cards, only credit cards. Therefore withdrawing $1500 out of our account which 5 days later is still not replenished after we cancelled and had the hold put onto another credit card.
The first day we arrived it was after 4:00 pm and couldn't eat at a restaurant because we didn't have reservations which basically you have to make the day before or first thing in the morning if you wish to be accommodated. That's fine we ate at the buffet. However they let one friend into the dining room who was wearing a tank top but then denied another friend who was wearing the same thing. We watched the same thing happen with two people wearing hats. The other thing I found silly was the last night we where there was all of us had booked reservations at the same time and place and when we asked to have the tables put together they refused to help us. As I write this I know it sounds trivial but again we paid a lot of money to be here we should be accommodated accordingly.
I will say this. Every single meal I had was delicious. The cocktails weren't too shabby either.
Now on their website it does say each room can have two garments pressed complimentary to the guest. When I had mine sent down the attendant couldn't speak any English we couldn't communicate what I needed done. However I found it very pleasing that he called someone to communicate with me the steps that needed to take place. However at the end of our trip we where charged for this service because again the person at the desk had no idea what was offered on their website and couldn't be bothered to bring over a manager. The only reason I didn't push is because it was a low fee to have my garment pressed.
As for the wedding arrangements. Wow. Someone needs to brush up on their organizational skills. The night of the rehearsal the wedding planner didn't arrange anything for the rehearsal causing the entire wedding party to have to wait for an hour to be seated together at the buffet.
The next day the groomsmen tried to arrange to have beer and some other refreshments sent to their room while they where getting ready only to be told there was a limit and and again no accommodation made toward the fact that it was a wedding party... Ehh hem getting ready for a wedding that everyone again spent a significant about of money on.
Upon the entire group meeting in the lobby the wedding coordinator cut off the bracelets everyone is required to wear during the duration of the stay. She didn't give them new ones which made it so they couldn't receive drinks and such after the wedding was over. The shuttles where supposed to start shuttling everyone down to the wedding site at 3:45 and didn't even start until 4:15 when the wedding was supposed to start at 4:30. It is my expectation that you have a set amount of shuttles ready for this type of situation. So while the guests where trying to get to the wedding site other guest where just coming up and taking shuttles interrupting the flow of the guest trying to get down to the wedding site.
I also found it in poor taste that even though there DJ had some complications and caused the reception to start on time the management still shut everything down at 10 even though it wasn't near loud enough to disturb guest in their rooms.
Overall as I said my complaint is not the staff itself but of the management because it is my belief that these indiscretions is purely a symptom of poor management.

I will not deny this property is beautiful. The food was good. I enjoyed the 24 hour room service as well. The pool (although intensely warm) was large and a lot of fun. I also had a manicure and pedicure. It was more reasonably priced than I expected and the salon had a peaceful atmosphere. I almost fell asleep! I also loved the private beach access. A large group of us dipped in the ocean around 430 and where not prepared for the intense current and it drops off quickly so a whole group of us where almost taken out to sea! So be careful! Thankfully there is a guard to make sure you don't go out there at night time!

I don't wish to write this review to discourage anybody from visiting this place but I do hope that management takes note and works on ironing out the fine details.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2,567 reviews from our community

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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 (994)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

I was so impressed with the service provided to me and my friends from the staff at The Westin resort. I would like to give a special thank you to David and Evelyn. They both went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure I had everything that I needed. Because of them I will definitely recommend all my family and friends to vacation at The Westin Resort. I know I will be back!!! Food was great too! Plenty of activities for the everyone. Kudos to David and Evelyn. -Mark Clifton

  • Stayed April 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leavenworth, Kansas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

This is a very nice hotel for the most part. Some things like the service deserve a 5. Some things like the restaurants deserve a 4 or less. The property itself is a good 50-60" from the airport. Not a bad ride as you get to see the countryside. We went in April and all I can say is it's HOT not normal hot, but so hot you can't get out of the pool. We were there for a week and came back with half a tan. The resort is pretty and clean, there are little trucks that drive you everywhere around the resort. Was really impressed with the Pizza/Italian restaurant around the pool that was only open during the day, by far the best place to eat. Went to the Faisanelle Italian restaurant that is open for dining in the Royal Beach Club area the first night it was great! The second night we went we were not allowed to order off the regular menu(even though the table next to us was) and had a limited paper menu and it was horrible not sure why there was this issue but they would not let us order off the regular menu. The spa is nice had a great facial. If you want a massage get it on the beach 20$ in the shade it was awesome. The beach is public so this is allowed till 3. Then the police show up. The beach is nice but there is no service out there and the chairs aren't great since it's public. The monkeys are everywhere they may come up on your porch just clap they will run away,or they might just take your towel and beach bag as they did someone in our group, hilarious!!! Pool is nice and big, bar service is outstanding, they may be busy but they are quick and on it. There is no pool side service but it is so hot we never sat in our chairs at all! We heard the Thai place was good, the french was terrible as we were with a big group. Maid service was outstanding and room service was good. There is a great restaurant if you walk down the beach to your right about a 10 minute walk called Golden Shrimp, go there for lunch dinner or both it is outstanding. One person in our group went 5 times. My husband golfed and said the course was amazing but it was so ho,t so play early. Most people quit after nine holes. Enjoy your stay

Room Tip: Get ones closer to pool,make sure your not near the disco
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

From being greeted at the airport with rose-water soaked towels, to walking into the resort lobby and being handed a mojito- this was a fantastic experience all around! The staff is so attentive- our concierge knew our names, the shops offered to send our purchases to the room, every door was opened for us, every chair pulled out. I can't say enough great things about this resort. I will definitely return.

Room Tip: you can't go wrong
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

I just returned back from a wonderful week long stay at the Westin Playa Conchal with my husband. This hotel is amazing and exceeded my expectations! The grounds were stunning and the staff were always helpful and very friendly. One stand out is Daniel who works at the pool towel exchange - such a nice guy who always had a huge smile on his face. Food wise, my favorite restaurants were the French and Italian. All the food was good, but those two stood out for me. I'm a vegetarian and there was not only enough variety but if there wasn't anything for me on the menu they were very accommodating. We went to the breakfast buffet only one morning and ordered room service for breakfast the rest of the trip because we loved eating on our balcony. Depending on the time of morning it can take a while (up to an hour, maybe a bit more) but we had read this ahead of time on here.

We booked our tours through Erik Garcia on the beach. Actually, we were (I'm pretty sure..) on the Mega tour with Bob E who just wrote a review below! If this is the same Bob, hello to you and Cherry and hope you're still having a great time there!! :) Eric arranged an amazing full day "mega combo" tour to Vandara which included horseback riding, zip lining (and if you're a chicken like me, rest assured that the guys will ride with you across like a "taxi" so you don't have to go yourself), delicious a la carte lunch and mud bath followed by a dip in the hot springs. Our guide was "Ricky Ricardo" who was very knowledgeable, patient and energetic. The second tour was a half day boat trip in Palo Verde. We were dying to see monkeys and we were able to not only see them up close (because they came on our boat!!) but feed them too! Our guide "Bilo" was also great! He even stopped on the way to get mangoes for us to feed the monkeys! Thanks Erik, we had an amazing time on both tours!

As for other things to do, on the beach you can book a massage which besides being amazing was so unbelievably cheap! There's also a small town about 15 min walking distance from the hotel. Not much to do there, there are a few restaurants and 2 souvenir shops but it's something to do outside the hotel without having to drive/bus.

FYI it is hot there now, veeeeeery hot! Just bring plenty of sun screen and be prepared for a strong sun! The heat never stopped us from having a good time because the AC and the pool were there! :) The hotel staff were always there filling up our glasses of water in the restaurants and keeping the room stocked with bottles of water to make sure you don't get dehydrated.

Thanks Westin Playa Conchal for a vacation that was truly Pura Vida!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

I'm still here and decided to let everyone know what a great place this is. The food in the Medittera, Faisanella (Italian) and Cauri (French) were great. For the French one i especially liked the grilled duck breast and for appetizer the mussels.
Anyway, for tours, I definitely recommend Eric Garcia. He arranged our mega tour which included horseback riding, zip lining (10!), water slide, organic lunch ( fresh orange juice straight from their orange trees) and of course mud bath and then hotspring bath. It was a very small group, there were only six of us so everything went so fast.
Erik also arranged our trip to Tamarindo so we didnt have to rely on the shuttle from the hotel and the price was just right.
I will definitely come back here but maybe not in April- toooo hot.
B&C Enriquez

  • Stayed April 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.
Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We visited the Westin last week. We went with our 8 year old son and 4 month old daughter. The resort was beautiful and we had a blast. The tours at the Westin are over priced. See Eric on the beach for great Excursions. We book 2 tours with him. The first was a private rain forest tour. It was the perfect tour for our family. We saw 2 water falls, hiked through the forest, walked across a suspension bridge, and went to an inactive volcano for a tour of the hot springs. We went at our own pace, in a private van, and the prices were cheaper than the big group tour through the hotel. The second tour was a private sailing tour with Izaak Warmenhoven/sailing flamingo. It was the PERFECT tour for our family. Again, it was just us, VERY reasonably priced, and a very relaxing day of fun on the water. Even the 4 month old, Izaak's youngest passenger ever had a great time. :-) I highly recommend Eric. His tours are safe, family friendly, and he offers private tours at great prices. We miss you already Eric. Thanks so much for your help. Your recommendations were perfect for our family.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 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
Phone Number:
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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