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“Beautiful pool, not much to do” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa

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Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Playa Flamingo, Playa Flamingo 2050, Costa Rica   |  
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Low Season Special
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful pool, not much to do”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

If you are looking for an absolutely gorgeous pool with a beach just outside the resort, this is the place to come. If you are looking for a true Costa Rican experience, try elsewhere. The kids loved the pool and the staff is incredibly accommodating and fixed anything that was wrong, but aside from the pool (and a pool table and ping pong) there is not much to do here and almost all the guests are from the USA. Lulu, the recreational specialist was fantastic (try water aerobics or yoga!). Rooms are slightly worn (especially the bathrooms), towels are worn and old looking, and there are almost no restaurants nearby or things to do. We were here two years ago and did a day pass for two days which was perfect. Our stay this time for 4 days was too long. We ended up spending a huge amount of money on mediocre meals and drinks (though the all-inclusive breakfast was fantastic!!) because there is just not much to do or places to go. If you do stay here, consider a taxi to Brasilito for dinners and to visit the Playa Conchal which was gorgeous.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
We appreciate your compliments about our gorgeous pool and incredibly accommodating staff. Having said that, I hope you realize that you came during our low season, which is quite a different vibe than being at the resort during high season. I think you can say this pretty much about beach resorts around the world. By all means, it's great to enjoy the bargains that you can get off season, but you need to be prepared for a much quieter, low key experience than you would have during the pricier high season, when local bars and restaurants are in full swing, the hotel is full of a wide variety of international and native clientele and the beach is hopping. I personally love the peace and quiet of Flamingo Beach from August through October, when the afternoon rains keep everything green and pristine, and many places have closed up their doors until high season. But it's certainly not for everyone, so my advice is to always do your research before you travel.
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1,373 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Los Angeles, California, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My girlfriend and I visited Playa Flamingo Beach Resort at the end of our month long trek through Costa Rica, using a Groupon. Shortly put, playa Flamingo is a great resort, but a boring town.

Having traveled through Puerto Viejo, La Fortuna, Tamarindo, and finally onto Playa Flamingo, we were definitely underwhelmed with the town itself, as there is no real town or nightlife to speak of. If you are looking for a place where you can go out into the town, eat out, have some great drinks, or go dancing, Tamarindo is probably more for you, and there are a range of hostels and very nice hotels there.

As a resort, Playa Flamingo is what you would expect - the pool is very nice, and the beach is relaxing, with complimentary beach chairs for all guests (umbrellas are $15/day). The rooms are kept decently clean, but they are air conditioned, spacious, well lit, and have a good TV.

The food here is VERY expensive for Costa Rica, but, like I mentioned, it is difficult to find cheap food in the ¨town¨area, as the two Sodas are quite a long walk. We opted to do the all inclusive package for two of the days that we were staying there. The package was $75/day, and you had to do at least 2 days, which brought the total up to $300. This was quite a stretch for us (two young teachers, traveling for a month), but we wanted to be able to enjoy all the hotel had to offer. With the deal, we definitely ate and drank our moneys worth (at least compared to the overpriced prices we would have been paying, had we not done the all inclusive deal)

While we enjoyed our time at the Resort, if we could do it again, we would spend another week in Tamarindo (or any other similar beach/surf town), and if we wanted the luxury, upgrade to one of the nicer hotels along the beach.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
Thank you for your recent stay with at our resort and for sharing your views here. Again, I see this as a problem of our property perhaps not being the right fit for your expectations. Playa Flamingo has always been, since its earliest days, more of an "upscale" destination than the ones you mention visiting earlier in your Costa Rica vacation. It is known as one of the best beaches on the Pacific Coast, and we work very hard to keep its pristine "Blue Flag" designation. Our food prices are on a par with the entire Flamingo/Brasilito area and with hotels of our category all over the country. Of course we cannot compete with a local "soda" (snack bar/diner to try to give an appropriate English translation) which is probably run by the owner with two family members working their who may even live at the same location. But we do regular market surveys regarding pricing, and price our food and drinks appropriately to our level of expenses. Glad you enjoyed the pool, beach and our all-inclusive special!
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Hoboken
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

...but this hotel certainly tried, which doesn't always end well. When it comes to hotels, it totally depends on what you're looking for. I came to Costa Rica for the first time last year, and stayed about four hours south of Playa Flamingo at a place called Pranamar. The place was quiet, secluded, offered healthy food and drinks, and daily yoga. The experience was great, so Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa had a lot to live up to in my mind, and it just didn't. We chose this place because the friend I was traveling with wanted something with a bit more to do. 



The hotel is clean, the rooms are standard, view is fantastic, but it's a little too touristy for me. It's kind of a cross between the seclusion I had last year, and the overexposure you get at a Club Med. The swim up bar is lovely, as were the gym, and shops.

I was excited to find out that the hotel offers yoga a few times a week, but was disappointed to find out that it's only a half hour and it's your typical, one person has to handle all of the hotel activities and doesn't really excel at any of them. She was a great, sweet person but for anyone that practices regular yoga, it's a disappointment.To me, this spot just doesn't quite feel like Costa Rica. 

There are daily activities, but again, they are mediocre at best. Activities include: aqua gym, dance lessons, bingo, yoga, and kids activities.

The food is pretty good, with decent selection. We had the package that includes free breakfast, which is always nice. The food prices are a little high, but I think that's standard of any hotel. We found a cute restaurant up the street called Monkey Bar, where at happy hour you can get a bucket of beer (6 beers) for $12! Excellent find. It's a little cheesy, but totally fantastic.

The stay, aside from my personal preference of a little more seclusion, would have gotten 3.5/4 stars, until the last day. Here's why. There is a spa & beauty salon here. They offering waxing. I was told two days in a row to come back the next day, because the appropriate person was not on staff to handle it. So I was a little disappointed not being able to get one of the services they list as standard. But, not a huge deal. The hotel today didn't have running water for roughly an hour. A little surprising for a place of this size, but understandable if there was some sort of issue, I realize I am in Central America, after all. But at around 6pm insanely loud music started for a private party for local residents/students. The sunset bar sits outside the pool, which is in the center of the hotel complex. The music is so loud at 9 p.m. my windows were shaking, and it's impossible to relax or get any sort of rest. The front desk said this will be going on until 11 p.m. and just kind of shrugged an apology. I'm sorry, but this is not acceptable. The guests should be those whom you cater to first and something like this is beyond disruptive. 

It was terribly unfortunate that our last night there was spent frustrated at the noise level. We asked for a partial refund for the day, and they offered us 20% off our of restaurant bill. It was nice of the hotel to acknowledge the inconvenience, so I'm giving them an average rating.

Costa Rica is gorgeous, so no matter where you stay, you're bound to find the beauty in the area. I had a great time all around, but would not likely go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
Thank you for your honest and candid review of your recent stay with us. We agree, that every guest has a slightly different view on what constitutes a perfect hotel and perfect vacation; we have learned through the years that in spite of our best efforts, we cannot please everyone. We are glad that overall you enjoyed your stay with us. You are 100% correct in your disappointment over the beauty salon's service. They are a privately owned vendor in the hotel, but we do stand by their guest service and in this case, if they let you down, we let you down. As to the problem with the water, in that case it is a local government and regional issue, which is why our hotel is doing everything possible to help conserve Guanacaste's most precious resource, potable water. We also regret the inconvenience regarding the music until 11 p.m., but again, that is where we have a problem in being able to please everyone: those who come to party on vacation and those whose idea of perfection is a comfy bed to curl up in at 9 pm in order to rise with sun and take on a full day of nature-based activities. It's tough, but with 120 rooms, we are going to get a little bit of everything, and we do try to manage it as best we can. Thanks for sharing, we will take your constructive criticism to heart and try to do better.
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Victoria
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

We stayed here for 10 days in December 2011. We enjoyed our stay but would not recommend such a duration in one place in CR but that's another story.
The hotel was clean, friendly & efficient staff, and located on the best beach. There is not a whole lot to do here and if you do want to get out and fish, dive etc. be prepared to get those US dollars out and pay full price. I might recommend shopping around for tours with other companies in the area. The hotel will not recommend anything outside their resort.
Overall, a nice stay. Would I return .. no - not because of a bad experience, there are many more places to see and this area of CR is pretty quiet.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 17, 2012
We appreciate your staying with us at the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa and for your feedback. I can't quite understand why you only gave us three bullets if you found us to be clean, friendly, an efficient staff and on the best beach. I completely agree with you that 10 days is too much time to spend in any one location in Costa Rica, because there is just so much to see and do in our country and such a wide variety of jungles, rainforests, beaches, mountains, volcanoes,etc., all with their own unique charm. A good travel agent probably would have recommended that you break up your beach vacation with a trip to Arenal Volcano or the Monteverde Cloud Forest, or even San Jose for some museums and nightlife. As far as the tours, scuba diving, fishing excursions and water sports available at Flamingo, yes, you should expect to pay full price because the people in our area live, feed, and house their families off of tourism. The ones that do it right--have insurance, get certified by the government, train their employees properly, hold to cleanliness and hygiene standards--do have the right to earn a living wage. It's not that we don't recommend vendors located off our property, we just know that many of them are what we call "pirates". We do not endorse them because they are able to offer cut-rate services to tourists because they have no overhead whatsoever. They sell tours out of their cars, use ATVs that aren't properly maintained, offer no guarantees, no insurances, and in the case of massages on the beach, no hygiene (Yuk)! Honestly, all of our guests are free to purchase from whomever they choose; however we do stand by the merchants who operate out of our resort, they have been fully screened by us and must maintain strict standards and have all required permits and insurance. Maybe this is something that, as a normal tourist trying to stay within your travel budget, you have not thought much about, but it is a real problem in Costa Rica and other tourism locales, and you need to know what you are paying for. I am just trying to educate the public in this regard, not to criticize your freedom of choice. Glad you had a nice stay, and again, we agree, they are plenty more places to see in Costa Rica!
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Munich
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We visited the hotel with the whole family, about 13 people and occupied 3 rooms. The location is perfect and cannnot be better. The Pool is clean and you see the waves of the ocean. The beach is white sand, clean, about 1 miles long and gives the feeling of a bahia. The Ocean can be at time rough, but at all time you can body-surf or boggie-board.
The hotel has an acceptable gym and a quite big fun center with new ping pong tables, 3 pool tables and also table soccer. It was the first hotel I have visited with a small cinema!
The rooms are big and clean and also nicely furbished. Some have a kitchenlike setting included.
The hotel for me is a four star hotel. There is very nice staff and the cook is european, the foods is a mixture of costa rica and international food. For a hotel - excellent. Try the Agnus steak from the menu...great!
I rated it with 3 stars as we had a room on the south side (22xx) and there where 3 times buses parked in front of our rear window, cooling the bus at 630 in the morning, so noisy. But the hotel reacted fast when I complained and asked the busses to move to the front entry. for 5 starts I would have expected even better hotel furnishment and also more children activities. There was no place to leave the kids for a while and get them entertained. And parent know what I talk about.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 3, 2012
We are very sad and a little puzzled that you didn't rate our hotel better given the overall positive tone of your review. We don't pretend to be a five-star property, but we consider ourselves the absolute best among smaller, family-owned resorts in the region! We have so much to offer in terms of facilities and activities, yet we still offer that personal touch and friendly service. We try to respond immediately and in a friendly manner to any guest complaints such as yours (which we did in your case) and hopefully get things resolved in a positive way. Glad you enjoyed our great beachfront location and our family game room. Thank you for your feedback, it always helps us to continue to improve, although rating us with only three "bubbles' does negatively affect us. We truly wish those buses hadn't revved their engines outside your room and deeply apologize for this inconvenience.
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Columbia, Missouri
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

My wife and I spent our anniversary at Flamingo Beach. Read all the reviews about the musty bottom floors, bad food, the walk across the dirt path because the resort "isn't on the beach", etc. I guess its true that you can't please everyone all the time.

Our rooms were clean, with no smell at all. Yes this is an older resort, but it isn't a dump. We were on vacation to enjoy ourselves on the beach, fishing, or laying at the pool. I guess if you sit in your room watching TV all day, you might not be happy....but then you probably aren't a happy person to begin with.

Our room was on the main level and overlooked the pool. The music was loud at times, but not overbearing. We didn't spend much time in the room, so it did not bother us. The beach could be seen from the room, and the waves can be heard from your room.

The beach is right there. Yes you have to cross a dirt road to get to the beach, but it takes all of 2 seconds. A couple beach vendors are there, but they don't bother you. The water was clear, the sand was white and we swam in the ocean several times. The pool was a bit warm, but they can't do much about that. The pool bar had decent drinks. Food delivered to the pool bar was in styrofoam containers, which seemed low budget. The food was good, so we didn't mind the lack of plates.

We did not spend much time at the resort except to relax by the pool, since we had activities planned while we were there. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. The staff was super friendly, the food at the restaurant was good, drinks at pool were above average, and the hotel was clean. It met our expectations. I travel for work constanty so I have seen some real dumps and great places.

We left smiling and with no complaints

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 3, 2012
We are very glad that you enjoyed your visit to the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, and "left smiling and with no complaints." You are so right: sometimes we read the reviews here and are absolutely shocked at how some people will find just about anything to complain about! We often feel exact;u as you mentioned--that if a person can't be happy here, they truly cannot be happy anywhere, because it's just so lovely and we try so hard to please! Now, we are certainly not perfect and this business is prone to glitches because it requires the teamwork and coordination of so many moving parts. By the way, we use the styrofoam containers for take-out and for around the pool area because we don't want any glass or broken china pieces to get in the pool or where folks may be walking barefoot, and these containers are fully biogredable. It is part of our major initiative to become a fully ecologically sustainable resort. We also have an organic farm where many of our vegetables and herbs come from, and we have made great strides in all sorts of energy and water savings, that we are very proud of! Thanks for your feedback.
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San Antonio
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Very clean, very nice staff, great location for beach bums! The rooms were simple but perfect. They served their purpose and they were clean.
The only thing we didn't like was the restaurant. It was overpriced for what we ate, and it wasn't very delicious. We ate elsewhere in the surrounding locations (walking distance and safe) for dinner and had lunch while we were on tours.
We scheduled our last minute tours through Major Tours. They were on the beach outside the hotel everyday and I'm glad we went through him as opposed to the hotel's tours. We went on two tours (Rincon de la Vieja and Palo Verde) and paid a little bit cheaper than what we would pay going with a huge group of people. It was just my husband and I and the taxi driver and tour guide during each tour. It was very intimate and we got to experience more than if we would have gone with a bus load of people. I highly recommend him. All tours we took included lunch at authentic Costa Rican restaurants in town and they were delicious, quaint and lovely.
The weather was really nice during our stay and the sun sets were absolutely breathtaking.
This hotel is in the perfect location if you want to come to Costa Rica to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature and serenity that Costa Rica has to offer.
Overall we enjoyed our stay here. Great service and happy staff.

Room Tip: We had a pool side room... it was nice hearing the waves from the nearby beach when going to sleep a...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, September 3, 2012
Thank you for your positive review of your recent stay at the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa. We recently hired Chef Frank Aberle, one of the best chefs in all of Guanacaste, who put several other restaurants and hotels in the region "on the map" as far as fantastic food goes, so we are surprised about your comments there. Chef Frank, a German native who has lived in Costa Rica for almost two decades, knows how to combine the best of fine European cuisine with fresh, local ingredients for delicious, savory fare. Also, we are using a wide variety of fresh produce and herbs from our very own organic garden, down the road from the hotel. At any rate, we are glad you enjoyed our privileged location and our friendly, service-oriented staff!
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Additional Information about Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Playa Flamingo, Playa Flamingo 2050, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Flamingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only resort located on one of Costa Rica's most famous blue-flag, ecologically protected beaches, this resort location is the perfect beachfront base from which to explore all of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Hotel Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Flamingo Beach Resort Costa Rica
Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Playa Flamingo

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