I find it difficult to write this review without sounding like an ad for the hotel. However, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience and wanted to share it with other TripAdvisor members considering hotels in the area.
The Hotel La Finisterra exceeded my expectations in almost every regard. I first visited the hotel in Fall of 2008 and stayed there one night after having visited approximately 30 hotels in the area between Tamarindo and points just North of Playa Panama. After that exhaustive search, I booked our entire wedding party (9 rooms) at La Finisterra for June 2009.
To be clear, I was looking for a clean, friendly hotel that was at least a 3-star location (as La Finisterra is billed) where I could get excellent service and host an elegant, 20-person wedding event for a group of mostly North Americans. I also wanted it to be reasonably close to a major airport. I don’t need marble bathrooms and 700-SF suites, but I do require impeccable cleanliness, good water pressure with consistent temperature in the showers, good toiletries and towels, and adequate amenities like a pool, restaurant/bar and room air conditioning that doesn’t sound like a B-17 bomber taking off.
La Finisterra did not disappoint.
Since my last visit, the bathrooms had been updated in many of the rooms to include nice glass shower enclosures and vessel or pedestal sinks. The beds were very comfortable with ample pillows and nice bedspreads. A granite-top table had replaced the dresser. Some rooms had new curtains to replace the roll-down wooden shade (although I admittedly like a little filtered light in the morning, so I prefer the shade). The views are gorgeous on either side of the hotel. Toiletries were simple, but up to North American standards and the water pressure and temperature were strong and consistent (a rarity in other places I visited in CR.) Air conditioning was relatively quiet and had an easily used remote control. The ceiling fan and reading lights were operated by a switch above the bed (so no one has to get up!). Rooms were good sized with either one queen or two double beds. No TVs or phones (very peaceful), and Wifi was available in some rooms and in the public areas.
The open-air restaurant is very, very nice with tasteful yet simple ambience and the same incredible beach views. The staff prepared excellent meals to North American “fine dining” standards. Plated presentation was excellent. The chef also prepared the fish caught by our group several different ways, and all were outstanding. We found the Happy Hour from 4-6 to be a very popular gathering time for everyone in our group. The table setting for our reception dinner was beautiful, and every one of our guest made mention of how fabulous it was. The wine cellar selection was also very nice, with a broad variety of reasonably priced wines to complement all of our dinner selections. Breakfast was also included in our room rate and was filled with fresh fruit accompanying made-to-order meals of pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc.
Public Areas and Location:
For a small hotel, the pool and outdoor areas were more than adequate. We had enough deck chairs to go around, and the viewpoint just beyond the pool became a favorite location to sit in the dappled shade and enjoy the view. The shallow sitting pool was my favorite spot to cool off and enjoy a cold drink. The upstairs deck provided a great vista for the unreal sunsets, while the shaded sitting areas tucked just around the corner from the restaurant provided a quiet nook for reading or relaxing. A computer for Internet access was also available in the lobby.
Being somewhat steep, the hill climb is a bit of an issue if you are not up for a walk to the beach. However, the advantage is that you are relatively isolated from the throngs in town and feel safe and secure in the hotel. The hill top location provides million-dollar views that surpass any of the beachfront hotels. Security was also very good.
Sheila and her husband George (proprietors) were excellent hosts. They arranged everything from fishing and tours to spa services and car rentals for our group – always going the extra mile to make sure everything was beyond our expectations. They took care of wedding-related planning like cake and flowers (bouquet, etc.), and helped to coordinate the boat we were using for the ceremony. The General Manager, Johnny, was also outstanding with help from Roger, Hernado, Manuel and Lydia in the restaurant and housekeeping departments. I could not have asked for a more helpful and friendly staff. Whatever we wanted, they did their best to provide. On a related note: although I speak some Spanish, it was extremely helpful to have fluent English speakers to assist us with all the details.
I have seen many hotels in Costa Rica and La Finisterra is a GEM. I’ve stayed at the big resorts as well as other small hotels, and La Finisterra provides the right blend of outstanding service and personalized attention, with comfort and attention to the small things. If you want a large all-inclusive or 5-star ultra-luxury experience, this hotel may not be for you. However, if you are looking for very nice lodgings with outstanding food, English-speaking desk staff, gorgeous views, and a secure location, you cannot beat La Finisterra. Pura Vida!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "Hotel La Finisterra" offers the Costa Rica traveler luxurious yet affordable hotel lodgings. Set atop a beachfront hilltop. “Hotel La Finisterra” is only steps from the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The pool, bar, restaurant, poolside patio, balcony and all of the rooms feature views of the beach and ocean. Our open air restaurant "The Bistro" is well known for its savory cuisine and casual ambience. Enjoy dining on fresh local ingredients served in a variety of ¨Tipico¨ (local) and international recipes individually prepared by our professionally trained chef and kitchen staff. Enjoy the panoramic views of Playa Hermosa, the Pacific Ocean or a spectacular tropical sunset. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- La Finisterra Hotel
- La Finisterra Playa Hermosa
- Hotel La Finisterra Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste