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“Amazing Honeymoon in Costa Rica” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Condovac la Costa

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Hotel Condovac la Costa
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Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
New York City, New York
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Honeymoon in Costa Rica”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

My Husband & I were given a 1 week stay at the Condovac in May 2011 for our Costa Rica Honeymoon. We contemplated spending the money for the larger more plush hotels/resorts; but from the positive reviews here in Trip Advisor; we decided to stay here. Based on the other reviews here; we did not opt for the all inclusive plan. I researched Playa Hermosa a lot before we left so knew what our options would be to eat outside the resort. We did have breakfast at the restaurant once and dinner once; as well as a late night snack once at the bar; and once that we took back to our room. Like others have said we didn’t find the food to be all that great and were very glad that we hadn’t purchased the all inclusive. We met two girls staying at the resort for 2 weeks that had the all inclusive; and ended up cancelling it ½ way through because they were eating most of their meals off the property! And for anyone that is contemplating purchasing the all inclusive because of the alcohol. We didn’t feel like we missed out. I remember paying about 2,000 colones for a mai tai; which equaled only about $4US. We also stopped at the supermarket down the road on the way to the resort and bought bottles of Rum; Wine; Mixers & snacks so we made a lot of our drinks in our room and just drank them on the patio or in cups by the pool. Never felt like we were missing out. Plus since the room came with a blender we were able to make mixed drinks. Even had Mango Daiquiris one night!

Overall Condovac was a great stay; nicely situated room (not so comfortable beds) nice large bathroom-shower big enough for two. Beautiful property; and can’t beat the howler monkeys right on the property! We’d walk to the pool and stop to see the monkey’s in the trees!! Even caught myself when back home in NY looking up at a tree while driving on the highway and for a moment started to look for monkeys!

The beach was beautiful soft sand; little rough waves! We stayed in the 500’s (I believe) which was a short walk down to the beach but a long walk up that steep hill to the pool/restaurant so mid way through our week we stopped walking it and just waited for the shuttle to come around! . The room is stocked with everything you’d need to cook & eat if you choose to. We bought cereal & milk & would have a basic breakfast in the room; but ate out for our other meals. The staff was very nice! Limited English; but so eager to talk and have conversations with the guests. Bartenders were very nice too! Great restaurant right on the beach just a few feet down. Hotel Hermosa I believe was the name-great passion fruit margaritas; good lunch. Ate lunch twice and dinner once at Aqua Sport. Really delicious Gallo Pinto (rice & beans) and hamburgers. Meat tasted so good. Must try the pineapples when on the island-never had such fresh delicious pineapples! We also really enjoyed the food at Gingers-went there for dinner our 2nd night; as well as the Friday before we left. Friday’s are Martini night and we had $3 martinis. We had about 7 between the two of us! Great night! The food is very delicious! My husband even ordered some wontons to go and ate it on the walk back to the hotel (you can definitely walk there; just be mindful of your surroundings. We also did a timeshare presentation by one of the reps down at the beach which included free lunch in Playa Coco; we also got a coupon for $45 off dinner in Playa de Coco so we took the opportunity to go down and have dinner (covered by the coupon) and buy souvenirs. Only problem getting to coco was a cab. Was told we got walk off the property and find a cab cheaper than at the resort. Only one cab stopped and the driver had a husky in the back (I’m afraid of dogs). We let that one go; but no one else passed us. Walked to the store; but no cabs were there. Eventually walked back to the resort and they got a cab for us. So if you’re going to coco better off just getting a cab from the resort to begin with!

As far as tours & activities-the first night (Saturday) we took the sunset cruise being offered right down the beach near the gates for the property (on condovac property). Didn’t see any dolphins or anything; but watched an amazing sunset; drank; danced just had a great time. My Husband even got to steer the boat for a little while. Saw Monkey Face rock up close-great time!

The other tours we took were through Mardigi Tours-based on the reviews from Trip Advisor I made sure to contact Marvin right away to set up our airport transfers; and arrange tours for the week. They were easy to reach via e-mail from the U.S. When we arrived into Liberia; Marvin was there in his green t-shirt holding up a sign with our names. They even let us stop at the supermarket to stock up on the liquor and snacks I mentioned above before we checked into the resort! We didn’t have a wine bottle opener; so Marvin let us borrow his the first night! We later found one in the room as part of the unit supplies. We arranged the canopy tours through them at Borinquen at Ricon de la vieja. Actually arranged to have 4 girls we met on the sunset boat ride join us for the canopy tour. So in total 6 of us loaded into the bus (driven by Digi) and did the short drive to the volcano. Marvin & Digi were fabulous on this tour! We horseback rode up the mountain to the first platform; did about 6-7 zip lines down to the bottom. Guides were great-lots of fun; let the girls go tandem with them upside down; with no hands (like superman) you name it. Felt totally safe the whole time; Marvin would go down the line first with all our cameras; and then would take pictures of each person as we came into the platform. After that excitement; we had lunch at the hotel restaurant-amazing food! Then went to the mud baths totally relaxing!! Marvin took us on a nature hike through the property while our mud dried to find a Tuscan-no luck; but did see other amazing birds; insects. Marvin & Digi are amazing tour guides! The tour/experience starts as soon as they pick you up from your hotel. There is no “time constraint” they’ll stop and pull over if they spot a bird; reptile any creature they want to point out. After our canopy tour while driving back Marvin finally spotted a Tuscan and Digi pulled over. All 6 of us were in the road watching the Tuscan in the tree! Saw a snake on the road; and Digi stopped the car for everyone to see (I didn’t look). Even stopped after the canopy tour to get mango’s; and stopped at the supermarket to restock our fridge in the room!! Second tour we did with Marvin & Digi was the Palo Verde river boat tour. Again they picked us up; with 2 other couples and did the drive to the river; let us stop along the way to buy cold beer which the men shared. Once we arrived at the river we loaded into our boat with 1 other couple from another tour and their guide. Marvin was hands down much more knowledgeable of the river; it’s inhabitants; the nature around us then the other tour guide. Often pointing things out to the OTHER couple that their guide was not saying! We saw several crocodiles up close! Bats; iguanas; and monkeys! The monkeys were amazing; came right to our boat! A delicious lunch is included with this tour too! So much food; absolutely worth the money for what you get!! On the canopy tour when they said lunch was included; we pictured bagged lunch out of a cooler. Instead we had an amazing lunch at a beautiful restaurant at the resort on the property of the volcano! River boat tour included a sit down lunch too! Much more than we had expected!

We had contemplated going to the waterfall with Marvin; but instead decided to spend our last few days relaxing. The resort has a pool with amazing views. Spent a lot of time lounging by the pool reading & sleeping the last few days! But we can’t say enough about Marvin & Digi. They really made our honeymoon wonderful!! We would have had a relaxing honeymoon if we just stayed at the resort; but why go to Costa Rica to just lay on the beach all day! Marvin & Digi gave us memorable experiences while on all the tours! It’s because of them and the experience they gave us that we look forward to returning back to Costa Rica again soon!! For anyone traveling to Costa Rica soon and using Mardigi Tours-please tell them Leroy & Kimberly say HOLA!!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

Just got back from Condovac and really loved the week. The resort is really nice, and well maintained. The staff was all really nice to us too. We went with another family and had a total of 4 kids in our group. One of the things we really liked about Condovac was the activities....pool vollyball, beach soccer, guided eco hikes, shows, kids activities (and lots more we didn't even get to do). Their kids activities coordinator was awesome, and really tried to get all kids involved and having fun. The resort is situated in a beautiful spot and, although its on a hill, there's always a shuttle running. The beach is secluded and clean and there were great snorkeling spots. Nearby restaurants that we really liked: Ginger and Mangaby...both were great. Ginger was a tapas place, and Mangaby is a small outdoor poolside restaurant in a hotel couple blocks from Condovac. Awesome food and good prices. Our room was nice (400 level), and there was maid service every day...we also got clean bath and beach towels every day. We did not do the all-inclusive option as it only included 3 meals (no snacks) and was pricey for the food they were offering.
Now for what we really loved...the tours and Marvin (Mardigi Tours). He really does go above and beyond to make sure you have a great trip. Between taking our camera and shooting pics of everyone during the activities to mixing up some Costa Rican Jungle Juice on one of the tours, to making sure that during the tours and the drive we saw every possble native animal, he was great. Our two favorite trips were Rincon de la Vieja (volcano) and Palo Verde. At Rincon de la Vieja we started with horseback riding up the side of the volcano to the first zip line...did a bunch of zip lines...then went to lunch (which we were expecting to be sandwiches, but turned out to be a fine dining awesome lunch). Then we were off to the steam bath (which is situated directly above a volcanic hot spring), then to the mud bath, and fnally to the hot springs and some swimming. Sooo much fun packed into one day. Marvin rode horses and the zip lines with us and had our camera most of the time snapping pics of our whole group and giving us alot of information about the area. Palo Verde was the river tour where white faced monkeys crawled all over our boat...and us. Many crocodiles also...some that were very close to the boat. Soooo cool being that close to such beautiful animals. The guys in our group also did a charter fishing trip that Marvin set up, and the captain of the boat (Alan) cooked up the Mackeral they caught and we went to their small Playa Hermosa (two table) restaurant for dinner. Incredibly nice family...highly recommend him for a charter fishing trip. Another great day was the trip Marvin's driver, Alex took us on to Playa Conchal and Tamarindo. Playa Conchal was a crushed shell beach with clear water and great snorkeling and Tamarindo was good boogie boarding and cool shopping. That trip was a little pricey for what is was, but it was still a great day and Alex was a great guide. Basically, Marvin always made someone available for us throughout the week no matter what we wanted to do or when we wanted to go.

Other fun things we did at the resort: Beach massages which were great...like I mean great! For $39 I got a 90 minute deep tissue massage and they gave each of my two children free 10 minute massages each. We also did the banana boat (for the kids) and they really loved it...$7 pp for a 20 minute ride. We also liked the guided Eco Hike on the resorts trails. The pools were great and not at all overly crowded. We loved the infinity edge pool and the beautiful view. Huge jacuzzi pool also. All very clean.

Things we'd have done differently in hindsight: We'd have brought more American dollars. Not all ATM machines took our card and not every place took credit cards. There's a safe in the room which we rented for $3/day. We'd have brought more warm weather clothes and left all the jeans and sweats at home. Never got cold enough for jeans and there were no laundry facilities that customers can use...you have to give them your laundry and they do it for $1/piece. We did alot of handwashing but things did not dry quickly. I'd have packed my daughters shells that she collected in the suitcase insead of in our carryon. We asked at the beach if she can take shells and were told it's fine, but according to CR law they can't take more than 3 shells wth us when we leave. It would have been better to hit the larger grocery store close to the Liberia airport rather than the small one near Condovac...would have saved money and had a bigger selection.

Room Tip: 400 level was good proximity to the beach without sacrificing view.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

The resort is nice. Everything was clean and the staff friendly. The staff at the hotel went out of their way to be helpful.
What made this vacation so special was Marvin & Digi of Mardigi Tours. THEY ARE WONDERFUL! We felt comfortable with them right away; (they picked us up at the airport). We took 4 different day trips with them. Each trip was amazing. Marvin & Digi love their country and know the area very well. Their enthusiasm is contagious. We found them to be very honest, kind and considerate. We made a few last minute changes to our day trips and they were very accomodating. If we ever have the opportunity to return to this part of Costa Rica, we will call them. My son asked Marvin to call us if he is ever in our area so that we can see them again and show them "our world". They are two of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Room Tip: We had a 2 bedroom unit in the 600 building. The upstairs bed and bath area was nice. The
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Farmville, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

This RCI property lived up to all of my expectations. The view from the balacony of our villa was breathtaking. The staff was curious and very helpful. We had daily maid service. The grounds are beautiful. The resturant is expensive but the food is ok. The shows at night need a bit of help.

The greatest joy of our trip was having the services of Mardigi Tours. Marvin and DeeGee met us at Liberia airport with a sign with my name on it so there was no searching to see if there was someone there to meet us. The transportation they provided for the six of us was an airconditioned van (very modern). On the way to Condovac La Costa they stopped and pointed out birds and other points of interest. They took us to the local grocery store to purchase groceries before going to the Villa.They were very warm and friendly. We took the Palo Verde National Park tour which was awesome. We got to see the Howler monkeys, took pictures, the boat ride on the Tempisque River was also awesome. The white face monkeys came aboard the boat and the crocodiles came close enough for awesome pictures. We also took the beach safari ( visited four beaches and Dee Gee took us to Coco beach shopping. We did a half day fishing tour. Marvin accompanied us to act as the interpreter ( he didn't have to do this). We then did a trip to the waterfalls, hotsprings and as a last minute thing I asked DeeGee if we could work in a zip line for my granddaughter. She very willingly obliged us. She went with my grandchildren (2) and me on the zip line (12 platforms), took us souvenir shopping afterwards and inquired if we needed to stop at the grocery store. The next day we had to leave and Marvin and his driver showed up on time to take us to the airport. I cannot recommend these two indiviudals highly enough. If you want friendly, informative tour guides, Marvin and DeeGee are the ones to call. If we return to Costa Rica, they will be at the top of our list to plan our visit with them. They are outstanding in every way. They go the nineth mile to accommmodate your wishes.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

My in laws are RCI members and gave my husband and I a week at Condovac La Costa for our honeymoon. It was wonderful! The condo was 50 yards from the beach, but very very quiet. There are lots of shuttles to run guests between the pools, grocery, gate, beach, and condos. The condos are very clean, well kept, everything is in working order. The front desk is extremely helpful and most workers speak english. The resort has wireless internet, and interent in the rooms, but it is a little hit and miss (internet provider's fault).
The playa hermosa beach is clean and beautiful. The ocean is very warm. I recommend going to the beach in the morning as there are fewer people and the local "marketing" and "tour service" hawkers are not there. We saw sting rays, sea turtles, and other wild life in the morning also. The security at the hotel is very very tight (our tour guide was denied access). Its a good thing, because the locals offering tours and services are really pushy at the beach gate. Just an FYI for RCI people: this resort is in the same gated area as Villa del Sol.
The reviews regarding the food are correct. Its not very good except for breakfast, and the all inclusive is over priced. All inclusive was $40 US per person for food only, and $75 US per person for food and drink. At Villa Del Sol, it was $40 US per person and that included drinks and the food was much better. Instead, we ate at Ginger's up the road about 1/4 mile (tapas to die for!) or at Hotel Playa Hermosa on the beach (excellent service and food). We also went to the grocery store (Lucerno) about 1/2 mile up the road and bought fresh fish, fruit, veggies, and cooked in our condo kitchenette. The grocery store also sells liquor and beer for prices that are comparable to the cost in the US. The "Mini Market" at the resort has alot of what you would need to snack on, but it is not really meant for full meals. I recommend taking the $30 round trip taxi ride to Coco Beach where there are two grocery stores. It is a good place for a couple hours of souvenier hunting. Be sure to haggle, the merchants will act offended but really they do business this way.
For off site tours we went with Costa Rican Tours and Services operated by Alex and Meg Fernandez www.costaricantoursandservices.com. They were great. Alex drove us in his vehicle to Borenquen and provided lots of answers to our questions. Alex also set up some fishing for us for a 1/2 day. The service is personal, you are not put on a tour bus with other groups. Highly recommended. My parents used their services also and were very pleased as well.

We hope to go back to the country one day. It is such a comfortable place for US citizens to visit

Room Tip: Ask for the 500 building.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Greensboro, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2011

We stayed at Condovac for our first trip to Costa Rica. The resort is celebrating 30 years in business and although the longevity suggests that people love the place, it also needs a few tweaks.
The good. The rooms are comfortable, air conditioned, and have kitchens. There are lots of wild animals to be seen on the hotel grounds. There is a surprising amount of variety in the pool area with several children's pools, and jacuzzis. Even though the resort is on a seriously steep hill and could probably be walked by most people, a small bus comes around every few minutes making a lap of the facility. The views of Playa Hermosa are fantastic. Security generally appears to be very thorough.
The bad. There are lots of small but obvious cosmetic touch ups that need to be done around the pool and beach areas. The restaurant is overpriced for mediocre food (the only food that was "bad" were the pizza and burger that our child would not eat. After trying them, I did not blame him.) I had three beach towels which were stolen from my family while we were at the pool and we ended up having to pay for them. The people selling the hotel's tours and even the people handing out flyers advertising time shares outside of the hotel property are a tad aggressive (They would flag down your car or stand in the street.)
Also of note, if you don't speak Spanish, it can be difficult to know small but important details like that your room is inventoried at the end of your stay (so you might want to count dishes and towels on arrival and every day that housekeeping comes), and that there is a schedule of social programs (which we did not learn until the next to last day.

Instead of the excursions pushed by the hotel, we went with a locally owned "Eco Explorer" company and have nothing but wonderful things to say about Carlos.

Also, a quick walk down the road to Ginger offers Tapas style Asian food, and a short drive down the road to "Jay's Hole in the Wall" gives you fantastic food for a reasonable price with a chance to meet "Jay".

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011

Stayed here the second half of our stay in CR. Coming from the Hotel Bosque Del Mar, we did have to re-adjust luxury over comfort.

Condovac is definitely in need or some renovation, had we known that Villas Sol just right above Condovac was also owned by RCI...we might have just stayed there.

- Room was prepped for our Honeymoon arrival
- 2 A/C units!
- Kitchenette (made breakfast every morning)
- Stayed in the 600 building with only a few steps to the beach
- Using Mardigi tours as recommended by many people on tripadvisor. Marvin definitely made our trip special.

- Food. If you have a car, I recommend eating at Coco Beach. And definitely try Ginger which is walking distance from the Condovac
- One of the maids straight up stole my mixed nuts when they were doing the walk-through! (I definitely was wishing I had those nuts to snack on during the wait at the airport)
- The hawkers are a bit more aggressive on this side of Playa Hermosa

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Condovac la Costa

Address: Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Hermosa
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 107
Also Known As:
Condovac La Costa Hotel
Condovac Costa
Condovac La Costa Playa Hermosa
Hotel Condovac La Costa Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

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