My husband and I spent several nights of our honeymoon at the Punta Islita hotel and resort, following our stay at the Gaia Hotel and Reserve in Manuel Antonio. Overall I would rate the total experience at the Punta Islita hotel as only average.
For the positive aspects of the trip I have to say the views at the hotel are among the most beautiful in the world. The upper (infinity) pool provides an ideal location for sunbathing, and an amazing view of Costa Rica. We also enjoyed getting to know the staff at Punta Islita-we found them kind, warm, and helpful throughout our stay. The hotel is also unique in that the rooms are separate from the main lodge, and each suite is a building unto itself-this provides a unique, private experience. We also enjoyed the kayaking tour, which was a leisure kayaking experience on one of the neighboring rivers-our hotel appointed guide was wonderful. The town of Punta Islita is very quaint, and has one church, a corner store, and an art museum that also sells some of their pieces-if you stay at the hotel it is worth the several minute trip into town to see the sweet gallery.
There are several reasons we have reviewed this hotel as only average. First, I had an allergic reaction to the bedding on our first night at the hotel-I was itching and unable to sleep to the point of hives. I should mention that I have no known allergies, and my skin is not sensitive. We requested the sheets be changed the next morning and I didn't have the problem again which only made me wonder if the bedding was in fact clean the first night. Second, the food is mediocre at best.The hotel provides two different restaurant options, the first being up at the main lodge-this is open throughout the day. The second restaurant option is a three minute shuttle ride down to the beach and is open for lunch only. The food offered at the main restaurant was awful nearly every meal, and at about $30 per plate we were beyond disappointed. The second restaurant at the beach provided far better meals, so by the end of the trip we were eating larger lunches and only ordering appetizers for dinner to save ourselves the disappointment of another terrible meal. I should have prefaced this review by noting we are the least picky eaters, and enjoy food of all types and kinds. Be prepared that if you stay at Punta Islita the only option is to eat at one of these two restaurants. There is one very small restaurant in town open limited hours, but for the most part the hotel is your only food option. Also disappointing was our concierge experience-our concierge was Mervin and we found him slightly off-putting. When we arrived and checked in he told us we had been upgraded, when in reality we simply received the suite we had paid for. This got things off to a weird start because it made us feel as if he was trying to pull one over on us. Other guests staying at the hotel told us they had the same experience upon check-in. In addition, he was very smug and sarcastic-it was definitely not a language barrier because he spoke perfect English. There was an attitude that was demeaning and quite rude. The other staff at the hotel was delightful but we found Mervin far from welcoming. Also disappointing was the beach at the hotel. The sand is less sand and more jagged black rocks. If you want to spend time enjoying the beach this probably isn't the resort for you-even our guides suggested going elsewhere (a short 20 minute ride) to another beach to swim.
Most importantly we just found the hotel was a poor value-at this price you are far better off staying at another resort in Costa Rica. Our first few days in the country were spent in Manuel Antonio at the Gaia Hotel and Reserve and we absolutely loved it. In general, everything at Islita was just "okay"-nothing special.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. Your opinions and feedback are important to us and we hope to find in them an opportunity to address any shortcomings. I am dismayed that we did not succeed in providing an amazing travel experience.
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That is certainly our goal. I am saddened to learn that you suffered from an allergy during your first night. Thank you for noting that our staff took immediate care of the problem by changing the sheets. Please rest assured that your skin reaction did not obey to unclean bedding as you wonder. As a premium property, our laundry facilities are well equipped and a strict protocol is followed in preparing every room with fresh linens prior to guest arrival.
I have noted your comments about our menu and Marvin. Regarding the first, I kindly ask you to write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org More specific feedback would be greatly helpful. In terms of the latter, I apologize for Marvin’s misstep. When possible, we like to surprise honeymooners with an upgrade. He should have verified your reservation details and I apologize for his oversight. More details about the other aspects of your experience with him would be appreciated as well.
As a Costa Rican, I thank you for having chosen my country as your honeymoon destination and I am thrilled to know that you enjoyed its amazing nature and beaches. Saludos!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.