Where do I begin? This hotel categorizes itself as a 4 star hotel. I think that is wishful thinking. I will try to be objective here in this review since I am still a bit bothered by the service and treatment of this place.
First at arrival, they point out some restaurants where to eat and give you $20 match up dollars for the casino. Basically, the guy that owns the hotel, owns the whole block and they want you to spend your money on them. TIP: if you decide to go and eat at these places, make sure you bring plenty of colones. DON'T PAY IN DOLLARS. why? Because if you give them a large bill (like $50 or even a $20) they will give you colones back.
The Room: When we arrived the room was just being cleaned (we had the room facing the beach). The guy opened the door and the cleaning lady was mopping the floor. For the price and the hotel category the room was tiny. We could barely fit our two suit cases. The bathroom had a constant smell of sewage that was unbearable. when we complained the kid that did plumbing told us that they usually put some deodorizer in order to mask it. IT DOESN'T WORK. every time we flushed the toilet or showered, a very strong smell of sewage crept through the shower drainage. It was terrible and disgusting to shower. I wore flip flops the whole time.
The room was cleaned daily whenever the cleaning lady had time to do it because they work very slow and only had one person cleaning a whole building. It was ridiculous. This same lady forgot to put fresh towels, every single day. One day, we went to the front desk to complaint because we were just too annoyed at the lack of proper process. They told us that they had laundry issues and they couldn't give us towels. We asked for the supervisor and they told us that she wasn't available and wouldn't come in the whole week. Next thing you know, she's right behind us asking for some paperwork. We complained about the towels and all she could say was: "sorry we have a laundry problem" so I asked her, "so what is the back up plan?" and she just said "good point". She had no clue what to say and proceeded to give us beach towels....sigh....
The room was full of mosquitoes (I stopped counting the bites) and flies. and every night we woke up with loud noises of something scratching the walls and ceilings. It was so consistent and loud that a couple next to us stopped us and asked us if we heard the very same loud scratching noises on the ceiling and walls they heard every night. It was terrible.
The Service: Terrible. This place is grossly understaffed. The same guy that works the bar and restaurant in the hotel is the same guy that works the restaurants outside the hotels. It was terrible. One day, we went to eat at their "local food" restaurant for dinner and we were shocked to see the same guy that we saw at the bar in the hotel during lunch. He had NO CLUE what the menu had to offer, we asked him about (granted we are Hispanic also, so we spoke in Spanish the whole time) something being offered on the menu and he told us: "I have no idea, they put me to work here. I usually work the bar". It was a shame.
The management doesn't train the staff well either. The garbage is dumped besides the bar which attracts tons of flies and it gets all over the food. The guy at the bar handed me a spoon for my coffee after he picked it up from a counter, "washed" it with his bare hands and no soap and just put it on the place and handed it to me. it was nauseating. The "included" breakfast was the same every day. The fruit was just laying there with flies all over and the pastries where not fresh at all. Whatever people didn't eat the day before, was right back out there the day after with flies on it. I stuck to the eggs which were made right there and the pancakes which were covered. everything else was off limits.
The Establishment: nothing out of the ordinary. This place is not a 4 start hotel. We picked it because we saw it was right by the beach. Turns out its not that big of a deal. They are right by the beach but don't own the chairs on the sand outside the walls facing the beach. Those, you have to pay for. everything is a hustle past the gates facing the beach in this place. You have a gang of guys with terrible appearance in my opinion trying to get you to take surfing classes. Every single day they ask the same harassing questions as soon as people step out to the beach. One of them even asked me for pot (maybe because he thought I was also Hispanic it was cool to ask me something like that). I was outraged and told him that it was very inappropriate and if he kept it up, i was going to call the cops. Some of them got touchy feel with teenage girls while their parents looked away when they were giving "surfing" lessons. It was a shame to see. People don't realize how much stuff they talk about tourists to take advantage of them in Spanish. I listen to every bit and I was appalled at the fact that the hotel let these guys right on their gate. heck, the "security" guard at the gate on the beach side was their buddy. and they sometimes let these guys in the hotel grounds which I think is very unwise. Tourists may think they are the "surfer" locals but these guys are not your nice kid on the block. They are street hustlers who surf and like to take advantage of tourists. Especially the ones that don't speak Spanish.
. The lights went out in the hotel one night
. The bartenders tasted food, licked their hands and then served lemons to people.
. The hotel staff is not well trained and very, very slow (and I know it slow outside the U.S but this was just ridiculous).
. The cleanliness of the place is just sub par
. We once saw the owner scold employees in front of everyone at the pizza shop over a cake being upside down. The guy treats them terribly.
Summary: Save your money and you might as well pay less to stay near because the walk to the beach is not long at all. The area needs some infrastructure build up big time. This is basically a surfer town with the owner of the hotel owning every other restaurant around. If you go with family, please keep an eye on your kids because the guys at the beach who will harass you for surfing lessons will get touchy with your daughter when you're not looking. They will also yell at them as well when they don't follow direction. Oh and it doesn't matter what they tell you, they WILL steal stuff on that beach if you are not careful. We spoke with locals there and they told us, that's part of the reason they have so many police officers on the beach.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country but as far as Tamarindo and this hotel, it needs a lot of work and improvement and it can dampen your experience. Don't waste your money at this hotel.
Good room? maybe in front of the beach? but even then, it won't meet your expectations....
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.