I am writing this review lounging by the pool, so it's hot of the presses. Before coming here, I noticed the recent bad review on here, and was a little worried. Now I see that person clearly had an axe to grind, because this hotel is pretty amazing. The highlights:
- The hotel is built on a hill, with the rooms interspersed up and down the hill, with balconies facing mostly the pool area. Some balconies are near each other, but there is enough vegetation that it still feels private.
- The grounds are beautiful and peaceful
- A very nice pool (and hot tub) that was NEVER crowded while we were here. Even the big daybeds were there for the taking without reservations.
- Because the hotel does not face the beach or main street, it feels very secluded.
- The room is not super luxurious, but modern and we liked it just fine. Bathroom is nice with a big tiled shower.
- The free/included breakfast is decent, and is served from 7 to 10. It includes pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, hot buffet, and an omelette bar.
- To get to the beach, you walk down the hill and across the street to reach 'the beach garden' which is a little closed in area right in front of the beach where you can relax and/or leave non-valuables while you're enjoying the beach. The beach is great, changing with the tides, with the estuary down the beach to the right, where they do excellent kayak tours to a reserve full of birds and howler monkeys.
- Very secure, with a locked entrance gate. The nearby street also feels very safe.
- You are a very short distance to stores, restaurants, water sports rentals, yoga, and a small casino. Check out the 'fire show' around 7pm at the restaurant across the street and toward the left.
- The staff were very nice. Although tipping is optional for staff, a relatively small tip will get you far here, so I'd recommend not cheapening out. USD work fine, no need to exchange money. As an aside, leave extra tip in restaurants in cash if you want the staff to get it.
- Wifi is free, though not super speedy and spotty in some places.
- A/C worked, just make sure it's on Auto, or it will cool you into oblivion. There are no blankets.
The (minor) cons:
- You are on a hill, and you are not right on the beach. If you can't/won't walk, this is not the place for you.
- The maids were late to clean our room one day, but a request from the staff got them in there quickly
- Although the restaurant is very nice, it only serves a small dinner menu (no lunch). This wasn't a problem for us, as the main street is just down the hill with a ton of restaurants to choose from. Try the smoothie bar and the traditional restaurant a few steps to the left of the walkway entrance.
- The front desk here is all the way up the hill, so we did not use it to book any tours. However, we used the Diria Hotel to book some tours, and we'd also recommend Xplore Costa Rica, right to the left of the entrance gate. They quoted us $30/per person less for a shuttle to Arenal than another place down the street.
- There was some minor construction happening here, but was brief and not super bothersome
The only other caveat I will make is that if you are extroverted and enjoy a lot of activity around you, and/or have kids, you should stay at the Diria, which is right on the beach across the street, and looks like it's owned by the same people. If you're looking for a peaceful retreat, El Jardin is it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel is a small, discrete luxury boutique hotel in Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica. Features a private beach garden and a magnificent view of the entire Tamarindo Bay, the number one place to enjoy the Pacific Ocean sunset! The hotel consists of five villas with a total of 40 rooms with air conditioning, Flat TV, mini-bar, safety box and terrace or balcony with ocean views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Jardin Del Eden Hotel