When we visited Tamarindo a second time there was no question where we wanted to stay. Everything was too good the first time. The staff is cool and helpful, the rooms are clean with safes and reasonably comfortable beds, cable tv, hot water, a hammock for every room and a table outside for having breakfast, drinks or utilizing the wifi (which also works fine in the room).
The kitchen is clean, but the pool was a little too murky for my tastes both times we stayed, though there were those who didn't seem to mind. (The beach is less than 5 minutes away, so it doesn't seem to be that important, but if you're going to have a pool you might as well keep it clean.) Located about a block off the main area you can escape the noise but still only be a couple minutes from the restaurants, supermarket, shopping and whatever else. (Bring your money—Costa Rica isn't cheap, and Tamarindo is like being back in the states.)
Macondo has enclosed parking and an internet room for those not lugging around their laptops. Very laid back place and everyone staying there seems to be staying it easy, and the staff makes it easy for them.
There doesn't seem to be a big difference in which room you get. We've been on opposite side...
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