Ok - now that we have your attention, PLEASE read the most recent guide books carefully before selecting Playa Tamarindo vs. other pacific coast towns. Mostly geared for spring breakers and surfers, unchecked development, hustlers and urban sprawl have ruined its natural beauty. After an idyllic week-long eco tour throughout the best of CR, this place was a dirty, dusty "frontier town" which brought us back to the worst of modern reality. Beach hustlers rent chairs and umbrellas for $10 apiece ($12 during easter week.) Souvenir, coconut milk and cigar hawkers are relentless. Food and drink prices comparable to any overpriced resort town on the planet...
"Tam. Village" Pros:
-Unusual small property on hill side in residential area with lush foliage, lots of birds in the tree tops and scenic, and very distant vista views of pacific...if you can ignore the barking dogs (every home around you has at least 3-5) or pretend they are howler monkeys, and the huge cell tower with blinking lights in front of your vista, which to us became a giant, symbolic, single digit salute to the despoiled natural beauty which is now Playa Tamarindo).
- rustic, private cement spas & terraces in front of upper units.
- AC worked, which was mandatory with punishing tropical heat + humidity index
-if you ignore the armies of ants, well equipped kitchenette with good sized fridge, decent furnishings and comfy king bed.
-while linens were worn and sheets had holes, they were clean and there were plenty of clean towels, wash/dish cloths, etc.
-it is at least a 5 minute taxi ride, not remotely close to the mythological 3, 5 or 7 minute walk- to town and the beach. The proximity is totally misrepresented. The "2 block" distance must have been two half mile zip lines/chair lifts we were unable to locate.
-the return trip from town is up a series of steep, unpaved, rough, rocky switchback roads with cars flying by covering your sweaty bodies with clouds of dust- a fifteen minute walk in hell- so taking taxis or showers at the end of each trip is mandatory!!
- We arrived early aft on a saturday, but only the spanish speaking maid was there to greet us, hand over our room keys and point us up the 59 steps and slippery gravel paths to our villas. We enjoyed carrying our own luggage up those steps in the afternoon tropical sun-not!
-The "helpful, wonderful" former manager couple have left- and the new "GM" is a young lady from CA. She was away friday-sunday working another job at a golf tournament, and was totally indifferent, incompetent and elusive at her best. The signs on office door read "Office Hours 8:30-5:30" "Manager working in villa next door". Good luck!!! When we finally tracked her down after several days on site, she was ignorant of or purposely misrepresented the basic facts of the local fee based boat trips/activities.
-Judy the owner waved to us from her second floor balcony twice, kind of like Eva Peron-"...don't cry for me Argentina???", but was not interested in meeting us, offering suggestions for exploring the area or discussing lack of her new manager's assistance when we tried to provide some reality check during the week.
- There is NO Breakfast- so why list it among "B&B's?"
-Outdoor baths sound romantic, but are dirty, worn, smell of septic gas & ant and mosquito infested and heat & humidity make it impossible to get dry after a shower.
- Loft bedrooms seem romantic, but bring a chamber pot...
- Our last morning we schlepped our bags down the stairs to the office around 9 am, and had to bang on manager's villa door to wake her up to call our missing taxi driver for the supposedly pre- booked ride back to the airport. Never asked how was your stay, or indicated any customary B&B human kindness or interest. Sorry to get you out of bed before noon????
-Opportunity cost- we could have stayed in another town at another resort- but that's life! The puff pieces extolling the virtues of this place are a scam!!!!
Pick another place to stay!!!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 4, 2012
I appreciate the comments. It's nice to know what we are doing right and absolutely necessary to hear what areas we can improve.
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If guests are not happy with anything during their stay we hope we are made aware of it immediately. My employees and I have worked many years together to build a team that will always provide friendly and professioanl help in all areas so our guests have a great experience.
The guests seemed busy, happy and I had no idea of the dissatisfaction with the town in general or with Tamarindo Village.
It is too bad that the guests did not read some travel information and description of the very popular Playa Tamarindo area to determine if it was the specific Costa Rica experience they were hoping to have.
Most of their complaints are about subjects that I have NO control over such as the basic characteristics of Playa Tamarindo, the growth and development, temperature and humidity, cell tower location, insects, condition of roads, dust, motorists, dogs, people renting chairs and umbrellas, the local man that has been selling cold fresh coconut water on the beach for years, other vendors and their prices.
I allowed my manager to take several days off with pay to help with the Robert August Gold and Surf Tournament fund raiser that supports CEPIA an amazing organization that provides much needed programs to the local children, teens and adults in many nearby towns and villages. I am proud to have been able to contribute and help.
I was always available either in the reception office area or in my private residence connected to the reception area.
The insect issue is tricky. Fumigation is not regulated here and I have to assume the responsibility of dealing with the comfort of my guests versus the big environmental issues. The commercial fumigation kills EVERYTHING that crawls, flys (harmful or not), plus geckos, frogs, etc. Not to mention contamination of the ground water. Most travelers coming to a tropical location like Costa Rica are aware that insects thrive here. I do the best I know how to find a responsible and reasonable balance and there are cans of insect spray and mosquito coils in the villas for the guests to use based on their own needs.
I had no idea of the their arrival time and after waiting most of the day I left the property for 20 minutes to do a quick errand and that is when they arrived. They were greeted by my maid Mayrith who is an exceptional employee but does not speak English. She is friendly, honest and a very hard worker and always offers to help guests in any way including carrying their luggage.
When they departed we were unable to help with their luggage because we didn't know they were ready to leave and we were not asked to help.
I consider the 600 meter (legal description) distance to the beach a short walk. The walk might be an issue for the physically disabled or for someone having a hard time dealing with the heat. We always advise our guests to save their money and not rent a car because everything is within a short walk.
The comment about needing a chamber pot and my Eva Peron wave might just be a bit of dry humor...???
Mayrith does a great job of cleaning and perhaps the issue regarding the shower area is that leaves continue to drop into the area day and night. I don't know what the old refers to since the villas were renovated a few years ago.
I did a linen check with Mayrith and we found a few of the batik printed sheets with tiny holes, that she did not notice, and she will be more careful.
Tamarindo Village was not originally listed as a B&B on Tripadvisor and I had nothing to do with it being changed to that category. We have never served breakfast and I am in the process of having it removed from the B&B group. Sorry if this caused the guests any inconvenience.
It was unfortunate for them that Playa Tamarindo was not the ideal vacation that so many others have experienced. I understand their frustration of arriving into a town that was not what they had invisioned as their ideal tropical vacation and I hope they enjoyed the remainder of their stay in Costa Rica.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.