After our first (blind) choice of hotel in Puerto Viejo turned out to be primarily a breeding ground for mold, we strolled up the road past Rockin' J's and wound up at Agapi. We explained to them that we chose not to stay at the first spot due to the moldy conditions, and they made all the appropriate noises about how you had to air out rooms every day, whether you were renting them or not. The room was well-ventilated and had no foul smells, and included breakfast, so we decided to stay. Our particular room lacked air conditioning but had a good ceiling fan, so we kept it opened up. The room's amenities included a cheap Chinese television and a GE fridge, a double bed and two singles.
After going out for dinner, we came back to find that our shutters had been closed for us, and the room smelled heavily of mold. The bathroom was bad enough to where you wanted to hold your breath the entire time you were in it. Our room was very close to the pool, and some rude guests were very loud by the pool until late in the evening, to the point that I could hear them through ear plugs. There was no hot water whatsoever, and the mattresses were the worst we've experienced, possibly ever, with almost no padding over large, rough springs. In-In-room internet access worked only after manually specifying my own DNS server; without this bit of magic you'll be visiting nothing at all. The pool is very small, and was overchlorinated to the point of affecting my sinuses. The included breakfast was barely competent, including overcooked eggs and a cost of 500 Colones (almost a dollar) for coffee. We did not have to arrange for breakfast ahead of time as some reviews have indicated, so there has been some progress, but the strange smell that others have complained about is black mold, which has been known to cause severe respiratory problems. Or perhaps it is raw sewage, the smell of which came on heavily in the morning, apparently coming from right outside our window. It's difficult to find a hotel in Puerto Viejo without mold, but that is still no excuse, especially for acting as if they had taken the steps necessary to combat it when we were quite explicit about not wanting to experience it. Two other rooms we looked at the next day also had severe mold problems, including their most expensive room (the Suite.)
Finally, the practice on this part of the beachfront is to pile up dead leaves and fallen branches on the seaward side, and light it on fire. This is a gigantic failure given the prevailing winds, which are on-shore. The result is that our room was filled with smoke when we got back for the evening; the entire hotel complex was smoky for hours while they were burning. Anyone trying to catch an afternoon nap would be coughing from the smoke of damp forest materials. Worst hotel experience EVER.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Agapi offers beachfront rooms or apartments with kitchen and jacuzzi(all with private bathrooms). We will feature a swimming pool and an outdoor jacuzzi, as well as a swimming pool for children,pool bar and breakfast buffet by the 1st of December 2009. Here, you can enjoy your vacation by the sea in a friendly environment, surrounded by nature, within minutes walk from downtown! Benefit from our bike & car rentals and tour services. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Agapi Apartmentos Hotel Puerto Viejo
- Agapi Costa Rica/Limon