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“Average to Poor” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel The Place

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Hotel The Place
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   200 mts from Hotel Frank's Place direction Mal Pais, Mal Pais, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
asbury park, nj
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Average to Poor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Let's look on the bright side first ... great coffee, immaculate pool, walking distance to the beach, and definitely affordable! But what do you really want in a hotel? For us, the beds were too hard, it wasn't a comfortable night's sleep. The bed skirt was dirty, it looked like it hadn't been replaced in years. Thank god the sheets were decent. The shower was burning hot one minute and freezing the next. The drain was clogged so the water pooled up while you were showering. Overall, if you have a family and you're looking for something affordable… this is your place. But if you're looking for something on the nicer side, look elsewhere!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    65
    26
    9
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ashland, Oregon, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

First there is the swimming pool. It is the perfect temperature for human beings. Then there are the well-placed bungalows, and the proximity to the little town. Everything was perfect. It's a chore to get there, what with the roads being dusty and rutted, but once there, we could really unwind. We frequented "The Bakery" about 2 blocks away. Actually, we ate every meal there. Try the chocolate bomb. The Place is a sweet experience and we recommend it.

Room Tip: Not a bad one
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I found the hotel good on some counts and less so on others. The low point was the welcome- when we arrived (really tired) it was swiftly explained that breakfast wasn't included (we booked via booking.com and thought we were splashing out so it was disappointing). Also we were told the charge for lost keys was $100- apparently lots of people lost keys on the beach so this was understandable, but all in all these things didn't mean any kind of warm welcome, more like arriving to a bit of a downer. The french doors in our bungalow didn't open- some key problem- so could only use the side door.
The place is incredibly dusty - all over the dining and pool area because its next to the dirt road- a hotel further from the road may be better. To its credit the dining area and pool were otherwise lovely with lots of bed and sofa areas. The room itself was lovely too- beautifully and tastefully decorated in good condition- prepare yourself for only a curtain separating bedroom and toilet for those with modesty issues!
Another low was that we had to leave in an emergency due to bereavement, and though staff kindly let us briefly call abroad on their phone, there was no question of paying only for the nights we had stayed- we had to pay for all the nights we had booked for. Again understandable- it is a business- but not kind. Overall a mixed experience.

Room Tip: as far from the road as possible
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theplace, Manager at Hotel The Place, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Dear Customer

Please be aware of that when you book over a booking site and not directly over the hotel your contact partner is the booking site with their cancellation policy. For safety reasons we do explicitly tell our clients not to take the hotel keys to the beach. Unfortunately in your case we had to change all the locks of the room. We also would like to mention at this point that the reception was opend outside the opening hours by our staff so you can make an international telephone call which was
not settled by you when leaving the hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We arrived in Mal Pais after spending 4 nights in Nosara. If you are planning on taking this route I absolutely recommend that you stick to the coastal "roads" and ignore the boring tar sealed road that cuts through the centre of the peninsula. This journey is one of my most memorable and includes driving through several rivers, through loads of lovely lush jungle and even a little spell driving along the beach.

Anyway, my fiancée and I initially booked for 5 nights at "The Place" but we ended up staying on for 7 due to feeling so at home and relaxed during our stay.

Our extremely positive experience started off when the very friendly owner almost insisted that we knew each other and continued when we were introduced to Franck and Estella, both of whom were extremely friendly and helpful.

Just as we were checking in, Franck informed us that as we were staying for 5 nights, the owner had upgraded us to the very lovely villa! It was perfect for relaxing, very spacious and included a kitchen, meaning we could make our own meals, something we weren't expecting.

The pool and bar area are like a little slice of Ibiza complete with Cafe del Mar soundtrack and was also a great place to relax. It feels almost engineered to bring on cravings for cocktails and soaking up the sun.

I find it a little crazy that people are complaining about ants and other wildlife invading the bungalows and other areas! What do you expect? The accommodation is amongst the jungle so this is their domain and to be expected. If you want somewhere free of native insects etc then go and stay somewhere clinical away from the jungle or embrace the little guys!

We found it quite hard to find nice, clean and relatively stylish lodgings at an affordable price when in Costa Rica and this place ticked all the boxes. It is also well placed for the great surf beach at Carmen. We'll definitely return if we find ourselves back in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Stay longer and see if you also receive the free upgrade to the villa :)
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Stayed here 1 night 30dec 2012 with my girlfriend.
The room was ok but overall a bit dirty and the bathroom did only have a shower curtain as a door.
For 90$ a night and 200$ deposit i expected more.
The deposit took over 1 month and 2 calls to the hotel to get back and its still around 12 $ short.

The positive things:
The guy that work there was very helpful and friendly and the breakfast was nice!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Let me start the review with Malpais is a dusty gravel road that runs north south along the coast. Now the beach is wide and while a little rough in spots really nice for walking and ther real reason people come here - to surf. The towns, hotels, restaurants, shops are primarily on the gravel road about 200 meters from the Pacific Ocean. So get on your walking shoes, dust shield, and take a walk on the gravel road to get to the market or where ever you are going.

Second there are several really great shops, a bakery, grocery store, and restaurants on or just off the gravel road. The little ice cream shop near the main intersection sells super cevichie and ice cream cones. Ronney's is the grocery store with a great selection of what you might be looking for to cook or as your beach snack. The bakery is over the top, with great breads and cookies, and over the top sandwiches, and all the pizza you can eat one night a week. Restaurants can be amazing. Try the Playa Carmen Restaurant on the beach just down another gravel road on the beach. The Chef is very well trained and helps to teach other Costa Rician Chefs. The crazy part is the brick over pizza is right, the chicken wings are over the top and 50 cents each (US counting method), and the bar snackes are wonderful. But it is the real restaurant food that wins. Do not go here once, go many times many times during the day. And of course for sunset.

Now to Hotel Surf The Place: WOW what a nice place. Yes it is on the dusty gravel road but there is a wall and the back of the buildings protect you from most of the dust. The entire pool, bar, restaurant area are very nice. We were upgraded to a bungalow because of some room painting which really made this part of the stay wonderful. But the room we would have stayed in was still very reasonable for our needs. I checked out the bungalows and they are all very nice. Big, with great seating areas, sleeping areas and nice large bathroom/showers.

The pool is wonderful. Nicely landscaped with the bar right at hand if you need a drink. And there is a common kitchen that really is nice. Never saw anyone use it but all the same it appears to have what you need if you want to cook or you fish and have fresh catch.

The breakfast can be purchased in the rate or ala cart. Great fruit plates, with typical Costa Rican breakfast options. All of the food we tasted was very good.

Overall I would rate Hotel Surf THe Place Excellent. Malpais when the road is treated after we know the rainly season is over, is really not as bad as I may lead you to believe at the beginningof this review. And Restaurant Playa Carmen is also Excellent. We want to visit again.

Now one last point - I by accident left a personal gift in our room safe. The hotel staff took above and beyound steps to get this personal gift back to me...when we were over 6 hours away from Malpais. This last service step really took the service level of the place to the top and more. Thanks for that last attention to service detail.

Room Tip: The bungalows are really nice, large and worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

My wife and I spent 5 nights here. We found it to be in the perfect location. We had a rental car with us but left it parked often because it's a short walk into Santa Teresa where all the action is: the Bakery, the ice cream, playa carmen, las piedras, the markets etc. It was super nice to be close but outside of the bumpy chaotic whimsical little town.

We had the safari themed bungalow, which was more tastefully decorated then it sounds. A small fridge, two fans, AC, a few friendly creatures outside our door (and occasionally inside), hot showers, high cieling, comfortable bed, shelves to unpack, rustic chairs, and a few cheetah pillows.

This Carmen person we read about in previous posts was not present during our stay except on the very last day. But Guilliam and Lisa kept an eye on the place and gave us fantastic tips on where to go and what to see around Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. They were pleasant to see, and really seemed to enjoy jack johnson. I should buy them some new music.

Two small points of criticism, it was nice to chill at the pool, but we felt like we had to leave for meals or a bar because the scene was dead... Or some may call this pleasantly quiet. I think because this Carmen was out of town, the restaurant at the place was closed. 2, the lock on our door was tricky making it a pain every time we left the room to lock up. It seems very secluded and safe and I don't think we even needed to lock up really, but we're Americans from a big city and locking our door is a point of comfort.

It's a beautiful place... Hope to come back... Soon

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel The Place

Address: 200 mts from Hotel Frank's Place direction Mal Pais, Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel The Place 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel The Place is within short walking distance to the main beach Playa Carmen,in close proximity to the center of town with easy access to shops,restaurants and banks. The hotel features standard rooms, bungalows and a vacation home. A beautiful free form pool with waterfall invites our guest for a swimm.You can enjoy breakfast in our lounge in the morning or, starting april 2012, prepare your own meal in our open Rancho kitchen.We gladly organize tours and transfers leaving from the Hotel.The Place is an ideal establishment to relax and feel at home for couples, families and smaller groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surf The Place Hotel
Hotel The Place Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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