Visited March 1-5th, as a couple new to Costa Rica. After staying at other hotels later on in our trip, I can confidently say that nothing compares to hotel san bada! We were delighted with the value of our trip - $1008 USD for a 4 night package with national park tour & catamaran tour for 2 people (transport included).
What set's it apart from the others:
1. The staff were incredibly attentive and positive - they helped with special requests to fill coolers with ice, always had a friendly smile, offering towels etc. Upon arrival they were expecting me by name, saying "hello, I'm the one who arranged your transfer! welcome".
2. Special details - entering our hotel room we discovered complementary fruit dish in the fridge!
3. Amazing spa! With great value compared to some of the other spas/resorts we looked at, a 50minute massage was $65 inclusive of tax. we had a couples massage in a stunning room, looking into the jungle with beautiful silk pillows around.
4. By far the LARGEST most impressive pool in all of manuel antonio. It's got a wickedly fast slide, waterfalls worthy of "sports illustrated swimsuit issue" photo shoots, and if that isn't enough, the 6th floor adult pool is great area too!
5. Rooms were well appointed with beautiful bathrooms that had waterfall shower head! Compared to the other bathrooms we came across in costa rica, the cleanliness, lack of mold, and size were impressive. Just a note - pretty much everywhere in costa rica, the plumbing system is not as developed as north america, so you are aksed to put toilet paper in trash basket beside the toilet - a bit odd to get used to.
6. Complementary breakfast each morning was amazing! Buffet was always well stocked, with rotating options (ham, bacon, sausage on different days etc). The omelet station was delicious - they work so hard over the hot pans, don't forget to tip! From local food (rice, plantains etc), to the more typical options for picky north americans/children (yogurt, cereal, toast), you are totally blown away! Breakfast served 7am-10am, but they are ready a bit earlier if you need to head out early for a tour etc.
7. Proximity to beach is great! Understand that there are no real "on the beach" hotels in manuel antonio, but this is the closest. There is a little alley way connecting the property, along a 3 minute walk to the beach. Not ideal in dark night, but fine during the day. The view you get from the 6th floor of the coast is spectacular, so instead of other hotels that are perched in the cliff with serious hike to the beach, you get a view and proximity!
8. Meals are huge and delicious! The appetizer salads are a legitimate meal for an adult. Most full entrees can be shared between 2 people. We LOVED the carbonara pasta (surprisingly this dish was really good!), shrimp, fish taco (note this is a HUGE taco, really more of a salad because a bit hard to eat), the chicken wrap with onion rings for lunch.
9. Filtered water by the first floor elevator was a life saver! While we regularly drank normal tap water, it was greatly appreciated to have a place to easily fill water bottles for our time away from the hotel. It was cold, saved money, and was nice touch.
While our time at San Bada was perfect, I would say there are few considerations you should know when staying there:
Despite being popular dry season, the hotel wasn't too busy. While this was great for a few quiet moments, it would have been nice to see a few more young adults around - we were bombarded with a tour busy of elderly Israeli tourists for one night, but otherwise there were no more than 2-3 couples within site at any time around the resort. During happy hour on the 6th floor deck we visited 2 times and didn't find more than 1-2 people having a drink - not quite the social atmosphere we were hoping for. But music was great, staff always present and fresh towels handy whenever needed.
Also, the 6th floor lounge area had a great view, and very well appointed wicker furniture/cabanas however the cushions were regularly wet due to rain and very faded. It would have looked stunning when the hotel first opened, but since then the climate has caused the deck to severely peel and faded the cushions. Again, relatively small items, but when everything else is so excellent things like that tend to stick out.
I would ABSOLUTELY go back to San Bada - and recommend it for groups of all sizes/interests. It's the largest, most advanced and trustworthy option in manuel antonio. And it's 15 feet from the national park entrance!
We were 3rd floor and couldn't see the ocean through the trees, but this wasn't an issue. I...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 27, 2013
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Thank you for your recent stay at our Hotel and for your detailed review on our property. We are glad that a lot of travellers will find it useful. We do appreciate the good words and we will consider the areas where we can improve.
We appreciate a lot the 9 points you mentioned in your review:
1. Our attentive staffIf highly striving for customer service.
2. Special coplimentary surprises for guests staying longer.
3. Our spa considered the most beautiful spa in Manuel Antonio.
4. Our family pool with waterslide, cascades and wetbar, 400sqm of fresh water, and our adults pool located at the 6th floor of the Hotel with impresive ocean and sunset views with a bar service.
5. Despite our location right next to the jungle of Manuel Antonio National Park, we are pleased to know that you found your room clean and lack of mold I(which is a hard thing to do specially at Manuel Antonio, with all the vegetation surrounding the Hotel). Each bathroom has a tub with shower head for all the needs, and in our Suite Rooms you will find jacuzzi tub.
6. Our complimentary buffet breakfast has a variety of options, refill of coffee and juice, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day".
7 LOCATION!! along with the service are the two most important advantages that our Hotel has in contrast to others, based in our daily guest experience, we have many happy guests onsite because they would not imagine that when we sell our location right next to the National Park entrance and close to the public beach, we really mean it, and that enables all our guests to walk during their vacations to the attractions rather than driving, paying for taxi, or taking a shared bus. You will enjoy your vacations comfortable and without worries.
8. FOOD!! Thank your for your kind words. Yes we are proud of our chefs they are the most skilled and experienced in the area, besides our menu they can cook any special requests our guests might have, our philosophy is delicious food at great honest prices.
9. As part of our enviromental sustainable program we invite guests to use less plastic botles and instead we provide for free a dispenser of water where they can refill with their own liquid containers.
Thank you very much again for staying with us! and we hope to see you again! In the meanwhile, we are more than happy to assist you.
Your friends at Hotel San Bada
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.