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“Wanted To Like It, But...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Shana Hotel

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Shana Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Road to Quepos Point, Manuel Antonio National Park 5000, Costa Rica   |  
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Complimentary bottle of wine
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wanted To Like It, But...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2011

After much research and careful consideration, my boyfriend and I picked the Suu because we were looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday. What we found was a hotel deficient in facilities and services. Specifically:
• The Spa was closed – this is a hotel that bills itself as a “Hotel and Spa” as well as a wellness destination.
• The gym was closed
• The elevator didn’t work
• The Wi-Fi didn’t work until the day we left—and even then only for an hour. This became a bit of a joke with the guests. The hotel staff never had information as to when it would be repaired. The hotel staff allowed guests to use the desktop at the reception desk, but this was uncomfortable and the desk staff was inconvenienced unecessarily.
• The bed was very hard – simply awful. I can only compare it to sleeping on a plank topped by metal springs. When we complained, a member of the housekeeping staff brought us a duvet to place on the mattress. I asked her if they got many complaints about the matresses and she said “yes”. Because the duvet offered minimal cushioning, we asked for extra pillows and slept by placing them under our backs which wasn’t very comfortable.
• The continental breakfast included with the room was uninspired and inadequate considering the room rate. It consisted of cereal, yogurt, a few pieces of toast, a few small slices of fruit, juice and coffee. After two mornings we decided we couldn’t face it anymore and ate breakfast at a nearby café for the rest of our stay. At one breakfast we asked for napkins (there were none on the table) and the server brought us pieces of paper towel.

• Our tour company's website describes the hotel as being “minutes” from the national park. This is misleading. The park is a 15 minute car ride away, but a one hour walk from the hotel -- and a very dangerous walk at that. There are very few sidewalks in the area so pedestrians walk on the edge of the narrow winding roads and risk getting hit by cars. If you like to wallk to restaurants and attractions, you should note that the hotel is far from everything. This means daily taxi rides because the hotel doesn't offer shuttle service. Also, the property is very steep -- not a hotel for people who have leg or knee problems. The walking trail leading down to the small nearby beach is steep as well.

On the positive side, the staff was friendly and tried their best. Almost everyone seemed to be new with more than one job. The location is very quiet and absolutely beautiful although there was almost no ambience. Our room was nice, but the all white decor did become fatiguing after the first couple of days. Dinners in the restaurant were a bit expensive, but excellent.

The hotel opened in August of 2010 and other reviewers have speculated that some of the problems may be due to growing pains. There were only a handful of guests when we were there and we saw a number of guests rooms that were not set up. Given the competition in the area, I think that the truth is that the hotel is struggling.

You should also note that the hotel is a bumpy three hour drive from San Jose -- we were misled by our tour company on this.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thesuu, General Manager at Shana Hotel, responded to this review, March 3, 2011
Dear Mrs.,

First of all I would like to sincerely apologize for all the inconveniences on behalf of The Suu Hotel butlers’ team. We do appreciate your honest feedback in TripAdvisor in order to improve our service in every possible way.

Unfortunately by the time that you were with us Spa was not in full operation, yet we could offer for some of treatments either in rooms or at the pool area as some of our guests have preferred. On our web page we are not advertising gym, nevertheless we plan to have it for sure.

We have upgraded the wireless internet system and we placed more routers so the Wi-Fi would work without problems.

Now, our guests can choose their breakfast between American, Continental and Costa Rican breakfast and it will be included in the room rate.


The transportation in Costa Rica is limited and taxi can be a bit expensive. For that reason most the guest prefer to rent a car. We now provide a golf cart for internal transportation. We also have a shuttle service to Manuel Antonio public beach twice a day, so our guests would have more options to move around.

Once again, I sincerely apologize for your dissatisfied stay, but we just wanted to let you know that we have taken serious actions in order to improve the hotel services thank you for your feed.

Best Regards,
Teresa Alfonso (General Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (20)
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

We arrived at The Suu at night, and when getting ready for bed, we discovered that our bathroom had no cold water, only hot. We called the front desk, and plumber came to "fix" the problem. Two hours later, our bathroom was flooded. At about midnight, the hotel sent someone to mop up the mess. In the morning, the plumber came back and finally fixed the plumbing so we would have both hot and cold water.

Unfortunately, when I awoke that morning, I discovered that we were not given a room with an ocean view, as promised. Note that I had specifically requested a room with an ocean view and I had received an email confirmation stating that my room would have "stunning" Pacific Ocean views. Anyone booking a room at this hotel should be aware that between the hotel and the ocean is a small forest of very tall trees. Unless you are given a room on one of the top floors, you will only see trees and no ocean. I complained to the staff that I was not given an ocean view, and I was told they would get back to me. They never did. I mentioned this issue again when checking out, but the staff had no explanation. A view of the ocean was one of the most important things I wanted during my stay, and I was very disappointed that the hotel misled me.

Also misleading is the beach access. The Suu's website mentions "a walking trail from the hotel" to the beach. Not so. You have to leave the hotel and walk down a very steep road to a gravel public access path. As for the beach itself, there are no waves at all. It's more like an inlet. Anyone wanting a real Costa Rican beach experience should consider traveling a few miles south to Dominical. We ended up leaving the Suu and staying in Dominical. There are beautiful empty beaches there with great waves.

Finally, the wifi was intermittent during the entirety of our stay. It was almost comical to see the hotel guests in the lobby trying to find a spot where the wifi worked. The hotel does not have a computer for guests, though the manager lent us his laptop.

It should also be noted that the drive to this hotel is not easy. It reminded me of driving along the Amalfi Coast -- lots of steep hills and sharp turns.

In sum, for $400 a night, I expected an ocean view and plumbing that worked. I got neither. On a more positive note, the restaurant was good and reasonably priced.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thesuu, General Manager at Shana Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2011
Dear Mrs. and Mr,

First of all I would like to sincerely apologize for all the inconveniences on behalf of The Suu Hotel butlers’ team. We do appreciate your honest feedback in TripAdvisor in order to improve our service in every possible way.

I apology for misleading information about stunning ocean view. We have tried to preserve the flora and fauna on our property as much as it has been possible. That is why sometimes do happen that some of the guests are very pleased with a view and others expect for something else.

What come to Wiireless Internet, we have upgraded the system and we placed more routers so the Wi-Fi would work without problems. All the personnel that was involved during your stay has been informed about discomforts you had and operational changes have been made.

Once again, I sincerely apologize for your dissatisfied stay, but we just wanted to let you know that we have taken serious actions in order to solve all the issues mentioned above. And we do hope that your next stay with us will be perfect.


Best regards,
Teresa Alfonso (General Manager)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

Just when many may think the color white is a symbol of all that is good and/or pure… Think again! As The Suu Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica hotel with the outward image of being an ivory oasis in the lap of luxury leaves just a bit to be desired.

Yes, practically everything is white here. From the lobby/restaurant/pool area to the rooms including the walls ceilings, tile floors, window treatments, patio furniture and even the flat screen TV’s. There is no art or anything what so ever on the bare white walls and the only actual color on the property besides what is contained in the landscaping are the reflections of the colored lights that shine on the white walls within the lobby/restaurant. Perhaps a somewhat Nuevo type approach to décor which does tend to produce a feel of luxury, but buyer beware.

Upon our arrival, I was actually rather impressed by what I first observed despite the fact that there is no actual front desk as one might, expect even at a motel. Rather, the reception was comprised of a glass table that looked as if it was bought at Ikea with a computer monitor on top and the clerk sitting behind. Yes, my expectations had been set a bit high based off of what I had just experienced days before in two 3 star hotels located in Monteverde and La Fortuna as well as a 3.5 star located in San Jose. I thought for sure that the Suu rated at 4.5 stars was going to be the pinnacle of my hotel experience in Costa Rica.

However, my true disappointment abruptly began when I was led to my room. The wait for the escort was not long at all and all seemed quite good. Then, when we were led to our room, we were directed out of the reception/restaurant building and from there, the escort pointed to the building (one of the 4 total on the entire property) which was at the bottom of a very steep driveway incline. That in and of itself threw me a bit off key as I had the assumption that we would be led to the building on the top of the hill since I reserved (and prepaid for) a Superior King room with an ocean view. I was later to learn that the building on top of the hill (the nicest of the 4 by far) was not a part of the hotel, rather it was a condominium residence. On the opposite side of the reception building as you went down the hill was another building, still under construction as a private residential complex. Then there was the actual hotel building at the bottom.

At first, I thought we would have to cart our luggage by hand down the steep driveway. But, then the escort motioned us over to a golf cart which we loaded our own bags on to. Then, he drove us down the hill to the hotel. I was still in a relatively positive mood. We unloaded our bags and were directed down the stairs at the entrance of the hotel building. At this point, I became concerned as we were taken to the bottom floor of the building. Housekeeping was still working on the room and the door was wide open as we approached. Once inside, the first thing I did was open the closed drapes in front of the sliding glass door (which were for whatever reason shut) and sure enough, there was no ocean view, just a very small terrace and a view of trees and bushes.

I immediately brought this to the attention of the escort. He without hesitation agreed to take me back to the front reception to address the issue. Long story short, I was told that there were no ocean view rooms left and that the best they could do was offer me a suite 2 nights later for the duration of my 6 day mandatory minimum New Years Holiday stay. I agreed to this and tried my best to get this in writing. They kept putting me off and having this in writing never happened.

Now, on to my next little taste of horror: The early evening of my arrival, I asked the person at the reception table to call for a dinner reservation for us at a popular restaurant. Oddly enough, the person did not call right away. Rather, he pulled out a note pad and took down the information on the restaurant, time, etc. and said he would take care of it. I hesitantly agreed and went on to get his assurance that he would call me in my room when the reservation was confirmed. About 20 minutes went by. I did hear from him. So, I called the front table from my room to find out if the reservation was made/confirmed. I was then assured by the person who answered (same guy?) that it was confirmed.

We arrived at the restaurant early to have a couple of drinks at the bar prior to dinner. I noticed the restaurant filling up and I mentioned to our server at the bar that we had reservations and wanted to make sure they would be accommodating us. She looked for my name and it was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, we had our seats at the bar (where we ended up dining) as at this point the restaurant was full with a one hour plus wait. I explained this to the manager of the Suu the next day and the best I got was a “I’m so sorry”.

The Suu also offers free WiFi in its guest rooms. Unfortunately, I was to find it is offered only where and when available… Some rooms can get reception from a very, very weak signal and others none at all (as in the case with both rooms). I was also informed by one guest I spoke with, that the reception is fairly okay from the driveway out in front of the building.

I did finally get moved to a new room. However, it turned out to not be the verbally promised suite as earlier mentioned. Rather, I ended up getting the Superior King room I had purchased in the first place. So, in essence, I was cheated out of 2 nights.
Lastly, for the record, I was promised that the WiFi would be fixed (“the technician will be there in 10 minutes”). Several follow up calls by me and over 24 hours later, still no WiFi and still no technician. Oh, and another hideous little tidbit of Suu info, the price of food! Can you say $41.00 for a couple burgers and fries (in Costa Rica)?

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
thesuu, General Manager at Shana Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2011
Dear Mrs and Mr,

First of all I would like to sincerely apologize for all the inconveniences on behalf of The Suu Hotel butlers' team. We do appreciate your honest feedback in TripAdvisor in order to improve our service in every possible way.

All our personnel that was involved before (while making a reservation with a request to have an ocean view) and during your stay are informed and necessary changes have been made.
We have also upgraded the Wireless Internet system and we have placed more routers so the Wi-Fi would work without problems. What comes down to all the reservations (whether it is for dinners, tours, transportation etc) we have created a new position which is butler guest service. This person assists all the guests my helping them to choose preferable tour, activity or transportation and makes all the necessary reservations for the them.

Once again, I sincerely apologize for your dissatisfied stay, but we just wanted to let you know that we have taken serious actions in order to solve all the issues mentioned above.

Best regards,
Teresa Alfonso (General Manager)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shana Hotel

Address: Road to Quepos Point, Manuel Antonio National Park 5000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#7 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Shana Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shana Hotel is the world’s leading brand in exclusive lifestyle boutique hotels. Embracing the culture, beauty, purity and perfection of its natural environment. Shana Hotel in Manuel Antonio, guarantees guests a unique and exclusive travel experience. Complimented by distinguished design, organic local cuisine, ecological adventures and exceptional hotel amenities, this new hotel in Costa Rica is among of the most exclusive and prestigious lifestyle hotels in the world. With that premise in mind, the Shana Hotel provides visitors a fabulous selection of 27 rooms, all with exceptional garden and ocean views. Choose from Superior or Deluxe Rooms, Junior Suites or pamper yourself in the Souss "Spa Lifestyle Suite," a 3 bedroom luxury unit with its own private infinity pool and full kitchen facilities! Book today to start enjoying your dream Costa Rica vacation getaway! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shana Hotel Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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