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“Cool Getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa

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Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   Waterfront, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Cool Getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I stayed at Issimo in one of the junior suites downstairs. From my arrival the staff greeted me & helped with my bags. The tropical views were amazing!!! The coffee at the door every morning was a great addition to my trip. Every staff member that I encountered, took their job seriously and did it with enthusiasm. This type of good service is missing in American hotels. The bed was very comfortable and the best part is that the housekeeping staff instinctively wouldn't knock on your door and disturb you to clean up. They would just wait until you got up for breakfast and ask you if you needed service or leave you towels etc.. with a flower on it. They have a night security guard who mans the front, so I felt completely safe. I had conversations with them at night and they were genuine good people. All in all, as a first time visitor to Costa Rica, I am amazed at the culture and overall warmth of the people. When I was leaving I had trouble with my GPS to enter the hotel I was transferring to in San Jose, Ivy the front desk agent called the hotel for me and found the correct street name to enter. It's service like that that makes me love Issimo. Thanks for a good trip. On a side note, of the three areas I stayed in, Manuel Antonio, Arenal Volcano, and San Jose there is one aspect of the pura vida lifestyle that will be encountered everywhere. If you in a restaurant & you order food off the menu, don't expect to get whats advertised. LOL If you ask for rice, you might get fries. If you ask for a veggie omelet, expect them to add ham & you will have to have it re-made two times. It didn't bother me, but for the real particular american eater, this may be a problem. It became funny to me because when you ask a waiter about whats on the menu vs your plate, they often don't realize the error. But they are truly genuine with service.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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554 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (102)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

This was one of 3 hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica while on our honeymoon. Some aspects of the hotel are top notch, while others could use a little work.

We stayed in the Jacuzzi Penthouse Suite. The best aspect of this room is the magnificent penthouse view. When we first entered the room, we were overwhelmed with the scenery through the adjacent glass/plexiglass walls that gave an unobstructed view of the tall jungle treetops and the ocean just beyond and below. The view definitely gave us our money's worth.

The room was also romantically laid-out, with rose petals adorning the king bed, L-shaped couch (basically two day beds), and the jacuzzi. However, we felt the layout of the room was not too subtle and perhaps a bit sleazy/cheesy - with the king bed, jacuzzi, and couch all so close together it was almost as if the room were carefully planned for "mating purposes," and not much else.

The room layout was also a bit odd, which was basically a square floorplan that contains the toilet and shower areas inside the main room, rather than in separate rooms. The toilet is behind French doors, which are open on the top and bottom, so there is some visual separation but not much privacy. One of us would leave the room when the other had to use the bathroom; or else we would just go downstairs to use the community bathroom. If I could redesign the floorplan I would convert the large closet (which is a separate room with a solid-wood door) into the bathroom for more privacy.

Cleanliness was also a bit lacking. While the beds were neatly made and carefully decorated, my wife noticed an unclean smell with the pillows (B.O.) that she chose not to mention to me. I'm not sure how I failed to notice; I definitely would have asked for new pillows. We both noticed an unclean smell with the jacuzzi water. Downstairs, the restroom by the spa area was also not well attended. There were no clean towels to dry one's hands, the roll of toilet paper was loose and never mounted on the paper holder, and the scraps of tissue I used to exit and placed onto the table by the door were still there 24 hours later. That is in comparison to another comparably priced hotel we stayed at on this trip where the attendants regularly entered and cleaned almost everytime a guest entered and exited.

The free/included breakfast options were appreciated. The free coffee was a nice touch, though the quality was a little poor. Costa Rica has some great coffee, but not all Costa Rican coffee is good quality. I would have preferred a more premium brand, even if I had to pay extra for it.

The DINNER was EXCELLENT. This was a pleasant surprise, because hotel food is rarely exceptional. The fish and side dishes were delicious, however, and was among the most fresh-tasting food I had on this trip. I would have eaten there every night if I had known that. The desserts were not quite as good (for example, I think the cheesecake was frozen, then thawed just prior to serving).

So as you can see from my review, our stay with the hotel was a mix of 5-star aspects with a few 3-star aspects, but on balance, it was still an awesome experience. You just cannot find too many spots in the world with a view like this over the treetops and ocean, with natural wildlife in such proximity.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

When a quick phone call on a Saturday morning revealed that Issimo was willing to give me a junior suite for $89 which was half of the off-peak rate, I immediately gave my credit card details to seal the deal. I regretted my decision when I saw signs outside various high-end hotels in the area advertising space and walk-in rates. I wished that I had held off to do an ocular and make a comparison.
Marketed as a honeymoon hotel with no children allowed, Issimo lived up to expectations in terms of setting: a breathtaking view of the Pacific from the room's balcony, rose petals scattered on the bed, complimentary bottle of champagne and breakfast coffee delivered at your doorstep.
Prices were excellent: The 50-minute massage special was a good deal at $29 and food and drinks were at 50% off during happy hour at 1-5pm. The included breakfast was delicious and consisted of combined buffet (fruits, sausage, breads, coffee) and a la carte (Continental or American).
This is where the honeymoon ends. The servers take FOREVER to do anything (30 minutes to get my bill even after i followed up and I was the only customer), only 1 or 2 can converse in English. The receptionists don't pay much attention to the guests and with the exception of one server named Alex and the masseuse, everyone needs a lesson in customer service with a smile. Some utensils had stains.
The room looked pretty at first but on closer inspection, towels were frayed, the safe didn't work and the jacuzzi spewed water like crazy when I tried to turn it on. The bed was comfortable. Btw, the shower/jacuzzi has no partition whatsoever from the room so the place is definitely not for staying with anyone other than your significant other!
It was my bad not to check if the hotel had beach access. Apparently, only 3 or 4 hotels in the area had it. So I had to drive my car to another area and hike 10 minutes through a jungle to get to the beach. It was nice enough, but I like my beach to come with beach chairs and restaurant service hehe. So I much preferred our stay at Arenas del Mar. The pool was nice and had a view.
All in all, not bad for the low, low price that I paid. I'd feel sorry though for anyone who pays the full price. I think management should focus efforts on training the staff, fixing stuff that don't work and replacing those towels!

Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We arrived at night in the rain and the staff was very polite and greeted us. We could not see that the place was under construction. The pool was closed being retiled. The deck was GONE.... (hazardous).... in our room the worker was working on getting the power on as it had blown a fuse. This happened again 20 min later. Let me say had we been told this before hand, we would have booked another property. We booked online through TINGO so of course NONE of the construction was mentioned the price was not even that great.

Forward.... I kinda think the rooms are cheesy... a little too open. One chair.... not two.... the windows seemed to have mirrors inside so we could not see out at night even with the lights out. DAYLIGHT, it was a gorgeous view. The bed was very soft and comfortable. The staff outstanding. My only complaint was the property was under construction. We walked down to the beach and back for breakfast. Our waiter was amazing. He was there to make everything just as we wanted. We left after breakfast and continued on our journey.

All in all, I am neutral. Would have enjoyed the place had it not been in the state it was.... but the staff was exceptional.....

Room Tip: ask for a porch with chairs better than the top room that has no porch.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Bogota, Colombia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

My boyfriend found this place from a recommendation from a friend. It's small, definitely a honeymoon kind of place. The rooms are awesome and the staff is very friendly. We were only going to stay one night but ended up staying two. It's always the little things that make the difference. We had flower petals on our bed when we checked in and the staff sent us up a bottle of sparkling champagne. It was also really nice to have a hot pot of coffee waiting at our door when we woke up. The entire stay was awesome, I only wish we could've stayed longer. Super romantic.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 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
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at Issimo for 5 nights and it was fantastic! The room was awesome, food was delicious, service was great, and all of the staff were friendly, polite, and accommodating (especially our server Dixon). They also have great views from the rooms and the pool is very nice. We even had cute little monkey visitors. The room price was terrific and the food was all 50% off.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

This place is absolutely beautiful. So serene and romantic. We loved it. The service was also incredible. The views from our suite were amazing. We also felt safe with their security guard always at the gate. I would go back there anytime. The jacuzzi was filled with fresh flowers and candles everytime they cleaned our room. We witnessed one of the best sunsets of our life on our very own balcony. Of course, can't forget the fact that our bed was super duper comfy!

Room Tip: Awesome stay!
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  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa

Address: Waterfront, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel, Spa & Waterfront Reserve offers intimacy and elegance for your romantic escape. Each suite includes a Jacuzzi bath tub for relaxation and enjoyment, as well as a majestic ocean view overlooking a pristine pacific cove. A plush king size bed, sofa, and room service from our boutique restaurant await your arrival. You can also indulge yourself with a massage in our spa after a day of adventure on one of our many tours or beaches. Our romantic hideaway suites access adjacent sandy beaches with a walk to the cove or famous Manuel Antonio Park and beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Issimo Hotel Boutique
Issimo Boutique Hotel
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel And Spa Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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