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“Perfect place to stay and dine” 4 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
Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands
2 reviews
“Perfect place to stay and dine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed at the hotel in november 2012. It was a very good hotel with very friendly personell, nice clean rooms with a perfect view on the rainforest near the beaches. The dining in the evening is also very good, very nice open restaurant with view on the rainforest, good service and DELICIOUS food. Every evening was a joy with perfect service of Mr. Dixon. We'll be back!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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547 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We stayed there 3 nights, the view of the room 108 was beautiful! But I heard that the rooms all have a beautiful view. This is a hotel worth visiting. The rooms are very romantic and its great to not have children around. There are no loud group parties and there is no sound that we can hear from other rooms.

The hotel brought coffee to your room door early in the morning, and everyday, the hotel does something different in your room or bring you complimentary fruits.

It is romantic and the staff are friendly. The only problem is the couple's massage for $69 may sound like a deal, but it's not a good massage. It is just paying someone to put oil on your body, there was no technique. The other downfall is the hot water. There isn't enough for the bath and a shower.

Overall this is wonderful hotel to visit.

Room Tip: Choose a room higher rather than lower because you wil get a better view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Jacksonville, NC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This property didn't live up to our expectations. The pictures appear to have been taken quite awhile ago as the property just doesn't "sparkle" as it does in the pictures.

Our major gripe was the beach access being so far away. You walk about 15+ minutes to reach the beach. You walk first down the road (with a large hill) and then there's a tiny opening with a sign pointing to an access. You then take quite the journey down a muddy, wooded area that leads to the beach. No one told us we probably shouldn't attempt it in flip flops. It was definitely not private as others stated. There was a company down there renting kayaks and such. There were a lot of people down there with very little sand space. It was more of an inlet or lagoon I'd say. We were able to stay about 30 minutes before the tide came in and took every bit of sand space away. I feel it should be made much more clear on the website as to where the beach actually is and definitely not advertised as being private. If you want to go to a nice beach, visit Manuel Antonio National Park.

The spa left a lot to be desired as well. While they were able to fit me in immediately, it was an extremely small space and wasn't sufficiently ventilated making it really stuffy. It was more of a room than an actual spa. Like someone else mentioned, it was extremely light pressure and a rather poor technique. It didn't feel anything like massages I receive in the states and certainly wouldn't relieve any muscle tension since it was more a gentle rubbing along surface of the skin only.

The rooms weren't what I hoped for either. In the pictures, they look very nice. In real life, they're dated. The pillows are literally the hardest I've ever felt in my life. We ended up using our travel pillows from the plane instead.

The best thing this place has going for it are the people, especially a waiter named Dixon. He was the happiest, hardest worker I've ever seen. He was so excited to cook and serve our food. We could see the genuine satisfaction he felt when we said we enjoyed it. He was by far the highlight of this location.

Overall the hotel isn't terrible, but we wouldn't stay again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We stayed 4 nights during our honeymoon in Costa Rica at the Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel. While we enjoyed the luxurious and romantic room, the rest of the hotel, especially the "spa," did not match up with the quality of the room itself.

The room - we stayed in one of the "honeymoon suites" on the very top floor - was incredible and among the nicest we stayed at while in Costa Rica. While it did not include a balcony, it came well equipped with a seating area, a fridge, jacuzzi tub, incredibly comfortable bed, great shower, etc. The entire presentation was exquisite. Also of note was that they gave us a complementary bottle of (very good!) champagne during the first night of your stay. My only complaint about the room itself was that there were ants near the jacuzzi and some other areas. We are in the jungle after all, and the alternative would be to spray smelly insecticide all over the room.

However, the facilities left something to be desired. The cleanliness of the pool area was lacking -- e.g. the "noodles" they provided for the pool were dirty. It was annoying how we had to go to the front desk for towels and sometimes they were out of them, leaving us all wet. The drinks weren't the best we had, and expensive aside from the two for one happy hour promotion from noon to 6pm. The restaurant food was expensive, and only decent. Breakfast was the worst we had in Costa Rica, though it was edible and nice to have fresh fruit complementary. Sometimes, they launch into a buffet system instead of seated without rhyme or reason, but whatever. It's quite a long walk to the beach, but the beach itself is very beautiful, if a bit rocky.

The staff was friendly, but didn't speak English very well - which was a challenge because we didn't speak Spanish. It was great that they bring coffee up to your room every morning -- however, be warned: one of the days our coffee tray was entirely infested with termites! Again, a consequence of being directly in the rain forest.

The hotel would score higher than 3 stars if it weren't for the spa, the worst part of the experience. During our stay, they were running a special for a "couple's massage" for $69 dollars. The massage was the worst that my wife and I ever experienced. It was extremely hot and smelly in the spa. Further, I felt like I was choking on the head rest the way they had it set up. And worst of all, there was almost no pressure applied, despite both of us requesting that the massage be harder. It was more of a "rub down" than a massage. Do not waste your money here. They bill it as a professional spa, but it is anything but. It also isn't a couple's massage. It's in 2 separate rooms. You have been warned regarding what they bill as the "Body-Life Spa.".

Finally, we recommend the tour of Manuel Antonio park offered through the hotel. The guide was very good. Other recommendations for Manuel Antonio would be beaches 2 and 3 within the park itself (less crowded), and the restaurants Kapi-Kapi (expensive but excellent fish and seafood), Soda-Angel (typical Costa Rican plates) and Ngo (surprisingly good Vietnamese/Chinese fusion cuisine for a cheap price),

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

This is a boutique hotel with only 5 rooms available, making it a unique and interesting place to stay. Our room was spacious, with a balcony to overlook the ocean. I believe penthouse is their standard room, the even larger one is called royal room.

We had nothing to complain about the room condition, but the staff in the front desk are not that helpful in terms of giving recommendations. She suggested us book the tour with the tour guide, though I asked specifically about how to avoid being in a large group of tourists. If you want to visit Manuel Antonio National Park and have a private tour, there is no need to book a tour that picks you up at a certain time in advance. You can just drive there yourself and hire a tour guide at the entrance. But the receptionist was unwilling to tell me the truth.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Stayed in rm 107 and was blown away by the view and the room! Room was clean and beautifully presented w/ flower pedals strewn about, and towels shaped into hearts. the room was open floor planned, meaning there was only a half wall between the bathroom area and the bed area.
Room is large, with high ceilings, so it didn't feel like the bathroom was in the same room. Has a desk/chair, walk in closet w/ shelving, a sm.fridge, a safe, stone lined open shower, jacuzzi tub (which was the only problem we had, the water wouldn't get better than luke warm, but shower/faucet temps were great!), comfy king bed w/ abundant pillows, 2 casual couches, a bidet, and a great private balcony. The balcony on 107 was what really made it for us. I believe it is one of the largest balconies there, had a great view, AND also the most private. Maid service did a nice job. With the humidity vs. the A.C. inside, the windows are pretty much always fogged up, so don't expect to have stellar viewing from inside. You have a pretty darn good ocean view over the forest. This small hotel does have one restaurant, that has a small menu, but still manages to have a little something for everyone, and manages to do a good job at it. Food is really good. It's nothing you will be telling all your friends about, but its good. Morning coffee and breakfast is free and good (again good, nothing to write home about) The pool area is a little small, but adequate for the size of the hotel. Decking is all very nice. Pool is not huge, but again, nice. Two levels within the pool, shallow, and REALLY deep for a pool (at least 12 ft?). Nice shady area over part of the pool. Noodle floaties supplied, bar nearby, and great view from it all! The hotel does have a professional spa available, but we did not use their services.
We stayed 8 nights right before Thanksgiving. The weather was great, the crowds were low (I love the "shoulder season"), and the hospitality was awesome.
During our stay, we had multiple squirrel monkeys come down on our balcony to get some bananas 3 different times (which we later learned many monkeys are becoming diabetic due to the high banana diets, so please go easy on the bananas). Also saw a sloth from the restaurant, and a few kinds of birds.
Quepos is a small quiet town (about 8,000). The town itself is not going to be a place you will probably want to spend any extra time in. Very quaint little village, but most of the touristy stuff is just outside of town and separated. Town has the necessities (food, alcohol, tobacco, buses, tour starting points, and local eateries), but that's about all. If your looking for the walk around and look at knick knacks place, this is not it. Most tourist hotels are located outside of town, closer to Manuel Antonio Park, as Issimo is. Quepos is a supposed to be a great fishing area, but we did not get out to fish. Night life has a locals vibe downtown, but there is some stuff going on out at the resorts. If you want to party down, the city of Jacos was about 80km's away and had a party / night club scene.
We recommend having a vehicle if you stay here, but you can do w/o it. Bus stop is at least a ten minute walk away (taxis are avail), beach is at least a ten minute walk. We spent more time hanging out at this hotel than we have ever done on any other vacation, because we were so comfy there, so if you just want to do this and sit on the beach, the car is not necessary.
The hotel is out on a peninsula, and has access to beaches on both sides. You can walk to either, (we did not, but it's probably about 15 min walk), or drive to one. Less than a half kilometer up the road is a dirt rd. You can take this down to a great beach where there is someone to watch your vehicle (for safety). 4x4 is recommended to drive back up (plus parking is ON the beach). This beach extends all the way down to Manuel Antonio Park entrance area, but you are at the distant end of it, so its not crowded.
If you are planning on going to Manuel Antonio Park, I recommend hiring a local guide to show you around (we paid $70 for two of us). They can show you lots of things you never would see on your own. Animals like to hide, and trained eye goes a long way. He showed us sloths, insects, iguanas, monkeys, chameleons, and more. The only thing we would have seen on our own would have been the noisy monkeys. We were so pleased with our guide, his name was Wilbert, we had him take us on a kayak mangrove tour a couple of days later, which was great too.
If memory serves me right, it was about a 3 1/2 hour drive from the San Jose Airport to Issimo Suites (taking the tollway which adds about $2 in cost to your trip, but saves time and makes directions much easier). If driving, get a GPS unit. Street signs/names are limited / non-existent. you are generally safe to do at least 20Km's over the speed limit and painted lines mean nothing to Costa Ricans (pass when and where you want. It's kind of a free for all).
Both US dollars and Colones are both widely accepted in Costa Rica. Credit card machines are not always, so having some cash on hand is recommended.
Although we never felt unsafe during our visit to Costa Rica, we recommend you use common sense. Don't leave valuables in your car, tip the guys that do watch out for your car, etc. There is theft problems, etc in Costa Rica. Don't set yourself up to be a victim and you will have a great time.

Room Tip: Room 107 has the best balcony, I believe. Large and private. Some of the higher rooms have smaller...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
west virginia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My wife and I enjoyed a 4 night stay at the Issimo and found the hotel to have a wonderful view of the forest and ocean. We were delighted to entertain monkeys on the deck and study a sloth clinging to a tree within 15 feet of where we enjoyed our morning coffee. The pool is small, but shared the view of the room which had floor to ceiling windows. About a 10 minute drive to the park. Very nice stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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 ( WiFi ) 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*
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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