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“destination wedding with over 30 guests” 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
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“destination wedding with over 30 guests”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We had a beautiful wedding organized by Issimo suites. We rented out the entire hotel for 3 days! Since we had quite a large number of guests (for a destination wedding), I knew it wouldn't be as easy to coordinate, but they did such a fantastic job of having everything run smoothly. Maday, Ivania and Elizabeth planned our wedding, and they were so accommodating and helpful. The location of the wedding was perfect. We had our ceremony at the marina instead of the beach, because we had to accommodate 32 guests, and we were concerned the beach would be too busy for photographs. Issimo recommended an excellent photographer, Kevin Heslin, who did such an amazing job of capturing moments...I'm still in awe of just how talented he is. The bouquet, the wedding decorations, were all great. The food at the wedding and at the hotel in general was very good...their breakfast had a large selection (hash browns, bacon, sausage, eggs, omelettes, rice and beans, beef stew, plantains, papaya, watermelon, french toast, cake, etc.), and was often enough to fill you up until dinner. We mainly tried the dishes that weren't on the "candlelight" menu, and they were great. I loved their thick-cut french fries. The rooms were large, luxurious and clean...most rooms had magnificent views. Our guests were really happy with our choice of hotel. Since it is a smaller hotel, with only 13 rooms, it has a much homier feel to it, you get to know the staff pretty well. Their pool was clean and fairly deep for its size. The restaurant had an amazing view of the sunset. There were several beaches closeby...our favourite was Playitas, which was about a 25 min walk away. It was a sandy beach with large 6-10 feet waves! Beisanz was closer, and more calm, but the beach itself was rockier. We went to a few places for dinner (cafe milagro, kapi kapi, victoria's) and they were about a 6-8$ cab ride, or a 20-30 min walk away. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and all 32 of us were impressed by Costa Rica's beauty, and the comfort of issimo suites. Both my husband and I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
162 reviews 162 reviews
65 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
360 helpful votes 360 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Issimo Suites is a truly magnificent and special place.
We booked it for our wedding and the first week of our honeymoon after reading the reviews and not just our expectations were met but they were by far exceeded.

Maday and her team went far beyond the call of duty to make our wedding extra special and romantic and I have not got enough words to thank them.
They organised the most perfect moment for us on Playa Espadilla at sunset. It was absolutely stunning, with our feet in the Pacific Ocean as the sky went red and ginger flower petals were scattered on the sand.
The decorations, the lawyer (who made a very beautiful brief speech), the photographer – everything was perfect. We could not have dreamed of a more beautiful wedding. Thank you so much.

What to say about the hotel itself – it is the perfect choice to enjoy the stunning corner of the world that is Manuel Antonio. It is very small and intimate (it only has 13 rooms) – if you dislike the large, mass-produced hotels, this is your choice.
Every room is designed with so much thought and detail. It is the perfect hotel for a honeymoon or a romantic break. We had a Jacuzzi suite (I think all the rooms have a Jacuzzi) which was very spacious and stunning.
The two walls facing the ocean are actually made of glass. We arrived after dark and when we woke up the next day and saw the view, we could not believe our eyes. A verdant stretch of beautiful jungle populated by monkeys, geckos and array of birds, lay before our eyes in both directions, followed by the blue endless ocean.
The room also had a small balcony where you can sit and enjoy the coffee (delivered outside your door every morning) and have close encounters with the cheekiest white faced capuchin monkeys.
The rooms are like a dream.

The hotel has a lovely pool that is actually bigger than you would think from the photos. It is a really nice size for a hotel of this size (with a really deep end) and lovely chairs/floaters you can sit on sipping your drink. Bliss.
Breakfast is wonderful and fresh and the lunch/dinner menu is great too (fantastic ceviche and fish dishes)

The hotel is located in Punta Quepos, which is a short stretch of road (about 1 km) which from the junction with the main road (which goes between Manuel Antonio and Quepos) goes down to Biesanz beach.
Biesanz beach is the nearest beach that you can walk to in 15 mins, partly through a stretch of greenery where you can spot and hear howler monkeys. This is the smaller and more rocky beach. If you get there early-ish in the morning, it is utterly idyllic. Not that it gets that busy later, btw…
However, our favourite was Playa Espadilla (also referred to as the ‘public beach’, as it is the one just outside the Manuel Antonio park, which also has a few more beaches, both obv you need to pay the entrance fee to access them)
This beach is stunning and hardly busy and easily reached from Issimo even without a car – a short walk to the junction where buses go every 10 mins. It is a fun, brief journey. The sunsets here are spectacular.

Within walking distance of the hotel, you also have an array of fantastic restaurants – we loved La Cantina (fantastic whole lobster meal for $28), Salsipuedes (great tapas with stunning sunset views) and el Avion (great sunset views from the restaurant and very cool bar set in a US plane)
The area around the hotel is very safe – we walked back many times very late at night and we always felt very comfortable and happy.

Manuel Antonio is stunning (I actually recommend getting a guide when visiting the park – you get to see so much more wildlife that otherwise you would not spot – we saw so much! And the guides are incredibly knowledgeable) and Issimo Suites is the perfect base to explore it. They really do everything possible to make your stay truly unforgettable.
Maday, Elizabeth, Ivania, Joseph, Alexander, Dixon, Gato, Evelyn – thank you so so much for everything. You are utterly amazing people and we hope to come and see you soon again. Perhaps for an anniversary. That would be a dream.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We traveled all throughout Costa Rica staying at six different hotels throughout our honeymoon. This was by far one of our top two! Upon arriving we were greeted with a glass of champagne and a very polite check-in experience. We stayed in room 107 which was listed as a penthouse--- come to find out all the rooms are listed as penthouses! It had a great view, and again the first day we had a bottle of champagne in our room.

Everyday the room was very well cleaned, and the cliche rose petals were scattered throughout the room along with our robes and towels in heart shapes. While a little cheesey, they were all still nice touches.

The room itself had a huge king bed, two other beds on rollers, and a full sized couch, table, and chair on the balcony. The room was huge, and the balcony was also very large. The bathroom had an open ceiling which was one of our only complaints about the room. While large and open in size, it is a little less than romantic when someone needs a bathroom trip. A large jacuzzi tub, and a walk in closet with a safe. Very generous in size, and being a couples-only resort, and only having around 9 rooms, they can really treat each couple special.

There was a ton to do in the area, and the front desk was great about scheduling day trips and also advice about restaurants and the area. They were also very honest which we appreciated. For example we came at the end of the rainy season and had wanted to snorkel. The front desk advised against booking this trip as the water was very stirred up. After swimming at the beach we saw why, and appreciated their suggestion!

The private beach was nice, but about a 15-20 minute walk. The walk back is almost straight uphill, so even though you are going to the beach, you might want to consider taking athletic shoes.

Best reasons to stay here:
1. No kids! While this would eliminate families from staying here, as a romantic retreat it was perfect.
2. Spa on site. We both had two massages which were excellent.
3. Excellent front desk service as well as wait staff.
4. Huge rooms, comfortable beds, and romantic setting.

There were a couple of the downsides of this hotel.
1. The pool. It was very small, and we were their when the temps were very high. While you only have nine couples sharing the hotel, even with another couple sharing the pool we felt a little like we were eavesdropping on each other. There was also a random LARGE crab that would appear from time to time.
2. The "sales" on food/drinks. While we ate about half of the meals at the hotel while we were there, the meals we did eat were always on "1/2 off special." So the $20 burger was only $10, and the $8ish drinks were only $4. While I'm not complaining about the sale... they ALWAYS had a sale. Just change the prices and don't run promotions. I'm not sure if their trying to make the prices seem expensive since this is a luxury resort? But it didn't fool us.
3. The concern of safety in the area (not at the hotel). The hotel had a 24 hr guard, and a locked gate, as well as a safe in the room, so our safety at the actual hotel was never an issue... but once you step out of the hotel property, you get a feeling of being very out of place. The sign at the beach even reminds you to take all of your belongings with you. While this is typical of a tourist area... it is still a little bit of a turn-off.

Overall we LOVED out stay at Issimo, and would recommend it. Perfect for honeymooners or to rekindle your romance!

Room Tip: Room 107 was huge, had a very large balcony with a great ocean view. Very private.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Seattle
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My wife and I have traveled to many places and stayed at different hotels, but nothing compares to Issimo Suites. When we walked into our room for a second we thought we got a wrong room. It was a very large loft style room with a whole wall of windows. The views were amazing. You could see the lush jungle trees and the ocean in the background. At night you could hear the howling monkeys, and during our breakfast (which is complimentary) we had a few monkeys peek at us and even join us on the terrace. The service exceeded our expectations. Everyone was incredibly nice and helpful, particularly the servers/waiters at the restaurant. The food was delicious and very affordable too. We are already planning our next trip to Manuel Antonio and another stay at Issimo Suites.

Room Tip: Room 102 is excellent!
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I stayed for 6 nights over the Xmas period.

What most impressed us was the quality of service by every single one of the staff. In my experiences with hotels is that you may get 1 or two staff members willing to go the extra distance but not all.

From the time we checked in to the time we checked out we were very well looked over.

The rooms were clean and even the floors were mopped every day.

We were visited by monkeys on our balcony one of the days we were staying.

Also being adults only is nice to have.

I thoroughly recommend staying at this hotel

  • Stayed December 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.
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

I booked my December trip to Issimo Suites in July. My fiance and I liked the price, the free breakfast, the possibility of seeing monkeys at breakfast, the great spa deals, and the raving reviews of the staff.

The free breakfast was amazing. Chocolate croissants, fresh fruit, hash browns, an omelet station, rice and beans, yogurt, and more. We actually did see monkeys at breakfast, and at lunch and at dinner! Meals were 30% at the hotel. And because the food was good, we took advantage of that numerous days. We were told the food in Costa Rica wasn't worth writing home about, but we enjoyed it.

My fiance and I had two, hour-long couples massages for 69 dollars each.

When I had to print out and fax paperwork for my job, the staff was more than willing to help me with that. They also helped us book activities such as ziplining, ATV tours, jet skis, boat tours, etc.

I was worried when we first arrived. I was in jeans and hot. The AC in our room wasn't on and the florescent lights weren't flattering. And there were two lizards on our wall. By the time I cooled down, noticed we had some non-florescent lamps, and decided to ignore the lizards, I felt a lot better about Issimo. The bed was incredible. If I hadn't been so tired at night, I would have flipped the mattress over to see what kind it was and bought one for myself. There were also really comfortable "couches" or bedded lounge areas in the room which were nice to rest on when you came in hot and sweaty from an a walk in the national park.

The beach was a bit of a hike but it wasn't a big deal to me because we did so much besides go to the beach. Also, we saw lizards, sloths and monkeys on the way to and from the beach. I enjoyed that walk more than the $10 per person walk in the national park.

What I liked about Issimo, is that what we saw was what we got, and in some cases, it exceeded expectations. So often, websites make rooms look bigger than they are, make deals look better than they are. But with Issimo, there were no disappointments only pleasant surprises.

The week convinced me that if I were to return to Manuel Antonio, I'd be returning to Issimo as well.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite and it had stone floors. It felt sort of like a gym locker room. I'd go wi...
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

I recently stayed at Issimo Suites for my honeymoon. My husband couldn’t have picked a better place to spend our week. The Issimo website didn’t prepare me for the amazing views we had from our room and the incredible hospitality we experienced. We’re not typically early birds but while there we kept the curtains to our two glass walls open and woke up with the sun (around 5am) every day. The first morning we were amazed to find several monkeys (white-faced capuchins) playing in the tree outside. Many of them jumped on to one of the roofs of the hotel below us and were running around playing – not a bad way to start the morning. We could also hear the howler monkeys off in the distance. This didn’t happen every morning but almost every day we did get to see monkeys either in the morning or in the afternoon (some would even climb around in the pool or restaurant area trying to nab some food).

We also really enjoyed the little things the staff did. We would always have a tray of coffee waiting outside our room by 5:30am. Our room was decorated with flower petals, washcloth animals and candles when we arrived. We also had champagne glasses and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. We were on our honeymoon, though, so I’m not sure if we got extra treatment as a result. Lastly, the staff members were genuinely driven to please us. They would make our eggs to order with breakfast and wanted to make sure we had anything and everything we needed at all times. All the while wearing a smile on their face.

In addition to the staff, I can’t say enough good things about Issimo. The open-air restaurant was amazing – food and ambiance. The rooms with their gorgeous views, balcony, Jacuzzi and even a refrigerator and microwave made us feel like we had all the luxuries we could want. The proximity to a small beautiful beach (8-minute walk) was nice as well. I guess the only downside is that the main strip of restaurants was a bit of a hike but you can easily get a taxi for about 4-5 colones ($8-10). A small price to pay for the seclusion and beauty provided at Issimo.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 106 and loved it.
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 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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