We just got back from Issimo Suites and had an absolutely wonderful stay. Here are our thoughts on some of the major features:
Room: We’ve traveled quite a bit around the world staying in accommodations ranging from budget-friendly but charming inns to extravagant luxury resorts, and we both agreed that this was the best room we’ve stayed in. We were in penthouse suite 1, which had a breathtaking view of the ocean that literally made you feel as if you were floating over the rainforest. Amazing!! The view was particularly spectacular because of the floor-to-ceiling windows that comprised two of the room’s walls. Soaking in the huge Jacuzzi was a great way to end each day, and otherwise the room was spacious and nicely appointed. They offered to upgrade us to a penthouse suite at the junior suite rate, since they were fully booked during the initial set of dates we enquired about. I thought that was such a nice gesture, since even though it was the off season, they clearly do not have trouble staying booked.
Service: The service was fantastic. Everyone was friendly and eager to help, and they provided a lot of small touches that make a big difference—fresh juice and a rose at check-in, rose petals in the Jacuzzi, leaving your towels in the shape of a swan or a heart decorated with flowers, chocolates at check-out. The owners are brothers who both happened to be there when we were, and they were both very friendly and clearly take pride in their establishment. There are plenty of activities available in the area, and they can arrange them for you at the front desk.
Pool: The pool is definitely on the small side, but it’s fine given the size of the hotel and we often had it all to ourselves. It was also nice that the pool actually had a deep end, which seems to be very rare at hotels now, and you could dive right in from the pool deck—which also offers a great view, as well as occasional visits from monkeys.
Beach: The little beach a short walk away was lovely; it was very natural and secluded, and again, we often had the whole thing to ourselves. Realize that this is not a beach resort type of beach—no lounge chairs, no drinks or food available. It’s a small cove that requires a little hike through the forest. Also note that it’s better to go when the tide is lower; it’s hard to find a safe dry spot during high tide! We enjoyed having this little, practically private beach within easy walking distance; many of the hotels in the area don’t seem to have such easy access to a beach. Of course there are other beaches available both within MA park and outside of it, which are much larger (and the ones inside of the park are particularly beautiful). For those, you will want to drive or take the shuttle.
Dining: We only had dinner there once, which was good, and prices were on par with the other restaurants nearby (as is to be expected, they’re all a bit high since it’s a touristy area). The complimentary breakfast included juice and coffee, fresh fruits, beans and rice, pancakes, and omelets or eggs made-to-order—yum! Room service is also available all night for reasonable prices, if you happen to have any late night French fry cravings like we did.
Access: Some of the previous reviews had mentioned that the road was bad, but it is now smoothly paved, and despite the winding hills, it was a very easy drive. You could get by without a rental car if necessary, but it is definitely much easier to have one. The hotel is between the towns of Manuel Antonio and Quepos, which are only four miles apart, but it’s a very hilly area and not that pedestrian friendly. Having a car makes everything in the area much more accessible and gives you a lot more freedom, whether you want to do some exploring in other areas, or if you just want to have some more restaurant options and be able to make quick, easy trips to the grocery store to keep your room stocked with snacks and cerveza.
Summary: This is a great boutique hotel that is clearly geared toward couples. The stunning views in the rooms are definitely the biggest highlight. If you’re looking for a fantastic little hotel with incredible views and great service that will serve as your home base within the Manuel Antonio area, Issimo Suites is highly recommended!