We unfortunately ended up here in March 2009 and it was undoubtedly the worst place we stayed at during our travels through Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba – and we stayed in a lot of places. Firstly the one good point. It is positioned right on the beach about 20 minutes walk from Montezuma although the rather lively sea and the riptide need great respect.
This place may have changed titles and owners over the past few years but in our brochure at the date above it is referred to as Playa Las Manchas Beach Hotel and at this time seems to be run by an Italian family. A hotel it is not. Downmarket hostel would be a complement. Any form of welcome is non existent, totally negative, almost like you were interrupting them. Even though there were a group of people hanging round in reception no help was offered with our luggage and we had to drag them over gravel pathways to the room. The buildings, which maybe were nice at one time, are now a ramshackle group of huts that have obviously not been touched (by paint or money) for years.
The rooms are dark and awful (a small mirror would have been a luxury) with windows sealed with duck tape (to stop the ants coming in – or some of them) and the choice of using dark sheets can hide a multitude of sins. You share a shower/toilet with 5 other rooms and a sign (the only sign with any information) asks you to please not put toilet paper down the toilet - think about that when you’re sharing with five other rooms! Breakfast is served in the sometimes restaurant but it is the smallest breakfast you have ever seen - and don’t ask for a second cup of coffee! There are of course no fridges in the rooms and the communal one we were shown was nicely warm, old and disgusting. Remember you are twenty minutes walk from the town and they close this restaurant at 4pm every day and do not open at all on Mondays but of course there is no sign in the rooms to inform you of this. There is nowhere else to eat locally.
However the worst thing about this place is how it is run, or not run. These people should not be allowed anywhere near the hospitality business. They seem to operate it as a private club for their Italian friends and family and treat their guests as irritations. We witnessed a Scandinavian couple being shown rooms by a bare chested male with a fag hanging out of his mouth who dropped ash all over the place. They left with disgust (actually they looked rather sick) on their faces and obviously the owners could not care less if people stayed there or not. There is absolutely no form of customer courtesy, care or service and just witness the owners and friends looking after themselves at breakfast while the guests wait to be served by a single hard working woman who cleans as well (sometimes). Please do not encourage these people by staying here, they need to be out of business just ASAP. There are normally plenty of OK rooms available in Montezuma itself where you can also eat when you want to.
With dusty Montezuma you’ll either love it or hate it but don’t get sick or have an accident as there is no immediate medical care whatsoever. As we were spending UK pounds sterling we found Costa Rica to be expensive particularly as they price everything in US dollars but then convert it to their own currency (at their chosen daily exchange rate) when you pay. You find out what everything cost when the credit card bills come in. Everyone seems to be holding their hand out for money – little forest trails, orchid gardens, butterfly gardens, waterfalls - they all want money. Their excuse is that this stops them having to cut down the forests which may be true but look forward to being treated as a resource. The biggest rip off however is the ‘InBio Parque’ outside San Jose – six dollars for locals and a huge TWENTY THREE dollars for tourists (you easily find it by looking for all the disgusted Japanese, American and British tourists milling around outside wondering what else to do with their day after refusing to be exploited). Be prepared.
- Also Known As:
- Cabinas Playa Las Manchas Hotel Montezuma