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“Had the best time ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Agua Dulce Beach Resort

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Agua Dulce Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1000 Beach Road | Playa Platanres, Puerto Jimenez 506, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #6 of 16 hotels in Puerto Jimenez
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Had the best time ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

What a great place to stay, it is absolutely beautiful! We had the best time here, all of the staff was so friendly and courteous. The food was great. And the manager Carlos went above and beyond to make sure our stay was the best. He set us up with activities that were well above what we could have imagined! I would definately recommend this hotel to others in fact I already have! Can't wait to go back! I was here with my 19 yr old son for Spring Break and we had an awesome time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
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162 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Great place to relax and chill. Wendy in the kitchen prepared my tenderloin just as I like it and the meals were always great. The Manager, Carlos, personable and extremely helpful. Greeted us when we arrived and was around all the time. The hotel is lovely and the area is fabulous, Scarlet Macaws, Tiger Herons and all seen while sitting on our porch!!!

Room Tip: Definitely get the beachfront rooms, the view, sunrises and sunsets are amazing. well worth the extr...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Overall Summary:

I just returned home from a month in Costa Rica with my partner – including two weeks at Agua Dulce. I had seen the resort as it was being built a couple of years ago (side note: as we were driving down the beach in front of the property to sit and watch a treeful of scarlet macaws – these birds, among others such as parrots and hummingbirds - are plentiful around the property.) As we drove by what was soon to be Agua Dulce – I said to my companion, “I hope this place is a hotel and not a condo – because I’d love to stay here when it opens.” Well, when making plans to visit Costa Rica again this year (my 16th trip here) – I was happy to see that Agua Dulce was finished, and is a hotel. I immediately booked our room. I’m not saying this as a cliché: it truly was everything I had hoped for – and more. This is the PERFECT location for people looking for a vacation location that is a great fit for many types of travelers. Agua Dulce is fun, friendly, clean, safe – located directly on a swimmable beach (great for boogie boarding!) - with a nice clean pool and Jacuzzi. It has numerous types of accommodations to fit any size group.

The staff is comprised of FRIENDLY, professional Costa Ricans (most are locals) – who really know the area – speak English – and have significant experience in the hotel/tourism industry as they’ve worked at some of the lodges further out on Osa. (Dulce means “SWEET” – the people who work at Agua Dulce put the “sweet” into this resort.) There are a few ex-pat Americans on staff as well - part of the whole team.

I highly recommend this hotel to:
- People who want to experience Costa Rica, see and hear the wildlife, be in a location that IS NOT teeming with high rises, hundreds of condos, thousands of tourists – yet, is a location that has what you need – the town has banks, supermarkets, tour companies – and the hotel is the perfect place to be your home base for anything you would want to do on Osa – or, you can spend your days on the beach, at the pool – and finally read (or write) that novel or memoir, paint that masterpiece, meditate under a palm - whatever it is that’s been waiting for you to disconnect from the intense pace that most of us now live with.

The resort is a perfect fit for all types of people as there's truly something for everyone – I met older couples who were on their first trip to Costa Rica, honeymooners, families with children. I met people from all over the world – mostly from the US, as well as Canada, S. America and Europe.

- Of course, it’s fantastic for people who love to fish. Does that need to be said when talking about Osa? Just in case – Agua Dulce is connected with a great charter boat, as the boat company is one of the owners.

- It’s also great for people traveling with fisherman – spouses, kids, friends – because even if you don’t fish – there’s sooooooo much to see and do (or see and not do : )

- If you’re traveling to or from Corcovado – this is the PERFECT stopover. But don’t just stay for 1 night – this is a vacation location in and of itself.

- If you’re looking for amazing value – stay at Agua Dulce. The price is great – especially compared to the numerous lodges outside of Pto Jimenez (on the way to Corcovado). You can use your money wisely by staying at Agua Dulce – and then, if you want to visit one of the Eco-lodges, take a ride and have lunch, walk around the property – but, having stayed at these other lodges more than once, I would rather spend my money on other things. Agua Dulce has the best overall value – by far – of all the hotels that I’ve stayed at in the area (including Lapa Rios, Bosque Del Cabo, Tortuga Negra, etc.)

Property Overview:

Agua Dulce is in a perfect location.

- The resort is built on the beach in Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula - just a few miles from the town and business area of Puerto Jimenez. Scarlet macaws fly through the property and hang out in the trees along the beach. We saw them every day (for 14 days).

- It is one of the few resorts in this area of Costa Rica that has ocean front with a swimmable beach, a beautiful pool - and air conditioning. (I don’t know of any others.)

- There are 3 cottages/bungalows that sit directly on the beach and face the Golfo Dulce.

- Between the front 3 cottages and the main buildings of the hotel is the pool and Jacuzzi area.

- The hotel office is located below a spacious bar/restaurant that is upstairs on the second floor – with a nice view of the Golfo to the front and pool area to the side.

Beachfront:

- The beach is swimmable. Wave size and strength variable – often it is swimmable for everyone; at times recommend stronger swimmers. Keep in mind that there is no lifeguard at the beach – so if it’s really wavy, don’t let the kids or people who aren’t strong swimmers use the main beach, there are often rip currents. Many beaches in Costa Rica post signs warning of Rip Currents, but no signs on Osa. If it looks rough, go to the pool or to the tip of the peninsula past the hotel.

- The beach is excellent for boogie boarding and can also be good for surfing. We went boogie boarding every day and never tired of it.

- You can also get to a beautiful bay beach with no waves (need 4wd if you’re driving – available right in Pto Jimenez; you can also walk – but walking not recommended for a family, as it is about 2 miles and can be very hot at midday). This bay beach is a hotspot for fishing – especially by the locals – and you can drive down and park seemingly remote as it is on a small peninsula across from Puerto Jimenez harbor.

- The beach sand in this area of CR is a mix of volcanic rock and shells….soft, not gritty. Note that during midday, the sand can get very hot, so wear your sandals to the beach.

- Speaking of hot sand, beachgoers have many options for shade – from palm trees (don’t sit directly under coconuts) and other local trees

NOTE: In addition to providing us with shade, the trees play host to numerous birds – including scarlet macaws which we saw every day, along with hummingbirds and other varieties. In the town of Puerto Jimenez by the harbor – flocks of parrots fly back to their home trees each evening at dusk, and scarlet macaws are often found in the trees by the Los Delfines restaurant.

Pool:

Agua Dulce has a very nice pool that is accompanied by a Jacuzzi. The pool is at the front of the hotel – and leads directly to the beach. There are several bungalows between the pool and the other hotel buildings – but the design allows you to see the Golfo Dulce from the pool area as well as some of the hotel rooms.

Accomodations/Rooms:

- The rooms come in several configurations; usually 2 queens – and the actual hotel rooms are used primarily for sleeping; so, if you need a refrigerator and/or extra space – you can get a “suite” which is a hotel room PLUS a room that serves as a living room with refrigerator and coffee maker. (You can also use a cooler.)

- If you have a larger group – you can get an extended suite – which is 2 hotel rooms that “sandwich” the living room in the middle.

- The reservations staff and managers do a great job of explaining the options and walked me through the floor plans on the web to make sure that I chose the accommodation that best met our needs.

- The rooms were very clean. We never saw even 1 insect in our room… even at dusk and at night, we encountered very few bugs (including mosquitoes).

- The rooms have great air conditioners (new and no mold)
- The hotel has wireless – sometimes Internet access is spotty – but this is due to ISP issues, not the hotel. Agua Dulce has numerous wireless routers set up around the property to ensure a strong signal.

- Rooms don’t have tvs – but if you can’t live without seeing something, the bar/restaurant has 4 tvs, and was happy to oblige when we asked to see something, i.e. watch CNN to see the blizzard back home. But during a month in Costa Rica, I didn’t see a TV for the first 3 weeks except for at the bar/restaurant.

- The hotel rooms have front decks that are furnished with 2 wood and leather rockers – very comfortable and nice to hang out on.

- The second floor rooms of the front buildings have some views of the Golfo. I stayed in 5B. These front rooms overlook the pool, and the pool is open from early in the morning to night time – so if you want a room that’s very quiet, request a room further back. As you can imagine, sometimes when people are in the pool, and they’re so happy to be on vacation in such a beautiful place, you can hear them… however, there was never noise at night – so I would recommend a front room with pool view if you want to be closer to the beach.

Restaurant/Bar:

Delicious. Efficient. Great staff. We had a vehicle during our stay and initially intended to go out to dinner in Pto Jimenez every night. But after a few nights doing so, we started coming back to Agua Dulce’s restaurant – because it was very good, so convenient, with the right price. Enough said. You should eat there – whether or not you’re staying there.

Staff: they put the “Dulce” in Agua Dulce!!!!

- There were many positives about Agua Dulce – yet the #1 item that sticks out in my mind is the phenomenal customer service provided by the staff. After traveling to Costa Rica approximately 16 times in 12 years, I’ve observed and interacted with many staff of hotels. The group at Agua Dulce are the friendliest and most professional by far. Most of the staff have worked in the travel/tourism/hospitality industry for many years – at many of the higher end (and higher priced) eco lodges between Puerto Jimenez and Corcovado.

- We met and talked with many of the team – if you’re lucky enough to go to Agua Dulce, I hope you get a chance to do more than check-in with them or order your meal. Seriously nice, nice people. Be on the lookout for Vilma, Carlos, Chris, Brian, Harry, Minor, Joann, Sara, the chefs (who I finally spoke with the day before we left because they were always so busy cooking!) and the rest of the staff. They are sooooooo nice! (Dulce means “SWEET” – the people who work at Agua Dulce put the “sweet” into this resort.)

A few more thoughts:
Staying here for two weeks gave me a much better perspective on this resort hotel than if we had just stayed for a few nights. It was interesting to see management make changes and improvements on the fly – they view this resort as a place where they will continuously try and make changes that enhance their guests’ experience. For example, they got bikes while we were there, so guests can ride to the town or bay beach or just around the neighborhood to see birds and other wildlife.

Bottom-line:
I’m already making plans to return to Agua Dulce in the near future – yes, that’s how much we loved it. I highly recommend it to all travelers to Costa Rica – except, of course, for those who need a 5 star golf resort and other related amenities – I’ve stayed at those as well – during my first visits to Costa Rica, before I realized that I couldn’t tell the difference from similar hotels that I’d stayed at in Miami, Las Vegas, Cancun…. (most of these were either free vacations with points or when I was attending or presenting at conventions as VP Marketing for high tech companies.) I'd rather know where I am - especially when I'm in Costa Rica! It’s also not perfect for those who need to stay in one of the exorbitantly-priced lodges (marketed as Eco-lodges) outside of Pto Jimenez on the way to Corcovado).

So now that it’s my own experience, and on “my own dime” so to speak – and I look forward to staying at Agua Dulce - it is “sweet”!

Room Tip: Room 5B or the Bungalows on the beach. If not available, the reservation staff will help you pick t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

I'm a picky New Yorker who won't stay at a hotel that's less than 3 stars based on the North American hotel rating system. I took a chance with this hotel due to the high customer ratings. I believe this hotel is officially a 2-star hotel based on the amenities but it's effectively a 3.5 star hotel.

Pros:
- Friendly staff and great service. Within an hour of booking the hotel, Chris, the marketing manager, emailed me and asked if there was anything we needed. Carlos, the front desk manager, helped us track down our tour guides. He also gave us a room to shower in on our last day in Costa Rica, even though we had checked out of the hotel a few hours earlier. Overall, everyone was incredibly accommodating.

- Internet!!! Hard to find internet access anywhere else in the Osa region.

- Price/value. We could have paid double or triple/night for an eco-lodge with no air conditioner, jacuzzi, internet or pool. Granted, people pay for that experience and at one point we were willing too. But keep in mind the100 degree weather and 90% humidity.

- Clean rooms

- Decent food, fresh fish. Made to order breakfast is included with the price of the room.

- Private beach in front of the hotel. We checked out all the beaches around the peninsula and turns out the best one was in front of us.

- Location- 10 minute car ride from town/airport. 35 minutes to Mantapalo. 80 minutes to Carate. It took an hour on the dirt roads but we walked the 3.5km to Puerto Jimenez on multiple occasions. At the same time, it's isolated if you want to get away from it all.

Cons:
- Be prepared to pay for your stay in USD or Colon. The 8% credit card fee is steep. To be fair, I think that's a regional issue and not unique to this hotel.

- Internet is available but can be spotty at times. It's good enough for browsing and email but too disjointed for streaming movies.

If you're looking for a 3+ star in the region that's not an eco-lodge, this is probably your best bet.

Room Tip: Choose room numbers that are in the teens. The lower numbers are closer to the bar/restaurant, which...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Pros:

Nice pool, friendly staff, good food at restaurant, wi-fi available and the connection is good, clean and well-maintained, spacious room.

Cons:

very remote/isolated (some may feel this is a positive), no tv's in the rooms, rooms overpriced, little to do, very punitive cancellation policy (if less than 72 hours then no refund), restaurant overpriced, sliding doors do not lock from both sides - in other words you lock the door but you can push open from the other side.

The hotel is nice however very remote and overpriced for what you get (in all fairness I feel this way about most of Costa Rica). The restaurant prices are quite high (I think a salad was $16, although the food is very good) given you have no other convenient options. It costs about $10 each way to take a taxi to Puerto Jiminez. There is not really much to do at the hotel either. We stayed for 4 days and wanted to cancel upon arrival however they charge the full rate if you do unless you give 72 hours notice so we just stayed.

Overall a good hotel, bring supplies and stay for one or two days only. It would be nice if they had TVs in the rooms given there is nothing to do once dark. There is a TV in the bar but not convenient.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

We Stayed at the Agua Dulce resort for two weeks, and had a fantastic time... but two weeks just wasn't enough!

The accommodation was just right for us. Comfortable bed, jacuzzi bath, sealed mesh doors and windows, fridge, hair dryer and especially important Air conditioning. i. The hot humid nights, we couldn't have slept without it! WiFi was very good, giving my friends and family a virtual holiday as it happened.

The apartment was kept very clean by the lovely cleaning ladies who came every day. The decor was basic and there was no TV, but with all the exotic wild life running around outside, the last thing we were going to do was sit in our room all day.

The grounds were very pretty and kept to a very high standard! The wildlife was abundant, iguanas, scarlet macaws, humming birds, toucans etc The pool was super warm and super clean, and there was also a very nice jacuzzi hot tub.

The staff were all very friendly and helpful. They helped us hire a car and recommended local guides, and where to take trips etc. Special thanks to Carlos and Henrie, great guys who went that extra mile!

The food was lovely and always fresh. Something's weren't always available on the menu, but hey, if that means you only get what's fresh, that's fine by us! Note: when the shrimps are on, don't pass them up, they were delicious!

The beach was lovely and super clean, literally a stones throw from our chalet. We saw dolphins, manta rays and turtles close by.
An added bonus were the deserted beaches. you could walk miles and not see a soul, which made it like our own private paradise.

We caught some fish one day kayak fishing in front of the resort, and the chefs were kind enough to prepare and cook them for us, delicious!

This was our first trip to Costa Rica. We plan to return next year and explorer the harder to reach areas, where modern comforts are few and far between. But I guarantee we'll spend at least the last week at Agua Dulce in air-conditioned luxury.
Gordon & Clare Heritage England

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Don't worry about a thing. Just pack your bags and suntan lotion because you will be well looked after. Chris is well informed and willing to make your stay an experience of a lifetime . This resort is is up to North American standards in every aspect of hospitality and more. Booking a room and tours is as easy as picking up the phone. Visit the hotel's user friendly web site for more details. I highly recommend that you stay at Agua Dulce Beach resort! You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Agua Dulce Beach Resort

Address: 1000 Beach Road | Playa Platanres, Puerto Jimenez 506, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Puerto Jimenez
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Jimenez
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Agua Dulce Beach Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Agua Dulce Beach Resort is the newest and most exciting property on the Osa Peninsula with all the amenities you would expect in an American Style Hotel and Resort. Located just 10 minutes from Puerto Jimenez on a secluded beach. Walk for miles on our beach, or go for an adventure hike to Corcovado National Park, charter a boat for World Class Sport Fishing, or have a dolphin and snorkeling adventure! How about a Horseback Ride, or a Zip Line Canopy Tour? Surfing anyone? Or...you can just kick back and relax around our huge pool with swim up bar! Whatever activities you choose, you will return to a clean, comfortable, spacious and air conditioned room. Have a spectacular meal in our Restaurant, and then retire to your room where your personal Jacuzzi will be waiting to sooth you to a perfect night sleep one one of our wonderful pillow top mattresses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Agua Dulce Beach Resort Costa Rica/Puerto Jimenez

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