The quick version of this review is that Costanoa provided my wife and me with our dream wedding. Three catered meals (rehearsal dinner, reception dinner, and goodbye brunch) were consistently outstanding, the best series of meals I’ve ever had at a wedding. The staff was unfailingly polite; they bent over backwards, went above and beyond, and took the initiative to provide whatever we needed, sometimes without us even asking. The weather was perfect, the rooms and event space comfortable without being oppressively luxurious, the area around the venue and the Costanoa coordinated events themselves were great. In short, I cannot say enough about how very pleased I am to have had my wedding there. I give Costanoa the highest possible recommendation as would virtually all of the guests at my wedding. I give particular props to Teri Giordano (event coordinator) and Lisa (catering director)…they worked with us through countless changes and rearrangements and did so with grace and patience. The Costanoa chef (can’t remember his name) also gets a shout out for making such delicious food in such large quantities.
We’ve also stayed at Costanoa for simple visits in preparation for the wedding. We've been in Cypress tents, the cabins, and lodge rooms and we have had a great time in all of them. I also highly recommend Costanoa for simple get aways and vacations.
Here is the long version:
Costanoa was actually the first venue we checked out. I was convinced immediately and none of the dozen or so places we went after really could compete. The lodge rooms are rustic without being Spartan and some feature luxuries such as a Jacuzzi type tub. The cabins are also nice, isolated little retreats with stunning views and fireplaces. Not all of these have private baths but the nearby comfort station has a firepit and a sauna as well as indoor showers. The tent cabins are small but include heated mattresses and electricity. And for those that can’t be apart from the outside world, there is also reasonably effective wi fi service. The hills near Pescadero are lovely for hiking; the venue is also near a beautiful beach. The remoteness of Costanoa gives one the feeling of really being away in nature; fortunately, they have a very good restaurant and a well stocked general store. Finally, there is a spa. In other words, at Costanoa one can have the experience of being in nature without necessarily leaving the creature comforts of civilization. The caveat is that not every cabin has a bathroom but I have to think that the majority of weddings are going to have at least a few attendees who won’t mind that, and the comfort stations are quite luxurious (indoor showers, sauna, firepit).
The amenties are clearly important. But what made this venue ideal for us is that we could have an entire space for our friends and family to come together over the weekend of our marriage. It’s hard to create a space like this when planning weddings but it was important that this weekend be not just about us but rather than community of our friends/family. The layout of the lodges and cabins creates a sort of natural center place where people will inevitably run into each other as they start their morning routines. We weren’t going to have people shuttling between venues and hotels. We weren’t going to have long hallways with people isolated in rooms like cubicles. People had the full weekend to reconnect, to meet new friends…in other words it was a community of the people close to us that we created in this magical space for a weekend. And that is exactly what happened. Even while we were making plans and taking care of the various and sundry details we had plenty of time to greet our friends and family as they arrived, and they had plenty of time to connect and make plans for things to do outside the wedding itself. And I was pleased that as each group checked in they told me how moved they were by the natural beauty of the space.
I also like that Costanoa is not just a wedding factory. I’ve been to fine events at places that crank through multiple weddings in a weekend and that’s okay but it wasn’t what appealed to us. Costanoa’s space limits the number of weddings that can be done to just one a weekend. I get a sense they wouldn’t want to do more than that in a weekend anyway. And I think that’s important. My wife and I were THE wedding for the weekend so we didn’t have other wedding parties and crowds about. Not that we wanted it to be all about us (see above paragraph) but it was nice that everyone in attendance was part of OUR wedding party so guests could safely assume that almost anyone they met was part of the group.
I want to make specific comments about the food. My expectations are generally pretty low when it comes to mass produced wedding food. It’s hard to make huge quantities of food, when cooked in an assembly line fashion, taste good. But every meal (and appetizer) option was great. For the rehearsal dinner we had the “south of the border” option with delicious chicken tamales, poached fish, and standard Mexican trimmings. A great casual meal. For the reception we opted for a buffet and went with the chicken marsala and salmon as main course options. I would be remiss not to compliment the tasty beet salad since that was another favorite of mine. The chicken was delicious, perfectly prepared with a special sweet but not oppressive Marsala sauce. but Costanoa really amazed me by making sure that the salmon was juicy and delicious, perfectly seasoned. I don’t think I’ve had better fish at a banquet style event, that’s not an easy thing to make well in large quantities.
- Also Known As:
- Costanoa Coastal Lodge & Camp Hotel
- Costanoa Coastal Lodge And Camp
- Costanoa Coastal Lodge & Camp Hotel Pescadero
- Costanoa Lodge
- Costanoa Coastal Lodge
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Forget rough and rugged camping, here you can camp in luxurious style. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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