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“A little piece of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Punta Islita

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Hotel Punta Islita
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Punta Islita, Punta Islita 50201, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Los Angeles area
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“A little piece of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2011

My wife and I just returned from attending a small (30 person) destination wedding at the gorgeous Punta Islita Resort in southwestern Costa Rica perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The resort is small by most standards with only about 50 or so rooms all overlooking a small, remote harbor, with most situated on a hillside leading down to beautiful, rocky beach easily accessible via a paved path bordering a small 9 hole executive golf course. The staff goes overboard to provide a sense of very friendly and personalized service. We were greeted in the parking lot upon arrival by our own concierge assistant named Victor who provided a tropical drink while we completed the simple reservation process. The wedding itself took place in a thatch roofed area down next to the beach by a private, swim-up pool bar. The ceremony was suppose to take place on the lawn, but a last minute heavy tropical shower drove everyone under the roof, but we very impressed how seamlessly the staff took care of everything allowing the both the ceremony and reception to go off without a hitch. Over the next few days the Punta Islita staff arranged for awesome tours of the local area including deep sea fishing, jungle/monkey hikes, golf scramble, river/sea kayaking, etc.

Punta Islita (http://www.hotelpuntaislita.com) is an eco-friendly resort and they do seem to"walk their talk" when it comes to their business practices and other efforts to protect the local environment and give back to the community.

We elected to rent a car and drive from San Jose to the resort and found most roads in good condition, however, visitors should know that you will encounter some dirt sections which in the rainy season can become tedious with potholes, etc. Other members of the wedding party flew into San Jose or Liberia and then took a small puddle jumper to a small, local airstrip located just a few kilometers away from the resort. The rooms at the resort were very comforable with all needed ammenities, flat screen TV's, refrig, etc.

Highly recommend for a romantic getaway, small wedding, or just a great adventure vacation. Family friendly with plently of activities for families.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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656 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

We booked Punta Islita because the main pool is adults only. We don't have children and when on holiday it is nice to be able to relax somewhere quiet. In this respect Punta Islita is really good. I found the service to be a little on the pushy side and generally hit or miss although some of the staff including a barman and one of the reception staff were great - sorry but I can't remember the names. The rooms are definely more shabby jungle chic than luxuary but they do provide loverly toiletries (l'occtaine). The food isn't good - well at least it isnt if you don't eat fish. For me the best parts of staying here were the fantastic view, the silence at the pool and going horseriding.

Room Tip: Check your hot tub works or move
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, responded to this review, June 15, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post! Our goal is to provide our guests with a memorable holiday experience and we always appreciate detailed feedback. We are certainly glad that you were able to fully relax during your stay and that you enjoyed our spectacular landscapes. (The site where our infinity pool is located was specifically selected for its jaw-dropping view of the beach cove.)

Hotel Punta Islita's lodging options range from Deluxe Rooms to private multiple-bedroom Villas. Their architectural style fully reflects regional aesthetics, hence the thatched palm roofing and use of local furnishings and art. Our aim is to provide upscale comforts while highlighting the tropical forest experience.

Since December 2010, we have revamped our menu offerings and guest comments are already celebrating Chef Lizeth's new dishes. Seafood is one of our strongest suits (especially given our coastal location), but dining options have expanded to include more chicken, beef, pork, and vegetarian options.

We are very proud of our staff, a team of mostly local men and women who are eager to showcase their culture and traditions. We actively work with them to guide their hospitality efforts. I would love to hear any suggestions, further comments, or insights. Please don't hesitate to contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com

Warmest regards,

Maria
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San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

My husband and I just returned from the most amazing week-long stay at the Hotel Punta Islita. We were long overdue for a vacation and wanted a place that mixed beach-lounging with adventure (cue Costa Rica). However, we also wanted a hotel that struck a balance of feeling "boutique-y" and slightly off of the main grid (the opposite of a large, Disney-land hotel), but still one that had enough things to do when we had tired of reading in a lounge chair. The Punta Islita fit the bill perfectly!
We flew into Liberia and rented a small SUV. It took us exactly 2 1/2 hours each way, using our GPS unit we rented with the car. Contrary to what I had read, the roads were paved for 80% of the trip. The last 10 miles or so were on a dirt road, and lead us through a shallow river at one point (kind of fun even though our rental insurance would have been voided had we got stuck). There is an alternate route to the hotel that allows you to avoid crossing through the river, but it adds an additional 30-45 minutes to the trip. Being so eager to start our vacation, we took our chances.
Once we arrived at the hotel, the property and the incredible views were what struck me first. The hotel sits along a hillside, giving all rooms and common areas of the hotel breath-taking views. There are two pools- an infinity pool at the top of the property near the restaurant and lobby, and another pool down near the beach next to the beach bar & grill. Both have swim up bars- a great place to read your book while drinking an umbrella drink.
I can't say sing high enough praises for the hotel staff. It was refreshing to meet so many people that were so nice and genuinely cared about our experience there. No request was too much and there was always someone to help you, without feeling pushy. Andrea and Miguel were especially fantastic and taught us about the "Pura Vida" outlook on life. Blended drinks at the bar were very good and reasonably priced ($7-8). The food at the Barrancho Beach club (down by the beach) was great...wood-fired pizzas, tasty ceviche, and a stand-out burger. Dinner up at the 1492 restaurant was only average. We consider ourselves "foodies" and dinner was overpriced for average food at the main restaurant. There is one restaurant in town- Cambute- which is a little above average. If culinary experiences are high on your vacation priority list, this is probably not the place to go because you are limited to the 2 hotel restaurants, and the one restaurant in town.
We did a couple of activities while we were there. We went zip-lining which was fun and reasonably priced ($40ish per person). We heard that the zip-lining in other areas of Costa RIca (Arenal area) is better, but this was our first time so we had no other comparison. I would highly recommend the horse-back riding. The trail is beautiful- up into the hills, through the lush forrest, and ending up galloping along the beach. We saw monkeys along the way, and took some great photos at a look-out point at the top of the hill. I also had the Hot Stone Massage at that Casa Spa. Incredible! I have had massages in luxury hotels all over the world, and this was up there with the best.
We went during the "green" (read = rainy) season, which ended up being just fine. It rained briefly each afternoon, but nothing that ruined a beach day for us. We stayed in the least-expensive room and I was really impressed with it. We had a very comfy bed (down comforters, down pillows, nice linens), a flat screen tv, nice shower/bathroom, and my favorite- a private patio with a hammock overlooking the ocean. Listening to the monkeys howling and the ocean waves crashing from that patio was pure bliss. Another benefit to going in the green season was that the hotel was only about 1/4 of capacity, making it feel like our own private resort at times. It felt like a "one-on-one" date from the Bachelor at times with our dinner table overlooking the ocean and no one around. Very romantic! In fact, we remarked several times that the resort would be a fantastic place for a wedding, if anyone is looking for that type of venue.
I could go on and on, but to sum it up- take the leap of faith and book your vacation here. You will NOT be disappointed. :)

  • Stayed June 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, responded to this review, June 15, 2011
Thank you so much for your thorough comments and overview of your recent experience at Hotel Punta Islita. We are delighted to showcase some of Costa Rica's signature experiences in a way that fully reflects authenticity, local culture, and whimsical fun.

Including a GPS while renting a car in Costa Rica is a great peace-of-mind tool. We also strongly recommend contacting our Reservation staff just prior to driving. They are able to update visitors with the latest news on road conditions, tides, and other relevant information.

I am thrilled to read your glowing reviews of our staff. Our natural surroundings are impressive enough, but our team's warmth and enthusiasm is what we hope makes Hotel Punta Islita truly special. Muchas gracias!
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San Diego, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2011

This was the last stop of our weeklong trip in Costa Rica. We had driven from SJO to Arenal to Mal Pais earlier in the week, so the drive to Punta Islita was easy peasy for us ;)We knew that we would be floored by the luxury resort factor, but there really was no way to prepare ourselves for the paradise we would experience! Thinking back on it now still seems like a wonderful dream, everything was so incredible and made us so happy!
Room: we booked the cheapest room, which was still so amazing. Ocean view, private jetted plunge pool, sitting area and the most comfortable hammock on our outdoor lanai. Lush foliage maintains your privacy and makes you feel like you have your own personal garden. Super comfortable bed. Powerful and cold A/C. Plush spa robes.
Property: situated on a hillside, so EVERY room has an oceanview. About a 10 minute walk from the top of the resort, where the main restaurant is, to the bottom of the resort, where the beach is (or you could drive for 3 mins). Beautiful landscaping, very natural and tropical. Loved how eco-friendly they were, which I can imagine is hard for a big resort like this. Main restaurant, 1492, had the BEST free breakfast we had on our whole trip. I had the "light and healthy" breakfast each day, which consisted of juicy, ripe fruits, granola and yogurt. Also ate here for dinner and dessert one night - just okay. Actually preferred the restaurant in town, Cambute, for dinner, where we ate the other two nights during our stay. Prices were more reasonable and the food was much tastier! Mango daiquiris at Punta Islita, however, could not be beat. We miss those drinks!
Location: beautifully remote so you really feel isolated and on vacation. Traveling during the "green season" also contributed to the isolation-factor. We were content with lounging at our room's plunge pool and hammock, as well as at the beach. We rented boogie boards one day from Bo, the surfshop owner, and body surfed the next. Fun waves, sandy bottom but a little rocky getting into the water. We felt like it was our own private beach because no one else swam the entire time we were there! When we finally got the itch to explore, we took an easy drive to Playa Carrillo and Playa Samara, both beautiful white-sand beaches.
The Punta Islita staff were all extremely accomodating and helpful. We especially enjoyed talking and practicing our Spanish with Vicencio, Miguel and Andrea, our friendly bartenders who helped us fall in love with Costa Rica and the Pura Vida spirit. Highly highly recommend this resort for a couple or family looking for a relaxing, luxurious slice of tropical paradise.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, responded to this review, June 15, 2011
It is always wonderful and constructive to learn about our guest's full experience at Hotel Punta Islita. We genuinely appreciate your comments and I will gladly discuss them with our staff and management in hopes of ever-improving our services.

I am glad that you were able to fully enjoy our beaches, accommodations, gardens, and our people's friendly charm. I am especially grateful for acknowledging our sustainability programs. We are committed to the long-term health of our surrounding communities and eco-systems and are glad to support Costa Rica's planet-friendly, people-positive mantra.

Saludos!
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2011

We stayed here for one week in early June. It is an amazing place. We had an extremely private room with an ocean view, hammock, and private jacuzzi. You feel as though you are in your own world with nothing around you; it is amazing.

The hotel is basically built on the side of a mountain so all the rooms face the ocean. From our room it was about a 10 minute walk to the beach, but the hotel does provide transportation. The rooms are very nice and the bed comfortable.

The staff is excellent, especially the concierge Marvin. He was helpful in every way possible (helped us when the airline lost our bags, helped with the our broken car, etc.).

The hotel has a list of activities that they will provide for you including horseback riding, spa service, surf lessons, etc. We did a Monkey Quest and massages. The spa was terrific and we saw a family of Howler Monkeys on our Monkey Quest.

There are some cons to this hotel however...

It is truly remote. We rented a 4x4 (a must in Costa Rica) and it takes about 3hrs from Liberia Airport to get there including 40 mins on a very rocky dirt road. I don't remember how much transportation costs if you choose not to rent a car.

Other than the Hotel's provided activities there is not much to do as far as nightlife or any non-hotel sponsored activities (other than lounge at the beach or pool). The closest "big" town is Samara which is about a 40 minute drive.

The food is good, but not amazing, and is pricey. Being so remote, there is only one other eating option; a restaurant named Cambute. It is also very good and less pricey than the Hotel.

Overall, we absolutely loved our stay here and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

We traveled to Punta Islita for four nights for a honeymoon & it was breathtakingly beautiful. Our room had a beautiful view of the ocean with a really comfortable hammock. Although it was part of a duplex, it was completely private. Our outdoor area had a stone wall to one side and dense foliage to the other side. The infinity pool at the main building was great. It' overlooks hills and ocean. It's really remote so there's not a whole lot to do other than relax in a beautiful setting, which is exactly what we wanted for that trip. They offer a few activities, but mainly we just ate, read, swam, and walked on the beach. It's a little difficult to get to, but I'm sure that's what keeps it so private. This is definitely for people who just want to relax with a great view - Not so much for people who want to be always on the go with activities. We had a fantastic time.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, responded to this review, June 15, 2011
Thank you so much for selecting Hotel Punta Islita as your honeymoon destination. We are glad that you were able to enjoy our secluded setting, featuring unspoiled ocean cove views, picturesque local villages, and relaxing charm.
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Yealand
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

The hotel upgraded us to a room with a pool which was superb. The rooms are very private with excellent facilities. Food and service was excellent at the hotel and trips out were good. The sea is not very good for swimming as way too rough.

Room Tip: up grade to room with pool
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, responded to this review, June 15, 2011
Saludos and thank you for sharing a glimpse of your experience at Hotel Punta Islita.
We always aim to pamper our guests with privacy and premium services. Gracias!
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Additional Information about Hotel Punta Islita

Address: Punta Islita, Punta Islita 50201, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Punta Islita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Punta Islita 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Punta Islita is a luxury boutique beach resort set in a secluded ocean cove in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It's award-winning planet-friendly, people-positive model offers a unique opportunity to fully engage in intense eco-adventures and authentic cultural experiences. The property features Deluxe Rooms, Suites, and fully-outfitted Private Villas. Ideal for honeymoons, relaxation getaways, family vacations, extended stays, or destination weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Punta Islita Hotel
Resort Punta Islita

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