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“Stunning location, excellent service... prepare to relax!” 4 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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Free Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Punta Islita
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Stunning location, excellent service... prepare to relax!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We just came home from a 3 night stay here for my friends 30th Birthday! Let me just say that aside from the obvious gorgeous views, the service here is absolutely amazing! Everyone goes out of their way to make sure your stay is excellent.
First - This property is remote and takes quite a bit of a windy, unpaved road to get there, if you are driving. We flew into San Jose and drove (5 hours)... The last two hours is pretty rough... if you have car sick troubles, look into taking a puddle jumper plane to the local airport... ask the hotel for help... Hector investigated getting a plane back to San Jose and its about $150/ person. But it could be worth it for the time savings. Or, if you enjoy seeing raw country side... you'll enjoy it, just build that in to your plans!
When we arrived, we were very late in the evening (because it took us so long) and they greeted us with fresh cool towels. We were hungry so we went right to the restaurant...I'll get to my review of the food later... and again, the service was excellent.
After dinner we were both escorted to our rooms... we were in 8, had a warm whirlpool, two lounge chairs and a hammock. Very private and charming. Room was spacious and charming.
Our friends were taken to a different room on a different part of the property.
The next day, after breakfast, we were approached by Luis who offered to move us to the casita next to our friends, stating that they didn't realize we were traveling together... So, we looked at the room, which had a better view and a cool plunge pool (only difference, really)... still had a king 4 poster bed, hammock, yard & lounge chairs... They moved our things for us, too!
Both nights we retreated to our Casita, and curled up in the Hammock and fell asleep looking at the stars... which were amazing...
Luis, Eric, Miguel, Hector and Andrea are just a few of the names I remember who assisted us in making our trip fantastic.
There is plenty of wildlife, lizards, birds, racoons, skunks and more and it is fun to see it all around.
There is another pool, restaurant and bar down at the beach and again, service is impeccable. All the bar drinks were great! a bit pricey but great!
So, the food is why I didn't give this 5 stars. Honestly, the food was a bit lack luster. Expensive and it was just OK.
Standard breakfast, standard lunch, and dinners - well, again, expensive and just OK. The upper restaurant's ambiance was fantastic and i enjoyed it very much. There is a restaurant about 3 min away... they will tell you the name.. begins with a K - which was STELLAR! I'd go there again in a heartbeat.
All in all, I really enjoyed our stay, and I'd definitely go again, but I'd take a plane, and eat at the other restaurant and I'd be interested in checking out the town. Hotel Punta Islita is a beautiful place to just relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Room Tip: I don't think there is a bad room here... We stayed in both 8 and 203...The honeymoon suites com...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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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, December 7, 2012
It was a true pleasure to be your hosts in Costa Rica and we are quite grateful for your valuable and thorough feedback. Sharing your comments with our staff and management is the best way to encourage our strengths and address our shortcomings. Thrilled to learn that you enjoyed Cambute’s Restaurant. It is owned and ran by a local entrepreneur and offers a wonderful way to experience our neighboring communities and directly benefits the local economy. We are very proud of Cambute! Sleeping while cocooned in a hammock while stargazing is one of life’s little wonderful experiences. So glad you enjoyed it so much. Warmest regards!
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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
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Boca Raton
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We did not plan to stay here and fell upon it when our first choice fell through. The rooms were nice and clean, I enjoyed the splash pool in the evenings. Beach is close and there is a place to eat and umbrellas/chairs are provided. Food was not up to par but we like to explore and found some neat places in the area. Staff is not overly anxious to help you get off grounds, (which you need to do here, do not go if you are accustomed to US or European 5 Star resorts) and a few times it felt as if we were bothering them. Golf course was in poor shape, don't bother to haul your clubs here. But the views are amazing and the property/gardens are gorgeous, so for these alone we had an enjoyable stay. We commented on the plane home that this is a perfect place for honeymooners from a city.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, December 7, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. I have read your comments with concern and surprise and have discussed them with our management and staff. Our on-site team is composed of mostly local men and women who are delighted to showcase Costa Rica’s authentic hospitality and friendly character. Your described experience is uncharacteristic and I sincerely apologize for any shortcomings. If you would like to provide more details, I would greatly appreciate it. I cordially invite you to contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

My husband and i came here recently on our honeymoon. It was the perfect place and we had a great time. I had booked a regular room but we received an email prior to arrival that due to construction on the property we would receive a free upgrade or had the option to cancel with no penalty. We decided to keep the reservation and we're really glad we did. Upon arrival we were met with cold towels and offered a tour of the property. Our room wasn't ready yet (we did arrive early and didn't let them know of our early arrival) so we were brought to the poolside bar to check in and given complimentary welcome drinks. We were driven up to our room which ended up being a private 2 bedroom/3 bathroom villa with it's own small pool and an ocean view. It was an amazing setting. The construction closed the upper pool and restaurant but we never even missed it- between our own pool and the pool by the beach and the ocean there were plenty of options. We spent the net 4 days relaxing in our pool or on the beach and doing different activities- spa, horseback riding, sea turtles, etc. The restaurant on the property serves a complimentary breakfast which we enjoyed every day. We walked in to town and bought a few things to eat for lunch and we went to the restaurant in town every night for dinner, which was great. the restaurant on site is pretty expensive and we ate there once, but really didn't need a fancy dinner every night. overall we really enjoyed our stay and this was by far the most relaxing part of our vacation.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 3
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, November 19, 2012
I am delighted that you chose to keep your reservation despite the finishing touches on our latest remodeling and sprucing up project. Thank you for acknowledging your room upgrade to a Villa. I am thrilled to learn that your experience at the Villa compensated for the temporary upper pool and restaurant closing. I would also like to thank you for your kudos to our complimentary breakfast options: traditional Costa Rican (rice and beans, eggs, fresh corn tortillas, cheese, and ripe plantain), continental, or granola & cereal. Thrilled to read that you enjoyed visiting Islita, our neighboring community. It is a charming, colorful little town and offers a chance to experience Costa Rica at its most authentic. I hope you have a chance to return in the very near future. The renovations are ready, all facilities are open, and Hotel Punta Islita looks better than ever! ☺
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Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

My partner and I stayed here recently for a few days. We were very disappointed with our overall experience compared to the way that this property is marketed based on much of our research. We travel a lot and researched this place extensively, so we were very excited to go. During our stay, we tried very hard not to nit-pick, but we kept finding ourselves continuously disappointed by various things (outlined below). Overall, this is one of the few properties that we have ever visited where we don't wish to return.

To start with the positives, the property itself is gorgeous! The views are some of the best in Costa Rica and the property is very well maintained. The property is quite large, so there is a lot of room for exploring and it never felt too crowded. The rooms were also well maintained and everything was in working order. The property really does look like the pictures on the websites and brochures.

To move to the negatives: we were welcomed by our eco-concierge, but it was very half-heartedly. He seemed more annoyed than happy. We were quickly ushered to our room and did not receive any written information about pool/restaurant/etc hours and we were not given a tour of the property or introduced to any of the ammenities. Our room was nice, but we did not have hot water for the entire length of our stay (which made showering quite unpleasant). The bedding was only standard--I've had better at a Hampton Inn. The beach pool was also dirty with lots of bugs and the pool in our room also was not cleaned as there was a lot of film on the walls and filter area. The food was downright horrible. The included breakfast options were limited and if you cannot/don't want to eat eggs, you're doomed to cereal and warm milk every day unless you pay for an "upgraded" meal. Lunch was decent though, but dinner was absolutely disgusting and we avoided eating dinner as much as possible. There were a lot of activities available, but none of them ever started on time. I understand the laid back culture of Costa Rica, but why publish a schedule if it's not going to be followed? With the exception of the "rank and file" staff, we found the management to be quite pretentious and snotty to the point that we were afraid to ask for anything that we needed or ask any questions about local culture, etc. Many of the higher management staff--including some of the activity sponsors--seemed to walk around with clipboards with notes about each room (yes, we can read Spanish and no, the comments were not always nice) and seemed to push spending money or catering to their "favorite" clients more than having a good experience or caring if you were actually enjoying yourself. It really made our stay quite uncomfortable and we were glad to leave. This was really the most disappointing part and I'm sure we could have overlooked all of the above if we weren't so uncomfortable around the staff.

Overall, this really is a beautiful property, but sometimes the views don't make up for an otherwise poor experience. I would definitely recommend looking into other properties or adjusting your expectations of your stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, November 19, 2012
Thank you so much for choosing Costa Rica and Hotel Punta Islita. I am delighted to learn that you fully enjoyed our spectacular surroundings. With our just-completed renovations, Hotel Punta Islita is more gorgeous than ever. That said, I read your comments about service with much dismay. I thank you for giving us an opportunity to address any shortcomings and would certainly appreciate having a chance to further learn from your uncharacteristic experience. I kindly ask you to write to me at: outreach@grupoislita.com We certainly value all feedback as a tool to ensure that the experience enjoyed by all our guests rises to the high standards that we aim for and consistently achieve. I thank you in advance for your additional input. Sincere regards, Maria.
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mountain view, ca
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

My husband and I vacationed here for 5 days and had an amazing experience. The hotel staff has clearly been trained well - their professionalism and coordinated service was evident throughout our stay. We did several excursions offered through the hotel - ziplining was awesome, the turtle night walk was so special, and our far-and-away favorite was the self-paddled canoe trip down the river. Our room (10) had an incredible view and was comfortable, private, romantic, and well appointed. We ate at the upper and lower restaurants and truly never got bored once during our stay. The spa was first class, too. I felt good knowing that we were staying at a hotel resort that was locally owned and invested, versus a Westin or some other corporate conglomerate. This place would also be good for families traveling with older children (safe, yet room to explore), although we thought it was perfect for the two of us. The swim up bar and infinity pool - yes please! One of those places that actually matches the advertising photos on the website.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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 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, November 4, 2012
Thank you so much for your visit and for taking the time to post on Trip Advisor. I am thrilled to read about the many adventures that you enjoyed during your stay. We certainly hope to showcase some of Costa Rica's most amazing eco-experiences! But I especially would like to thank you for noting our commitment to our natural and social environment. Our neighbor communities are key to the Hotel Punta Islita experience. We feel quite blessed about having a chance to ensure that the benefits of tourism translate into economic opportunity and environmental stewardship. Warmest regards!
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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

We arrived after driving our rented mid-size 4x4 from the La Fortuna area, finding that the road was not nearly as difficult as some have reported. The road was very well signed from the main highway to the hotel making all but impossible to get lost. We had booked a double room but the hotel upgraded us to a casita with plunge pool to offset the inconvenience of restaurant remodeling. When viewing the room with our concierge Marvin, I questioned the comfort of the sofa bed (one king bed and one sofa bed, we were two guys traveling) and we agreed that it would be fine once converted. However, about 15 minutes later Marvin told us they would like to upgrade us further to a 2 bedroom villa - an offer we gratefully accepted and enjoyed for four days.

While at Punta Islita we enjoyed golf on the excellent 9-hole par 3 course, canopy ziplining and kayaking down the nearby river. We also took advantage of our vehicle to explore nearby Samara and Corozalito beaches. The infiniti pool was open contrary to other recent posts and the attached pool bar made for delightful afternoons. Lunch was brought up from the beach restaurant on request for no extra charge. The beach restaurant offered quality food although expensive, but we felt this was to be expected in a somewhat isolated locale. We also walked the 500m to the local bar restaurant in Islita town were more traditional (and excellent) Costa Rican food was on offer for much less cost - and let's not forget the icy cold beer at all venues! The beach is not the classic sandy expanse but a combination of stony and sandy sections. However the swimming is safe and easy. When the conditions were right there was also a decent surf break but this is not really a surf destination.

The entire staff at Punta Islita were friendly, welcoming and consistently helpful - nothing we wanted seemed to be a problem. Our Spanish ability was limited but the English of the staff is excellent and everybody made us feel at home - literally. A fabulous property in a gorgeous area of Costa Rica and the highlight of our trip through Costa Rica. Hopefully the future presents an opportunity of a return visit or two.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 8
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, November 4, 2012
Warm regards from Costa Rica! Thank you so much for visiting our little corner of the world. It is quite exciting to have a chance to host travelers from all around the world. I also thank you for your thoughtful review and have noted your helpful comments. I sincerely apologize for the inconveniences that arose out of the works that coincided with your visit and am relieved to learn that the offered room upgrade helped offset these at least a bit. Works are to be completed in the next couple of weeks and we look forward to an amazing season. I am delighted to learn that Hotel Punta Islita was the highlight of your Costa Rica holiday and certainly hope to have a chance to see you again in the near future. Gracias!
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Our stay was incredible, thanks to Mavin and the crew. The view is incredible, the food was great, and the service was second to none. We had gone for our honeymoon 10 years ago and returned this year for our anniversary. Only watchout was that there is significant updating going on at the main building. They had completely renovated the bottom area but the top pool was not as usable due to the construction going on all day. While we found that disappointing (our favorite pool and area in the final trip), the folks there were willing to do whatever it took to make it an amazing trip. I would double check before going to see if their construction in the new kitchen is done. Even if we knew, we probably still would have stayed.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the middle of the resort for the best view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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, October 12, 2012
We really appreciate your return visit, especially since it was for such a special occasion. Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary! It is certainly regrettable that your stay coincided with refurbishment work but I am glad to learn that our staff was able to compensate through attentive service and hospitality I am glad to report that all work should be completed by November 1st. Please write to me at: outreach@grupoislita.com I would love to have a chance to further discuss your visit. Warmest regards!
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Additional Information about Hotel Punta Islita

Address: Punta Islita, Punta Islita 50201, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Punta Islita is a luxury beach resort set in a secluded ocean cove in Guanacaste (Costa Rica. Hotel Punta Islita features Deluxe Rooms, Suites, and fully-outfitted private Villas. Authentic experiences and eco-adventures highlight the best of Costa Rica's exciting cultural and natural treasures. 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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