We stayed at Punta Islita because it was highly rated. Those that say the road is terrible are correct. Depending on which direction you come from there are from 1-2 hours of rough riding. But... we were ready for that because we had been in Costa Rica for a few days and saw a lot of bad roads. If a few bumpy roads bothers you, then you probably should stay in the cities.
Upon arrival we were greeted by several friendly folks who loaded our bags and took us to our room. Wow... not what I expected. The sliding patio door, which was the main entrance strangely, looked like someone had pried it open with a crow-bar recently. It locked, but you could pull on it and it slid open partially until the lock caught on the edge of the torn-up latch assembly. OK, whatever. The room looked dingy and old. The bathroom tub was tile, and the grout looked dirty, the fixtures were not in very good condition. The back door of the room was like the patio door, someone had been hacking at it with various instruments of destruction in the past, from the inside and from the outside!! The wood around the latch was all chopped up, and you could see right through the cracks to the outside. There was NO deadbolt, only a flimsy lock button on the handle itself. We never felt secure in this room.
On 2 different days we had a scorpion in our room. First time it was small and I got rid of it myself, the second time it was a huge black one, and I called to have housekeeping dispose of it. We realized that about a 1/2 inch opening along the bottom of that back door was letting any critter walk right in our room, so we rolled up a towel and put it against the bottom of the door and that seemed to help.
Service - we heard a lot about the great service, but they were not that friendly to us. Now the caveat here is that we had just come from staying at the Arenal Nayara hotel, (see my review on that), and compared to that place I suppose it's hard to measure up, so I will not slam them too bad on this, some of the staff did try to be friendly on occasion. The one staff member who I would rate outstanding was MIguel. He was a bartender that really seemed to love his job, and love people! He made us feel very welcome, was truly interested in us, and even helped me to learn some Spanish. They should give that guy a raise. He treated EVERYONE like royalty! He stood out from the rest of the staff.
Beach area - spectacular! That is the crown jewel of this place. The beach is nice, they had plenty of good lounge chairs and tables around to relax and watch the waves. There was also a nice pool with swim-up bar. One evening we had dinner at the beach, and it was lovely! The food was not great of course, because they had to keep it warm buffet style, but the place was decorated with lights, torches, etc. White linen tablecloths, etc. VERY romantic. We loved it!
All in all if I were going back to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica again I would probably look at other hotels to see if I could find a nicer one. I probably couldn't beat the beach, but the rooms certainly have to be nicer somewhere else.
- 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