My husband and I have been to Mexico a lot (Cancun/Riviera Maya area & Los Cabos) and we always stay at the all-inclusive resorts there. We've always enjoyed our trips there, but this year we were looking for something a little different-- something a little more peaceful & quiet. So this year we decided we would finally go to Costa Rica. We looked around at different resorts & hotels here on TripAdvisor and decided we didn't want to go with an all-inclusive, large resort this time and Hotel Punta Islita had so many positive reviews so we decided on it. And I'm so glad that we did! All of the positive reviews are there for a reason! My husband called the hotel with some questions during the process of booking our stay, and right away, the staff was so helpful & informative. We stayed in one of the casitas [it has a garden terrace & private plunge pool] and it was gorgeous! We really enjoyed having our own plunge pool and the view was just beautiful. There were a couple of days where we stayed in the backyard of our room all day, just hanging out in the plunge pool and reading books in our hammock & on the terrace. It was just the kind of vacation we had been wanting. Most of our days were spent in similar relaxing fashion, but instead of just hanging out at our private pool, we would go to the pool by the main restaurant after breakfast and stay there for a couple of hours before walking down to the beach in the afternoon. Our first full day there, we decided to explore the beach, so we took a walk onto the rocky point that juts out into the ocean. It was an arduous little journey, especially in flip-flops, but it was so much fun! There were crabs and sea urchins by the dozens and a shallow cave and the ocean was crashing against the rocks-- absolutely breathtaking! After beach-time, most days we would head to the Borrancho Beach Club for lunch, but one day they just brought us lunch right at the beach. We sat at one of the tables under the trees that border the beach and had delicious pizza (Hawaiian & Supreme) and drank out of coconuts :-). At night, we would head back up to the main restaurant (1492) for dinner. I would say that the food at Punta Islita is well above average compared to most of the food that I've had at other resorts and hotels. We liked the fact that the ingredients were local and fresh. Aside from the food, the servers always went out of their way to create a perfect dining experience. They were always so attentive at every meal and always treated us like we were special. Really the staff at Punta Islita is a huge part of what made our whole trip here special: from Marvin, who helped us with check-in and then checked on us almost every day to make sure we had everything we needed and that we were having a great time, to the restaurant staff (Vinicio, Eduardo, Edgar, Randy, Miguel and Jose Diego) who always called us by name and treated us like we were part of their family, to just the staff that we would pass on the road or on the pathways who always said hello and gave a friendly smile.
Punta Islita was a more expensive trip for us than our trips to Mexico and Jamaica. Getting there is more expensive not only because of the flight, but because you also have to pay for transportation from the airport in Liberia to the hotel which is about a 2.5 hour drive. The excursions are pretty expensive too. It was going to be $1200 US if we wanted to go fishing for a day. We did decide to do the Monkey Quest tour, but it was only $49 US per person. It lasted for about 2.5 hours and we got to see three different groups of howler monkeys and it was also a great way to see some more of the countryside and the farms and villages. The meals were also fairly expensive. Breakfast is free though (aside from a tip for the servers, which is well-deserved!), and they do offer a meal plan that you can purchase when you book your stay or even after you get there if you feel that it would be more economical. We decided not to do the meal plan and we probably spent more on meals than one would have to. We always got appetizers and desserts and I usually had wine at dinner. And we usually got mixed drinks while sitting by the pool, which added to our expense, but you have to get someone to make you a watermelon mojito at least once while you're there. They are sooo delicious and refreshing and are currently my very favorite drink!
There are some things that I think would bother some people. You probably will get bugs in your room. There are these little 1-inch long caterpillars or centipedes that are all over the place and were constantly in our room. There were a couple of very small spiders, a gecko and a small scorpion that got into our room also at various times during the week. But you have to expect this to some degree any time you stay in a tropical place. It's inevitable and even though pesky at times, the wildlife here is part of the magic. On our walks around the property we saw a golden orb spider, geckos, iguanas, a praying mantis, large frogs, a vine snake and once an armadillo came out to visit the restaurant while we were having dinner. And speaking of walks, the stairs are endless! Just walking to dinner or the beach is a pretty good workout especially with the high temperatures and humidity. However, the hotel does offer free transportation to and from the beach and within the grounds if needed. Also, this is a very quiet, tranquil resort so you won't find an activity director at the pool or raucous drinking games going on at all hours at the pool and beach and given the secluded location, there is no nightlife to speak of, but that's not what we wanted this time anyway, so that was fine with us. It also seems to be a good place for families, so if you're there for strictly couple-time, you might be bothered by the presence of children. It didn't really bother us because the hotel wasn't very crowded so there were only 2 or 3 families with children in the first place and most of the time those families were down at the beach and at the pool that is by the beach. The pool that we went to each day is the one by the 1492 restaurant and it is for ages 16+. And if all else failed, we had our private plunge pool to retreat to.
For us, this trip was perfect and I'm so glad we picked Hotel Punta Islita for our stay. I highly recommend it and would love to go back!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Punta Islita Hotel
- Resort Punta Islita