Let me start of by saying that I was at the resort a year ago, it is possible that improvements have been made.
I traveled to the resort with 2 other friends and when booking, we were under the impression that it was a 4 star. Honestly, it was far from it. I have stayed at a number of other resorts in many other countries and in my opinion, I couldn't honestly give this resort higher than 2 stars.
HOTEL ROOM - The majority of rooms closer to the main part of the hotel are 1 story units with about 4-5 rooms on each strip. Our room was off in a corner close to the public beach. The front wall and main entrance to the room was one big sliding glass door, very easy to break into...you see where this is going. On our 3rd night there, I went back to our room after dinner to brush my teeth. As I approached our villa, I noticed that all the outside lights were burnt out. It kinda creeped me out but I went into our room anyway. As I approached, I heard something in the bushes but assumed it was an animal. I was in the room for about 5 minutes and made sure to lock up before leaving. Later that evening, my friend returned to the room only to find the door wide open. We realized that my purse had been stolen along with some make up. Luckily we had locked up all our valuables so the theif only got away with my puffer, some eye drops and my purse. The staff were not very helpful (could have been a communication issue) and was later told by another staff member that these kind of things happen all the time at the resort. We had to argue to get moved to one of the newer rooms at the top of the resort (which were very nice). But the best they could give us was one king sized bed that the 3 of us shared.
THE STAFF - Most of the staff were very nice, always smiling etc. But I found it odd that they were premitted to solicit the women so openly. Some of the girls there were very young, 15 or 16 and these men were taking them for 'walks on the beach' at night. Some of the staff were also very pushy when it came to drugs, openly offering 'grass' and 'cocain'! Definitely wasn't expecting this.
THE BEACH - As mentioned, the beach was public and not necessarily white sand, but beautiful in its own right. I didn't venture into the water because it was very murky, but loved visiting the beach to see the monkeys! This is one of the things I loved about Costa Rica, the monkeys and wild life....absolutely beautiful!
THE FOOD - Unfortunately, the buffet left a lot to be desired. I ate a lot of rice and beans, although one night the guacamole was very good. Because the main restaurant is outdoors, the food gets soggy and warm very quickly. Birds and bugs are also on the food. The one a la carte restaurant was quite good, no complaints there. Unfortunately the majority of your meals will be at the buffet.
ENTERTAINMENT - Not really a lot of entertainment, and the bar closes at 11:00 or 12:00 so be prepared for early nights. I wouldn't recommend going into the town....we didn't feel very safe after dark when we tried it.
Overall, Costa Rica is beautiful and I recommend going in November when everything is green. We ended up having a wonderful vacation because we met some fantastic people at the resort. But I also strongly recommend staying away from this particular resort. All the friends we made agreed that they would never go back. There are many others resorts in Liberia that may cost a few hundred dollars extra, but it will be well worth it. I truely did not feel safe at this resort (not something I have experienced in my past travels) and no one wants to feel that way for a week.
Lisa (Toronto - 28 years old)
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- Also Known As:
- Costa Smeralda Hotel Province Of Guanacaste