We recently returned from the Four Seasons. The accommodations were very nice, the surrounding beaches and landscaping were beautiful, the people were very nice and helpful, and the restaurants usually provided very good food.
However, the service was quite spotty. On several occasions it took a very long time before someone came to get our drink/food orders (no, the restaurant was not crowded), and it took an unusually long time to get our drinks after we ordered, despite several requests (given the profit the hotel makes on alcohol, can you believe that it took three different requests to get one drink!). One night, the waiter never bothered to return to the table and pour the remaining wine.
Yet on other occasions, the service was very prompt and good (e.g. DiMare). Yes, we realize that we're in a different country and that the resort pace is slower. Nonetheless, at a top-notch resort that prides itself on service (and charges you a lot for it!), some basic food service training is in order. Our advice is to expect to wait quite a while to give your drink and food order and then allow for at least a half-hour after you've ordered before your food arrives. While having a leisurely meal is nice, it's good to factor in the time if you have an activity planned at a particular time.
Speaking of activities, we did the Witches' Rock zipline tour and loved it. We learned from other guests that there are other zipline places near the resort, but Four Seasons does not advertise those (e.g., Congo?). We also really enjoyed the golf course tour. Definitely include it in your plans!
Based on advice from previous Four Seasons guests' reviews on tripadvisor, we did a personal river tour (Palo Verde tour) with Mainor Lara Bustos at tours-your-way.com. We were not disappointed! Mainor provided a clean airconditioned van and entertained and educated our children about the country of Costa Rica and its flora and fauna. He knew lots about all of the monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, birds, and bats that we saw (we saw a lot of animals up close and personal!). The lunch that's included in the price of the tour was a traditional Costa Rican hot meal that was delicious and plentiful. No boring box lunch! We were able to stop at both a liquor store (given the ridiculous markup of wine at the resort, we bought our own at a fraction of the price -- $5 for a bottle that sold for $40 at the resort) and a souvenir shop on the way back to the resort. Having your own personable and personal guide is so much better than being part of a large tour with people you don't know!
The bottom line is that we had a great stay. Consistent and more prompt food/drink service would have made it fantastic!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.