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“Pretty nice but expensive services” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Conde del Mar Hotel and Resort

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Casa Conde del Mar Hotel and Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Panama Beach | Pacific North Coast, 68240, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Gulf of Papagayo
Lafayette, Colorado
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Pretty nice but expensive services”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

We are a family of 4 traveling with 2 young kids (almost 3yo and almost 1yo). We stayed at Casa Conde Del Mar Papagayo for 4 nights. As we walked in to the reception desk, a server brought us 4 champagne cups of pineapple iced juice. We booked a “beachfront deluxe room only” therefore breakfast was not included. The hotel is far from any restaurants (the closest ones were in Playa Hermosa and only a few were open at this time of the year). The area is underdeveloped –which is okay but be prepared. The food at the hotel was good (we had 2 dinners with the hotel) but watch your wallet, way too expensive. We figured out that the hotel is getting its money from you eating at its restaurant, and we were not pleased with this business model. For breakfast, since we didn’t have it included in the room price, they claimed providing us a “deal”: if paid at the hotel (with your room bill), it’s $12/adult, all tax included for a 3-option breakfast, otherwise it’s the restaurant’s prices (same 3 types of breakfast ran $12-15 plus 23% tax). We decided to go with the hotel deal but it wasn’t clear if and how much we would be charged for breakfast for our 3-yo boy. When we asked, they were really annoyed and seemed surprised that a 3-yo would eat his own plate of breakfast. After much talking, they offered that the 3 yo could select only one plate from the 3-option breakfast for free. After that, we decided to cook our own breakfast. There is no stove, but we used the coffee pot to boil water for our oatmeal.
The grounds are gorgeous and very well kept. The hotel is part of the iguana reserve and you will find lots of iguanas on the grass and around the pool. The pool is very pretty. The beautiful beach (Playa Panama) is right next to the property and is awesome. The water was very warm and calm, perfect for us with young kids. The kids had so much playing in the black sand or in the little waves.
The room was very nice, spacious, very clean and kept up. Air conditioning worked well. The beds and sheets were good. We asked for a fridge and a baby bed, and both were delivered right the way. While the room is nice, the walls of the room are very thin, and we could hear our neighbors (who stayed only one night). We had a little problem during the heavy rain storms: the ceiling leaked quite a bit but luckily the leaky spot was over the bathroom counter so we just put towels to soak up the water.
Except for the problem with the breakfast, the staff was very friendly. We had a problem with the room key and we were helped right the way.
One last comment, all guests must wear a one-time use wristband 24/7 during the entire stay. This is supposed to tell the staff if you have breakfast included or not, and probably if you are a hotel guest or not on the property most likely because there is access to the hotel grounds from the beach. We found this very annoying and we proceeded to remove the wristband since we didn’t have breakfast at the hotel.
I would recommend this hotel is you have a car and if you do not mind pay a lot for your meals and service, e.g., laundry.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charlottesville, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Our son and daughter-in-law celebrated their wedding here. What a beautiful spot! Central American Paradise! Excellent service, wonderful food, terrific ambiance, and very reasonable cost. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

Charlottesville, Virginia

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, CA
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

I stayed at this hotel in April 2013, and it took until mid-June to straighten out an incorrect credit card charge. After returning to the USA in April, I noticed that the hotel had incorrectly charged me $100 that I had never authorized. I emailed the hotel to complain and they said that they would immediately reverse the charge, but this didn't happen. Follow-up emails didn't help, the hotel kept promising that the charge was reversed, but it stayed on my bill. I finally had to dispute the charge with my credit card provider, and the charge wasn't reversed for nearly two months.

I'm giving this hotel two stars because of this hassle. I otherwise would have given it four stars. It's a pleasant, beach-front hotel with lush grounds and a huge, warm pool. The staff provided good service, aside from the credit card fiasco. Massage therapist Ingrid was excellent. There was excellent Wi-Fi in the rooms (our room was close to the main building, however.) The howler monkeys in the parking lot are an interesting attraction. The hotel is a bit isolated from anything else.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013 via mobile

the hotel is not that bad. pretty spacious rooms surrounded by nice gardens and very close to the beach. The food is quite good but really expensive, and there aren't too many options.
For an average hotel the price is very high.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Stayed there for 4 nights with friends in April 2013 and left the hotel with mixed feelings...

The hotel is beautiful, rooms are surrounded by gardens and are all very close to the massive pool in the middle of the hotel. Great spot to relax and get away from it all. The hotel has direct access to the beach. The beach was ok but not the best I've seen. Not a massive issue since the pool was very nice too.

The main issue was more related to cleanliness and service : when we checked in our room, the bathroom, the floor and the beds were covered with dead mosquitos (lovely, isnt it?). My belief would be that the room hadn't been opened since the previous occupants had left which would explain all the dead bugs everywhere in the room. The safe didn't work, and we got stuck many times outside our room because the keys didn't work either ... Staff was friendly but not very efficient, at the restaurant in particular. 4 times out of 5, they would come with the wrong order and they once served us tap water pretending it was mineral water, which is not the best idea obviously! The food was ok but there is not much choice, if you stay there I'd recommend going out to Coco beach for dinner (make sure you book your taxi for an hour before the actual time you want them to arrive ;) --> Costa Rica time)

We went and had dinner to Ginger which was really good, and also the Seafood restaurant close to Coco beach, very good too!

The location of the hotel is not very convenient since it is isolated from shops, restaurants or any attractions, you need to get a taxi to move around. But I would still recommend the hotel for couples or families looking for a getaway in a great environment ...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

The hotel is pretty and the pool and food are nice, but they slammed our credit card with bogus charges, and also slammed the credit cards of two of the other group members. On the dates of our visit, they had no activities desk and no concierge to help plan stuff to do. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere and there is NOTHING to do except swim in the pool or lie on the beach.

On the plus side, the rooms were clean, the wireless worked, the restaurant food was good, and the local troop of howler monkeys was entertaining, even if they did start howling at 5 AM every morning and woke us up. I suggest you stay someplace where you can walk to town, or at least they will have sailboats to rent, or SOMETHING to do. If you're on a honeymoon, it doesn't matter.

We did a Palo Verde nature boat ride which was excellent, although 45 minutes from the hotel, reached over a bumpy dirt road, passable in a regular car during the dry season. Highly recommended if you like wildlife. Iguanas, birds, crocodiles, etc.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

We were here for four nights in March 2013. Great place, beautiful pool and beach. Service was outstanding. Food really terrific! Our room was clean, not new but I would not make that a reason not to stay because the grounds, pool and beautiful beach was lovely. The birds were varied and fun to watch from parrots to magpie jays, but the most fun were the howler monkeys! They race around above you in the trees, we saw many babies who just like our babies are silly and very playful! We did not notice lots of howls from them so they are very happy to share their home with us!
This is a hotel which offers great value!

Room Tip: Lovely rooms and gardens! Pool and Beach 5 star!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Casa Conde del Mar Hotel and Resort

Address: Panama Beach | Pacific North Coast, 68240, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#6 Spa Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Gulf of Papagayo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Conde del Mar Hotel and Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 26
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Also Known As:
Casa Conde Del Mar Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo

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