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“Great Resort - Nice grounds and friendly people” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Vista Bahia Beach Resort

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Vista Bahia Beach Resort
Papagayo Blvd, Playa Panama, Costa Rica (Formerly Monarch Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Playa Panama
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Resort - Nice grounds and friendly people”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Vista Bahia for a week in April 2013. We enjoyed the number of activities that the resort itself offered, such as well-maintained hiking trails, beautiful views of sunsets, a lookout on the point, a private beach (La Playita), and easy walking access to Playa Panama. Note that because this resort is located on a bay, the beaches most near it do not have big waves for surfing. The resort itself has a number of amenities, including a pool, hammocks, and a restaurant/bar with complimentary breakfast.

The employees are very friendly and helpful. The room was very spacious, included A/C, and had two nice balconies overlooking the bay.

One thing to note is that this hotel is not near any towns. The closest (very) small town is Playa Hermosa, which is about a 45 minute walk (5 minute drive) away. The next larger town is Playa del Coco, which is about a 15 minute drive down the coast. You can take a taxi to either of these locations for about $15 USD (one-way) or rent a car to access them. Playa del Coco is an active town with a great beach that has larger waves.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    67
    39
    20
    12
    10
See reviews for
44
74
8
Business
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

This resort has really nice large condo style units with deck, and super quiet grounds, which are far removed from the crazy beach bar scenes!! It has its own small private beach, altho too many jelly fish for comfort along the beach & in water!! Super place for couples or young families! I really liked the open air bar/restaurant area, but the bar itself needed some cooling fans!! Good quality for the price!!
Not for the heavy partyers unless maybe during peak season!

Room Tip: Most rooms have deck or view overlooking Playa Panama, but maybe ask irrequest!?
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My wife and I stayed here after arriving from NYC in Liberia. It was a perfect place to start our tour of Costa Rica: spacious, clean rooms in small 4 unit bungalows each with a balcony, a short walk to the beach, kayaks free for guests to use, a pool perfect for children or lounging, the food was adequate and the staff very friendly. We liked it so much that we came back with our daughter and finished our tour at the Vista Bahia as well. On our last morning, they arranged for a boat to ferry us over the cove to a coral reef for snorkeling. In the off-season, the rates were excellent - 50% of what we paid for elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
POrtland, OR
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Values are getting harder to find these days, but not here. I was treated like a king. Everyone knows you by name. You feel comfortable sort of a home away from home. Great service. Snorkeling and Kayaking are included great private cove to see octopus, sting ray, eels, colorful fish. You can even find Nemo here. I enjoyed it and cant wait to come back again. It is a sanctuary, kind of a secret. Away from the hustle and noise of Playa del Coco, with afterglow sunsets in the sky. So relaxing and peaceful. This is a True Getaway not to be missed. Recharge your batteries here you won't regret it! And such a bargain compared to the other resorts in the area!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We had a bad experience 1/2 mile down the road at an overrated "Villas" place. This Resort was a true Resort with a laid back setting that smoothed our nerves after a disaster of four night at Villa Sol.

The staff at Vista Bahia is great especially Mr. Blue who appears to work the dinning room area from early morning all thru the night. When does he sleep? Staff very helpful and did Kayak trip early in AM with Resort Kayak, very nice. Close to Gingers Restaurant which is best in the area. Quite pool, quite and restful place.

Room Tip: ask for a room in Jr. Suites close to beach trail.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We do not like big resorts and the truth is that when we booked, we had no idea how big this place would be. We arrived and it was almost empty (it was low season) and this made it a bit sad. However, the rooms are spacious (so much so, that we had two wash basins) and clean. The property is quite big, has a small private beach and a couple lovely elevated decks in the middle of the woods, where you can lounge and look at the bay.
The service was friendly and correct. I think that if we had been there when the place had more occupancy, we would not have gotten the impression that the place was a bit sad... at least, for a group of young friends like us. I think that families will greatlyy enjoy Vista Bahia Beach Resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Hi! I don't even know where to start...Hmmm I think I liked the people, the views, the accommodations, the grounds, the food, the drinks all equally as well. The trip was great, and I was envious of every traveler staying longer than a week!

We were welcomed with a mixed fruit smoothie at our check in on Sunday night around 8 PM. We were able to get a golf cart to bring our luggage up to the room. This cart was also available throughout the day to get back & forth from the lobby/restaurant/pool area. However, we chose to walk mostly. There is a small hill and a few trails on the property that overlook the bay. The trails on the property are beautiful. They lead to the secluded beach, to the public beach, and just around the property itself. It was easy to walk around.

The Costa Rican culture is wonderful. People are so kind, and the resort staff excel in their service. Azul was wonderful as were all the other waitstaff and front desk attendants. They kindly made accommodations for us to take tours, reserve the kayaks onsite, coordinating cab rides to Playa del Coco, etc. I can't say enough how nice it all was.

The hotel had perhaps 12-15 other guests at the time. As such, I could easily spend half an hour swimming in the pool or relaxing in a lounge chair by myself. However, it was nice that other times guests were also there to socialize with. The pool and beaches were perfect. Temperatures while we were there were in the 90's usually and were so comfortable. It wasn't like a humid Wisconsin day in August.

The fare was exceptional. There wasn't a meal I didn't love and the prices were great. It was usually $15-$20 an entree with additional availability of drinks or appetizers. The seafood entrees were my favorite. The coffee, muah!

The room had WiFi, a shower with great water pressure, tile floors, kitchenette, A/C, and again, a balcony with a great view!

My mother came with me. We had a chance to talk with the staff & owners who were so wonderful.

Ciao! Until next time =)

Room Tip: There weren't fitness facilities or "kids activities" but certainly beaches and pools...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vista Bahia Beach Resort

Address: Papagayo Blvd, Playa Panama, Costa Rica (Formerly Monarch Resort)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Gulf of Papagayo > Playa Panama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Playa Panama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A development surrounded by flora, fauna and wildlife that offers a natural environment in complete harmony with the surroundings. Vista Bahia Beach Resort is the ideal place to rest, relax and enjoy everything Costa Rica has to offer. Animals seen and photographed on property have included; monkeys, squirrels, iguanas, numerous butterflies, mapaches, and pizotes and many different species of birds, We also have numerous trees, cacti, hiking trails and beautiful gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monarch Hotel Gulf Of Papagayo
Monarch Resort Gulf Of Papagayo
Vista Bahia Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Panama, Guanacaste

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