Our family is quite busy and I always look forward to our summer vacation. We were in Costa Rica for two weeks and stayed in some very nice places "Grano de Oro" in San Jose & the "lost Iguana" in Mt. Arenal. And while I highly recommend those places and they are very nice hotels....this is above and beyond.
I'm from southern california and lived in the bay area for five years, so I have been to beautiful beaches. But this setting for a hotel was among the most dramatic and breathtaking I've ever seen. We were the only people on this huge, crescent shape beach and the hotel is discretely tucked in amid the palms.
Although it is right on the beach, there is security and I found this out when the strong waves appeared to be pulling me out and two big men emerged....but I made it out without embarrassing myself. So they are there, despite the rather open feel from the beach side.
We were driven all around Costa Rica because driving would have been a nightmare and we visited various areas. Mal Pais was our favorite. We stayed at a surf camp a little down the road and then were picked up in a black Suburban with drinks and beer in a little cooler. The young man driving was very polite and nice and I want to say that his english wasn't that great. No worries though, I spoke my Spanish and my family loved him. On time, helpful and the transition from arriving to check-in to getting the bags in the "room" was seamless.
We were greeted with watermellon juice (?) or something like that. I thought that was a nice touch and it was good. The resort is rather small, with 17 or so "villas" interspersed throughout the stunning property. Ours consisted of a living and dining room that opened onto a beautiful patio with a hammock. Everything is very indoor-outdoor and the main living areas DO NOT have AC, but you don't need it. The bedrooms, however, do have AC and my brother & I shared a room and were fine at night.
The beds are fantastic....I want one! The "villa" is beautiful and unique....and I love the outdoor shower! It's very private and yet the room service will be there in an instant and it's just a short walk to the amazing pools (one flows into the other) that are pretty big....and the beach of course!
The food is fantastic as well. Everything is fresh and healthy, which is nice....and the fish eaten was caught that day and it sure tasted that way. I can't say enough about the restaurant....sometimes, you get tired of hotel food....but not here! We didn't leave for one meal.
There was no need to! What sets this hotel apart is the service. Even if all 17 (or so) villas were taken up, it would still be very intimate and special. When we were there, in August, there were only two other groups there.
I wouldn't really recommend this hotel for those traveling with small kids...it just seems that this is a place where couples come for romantic getaways. My brother and I were older (17 & 22), so it was fine and we're not that wild. I also think that the guests appreciate the peace and quiet.
It is also not exactly easy to get to. We got there via our van because we were seeing the different places along the way, but the roads were far from well kept and it just took a while. So keep that in mind.
It also might be worth the time and hassle to get a private charter to fly you out of the local "airport", which is an experience by itself. It's a little one runway strip in a lush valley....pretty cool if you ask me! And an hour later, you're in San Jose.
I'm sure they can arrange all that for you and recommend the best people because this resort is the BEST!
It was so sad when we had to leave, but we vowed to come back! It's out of the way and not very big, but that's what makes it special. The setting is breathtaking: right ON a stunningly beautiful beach.
We traveled during August, which is the low season and the "rainy" one, but it didn't rain that much. Only short bursts and we did plenty of outdoor things.....which is the last thing I'll mention:
However adventure minded you are....they'll set you up. Whether you are just going to sit by the pool and read, they'll tend to you there. Or if you want to go surfing or ATV riding or whatever....they can do it.
They can pretty much do it all and it's this "can do" attitude which makes this place a hidden gem.
A true five star experience.
And if the manager reads this review, please thank not only your excellent staff at the restaurant/pool/entry but also housekeeping. They did a great job and went truly above and beyond. They should be commended....I was amazed at how great all of your team was.
I'd say it's mainly for families with older, responsible (read: not loud and no backflips into the pool) kids, couples and I'm sure weddings would be breathtaking here.
Just call and ask....they're more than happy to help with anything.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.