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“Florblanca and Santa Teresa for Non-Surfers” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Florblanca Resort

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Florblanca Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   4 KM North of Franks Place | Cobano, Santa Teresa 1315361, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #11 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
San Anselmo, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Florblanca and Santa Teresa for Non-Surfers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

My wife and I spent 3 nights at Florblanca during December 2013. It was one of three luxury properties that we stayed at Costa Rica, the other two being Nayara (in Arenal) and Arenas Del Mar (at Manuel Antonio).

We arrived after dark, but Florblanca makes a strong first impression - it really feels like a tropical oasis. In addition to providing transportation from Tambor Airport, Florblanca also offered to schedule a chartered plane from Arenal - it was a little out of our price range, but it was a nice offer.

We were given cold towels, a delicious cold beverage and a tour of the property. Florblanca has only 11 units, but it feels incredibly spacious. Each unit seems quite private.

Florblanca doesn't really have a front desk. We were met in the parking area by a concierge who checked us in, but that area is not regularly staffed. The concierge desk close to the restaurant serves as the front desk.

The facilities for an 11-room property are extraordinary - a spa, outstanding restaurant, TV room (the rooms don't have TVs), yoga room, bar - it felt much larger, but there were few people there. Both the restaurant and the yoga studio draw visitors from outside of the property, but it never felt crowded at all.

Our experience in making the reservation was a bit odd. Given that we were traveling at the end of low season, I called the hotel directly to inquire about discounted rates. Indeed, I was offered a good discount, but only for a 2-bedroom suite. I could get a similar discount on a 1-bedroom suite - my preference - but was told that I'd have to change rooms after the second night. Obviously, this wasn't acceptable to me.

I then looked at Expedia and found - voila - availability for a 1-BR suite for all 3 nights. I was a bit conflicted - would they make me change rooms if I booked it through Expedia? I ended up calling the hotel back to ask them about this. The woman who answered indicated that the reservation agent who managed room inventory on Expedia wasn't available but I could call back. I trusted that she would tell the agent about the Expedia issue, as it wasn't in line with what I was told over the phone.

Nevertheless, two days later, the 1-BR was still on Expedia so I booked it. I didn't get a low season discount, but it was significantly less expensive than the 2-BR.

Florblanca managed this by upgrading us to the Honeymoon House when we arrived. Well done, Florblanca! The Honeymoon House is a 2-story structure very close to the beach, which was ideal. Other aspects weren't ideal, however. The bottom floor - living room, kitchen, mini-bar, bathroom - is entirely open air, which wasn't useful for us in the heat. Likewise, the immense bathroom and closet adjacent to the bedroom upstairs were also open-air. So we ended up sequestered in the bedroom most of the time, as it was the only air conditioned room.

The Honeymoon House also features a gorgeous, huge deck with views of the ocean.

That being said, maintenance is becoming an issue there. The gorgeous woods need a good polish, and the humidity is having its way with doors. The sofa downstairs had a huge rip in one of the cushions. The air conditioning unit dripped into our suitcase. If we hadn't just come from the spectacular Nayara Hotel, it might not have been as obvious.

One big plus, however, was that the canopy bed featured a fan in the canopy. We slept comfortably.

There were several other issues for me that turned this potential 5-star property into a 4-star one.

First, the concierge wasn't very helpful with dinner selections. Malpais and Santa Teresa are up and coming destinations, and tour books mentioned that a number of chefs had moved there and opened up restaurants. We were given 2 restaurant recommendations, neither of which was very creative or special. I expect a concierge at a luxury property to have extensive knowledge about the area, based on personally experiencing the establishments they're recommending.

Second, the service was simply a step below that which we experienced at Nayara and Arenas Del Mar. Some staff were extremely friendly and hardworking, but others displayed a rather cold disinterest that was completely atypical of what we experienced elsewhere. One morning, while waiting to be served coffee at the restaurant, I watched the bartender and two servers stare and laugh at a male guest by the pool who was wearing a tight bathing suit. It's the kind of unpleasant experience that sticks with you, made even more so by the fact that they weren't providing very good service to me at the time.

I'd like to recommend something very simple to Florblanca - how about nametags for your staff? It personalizes interactions and helps your guests to remember who is good and who isn't.

Another disappointment has less to do with Florblanca and more to do with the area. My wife and I don't surf - while I understood that the beach in front of Florblanca isn't ideal for swimming, I was advised that I could walk 5 minutes to the left or right and land on a good swimming beach. This isn't entirely true. Those beaches are only good for swimming during low tide, which the water recedes beyond the rocks. We walked for more than a mile to the right to Hermosa Beach and never did find a good place to swim when the tide wasn't at its lowest. This was our failing - this area seems great for surfers, but I ended up with the sense that we would have been much better off staying further north.

I was also frustrated with the shape of the road that lines the beach and carries all of the traffic through Malpais and Santa Teresa. It's in terrible shape, which adds a lot of time and discomfort to your travel to and from the resort. Some people might consider this to be part of the charm of the area, but Santa Teresa and Malpais really can't masquerade as hidden secrets anymore. The area is bringing in huge tax revenues which are not being reinvested into the infrastructure. A local shopkeeper told me that local authorities had pledged to fix the road in February 2014 - after the holiday crowds.

None of these criticisms should take away the positives that Florblanca has to offer - it's very peaceful and private and offers a level of luxury that you won't find elsewhere in this area. The area has a youthful feeling, with a lot of ex-pats from the US, Canada, Argentina, and Europe. If you love to surf - or want to learn - this is a prime destination. Florblanca is the finest property in this area, so you should go and enjoy it and the beautiful water.

Room Tip: Most rooms are not on the beach, but it's a short walk away, and you'll enjoy the privacy...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cornelius, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

My bride and I just returned from the best honeymoon we ever could have imagined. Yes, the resort and location were amazing, but it was the staff and locals that made our honeymoon unforgettable. The staff was so polite and eager to please. The locals could not have been any nicer. If you can, stay in the Surf House. It's very private and you get a great sunset view. If you are looking for an "off the grid" escape where the people are laid back, service is exceptional, and the scenery is breathtaking, then Florblanca is for you.
Scott and Sarah Crawford
Cornelius, NC

Room Tip: Stay in the Surf House!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlorblancaManager, General Manager at Florblanca Resort, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Dear Honeymooners,

Gracias gracias gracias for taking the time to express the joy you found within our staff and the local community. At Florblanca, we are proud of our Costa Rican team who find such happiness in meeting everyone who journeys to visit us. One of our goals is to give all of our guests a touch of local life, a true insight to this part of the world. We want everyone to return home with more knowledge of Costa Rica than before they traveled here.

It was a delight for us to have you stay with us, and I would like to thank you for choosing Florblanca for your honeymoon. We love having honeymooners here to celebrate romance, and hope you will return soon for an anniversary.

Wishing you both wonderful days ahead. Pura Vida from the staff. Thank you, Cody Dillon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

I feel you've come to a special place when your experiences and memories of a vacation are not limited to the beach (beautiful in Santa Teresa's case), mountain, or other destination you chose, or how many cool pics you took, or how much you partied (or not!), but also include the place you actually stayed in. I recently spent 3 nights at Florblanca and it certainly is one of those places. I never felt so connected with nature while being in a hotel; the way the villas are so open to the outdoors, you can't help but relax with the ocean air coming in and the sounds of the surrounding vegetation; everything in the villa was absolutely spotless while still providing a sense of warmth and welcome. The pool area had plenty of areas to sunbathe but also plenty with shade. The restaurant was a delight; I managed to try several dishes for all 3 meals of the day and everything was delicious, and the prices were definitely reasonable. There are a lot of other dining options in Santa Teresa, some cheaper, some more expensive, but for the quality I was getting at Nectar restaurant, I did not feel the need to venture out, and the service was outstanding. Overall, a place I will definitely visit again and recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013 via mobile

This resort is a little out the way down a dusty, rocky road. When we first arrived we were a little surprised at how outdoors most of the room was however after a couple of days we relaxed into the pace of the place and the staff went out their way to make us feel at home. There is only one restaurant on the resort but the hotel will arrange cars to other places although most tend to be surfer bars and restaurants and you often think why did I pay so much money a night when they have the same lifestyle for under $100

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

I tried to reach Florblanca, by telephone. I left voicemails with my email and phone number, and nobody responded.

Three days later I sent in an email. We went back and forth for four days straight. Out of frustration, I made a few phone calls, to no avail. I emailed asking about reported construction at Florblanca. I stated that I accepted their offer, and wanted to book the room, so as long as there wasn't any construction noise... 8 days later, no response. I sent the same email again. And finally they responded. I call in to verify everything, and they tell me the room has been booked. They offered to help me find another resort in that general area, but why would I want that!? We were only going to that area for their resort.

It took 15 days to do what should have been done in 1. Lots of time waisted, and now I have to call around trying to book a stay last minute.

Their horribly slow customer service really made the start, to what should have been a relaxing vacation, stressful and frustrating.. They have a great website though!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlorblancaManager, General Manager at Florblanca Resort, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
Dear Traveller,

We are very sorry you did not receive the necessary attention to confirm your reservation in time. Offering top notch customer service is of the upmost importance to us at Florblanca, and we strive to make our guests experiences perfect from the time they inquiry. I apologize you didn't have this experience. And, because of that, I offered my personal help to you to try and find another hotel or destination in Costa Rica that would please you and your wife.

As I explained to you on the phone, and in a few emails, no reservation is confirmed until a deposit has been put down. This is a very busy time of year for Florblanca, and we do fill up quickly. Regarding the issue with the phone, I regret that you could not get through.

I hope your Costa Rica trip turns out to be a great one, and I am sure it will be. It is a magnificent country full of natural beauty and the best people. Let me know if I can be of any help at all, and it will be my pleasure. Below is my email.

Thank You,
Cody Dillon
General Manager
cody@florblanca.com
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Duxbury, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

This property offers the open-air/natural/laid back feel that travelers are expecting in Costa Rica, combined with relaxed luxury and pampering by the staff. Excellent service from check-in to departure. A great setting on a fabulous beach. Delicious food. Wonderful bar. Many local activities (hiking, zip-lining, surfing, etc) are available and are easy to book through Florblanca. I will definitely return and would recommend this place to anyone looking for a great experience in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FlorblancaManager, General Manager at Florblanca Resort, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Dear Traveler,

We are delighted to hear Florblanca exceeded your expectations. That is our goal with every guest who visits us. Making the entire experience from reservation to check in to departure smooth is important to us and we are so happy you had this experience. We do understand that travel logistics can be complicated. And, you are correct that Santa Teresa beach is truly fabulous, and one of the best parts of staying here.

Thanks so much for recommending us to your friends, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Gracias and Pura Vida,

Cody Dillon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

My fiancé and I have stayed at Florblanca last year and because of the great staff, beautiful villas, and romantic settings. Florblanca is nestled on a private beach with beautiful surroundings. The staff at florblanca is amazing they take time to find out exactly what you want and need from them and they make it happen. Veronica the Reservations Manager made sure our stay was a memorable one and Fernando the bartender is the best!!! The Villas are amazingly beautiful and spacious and quiet. This was our second trip to florblanca and my boyfriend popped the question over the weekend and we are planning to have our wedding there next year. Florblanca has turned into "our" spot and we can't imagine vacationing anywhere else!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Florblanca Resort

Address: 4 KM North of Franks Place | Cobano, Santa Teresa 1315361, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#8 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Florblanca Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our accommodations offer complete privacy and luxury surrounded by beautiful gardens and views of the Pacific Ocean. All villas are only steps away from the surf, open -air dining, our new Spa Bambu, fitness center, a yoga and Pilates studio, and other amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Florblanca Hotel Santa Teresa
Florblanca Resort Santa Teresa
Florblanca Resort Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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