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“Possibly just not our demographic?” 3 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 65771, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #12 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Ko Samui, Thailand
Level Contributor
222 reviews
192 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 424 helpful votes
“Possibly just not our demographic?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Somewhere at some time this hotel was amazing but it has totally lost the plot. Popping some red petals on a bed does not luxury make.
The location on the beach is lovely and the sound of the waves wonderful. Santa Teresa is a dust bowl and indeed the whole town is covered in a thick layer of said dust due to the unmade road which lends a scruffy feel to the area. The effort to get there was not worth it for us – the drive is over 2 hours from the Route 1 a lot of it on unmade roads – interesting but to end up in a surfers’ paradise when you aren’t a surfer not my bag. Will hold my hat up to bad research and annoyingly someone on TA recommended another hotel in Nicoya area which I am sure would have been better but I ignored them.
The scruffy theme is continued in our room. There is a tear in the sofa, my loo seat looks like someone has had an accident (they haven’t it is just marked) and I’m asked not to flush toilet paper down the loo! If I had been told I needed to put my loo paper in a bin (as in Greece) I would have hesitated to book. If I knew how dark and dingy the (massive) space (lights on during the day) was I would probably have avoided. If I had known the place is tired beyond belief - and for the prices needs a major facelift – I would have body swerved completely.
In Costa Rica, where to date we have been blown out of the water by amazing service, then this is the hotel we felt we liked least. Nothing wrong – indeed mostly charming girls – but just not that extra je ne sais quoi we experienced elsewhere.
At half the price it would be a four but at the rate we are paying then it is a three and the value is my main reason for the mark down. I am writing this at The Four Seasons in a canopy suite with five restaurants and a host of amenities – true five star – and it is cheaper than Florblanca.
BUT we had a lovely time. The wildlife is great – iguanas, birds, squirrels and the ocean and beach are delightfully noisy and interesting. The food is good – simple and flexible which works for us. Having a kitchen with a huge fridge is great too. We stocked up on beer, wine and Pellegrino as our consumption is ridiculous.
The weather was interesting. Lots of rain at night which is a problem as the roof is so noisy! Can deal with the downpours – it is the droplets afterwards which make sleep difficult.
In summation I would guess Florblanca - given previous ecstatic reviews - just isn’t suited to our demographic. If you are under 35, haven’t spent much time in five star resorts and are too cool for school then it might just be your heaven.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
FlorblancaManager, General Manager at Florblanca Resort, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Dear Traveler,

Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear Florblanca did not suit you. I will simply describe how we define luxury travel at Florblanca and the experience we wish to create for all travelers who journey to visit us.

We are not a large branded hotel, and we do not strive to give that type of experience to our clients. We do strive to provide excellent service and the upmost comfort and enjoyment throughout the hotel. Unfortunately, your sofa had a very small tear in it the day before you arrived, but we could not get a replacement before you arrived due to how far we are from a major city. I do apologize for that. It has since been replaced with two beautiful rattan sofas covered with the best sunbrella fabric.

With only eleven villas, we strive to be personal, exclusive, and authentic. Our wish is that all of our clients leave Florblanca with more knowledge of our area of Costa Rica than when they arrived. Luxury at Florblanca is our open air villas that allow each client to live one with nature. That does mean that they might not be spotless every minute of every day. We have salt water blowing in, sand at your door, and creatures who live on our property. Luxury is our food, using only local and seasonal ingredients and offering as organic produce as we have access to. Luxury at Florblanca is our staff, each genuine and unique in their own way, and most all from this region. Luxury travel at Florblanca is our award winning spa, our privately guided tours by local biologists, untouched pristine beaches, picture perfect sunsets, our long time yoga instructor that people come back to practice with year after year, a private Pilates studio over looking the Pacific, creative cocktails that you can only find here, and much much more.

Regarding our demographic, we receive people from all over the world, and of all ages. We host honeymooners and those celebrating romance, families looking for adventures, foodies, spa lovers, yogis, single travelers and groups looking to disconnect from the fast pace of their jobs, surfers and non-surfers to name a few. But the common denominator of our guests is that most all are looking for an authentic experience; an experience full of stories to return home with. And, that is what we strive to give each day.

Lastly, sustainability is our pride and joy. We hope to maintain this part of the planet that we are so grateful to be a part of. Our goal is that for generations and generations, tourists will have the pleasure of enjoying this part of Costa Rica just as it is today. That does mean that our guests have to do their part, including not putting toilet paper in the toilet. Our septic systems are fragile.

Again, I am sorry Florblanca did not suit you.

Thank you for allowing me to give insight to what luxury travel is at Florblanca, and on behalf of our entire staff we wish you the best in the new year.

Pura Vida,
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239 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Rowayton CT
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

to describe this oasis! We spent 5 nights at Florblanca in early Dec 2013 after visiting the cloud forest and then the Harmony Hotel in Nosara. As soon as we arrived in Santa Teresa I loved the area. Okay, the road is now beyond what might be considered quaint, but unlike Nosara, which is also a surf town, Santa Teresa/Malpais hasa much more bustling feel and is MUCH more diverse. Italians, Germans, Costa Ricans from other parts of the country, British, Americans, Dutch.. just a real melting pot. But it really is a surf town, and unless you are into surfing and/or yoga, you may not be as enthralled with it.
So, that is the town. Then we arrived at Florblanca and I was truly mesmerized. Just a total feeling of peace, tranquility and awe when we were shown to our 'room'. There are 11 'rooms' and they are actually very large villas with everything open air except the BR. I LOVED it. It was total bliss to have this luxurious living area, complete with unique items like lamps, lighting fixtures, table, and a hammock, all open to the jungle but with a roof still over your head! Totally private yet at one with nature. I loved to wake up in the morning and pad out to the hammock and look up at the jungle and listen to the howler monkeys in the distance. So peaceful and at one with nature!
And the bathroom! Gigantic. May have been bigger than our hotel room in Nosara at the Harmony :). All open air as well with a big garden area right in the bathroom. Awesome shower. I LOVE this bathroom.
The BR is air conditioned which is great for sleeping. But really it never got too hot in our main living area. Because you are in the jungle it is rather shady. I also did not experience many bugs which was surprising. We did however have some nightly visits by the local raccoons as evidenced by our trash cans being rummaged through the next morning! I thought that was hysterical.
The rooms are super clean and have every little amenity you could want. Great closet space, luggage racks, plenty of room and shelves in bathroom for toiletries, minibar, etc, Even little flashlights and bug spray.
The grounds are gorgeous. Steps from the beach so you have a real confluence of jungle and beach.
Gorgeous, gorgeous pool.
Very nice restaurant.
Extremely helpful and friendly concierge.
Beautiful spa although I didn't have a chance to enjoy any services there but did buy items from their gift store!
Fun yoga class.
We are new to surfing and took 2 lessons with Eric who works for them. He was AWESOME. It is true that the beginning surfing beach is a mile drive away, but it was no big deal. If you are a surfer, you can take your board right out to the beach at Florblanca and walk a bit to the left for a good surf beach. Though not right in front of the hotel it is very close. The beach is gorgeous. Sitting on the chairs on the beach listening to the waves crash was heaven.
We also took at tour to Curu Wildlife Refuge with Douglas who was very good. We had a great day there and saw lots of white faced capuchin monkeys!
My only 'complaint' is that the restaurant is VERY expensive. We ended up having 5 glasses of wine one night and it was $75! A dinner is easily $200. It made us eat out several nights where we got some very good meals for $60 or so...It would be great if they had a bar menu of smaller less expensive fare. I think that would attract more people.
The villas are also very expensive and don't include anything except breakfast. But, what can I say, this is like my favorite place of all time. I didn't want to leave the villa.. so that it why it is priced the way it is..
Very sad to leave..

Room Tip: They are all good..
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
San Anselmo, CA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
Level Contributor
225 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 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 2
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
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Additional Information about Florblanca Resort

Address: 4 KM North of Franks Place | Cobano, Santa Teresa 65771, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
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 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#9 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Florblanca Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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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