We have just returned from our second vacation in Costa Rica. We love Costa Rica and it's people, but what you will find at the Flor Blanca is an assortment of 20 something North American kids running a hotel with no obvious prior training in hotel service. It seems that the criteria for hiring is, attracitve, tatooed, do you surf and speak English... hired!
The grounds are beautiful and we rented a two bedroom villa for our family of 4, Plenty of room. Beautiful and comfortable beds, a luxury in Costa Rica. Getting around this area is slow, and I HIGHLY recommend renting a car, or you will be very bored, unless you plan on just some serious relaxing. Please note, we were informed that the original owners had recently sold the hotel, it seems that in this change over, details are getting forgotten, the glowing reports that you read in travel books and magazine articles are not quite acurate as I write this review.
Here are some of the problems with the hotel. First off, it is absolutely the most expensive property in the area. We do stay at Four Seasons and Ritz Carltons, and are willing to pay top dollar, when appropriate. For over $400 a night at a hotel that is American owned and run by Americans, I expect services such as turn down in the evening, complementary bottled water, better quality soaps ( I have no idea what the soap in banana leaves was, we recieved tiny bars of soap in paper wrappers). There is a lovely sunken outdoor bathtub, and no bubblebath.... This is not a service oriented hotel, it is VERY laid back and as expensive as some of the top world wide chains.
We ordered a single piece of pie one evening, and we were charged a $20 service charge for bringing it to the room! The pie was a $6.00 item. We complained, and the service charge was removed.
Several words or caution.... In case you are unaware, there is a severe outbreak of Dengue fever in Costa Rica. We meet 2 people in our 13 days there that had had it. It is spread by mosquitos. I suggest if you are visiting Costa Rica or staying at Flor Blanca, that you bring along, or plan to purchase plenty of mosquito repellant. We were slathered at ALL times and were still bitten. Flor Blanca, has open air rooms, except for the bedrooms as you may have read in some of the other reviews. We also used mosquito coils, which I brought with us. They proved to be somewhat effective.
There are 2 cats on the property that will freely enter your "open aired villas", so it you have allergies, of just don't want a cat in your villa, there is not much you can do... and the staff there doesen't care nor can they control the cats.
We hired a "surf instructor" for our 9 year old son, who does surf already, but the surf in CR is much stronger and difficult then the tiny waves in Santa Monica CA. The lesson was the instructor leaving our son out in the line-up with 7-8 foot waves while he rode waves in himself. The "boards" that they offer for use at Flor Blanca are terrible.... better off renting in town, ( Santa Teresa) which we had done but were told that we could use the junk boards at the hotel. If you want to rent boards go the Alex's in Santa Teresa. He's a great guy.
I totally agree that if you are staying at Flor Blanca for awhile, the food becomes VERY boring! We were there for 4 days. I suggest trying dinner at Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa.. we had actually been staying there and moved... not sure if that was truely the best choice. The beach in front of Tropico Latino is swimable ( Flor Blanca isn't) and the staff there is a bit more authentic. Also note, the yoga and pilates classes are an additional fee.
So the bottom line is... it's a beautiful property and the villas are very comfortable. You will pay dearly for service that is average. As far as a high end hotel in the area.. this is the only game in town. If you don't expect too much, you won't be disappointed.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.