Red Palm Villas is a beautiful boutique resort - truly a paradise that will exceed your expectations (the photos on the website don't do it justice). If you are looking for an alternative to the typical mega-resort, this is the place. I actually chose this place after reading the other rave reviews online, as I was looking for a tropical place to get married that was unique. I wanted an open air place and had considered Thailand, but too expensive/far for the amount of vacation time and money we had. Red Palm is an excellent choice, particularly if you are in the US or Texas as it's not all that far, but still quite an adventure (we took a tiny charter plane that held 4 people and the pilot from San Jose to Tambor) and extremely exotic and romantic.
The Honeymoon suite is exquisite (open air bathroom and open air 2nd level) and all the staff are extremely helpful.Mike, the owner, is also great. He was extremely attentive and responsive to email as I was coordinating getting multiple family members and flights lined up. Booking our AA flights to San Jose was probably the most stressful - once that was done and we had charters/taxis to Red Palm things were easy. I got married here (Mar 23, 2013) and the wedding photos are amazing (which they are posting on the Red Palm Facebook site). If you want a low stress wedding with magical photos, this is the place to go (whether you elope or bring a group).
I highly recommend this location for a wedding, anniversary, or romantic getaway, but families were here too. They have a limited number of units and they are all spread out from one another - tucked away in trees just off the beach. So always plenty of privacy. There is nearby Casa Cecilia (B&B) for other family members that is more affordable, should others be joining you for your wedding and want a more affordable/simple place. Casa Cecilia still has the same amazing beach view and is next door. My inlaws stayed there and loved it. The owner was super nice and cooked breakfast for them daily, even providing snacks for my diabetic father-in-law when he arrived.
Miralepa, the nearby restaurant where you'll have breakfast, is fabulous and there is a pool there you can use. Amazing mint lemonade, bananas foster, amazing fish dishes. Great fruit everywhere too. So many good restaurants nearby as well - and 3 in walking distance.
You walk to the left of Red Palm and have beautiful sandy beach, go the other way and it gets rocky - lovely at sunset when the tide is low (and safe inlets for lounging at low tide, which is perfect for kids or pregnant women or those who don't like the waves). Also great rock/shell collecting (lots of agate, jasper). So remote it is very unspoiled.
A few things to note:
- The honeymoon suite has a full kitchenette and 2 small refrigerators
- You're in the dry rain forest area. There is still plenty of wildlife, but not like the wetter side of Costa Rica (with larger trees/frogs, etc).
- Gorgeous beach known for great surfing, lots of massage, yoga, as well as hiking tours, horseback riding, snorkeling, diving, etc.
- We loved Percy, our hiking/snorkel guide who we had all to ourselves (perfect as I was expecting and inlaws are 70, so we could set our own pace). Horse back riding was also very good, with a single guide for our small group so we could set our own pace and quit whenever tired.
- It is very remote, but caters to tourists - so plenty of English and fabulous restaurants/chefs and wonderful fresh fish. Think simple elegance (great dining in candle light outdoors)... great Italian place, sushi, local food, and more. Wonderful, but Red Palm and many of these restaurants are not "bargain" places (think US prices), though there are cheaper options available if you are wanting a more affordable place. You can do cheap lunches and save for a nice dinner.
- Sleeping may be tough at first if you are a light sleeper - loud ocean sounds at high tide and howler monkeys, things you may not be used to. But the experience of waking up to howler monkeys and wildlife is so worth it!
- Feb/Mar are quite warm and humid, something to note if you are not used to this type of weather. The sun rose very early (5:30am) and set early (6pm). Weather was great early in the morning and then cools off after 4pm. So in the middle of the day it is good to be in the water (swimming, snorkeling, surfing) or shade.
- This place is remote so getting to it is not easy. Requires plane ride from San Jose to Tambor, then hour to hour and a half dirt road drive. So even from Dallas, it took us some time to get here. But again, we felt it more than worth it. Having such a remote/unspoiled location that was classy and minus the mega resorts or junk shops you see at cruise ship ports was worth the extra effort.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.