We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Awesome time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Tambor Beach

Save Saved
You added Barcelo Tambor Beach to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Barcelo Tambor Beach
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Tambor, Tambor 771-1150, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 hotels in Tambor
Toronto, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Awesome time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed there from Jan 15-22 2013. Had a Great time from just the plane ride you fly over sum amazing water make sure you have your camera ready from when you land.. There are 2 ways to the Resort. you can pay $85 a person and fly in a 12 seat air plane if you wish to get to resort quickly or you can take the bus ride and ferry experince which i must say is a great way to see Costa Rica in a way.

Once at Resort you will be met by the nicest Spanish people and sum cool young bag handlers that will direct you to your room. Staff i give a APlus too next the pool and the beach area are amazing.. mind there will be parts of the beach that have rocks on it as the tide rolls up closer to resort during the evening hours. but over all the beach is styll Amazing. warm water with nice size waves for entertaining time. mind the water will not be clear blue as when your flying into Costa Rica you will notice Crystal See thu water below as that i think is Panama or sum other islands..

the food i must admit is not the best. but i am a picky eater also. they have a sushi place for all your RAW fish lovers. my girl liked it until the next day. i passed and try to make it to the dinner buffet before it closed at 11. The steakhouse is Awesome a must BUT make sure you book early between 8am-11am or u might not get a table. drinks were ALL YOU Can not much of a drinker. The nachos in the snack hut are wicked.

Places to go and see. Tortuga Island is a must you can book from the front desk $70 a person but take a extra 100 if u want to rent a jet ski. TRUST ME DO IT. also $7 bucks if you want to use a lawn chair, and $1 if you want to use BATHROOM. but Island is a must see.
Also you must do Zip lining. Wear running shoes. The views from the tree tops is amazing and you will also go down to see a waterfall half way through. the trip ends with a stop in the town of Montezuma. Its a cool little place with a lot of bars and restaurants. you can buy some really nice souvenirs here too.
We didn't get to go to the Curu Reserve but other people in the resort did. They saw howler, spider, and whitefaced monkeys as well as Tucans and other exotic birds and animals.

You can walk to the nearest town, Tambor from the beach. You head right, its about a half hour walk.

The duty free in AMAZING. Also try the Barcelo sugar cane liquor.

If you see a guy making jewelry on the beach wearing a Toronto Blue Jays hat, his name is Javier. He showed us how to get to Tambor and a shortcut into the town as well. Taught us a lot about his country.

There are iguanas everywhere. But they don't bother people they keep to themselves. There is a really nice bird reserve on the resort. Beautiful macaws, parrots and peacocks are there. Some parrots say Hola back. Howler monkeys also hang out in the resort and in the jungle looking are to the right of the resort on the beach.

There are a lot of locals. Not many people spoke English except for the small group that came from Toronto.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

221 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    95
    61
    39
    16
    10
See reviews for
82
55
4
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Squamish, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Our trip was last minute. We (A COUPLE...aged 37 and 46) booked an all-inclusive 3 days prior to departure.

OUR HOLIDAY GOALS were:
- must have fabulous weather
- must have great ocean swimming
- must be a no thinking trip (we typically camp or backpack with little advance planning)
- must be quiet and feel intimate (i.e not part of a long beach of hotels, or feel like a large hotel)
- must fit our restricted budget

DECIDING ON AN ALL-INCLUSIVE SUPPLIER AND THE TRIP LOCATION
We didn't really care where we we were going so surfed through various all-inclusive suppliers on the internet. We eventually found a few amazing price options on Tripcentral.ca (partnering with Nolitours).

Our final location decision came after reviewing The Weather Network forecast for the various locations and checking satellite images of the resorts in question. Tambor in Costa Rica was forecasting only sun for the entire 7 days of our vacation with temperatures of over 35 degrees Celcius (yahoo!). From the satellite images, the Barcelo Resort was nicely spread out and hidden in a lovely jungle with not much around it.

Booking with Nolitours was easy although we had a couple of situations where we did not feel informed enough (see upcoming notes). Our flight from Vancouver to San Jose was direct with Air Transat.

ARRIVING IN COSTA RICA...A FEW SURPRISES
We arrived in San Jose at 3 p.m. local time and found the Nolitour rep who informed us that we were spending the night in San Jose as we had missed the last internal flight to Tambor for the day. Apparently the last flight to Tambor actually leaves before the Vancouver flight arrives in San Jose as they can not risk landing on a runway with no lights. We feel the communication from Nolitours could have been better in this respect. Had we known we were going to spend all this time in San Jose we would have planned for it. We were put up in the San Jose Barcelo hotel for the night (all part of our package) and then picked up at 6:30 a.m. the next day for our flight

ARRIVING IN TAMBOR VIA AN INTERNAL FLIGHT ON SANSA AIR FROM SAN JOSE
Upon booking with Nolitours you can chose between a long car/ferry transfer (apparently around 5 hours), or the short flight (about 25 minutes) with Sansa Air. We typically like the long journey option as you learn more about the country. This time we chose to pay a bit more to take the flight. A note that these flights can be bumpy (which can be a bit scary). It is not for everyone.

Upon arriving in Tambor we had 2 more surprises. We did not know that we had to pay a $2.25 US airport tax each (a note that you need to pay this on the way out too). We also did not know that a taxi had been arranged for us to bring us to the resort (Nolitours arranges the taxi both ways). We knew the airport was just down the road from the resort so we decided to walk.

BARCELO TAMBOR RESORT
Based on a suggestion from a Trip Advisor review, we let Nolitours know that we were looking for a quiet room. We were booked in building 6 on the ocean side away from the main pool and entertainment area. It was perfect.

The Barcelo Tambor Resort was a wow for us.
- clean facilities and well maintained grounds
- great security
- lots of wildlife roaming on the grounds (Iguanas, parrots, squirrels, horses, howler monkeys, racoons, crocodiles...)
- buffets with ample selection that varied daily. Lots of fruit, protein, etc. Not always the most flavourful food, but it certainly energized us. The coffee is not great (coffee loving Vancouverite opinion)
- a very long swim friendly beach with air temperature water
- friendly staff
- lots of activity options (boogie boarding, kayaking, tennis, golf, horseback riding, gym, mini golf, etc). The resort is very child friendly.

We were able to dine a la carte on a couple of the nights. The El Racho experience was un-memorable. A romantic location by the beach. The service was slow and food tasteless. The blaring TVs at the bar broke the magic of the room. The Sushi restaurant on the other hand was a wonderful experience. We were scared of it at first, so entered the empty room with trepidation. The idea of raw seafood in such high temperatures... It turned out to be amazing. Great service from Pedro and wonderful flavours.

Apparently there were 700 people at the resort while we were there. You would never have guessed. On the busiest day, 20 people were in the ocean or on the beach. The pool was the most popular location for sunbathers. Lounge chairs are claimed early in the morning for the entire day. (A note that the pool area has dance music playing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun if you are looking for an energetic atmosphere. You can hide at the endless beach if you want peace).

We had read Trip Advisor comments about the beach being rocky. We experienced a dusty type of sand under the palm trees lining the beach. Then there was a strip of pebbles about 6 feet wide that you had to walk through to reach the silt style of fine sand on the beach where the tide goes in and out. Between high and low tide, we had about a 70 metre difference. Pure soft silty sand to walk and play on. It felt lovely on our feet. The beach is great for families. The surf never felt dangerous and there is no rip tide.

We were very happy to see that about 90% of the guests at the hotel were Costa Ricans. If the locals are going there it must be good! All the shows were in Spanish as a result, except on the last night when a large group from both Toronto and Montreal arrived. Then the show was translated to English to encourage participation. Even with the show in Spanish we could still follow what was going on. One show with competing couples had us laughing so hard we were crying (even though we didn't understand a word!).

THINGS TO PACK
You don't need much! We had carry on bags only and still feel we packed too much for 7 days.
- suntan lotion (it is not cheap in Costa Rica)
- reading material. The resort had a lot of books to lend, but only in Spanish, German and French

OVERALL IMPRESSION
- outstanding value. Incredible, quite frankly. Not sure if it was because we booked last minute
- the resort responded to the vacation goals that we had

  • Stayed January 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 51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heredia, Heredia, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We enjoyed a family vacations and you are very happy about the quality of the service vs cost.
In my opinion this is one of the best all inclusive hotels, highly recommended for families.

I believe most of the people here expect 5 star hotel for a very cheap price, I wonder if that's why they use average rating ... (Please keep in mind this is a 3 to 4 star hotel before check in...)

I can't wait to visit this resort again!

P.S
Jessica and Wendy are very friendly people.

Room Tip: If you like Japanese food,we recommend to try out Miyaco restaurant food fresh and delicious.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Barcelo Tambor Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Barcelo Tambor Beach

Address: Playa Tambor, Tambor 771-1150, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Tambor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 hotels in Tambor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Barcelo Tambor Beach 3.5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Travelocity, Booking.com, Barcelo, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Priceline, Cheap Tickets, Despegar.com, BookingOdigeoWL, Tingo, HotelTravel.com, Expedia, getaroom.com and Hotels.com so you can book your Barcelo Tambor Beach reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Barcelo Tambor Beach Hotel Tambor
Barcelo Hotel Tambor Beach
Barcelo Hotel Puntarenas
Hotel Barcelo Playa Tambor
Barcelo Tambor Costa Rica
Barcelo Tambor Beach Costa Rica

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Barcelo Tambor Beach, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.