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“Good value” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Tambor Beach

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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
staffordshire
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good value”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

It is a great place to relax and do as little as you wish for everything is provided for you, even the alcohol is included, IF an all inclusive resurt is what you looking for. We got there by chance and found the place very pleasant and fantastic value for a short rest from the great sights of Costa Rica. Somehow, it didn't feel crowded even though they were full, the food was very good and plentiful, the drinks were free and the service was very good. I would highly recommend it for those who likes the "all inclusive" even though it is not our 'cup of tea'

Room Tip: I would recommend a room away from the bars and the 'center' of the resurt if you want peace...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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228 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
Bolton, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed for a week in March 2013.
A few if the highlights follow.
Beach; black sand, just enough surf to have some fun, miles long.
Rooms; basic, clean, quiet, spacious.
Grounds and surroundings; well maintained and variety of plants and animals to see, monkeys, lizards and parrots make regular visits.
Pools; well maintained and nice and warm
Food and restaurants; lots of variety, open long hours, great fruit selection.
Tours; good variety, well run, not too expensive.
Weather: sunny and hot the whole time.

We had a room with a view of the river and grasslands (965). We could see amazing tropical birds fishing and horses grazing from our room.

The entertainment staff did their best to keep everyone busy in the afternoons.

A great family or couples vacation.

Not the place to go if you are looking for nightlife.

Getting there is arduous unless you fly directly to the hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the river are very nice. Ours was #965. Wow! It was amazing to sit on the balcony, an...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The location is beautiful with long beach and the view it is wonderful.The personal verry polite.the rooms very cleans.Food it is place for improvement,but you find somethingh to like.The most beautiful experience was the connection in the little plaine for 25 min.from San Jose to the resort.the view was breath taking.We like the place and we will go back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Catharines
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed 2 nights here, at the end of our bus tour. It was so nice to be able to settle down, and just relax after all the travelling. Our room wasnt ready when we arrived, so the bell boy took our luggage and stored it for us, and we got full use of the facilities while we waited. Something must have been wrong with the room, so they ended up upgrading us to an ocean view room. Everything was pretty good here, not really any complaints.

Heres the breakdown.

We stayed in the 600 section. Corner rooms, both levels, have hammocks. Really nice feature. Watch out for iguanas on your walk to and from the room. They will be everwhere during the day.

The room:
Nothing special. Yes we could see the ocean, but its a room. You are there for the resort, not the room. However, the bed was good, decent water pressure. Toilet still required multiple flushes, like pretty much everywhere else in the country. Room key required to be in the key holder on the wall for the a/c to operate. The alarm clock will maintain the time with it out. And they do give you 2 keys, so no propblem there.

Pool:
Huge pool! And very clean, clear water! The water temp is also very warm. Bathtub was the expression i heard. And it is only naturally heated. There is a childrens area, a deep section, whirlpool and a shallow area below the water fall. Swim up bar, lots of chairs and sun huts to sit under. The resort was only about half full, so finding a chair in the shade wasnt too hard.
There was work being done to the childrens splash pad area. I imagine it will be completed in a month or two, so for people with kids, they are adding on!

Food:
Nice selection for food at the buffet. They dont start serving dinner till 7pm. Not something we are acustomed to, but if you are hungry, there is a snack bar that is open. They serve stuff like nachos, burgers, fries and some salad all afternoon and into the evening. The buffet is probably the best selection of food, and quality, that we experience our entire trip. However, food was still average.

Wildlife:
Iguanas are all over the place. They are fairly tame, but just be on the look out as not to step on them. Some get adventurous too, and will come into the pool area or snack bar. There is a nature area next to the 600 section, so, the monkeys can make some noise and hastle light sleepers. Just past the parking lot and spa, the monkeys like to hang out there. Also, a bunch of macaws with roost up there too. There is a path that will walk you around many cages of birds. Further on there is a butterfly farm and a snake farm. The snake farm was very disappointing.

Travel to the airport:
Pleas take note that this resort is about 4.5 hours from the airport in san jose. Nice way to see the country. There is an option to fly there which takes about 25 minutes. Something to keep in mind though, your luggage still goes by land, only you fly. A group that was suppose to ride the bus back to the airport with us that flew out, arrived in san jose at 7am, for a noon departure, and had to wait for us to arrive at 10 with their luggage. On the upside, we had to leave the resort at 4:30 to catch the ferry, as were the people by plane could sleep in a little bit longer. Just something to think about.

The beach:
Dont expect the pristine white sand beaches. This is volcanic rock. Very very fine sand particles, that are very hot during the day. The water is warm and safe. The waves tend to make the water very murky.

Room Tip: We were in room 626. It is an ocean view room first floor. Bit of a walk from the main lobby. We did...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Our four member family visited the hotel during the last week of January 2012. We enjoyed our stay: Easy and fast chek in. Well decorated room. Comfortable beds. Clean room and sorroundings. Nice beach, gardens and pool areas. Good selection of well prepared foods at the buffet, although not as good as offered at Barcelo Tamarindo. Our requests for assistance were promptly resolved. Additional activities such as horseback riding, natural reserve, cuadracycle, etc are nice entertaiment options.

There is room for improvement in various areas, particularly the nightly show wich we found boring. In the pool areas someone should pick up the empty glasses as there were several dozens on the borders of the pool. We particularly disliked the fact that the wet bar closes at 6:00 p.m. and they asked us to leave the pool at 7:00 p.m. because they were going to clorinate the water. In the buffet area, we would have appreciated more seafood selections and the dessert choices could really improve. The employees seemed to be too tired to smile or greet you as they walked by.

All in all, we enjoyed the hotel facilieties and services; however, the location is very dificult to reach. We used the Paquera Ferryboth ways. In spite of the fact that we arrived one and a half hours before the 5:00 p.m. departure, the Ferry was full and we had to wait three aditional hours to take the next scheduled (8:00 p.m.) ferry trip to Puntarenas. It must be noted that we traveled during peak seasson.

Room Tip: Request one of the new rooms as there is an older area in the hotel.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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.
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.

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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:
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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

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