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“The Costa Coral is a jewel!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Costa Coral

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Hotel Costa Coral
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Center of Playa Tambor, opposite from the Monterra Developers building, Tambor 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Tambor
Alberta
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“The Costa Coral is a jewel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

The Costa Coral is a jewel! The service is extraordinary. This doesn't happen without a dedicated team. Congratulations!

The rooms were clean and fresh. The food was marvelous. The pool and relaxation area was wonderful.

All of the staff made us feel special, as well as right-at-home.

It was a remarkable experience.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    34
    16
    6
    4
    6
See reviews for
10
31
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5
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2009

Costa Coral is a wonderful little hotel with spacious rooms that have an apartment-like style. In our room there was an entry area/sitting room/mini kitchen room, a beautifully tiled open-shower bathroom, and a bedroom with lots of closet shelving and a nice--and comfortable--queen sized bed.

The kitchen area includes a mini-bar/fridge stocked with bottled water and glass-bottled Coke (NOT complimentary :)), coffee maker and coffee, and cabinetry/counter space for food and drink prep if you choose to eat in rather than frequent the local restaurants. The bathroom was great--the tiling was truly a work of art, and I loved the open shower (which had heated water, not always a given when traveling in Costa Rica)--it had a very handy feature, too, which was a clothes line/rope that could be stretched across the shower (when not in use, of course) so that wet clothes and towels could be draped up to dry without dripping on the rest of the bathroom floor. The bedroom and bed was the best we slept in during our entire multi-city two week Costa Rican adventure. Very comfortable, air conditioned, great natural light, and a good mattress. It was all very clean, too.

A feature we appreciated, but didn't use as much as we thought we would, was the lovely patio/balcony outside our room--it had a patio table and chairs, and looked over their pool area. Speaking of the pool, we spent a lot of time in it, as it is definitely a hot climate in the entire Nicoya Peninsula region. It was a GREAT pool area, not only the pool itself (which was on the smaller side, but very well maintained and the perfect temperature... nice and deep, too) but also the sitting area around the pool--lots of lounge chairs and patio tables/chairs--and a stone wall that blocked the pool area from the road view. Lots of beautiful trees and plants, and a lovely & tall rock waterfall fountain that empties into the pool.'

The hotel restaurant was good, too--a bit spendier than a couple of the other restaurants we tried in Tambor, but definitely a convenient and delicious option if one doesn't want to walk/drive into town in search of other places. The hotel is on the Northeastern edge of the town, but Tambor is so little that we were able to walk less than 20 minutes to the other end of the town to try another restaurant.

The owners are Canadian "transplants", and were around the main desk and hotel restaurant frequently. They werre very friendly and helpful, as were all of the other staff members we met.

The only slight drawback was the location... if you're looking for a beachside hotel, this is not exactly that... you can access the beach by walking about a quarter of a mile down a dirt road next to the hotel, which is a nice walk within itself. The beaches are almost devoid of people, which is very unusual (and nice!) in comparison to the other beaches we visited around the Nicoya Peninsula. They also aren't quite as idyllic, having a bit coarser, darker (and slightly siltier) sand than the white sand beaches that can be found in other locales. But they are still beautiful, and very quiet. Good beachcombing, too.

Tambor is a great place to visit for those who want to get away from the flocks of tourists that frequent other hot spots on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. It is truly small--we only found one grocery store and a handful of restaraunts, but it was a nice change from the larger and more crowded towns we'd been visiting during the first week of our trip. The Costa Coral hotel is only about 20 Kilometers from the wonderful nature preserve, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Curú (Curu Wildlife Reserve), which is well worth a day-trip (and, if you have time, a snorkeling/scuba diving expedition that leaves from the beaches of the Reserve and takes you to the Islas de las Tortugas (Turtle Islands), which is a fantastic experience--the islands are a must-see).

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2009

You can't tell from the old street sign that this is such a nice little hotel. Great room amenities - especially for Costa Rica, everything spotless - my only reason for lower rating is that our room was VERY smoky and too saturated to air out. They should have non-smoking rooms. Loved the restaurant - a good value for a hotel place. The staff and service was excellent. The pool area very nice (although small) and the "jacuzzi" is NOT what we think of - but that seems to be the case in most of Costa Rica. It was an in-between stop for us - I'm not sure what you would do around Tambor. We tried Silvestre Curu and it was a VERY disappointing experience despite all the signs luring tourists in there for activities that they are totally unprepared to provide.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2009

Costa Coral is the best thing about Tambor. In an area known for resorts, my husband and I wanted to steer clear of anything too exclusive. Costa Coral has the ambiance and service-oriented staff you'd expect at an all-inclusive place, but none of the attitude.

Each room has either a private patio or balcony, a sitting room and separate bedroom and spacious bathroom, all overlooking a beautiful pool. Both the air conditioning and hot water worked very efficiently. We had a little frog visit us in the bedroom, but other than that, the room was spotless! Parking isn't great here, though there is a small designated spot. Just be wary if your vehicle is bigger than a Corolla. There is also a little souvenir shop next door that also operates as an internet cafe. It's worth a visit here, if only for the bizarrely humorous (though slightly treacherous) stairs to the second floor....

Previous reviewers are right that the real highlight of this place is the restaurant and its staff. Tambor as a town is not much to speak of, and in the rainy season the local beach offers a great view but not much in the way of swimming. And it's true that Montezuma is a short drive away with good eateries and better swimming, but for the value, Costa Coral is the best lodging. We had planned to spend a night in Montezuma but after shopping around for a room, we ended up spending a fun-filled day there and returning to Costa Coral! We also found ourselves happily returning to the restaurant every night for dinner, since the food was great and the servers even better. Make sure to order the guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and the bananas foster for dessert.

I'd also recommend the Curu wildlife reserve, which is about 15-20 km from the hotel on the way to Paquera. If you're up for a moderate hike, you will be rewarded with the most stunning white sand private beach. There are also many capuchin monkeys and large iguanas in the reserve that you can see up close. And a final word of caution: don't try to drive to Mal Pais without a 4WD!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2009

We stayed in Tambor at the Costa Coral for two nights April 18/19th/2009. The first day we woke up to the most beautifully sung "bird music" ever. I have to vehemently disagree with the writer who commented "blackberry daquiries" are the best drink on their menu...because the strawberry daquiries are the best! Food was incredible, I'd doubt your own family will treat you as well as the staff in that hotel/restaurant, and the boat trip to Tortuga Island was as unforgettable as the hotel stay itself..Perhaps some of the earlier comments were made years ago when the hotel was undergoing construction...We just arrived home and none of the problems existed as told in the earlier posts, hot water was dreamy, toilets were normal, air-conditioning was state-of-the-art, the only complaint I have is that I couldn't stay longer. Further, the beach is a black-sand beach, not a white coral one, but who cares....it's beautiful, and very unique!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Lubbock, Texas
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2008

After a long drive over rough roads from the Monteverda area combined with a unique ferry trip, we arrived at this little jewel ready for a long cold drink (several). Located right on the highway, this small immaculate property proved very welcoming. The friendly girl on the desk offered us a complimentary upgrade (between her english dictionary and my electronic translator, we managed) to a one bedroom unit on the second floor with a nice patio overlooking the sparkling pool. The rooms were very clean and air conditioned with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker. Quite basic but VERY adequate for the economical rates.
The on-site restaurant/bar was a real find. The really friendly waiter (the ONLY front of the house employee) was most talkative but the wonderful food certainly made up for any of his exuberant style. Beside the many menu choices, off menu selections were accomodated without hesitence.
The village is quite small, with the beach a short one or two blocks away. The local grocery provided any essentials you might need. We were glad we stopped here for a couple of days providing a real touch of local flavor and feeling.

  • Liked — Clean & comfortable with excellent food and service at a reasonable price
  • Disliked — Highway noise
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2008

Having been looking for a place to stay in the peninsula area, we had initially considered staying at the Barcelo or Tambor Tropical-decided against the former and the latter(no a/c)
Upon arriving in 'tambor' I was a little disappointed in the town and the hotel appearance-I was picturing more of a traditional hotel and holiday for my western tastes. After the 1st night and getting adjusted to 'tico time" (local time no hurry ever) and the embarrassing fact that I don't speak Spanish-it became my best vacation ever.
The people from the hotel-Oscar and all the waiters, waitresses, front desk staff were able to help me and my wife in any way they could-booking dinner reservations elsewhere, golf, etc.
It actually became kind of amusing with the language barrier-we were looking to describe everything we could in spanish and the staff seemed genuinely interested in learning more English.
The food at the restaurant was good-not great but there are a 1/2 dozen other places to eat within walking distance. All the places with the exception of the Tango Mar restaurant were VERY affordable, after every meal we would comment on how inexpensive the entire meal had been.
The boutique hotel only has 6 rooms which gives people a chance to connect-your not just faceless tourists. Its not about the rooms, although in saying that the rooms were clean and the a/c was great, the shower was adequate for pressure and as noted elsewhere it did take a little getting used to NOT putting toilet paper in the toilet.
The area itself is a small <1500 fishing village but to get to surf in Malpais or zipline/waterfalls in Montezuma is no more than 45minutes there is a Budget rental agency across the parking lot from the hotel and taxis are an option(for some trips)
What made this vacation better than Hawaii or Mexico or Florida? Getting submersed in a culture and forgetting for just a few days that I'm a gringo guy who doesn't know more than a few words of Spanish.

  • Liked — Quiet & relaxing
  • Disliked — Nothing although the toilet paper wastebasket could be a hurdle for some
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Costa Coral

Address: Center of Playa Tambor, opposite from the Monterra Developers building, Tambor 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Tambor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Tambor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The famous Hotel Costa Coral, located in Playa Tambor, Costa Rica is busier then ever and is under new ownership/management. We are improving hotel amenities, upgrading rooms & facilities and looking forward to the exciting future of the expanding Tambor region. ... more   less 

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