We had two splurges on our holiday. One was five nights at Tango Mar on the Nicoya Peninsula. This place looks great on the outside, but it doesn't take much scratching beneath the surface to figure out that it is badly in need of a facelift and a full body workup.
We were booked into a Tiki Suite, the most expensive and private room on offer. The guy at the front desk showed us in and at first glance the room was great. Not totally luxurious, but certainly unique and interesting.
The first thing that caught my eye was the colony of small insects crawling around the bar counter. I know insects are unavoidable in the tropics, but even the host seemed suprised at the level of insect activity inside the room. We also noticed plenty of ants on the bedspread (this room had no mosquito net). The host sent for someone to spray inside the room almost immediately. This took care of the insects for a bit, but in no time they were back, in force and en masse.
There were cracks in the floors and walls, through which columns of ants were coming in. At $200 a night, I'd expect that holes like that would be sealed up and the room would be a little more bug-proofed.
The bathroom was okay, but definitely not luxury. In fact, I was suprised by the old shower curtain that still hung. Which luxury hotel still uses grimy shower curtains?
We ended up moving into a standard room on the third-floor of the main building, thinking we'd have less insects there. Wrong again. At a few minutes to six every night, the room filled, this time with giant ants, also coming in through a crack in the ceiling. Some of these were fire ants; some got into the bed.
The toilet seat was really old, scratched up and not even the right size for the toilet. The bathroom counter was made of wood--which would have been more interesting if it, too, hadn't been scratched, battered and cracked.
The pool was tiny and not well maintained at all.
The food at the restaurant was pricey, and although it tasted alright, it was totally uninspired. Silly me, I kept ordering different salads from the menu thinking the next one would be better. But, despite great descriptions and a price tag of $5 or more, no salad consisted of anything more than just a mound of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrotts, a few tomatoes and cucumbers, along with perhaps a couple of overcooked asparagus or a piece of two of avocado.
Also, it was very difficult to communicate special requests to the waiters like "no butter, please" or "salad instead of french fries" even when we spoke to them in Spanish!
Future guests would do well to know that despite Tango Mar's seeming proximity to the town of Tambor and its nearby resorts, as well as to Montezuma, only the bravest of drivers would venture out on the roads at night in search of other meal options (which remain few and far between). Guests are pretty much relegated to dining in for three meals a day.
Tango Mar, on the other hand, would do very well to vary its menu. We were bored with the same six options by day two and we were unsure why the waiters insisted on starting us off each time--lunch and dinner-with the drink menu when we ordered the same thing at every meals.
We also found it strange that our mini-bar was never replenished in the five days that we were there.
Tango Mar needs an exercise room, though the tennis courts did offer some much needed physical activity.
At least the beach was nice. Very nice, in fact: long, quiet, secluded and clean.
If future guests are looking for a luxury experience on par with other Caribbean seaside resorts, Tango Mar is not the place. Not now, anyway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The well-hidden secret of Tango Mar is located on the beautiful, deserted Quizales beach at the Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. It is a 150-acre (60Ha) exclusive private beachfront reserve with ample of added attractions. The blend of fine accommodations with exuberant jungle vegetation, exotic birds and wildlife makes Tango Mar the ideal hideaway for anyone who wants to enjoy refinement in a natural setting. With only 45 rooms, the philosophy of Tango Mar is to provide a personal, friendly, relaxed and attentive service Tango Mar has a 9-hole Executive Golf Course (par 3 and par 4), two lightened tennis courts, a soccer field, four swimming pools, stables with horses, 2 restaurants and bars, meeting room, Spa, an organic garden and natural trails. It offers different types of lodgings; Beahfront rooms that mainly cater to families, Tropical Suites and Deluxe Beachfront Rooms for couples and Tiki suites for the most demanding. All rooms have been recently renovated, have a private bath and are equipped with a/c, phone, satellite TV, a safety deposit box, WIFI, minibar upon request and a coffee maker with complementary coffee. We also have private beachfront Villas for families or small groups. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tango Mar Beach, Spa & Golf Hotel Tambor
- Tango Mar Beach, Spa And Golf Resort
- Tango Mar Beach Hotel
- Tango Mar Beach Tambor