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“This resort needs some serious upgrades!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bahia de los Delfines

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Bahia de los Delfines
Cobano | Playa Tambor, Tambor 1007, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 7 hotels in Tambor
Toronto
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This resort needs some serious upgrades!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2009

My husband and I went to Los Delfines for our honeymoon in August 2008. We booked this resort through my parents' time share company, Worldwide Resorts' Sterling Crown.

It was quite a trek to get to this resort, since our flight did not arrive in time to catch the small plane to the Tambor airport. After a cab ride, bus ride, ferry ride, and another cab ride, we finally arrived at around 7pm. (We left Toronto at 6am) It was dark and pouring rain and we were quite tired from a full day of travel. We were told the villa we booked was not ready, so we were given another villa. Too tired to argue, and assured by the front desk that all the villas were equal, we checked in. Apparently, the shuttle van was not available, so we were on our own to make the 1km walk (with our luggage) through the rainy darkness to our villa. This resort is on a golf course, I'm sure they could have rustled up a golf cart but no offer was made.

When we got to our villa, we were disappointed but exhausted and went right to bed (after switching the master bedroom pillows with ones from the 2nd bedroom since ours smelled like body odour!) The next morning, we had a chance to examine our villa more closely. It was definitely not the cozy living space advertised by our time share! There were ants crawling in the toaster, plastic patio furniture in place of a dining room table, and an old futon for a couch. The 2" foam mattress on the futon was faded and torn so instead of replacing it, a second slightly newer mattress was thrown overtop! This mattress was also ripped. At the end of the week, we discovered a crumpled up towel between these mattresses! Although we were both extremely disappointed in our accommodations, and having peeked into other villas to see that the furniture was no better there, we decided to try to make the best of our visit. We did ask for some things (there were no window coverings on the kitchen window) but we were told it would take 2 weeks for them to get them!

The bridge to the restaurant and lobby was badly in need of repair. The planks were loose, shaky, and one of them contained a large hole that you could easily put your foot through if you were not careful.

Over our first breakfast, we watched a member of the cleaning staff clean the pool area. When she finished, a pair of dirty shoe insoles and some garbage remained lying beside the pool! They remained there until the following day.

Since it was our honeymoon, our time share representative assured us when we booked that we would receive some upgrades or special services from the resort. There were no upgrades or special services to offer since none of the villas had any perks! In fact, despite the fact that there were next to no vacationers staying at the resort (it was the rainy season), management never made any attempts to even talk to us.

On the upside, the beach was incredibly beautiful with great swimming. The tour operator who works out of the resort was fantastically helpful and friendly, as were the restaurant workers.

It was a 5 min cab ride into the nearest town (Tambor), which has a fabulous Italian restaurant and very friendly locals. We visited a couple of other resorts that were far better than Los Delfines.

Since we were only there for a week, we made the most of our trip by planning numerous off resort excursions. In retrospect, we should have complained far more than we did but this is not our nature. Upon our return, we did make a complaint to Sterling Crown, our time share company, complete with pictorial evidence of the shabby accommodations. We were informed by email that they would contact the resort representative and get back to us. We waited and waited and have yet to receive a response from Sterling Crown. It is a disgrace that this time share company continues to recommend this resort to their members! Sterling Crown has ignored our emails and calls; since we have not heard back from them ,we can only assume that the problems at Los Delfines continue to exist!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Ontario
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2008

We exchanged our timeshare for 7 days at Los Delfines. The literature and website looked terrific and we were looking forward to a fabulous relaxing week at the beach. Before launching into the actual review, I would like to mention that this was our 3rd timeshare exchange and 4th trip to CR. CR remains our favourite winter escape destination.

The grounds, beach and golf course were fabulous, especially the birds and other wildlife. However, our two bedroom villa, while spacious enough, was a big disappointment. While clean, the decor and furnishings were old, dated, and VERY uncomfortable. Also, we had problems with ants in the kitchen. Never did figure out where they were coming from, but a some nasty pesticide did the trick. Little English was spoken by staff and contrary to every other timeshare we have experienced, there no welcome orientation to the property or area. We felt completely on our own. Literature in the villa said that maid service would cost $25/day, so we opted to hang our towels and sheets on the clothesline every couple of days instead, and did our own floor sweeping.

Since the hotel staff seemed less than friendly, we were not tempted to try the restaurant. Instead we took a taxi into Tambor (10 minutes) do grocery shop at the local super mercado. The resort also had a fairly well stocked grocery store, but no meat, and few fresh veggies or fruit. In all this worked out well for us, and saved us considerable money.

The pool was nice, but little shade, and all chairs were very uncomfortable. The beach was beautiful, perfect for long walks. But again, the chairs were dreadful...and worse it took us two days to find them, nestled in amongst the trees (good shade) and at the very edge of the property. A resort map would have been helpful. As would a shuttle to the beach. It was at least 1 km from our villa to the beach which feels like a long way in the heat of the sun. Also, older guests we met definitely found this challenging.

After five days, we received a call from an English speaking resort employee asking us how were enjoying our stay. Upon hearing our complaints (including non-working microwave), we were told that a new manager had been hired to address numerous guest complaints. And money had been budgeted for improvements.

Upon checkout, since we had no additional charges, we asked for our pre-authorized credit card slip. A piece of paper was waved and then torn in half and thrown in the waste basket. Because we had already witnessed a similar situation, my husband asked for the paper. He personally routed through the entire wastebasket and couldn't find the paper with his signature. Seeing our determination, eventually the clerk "found" it on the desk. Surprise, surprise.

Most of the villas in this complex are owned by wealthy Ticos, and used as cottages and at least from the outside, appear to be well cared for. Only a few units are available for rent or timeshare exchange, and even from the outside the neglect is apparent. So although we did enjoy our rest, we will definitely not return to this resort.

  • Liked — The beach.
  • Disliked — Our villa - all furniture dated and very uncomfortable.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
great white north
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2008

My mom booked two "casitas" thru eBay for $350/ea for 8 days. Each was 2 bedroom and 2 bath. The casitas are half of a duplex on a road with many other casitas (some owned and some rented like ours). Not everything in the rooms was in good repair (window was broken, two cupboard doors fell off when we opened them).

However, we truly did enjoy our stay. There is a resident flock of crimson macaws (placed there to fool the turistas like me into believing that they're native and wild). It's a short drive to Curu National Reserve where you can truly see monkeys in the wild.

Also a relatively short jaunt to Montezuma over STEEP dirt roads. Our Nissan sedan made it but would have been easier in a 4-wheel drive. There are much-touted waterfalls in Montezuma which (for us) were difficult to find. WEAR STURDY SHOES...we had on "water sandals" which caused us to slip and slide. We only made it to first waterfall because the terrain became much too difficult to continue (I'm 47-female with two girls aged 9 and 12). My brother, sister and her boyfriend continued with a little difficulty (54-yr, 45 yr and 40 yrs -- but they had better shoes!) 78- year old grandparents did NOT make it very far!!

The trip from San Jose to Tambor takes at least 4 hours. From San Jose airport to Puentarenas (ferry dock) is over 1 hour. Signs showing directions to ferry are NON-EXISTENT but somehow we found it.

BEWARE of non-ferry employees "assisting" you in purchasing tickets and getting on the ferry. They "helped" us by telling us where to purchase tickets and where to wait in line only to beg for a tip and act angry when we didn't give them $20 each. Also, don't trust any ferry schedule...there were at least three we saw and none of them were correct.

From Paquera (where ferry drops you off) to Bahia de los Delfines is about 40 minutes. Bahia de los Delfines is well marked if you know what you're looking for. It is located just after a large Century 21 sign advertising real estate. But there is no actual "BAHIA DE LOS DELFINES" sign, only a large sculpture/waterfall of 3 dolphins.

If you reach the Tambor "airport" (I use this term loosely because it's basically an asphalt landing strip and a covered bench), you've gone too far.

Overall, we had a great time. The people were nice but didn't speak a lot of English. I ordered rice and beans and got bacon (don't order pizza -- took over 30 minutes with no apology). DO book a tour to Isla Tortuga....for $42/person we got a boat trip to the island (saw dolphins along the way which appeared to be clustering near some "bait" left there for them....very suspicious); lunch prepared over an open fire (Mahi-mahi or chicken, potatoes and buttered toast) and two or three beers each. Included snorkeling and several hours relaxing on the island which has stunning white sand and clear water (much clearer than the water at Playa Tambor).

DO enjoy a meal at H&B in Tambor and TAMBOR TROPICALE in Tambor (drive past the police station and then take a left at the beach....drive until you see large palm trees with tiny white lights and a lovely pool with a bar. It is a VERY adorable hotel....) Costa Coral which was recommended in a guidebook was VERY SLOW (one hour to serve) and served our appetizer with our meal.

The best and closest market is in Tambor (next to the police station). It has much better prices than the Bahia market and accepts US credit cards.

They make you wear wristbands which make you feel like a "target". We were told by some locals that the owner of Bahia de los Delfines had some shady business dealings (not paying his bills, gambling, not paying employees, etc.). We also discovered from locals that the "all inclusive" resort next door had been environmentally unfriendly.

Otherwise, nice reasonably priced place where me and family had a great time!

ENJOY!!!

  • Liked — proximity to beach and other attractions; weather; cerveza
  • Disliked — Distance to airport in San Jose
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bahia de los Delfines

Address: Cobano | Playa Tambor, Tambor 1007, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Tambor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 hotels in Tambor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The tropical setting of this luxury resort makes an exceptional beauty that will exceed your expectations. With the beach that stretches for more than 3 miles and a backdrop of exuberant vegetation where mountain streams meet the sea, you will discover the best of nature. Los Delfines, is characterized by calm Pacific waters, unspoiled sand beaches, uninhabited islands, friendly people, and a wide variety of flora and fauna, including parrots, monkeys, rivers and lots of waterfalls. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bahia De Los Delfines Hotel Playa Tambor

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