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“Scenic But Subdued” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ocotal Beach Resort

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Ocotal Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Playa del Coco | PO Box 1, Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa Ocotal
Victoria, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Scenic But Subdued”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2005

Without doubt this resort offers above average accommodation. The facilities and grounds are well made and maintained. The scenery is wonderful. We had a beachfront room and it was handy both to ocean and pool. We didn't mind the hike up the hill for dinner and breakfasts too much. The view from the deck up there was spectacular. The food was also delicious, the servers good natured and polite. They did little to discourage the begging racoons at our dinner table though.
An atmosphere of constraint seemed to permeate the resort though. I think the way that the resort was designed, strung out laterally as well as vertically, denied visitors of a centre to meet and interact effectively. During our 3 night stay it was hard to shrug off an aloof institutional feel to the place. The security guards present only compounded that sense. Most staff seemed not really happy at work. The Father Rooster cafe/tavern down the beach offered a delightful change of atmosphere but the food didn't quite measure up. (Definitely try their Tica Linda cocktail though.) As well, a short cabride to Playa de Coco village can re-acquaint the traveller with a sense of the real world just down the road.
All in all, Ocotal Beach Resort is a fine comfortable place to hang out for a few days, especially if you are a diver or boating enthusiast.

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358 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Gainesville, Florida
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2005

My husband and I spent 5 days here for our honeymoon. The resort is beautiful, clean and service is good. The major drawback of the resort is that the walls are *very* thin. We felt like we were staying in the room with our neighbors. You hear *everything*--coughing, snoring, bathroom use, TV, etc.

The beach is beautiful and not crowded. There is quite a steep hill down to the beach and big pool. We didn't mind, but some with health problems might not be able to do it. There are smaller pools near the rooms if you don't feel like going up & down the hill. The restaurant has good food and the service is pretty good.

We recommend going to the small nearby town of Playa del Coco in the evenings. Take a taxi for $5 each way (they take US dollars). There are good restaurants and nice souvenier shops. Locals were friendly, we felt safe walking around at night. There is an excellent restaurant at the end of the main strip, across from the telephones, right on the beach--can't remember the name, but it's excellent--especially the fish.

We took a rainforest tour. It was magnificent, but it took 2 hours to get to the mountains on very very bad roads. If your focus is rainforest more than beaches, you should stay somewhere closer to the mountains.

We would recommend this area but another resort for comfort.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Southlake, Texas
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2005

We stayed here with a 12-year-old nephew in August of 2005. We had a bungalow junior suite (#206) and would recommend either 206 or 208 as being midway up the hill between the restaurant and the beach. The plunge pools are right outside the even-numbered 200 rooms, so request one of those, as we felt our neighbors at 205 didn't get the full value of the pool.

Monkeys came by one day about 8am; racoons and skunks and squirrels and lizards and crabs were all about. Cleaning, both of the room and the pool, was excellent. The breakfast was great; view is wonderful -- but like most folks say, the restaurant at night was a beautiful view, but had very little to offer for children. Do Father Rooster's, or the pool restaurant (closes at 6pm).

Another thing that isn't clear - the tours are not chargeable to the room, or on a charge card (they have the machines there to do it, but aren't willing to). There isn't really a full-time concierge for the tours, even though they say there is. There is an ATM in Coco, but I recommend you carry enough US cash to cover the tours. There were several tourists at the bank who were strapped without a debit card (trying to get $$ from their credit card).

We did the ATV trip (good) and the Palo Verde tour (good, but longer than advertised, due to stopping at other resorts).

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2005

After having problems making reservations there, we finally secured one and I'm so glad we did. This place was complete luxury at the end of our 7 day trip to Costa Rica.
The staff was so helpful and service oriented. The food at the restaurant was the best we had while in Costa Rica. And the views from the outdoor deck at the restaurant were amazing! One night it was the perfect temp. and there was a great lightening storm going on while we ate our first dinner there. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
There are a lot of families and Europeans (banana slings/speedos abound at the pool), so my fiance and I felt out of place, but I can't imagine a better place to stay. This resort was very luxurious compared to our accomodations in Tamarindo, so we were blissfully happy at Ocotal Resort.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2005

We just returned for Ocotal in Costa Rica. What a beautiful country. Had the best trip ever. Being that it was low season the resort was not crowded and the staff was very attentive. The resort is located on a steep incline so be prepared to hike if you don't want to take the shuttle - which by the way was always there when requested. Stuart at the pool bar was great to talk to and can make a mean long beach. All the members of my traveling party had a great time and feel like we left behind many new friends. We cannot wait to return.
Puda Vida

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2005

We (my wife, I and our 9 yr old) stayed at the Ocotal from 06/11 thru 06/18..We absolutely enioyed our time here..I emailed ahead of time and asked for a beach front room (we stayed in #102) which they gave us..This is looking right onto the beach (gorgeous morning sunrises)and has a sliding glass door that you walk right out, across a small strip of lawn and then right into the sandy beach..The veiws from the hotel are absolutely awesome..We went to a varity of other hotels on some of our tours and we liked ours the best...Every morning you can hear the howler monkeys about 5 am..and the place is loaded with large iguanas..It is truly an island paradise...The whole staff is great and friendly..In these rooms you are right near the main pool with a swim up bar and an outdoor restaraunt..We snorkeld in the bay at the hotel saw pufffer's and a varity of other colorful fish..It was a little cloudy as it had rained the night before..

We booked three tours before we left and I would highly recommend our tour company..Michael Mills and Vargas tours in Costa Rica..We did the Buena Vista Mega tour..The zip lines (platforms) are great and out 9 yr old loved them as well..We also did the Palo Verde river tour and that was great to see crocodile, monkleys and all sorts of birds..and we also did the Nicaruaga tour..That was also fun..along drive though (3 1/2 hrs) in the van..

The only complaint I have is the walls are very thin and you can hear people talking in the next rooms..

The food was great especially the free morning buffet breakfast...We ate almost all our meals by the pool at the open aire eatery at the hotel..or we walked down the bach about 100 yards to Father Roosters..also great food..

One word of warning..If you leave our shoes outside at night in the beach front rooms area..check them in the morning as there are tons of small crabs (1"-3") that come out at night..and my wife had one crawl in her shoe..It wasn't until I heard her scream that I knew she had put it on with out checking it first..

Great hotel to see widlife...

We loved it and would stay here agin if we came back..

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2005

We stayed at the Ocotal Resort May 14-21, 2005. We had a bungalow and feel that it had to be the best place in the entire resort for the views and privacy. We were fortunate that no one stayed in the adjoining room so we had the private pool to ourselves. We were in room 208 and the pool with this bungalow has the most privacy. The location was about 1/2 way down the hill so the walk to the restaurant on top of the hill was not bad and the walk down to the beach was also not bad. However, the hill is really steep. We found that the walk on the path was easier than the road. Of course you have the option of calling the front desk for a shuttle up or down the hill.

The staff were the best. Everyone made us feel right at home and did everything they could to make the trip as enjoyable as it could be. Now this is not a 5 star resort with all the amenities, but you still get the feeling of being pampered if that is what you want.

Food: The breakfast buffet was GREAT!! Bacon, eggs any way you want them and prepared fresh, french toast and waffles were outstanding, hash browns, beans and rice, cereals, excellent coffee, and fresh squeezed juices along with bread and fresh fruits. Other meals did not really grab me like breakfast. Beef not as good as in the states. Seafood was OK. The K-Lamar restaurant by the dive shop was OK. Father Rooster just down the beach had better hamburgers and Nachos, but the seafood was somewhat blah. If you go fishing, the restaurant will prepare your fish for you for a small charge.

Visit to town: Playa del Coco: We only ate at Papagayo Pura Vida on the beach. The grilled fish was good. The banana split was great. Not a lot going on in town as it is small but a good day trip to get a few souveniers.

Tours: I would not recommend the Buena Vista tour. We thought the canopy tour there was too short. You should ask around about another canopy if you want to get on a zip line. The one at Arenal Volcano is much better but 3-4 hours away. There is also another canopy near Buenavista but we travelled on our own and were not sure where it was and with the weather looking like rain ended up at the Buenavista. The Congo trail near the resort is fairly good and for the location would be preferable to Buena Vista and is less expensive. The canopy there is just as good. Diving was OK, the visibility not but about 30 feet at most sites. Saw lots of fish, some morays, and seahorses. Fun but not like the carribbean. Mostly volcanic rocks with some algae growth. The fish made up for it and were friendly. Fishing was a little slow but we did get a Sailfish and a Wahoo. Check prices with someone in town as the trip is much less expensive than at the resort.

Negatives: Lots of trash beside the roads especially in and around town. The resort area was nice though. We arrived after a 5 month drought and everything was dead looking. It did rain most of the week we were there and by time we left, things were again turning green.

All in all, we had a great time and all the people were very friendly and helpful. We met another couple with a car and found it fun to ride around on our own and see the country as we went to various tours.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocotal Beach Resort

Address: Playa del Coco | PO Box 1, Playa Ocotal, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Ocotal
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Playa Ocotal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ocotal Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 59
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Also Known As:
Ocotal Beach Hotel Playas Del Coco
Hotel Ocotal Beach
Ocotal Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Ocotal

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