We took a weekend getaway to Esterillos to run the first Esterillos Beach 10K and spent the night at the Monterey Del Mar. The accommodations were clean, comfortable and convenient. The staff was friendly and helpful and the tropical gardens were well maintained. There’s also abundant tropical wildlife on the property, including iguanas, colorful lapas (macaws) and other birds, and an occasional crab will wander in off the beach, which is just a few steps from the open-air restaurant.
We booked the standard room, which was $120 per night (low season, by the way); taxes and fees added another $15. Breakfast for two was included. The room was spacious and comfortable, with two queen beds and a nicely tiled bathroom. They say wireless internet is available, but we didn’t use it.
On the minus side, there was no outside ventilation in the bathroom; the one window is high up and for sunlight only. The TV was one of the older models with a very poorly attached cable cord which kept coming loose, causing the picture to roll and flicker. The chairs in the restaurant are well worn and not comfortable, with the foam cushions in most of them completely exhausted from years of use, and there is a large pothole as you exit the hotel that is almost impossible to avoid – all stuff that is easily and probably cheaply fixed.
Playa Esterillos is a gorgeous strip of tropical beach, and the Monterey Del Mar is a perfectly acceptable, moderated priced place to stay if you want to get away for a day or two. If you’re looking for night life, shopping or tourist attractions, you’ll have to drive 20 minutes north to Jaco or farther south to Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Also, Playa Esterillos has very strong undercurrents, and there are caution signs posted, so it isn’t a great place to bring the kids if they want some ocean play time.
All in all, for the value, we give the Monterey Del Mar 4 of 5 stars.