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“All around amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

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Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Playa Esterillos Este | Near Manuel Antonio, Esterillos Este 10-6300, Costa Rica (Formerly Xandari by the Pacific)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“All around amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I recently stayed at Alma Del Pacifica in January 2013. It was fantastic. Below is the breakdown.

Service: Overall I would give Alma a 4/5. Service was excellent from booking manuel antonio to activities at the hotel. My one small complaint would be food and beverage service. Having said that the waiters are great, kind and courteous but food/drinks always took a while. Personally, it didn't bother me but I could see how an older couple may get a little annoyed.

Rooms: We stayed in a garden villa and it was excellent. Extremely spacious, clean and beautiful. Room includes snacks, juice and a couple of bottles of waters that are replenished every day. For the price, it was and will be the nicest room I will ever stay at.

Beach: Empty, gorgeous, soft sand. One of the nicest beaches I have been too. I would go to Playa Esterillos over any clear water Caribbean beach. Simply breath taking.

Food: For breakfast the banana pancakes were impressive, my girlfriend loved them. For all other meals I stuck to seafood only because of the freshness. The snapper was delicious if you don't mind fried fish. I ordered the tuna both rare/medium rare and both were surpassed my standards for tuna. They also have great snacks for at the beach like chips and salsa. Do not expect a crazy gourmet meal but the meals were a great mix of freshness, american tastes with a slight costa rican flavor. I was never disappointed and would go to this restaurant if it was in NYC.

Drinks: The price was normal to slightly cheaper then expected. Blended drinks were a bit weak for my standards but my girlfriends seemed to love them.

Price: Simply unbeatable for the price. I'm sure no one has complained but if any reviewers did then "cheap" is not even a sufficient word to describe them.

Overall: I plan on coming back and I am not the type of person to revisit a destination. Overall excellence and made for excellent portion of our vacation. If you don't mind the inconveniences of its remote location then this hotel will keep you smiling your entire stay.

Room Tip: Go to Manuel Antonio and let the hotel book you a guide. Very knowledgable and it is impossible to e...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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229 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    170
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    7
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55
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

A real gem on this coast. The team are fantastic and can't do enough for you. Great food and the best tuna shashimi I have ever had at just $10. Amazing beach which is almost all to yourself. Make sure you ask Michael to make you a "special" margarita if that's your poison. It was the best we had coast to coast. The deep tissue massage by Vladamir is also highly recommended at the spa. All in all a very special place that was the perfect end to an amazing trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thanks! I know our staff works really hard to make everybody's experience in Costa Rica memorable! We're really fortunate to have such a great team with Michael, Vladimir, Ricky Freddy, Giancarlo and all the others.

Hope to see you again next year for a sunset cocktail at our beach bar!
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New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We chose this hotel because of its lovely remote beach but when we arrived we were given the wrong room (bed was wrong) and then when we asked for the correct room we were told we were wrong even though I had the reservation. It took them two days move us into the right room but only after constant reminding. The coffeemaker didn't work, the air conditioning dripped water on the beds, the flashlight in the room had dead batteries.

We wanted to see local attractions. The staff when asked about arranging a tour gave us different prices for the same tour and one lady told us they would charge the room $20 just for making the reservation.

In general the staff was disorganized and for lack of a better word acted "shady." We asked about other restaurants on the beach and were given answers that ranged from "there are none" to "why do you want to leave this place?" unhelpful. There are in fact several wonderful hotels on the same beach that have great restaurants. Every one of them better than Alma's. I highly recommend the Pelican.

The same responses were given when asked about a grocery store.

The icing on the cake happened when I was checking out. My friend was still in our room making sure we hadn't left anything. The manager who was helping me told me that the maid had just been in our room and said we had taken stuff from the minibar that I needed to pay for in cash, since the bill had already been printed. Just as he finished saying this my friend walked up. When I asked her if a maid had been in our room just now she said no. As soon as she said this he backtracked, saying we should forget about it. HE WAS TRYING TO SCAM CASH LAST MINUTE!

Dont stay here. Its not worth it.

Room Tip: try the Pelican. Its down the street.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thanks for the feedback. We are committed to providing the best possible Costa Rican experience and your comments help us to achieve this. We investigated your comments as your experience was very atypical. We’ve already taken action on some of your constructive comments. However, a good part of this I think is attributable to language barriers in a country where English is not the primary language and a new employee to whom we have given additional training.

I apologize for the mix up with the bedding- we are working with our reservations staff on this. We also appreciate your other comments and have added a flashlight battery check to our room inspection.

Tours are offered as a convenience to our guests and Alma does not charge any service or booking fees.All tour reservations are booked using pre-established prices in our computer system. It follows that the only reason to get the variance in pricing is when looking at different tour options or operators. Most likely this is attributable to a language issue.

We encourage guests to visit other restaurants in the area and have a dining guide in each of the rooms. Over the past several weeks I personally have recommended restaurants in Jaco & Manuel Antonio to over 50 people. However, the options within walking distance of the hotel are really limited to two options which are both basically small beach bars with pool tables, one of which has had 3 ownership changes in the past 12 months. We will consider recommending it once we have had a chance to try it out ourselves.

The mini bar charge at check out appears to be another issue of “lost in translation." A small mini bar charge was discovered after the room bill had been closed out and the credit card charged. Because of the small amount, our desk clerk suggested a cash payment. When this was questioned, he chose to comp the small room charge.

Thank you again for your feedback. Communications and training is always a high priority especially when your staff is helping guests in another language.
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El Segundo, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I love this hotel!! When we arrived we met Ana Maria who checked us in and she was really nice! Then Fernando, the charming owner of the hotel , greeted us and walked us to our room!
The room was extremely clean and very beautiful with bright colors, beautiful Costa Rica decor and a very comfortable bed.
The next day, I went swimming in the beautiful pool and the landscaping was awesome and amazing.Then, that night, we ate at the hotel for dinner and the food was awesome! Everytime I come to Costa Rica, I will always stay at the hotel! There is no other hotel like this that is not only beautiful, but the people that work there are some of the nicest peple I have ever met!

Room Tip: The beach front rooms are awesome!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thanks! We look forward to seeing you back again next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This is unique hotel on a stunning uncrowded beach. The rooms are large with their own private little pools which is nice. The room was clean and fine for all four of us which made it more affordable. The restaurant food was good with nice waiters but you are definately on costa rica time (slow). This place is remote, about 40 minutes from manuel antonio and quepos airport. I enjoyed the place, but im not sure whether to recommend for a couple of reasons. First i made the reservation in June and when i called in december to reconfirm and see if they needed a deposit they said they had no record of my reservation and no rooms. When i sent them all the emails, they got back to me and somehow found me a room but not the one i had originally booked although it was fine right on the beach. Then the other issue was more my fault, this place is far from anything and i didnt realize that we would need a car. The hotel had a great van driver they used ( jonathan and coci), but each ride was 80 bucks. It just would have been nice to be able to speak with someone about logisitcs or activities. Even while there no one really seemed to know, and we relied on jonathan and coci to help us get to manuel antonio, and get a guide etc. just ended up costing more in driving then i had thought. Also for a beach resort they had one boogie board which seemed silly. For one night on a lovely beach with a car this place works and is nice. If i did it again, i might spend one night in manuel antonio to do the park, and then drive to one of the beaches further north.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
While our location gives us miles of pristine beaches, and a central location between Manuel Antonio & Jaco beach, we highly recommend guests hire a rental car with a GPS system during their stay. With a rental car, you have the flexibility of being at the restaurants & nightlife in Jaco Beach within 25 minutes and also the National Park at Manuel Antonio is just a 30 minute drive. In fact, the new bridge and roadwork to Manuel Antonio makes staying at Alma a great alternative to staying in Manuel Antonio, especially for people who want to stay on the beach.

While prices vary for rental cars, $50/day is the average. Since there is essentially one road along the coast, it's difficult to get lost and 2 cab rides could be more than 3 days rental. If you use a driver to get to Alma, you can have a rental car delivered to the hotel. With a rental car and a GPS, it's also possible to drive from the international airport in San Jose (SJO) to Alma in 90 minutes on the new highway (this could save in the neighborhood of $300 for ground transportation fees) however, we would only recommend this for a daytime drive.

Please feel free to give our US office a call to discuss this. +1-410-727-6444
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Williamsburg, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We spent three nights at Alma Del Pacifico and every one of them was wonderful. We used a Groupon, and booked a Beachfront Ultra Plus Villa that was enormous with all of the amenities, including an exceptional view of the ocean, as well as a plunge pool. The tended grounds were beautiful, the staff was very attentive and friendly and they made our stay very enjoyable. We ate in the restaurant several times and the food was fantastic. The dining room was open air, with a great view of the ocean and provided prime iguana watching. We used the concierge to book horseback riding, the guide Macho and my horse Morena were fun.

Room Tip: All of the rooms were unique, private and beautiful. The air conditioning in the Villa worked extre...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

Stunning, peaceful, relaxing, fun, great food, charming staff - only great memories of this jewel. Perfect for adults and children (ages 11 and 17). Relaxed, healthy, softest waves in the world. Everything there was beautiful, easy, fun and safe.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

Address: Playa Esterillos Este | Near Manuel Antonio, Esterillos Este 10-6300, Costa Rica (Formerly Xandari by the Pacific)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Esterillos Este
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast along Playa Esterillos Este, between Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio, Alma del Pacifico is a luxury Costa Rica hotel featuring beachfront Caribbean hotel rooms and suites, a three-meal restaurant, full-service spa and a variety of exciting vacation activities. With distinct architecture and art, an extensive array of amenities and superb personal service, Alma del Pacifico Hotel is the premier luxury hotel in Costa Rica. A great alternative for luxury travelers wanting to visit Manuel Antonio while being on the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Xandari By The Pacific Hotel
Xandari By The Pacific Resort
Alma Del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa Costa Rica/Esterillos Este

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