We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful resort but terrible service.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Save
You added Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa to your Saves list
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)   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
GA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort but terrible service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We visit Costa Rica yearly. This past visit we decided to rent and car and drive to Dominical. We stayed at a lovely report there but decided we needed a better beach so it was recommended we try Esterillos Este. Once in the area we decided to check this resort out due to reviews we had seen. We wanted to take a look at the hotel before booking. So we drove there and asked to see a room. The room was absolutely gorgeous and very clean. We decided to stay even though it was much pricier than many accommodations in Costa Rica. The staff were not overly friendly and the resort was almost empty. We usually visit in September which is the beginning of the rainy season but it was still slower than expected. I hope that this is the reason that service was so poor. The staff and service at the restaurant was below par as well. The food selection was limited. We would have liked to have had better bar service and bar type food during the day while at the beach. The food they did serve was not that great and overpriced. Fortunately we had Los Almendros down the road (although the staff did not even know where it was). We also were told by some other businesses to try the hotel next door (Monterry Del Mar). The food their was much better and also a great price. Their staff were also very friendly.

The hotel was also close enough to drive in Jaco for shopping and lunch. The beach was beautiful which is really what we were looking for while on vacation. However, the staff were very unfriendly and it was definitely not worth the money we paid. If we find ourselves back in this area we will give Monterrey del Mar a try.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

225 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    168
    43
    7
    3
    4
See reviews for
53
127
6
2
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
Coquitlam
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

Having just finished a grueling, six day race, I needed to book myself into a resort to unwind. Little did i know that I was booked into this gem!

This 20-room resort has some of the best staff in the area and make you feel as if you were a member of an extended family. Barry Strudwick (proprietor) treated my girlfriend and myself every day and asked me how my healing was going. He would then ask how he could be of service which, most of the time, meant making sure there was enough fresh mint for my mojitos.

The restaurant and bar excellently staffed and if you have an opportunity to try the granola/banana pancakes, please do.

And if you wish to learn how to surf, ask for a lesson from Brent. He is arguably one of the best instructors in the country.

If there was one thing they could improve on, it would be better communication about travelling to/from Quepos and Jaco which are the two closest towns to the resort. You are in the middle of an R&R paradise but for those days where you wish to take off for the day and do not have a vehicle, it can be difficult arranging travel by bus to the nearest cities. This is an easy fix that they may have already worked on.

All in all, a great experience.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, April 5, 2013
After your running 30 miles a day for 6 days through the rain forest, I'm glad you found Alma to be a good place to relax . A lot people find Alma the perfect place to rest up for a few days after a week or so of adventure tourism. We're pleased you enjoyed your stay and hope you come back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BC, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We had a wonderful 5 night stay at the Alma de Pacifico - it started with "smores" & a campfire at sunset and just kept getting better. A small boutique style hotel on a flat beach that stretches for miles, perfect for walking and not a vendor is site. - Food at the restaurant is good, prices reasonable and other restaurants close by. Yes it is isolated, but that is part of the peace & charm. If you are looking for all inclusive action - you will be disappointed, but if you want to relax and get to know the staff and other guests (everyone we met was wonderful), then this is the place. The best thing about the Alma de Pacifico is the wonderful staff, Michael & Freddy were great and we danced a few nights away at the bar and made fun new friends. The ocean is very warm here, and a few afternoons we could sat and watch Surfers right in front of our patio. The only improvement that we can think of is the sun curtain on the patio should be of better quality and the type where you can still see the awesome view, but cuts the sun while providing privacy. If we go back to Costa Rica, it will be to the Alma del Pacifico - leaving there was tough.

Room Tip: Go for the oceanfront bungalow, you wake up in the morning to a stunning view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Upon arrival, my husband and I were met by Ana, who quickly handed us a complimentary fresh fruit smoothy. I don't know which I liked more, Ana, with her 'long-lost friend' personality, or the delicious creamy fruit smoothy. And I love a fresh fruit smoothy! Ana walked us to our beach front bungalow, opened the door, and my husband and I just didn't know where to look first. It was so colorful and cheery, it was open and airy, it was clean and spacious, and it was perfectly equipped. It totally exuded enjoyment! The layout and the design are beautiful! We opened up the sliders that led to the private patio and out to the Pacific. With the sound of the waves right there and that fresh sea air, we knew we had made the right choice. The beach is vast and feels private. The sand is powder-y soft. The waves are perfect body surfing waves and the water temperature is ideal. The complementary continental breakfast was sufficient however we opted for ordering off the menu several times because the menu items sounded delicious, and they were. Over all, the food and drinks were priced reasonably. The ceviche was a daily choice, so fresh and mouthwatering. It made a perfect light lunch. All of the staff was very much like Ana; helpful, friendly and a joy to be around. The owner was present and engaged us in conversation, seeming genuinely interested in our feedback. The grounds were very tropical and well cared for. I regret not taking advantage of the spa but we did take a peek and it was very lovely. We have done our share of traveling, staying in an array of hotels and such, and we both feel that Alma del Pacifico is something very special.

Finding it became confusing for us, only in that booking online through a sub-carrier, our confirmation read: Playa Esterillos Pacifico Beach Hotel. Once we figured out that we were looking for Alma...it was easy. It was off the beaten path, but many things are in Costa Rica, which makes the destination that much more thrilling!

Room Tip: Beach bungalow #3 - beach view from sitting up in bed, short walk to restaurant, bar, spa and pools...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We just returned yet again from a wonderful stay at Alma del Pacifico! We were remembered and greeted by the warm and friendly staff who were genuinely pleased to see us. Everyone is attentive, helpful, and great at what they do. Freddy and Giancarlo offer excellent dining service while Michael mixes amazing cocktails at the beachside bar. Carla recommends the perfect spa services and books them at your convenience, and Vladimir, Erika, & Rebecca are hard to choose between for being the best masseuse...so I try to have each one while I'm there! They never disappoint. This visit we enjoyed complimentary wine and snacks a few times at sunset and were able to meet and mingle with other guests at the hotel. It was a great way to hear about their experiences in the country and learn some new activities to try. We always come home relaxed and ready to plan our next trip to Alma.

Room Tip: The isn't a bad room, but choose the ocean views if available....walk out your patio to the beac...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

If you enjoy original, vibrant, colourful design (by a Californian architect), you'll appreciate this boutique hotel situated on a beautiful, near-empty beach, far from the madding crowds.

We enjoyed our 2-night stay. The pools were stunning, the rooms (bungalows) spacious and comfortable, with a design that appealed to us. The gated entrance to each bungalow, with its private terrace and indoor/outdoor shower, was charming. The beach, accessible right from the hotel, was a dream. The restaurant served simply-prepared tasty food. The complimentary breakfast was less than impressive, as it was just a "continental breakfast" not the usual lavish buffet one would expect in a resort.

If you like 5-star service, quality amenities, a choice of restaurants, closeness to town and entertainment, you might be disappointed, especially at the prices this establishment charges.
If you're a stickler for detail, you might notice that the design of the bungalows is somewhat compromised by cheap, pedestrian touches and little imperfections (e.g. windows that don't close properly).

But in spite of all of these shortcomings - and cheap bedding, and a very noisy fridge and air-conditioning - for 2 nights the beauty of the establishment and its setting made it all worthwhile. Not to mention the opportunity to see beautiful birds - including macaws and other parrots - flying over the property at sunrise and sunset.

Room Tip: The more expensive, larger units face the beach. Others are inside the garden. All very beautiful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

First trip to Costa Rica. Stayed here for 1 week to relax before moving on to Montezuma. The hotel is beautiful: gardens, pools, rooms and beachfront. Everything is impeccable and our beachfront villa with plunge pool was large and fantastic. Granted, the place is a little isolated although only a 20 minute drive to uninteresting Jaco. A car is essential in our opinion if you intend to visit or try a few activities in the area.

Everyone was friendly. And relax we did. The only comment would be to improve on food. Everything was ok but trying a little to hard to provide upscale without much success. A little simpler can go a long way.

Would recommend the place as long as you don't expect to much activity on site. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Beachfront is a must and if you can splurge for a villa with plunge pool, go for it. Well worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Agoda, Odigeo, Jetsetter and Tingo so you can book your Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Xandari By The Pacific Hotel
Xandari By The Pacific Resort
Alma Del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa Costa Rica/Esterillos Este

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.