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“Costa Rica in a Nutshell” 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, Esterillos Este 10-6300, Costa Rica (Formerly Xandari by the Pacific)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Esterillos Este
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Costa Rica in a Nutshell”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I had been planning my first trip to Costa Rica for quite some time and I knew I wanted to visit Manuel Antonio, as well as Jaco. Alma del Pacifico is located in Esterillos, right in the middle of both popular towns, while still giving you a generous amount of privacy. I booked the romance package directly through their website, which in return gave us an awesome discount and some great perks.

When I arrived in San Jose, there was a private shuttle provided by the hotel waiting to take us to the hotel. The ride was a little over two hours and we were anxious to experience the hotel first hand. We were welcomed with some tasty drinks and a tour of the hotel by Ricky. We entered our deluxe villa and were in absolute awe. The photos really can't give the place justice. The unique architecture, colorful decor throughout the room, and sounds of the beach and nature really work together to provide a relaxing atmosphere.

The hotel itself is beautifully designed and full of life. You'll see plenty of little iguanas and geckos soaking up the sun and colorful birds chirping in the palm trees. A unique sight if all your used to is squirrels and pigeons like me. Besides these little critters hanging around, there was hardly anyone there (perhaps because it is the green season? ) We enjoyed the pool, jacuzzi, and long beach to ourselves, barely seeing anyone. You'll really feel as if you have the whole property to yourself.

Along with the shuttle transportation, our package included a couples massage at the hotels spa.The couples massage from Rebecca and her partner were heavenly. They were so heavenly that we had to book another one on the spot for our last day there. We later got some facials, pedicures, manicures, etc. All quite nice with their own little touches (hot towels, mini massages and srubs, and fresh juices in between.) Do not hesitate to pass through the spa while your there.

With the outstanding spa, villas and pools the hotel offers, they have quite an impressive restaurant along side with it. Our package also included a $125 credit towards their "Pavilion Restaurant." While we were in Esterillos, we didn't really step outside the hotel, so we ate at the restaurant A LOT. Freddy, Aaron, and Gian Carlos hospitality, was a true highlight. Their overall dedication to our requests and presence is what made us go back every single day, 3 times a day! Don't miss out on the amazing breakfast, dinner, and 5 star service they have to offer.

On our last afternoon there, we rode some horses (the last part of our package) on the beautiful beach with Macho! The sweet, older man introduced us to his three horses and made us feel really comfortable and relaxed. We went at our own pace with the horses, side by side, in what felt like a cheesy romantic movie. The horses were very calm throughout the ride, galloping a bit faster when we turned back towards the hotel. (haha)

With all the exploring we did in Manuel Antonio and Jaco, and relaxing inside the hotel, we didn't experience the beach until the very last morning. Now the waves aren't as calm as Playa Manuel Antonio, nor is the sand white like theirs, but the intimacy it offers is like no other. Left and right there was not a soul in sight. The sand felt like soft volcanic ash, and the tides came close to kiss your feet. If only we had discovered the beach earlier, would we have spent a lot more time there along side the little red crabs.

If I had to complain about anything throughout my time there, it would be that the light next to the jacuzzi didn't work the first night we were there. That would be it. Really I can't think of a single thing that disappointed me throughout my time there. This place is a true gem in the area and deserves every 5 star review they have. Costa Rica is such a beautiful country with a one of a kind people and nature, and Alma Del Pacifico unifies that with their amazing staff and property.

TIPS!
-Book a special through their website. You'll save a good amount of money as well experience some great offers.

-If you plan on visiting during the green season, wake up as early as you can. The mornings are sunny and hot while the afternoons are rainy and refreshing. This gives you a chance to soak up the sun early and relaxing during the afternoon.

- Be careful at the beach! The tides can get high and dangerous. Pull up a lawn chair and watch the little crabbies.

-The villa is full of life! That can be exciting or frighting depending on the person. We found some lady bugs, a beetle, and other little bugs throughout the room. The villa is surrounded by lots of green so if you're freaked out by little critters be on the look out! Don't be surprised if you find a little gecko watching you shower! (We did)

-Get a massage from Rebecca! Before I fly her out over to to the states! (Just kidding)

-Try the Alma Pancakes! and the ceviche! and a cocktail from Freddy!

Thanks for having us over Alma! We will be back soon!

Room Tip: The Deluxe Villa was spacious and had its own terrace and jacuzzi.
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  • Stayed May 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
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209 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (63)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

The Alma del Pacifico was an excellent hotel in all respects. From the outside it is gaily painted with each resident having a separate cabana. Ours was spacious, well-appointed and had an excellent bed and a nice bathroom with a fine shower. Each cabana is basically self-contained and ours looked out to the sea and had a front yard of beach and shaded grass. The beach itself is long and wide and the walk in is shallow, although the surf can be strong and one needs to take care with the currents.
The staff is friendly but leaves you alone and you can be at peace all day doing nothing but walking, reading and relaxing. The food was excellent, better than anything we found in local restaurants, focused on outstanding fish but also with characteristic Central American beef dishes. And the breakfasts were yummy. Smoothies were available all day
If you want activities, there are plenty around including rain forest, riding, surfing and waterfalls hiking. But you don't need to do any of these to have a wonderful, relaxing set of days away from it all.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

If your senses are numb from the daily grind of urban life this place is CPR. The sights, sounds, and aromas of Alma del Pacifico will envelope you in an almost spiritual way. It was the perfect place for my wife and I to begin our 10th wedding anniversary. Located on an isolated strip of land, adjacent to the beach, each brilliant, private luxury villa stokes the flames of romance. Chef Fernando's food creations are delicious and fairly priced (entrees $15-$30). 1/4 mile down the road is the Pelican Inn and they have BBQ on Fridays and Saturdays. The Alma was created by husband and wife team (architect and artist) of Sherrill and Charlene Brody, each villa being unique. The landscaping, alone, is deserving of an award. I wouldn't recommend for the party crowd, but, if you must, Jaco is about 30 minutes away. Jaco is like stepping back in time to a Hippie haunt. So, do yourself a favor and lose yourself in Alma del Pacifico.
P.S. The only regret, having nothing to do with the Alma del Pacifico, is I've grown too old to surf large waves. The day we arrived 8' to 10' sets of perfect left or right waves were breaking and not a single soul to enjoy God's gift.

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

We stayed at this hotel recently and fell in love with the hotel. The design is beautiful and the rooms are like a dream, what we liked most was the attention of the staff ... Anna the receptionist was very helpful, she's a bit clueless but I think that's what we liked about Anna more, as this makes her a very sweet and nice, we want to go back next year, we hope to meet her again only because we want to meet Pacific Alma Ana is the best hotel I've ever known, see you soon!

Room Tip: Make sure you get valuable tips from Anna about the area!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

Esterillos este is a very quiet little beach area. There are 5 or 6 hotels no stores no restaurants except in hotel property the alma is beautifully landscaped and maintained. The rooms are excellent, clean, roomy, with wifi tv and free water and drinks stocked in the fridge the staff is fantastic Aldo is great. I can't imagine a better stay. The garden view is a shadier and cooler. The beachfront is bright and beautiful. Adriana Freddy Aaron and everybody at the restaraunt are so nice. They speak goo English but will help you learn Spanish Food is fine. The pelican hotel down the beach has a great restaraunt This place is fantastic. Great value

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

With most hotels, the reality of checking into your room is that the room is smaller and not as nice as the photos on its web site. With Alma del Pacifico it was just the opposite: we could not believe how large, bright, and cheerful the bungalow was. Each room is a separate building with its own unique decoration in architecture and art, in tropical colors, much of it in tile and tropical hardwoods. It is really quite amazing. We had a beach room with an amazing view of the waves. The air conditioning didn't work, but we didn't care because we wanted to leave the windows open to admit the sound of the surf. We only wish there were more openable windows. Even the shower has its own outside door and its own little private garden. There are two large swimming pools, a hot tub, and a spa where some of us got massages. These are very clean and not at all crowded.

The beach here is huge, flat, and wonderful. We also really appreciated the warm friendly greeting we received upon our arrival.

The restaurant menu was fairly short but everything was excellent and surprisingly inexpensive. Our only complaint in the restaurant was that we consistently had to ask 2 or 3 times before they would bring us beverages. This happened at breakfast and dinner 2 out of our 3 days there. Every server was very friendly, but every one was also forgetful. But we enjoyed the meals immensely and ate there all three nights since there was just no reason to go anywhere else.

We like the remote location of this resort since it means the beach is tranquil and you feel like you have the whole place to yourself. But it is quite expensive to get around: a van was $180 from San Jose and $162 to the airport at Alajuela. The round-trip taxi to Manuel Antonio National Park is $100. The drivers are nice and the vehicles new and clean. One thing we didn't appreciate, though, was that the hotel cheerfully arranged a taxi to get us to Manuel Antonio at 3:15, without telling us that the park closes at 4:00. Luckily the taxi driver told us, thus saving us $100.

We were lucky to have great weather in late May, with just a few showers overnight and in the morning. The beach at Manuel Antonio was just as great as everyone says, but the beach at Alma is just as good, and much less crowded.

Room Tip: You definitely want one of the rooms on the beach.
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crestview, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We chose this hotel because it was located directly on the beach. Our room, beachfront villa, looked exactly like the pictures on the web-site, very nice. The property is secluded which was perfect for us, a couple, might not be too good for those with children because other than beach and pool not a lot of activities. The room was very large, bed was very comfortable, and the shower was very cool, looking out to a private garden. Unfortunately, we went in May, beginning of rainy season and could not open the doors to the garden while showering due to mosquitoes. The restaurant - food was good, prices were about the same as other hotel restaurants, and the staff was very friendly and attentive. We used the jacuzzi twice, the first time the water was hot, the second time it never heated up, but was still nice.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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, 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 Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 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*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast along Playa Esterillos Este, between Jaco Beach and Quepos, 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. ... 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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