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“Amazing 1st Experience of Costa Rica! Detailed review!” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Amazing 1st Experience of Costa Rica! Detailed review!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

I spent 4 nights at this outstanding hotel with my fiance. The staff arranged shuttle service from the San Jose airport directly to (and from) the hotel, which was easy and comforting (especially for those who don't know much about getting around the country). We were greeted warmly by the staff as we walked in. Just stepping through the entrance instantly made me feel satisfied with my choice to stay here. The walkways are exuberant in artsy decorations, colorful walls, and bright plants and flowers.

We stayed in a garden bungalow-- another option is the beachfront villa where you can directly face the ocean. However, we were extremely pleased with our bungalow. There's a mini bar that the staff fills with Costa Rican beer, wine, juices, water, coffee and so much more. It has an outdoor shower, right in the back of the large room, where the water flows into your personal garden (this was my favorite). There is a lot of privacy in these rooms that look like colorful, cute studios. There IS WiFi in the rooms and hotel (if you have time to even check your phone)!

There is a restaurant on the premises, and my fiance and I ate there constantly. The food was absolutely incredible (coming from a food-crazed girl!) Every meal was fresh and cooked exceptionally. The fruits are fantastic! You MUST try them. I hate eating papaya in the states-- it has a weird aftertaste-- but after trying it here, I fell in love. There is a free breakfast that is included with your stay, but I personally loved their Alma Pancakes which has banana, granola and rum in it. The Tico Breakfast is a typical Costa Rican breakfast, which was another favorite. A staff member told us (and we completely agree) to get seafood. Since the hotel is right by the ocean, you can be sure to get fresh and tasty seafood at any time. The whole Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Grilled Tuna, and Sashimi dishes were divine. Absolute perfection. Their tropical cheese is AWESOME! I honestly ordered it on the side of everything I got (try it fried, too). We also got drinks every night. If you have a sweet tooth like my fiance, go for the Black or White Russian. It's like a dessert in a wonderful cocktail. If you're more on the fruit and aromatic side like me, go for the mojitos. Best mojitos, ever. Seriously. I kept asking for more and more.

Literally steps away from the restaurant is the ocean. You can walk on the beach and see tons of little crabs. We even found a seahorse! There are hammocks, swings and beach chairs available. At night, it gets pitch black, but the staff goes out and lights cool tiki torches. Be mindful of the tides-- it can get really low FAST. They have two pools on the premises and a hot tub. While we were there, there were not a ton of guests, so we had a lot of privacy, even in the large pool.

The staff at this hotel are so helpful and sweet. They have great personalities! They would stop to have a conversation with us, and assist us in any way possible. Carmen was amazing! She helped arrange many trips for us around the country, which we needed a lot of help with since we had never been to Costa Rica before. She made sure to find great deals and prices for taxis and tours. Other staff members made us feel "at home" in this beautiful hotel.

I have nothing but great things to say about this hotel. GREAT choice if you're visiting Costa Rica for the first time, or any time at all. I definitely had a wonderful first experience in this country. Thank you all for the lovely time!!!

Room Tip: If you really desire a full view of the ocean and have a larger group, go for the villas. The garden...
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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.
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217 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

It's a great peaceful place to expend some relax vacations, it's near the city, restaurant is really good, the service is great and the gardens are fantastic, rooms are unique and you can enjoy of a lot of privacy...

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 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, May 21, 2014
May, June and July are three of my favorite months and the rates are great.

The roads in the central Pacific are vastly improved over the past few years mad now Manuel Antonio is just 30 minutes away on a well paved road. There is also a new toll road which puts Alma just 90 minutes from the airport.

Good advice on getting a car, but I'd add also getting a GPS. We're just 25 minutes to both Jaco Beach and to Manuel Antonio.

Here is a tip our less adventurous guest ofter do: Consider getting ground transport to the hotel and then have a rental car delivered to the hotel the next morning. Our reservations staff can help you out on this.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014 via mobile

I just spent today 2 wonderful days with my wife and 3 sons. This is an upscale beachfront boutique hotel & spa, where you really indulge yourself. From the moment you walk in, you immediately realize this will be an unforgettable time. Everything is decorated in a way you only read in rich & famous magazines. Hotel Staff is so devoted to provide a customer experience(Carmen, Evelyn, Wilson).Rooms are huge, fine decoration, amazing bath, internal garden and a plunge pool to enjoy valuable family time. Restaurant area is also gorgeous, but food is really really good, and very reasonable price (cheaper than many restaurants in Costa Rica ). Located in Playa Esterillos Este, a large pictured beach, however similar to other beaches in Pacific with black sand (Personally I prefer Caribbean beaches). Major touristic areas are relatively close like Manuel Antonio Park, and even San Jose is less than 2 hours but still you need a car (remember that Costa Rica roadways are very primitive). I fully 100% recommend Alma del Pacifico, looking forward to come back this year.

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
Thanks for your kind words ! We're very proud of our hotel and believe we offer a unique experience for the adult adventure traveler seeking a casual luxury relaxing experience

With so many hotels available on -line, ( and they all feature a pretty picture of a pool and a sunset), too many people get confused and frustrated an then end up shopping on room rate alone. Your actual personal insights are invaluable in helping future guests discern the differences between an upscale boutique hotel and simply another hotel with a pretty sun set.

Again thanks and come back and visit us again !
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San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Sishimi dish was excellent. Pasta and seafood dish was outstanding. My husband loved his Gaszpacho soup. Service was great....they sang happy birthday to me in English and Spanish. And most importantly the ambiance of this restaurant, given its location and layout, is stunning. You've got to go!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Tarcoles, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Gorgeous ocean view!...The dinner here was amazing.......Definitely recommend the whole Red Snapper Caribbean style. The waiters were attentive and bilingual. We also ordered steak that was delicious. The grounds of this hotel is luscious and of course tropical. The atmosphere is romantic and safe. We loved our visit here and would not hesitate to come back for another dinner.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014 via mobile

We are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and chose Alma as our first stop. The property is one of the most picturesque spots we have seen. The architectural design is vibrant and very attractive. A lot of thought went into the design of layout and the rooms. The room we had (villa 2) was absolutely delightful. While laying in bed you have a full view of waves breaking on the beach. Not the typical ocean front view from your bed. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Freddy is a lot of fun, full of character and a desire to make it right and the best. We had one of the best massages ever, a deep tissue for 90 minutes. Barry, one of the owners is most pleasant and dedicated to making this a fantastic and relaxing vacation. Be sure and introduce yourself to the mystery guest Charlie.

Stayed April 2014, 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.
Galveston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

This was me an my husband's third stop in Costa Rica. We overall found this resort to be delightful. It was small and not filled at the time that we were there. The rooms are beautiful with bright colors, enormous windows everywhere with natural light and the shower was delightful. The mattresses were average in quality. Our room was ocean front which I highly recommend. This style of room puts you steps away from the beach and has a lovely patio for your enjoyment. The beach was clean, black sand, and we walked about an hour in each direction only seeing a few people each way. The grounds were well kept and the rooms were alway immaculate. The concierge was helpful. We wanted to go on an offshore fishing excursion and they called several companies to get us the best price for both the excursion and cab which I appreciated. The restaurant ambiance was quite nice. It is a beachfront palapa. The food quality was hit or miss. About half of the things that we ate were excellent with the other half being below average in quality (namely the oriental food options). The drink quality varied from bartender to bartender with some of the drinks being wonderful and some being undrinkable. The service was always excellent. Overall we enjoyed our time here very much. We highly recommend this resort and would love to stay here again in the future.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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*
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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