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.

“Unbelievably Wonderful!” 5 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
san francisco
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Unbelievably Wonderful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

We stayed at Xandari at the same time as the reviewer who called this "Scamdari" and I cannot believe we were at the same resort (so don't listen to him--maybe he doesn't want the secret out about how great this place is). I booked based on previous reviews, which were almost 100% great, and I cannot agree more. The Villas are beautiful--the air conditioning worked fine in ours--we had #4, which I loved! I did see the Maxima Villa, which was also beautiful, so I can't imagine what the ridiculous bad reviewer was talking about! The art, mosaics, flowers in the room, the bathroom (so much fun, with a mosaic shower, opening to the outside), the sliding glass doors and porch on the beach were a feast for the eyes, and the very welcome complementary snacks...were only enhanced by the absolutely delicious, fresh and reasonably priced food in the restaurant, the beautiful beach, hammocks, and finally, the lovely, accommodating staff. I had high expectations based on the past reviews, but Xandari exceeded my expectations nonetheless. We easily visited Manuel Antonio park and Quepos, and Carrara National Park, as well. I was happy to have chosen Xandari over the Manuel Antonio hotels. But, like the other reviewers, I agree, it was hard to leave the beautiful property. Sheer relaxation and perfection! (the beach is grey sand, and there is some undertow, but my teens did fine and loved the beach)

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 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 4
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
New Orleans, La
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2009

The rooms at Xandari Pacific are huge, beautiful, colorful and filled with unique architectual details and original artwork. The food is fresh, natural and healthy. We really enjoyed the pools, both for lounging and swimming. The gardens are overwhelming! We saw wild red macaws and iguanas right outside our villa.
This is a perfect romantic getaway, only two and a half hours away from San Jose. The staff is very friendly and attentive, they made us feel welcome. The hotel is right on a long, uncrowded beach perfect for long walks and boogie boarding.
Sunsets are fabulous, and after dinner we enjoyed a lovely evening listening to the sound of the waves on our own villa's porch. We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
New York
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

If the air conditioners at Xandari actually worked, it might qualify as a three-star hotel. But the four-stars they claim and the five-star price at this sweat farm would not be justified if the room came with its own snow machine and a lifetime supply of Freon.

When my wife and I arrived at our glass-walled villa, we simultaneously broke out in an immediate, but persistent sweat, such that we spent the first half hour trying to find the magic A/C “on switch” that would take the room’s climate to a level at least commensurate with the weather outdoors. But no dice. We had to go outside, where it was more than 90 degrees, to cool off.

When I asked the hotel reception for help, the manager, immediately let me know that, “It’s never been a problem. Nobody has ever complained,” a not-so-service conscious reply to a guest asking about anything in a four-star hotel, but highly dubious in this case (nobody has ever complained it was hot in your glass walled beach hotel in Costa Rica?)

I bit my tongue because who wants to spend their honeymoon arguing with a combative hotel manager? But in the name of posterity: when we entered the room, we found the thermostat control redlined at its 50 degree minimum with the plastic cover wrenched halfway off its hinges. It looked like generations of prior tenants had been clawing at it, pleading for it to just cool the hothouse off, even for a minute. Maybe they passed out before they could call. Or maybe the phones didn’t work either.

The manager put some people to work on the air conditioner, and welcomed us to “upgrade” to what she called the Maxima Villa. She said Maxima was thirty percent bigger than the beachfront ultra plus we had reserved. It was a little hard to believe the room she called Maxima was bigger because it lacked the separate bedroom of its predecessor and, well, it just felt a lot smaller. Of course I might have been suffering a heat-induced breakdown in my capacity to judge big versus small. But even now ,days after I’ve cooled off, I cannot help but notice that our version of the Maxima Villa was somehow missing the giant personal pool advertised on the hotel website beside the caption “Maxima Villa.” In fact, it looked exactly like picture of the room one step down from ours. Hmm.

But enough about the weak facilities and scary service. In terms of amenities, the hotel was also an a par with those normally associated with hourly rates. The kiddy sized “plunge pool” in our first room was filled with leaves, the beach was grayish black, the water muddy, and warnings abounded: Don’t swim alone, don’t swim when the tide is going out, don’t swim without a good pair of shoes (the stingrays will get you) and don’t venture into the riptide zone beyond ankle depth (unless, I suppose, you’ve got a life raft, a flare gun and no plans for the next 5 years).

If you are married to the Playa Esterillos area, there are more comfortable and affordable hotels within a half mile of Xandari that feature real air conditioning and even in-room color television sets. I took a walk to one, and on the way a local expat actually laughed at me when I said I was staying at Xandari. That hurt.

But if you are actually looking to spend a Xandari-load of money (or a little less, actually) you can stay at a kingdom of luxuriant excess like Gaia or Villas Caletas. They may not be on a beach, but the friendly, professional staff in both those places will happily shuttle you to a beach where you can actually swim, shoelessly and without fear of spending the rest of your life talking to a volleyball named Wilson. And they’ll even pick you up when you’re ready to head back to your well-appointed, air conditioned palace of a room.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
xandaripacific, Sherrill & Charlene Broudy, owners at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, April 28, 2009
As owners of Xandari by the Pacific Resort, we and our dedicated staff do everything possible to provide an enjoyable and inspiring experience for every guest. We are often overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and appreciation expressed by our guests ... for the ambiance, staff, architecture, landscaping, and total experience. That has made all of our efforts worthwhile.

Of course we are saddened by such a display of bad will coming at us. But fortunately the most kind and positive comments from our other wonderful guests make up for it.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

We purchased a Xandari package (Resort & Spa, then Pacific, with transportation between the two) and although the rooms suggested a relationship between the two hotels, the environments were quite different. For us, the hotel was perfect. We did not come with the intention of spending our days on the beach, which was just as well: the beach is dark sand (not as pretty as white sand beaches) and the hotel warns about the undertow (although there were plenty of swimmers and surfers at adjacent properties), so probably not a great place to bring kids. After traveling for most of each day, we preferred staying by the pool when we returned (it could have been even better if they pumped cold water into the pool, which was very warm by late afternoon), although we made it to the beach each evening for the spectacular sunsets. We stayed in a beachfront ultra room (#3) and enjoyed it greatly. It was very spacious and clean with excellent amenities (to add to the discussion of prior reviewers regarding darkening the room for a good night's sleep, we did close the exterior shades just outside the room and they were quite effective). The hotel replenishes daily a supply of complementary water, juices, fruit and snacks, which was a nice touch. Food in the restaurant was good and ample (we had plenty to eat for the complementary breakfast so that we didn't need to order a la carte extras and the hotel was happy to prepare packed breakfasts for us when we were leaving early on day trips). We had dinner at the hotel only once and it was quite good. One of the things we enjoyed most about the hotel is the location. It is relatively isolated (as compared, e.g., with staying in Manuel Antonio), so you can be away from it all, but if you rent a car, you are within easy reach of lots of things to do and the driving is easy. To the north, Jaco, a bustling town with interesting shops and good restaurants, is less than 30 minutes away; Los Suenos, with its fancy yacht club and excellent restaurants, is about 10 minutes beyond Jaco, and Carara National Park, spectacular for birders, is another 15 minutes beyond that. To the south, Manuel Antonio is about an hour away (depending on your luck in crossing the one-lane bridge). And don't miss the opportunity to take a walk down the dirt road from the hotel (turn right out the exit) to get a very interesting view of how the different classes of people in Costa Rica live.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

We just returned from the Xandari, and loved it. Our room (#1) was large and very clean, with spectacular views of the ocean. My wife is especially concerned about cleanliness, and she enjoyed our room more than I have ever seen her approve of anywhere else! The food was very reasonably priced and impressive, with a reasonable array of choices. Our plan included breakfast, which was simple but tasty (other options cost money, i.e. pancakes/eggs/etc). The service was pleasant and attentive. The swimming pool was small, but well-conceived. Frankly, in my opinion the pool was pointless because the beach is so great-so we spent almost no time at the pool.

This is a fantastic resort for those looking for simple elegance, long walks on a deserted and beautiful beach, and for relaxing. I would not recommend this resort for those looking for a singles scene or a wide variety of entertainment options in close vicinity. You will need a car or to coordinate tours if you want to go someplace else for food or entertainment. As we did not want either, the Xandari was perfect. The restaurant noted below (low tide lounge) is in esterillos oeste, and definitely not a quick walk.

The wildlife at this resort was limited but beautiful. We had the opportunity to view plenty of scarlet macaws (but you do have to watch or listen for them), and a great number of iguanas.

In regards to one poster that complained about the lack of blinds, you can block out the sun if you like. However, one of those options involves closing an outside drape (and in our case blocking its movement in the wind with chairs). This didn't bother us at all, we just got up a bit earlier and loved the clear sunlight and view of the ocean coming in. For those who like living in a cave, our room probably would have been a bit disagreeable. You also have to be a bit mindful about exhibitionist displays!

Overall,I would highly recommend visiting this report, and hope to return myself some day!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2009

For our 5th anniversary, my wife and I couldn't have found a better experience than our stay at Xandari by the Pacific. An excellent value for an upscale, original stay, Xandari Pacific makes an ideal location for day trips through the Costa Rican coast, including Manual Antonio NP and the local ziplining canopy tours. However, you'll probably have to force yourself to leave. Xandari exhibits a laid back, relaxed, make-you-feel-like-family experience that I can best be described as non-pretentious and simply elegant (no bell boys or flat screens here, just hammocks stretched between palm trees, a great outdoor restaurant, and original, colorful art). Xandari is managed by an American with a keen eye for good taste and hospitality, along with one of the most genuine, humble, and friendly group of Costa Rican locals I've met (their also bilingual and help you get through your attempt at Espanol).

Highlights
- Playa Esterillos is a fantastic beach. Great for body-surfing.
- Spa experience was fantastic. Try the organic scrubs.
- Ideal for romance, beautiful place end-to-end

Critiques
- Hard to find any, but I'd say that if you want more nightlife (late-night dancing, bar scene, etc), Xandari is more suited for relaxed romance (or family beach fun) and people tend to rise early with the sun and head to bed early

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
San Diego, CA
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2009

The grounds at Xandari by the Pacific are the most beautiful I've seen. The rooms are cute, large, and you can step from you balcony right out onto the beach. It doesn't get much better than that. It's secluded, away from towns, but it is a short cab ride into
Parrita or Jaco. If you get a cab, ask for Fernand. He's friendly, full of information, and he speaks English so well you won't even be tempted to try Spanish (but do try. That's just being polite and they are very forgiving when you butcher it.) If you go to Manuel Antonio National Park, Fernand can take you there in his taxi. We had Ronaldo as our guide and he was amazing. His services are well worth the money.

The spa is amazing at Xandari. The staff is very well trained and the facility is relaxing and gorgeous. The food in the restaurant it excellent and they have a nice wine selection. You may be tempted to go into town for a change of pace, but we found you certainly don't need to.

Be careful if you get in the ocean. There are rip tides. Mind the warnings they give you, but have fun, because the beach and the water are wonderful.

Be sure to give scratches to Xanda, the resident kitty. She's a love bug.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 5
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.