We were very pleasantly surprised to find the many improvements to Hotel Carara since our last stay 5 years ago. There are few hotels close enough to Carara National Park to allow one to easily get to the park at daybreak (Carara is too hot by 9 am to enjoy anything--and the birds and other animals are starting their "siestas" by then.) We booked a room here, expecting the mediocre rooms and service of 5 years ago. Instead, our room was spacious, comfortable, and cool (We rented the special w/air for $75 as a double.) There is now a third floor balcony/sitting area where one can sit and enjoy breezes, view the ocean, and watch the Scarlet Macaws fly over at dawn or dusk. The beach is only 50 m away in the "backyard" of the hotel, and the sunsets over the gulf of Nicoya are special. (Note that this not a swimming beach nor a strolling beach, but simply a pleasant waterfront with palms and a soccer field.) The swimming pool was also very relaxing and clean and welcome at the end of a hot day. Service was very friendly--they fixed coffee especially for us at 5:30 am, and later they allowed us to have a big free breakfast even though we were 45 minutes late for the official breakfast hour, after returning from our birding morning.
We did not dine at the hotel for dinner, as they were serving a large birding group from Quebec, but the menu looked quite extensive and there was an interesting wine selection. Good value, great location for visiting Carara Nat'l Park! (Note: The town of Tarcoles is a very typical low-income, sleepy rural small town--don't expect a lot of amenities in the town.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.