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“Hotel o.k., not great”

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Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
A TripAdvisor Member
Crestwood, Kentucky
123
Reviewed December 21, 2005

My husband & I just got back from a weeks stay. This place was o.k., but I can't say I'd ever want to return. First, the beach is brown and muddy from the river. Don't expect anything close to a white beach in this area.
The restaurants Tuscany & the Seafood restaurant were not very good. They lost our reservation on both of these and when we finally got another I wondered why I bothered. The food in the main restaurant was pretty good. Salad bar was the best! Fruit fresh and good too.
Room was clean, but scarce. View in our first room was of the parking lot and a used mattress. We complained and they moved us to a garden view which was o.k., but nothing special. There was no balcony and the windows didn't open.
The alcoholic drinks were not too good. Only one kind of beer-Imperial, lots of sweet drinks, no bourbon, wine not to swift.
Hotel grounds were clean and pools too. Lots of families, so if you have kids it's a good place to go.
The big pool is great for kids. It's not deep and it's near the nacho bar.
Rent a car and don't bother with the organized trips. They are expensive. You can drive yourself and see and do the exact same thing with little expense. We drove and saw the Areana Volcano, the waterfalls, the crocdiles, the rainforest and any other sign seeing we wanted.
Puntareanus is dirty and the shopping there was poor. Jaco seemed to be pretty nice with descent shopping.
The staff at Hotel Fiesta and Costa Rica were very nice, friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 10, 2005

My wife and I stayed here for three days and three nights while on vacation in Costa Rica, and we had a great time relaxing inbetween adventures.

The only problem we encountered was that our room was not ready until 3:30, while check in time was at 3:00. Other than that the staff was great, the food was pretty good (not five star, but you are getting what you pay for), and the room was clean. The grounds were beautiful, and they have a whole new area that they were just finishing construction on that looks great.

There was always something to eat, and the drinks were pretty good for an all inclusive resort. Most of the guests were other Costa Ricans, and other than the front desk staff, most speak only limited English. I know basic Spanish and was able to get by with no problem.

We enjoyed the kayaks at the beach, but other than that we just relaxed. We ate at the seafood specialty restaurant, and the food was pretty good. Overall the service was great, and we had no problem relaxing even though there were a lot of kids there.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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    • Service
14  Thank JeffInPHX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2005

We went to the Fiesta Resort on a Timeshare Exchange. Any problems we had were related to the Timeshare staff; all hotel staff were very accommodating and friendly. We are in our 60s/70s and we especially enjoyed all the kids. With all the families there, we never heard any fussing or crying. Great family environment. Very large pool area for the kids to enjoy themselves. In the evening, prior to the scheduled "show" they had a kids participation time on stage. Although the program was all in Spanish, and we are only English speaking, we could decipher what was going on or often the neighboring parents could interpret. We enjoyed watching the kids have FUN!.

The buffet selections were good to excellent. The shows were exceptional. Different backdrops and themes each night, and Vegas type dance routines with wonderful comedy/juggling/tumbling type acts in between sets. The shows MC often, but now always, gave is introductions in both Spanish and English.

We went on two tours 1) to the Arenal Hot Springs and Volcano and 2) Half day canopy tour. Both were great.

Roads in Costa Rica, especially around the hotel were very bad and the hotel is a long distance from the airport 2-1/2 to 3 hrs drive. Taxi's I believe are $70 and the hotel bus $100 each way. Around San Jose the roads were better. We were fortunate enough to have a friend who lives in San Jose pick us up and return us to the airport. She also drove us to Manuel Antonio State park where we saw monkeys, sloth, and other native wild life. It was a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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17  Thank FernZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
NY
121
Reviewed September 5, 2005

My husband and I went for our 1 yr wedding anniversary and we had a great time. The buffet food was excellent especially for an all-inclusive and the food/fruit were very fresh. The room was nice, but we were upgraded and had a nice jacuzzi. The first room we had was in the 700 range and was a bit musty, but they had a dehumidifier in there which helped. There aren't a lot of activities, but the grounds are immaculate and have something for everyone. We played at the casino at night. Not a huge casino, but big enough for about 10-15 slots and 5 tables. They have massages and you can get one on the beach (which we did) or in your room. That was a definite must!! We also did the canopy tour which I thought was scary, but my husband and the other 2 people we went with absolutely loved. We booked it through the resort and it was 89 per person and included an all day tour, a snack, lunch, transportation---a definitely buy for your money. The resort is all Spanish-speaking, so it helps to have someone you travel with understand Spanish or bring along a spanish dictionary. I would definitely recommend this resort!! Have fun :)

  • Stayed: August 2005
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21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
231
Reviewed July 23, 2005

We stayed at this hotel over the holidays (Jan 2005). As 26 year olds, there was not much to do. This location in Costa Rica is much too far away from anything exciting. It is true, that most of the tours you go on more time is spent getting to the destination vs spending time at the actual site! Also, this hotel is 2.5 hours from the airport! Too much precious time is wasted travelling!!! I highly recommend staying in Liberia or San Jose, where there is probably much more action happening, and more convinient in terms of travel.

The beach does suck. It is dark, murky and scary! The sand is rough and rocky. The pool is nice. There are a lot of famlies and children! I did not once step into the "hot tub" for fear of unknown bodily substances!

Once again since this hotel is in a remote location, the nightly entertainment consists of the shows (ends at 11pm), afterward is their cheesy nightclub (full of locals that only play spanish music) and the casino (smoky and cancer producing!)

Regarding the rooms, I swear they did not change the sheets! Hair follicles left from the night before would magically remain the rest of the week! You can request more towels though (in reply to a previous review).

What was good about the hotel? The food! Never before have I experienced such variety! Everynight, the main buffet restaurant had a different theme! You will never get sick of the food!

To conclude, this hotel is great for those looking for a quiet time, alone. Nothing to do at night, but plenty to do in the day (if you pay for all those tours).

  • Stayed: January 2005
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28  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2005

My daughters and I spent one fabulous week at the Fiesta Resort and Casino in Costa Rica and although we were there in July which is one of the "green" or rainy season months (and less expensive), we enjoyed every single minute!
Our first day in this all inclusive resort (all food, drinks, and resort entertainment included) was a little uncomfortable because two years of High School Spanish are not enough to have a meaningful conversation in a Spanish-speaking country, and although the very pleasant and efficient staff manning reception around the clock spoke English, the majority of the staff and the guests did not. This was still not a problem because most Costa Ricans are extrememly friendly and more than willing to tolerate our attempts at communication. Within one day we understood how the resort worked, where everything was located, and we felt safe and comfortable. In fact, this is the first vacation where I have felt entirely comfortable letting my teenager and pre-teen explore and experience the hotel without me always by their side--and they loved their newfound freedom.
On arrival at reception, after a two-hour bus ride from Liberia International Airport, we were each given a plastic bracelet to wear. These bracelets had to be worn until removal by staff on final checkout of the resort. At the reception you can also change travelers checks into US dollars or Costa Rican colones, request a taxi, or arrange a driver to take a small group to a particular destination (often cheaper than an organized tour).
The resort, a short drive from the port of Puntarenas, lies around a series of spectacular, palm-tree fringed swimming pools of varying depths, along a black sandy beach. Several of the pools are shallow enough to allow toddlers and young children plenty of safe water action (and they are busy, especially on weekends), but there are also deeper pools for older kids and adults to enjoy. One pool has a volleyball net and also a goal set up for a variety of water games, and a linking pool contains a wet bar in the middle. Swim up, sit on an underwater stool by the bar, and order one of the many delicious blended drinks while you socialize, or take your drink over to one of the multitude of lounge chairs around the pools or backing the beach. Kids can also order non-alcoholic drinks at the wet bar. A separate smaller pool close to reception is reserved for adults only, but it never seemed popular compared to all the others.
The beach is attractive to look at and walk along, but in the rainy season I don't recommend playing in the surf. The water was dirty (run off from rivers and downpours) and can stain swimsuits! The beach is not monitored by resort staff (swim at your own risk--and plenty do), but dangerous conditions (high surf or undertows) are depicted by a flag (black, red, orange, etc.). The flag is north of the sand volleyball court by a booth where boogey boards can be borrowed.
There are two main blocks of rooms. We stayed in a nice room on the ground floor of the newer three-storey block (requested by internet after booking) with a sliding door to a tiny patio, complete with table and three chairs, literally steps from one of the pools. Our air-conditioned room with ceiling fans was plain but spotlessly clean, with one double bed (very hard) and one double sofa bed (hard and a couple of broken springs) which my pre-teen found just fine. We also had a TV with some English-speaking channels, a small handy safe in the closet ($3 per day, or use the main hotel safe behind reception for free), and a phone. (Buy a "room calling card" in the hotel shop and ask how to use it before you return to your room!) The bathroom was provided with soap bars and towels, a shampoo dispenser (bring your own conditioner), and a wall hair dryer. Daily maid service kept our room clean, with fresh towels artistically twisted into a variety of shapes and decorated with tiny fresh flowers. No guest laundry facilities, but quick laundry service (no dry cleaning) is available for a reasonable price, and most rooms also have an iron and ironing board (or call reception for one).
If part of your vacation fun centers around eating, the Fiesta Resort has something for everyone all day long. The Calpyso Room serves buffet-style food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but if you're going on an early-morning tour, a help-yourself continental breakfast is available from 6.30 a.m. The buffet features a large salad bar, fresh fruit bar, a "light food" bar, freshly made tortilla station, and a large number of stations where chefs cook to order a variety of meats (egg dishes in the morning) and main course dishes. Other stations provide choices of rice, beans, potatoes, hot vegetables, condiments, along with sodas and numerous fresh fruit juices. The waiter/waitress brings iced water and your choice of drink (juice, soda, iced tea, wine, coffee) to your table. Finish your meal off with a delicious dessert from a vast number of choices--or steadily sample them all during the week! Each night of the week the buffet adopts a different theme, and the staff are dressed accordingly and the chefs cook up specialties to suit the occasion.
Aside from the buffet, two separate restaurants provide a nicer quieter atmosphere in the evening (and guests dress up a little more), and excellent service--but you have to make a reservation at least one day ahead for each of these. One serves seafood in an open-air restaurant by the beach, and the other serves Italian food in a cosy indoor restaurant near reception. Each guest who stays one week is entitled to one meal in each of the two restaurants--a voucher is given at reception on check-in. We sat in the outdoor seafood restaurant one night when a fantastic lightning and thunder storm was in full swing, floodlighting the surf and the beach with pyrotechnics every few minutes, and it certainly added excitement and atmosphere to our delicious meal. The seafood restaurant with its thatched roof is also open for a lunchtime buffet without reservation, and is highly recommended during a downpour or tropical storm as long as you don't mind moving tables or getting a little wet! We loved it!
When the buffet and restaurants are closed, no worries! A snack bar serves hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, the best french fries, and drinks all the rest of the day, and a fruit bar serves pieces of fresh fruit and a large assortment of made-to-order fruit smoothies. Kids line up at the snack bar and fruit bar all day long, but the lines seem to move quickly and you're never hungry or thirsty. My kids thought they were in Heaven!
The resort has several bars where alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks seem to be served morning to night, although interestingly, we never saw one drunk person the entire week. There's even a small bar half way out along the pier where the bartender will whip up a delicious concoction and then you can carry it to the end and watch the sun set over the ocean.
Every day at differing times (schedule near buffet) the resort staff puts on entertainment--it's a really family-friendly resort, with shows, goofy competitions, games in or by the pools, volleyball in the pool or on the sand court, and soccer games on the beach. All this activity late morning and early afternoon can be annoyingly loud at times and hard to escape if you yearn for a quiet chair in the sun with a good book, but kids love it as there's always something going on. For some solitude try one of the beachside chairs at either end of the resort, or the few beyond the pier.
Every night the resort staff also puts on shows on the main stage. The first one, usually while adults are still eating, is for children, with lots of magic, singing and dancing, comedians, competitions, and kid involvement on stage. Of course it's in Spanish, so English-speaking kids may not understand any of it at all but they still seem to enjoy watching all the hilarity. The second show is for adults, but kids can stay too, and introductions are usually in both Spanish and English. We saw everything from hilarious game shows with lots of audience participation to full-on dance numbers (amazing costumes designed and handmade in the resort), silent comedy routines, and singing and miming to everything from rap to opera! By the end of the week all adults were getting to the bar and main stage area early to grab chairs, and if lucky, a table too. A disco (for over 18's) starts up when the main show finishes, and the only bad part is that the pounding beat can be heard in rooms throughout the resort until late. It would be nice if the disco was open for teens up to a certain time but it isn't. We never ventured into the small Casino, but those who did seemed to have a good time.
Tours can be arranged at the tour desk near the Italian restaurant, and a wide offering is available. We highly recommend the Canopy Tour--a full-day of beauty mixed with adrenaline. Minibus tour, tasty lunch, horseriding for an hour, then zipping along 25 cables through the rainforest over 11 magnificent waterfalls attached only by a harness, with experienced helpful guides--what could be better? We also enjoyed the jaw-dropping Crocodile Tour, and the beauty of Tortuga Island by catamaran, although the separate off-shore snorkeling trip by small boat wasn't great (dirty water in rainy season, possibility of jellyfish stings, and you need exact change of $10 extra per person in cash). The small gift shop on Tortuga has a fairly wide range of souvenirs at reasonable prices, and credit cards are accepted as well as US dollars and colones.

Overall I'd rate Fiesta Resort as an excellent choice for families, especially families with young children. Teenagers would probably enjoy the resort more if they had a friend with them, but often they find someone of similar age during the week. It would also be a good place for honeymooners, couples looking for sun and adventure, and people who like to be in a mainly Spanish-speaking environment while experiencing some of the flavor and excitement of Costa Rica.

38  Thank ChicoRoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, Massachusetts
122
Reviewed June 7, 2005

My girlfriend and I spent 8 days at the Fiesta Resort at the end of May. We stayed from a Saturday to the next Saturday. The resort was much busier at the weekend than during the week, mainly with Costa Rican families. During the week there were about half as many people, mainly Americans. The hotel has 2 sets of rooms, the ones over 600 are newer. We started in one of the older rooms but when we checked in we were told we could change rooms the next day if we wanted to (the implication was that we should change rooms). Our first room was OK but quite musty. We moved after 1 night to a newer room which was much nicer - bigger, with a fridge, toaster oven and microwave, and generally a nicer-looking room. Not a great view but we didn't spend too much time in the room anyway so it didn't matter.

The hotel is on the beach but it's a dark sand beach (almost the colour of soil) and you wouldn't want to swim in the sea (very rough waves). It was nice to walk along but we spent most of our time at the pool. There are 3 large pools. During the week they were quiet. At the weekend it was fairly busy around the pool. The hotel is quite large and consists of the 2 sets of rooms (probably about 200 rooms), 3 pools, a shop, a tiny casino, 3 restaurants (see below), a bar and a snack bar by the pool. The location of the hotel is not great - Puntarenas is about 5 minutes away by taxi (6 dollar trip each way) and is quite a poor town by Costa Rican standards. We went there for a couple of hours but there isn't a lot to do. However, there are 2 tour operators that have offices in the hotel that run tours to all sorts of different places. They advertise tours on specific days but they seemed willing to arrange tours on any day if they could get enough people (usually 4 people was enough). We went on 3 tours: Manuel Antonio National Park (full day), Tarcoles River Boat Tour (half day), and Canopy Zip-lining tour (full day).

Manuel Antonio is a must. It's about 2 1/2 hours away and on the way you stop at a bridge to look at crocodiles in the river below. The park is quite small but they only let in 200 people at any one time so it's not crowded (we were there in the "wet" season so it was probably quieter than the "dry" season - it wasn't wet!). It is basically rainforest and beaches. You can walk on trails through the rainforest (we saw several sloths, 2 species of monkey, a coati [like a raccoon] and a python). The tour guide was very good at spotting the wildlife. The beaches are beautiful and we spent about an hour on the beach and swimming in the sea. Then we had a meal at a nearby restaurant before going back. The guide and the driver were both very friendly and also very good at spotting wildlife - on the way back the driver pointed out scarlet macaws (quite unusual) and squirrel monkeys (endangered and therefore very difficult to see). We left at 7am and got back at 4pm.

The Tarcoles boat tour is about 40 minutes drive from the hotel. You go on a medium-sized boat (takes about 20 people although there were only 8 on our tour) around the estuary and into the forest. It's very interesting if you want to see wildlife, especially birds. The other main attraction is the crocodiles. You will see many crocodiles, some of them very close. We also saw a roseate spoonbill and numerous different species of heron and egret. The guide had an amazing knowledge of the plant and animal life and an uncanny ability to spot animals on the banks of the river. We left at 7am and got back at 12pm.

The canopy zip-lining tour was about 40 minutes away in the hills. We rode horses for about an hour and then zip-lined down the mountain on 25 cables, including 2 rappels (abseiling). This is not for the faint-hearted! It was terrifying but also very exciting. The zip-lining is scary at first but you soon get over it. If you don't like heights I wouldn't recommend it. It's very safe and the 3 guides knew exactly what they were doing. At the end you get lunch. We left at 8am and got back at 4pm.

There are several other tours that we didn't do. We didn't speak to anyone who went on these tours so I've no idea how good they are. The 3 tours we went on were all excellent so I expect most of the tours would be interesting.

The food in the hotel was excellent. You can find something to eat at most times during the day. There are 3 meals as well as a snack bar that is open until 1am. The 3 main meals are eaten in the same place. It's a buffet with about 10 different hot dishes to choose from, including 3 that are cooked for you on the spot by one of the chefs. One of these will be grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef or fish - very tasty). The others ranged from chicken or fish cooked in various sauces, to pasta with your choice of added ingredients. For breakfast they will make you eggs or an ommelette and also soft tacos. There is always fresh fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya and another fruit that I didn't recognise) and fresh fruit juice (which I think was freshly squeezed - it certainly tasted as though it was). You can even pour yourself a beer! The dessert selection is very good too. There is a theme (e.g. French, Mexican) for dinner every night but you probably wouldn't know. You can also eat at 2 a la carte restaurants. When you check in you get 2 or 3 vouchers that allow you to eat at these restaurants. One is Italian and the other is a seafood restaurant. We only tried the seafood restaurant and we didn't really enjoy it. You are eaten (by mosquitos) more than you eat. The food was also not that good. It didn't matter though because we went back to the main restaurant! The Italian restaurant is indoors and air conditioned but I've no idea what the food is like. If you do try the seafood restaurant be sure to use lots of insect repellant!

Getting to and from the airport is expensive. The hotel charges 100 dollars. Get a taxi. You should be able to get one for 70 dollars.

Overall we had an excellent trip. It was well priced, the weather was good (it rained just twice), the food was good and the trips were great. Costa Rica is a great place to visit. The Fiesta resort is a good hotel. My only complaint would be its location which is quite far from many of the main attractions. However, everything is accessible so it's not a big problem.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica

Address: El Roble 171-400 Puntarenas, El Roble, Punta Arenas 5400, Costa Rica (Formerly Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Costa Rica - Puntarenas)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Punta Arenas > El Roble
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
Price Range: $146 - $316 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 315
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The closest all-inclusive resort to San Jose! Doubletree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica - Central Pacific is a modern, full-amenity, all-inclusive resort hotel. This beachfront Costa Rica Hilton hotel is perfectly situated on the Central Pacific region outside the port city of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Located only 50 minutes West of Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose, and two hours south of Liberia International Airport (LIR). Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. Snacks and drinks available all day long. Two a-la-carte restaurants open for dinner. All-day activities for adults, teenagers or children, nightly entertainment and lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Hotel El Roble
Doubletree El Roble
Doubletree Hotel By
Hilton El Roble
El Roble Hilton
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Province Of Puntarenas

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