May, 2013: We flew into San Jose and took a 45 minute shuttle to reach to the Marriott in Los Suenos. First let me say it is a beautiful setting and property. The hotel has a hacienda/red tile roof feel. Since it is in the rain forest it is very lush with beautiful grassy areas, great pool with beautiful ocean views.
The lobby is beautiful and very big with lots of neat sitting areas. There is also a nice patio off the lobby which overlooks the pool area and you have beautiful views.
When we checked in we were placed in a standard room. The room was comfortable with everything we needed. However, my big disappointment is that MOST of the standard rooms have what is called a 'princess balcony'. Basically you can open your doors, but get literally about one foot on the balcony and nothing else. I was shocked that this hotel was designed this way. You have amazing views with these horrible princess balconies. My suggestion is to secure a room with a FULL balcony when you make your reservation. Because we were so disappointed with the balconies we did ask to get moved to a room with a balcony when one became available. To our surprise, we were moved to a suite with TWO full balconies. As far as I could tell, there were only two suites with full balconies, plus a presidential suite, but you would have to ask when making a reservation. This suite was great...we loved it. It gave us lots of room and if you're a family, the extra room will definitely come in handy. AND, the suite could be adjoined with a standard room next door, also with a balcony. So if we were to go back with our kids, we would definitely get a suite again. Other than the balcony situation, we had no complaints about the rooms...they were very nice. Also, you will want a room on either the 3rd or 4th floor. The lobby is actually on the 2nd floor and if you look out toward the pool you will see that the trees are blocking your view. If you're up on either the 3rd or 4th floor you will be above the trees and you will have a much better view.
The pool area was great. It's a decent sized hotel, but you don't have endless choices of chairs right next to the pool. However, there is a fabulous, HUGE grass area between the pool and beach with TONS of room to really spread out or accommodate a large group. In fact, we found it so hot right next to the pool on the concrete, but quite lovely in the grass area, as you got a nice breeze on hot days. And, there are lots of trees, so if you want shade you have shade from the trees. If you want to sunbathe, you just have to adjust your chair based on where the sun is. We loved the tree area...it was so wide open. And, our chairs were the first row of chairs on the grassy area, so you were only 10 steps away from the pool. They have wait staff that will bring you drinks and food so it was great.
The beach was ok. If you're used to the beautiful white-sand beaches of the Caribbean or Florida, you will not be impressed with these beaches. The water was very nice and warm, but the water is not clear and the sand is dark. Plus, it is a good minute or two walk from the pool to the beach...it is a very wide space to the ocean. Since we were not very impressed with the beach we spent most of our time at the pool area and had a blast.
We had a great time watching the iguanas that roam freely all over the property. However, if you are at the pool in the grass area, beware that the iguanas WILL take your food right off of your plate, WITH YOU SITTING THERE!! My husband found out the hard way. While he was taking a bite of one 1/2 of his sandwich, the other 1/2 half was snatched off of his plate by an iguana who ran off with it. Needless to say the rest of us were falling off of our chairs laughing as my husband was yelling choice words at the iguana. It was hilarious! Just make sure you "shoo" them away if they get too close.
The restaurant selection at the hotel was good, but nothing that was out of this world.
Nuevo Latino - Their "fine dining" restaurant seemed like it was an after-thought as it is in this very small room with tables. We never ate there because there are no open-air tables...it is all inside, and it's tucked away behind the pool. Since we never ate there I have no idea what the food was like.
La Vista Restaurant - This is where we ate most of the time. You can sit inside or outside. It's great for families, has a very nice buffet, very comfortable and the food is very good.
Puesta del Sol Lobby Bar - This is adjacent to the front desk and it's a very neat place. It is a great place to have drinks and appetizers outside on the balcony. You will have beautiful views and it's a fun atmosphere.
Arrecife Bar and Grill - This is AT the pool with 'swim-up' pool seats. It's a fun place with good food and great atmosphere for hanging out by the pool.
CASINO (on the property)
Ok, for anyone who is used to gambling in Vegas, you will be sorely disappointed. First of all, they don't have true Blackjack tables. Only "Rummy" blackjack tables. Meaning, if you get 'blackjack' and the dealer gets 21, you push...you do NOT get paid the Vegas odds. You only get the better odds if you get a rummy (3 5's, 3 8's, etc). We saw about 15 blackjacks and NEVER saw a rummy They do have slots and a bar, however, you do NOT get free drinks. You must pay for each drink. They would get so much more business in the casino of they had true blackjack tables/odds and had a free drink policy. After our experience we never went back and every time we walked by there, the place was void of customers. It was fun to do once, but wouldn't go to it again.
MARINA (off-property, but a very nice walk)
The Los Suenos Marina is a nice 10-minute walk from the Marriott. The walk is on a nice winding path and any of the staff can direct you as to where the brick path begins. While walking you will pass through a lovely tunnel of trees. As you are walking through the tunnel FROM the Marriott TO the Marina make sure you look up when you are almost to the end of the tunnel (closest to the Marina). There is a family of bats that were hanging there when we were there. Once you reach the marina you will be amazed at the amount of beautiful yachts that this marina calls home. There is a private community called the Los Suenos Resort and included in the homes/fees is the marina. Great photo ops if you're into photography. There is a great place to have lunch there called, "The Hookup". It is upstairs with beautiful views of the marina and ocean. Very relaxed and casual with a fun bar and good food. There are also a few shops at the marina in the main courtyard...worth checking them out.
Overall we had a wonderful time and would definitely return to this hotel. The setting, the staff, the pool, etc, were great and we would highly recommend it. We look forward to our next trip there!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recognized by Travel & Leisure magazine readers as one of the "World's Best," the Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort is a luxury Costa Rica resort hotel nestled between the warm waters of the Pacific and a 1,100 acre tropical rainforest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Hotel Herradura
- Los Suenos Marriott Ocean And Golf Resort
- Marriott Los Suenos Ocean Hotel
- Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort Costa Rica/Herradura