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Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Herradura
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed March 15, 2009

We stayed at Los Suenos for 7 days and had a blast. First, we went through Marriott and arranged transportation to/from the airport/hotel. 1 quick thing about the airport: its the smallest runway in all of the Americas so they are only able to fly in 737's and A319s. Its not uncommon when you fly back to the United States to have to make a stop and refuel, bc of this and the headwinds. be prepared for a long day. Back to the roads- I saw many guests at the hotel in the business office on the ph# with Hertz begging for them to discontinue their reservation bc they were so afraid to drive back! The drive is about 2 hours, and like i said, the roads are windy, narrow and you're driving up and down the mountains. The hotel is beautiful, its right on a golf course and tucked in between mountains. The beach itself wasnt nice, as other reviews have mentioned, but no one stays here for the beach. If you're looking for a nice beach, head over to Jaco'. The grounds are well manicured and like many Marriott resorts in the Carribean, they are constantly maintaining and upgrading, which is nice. This place was clean and I had no complaints about the room being damp or dirty. The lobby is open-air, which is real nice, but bc of this, you may see an occasional small lizard or 2. they are harmless and are quite common in this area. the restaurants in the hotel are your standard resort type cuisine and prices. We found the food to be very good, especially at the bar.
The pool is unreal. First, its huge and feels like 1 big lazy-river. its nice because there are several sections and if you have kids, there is even a small pool for them too. Its hot in Costa Rica!!! it was almost unbearable to lay out so most found themselves in the pool virtually all day. there are plenty of chairs/ tables and even on the lawn there were more places to sit. the resort was at 40 percent capacity but we never felt crowded. service at the pool was good, but like many resorts, youll be paying 7 bucks a beer and 11 for a mixed drink. heres a hint: about a mile up the road there is a Supermarket that is actually nicer than a lot in the states. stock up here on booze and snacks/water and youll save a bunch. There was a casino on site but it was real small and had only 4 tables and 8 or 9 slot machines.
We did all of our tours through Marriott and they were all great. Manual Antonio was unbelievable and our favorite. So many Animals and a great experience. Of course, you have to do zip-lining if you come to costa rica, and we also did Tortuga Island. We wanted to do Arenal Volcano, but we ran out of time. This is the longest tour (14 hours) and unfortunately from what we heard, there is a 50/50 chance of actually seeing the volcano b/c of fog. I dont know about you, but if i drove 4 hours and didnt see the thing, i'd be pretty upset.
walk over to the Marina (about 5 minutes). there were several real good restaurants and shops. they also have a cyber cafe and its a lot less expensive than the internet service in the Marriott business center. Check out "The Hook Up" bar and grille. this was a great place to grab a casual and inexpensive meal while having a great view of the cove and marina. there is a great coffee/desert shoppe there too and an ATM where you can get Dollars or Colones. there is a shuttle that runs from Marriott to the Marina every 30 minutes. if youre looking for nighlife its definitely not the place to go. Jaco' is about 10 min away and there are a lot of bars/ clubs but its definitely on the shady side. watch yourself in Jaco after the sun goes down.
arrange a car to take you up to Villa Colletas around 5:30-6. a lot of guests go to watch the sunset and its absolutely breathtaking. i heard the restaurant itself isnt so great so like many we just went for cocktails. its a real nice little hotel perched high atop a cliff over-looking the Pacific. They are currently renovating their spa/ fitness center, but the spa service was still top notch, and they still have a small fitness center. the new complex should be open an June, and looks real nice. remember to pay for your departure tax before you leave the Marriott, as the line for this when you get to the airport can get REAL long and may cost you your flight home. We loved our trip and will miss Costa Rica!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank cmgreenlaw1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 6, 2009

We stayed here for a conference and lesiure. The place is nice, Not great. The food was very good and the presentation wonderful. The room was average. Fine enough but nothing to say it was gorgeous. Very clean and nice size bathroom. The pool area is very nice and the pool is lovely. There is a grassy area which is very nice by the pool. There is a beach but they don't have chairs set up. The grassy area faces the beach, so that is nice. The water there is not all that inviting anyway. The free shuttle bus to Jaco is NOT free. They end up charging you. THERE IS NO CELL PHONE RECEPTION at this hotel. We were all complaining no matter who the carrier was. The gym and spa were closed when we were there, so that was a drag. they set up a small gym which was OK. The staff all seemed very nice. I liked this place but don't think I would go again. It is really not that close to much...you have to drive or take a tour to see things. Sorry Marriott, I usually like you!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Schlockette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2009

At one point during our stay at this amazing place, I mentioned to my wife how a couple of friends of ours would love it there. My wife's reaction was to note that just about anyone would like it there. This resort is simply incredible.

My wife and our two children (ages 9 and 13) spent three days there during a trip around Costa Rica. The kids were in heaven. The pool is a huge thing that winds around and under a variety of bridges and into a number of larger pool areas, including a nice swim up bar. I think perhaps because of the state of the economy, the hotel was quite uncrowded. We never had a problem with finding a seat and often had certain sections of the place to ourselves. The grounds of the hotel are spotless and beautiful. On top of the swim up bar there are any number of gigantic iguanas who lounge in the sun and wait for occasional gifts of lettuce from the employees. The food at the resort is delicious and reasonable. The food is not cheap, but given the quality of the resort, the food is far more reasonable than one might expect. Go to a similar resort in Hawaii or Las Vegas and you will be paying $10 for a bottle of water by the pool. Not so at Los Suenos. Certainly it is not as cheap as going into town, but at the same time you can order food there and not feel like you are just being totally screwed.

If you are worried about security and such, fear not. I absent mindedly left our room safe wide open with all my wife's jewelry, my wallet, our passports, money, credit cards, camera, ... the works to find that the employee who came in to turn down the beds while we were out closed the safe and locked it and notified security. When we returned, I had to call the front desk because I could not open the safe and three people from security arrived to open the safe for me and have me verify that nothing was missing. Nothing was missing.

The hotel has an office from which you can arrange day trips. It was amazingly convenient. I also saw that the hotel will help you take care of paying your Costa Rica departure tax from there so that you don't have to do it at the airport. You did know that it costs about $25 per person to leave Costa Rica, right? You can pay it at the airport when you leave, but it seems you can do it at the hotel too. It really isn't a big deal to take care of it at the airport, but if you don't want the added bother, maybe take the hotel up on its offer to help you.

Getting to the Hotel is a snap from San Jose. We rented a car and drove ourselves. Do not be afraid of this. It isn't a big deal. In fact, there are signs for Los Suenos pointing you in the right direction practically from the airport. It is a pretty simple set of directions, although be prepared to drive lots of curvy, steep roads for a bit in the mountains. The roads themselves are well maintained from San Jose to Los Suenos. They are just at times sort of narrow, twisty, and steep. I rented a stick shift car because I know how to drive a stick shift and am quite comfortable with it. Do not rent a stick shift unless you are really comfortable with it. You probably want a car with a fairly powerful engine too in order that your ascents through the mountains do not become tedious.

But Costa Rica is a wonderful place and quite safe once you are away from the big city San Jose. San Jose, like any big city, has some safety issues. I am from the New York City area, so I don't think it is quite fair to complain about safety issues in San Jose, Costa Rica. The truth is that San Jose is probably safer than New York City.

Outside of San Jose, we felt totally at ease and comfortable and did not have a single experience that caused us to believe that we were any more vulnerable to crime than if we were in the United States.

Certainly in the Jaco area, where the Los Suenos resort is, it is quite pleasant and safe.

Also, be aware that right near the resort, down the street maybe a mile is a huge, spotless, excellent grocery store that would be indistinguishable from any suburban grocery store in the United States. The prices did not seem to be radically different from those of the grocery stores near us (in long island, new york). So if you have a car and want to shop for some chips and a light lunch for the room, you can easily go there and get whatever your heart desires, including cold beer, wine, liquor, and all the grocery items you could imagine.

Some people were worried about the water there, but our experience was that there was nothing wrong with the water. We went out to eat at restaurants off the resort and drank the regular old water. No problems. The restaurants and hotels I think in a way prey upon Americans' fears of drinking the water and benefit by selling bottled water instead of using tap water. Maybe other people had issues with it. Maybe we got really lucky. Who knows. But I suspect the water is just fine there.

I can't imagine a single legitimate complaint about this hotel. I suppose there will inevitably be individual anecdotes where people are "dissatisfied" with one thing or another. But if this hotel is unsatisfactory, then there is no place that will ever be satisfactory.

Stay here. Be happy. Bring the kids. Enjoy. Can't wait to visit again.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank nykoda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2009

My family and I (wife and two children 6 & 3) spent Thanksgiving at Los Sueno's and it was spectacular. The hotel is beautiful in every way......my children lived in the pool, the kids club was used by my 6 year old every day and she loved it.

At night my wife and I went out alone and felt very comfortable with the professional babysitters that were provided by the resort. We used the same one every day and got to know her quite well and our kids loved her.

I highly recommend this hotel for families with young children.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank 807devils
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2009

We stayed here for 11 nights in Feb. 2009. Weather was 90 degrees most days.
This hotel is great. The pool area is large, swim up bar and offers activities during the day. It is located within a gated community and offers a variety of restaurants. We ate at the swim up bar for lunch most days and went off the hotel grounds for dinner. Ate down at the marina at Bambu, El Galieon and the Italian restaurant. Bambu and El Galieon were great. I did not care for the Italian restaurant. The other nights we went down into Jaco for dinner. There are many good restaurants. If you like sushi, I recommend going to Tsunami.

We were upgraded to a suite. The suite had a living/dining area, guest bath and bedroom with huge bathroom. Hotel staff is very nice.

I would go back here!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank zeta185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

If you enjoy a lovely American Hotel in a foriegn country this is for you.
We just returned from 12 days in Costa Rica. We originally booked the entire trip at the Marriott using hotel points.... the more we read about Costa Rica the more we decided to to minimize our time at Los Suenos, Marriott. We wanted to see and experience Costa Rica and you really can't do it at the Marriott.
We ended up staying for 5 nights in the middle of our trip. It is a lovely hotel with a nice pool. The kids enjoyed the kids club activities (when they decided to have them) and there is plenty of nice dining at the Marina, a short walk down a well lit resort path. The rooms are clean and standard Marriott. No surprises. It did not feel unique to Costa Rica. It could have been anywhere warm, tropical: Florida, Caribean, Puerto RIco.... It was as expected.
Our first few days there the hotel was empty and the staff did not seem to be present. Room service showed up only after we called them at 4pm.
There seemed to be a few groups of men staying at the condos for a guys fishing/golfing vacation. We only saw Americans. On our third day the hotel filled up with an incentive reward trip for a midwest seed company. Lovely people, however all staff focus was now primarily devoted to the 318 corporate people ~ bread and butter ~ as the saying goes.
We had a nice meal at El Pelicano and Hooked Up at the marina made great burgers. We did not take any of the tours through the hotel although we have heard great things about the Calypso boat trip to Isle Tortuga. You can book that trip anywhere though. We had our own rental car and took trips to places on our own. We drove to Playa Bejuco and collected amazing seashells. Jaco was a not as scary as some reviews say. It was a place with lots of shops selling tourist trinkets, a beach with surfers and rip tides and resturants. Not really wrth seeing unless you want to see those things. The kids wanted to ride horses on a beach and not to a waterfall so we booked a beach horseback riding tour through Cocozuma Traveler 506 2643 5196 in Jaco. It was $60/adult $45/kid. It was about 2 1/2 hours long and went through the forest/jungle and onto the beach near the Tarcoles. It was only our family and a wonderful guide Guti... he practiced his english and we practiced our spanish! It was alot of fun. We also took a mangrove tour.. but not on the Tarcoles. We drove to Damas, just outside of Quepos (one hour) and took a tour with Rafa 'Father of the Monkeys" - 506 8825-7808. He was recommended by our host at the TreeHouses hotel just outside of LaFortuna. He was unique and we did see monkeys. Downside was that he fed them (bad for their teeth) and he doesn't speak much english. The up side is that we got to see the whitefaced monkeys upclose and personal and the Mangroves are beautiful and unique with interesting wildlife. We were lucky to have a nature guide on the boat (Ricardo) as an unexpected celebrity joined our privaite tour with Rafa at the last minute... another unique experience. He explained the ecosystems of the mangrove and pointed out unique animals like the silky anteater.
Overall we had a nice stay at a lovely resort, although, if we were not using points I don't think we would have stayed here. In all, we stayed at 4 different hotels ~ all very different. The Marriott was the least Costa Rican but was a nice place to hang out by the pool. If we golfed or fished, maybe it would have been a different experience.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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6  Thank sailrobins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

This was my second trip to Costa Rica. I did this hotel for 10 nights on reward points. I wouldn't spend that much time there on my own dime, because that would not be effective geographically. This hotel is serious. Don't stay long if you're not willing to spend some big bucks. The pool is amazing, and rightfully so. The beach is not owned by Marriott, and it's more of a volcanic type of beach like you find in some areas of Hawaii. The pool more than makes up for the beach.
The restaurants at the hotel, at the marina, and down the beach (El Pelicano) are all excellent. There's another one right next to El Pelicano that was great too, and dirt cheap. Some are not much cheaper than eating in the U.S. For a real treat, ask a cab driver to take you to their favorite sodas. There's one close to the hotel and their ceviche is awesome. We bought our cab driver dinner one night and it cost me $20 for three people to eat like slobs.
Jaco is the pits. Kids might like it, or if you're a surfer. I don't see any reason to go into Jaco unless you're bored or there's a good place to eat.

The hotel staff was the friendliest you'll find anywhere. By U.S. standards, they were friendlier than your grandmother. If you want to see the volcanos, stay closer to San Jose for a night or two, Same with coffee plantations.
I thought the tours booked through CRT at the hotel were excellent. The best bang for the buck was the horseback trip to Bijagual Waterfall. For $75/person, we were gone ALL day. We saw a troop of 30 white faced monkeys, mating Scarlett Macaws, Leaf Cutter ants, and went for a swim in a spring fed pool above the waterfall. The horses were very tame.
We went to Manuel Antonio (again). It just keeps getting more touristy. It's sad because the monkey's aren't scared of humans anymore. It's like going to the zoo but without the fence or cage. It's a great park to go to once, but there's other places to go if you want to see animals in their natural habitat.
To sum all of this up, Los Suenos Marriott is a great hotel. Just make sure that if you want to keep active, you move around the country and stay in different places. It's a small country but it's not so small that you can go from one end to the other for a day trip. If you go to the volcano from the hotel, it's 8 hours of driving (riding) in one day. That's why you need to move around and stay in different places. I will never forget the Los Suenos Marriott and it's wonderful staff, excellent service, tasty food, and massive clean swimming pool.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NewYorkDon67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

Address: 800 mts West from Herradura Entrance | Playa Herradura, Central Pacific, Herradura 5024005, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Herradura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Herradura
Price Range: $180 - $866 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 328
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 And Golf Resort
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Hotel Herradura
Marriott Los Suenos Ocean Hotel
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort Costa Rica/Herradura

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