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“Simply wonderful”
Review of El Sueno Tropical

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El Sueno Tropical
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 10, 2014

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend 22 amazing days in Costa Rica last month, 10 of those days were spent at El Sueno Tropical. If we didn't have to leave to attend a wedding in San Jose, we probably would have extended our time at El Sueno. We were made to feel so welcome and at home by Jose, Maria and Joanna, it was hard to leave! The hotel was such a relaxing place, the rooms large and clean with great AC. The pool was refreshing. The scenery was serene. The complementary breakfast was more than ample, it was delicious. Playa Carrillo is a gorgeous, practically secluded beach. The hotel is a quick drive to the beach. We didn't have a car but Jose was so kind to drive us. There is also a bus (which does not come frequently) that we took both to Playa Carillo and Playa Samara (about 10 miles north). Everyone who worked at the hotel, both the staff and volunteers went above and beyond, they were fantastic. I highly recommend this hotel. We will definitely stay here when we return. The only suggestion I would make to fellow travelers is to rent a car. Like I mentioned Jose was gracious enough to offer us rides to the beach, but I would have loved the freedom to go out and explore on our own.

Room Tip: All rooms are large with patios and hammocks
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Spreiley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 155 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2014

This is one of those ideal hotels, in my view: all the things you need, nothing you don't. Rooms are simple and prettily painted, bathrooms are new and shiny. The rooms all have ceiling fans as well as a/c (I hate it when there's a/c only, and you have to rely on the fan in that unit).

The pool is big. The wi-fi works. And there's a fantastic restaurant, which really made me feel like I could've stayed several more nights at least (I stayed four).

I also especially liked how lush and well tended the grounds were--the hotel is on the main road, but you'd never know it, as it's a bit uphill, and totally surrounded by greenery. The rooms also felt nicely private because of this, and there were all sorts of birds and howler monkeys around in the morning.

Oh, and staff: loved Maria at the bar, and Jose is an excellent host!

It's a very short drive to the absolutely great Playa Carrillo. I considered walking one day--it would be doable, but you'd have to like walking--but then I found out the bus goes by out front, every hour or so. Very handy. We also went up to Samara one day, which was nice to visit--but I really preferred our little hideaway down the road.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank zlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

We had guests from the States and wanted them to have a memorable time at the beach. Our five days at Tropical Dreams exceeded our expectations. The hotel is a short drive from one of the loveliest beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula and the hotel setting is so relaxing with a nice pool and wonderful open bar/restaurant . The staff makes the place even more special. Jose is so accommodating, Maria is a true delight and the chef makes the evening meal a real delight. Do we recommend the hotel? Absolutely!

Room Tip: If you have kids ask of one of the larger rooms with a kitchen. Worth the few extra dollars.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank W T W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at El Sueno Tropical, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

andrea your group was delightful, and the gluten-free carrot cake we made for your birthday, with your recipe, will be a staple for breakfast. hope to see u back soon, jose

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

We had such a wonderful experience at El Sueno Tropical. Jose is great - he is always around and there when you need something or just feel like chatting! We felt right at home. Everyone hung out together at the bar/restaurant chatting and getting to know each other.
The food was great and Jose's special sangria was the best :) All the staff were amazing! Maria always made you feel welcome in the dining room and at the bar. Pool was the perfect temperature and our room was just right with a great little hammock on the porch to relax in. We will be back in the future!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brittany L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at El Sueno Tropical, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

hola brittany and anthony
thanks for the nice comments, i did not want u to leave either, you are such a lovely, friendly couple, and you obviously love each other's company, i wish you all the best in the future, and hope coming back and viciting us again is part of that future

jose

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

For pure relaxation, this is the place to come. So quiet and serene, and yet so close to the best beach we have been to so far in Costa rica!!!
We felt immediately at home here... welcomed so warmly by Jose, Joanna and Maria... We had the feeling that nothing we asked was too much and every thing was taken care of...so we could just relax, as intended! [and needed!] ;)
The food was wonderful, service great, pool very peaceful and well shaded and the whole environment lush and exotic.
The rooms are quite basic but have everything you need in terms of facilities [coffee maker, tv, en suite, ac] and it seems slowly there is a transformation of the place through creative additions e g murals popping up on the walls, adding a unique and joyful vibe! :)

Well connected by bus and easy to access by car, 15 mins from samara where there is more night life going on....

I had a massage with Lillo [onsite therapist] which was phenomenal; deep tissue and yet sensitive. I felt refreshed , nourished and rejuvenated afterwards! The perfect addition to an already wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 54Dakini54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at El Sueno Tropical, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

sophia, you are a princess, thanks for the nice reviews, and now that we have some time and inhouse talent,we are decorating a bit more so the rooms have an even better look to them, we took care of the basic infraestructure first, now comes the fun part, jose

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

El Sueno Tropical served as a home base for the beginning leg of a 7 day Costa Rica trip. It was absolutely perfect. Maria and Jose made us feel right at home instantly. The open air restaurant/bar was a perfect place to come back to after a long day of adventuring around the area. Also, the included breakfasts were more than amazing! Bacon pancakes were incredible! This location was also perfect for experiencing the magnificent beach at Carrillo. Jose actually provided beach mats, hammocks, and a cooler to take down to the beach with us! This place truly felt like a home away from home on our vacation. We will certainly be back! I agree with Nikki B, "totally amazing stay"

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank JoeyW1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at El Sueno Tropical, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

hi h and j
you guys were absolutely marvelous, the reason i love what i do, to see you enjoy our place so much, and our beach so completely as to get engaged there, congratulations again, you make a wonderful couple, hope you come back and get married here. xxxxx, jose

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

This is a place you'll want to return to ~ it's that congenial, comfortable and lovely. I visited for a few days before my three adult family members arrived for a reunion. Each of us had our own room and each of us was delighted with it. We loved waking up to the sounds of birds and howler monkeys, an instant reminder that we were somewhere very special. And everything about every day was just that ~ very special.

The staff is friendly and accommodating. The food is fabulous ~ the chef seems capable of cooking anything to perfection from fresh fish the way you like it to some of the best pizza I've had anywhere with an array of delectable selections in between ~ all of which you'll want to try. Breakfast begins with a buffet of fresh fruit, breads and homemade jam and of course Costa Rican coffee.

At the Gringo Pants Bar (there's a story here) all the usual drinks are available and well made, stories are shared and laughter is heard. The atmosphere here as everywhere on the El Sueno grounds is welcoming.

The nearby beach (2 miles) was perfect ("perfect" soon became our overused word!) in every way. Clear, clean water just the right temperature, just enough surf, palm trees to provide shade and never very many people.

Tours are available and arranged at the hotel. We enjoyed a boat trip on Costa Rica's 3rd largest river, a dawn visit to a beach where the sea turtles were laying their eggs and returning to the sea, a kayaking adventure on a river close to the hotel.

That still left time to enjoy the pool and watch all the birds that flew around right there ~ parrots and trogons and wrens and the most amazing jay, the white throated magpie jay. The domestic birds were equally interesting ~ we loved the morning poultry parade.

So thank you, Jose and Joanna and Maria (and Jonathan and Jeannette, etc) for a memorable experience ~ it was the perfect place for our family reunion.

Room Tip: The rooms are 4 to a quadrant so each room is a corner room and has windows on two sides ~ mine was...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank isoscelesNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosefromCostaRica, Owner at El Sueno Tropical, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

hola b
u are one of my favorite people in my short stay on this planet, you joie de vivre over small things like magpie jays put everything in perspective, and you have a great family, really enjoyed the time i spent with you and them, as always, besos xxxxx jose

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Additional Information about El Sueno Tropical

Address: | 8 km de Samara, Playa Carrillo 50205, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Carrillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Price Range: $50 - $85 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — El Sueno Tropical 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Sueno Tropical is a small 16 rooms resort set in 3 acres of tropical gardens. There are 4 buildings that house 4 units per building. There are 8 standard rooms, 4 deluxe rooms and 4 two bedrooms apartments. There is a freeform Italian tiled pool with a small wading pool. El Sueno Tropical has a 40 seat open air restaurant featuring American, Italian and Tico fare along with the best pizza in the area. Adjoining the restaurant is the Gator in the Jungle bar serving your favorite libations along with the freshest tropical fruit drinks you will find anywhere. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Sueno Tropical Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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