I had visions that Almonds and Corals would be a unique experience in the jungle with a rustic but well ran "tent lodge" plus the added excitement of the Crazy Monkey Canopy Ride.
However, it was only partially true. First of all, the place is old and in need of maintence plus a total remodel of the kitchen, dining and bar area. The service and food was unbelievable bad, the bar was managed by unprofessionals as they played rap-music with its profanity and overtly sexual vulgar lyrics blairing, meanwhile the staff is wandering around in back out of sight. I think the poor conditions and execution are do to the management located in San Jose but still no excuse. Sadly, this place could be really great if they would put more focus on the lodge portion of the business.
We couldn't wait to leave this place! It was the low point of all the places we stayed in Panama and CR.
The zipline while in good condition because, I think that's a money maker, did seem to be well maintained. Yet, there are many more ziplines in CR that are much better. We visited one in the Arenal area that was 100% better in excitement because of its design and length.
If you must travel to Manzanillo area, it's fine to visit the Crazy Monkey Canopy Ride but don't stay at the Almonds and Corals Lodge, I even heard from one of their employees state that for the money places like Las Palmas are much better.
Also, don't get trapped into Geo Expeditions also linking you with river rafting at La Quinta. It's kind of an "all in the family" since the two owners A&C/Geo and La Quinta are sisters. While La Quinta looked OK and the owners are on site, it's seemed old and only slighty better than Almonds and Corals.
Overall Almonds and Corals comments:
- Poor restaurant, bar, food and service
- Poor condition of common areas
- Dirty common areas, i.e., dining tables, bar, pool table area
- Jacuzzi never seemed inviting - to small for # of lodges
- Good zipline but not the country's best
- Overall staff quality is sub par
- Over priced food and lodging for the value; way overpriced
- Tent lodges cool concept and mostly functional - potable water only (ok)
- Beach area not well maintained or equipped
- Feels like a run down American community camp for scouts, schools, churches verses a vacation lodge
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Almonds and Corals, nestled amongst the exuberant jungle of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica, offers three in one unique destinations, because it is part an exclusive Caribbean beach resort, part a safari camp and part an eco-conscious boutique hotel. The owners are devoted to offer one-of-a-kind accommodations awaiting your arrival and a unique sensory experience that promotes harmony between inner and outer self. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Almonds And Corals Hotel Manzanillo
- Almonds And Corals Hotel Costa Rica/Manzanillo