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“Pretty Good”

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Almonds and Corals Hotel
Reviewed January 2, 2007

The great: location, great atmosphere, friendly staff, unique rooms. Day trip to Puerto Viejo is great, beach hammocks, restful, zip lines and being awoken by howler monkeys each morning, adbundant wildlife and suprisingly flying insects were not problem

The good: The food (at best good). Weather - rough seas, too rough for snorkeling.

The bad: The lunch hamburgers (I've had great burgers in Central Am before so no excuse), having to pay for drinking water (a pet peave - I stay in a nice $30/night room in Guatemala and have free water - here... walk to the Teinda in Manzanillo and buy severla liters.)

A little overpriced especially for the food. To remote to walk to Puerto Viejo for night out bu a quick, safe car ride.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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3  Thank Corbey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 - 129 of 217 reviews

Reviewed November 26, 2006

We paid way over our normal budget for two nights at A&C, believing that the unique experience of being "in the jungle" whilst living in some sort of comfort was an opportunity not to be missed.

The booking itself was not straight forward. For the deposit it required email of credit card details (no online booking so not secure) and then numerous emails back and forth, including one out the blue a few days prior to our arrival requesting settlement of the remaining balance. All a bit confusing.

Unfortunately we soon realised that A&C charge you extra to do even the smallest activity. It would have cost $25 per person to walk the small trails within the A&C grounds, not even going close to the entrance of the National Park. No, we weren't offered a reduced rate as residents. $50 for a gentle hike around their gardens is a bit steep isn't it?

The restaurant was disappointing. For the price of the rooms we were expecting something more than a mediocre buffet service. The meal includes a complementary cocktail and small bottle of water which was a nice gesture but again, it all seems a bit inadequate considering the rates they charge.

The description of the situation is a little misleading. Whilst you are officially "in the jungle" you are less than 200m from the road and 100m from the beach, so it's not THAT secluded.

Overall, if you are less concerned about the cost and can afford to pay for the activities, A&C definitely offers a unique experience. The accomodation is spectacularly different and the service is friendly. But just don't go expecting to see much if you're trying to penny-pinch!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank redcloggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2006

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful week at the Almonds and Corals. We were looking for a place to relax in the rainforest, and this certainly filled the bill.

We were picked up promptly in San Jose, and the drivers on both the trips to and from the lodge were excellent. It's a 4 hour drive, but sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery, particularly through Brollio Cabrillo National Park.

The staff were friendly, courteous and very helpful throughout. We stayed in the standard rooms for the first half of our weeek and then upgraded to the new suites. The little extra is worth the price as the suites are all being remodelled and have jacuzzies, curtains and are more spacious. They were very clean and you can't beat the sounds of the frogs, birds, rain, and monkeys along with the aromas of the rainforest for ambiance.

The food was excellent throughout our stay, both a la carte and a few buffets. Being the low season there were usually only a dozen guests so we had lots of time to get to know the staff and on-site management team. The beach is a short walk away and is beautiful. You can't swim directly in front of the lodge due to rip-tides, however a 20 minute walk to the right there's a great area in front of the village of Manzanillo. Just offshore of this area (in front of the radio tower) there's a nice coral reef for snorkelling.

We spent most of the time enjoying the birds, insects and animals around the lodge and walking the beach. It's easy to spot over 75 bird species at the lodge itself with many more in the nearby area. A nice morning is taking the bikes to the village of Manzanillo where you can have a beer or meal at the local bar and restaraunt. It's certainly much more laid back than Puerto Viejo (about 5 kms north). We also recommend a trip into the rainforest reserve with Florentino, a local guide. For $35 USD per person he'll take you on a 4-6 hour walking tour and will show you many unforgettable sights including caymans, birds, frogs, medicinal plants, edible fruit, frogs, sloths, etc. This can be arranged through the front desk.

Overall, we'd highly recommend this lodge to anyone wanting to experience the rainforest a little closer than the usual spots. It's certainly laid-back and there's no night life (there is a nice bar and pool table). But if you want to slow down and experience the natural beauty of the area this is a great spot. This is our second trip to Costa Rica and we have found the people to be extremely helpful and friendly throughout the country, but the Caribbean coast is a little slower and has it's own unique charm.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Tim and Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2006

I was a bit worried before arrival because there had been some negative reviews on here a while back, but Almonds and Corals exceeded all of our expectations. If you want a beautiful, low key, natural setting with outstanding personal service, this is your place.

We have 2 kids, 10 and 14, with my husband and I. We all loved it, even though the weather in Oct was marginal. The new managment in mid-2005 was making great progress on improvements, and it was their personal attention that made all the difference. (My husband is afraid of heights, so Peter the co-manager took the zipline tour with us to make sure we survived).

Ask about a local guide named Florentino who can take you on an amazing private hiking tour in the jungle, filled with bugs and fruits and animals.

Not for people who want a sterile hotel atmosphere or gourmet restaurant, but if you really want to explore, this is outstanding. The outdoor bar with pool table was a great place for guests to gather and talk at night. When we were there, plans were in place to add a pool, but don't know if it was done.

  • Stayed: October 2005, traveled with family
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5  Thank Wilma45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Minneapolis MN
311
Reviewed February 18, 2006

A great and unique experience. Tent rooms were roomy and well maintained. No lack of things to do given the rainforest location and proximity to a great beach. Staff was exceedingly helpful, friendly and very patient with my fumbling attempts at Spanish. Food was outstanding, given the location, in quality, quantity and selection. No problem for any picky diner here. Our driver, Alex, from and to San Jose was outstanding, especially compared to the crazy people driving for InterBus. Would return in a heart beat.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Edmonton, Canada
319
Reviewed January 19, 2006

We stayed at 4 different places on this trip and Almonds and Corals was tied for 1st. Honestly, there is nothing at all wrong with the place and the staff and service was great. By 'slightly rustic' your should know that other than a small town that you can bike or walk down the beach to, you are more-or-less stuck at the lodge if you don't have a vehicle. There are a variety of day trips and activities and we were never bored but the nightlife was a little lacking. Be forewarned that it is extremely humid and there is no air conditioning in the tent cabins but the area is so beautiful don't let this minor discomfort stop you from going. Also, the beach has some mean riptides and you have to walk down the beach aways to find the safer spots.

We highly recommend the canopy tour and early morning nature walk. There are lots of other activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, etc. as well. Great place! Highly memorable!

  • Stayed: April 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
332
Reviewed January 9, 2006

Almonds and Corals is a brilliant place to stay!

It was designed in a way as to have as little negative impact on the rain forest as possible. Therefore, you will see a lot of nature up close and personal. For example, on our entire trip to Costa Rica we saw all kinds of sloths up in the trees (this really cool animal that only climbs down the tree once a week to take a poop), but the sloth we saw at Almonds and Corals was seriously at the tree right next to us and we had the BEST view of it!

You will be amazed at how its all designed. It's like camping, but luxurious- with HOT water showers, delicious dinner and DESSERTS- ask about the suspiro limenyo? The front desk management are very friendly and accomodating although i asked for a wake up call at 6am and they didn't remember. No worries though, I woke up early, maybe to the sound of the howler monkeys?

What to do while you're there...
we were only there for a day but we rented bikes and rode them south about 10-15 minutes (a peaceful and smooth ride) to Manzanillo, another BEAUTIFUL beach! On the busy corner there is a large two story restaurant that has THE BEST LOBSTER! I was so amazed, it was like a religious experience eating this damn delicious lobster. I had no idea how good food could actually taste. (And I'm from San Diego and I've had many a trips down to Puerto Nuevo in Mexico for lobster, but the Afro-Carribean side of things is different, let me tell you!) Anyway, I went to the kitchen and personally thanked all the nice chefs that were back there and gave them another tip. Oh yeah, too, the restaurant is really open and so while we were on the second floor deck, we could watch all the people playing at the beach and just enjoying life, it was truly excellent!

  • Stayed: December 2005
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Almonds and Corals Hotel

Address: Manzanillo 681-2300, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Manzanillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Manzanillo
Price Range: $95 - $156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Almonds and Corals Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
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

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