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“a dream come true”

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Xandari Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“a dream come true”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

What a find! We ended up here for a couple of nights on a whim. We had two other places booked for those nights, were dissatisfied with the first one and I called this place without knowing anything about it. It was pricier than what I'd usually spend on a family trip, but I negotiated a good price over the phone, which they honored. Once we saw the room, we promptly canceled our other hotel room. We're not super fond of Alajuela, but would go back there just to stay at Xandari. I will say it was hard to find this place, and we got turned around a few times on the narrow roads before finding it. Luckily, we are fluent in Spanish and were able to ask the friendly Ticos on our way and eventually arrived at this lovely oasis.
After we checked in, the very nice driver (sorry, forgot his name) drove us in the golf cart to our room. If we didn't want to walk to the restaurant, we could call for him to pick us up. Housekeeping had someone sent to our room to set up a bed for one of our children on the "sofa", and they set it back up as a sofa every day, and they did all this without our having to request it. Just really good service. The rooms were individual freestanding units painted in lovely colors like lavender and teal. Our room wasn't even one of the best and it was incredible, I can only imagine how luxurious the top tier rooms are. We had a gated side yard, a back patio with nice lounging furniture, a fenced in front garden that we could see through a sliding glass door from our beautiful, huge shower. All of the grounds including our yard are impeccably landscaped, just gorgeous. They put a huge amount of work into keeping the grounds beautiful and full of a big variety of plants. Our room was very clean and comfortable. The bathroom was huge with 2 sides to it, each with a sink and long counter, and 2 big closets. My only complaint is that the toilet room was small and for such a luxurious place with a huge bathroom, it would have been nice to have 2 toilets. But, that sounds trivial compared to everything else.
The restaurant had some good food, delicious desserts and good service for breakfast. The food could have been more reasonably priced. I did really appreciate all the vegetarian options. There's really interesting and colorful artwork in the restaurant and reception area.
There's so much more to say about this resort, I can only touch upon it. They offer a lot on the property, including pools, waterfalls, gardens, etc. We just wished we had more time there to see it all. We would love to return someday and take the time to just hang out at the resort exploring!

Room Tip: you probably couldn't go wrong with any room at this place!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank world_travel_dreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
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English first
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

I see that the overwhelming majority of reviews are positive (which I agree), but for kicks, I read some of the lackluster reviews and I'm wondering if these people stayed at the same place or did they "get" the concept. (Hint: Read the 'vision' of what the owners wanted their hotel to be like)

The price - Not really sure how much this cost me since it was bundled with our stay in Tortuguero, but I looked at their price list for a room, and it's in the same range as any motel at the Jersey shore.
Paper thin walls ? Hard to imagine where the villa we stayed in, the walls were constructed of concrete.
30 minutes to the airport - I think you should blame your driver. It took us 20. As for the waterfall, yes, there is a 70' waterfalls. I'll post when I get the pics downloaded. As for wifi connectivity, would it be nice to have in each room, well, I'm not sure, but as a computer guy, it's nice to unplug for a while, and I hate that feeling of "I'll just check my messages". Our view was looking directly over the valley.

When we arrived, I was impressed with the grounds. My family and I go to many botanical gardens (all over the world), and for a hotel, it has impressive grounds. The rooms are incredibly spacious with the only interior door being the door to the bathroom (no, the shower had no door by design). We checked in with Marcela, who understood that we had a special need and it was already addressed. 10 minutes after dropping us off, we hit the trails, and did indeed see the 70'+ waterfall. We also checked out the fruit trees, the farm animals, and there is one section where they have these incredible bamboo plants..

At night, we ate at the restaurant. The prices were very reasonable with a beautiful view of downtown San Jose. The food was great.. not as great as the place we stayed, but that's an unfair comparison because the food there was off the charts. Still, it was pretty awesome. (Hint: try the 'soy beef' stuffed pepper )

As for the rooms, they are very spacious. We stayed in Villa #23, which had it's own little garden and terrace area, it overlooked the city, and was very comfortable. Again, I'm guessing for the same price as going to the jersey shore or a room in NYC. The next morning, we ate breakfast, which was a complimentary continental plus some extras) and then made a mad dash to use the pool (the long one) before checking out.. the pool was great (I'm anal retentive when it comes to pools and appreciated some of the technical aspects of running one, especially those that are solar heated with salt). So, overall , it was a great experience (yes, there isn't a bar at the pool, but to me, adding one would be a mistake and you can always call and they will deliver it)

Constructive Criticism - (still an excellent review though) - some of the paths leading to the restaurant should have lighting (not a big deal to do ). Also, that fluorescent bulb in the reception area is pretty bad (an LED with a warmer color). For really warm nights, maybe a ceiling fan in the room ?

Overall.. I was blown away - and since I know the staff reads these reviews (wouldn't you) I just want to say "Thank you".. next time we come to Costa Rica, we're definitely going to come back to your hotel

Room Tip: We were in villa 23 for one night.. so that one is closer to the big pool If you're into doing l...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MrFoobar2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakemary, FL
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

We stayed at the Xandari for 2 nights when we first arrived in Costa Rica. It is an amazing resort with very courteous and helpful staff and absolutely amazing grounds! There are hiking paths that leads to several waterfalls, a lovely pool with an great view of San Jose, and the Villas themselves are incredible!
I made arrangements for a special birthday cake for my wife. They went far beyond anything I could have hoped for! The same cake would have cost a couple of hundred dollars in the states! It was amazing!
I can't recommend the Xandari highly enough. We will definitely stay there again in the future!

Room Tip: Go for the Ultra Villa! It's worth it. It can be perfect for a honeymooning couple or a family!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lola13th
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2012

We stayed at Xandari the last night of our honeymoon before our international flight. It was great because I didn't feel like we wasted a night while waiting to fly out. The hotel really was unique with all of the artwork. I'm not into art, but I enjoyed seeing all of the garden sculptures! Dinner was good and it overlooked San Jose with all the lights. We got up early before our flight to hike to the five waterfalls. If you stay here, make time to do that! It's not that long of a hike for being able to see such great waterfalls! We paid $10.00 each to see the La Fortuna waterfall in Arenal with a lot of other people. This is a way to experience something similar right at a hotel by yourself.

The room was spacious with a large balcony. The only thing I didn't like was the bed. My suggestion would be that they get softer beds. Also, I only had one pillow and I really wanted two. I liked the indoor shower which gave you an outdoor shower experience because there was a glass wall to a private little garden.

Also, I didn't realize there was a free shuttle to the airport. The driver was very nice! I wish that we had stayed here our first night in Costa Rica as well.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

From the reviews and number one ranking, I had higher expectations. For me, the colors were not relaxing, and the bright artwork was not to my liking. I thought the trails and grounds were very lovely and my best moment was an early morning walk on the trails lined with beautiful flora and fauna before breakfast. Another drawback for me was rather uncomfortable beds, and sort of cheap room dividers from the bedroom to the living room and to the bathroom -- plastic corrugated screens that did not work well at all. The biggest problem was the food. Breakfast and dinner left a lot to be desired and there is nowhere else to eat around there. The site overlooking the valley is nice and amazing views from the restaurant and the suite balcony. Ok for one night but I can't see this being a top resort. I think I paid a lot for the room/suite and have paid similar rates and gotten much better value.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Joy360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Dear Joy360,
Thank you for letting us know what we are and are not doing right at Xandari. We are sorry to know we did not fulfill all your expectations.
I want to apologize for not bringing you the wonderful meals we are known for (as you can see from other reviews here), I do not know what happened but it is unsettling that your experience was not a pleasant one.
Thanks for taking the time to write this review, we take your comments very seriously and really look forward to your return trip to Xandari.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atlanta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 16, 2012

This was a great start to our vacation in Costa Rica! Very comfortable and convenient! Rodrigo was a great driver and guide. The hotel staff was really helpful with excursion and activity booking. The only downside was the LONG bus ride back from the Pacuare river rafting trip... it was about 2 hours longer than advertised, mainly because we drove all over San Jose picking up and dropping off other rafters... 3 hotels and 2 youth hostels. We even had to stop by their tour office twice.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LisaS73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windham, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Our party of four adults spent three separate nights at Xandari during our 12 day trip to CR. It is close to the airport but away from it all! We stayed in Villa #24 which was beautifully designed (as is the whole resort) with original artwork and bright colors. Villa #24 has two queen sized beds and a sofa bed so it worked great for us! Also, the bathroom is HUGE and beautifully designed with a wall of windows overlooking a private “backyard” tropical garden. There was even space to do yoga in the small garden. The resort has very nice views day and night over the central valley.

The restaurant is quite good, with yummy mojitos, and a plentiful free breakfast. There is WiFi available in the main building.

The west pool and Jacuzzi are totally awesome! We used them each of the three nights we were there and loved it. When we arrived we were practically the only guests and had the run of the place!

On our last day in CR we were able to walk some of the lovely trails on the property. The waterfall trails are very nice though if it has rained recently you should know that the water will be quite brown which is not so inviting. But the trail is very well maintained and I would recommend it for everyone. We did not use the spa but it looked very inviting.

The location is very close to SJO but away from the crowded streets of San Jose. Close to Poas volcano and other attractions. The staff was very welcoming and friendly. Would definitely return!

Room Tip: The West Pool and Jacuzzi has unbelievable views of the valley. Stay in one of the Villas on that si...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ashimarob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Xandari Resort & Spa

Property: Xandari Resort & Spa
Address: 1 km northwest of El Diamante Bar | Tacacori, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Spa Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Family Hotel in Alajuela
#6 Business Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Xandari Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xandari is a 40-acre plantation with botanical gardens, orchid house and over 5 kms of nature trails including five waterfalls. Xandari is the creation of an architect-artist couple, with 24 spacious villas overlooking the Central Valley. Only 20 minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport. In addition, three fabulous swimming pools, including the new 125 ft. Long Sunset Pool with a stunning view, and two outdoor jacuzzis. The restaurant serves fresh, continental and Costa Rican menu, featuring many organic fruits and vegetables from our own gardens. Xandari Spa Village is harmoniously integrated with nature and consists of a Yoga Room and five private palm-roofed jalapas with jacuzzi perched on a mountain ridge, where natural ingredients are used in massages and body treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Xandari Resort And Spa
Xandari Hotel Alajuela
Xandari Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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