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“What A Dump!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Bolanos Bay Resort

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Bolanos Bay Resort
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in La Cruz
Malaybalay City, Philippines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What A Dump!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2012

This "resort" is well situated and could be a spectacular place, but it is horribly maintained. The rooms are disgusting. We did not stay because the first room they showed us had a thin lumpy mattress with soiled linen that smelled, the room was dirty, a window was cracked and the screen behind it torn, and other rooms were not much better. We ended up staying at Blue Dream and EcoPlaya, which were both much better and cheaper. Worse, the owner promised to refund our deposit, but later refused to do so. This place has availability when its neighboring properties are all full for a reason. Avoid this place like the plague!!!

Room Tip: Go elsewhere.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steven R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2011

We booked the whole week over new year´s eve. We were really surprised how far it is away from La Cruz. The streets are in a bad condition and you need definitly a SUV to arrive safe to this place. We had one and we wanted some isolation from all the tourist centres, BUT our room did not have any window to open. It smells bad and the bathroom, especially the toilet did not work. The flush did not stop and the hand washing instalation lost water, so the floor was wet.

The service in the restaurant took "hours", because there was only one waitress and not so much people. The breakfast was very limited for the price.

The beach on the back side is not really nice. Our room (in bungalow stiyle) was in front of the beach (really nice view), BUT you cannot sit there outside at night, because you will disturb the neighbors with your conversation (without any loud volume). The rooms are really small, we were two and had a room for three. But I couldn´t turn around, because the space was so limited. There were not enough place for suit cases.

Positive things: There are near by (2 and 5 km away) really isolated and nice beaches and you have perfect kite conditions at the bolaños bay.

All in all: I doesn´t worth book a hotel (it is too expensive for what you get). We cannot recommend this place.

If you want to camp and cook on your own, it is recomenable to visit the nice beaches and just hanging around there.

Room Tip: no recomendation. Only camping at the beaches!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hans M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these La Cruz hotels

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2009

My friends and I live in Costa Rica but had never been to the area where Bolanos Bay is located so for one friend's birthday, we headed towards the area to do some exploring. The birthday friend is a tour guide and expert birder as well as fantastic photographer and he was pleasantly surprised at all the birds we saw - two species he had never seen before. We ended up at Bolanos Bay without reservations and without knowing anything about it. We were shown a room that was clean and comfortable and wth air conditioning. You don't need air conditioning in most parts of Costa Rica but at the beach, it can be very hot and humid so we used it a little. We walked the beach and found a trail to the next beach which had no sign of humans at all. We could have been on another planet.

We loved our stay! The view from the room and the front porch was fabulous and I spent some pleasant time just sitting in the chair and looking out over the Bay. That night, there was a full moon which made it even better.

The food was really good and lots of it and leaned towards Italian. "There must be an Italian chef" we said.

The staff was friendly and helpful and we had no problems with anything.

It is a remote location and we talked about what kinds of people would go there - it's not for everybody - and the fact that you would really want to have a car. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation away from it all, it's for you. The hotel has a number of activities available and they have a little handout with prices and information. Most of the activities in this area would be water-based: fishing, kayaking, wind surfing, etc. The whole area has not been exploited and you can get a really good idea of the real Costa Rica. If you like a busy place with lots and lots of different things to do, it's not for you. It can be windy some times of the year and it was somewhat windy when we were there but no problem for us.

We also agreed it would be a great place for a conference with meeting rooms, a huge dining room and no distractions!

I'm going back for another visit!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 9-04-2015kp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2009

We have been for 3 night and the magnificent place with sea as garden and few plates of Italian foods are absolutely worth the price that the ask.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MiamiPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, British Columbia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2007

My husband and I stayed here with two friends hoping for a beach vacation where we could see some wildlife. Unfortuantely, it was our first trip to Costa Rica and we didn't do enough research to find a place that suited us. That said, I'll start with the pros.

We stayed here for two weeks. The grounds are well maintained. Our room was great. The staff was super friendly and treated us really well. The cook (I'm not sure if he's still there) was incredible. We fell in love with the food. They had a professional chef that created amazing things every night and we had a lot of variety over the two week period. The hotel itself is great and we have no complaints about service, accommodation, anything like that.

Unfortunately, we were hoping for a calmer beach. There are a lot of heavy trade winds that come into this area, making the resort a huge draw for windsurfers. If you're a windsurfer and love the wind then you'll love this place. We found the wind was so strong that it would almost keep you from moving forward and it was hard to enjoy even the pool area because the wind would kick up sand and other things and blow it into your face.

Fortunately, there are two spectacular beaches within reasonable distance from the resort and this is where we'd spend most of our time (with a packed lunch graciously provided by the staff). The first week we biked the 30 minutes each way to the beach. The beaches were amazing - no wind, calm, nice sand. The water was a little cold compared to Southern Costa Rica but the bike ride made us sweat so much that we liked the cool water. You get these beaches all to yourself - completely alone - no one around for miles. Until visiting Costa Rica I'd never experienced this before.

We rented a car our second week and this afforded us the ability to go to other areas of the country as well as the beach. We went to Santa Rosa National Park and drove ourselves up to Arenal for a night. We also went on a trip to Rincon de la Vieja to explore the area. We also went on a river cruise and it was one of our favorite parts of the trip. Since we were desparate to see monkeys and other wildlife we were rewarded with lots of monkey and bird sightings.

Unfortunately, although we actively looked for wildlife all over the La Cruise zone/northern part of the country, we didn't really get what we were hoping for. I'm a professional photographer and I've since focused my efforts on wildlife photography as a specialty. We've visited the country on five other occassions, always going to the lower half (Manuel Antonio to Corocvado/Puerto Jimenez) and you can't go a day without an incredible wildlife encounter. The northern part of Costa Rica was unfortuantely clearcut for farming before the country adopted a more eco-friendly policy. The farmed land/no trees means that the trade winds blow through the place making it uncomfortable. It also means that there is little wildlife left in this area. If you're going to Costa Rica for a wildlife adventure, stay away from the La Cruise area and focus your stay where the wildlife and jungle is more abundant.

If you're looking for peace and quiet and a place to drop out of society for a bit then you'll love it here. If you love windsurfing then this is probably the best destination in the country.

Our disappointment was not with the hotel at all.. .but with our lack of planning/research before booking a trip in the northern part of the country instead of the south where all the wildlife is located.

While we enjoyed ourselves, we were disappointd that

  • Liked — Great service and food
  • Disliked — Location receives heavy trade winds that kicks sand up into your face at all times
  • Stayed February 2003, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank ccraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evergreen, Colorado
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2007

We were scheduled to stay at the Bolanos Bay Resort for 3 nights and ultimately left (with 3 kids) the first night at 10:30 pm in search of somewhere else to stay.

The location might be nice, but we were surprised to find that it is located 23 km outside of La Cruz. The rooms might have been OK except for a horrible sulfer smell that filled the room if you used the shower. The owner's fix for the awful smell was to spray about 1/2 can of Lysol in the room, so the air in the room was even less tolerable. They changed one of our rooms, but it still had the water/smell problem. (In fairness to them, the room didn’t smell until you ran the water.) I guess they didn’t have any more rooms available (although I think there were only about 6 other people staying at this seemingly large resort), so they recommended we live with it… hence our departure!

We are not particularly fussy people, but when you are contemplating sleeping in your car or on the beach instead of your room, you know there's a problem.

We only ate one meal there and it was possible the worst food we have ever eaten, deep-fried maybe chicken burritos with a ketchup topping. However, the beer was cold and the dining room was nice. The staff was also nice, but ineffective -- they knew there was a problem, but just didn’t know how to fix it.

Oh, I forgot... each of the beds had critters of some kind living there. Now you expect a little of that in tropical climates, but in our 3 weeks in Costa Rica, this was the only place we ran across this particular situation.

Perhaps they will be fabulous in the future, the location seems promising, but I think this may be the only hotel that the current management has ever managed. We recommend that you stay in Liberia if you need to stay in this region of Costa Rica.

  • Liked — The location seems great for a beach vacation, however, I don't think they have the necessary amenities to compete with other resorts.
  • Disliked — The facilities don't seem ready for occupancy.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Laura_T_499092
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bolanos Bay Resort

Property: Bolanos Bay Resort
Address: Coyotera Beach, La Cruz 51001, Costa Rica (Formerly Three Corners Bolanos Bay)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > La Cruz
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in La Cruz
Hotel Class:3 star — Bolanos Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 72
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bolanos Bay Hotel La Cruz
Bolanos Bay Resort Costa Rica/La Cruz, Guanacaste

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