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“Awesome Condo, but definitely GET A CAR” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa

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Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Awesome Condo, but definitely GET A CAR”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2010

Spent the week of Christmas at Reserva Conchal and had a fabulous vacation. Here are important tips to know.

First, Reserva Conchal is a gated community which includes Paradisus Playa Conchal - the all inclusive resort. Reserva Conchal has it's own beach club separate from the Paradisus. By staying at Reserva Conchal condos, you do have access to the Paradisus golf course, but have to buy a pass to eat at the Paradisus restaurants. You can also walk to the large pool complex at the Paradisus, they never kicked us out.

We rented a 4BR/4BA Bouganvilleau unit very close to the resort entrance. The condo was fantastic - spacious, decorated with local art, full kitchen, great view of golf course, a tiny view of the ocean. It is a very long way to the Beach club - at least an hour walk over steep hills, maybe a 10-minute drive. You can call a shuttle, but we heard multiple guests complaining about how long the shuttle took. Do yourself a favor and get a car - otherwise you spend a lot of time waiting and you can go outside the resort to eat. We had some fabulous meals outside the gate.

The Beach Club is lovely - the work-out facility very nice and never crowded while we were there. The pool is unique - a long rectangle divided by a concrete "bridge". We regularly saw large iguanas around the pool. Wednesday night is sushi night - larger rolls for the same price - we all loved it. Skip dessert - small and not special. Other meals were a little pricey and we really wanted to get out and try the local food.

The golf course is very hilly. My husband and son are serious golfers and typically walk. A cart (included in greens fees) is a must - very hilly. They saw lots of wildlife while playing - Coatis (raccon-like with long tails), large iguanas. Made golf a different experience.

The beach (which is public) was nice and clean with shade trees. We are from FL so being near the ocean is not a big deal for us. For some reason, all the vendors seem to park themselves further down at the Paradisus and Playa Brasilito. You can walk down that way just a few minutes - they do massages on the beach for $35, or rent jet skis or kayaks.

Try to book your tours/activities directly - don't rely on the concierge. You can bargain and get a better price. I've listed a few next.

We did the ATV/canopy/zipline tour through Santana Tours (just outside the front gate to the left) - it was totally thrilling and worth it. You drive ATVs for about an hour, on the beaches, through small towns and up a mountain and then zipline. As a mom, I found driving an ATV terrifying, but eventually got the hang of it. My son said his fingers hurt from holding on so tight while I was driving. You pay per ATV, so we were not charged for the kids. It was very dusty and you get filthy, but is great fun.

I drove to Guaitil (village know for pottery) one day - you can do a tour, but it is a pretty easy drive - just past Santa Cruz (no reason to stop there). There is a little town square and most of the shops are stores in front of houses around the square. I was told to avoid Willy - lots of tour buses stop there and he is supposed to be expensive. There was a co-op in a large open air building right before the square that seemed to priced just a little cheaper (selection was more limited).

My older son and I took some surfing lessons in Tamarindo (20 minute drive). It is a fantastic place to learn how to surf. I would recommend Tamarindo Surf School (very small storefront, right before the "circle") - they gave the most instruction - our teacher, Elmer, really tried to teach us how to surf. They let us use the boards after our lesson was over too. The owner, Kimberly (?) came out and took pictures with my camera. We tried another surf school at the end of our stay (it was cheaper, you get what you pay for) and instructors that just wanted us to learn to stand - they give you a push into a wave - great fun, but then you cannot surf without them. Have lunch at FT's after your lesson - great casados (typical Costa Rican meal - meat, rice, beans, salad, fried plantains), burritos and smoothies - all cheap, very friendly.

Just outside Reserva Conchal is a restaurant called Il Forno - lots of locals eat there - great Italian food and huge portions. You can get enough for 2 meals. Up the road in Playa Potrero (up a gravel road) is El Castillo - good breakfast and cookies. We also enjoyed La Baula (pizza) in Tamarindo. Carlos Y Carlos in Playa Flamingo was pricey but good. Marie's in Playa Flamingo had an awesome banana bread pudding. Lots of good restaurants are off dirt roads - as you go, you think there is no way should be drinking the water in these places - I'm not sure how they do it.

When you leave, you can pay your departure tax ($26) at Reserva Conchal (saves you time at the airport). I think they charge you an extra $3 pp for the service. Make sure you allow a lot of time for the entire check out. The phone was ringing off the hook and they kept having trouble processing our departure tax - I think the whole thing took 45 minutes. Get gas after you go through Huacas or in Belen. The Exxon after Huacas is really busy and you have to wait (they were nice, though - fixed a flat tire for $3). All these extra waits can make getting back to the airport stressful.

We were fortunate in that most of our stay was before Christmas. I definitely noticed it getting more crowded and a little louder right after Xmas. Costa Rica is an adventure, yet still a charming place.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank ohno4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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211 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2010

I love this resort. Beautiful scenery and tranquil setting. The condos are amazing and the beach is spectacular. I love the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. Service was excellent and the accommodations are top of the line. I highly recommend this destination for anyone looking for a great beach and peaceful setting.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robrolls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2010

I'm going to be staying at the Reserva Conchal in costa rica- Feb 12-19th 2011- i was wondering if anyone has any reccomendations- restaruants- activities that are going on then.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank voges329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Metro Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
49 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2010

My husband and I booked a three bedroom condo with friends of ours from New York (another couple, plus a father of one of them= great mix) and we had a great time during our 6 day stay.
However, there were some difficulties with the staff getting their act together. What we didn't understand from the beginning was that the condo is actually privately owned, while it still came with the daily service and the amenities of the Reserva Conchal Hotel. When we arrived half an hour after the check-in time, at 3:30 pm, it was another hour before they allowed us into the place. It seemed like they were waiting to make sure we'd showed up, before they sent someone to prepare the condo. The place was very nicely decorated and cozy, yet everywhere you looked there was dust, refrigerator was unclean and had some left-over food from previous guests, and the bed in 2 out of 3 guest rooms was not made (sheets left in the closet); closets were soooo dusty. The inventory they left for us to sign stated that the towels don't come with the place (?). Lots of unpleasant surprises and not a 5 star service that was promised.
After a long phone-call with the landlord, who called to make sure we were treated well, things finally got straightened out. They sent somebody to make the beds immediately and they brought enough towels for all of us! The next day an army of house-keeping showed up and cleaned the place from top to bottom, and for the rest of our stay there were no problems at all. One of us got a FREE massage at the Hotel spa, as a re-compensation for the trouble caused- and that was nice.
The place is definitely great for retiring or a vacation home,
The pool was a great size for laps, the gym was not busy at all- you can have it all to yourself on certain days. Restaurant was OK, same Menu for lunch and dinner, though. The beach is just steps away from the pool area; you have to pay the extra fee for using the tennis court though, but it wasn't that bad.
Since we live in San Jose, we drove down there and didn't have to rely on the shuttle for getting around the property. The condo had the great views of the ocean and the golf course and a good size balcony, perfect for drinks and conversation with the friends.
We took some nice memories home with us from this place.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SuzerSchmoozer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Ridge, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2010

as always, the good first: the rooms spectacular, the beach great. if you speak only english, avoid this place; there seems to be a game going on where english speaking guests are second class citizens, i know it isn't an english first coutry, but everywhere else in costa rica, the staff at hotels, the staff on adventures were all great with english and very very helpful; at conchal, the opposite was the case. the reception staff were liars and rude beyond reason. we booked a beach front room, we were given a room so far from the beach we immediatley tryed to have it change and were told 'there is nothing else available'. well the resort could not have been more than 25% full; there had to be plenty of rooms available. we were told, 'don't worry, just call the shuttle and they will whisk you to the beach'. the first time we called the shuttle, it was 45 minutes to get to our room, aftere that, it was either 5 minutes or 35 minutes, but you had no idea which so you couldn't plan either way - very frustrating. we were told, if you don't want to take the shuttle, it is only a 10 minute walk to the beach; it was at least 30 minutes,up and down over hills and in 30 deg. heat. we were told our trip included all 'non motorized water sports'. there wasn't any, nothing, nothing, not a damn snorkel, not a volley ball net, skim board, absolutely nothing. anyways, i don't want to think about this resort any more, the rest of costa rica was fantastic, loved the country, loved the people, overall really enjoyed the trip. please please please, just avoid reserva conchal and save yourself the grief.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jlsjbtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tecumseh, ON
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2010

We recently returned from two weeks at the Reserva Conchal. The reviews (though few) that we read before we left were very helpful! Thank you everyone.
Well...where do I start? Beautiful..beautiful...beautiful is the one word needed to describe this place.
We decided to fly into San Jose and not Liberia, rent a car and see the country before arriving at the resort. That was a great idea. We spent our first night at Adventure Inn just outside San Jose near the airport and it was a wonderful place to start our vacation..but that's another review.
We traveled almost five hours across the country to get to Guanacaste. We took our time and stopped here and there to enjoy the beautiful views. We expected to see horrendous road conditions and other than some interesting pot holes and dirt roads in some areas we were most pleasantly surprised. The highway is excellent and contrary to what you hear...very well marked. I found excellent instructions from someone on the web so if anyone ever needs them I can share.
First...Reserva Conchal is not a resort in the sense of busy, crazy, activities, tourists all over type of resort. It is actually a condominium community built around a lovely golf course. We stayed in Malinche which was one of the buildings at the entrance of the property. We walked in...took one look at the view and just couldn't believe how beautiful it was! The condominium had everything you could have needed but we used little of it as we had purchased the meal plan for the Beach Club. Two quick but important notes about the Beach Club: the food is gourmet at every turn and the wait staff is simply amazing. The staff quickly learned what we liked and didn't like and many times we didn't even have to say a word and our drinks, appetizers etc. were brought to the table. They made our vacation extra special...they are just wonderful people and the chefs are amazing!!!!
Okay back to the resort. At first we thought, "oh oh...this is sedate like one other reviewer noted." and we wondered if we had made an error. Well...about two days into our vacation we realized that peace and tranquility among such natural beauty was exactly what we needed and wanted. We were celebrating 30 years of marriage and what a great place to do it in.
Like a previous reviewer said...we had an ocean view condo but you're not right on the beach however the drive to the Beach Club and ocean from the condo through the rainforest was adventurous. (Rent a car if you can!) We walked it a couple times and it took us an hour...including the half hour we stopped to watch the monkeys, lizards, awesome birds, possums, insects, toads and reptiles. It was like being at the zoo. I have to say that we began to enjoy the rides more and more to the beach as we looked for and spotted the animals. Seeing monkeys in their natural habitat was the highlight for us.
The beach at Reserva Conchal was beautiful. White sand beach and very crystal clear water. We walked quite a ways in both directions and enjoyed it thoroughly. We didn't go in the water too much as we had been warned that there was an undertow. There were people in the water every day we went to the ocean. They don't have chairs and umbrellas set up on the beach but chairs can be had just by asking the young man who works in the towel area. He will bring you chairs and cushions and set you up under a great tree for shade or wherever you like. We always tipped him and the wait staff as we had heard their wages are not the best. Their appreciation was beyond what we've experienced in the past. The Costa Ricans are wonderfully warm and friendly people. The resort does not have activities however three wheelers and horses can be had nearby. Reserva Conchal did have entertainment on the weekends but we would just walk over to Paradisus at about nine o'clock and listen to their entertainment. No one ever said a word to us about being there as the two resorts are connected by a walkway.

The pool area was very, very nice....the gym is very well equipped and the spa is great. The inside restaurant was closed as was one of the outdoor bars as this is not their busiest season but it didn't matter. It was great sitting outside for our meals...very delicious meals.
We found Reserva Conchal a wonderful place to vacation and would not hesitate to go back again. We traveled almost 2000 km across the country and Guanacaste was our favourite province. We visited several different resorts around the area as well as many different beaches. Each beach has its' own flavour and culture. We drove to the Arenal Volcano one day (a four hour drive). The area around Lake Arenal is breathtaking...just breathtaking. One thing that kind of made us worry was that every parking lot has a security guard....sometimes armed. We're not used to that coming from Canada but we experienced absolutely not one negative experience in two weeks. We went to Tamarindo and Coco and did some great shopping. Unlike some other countries we've visited, vendors and merchants do not bother you at all. They are there to help you if needed however they are never intrusive.
Being the rainy season it did rain at some point almost every day we were there but never enough to ruin our vacation. Most days it rained at night with the most fabulous lightning storms we've ever seen. We would sit on the balcony and watch the storm come in across the ocean and over the mountains...it was spectacular. I have to say though that I've never seen torrential downpour like that but it was all gone by morning. We used the Malinche's private pool several times. It was most enjoyable as well.

On our way back to the airport we went into downtown San Jose. It was a religious holiday so everyone was on holiday and have nothing to compare it too but we would not go back into the downtown area. We had come from the peace, tranquility, calm and clean air of Guanacaste and it felt like an assault going back into the city as it was very, very congested with people, buses and cars. We ended our vacation the way it began, by staying just five minutes from the airport at the charming Adventure Inn.

Our first visit to Costa Rica will not be our last. There were breathtaking landscapes at every turn and the warmth and charm of the Costa Ricans will never be forgotten!
p.s. Forgot to mention the free wi-fi everywhere...in our room...in the Beach Club and even on the beach. We kept in contact with family and friends from our chaise lounge overlooking the ocean. It was just GREAT!!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank AdamandRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, Florida
Level Contributor
40 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2010

First - this is a LOVELY location, and the condo we stayed in was beautiful. It was not quite what I expected, though, and the information you get online or if you book through SLH is not desciptive enough. The rentals are spread out throughout the property, and you realistically cannot walk to anything. You can call a shuttle to pick you up to take you to the beach club and restaurant, but you have to plan ahead to do this. We had originally reserved a rental car, but I read so many reviews about how awful the roads are with little to no signage that we did not get it, and we were sorry.

Taxi fare from the aiport is $80plus, and if you want to go anywhere other than the property, you need a cab. These units are great with dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc, but you don't have any detergent, and you only get one day supply of shampoo, soap, etc, so if you are going to stay there, you need transportation to a supermarket, which costs about $16 via taxi. We spent so much money getting around, that the discount we got on the booking was chewed up immediately. The fact is, the roads are fine and the signage is very good from the airport to the resort area. If we go again, I will rent a car and be perfectly happy now that I know what to expect. You can book day trips on the tours to the volcanoes, canopy tours, National parks, etc, and busses will pick you up. The prices from the concierge are exhorbitant, but if you book through swiss travel at the Paridissus next door you will get better prices. I do recommend taking tours with bus pickup, because the roads are horrible to all the sites, but you need a car to get around the resort and into town for dinner and groceries.

I will try to post some pictures of the lovely views from the hotel. This spot would be perfect if you are taking along family and want a home style atmosphere for the living accomodations. Just get a car to go anywhere else so you don't feel so isolated. I highly recommend it for golfers - oh by the way you cannot get to the beach from your condo - you have to go to the beach club - and once again - you cannot walk there.

I must point out that the staff is terrific and helpful and friendly.

The casino is a joke - just a few tables a slots, so if you want to gamble, you shouldn't count on this casino to fulfill your hankering. The slot machines still pay out in real quarters, if that gives you a clue!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FranP2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa

Property: Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa
Address: Cabo Velas, Playa Conchal 506, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Conchal
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Reserva Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal

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