After staying in the rainforest for a few days and then near the Arenal Volcano, we headed west to the Westin for some beach time. Right from the get go we were disappointed.
1. They had no record of our reservation - we were lucky we printed out our email confirmation because they used that find us a room. Admittedly we were early, but we had to wait several hours for a room - despite them telling us they were 65% full. It was hot, we had just traveled two hours and we had to wait while they prepared our room.
2. Once we get to the room I discovered that our ipod clock radio was broken. I called the front desk and someone replaced it. The next morning we go to make coffee only to discover that we have the wrong pods for our machine. It took a note and talking to someone to get the appropriate pods for our machine. The coffee shop in the shops doesn't open until after 8am. So we had to go to the buffet to get coffee (which we prefer before breakfast). Twice at the buffet we had to chase down a waiter for coffee. They should really just put it on a table like the rest of the buffet. And it's time to get a Keurig in each room.
3. Next, we discovered that our shower water would not get hot. We called the front desk and they sent someone over to fix it.
4. Wifi is only free in the lobby, which is a ten minute walk from many rooms. It's $12 a day if you want to pay.
5. The sports lounge was closed the whole time we were there.
6. The first night we were there we were unable to get a spot in the restaurant despite calling several hours in advance. And some of the restaurants were closed! frustrating. I highly recommend making all of your reservations as soon as you arrive. During the day there is only one place to get a snack if you at the pool and it is not lunch or dinner time. There are no restaurant menus in the room to figure out what you might like to try.
7. The pool bar closes at 6pm despite having a ton of people there wanting drinks.
8. The beach has the usual locals trying to sell you things such as massages, excursions, plants, etc. It's annoying, we opted for the pool like most other people. In fact, there isn't much at this resort to differentiate it from any Caribbean all inclusive. Although the ocean water was brown because when it rains sediment enters from a nearby river.
9. There are no instructions on the phone for making international calls. And it ended up costing a fortune to just check our cell phone voicemail (our phones didnt work in costa rica).
10. Room service - you are unable to order bottles of wine. I can see why they have this policy so people don't fill their suit case with wine. So the two of us would order multitudes of glasses instead. We called once for a smoothie and half an hour later they called us back to say their smoothie machine was broken.
11. One of the biggest annoyances is the fact that there are trucks and golf carts constantly driving around on the walkways. It's like walking on a road and not very pleasant to have to constantly be looking over your shoulder. By the way, you have to flag down one of the golf carts to get to the lobby if you don't feel like walking. I will give them credit for having plenty of carts available. It never took long to find one.
12. It rained so hard one night that the pond flooded and it came within two inches of our door. Other people had to switch rooms because water got in. I find it hard to believe that the rain was a surprise to whomever designed the water systems.
13. There is a Britt store on the property. They promise delivery to your home within a certain time. Unfortunately it took us about three times as long to receive our coffee and chocolates. It took five emails and us demanding our money back before they said they even shipped them.
- Pablo! he's the concierge I think. You'll find him in the lobby and he is extremely helpful!
- The kayaks and bikes are free to use. (The kayaks are the backless kind so user beware if you have a back issue. My bike gears kept slipping.
- We took a cab to Tamarindo for surf lessons. We liked the town.
- check the event board for things going on. We played some bingo at the bar, and survived a tequila tasting.
- THE FOOD! great... really no complaints here. The bacon at the buffet is amazing. The restaurants are all different with excellent service and food.
- The pool is huge! plenty of chairs available, a volleyball net in the pool, and a pool bar.
- The price! for an all inclusive it wasn't too bad booking online. We heard paying extra for the 'club' wasn't worth it but we didn't see it for ourselves.
- There are iguanas on the property and some crazy raccoon-like animals walking around.
- I was forced to get a pedicure and really enjoyed the spa. very relaxing in the steam room.
- It's an all inclusive so we enjoyed not having to worry about how much money we were spending.
There are other excursions nearby that guests told us they really enjoyed - atvs, water slid, ziplining, etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin Playa Conchal is an All Inclusive eco-friendly retreat, located between the exotic forests and unspoiled beaches of the North Pacific Riviera of Costa Rica. Our secluded vacation spot is a perfect balance between unrivaled luxury and local culture, giving our guests an unforgettable vacation experience. Our All Inclusive experience includes all meals, drinks, use of our fitness center and kids club as well as entertainment options including non motorized water sports, daily activities and nightly events. The resort also offers an adult only all exclusive experience at the Royal Beach Club where guests have access to a private pool with concierge service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal
- The Westin Resort And Spa, Playa Conchal