First a disclaimer - this is a real review from a real guest! :) I struggled when searching for vacation destinations as to whether I thought all the reviews on this site were real so just a note to those who are questioning that as well that this is a real one. :)
We stayed for 2 weeks with our two children (4 and 6) and had an amazing time! We went almost at the height of rainy season and had wonderful weather - when it did rain, it was typical rain forest rain - lots of it! - but then it subsided and it was beautiful. Such a plus too that it was not crowded at all! Don't look at the weather maps, they don't tell the full story!
Initially thought we could possibly get bored being at one hotel for 2 weeks but never once did we feel that - instead we didn't want to leave! We did an excursion every 3/4 days and that was just about the right pace! Being avid swimmers, we felt royally spoiled with the 100m+ pool that was just divine to swim in! Combine that with the gorgeous beach with a beautiful water temp and we were just in heaven. The beach gets deep pretty quickly and has a bit of an undertow so we watched the kids like hawks when they were in the water. I'm sure it was fine, but we were extra vigilant. Wonderful that just a few hundred meters down the beach that you could snorkel and see many many fish...nice to have that at your doorstep! We would go between the pool and beach and the kids loved them both - but they also loved going to the kids club which gave us a bit of a break!
Not sure why none of the reviews ever mention the kids club but Laura at the Kids Club (who was there everyday of our 2 weeks - and probably deserves her own vacation :) ) was amazing. She speaks fluent English and is just a wonderful personality who seems to really enjoy being with the kids. She felt like a personal nanny and got to know the kids so well. So many times we saw kids who were there on their last day and they didn't want to go - they loved the kids club. We can highly recommend it! Of course the Xbox and the Wii may have been the enticement for our son, but our daughter loved all the drawing and arts and crafts. Laura was very good too at getting the kids outside and active - sports, nature walks, etc. Simply super!
The rooms were spacious and the housekeeping was superb. They not only cleaned but they thoroughly organized and rearranged things to make them neater - have never had housekeepers do such a good job in a hotel. They were wonderful and probably never get enough credit!
The sports and other activities arranged by the central staff are super! We adored the two main sports instructors who shared the duties of running the exercise classes and games. Both of them (whose names fail me now :( ) were simply wonderful. Full of energy, engaging, truly love their job...just wonderful ambassadors for the hotel. We couldn't get enough of all the activities they arranged. They certainly live the "Pura Vida" model!
Food was great. Amazed that for an all inclusive there were so many higher class dining options. Over the 2 weeks we rotated between the five a la carte restaurants and it would be hard to say which was best - although the French up at the reception probably was. But, they were all just magnificient...especially considering it was an all inclusvie! So nice not to have to deal with the buffet thing all the time! For breakfast the buffet was always expansive and lunch as well (although there are 2 other lunch options that are not buffet). Also ordered room service two times and was impressed by that! A menu that is the same as any 5star in a major city - for free. Very spoiled!
We loved the nature aspect of Costa Rica...it's so different than your typical Mexican or Jamaican holiday. Really felt part of things and the kids couldn't get enough of the animals around the property - iguanas, birds, butterflies and of course the coatis (adorable little guys related to raccoons). A great experience for the kids.
We did some excursions through Swiss Travel at the hotel and some with Erik who runs the stuff outside the hotel on the beach. Great things to say about them all and had heard of Erik a lot via other trip advisor reviews. One word of caution though - do not let your kids (especially young ones!) go on the water slides on the Mega Tour that Erik sells. It is a concrete bobsled course that has danger written all over it. We were thankful to escape unscathed but would have never gone on it had we known how fast it got and how often you'd hit your head on the concrete slide walls. We spoke to Erik and told him not to sell this part of the trip to young families...we would have still done the whole trip but would have just sat out the waterslide part...would have been no problem. It's flat out dangerous...don't do it. Erik was very understanding and comped us with some other things we did so that was wonderful. Nothing wrong with him or the trip just do not do the slide with kids - and having said that, the 6 other adults with us were equally unimpressed with the slide...it just wasn't safe. Talked to a few others at the hotel who'd done the same trip with Swiss Travel and they seemed to have gotten a bit more of a safety briefing...if I had to do it again I'd book the megatour with Swiss Travel - just feel it was a bit more safety conscious from what other guests said. But don't want to take anything away from Erik and his team...they're great people with great tours as well (and his wife Gigi does massages for $20 on the beach that are superb). Just not the slide! Ziplining is amazing...DO IT! Our 4 and 6 year olds loved it!
Overall, a magnificient 2 week vacation and no question we'll go back. From the location, pool, beach, golf course, kids club, accomodations, etc. ... it was simply fantastic! Next time we'll go for some surf schools but we'll have to find a way to get back to the Westin...can't go to Costa Rica without a visit there! I'm quite sure that there are very few, if any, all inclusives with this level of accomodation, service and food! We've been spoiled to have a 5* experience in an all inclusive format...wonderful!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort is an eco-friendly resort in Playa Conchal, Cabo Velas, Costa Rica located between the exotic forests and unspoiled beaches of the North Pacific Riviera. Our secluded vacation spot is a perfect balance between unrivaled luxury and local culture, giving our guests an unforgettable vacation experience. An 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. Our retreat 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