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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort
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Reviewed November 20, 2013

This was my second stay at this hotel this year and other than a few minor issues with housekeeping, I found everything about it being very satisfactory. I brought a group of clients down here and they all enjoyed it very much as well. We are every night in one of the various restaurants on the property and decided that the French and Asian were the best. Very good food, Breakfast in the buffet restaurant is also satisfactory.

My only issue this time around is housekeeping. For some reason you start out with two wash cloths, and after that you have to call for some as the maids don't leave any on a daily basis.
Room service is very good and prompt and is all a part of the program.

If you are into golf, the course on the property is very good and a stiff challenge. For a great experience you might want to go to the Four Seasons as there is not a prettier course in the country.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Reumann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinConchal, Public Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Dear Reumann,
Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.
Was a pleasure to have you back in the resort.
Thanks for your comments about the housekeeping, is important for us to know this situations to correct them and give a better service to our guests, also thanks for your comments about the restaurants and food, we're glad that you enjoyed our offer.
We will be waiting for your next visit.
Warm regards from Costa Rica,

Zasha Pérez Gallardo
PR Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

We stayed here for a week as part of a very large group in November and the weather was great. The facilities are very nice, well maintained and comparable to a similar type resort in the US. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you go. First about food. The day we arrived we were too late to make a dinner reservation (3:00 pm). All reservation spots were already filled, the buffet was not open and room service was not an attractive option since we wanted to dine with others from our group. After three attempts and some desperate looks at empty tables we were able to get a walkup table at about 8:30pm. Also there are no snacks in the mini bar, only beverages and the day we golfed it was $8 US for a can of nuts. Suggestion #1. Make dinner reservations as early as possible in the morning to be assured of getting a table and bring some small snacks (granola bars or 100 calorie packs) especially if you are going to be on the golf course. Secondly, the beach is not a good one for swimming. While we enjoyed very much the walks we took along the beach, the surf was very rough and the beach is unguarded. We tried snorkeling, kayaking and just bobbing in the waves and found the current strong and the rocks sharp in the snorkeling area. Suggestion #2. Adjust your expectations for the beach. This is a very small beach that drops off quickly into rough surf. The pool is a better option for being in the water, there is one 3' depth area that would be good for kids without close supervision and there is a swim up bar. Lastly, there may be better excursion options to be had on the beach and the line that the hotel people give you about being uninsured and unlicensed is baloney designed to sell you the same tour for a higher price. Suggestion #3 Go outside the fence and talk to a couple of the guys on the beach offering tours. After talking to several of these people our group chose a man by the name of "Dee" Didier Sanchez Lopez. He is a former employee of one of the larger tour companies who has decided to go out on his own with his father. He took 15 of us on a tour that included zip lining, canopy bridge walk, water slide, horseback riding, volcanic mud, hot springs pools and lunch with transportation included. He is a very knowledgeable and attentive guide and personalized the tour for our group. He even, at our request, had the driver make a stop at a grocery store (Jumbo) so our group could pick up a few things. The rate for the same tour on property was $40.00 higher per person and I'm sure they would have stuck to their itinerary and not customized for the group. Final Suggestion #3 Talk to Dee on the beach.
One last comment on housekeeping. The first day we arrived we found a hanger in the bathroom with a card attached telling us that we could purchase the robe on the hanger if we wanted. However, there was no robe and one never appeared. Also we never knew what to expect for washcloths and towels. Some days we got no face towels, other days no washcloths. We called once and friends in an adjoining room requested towels for us another day. I even happened upon the maid one day after she had just finished our room without leaving washcloths and after a little bit of pantomime she showed me that she had none in her cart. I guess we were the last ones to be done each day, but a minor annoyance that kept me from giving them a five.

Room Tip: Royal Beach Club is more expensive but you seem to get better service.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jaf24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinConchal, Public Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2013

Dear jaf24,
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.
We're glad to know that you enjoyed your time in our resort. Thanks for your comments about the facilities and pool.
We apologize for the inconvenience with your towels, we will inform to housekeeping about your situation, this reviews online help us a lot to improve to give our guests a better service.
We hope you can visit us again soon.
Warm regards from Costa Rica,

Zasha Pérez Gallardo
PR Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

The westin is a very nice property an easy hour drive from the Liberia airport. I arranged thru email a van from costaricagroundtransfers.com to take us there - it was only $160 total for both ways - for a group of 6 adults with luggage and some golf bags. I would highly recommend them as they were prompt and easy to contact thru email. the check in was a snap - we had royal beach club rooms which have a smaller lobby than the main lobby. we were assigned a nice guy eric as our 'butler' who brought us and luggage to our rooms and was available as needed throughout our stay. all staff members are super nice with excellent English speaking skills! our rooms were in buildings to the right of the main pool and were the closest to the beach even tho you couldn't see the beach thru the foliage. that is my one complaint about the resort - the rooms aren't that special or tropical feeling. I would put them on par with an average Marriott, even tho they are quite large and clean with comfy beds. the bathroom was not luxe at all - only one sink, and a tub/shower combo. and the hot water was never quite hot. the room was way too hermetically sealed with the A/C going - there weren't any windows to open. I prefer rooms with balconies with ocean views, breezes, and the sound of the waves. and my other complaint is just that the grounds are very dark at night - there is lighting but it needs to be brighter and more plentiful. also, i'm not sure the royal beach club is necessary unless you are there when it's very busy with a lot of kids running around and can then use the private pool with no kids. we used the main pool more often as it was closer to our rooms and got a bit of an ocean breeze. the royal beach club room is away from the beach and stifling hot but has the added bonus of drinks brought directly to your chair. the food is pretty good for an all-inclusive - especially the pizza lunches. you will not go hungry! the beach is really beautiful - it's a cove with some soft and some rough sand and amazing rock formations out in the water, and scenic hills off in the distance. it's not a typical boring carribbean beach. it's more like the beaches in st. barths. there are also interesting animals - coatis roam the pool areas, monkees in the trees, and iguanas sunbathing. very cool to see them up close!!!
I highly recommend eric on the beach to book ANY tours...his prices are amazing and he's totally professional. we did the megacombo all day to vandara - for $100 per person we had walter, an excellent driver, take us over an hour away. at vandara we had a horseback ride up to the zip lines, 10 ziplines, a scary water slide, a delish lunch, and then hot springs and mud bath. an amazing day! another day we did the 2 hour ATV beach drive - also amazing at $50 per person. and hubby and I did 2 hour beach horseback ride - actual galloping on the beach! also $50 per person. our friends went fishing which was $400 for up to 5 people for about 5 hours. all these were arranged by eric on the beach and all were perfection! we also had the $20 beach massages - also amazing! we usually sit on the beach like slugs but this vaca was chock full of activities. it was rainy season and it did rain a bit here and there, or at night, but it didn't matter. and it's HOT HOT HOT and HUMID!!! even at night - never needed a light sweater at all. the price for our stay was very reasonable also. about half the price of an' excellence' resort we have stayed at in playa mujeres, mexico. I would totally recommend this resort as a very non-stressful vacation. everyone there is there to make it all easy - no hassles at all! and use eric on the beach with no hesitation! I would also like to add that it's appropriate to bring some small bills for tipping - it's not expected but the hard working staffers really appreciate a few dollars here and there! if you can afford this trip, you can afford to tip! so bring a cache of dollar bills! the staffers will smile with or w/out tips, but it's a nice thing to give a little extra for these wonderful workers!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank mrsez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinConchal, Public Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Dear mrsez,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with us.
We're glad to know that you had a renewal time in our resort.
Thanks for your comments and suggestions, we will keep in mind to improve the service and the facilities for our guests. We're also glad to know that you enjoyed the food, the beautiful beach and explored a little bit more of Costa Rica.
We hope you can visit us again soon.
Warm regards,

Zasha Pérez Gallardo
PR Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

The staff at the Westin were outstanding. The property and rooms were impressive. We ended up with a golf course view, and watched as several iguanas made there way across the course. The food was good, especially the pizza and pasta restaurant and themroom service. The beach was great!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jaztraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinConchal, Public Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Dear jaztraveler,
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.
We're happy to know that you had a beautiful and renewal time in our resort.
Thanks for all your kind comments about our facilities, services and food.
We hope to have you back soon.
Warm regards from Costa Rica,

Zasha Pérez Gallardo
PR Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

We travelled to the Westin Playa Conchal in Costa Rica at the end of October to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and we could not have picked a better resort or a better destination. Upon check-in we were upgraded to a Starwood Preferred Guest suite at the Royal Beach Club, which is an adult only section of the resort, from there we were treated like royalty.

Check-in: After arriving at the main resort lobby we were presented with delicious Mojito mocktails and shuttled to the Royal Beach Club lobby for check-in. Service at the main desk was friendly and fast and service at the RBC lobby was comfortable and relaxing. We were only one of three couples checking in at that time so it was very speedy.

The Royal Beach Club: We were in building 2. Our concierges, both coincidentally named David were superbly skilled in excellent client services and very friendly. They were a font of knowledge on the surrounding area and on the country as a whole. They were always around and always willing to help. Guests of the Royal Beach Club have exclusive access to the adult only pool and separate smaller buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We also enjoyed free internet service throughout our stay and a fridge that was replenished daily with complimentary water, soft drinks, alchoholic beverages and snacks. 24 hr. room service was also available and also complimentary. We did try it once for lunch and often for a late night snack or dessert and found it to be excellent and quick. The food was delicious and the presentation was fantastic. Shortly after arriving in our room we had a special delivery of Chocolate covered strawberries and Champagne - what a nice treat.

The Resort: The resort is huge, very spreadout, with plenty of opportunity for walking if you wish, but there are shuttles to take you wherever you wish on the property. The shuttles come quickly if needed. We used it once on a rainy evening on our way to dinner, otherwise walking is a real treat as the property is lush and extremely well maintained. Ladies wear flats or low heels when walking as the wide paths are cobbled.The greenery was lush as it was the end of the rainy season, and what struck me was the way the resort is built in conjuction with nature not against it. Every aspect of the environment is very important to the people of Costa Rica whose tagline for their country is Pura Vida (pure or natural life) and they really live it. The resort also has another huge pool, which apparently is the largest pool in Latin America - it is huge. There is also a full service spa and gorgeous golf course on the property and many restaurants. More on those later. A portion of the property contains condominiums called Reserva Conchal - these are upscale rented condos that are far away from the Westin portion, but portions of which are easily accessible to both, for example the spa is shared by both. People from the condos may eat at the resort restaurants, but they pay for that service, whereas guests of the Westin enjoy all inclusive priviledges.

The Room: Our room faced the adult pool, which has a swim-up bar. Occasionally the drinkers got boisterous in the afternoon, but not out of hand. The bar closes at 6pm so there is no sound after that and if your sliding door to the balcony is closed you don't hear much. The only sound we did hear often was the thumping of the elephant above us - we were on the 2nd floor, so request the 3rd floor (top most) if staying here. There is an open window between the bathroom and the bedroom, which is a neat feature. I have seen this before at the Marriott in Niagara Falls Canada, but still a nice touch for a couple. Not so nice if you don't know the person well. But after 25 years together we never pulled the shade down once. Rainfall shower and toilet facilites are behind individual private glass doors. The rooms are perfectly clean. King beds are extremely comfortable and The Westin's Heavenly bath tubs, truly are heavenly. A nice bath after a long day travelling was the perfect soother before dinner that first evening.

The beach: Playa Conchal is part of the province of Guanacaste and sits along the north Pacific coastline. The resort is directly on the beach and the beach is gorgeous. Long - probably 3 Kms long, if you include the inner paths to Brasilito. The water is relatively calm and blue/green, similar to the Caribbean. The sand is fine in places and a little coarser in others. It is shallow for the first 20 feet or so, but then takes a dip, like most ocean beaches. The current was quite strong one evening so I didn't go out too far, but not much of a current on other days. There are good areas along the way for surfing and the water is warm. The resort is not very busy at this time of year so the beach is virtually empty and you can go off to be alone very easily or laze on the chaises under umbrellas near the resort if you prefer. This is a public beach, but aside from a few vendors immediately outside the resort there are none that walk along the beach. The vendors are extremely respectful and never pushy - true of all the Costa Ricans we met.

The Restaurants: We ate at Bamboo - Thai restaurant. Not the best Thai we have had, but the service was impeccable. The Mediterra - Mediterranean food was very good and again service was impeccable. Las Candelas - the Latin American fare was the absolute best. Of course the service was impeccable again, and the food was magnifico. Truly the best Latin American we have had, anywhere. What also added to the ambiance was the fact that a Costa Rican family was celebrating their 18 year old son's birthday and had ordered a Mariacchi band to perform at their table - of course all guests got to enjoy in this pleasure - what fun! All the restaurants have their own beautiful decor and the house wines are not bad. Mostly Californian, but other premium wines are available to order. The other restaurants did not stand out for me as either good or bad - so they are probably average and we did not try the Italian. The large breakfast/lunch buffet at Mitra is quite big and has all the usual breakfast/lunch items, one exception to note is the Superfoods bar, which is fresh veggie/fruit juiced drinks - delicious and healthy! An extra nice touch and I really enjoy when local fruit and veggies are incorporated into the meals. Had Guavas after a very long time - yum!

The Spa: Ahhh what absolute refined perfection. The spa is gloriously relaxing and absolutely first class. The treatments were excellent and staff are professionally trained and very pleasant. It was a great way to spend a lazy, rainy afternoon and it was sinfully self indulgent. There are plenty of treatments to choose from - all the usual and some combined packages that I found to be well priced. Within the spa there is also a large jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, showers etc. All very private, quiet and serene and the decor is tropical and calming. A long pool that runs down the centre of the spa as you walk in sets the tone for a relaxing, inviting experience. What bliss! See the pics attached.

Tours: There are plenty of tours available from Swiss Travel that has an agreement with the hotel and Swiss has a small booth inside the resort at the entrance to the beach. The people at Swiss are friendly and not pushy. Although if you are looking for better priced tours just step past the entrance to the beach and there you will meet Eric Garcia and Juan Rodrigues (picture attached). They offer the same tours at a much better price point. They speak perfect English and have a professional and trusted business. We did the ATV tour with them and went all along Playa Conchal through the forest for a bit and on various other beaches for a bit. The unpaved roads through the forest are safe and relatively smooth. Here we saw monkeys in trees and goats crossing the road. We passed by a farm where our young guide stopped to show us baby goats. I felt a real connection with nature on this tour and it was supremely relaxing. Going the other way still on the ATV's we went into Brasiltio a small town with a few shops and local homes and businesses. We stopped at a souvenir shop for a few gifts to take home - better priced than the resort, but feel free to bargain. We liked the little town so much that later that day we walked along the beach and back to Brasilito to meet Memo (an American living there full time) and to pick up a few more items to take home. We also met a taxi driver, Jose who we arranged to take us to the airport the next day. His price at 75USD was less than the hotel shuttle at 90USD and we enjoyed our own private cab which allowed us to stop along the way. You can reach Jose at 8397 2535. There are also plenty of other tours - given more time we may have tried them. Tours to volcanoes, zip-lining, Rainforest tours and even a day trip to Nicaragua, which is an hour and a half north from Liberia. Eric and Juan are extremely friendly and full of information. They are flexible in their approach to their tours and seem to be very trustworthy. Eric's wife Gigi does massages on the beach for $20. We did not try this. Time was a bit of a factor for us as we were only there for 5 days and had to work around the rain at times. Though I have to say that did not dampen our spirits at all and it certainly did not rain all day, everyday. We had beautiful weather in between and no rain during the day on 3 days.

The Airport: The airport at Liberia is new and completely modern. Service is quick and fast. Upon arrival there are plenty of cabs outside. The Westin is about an hour away from Liberia airport on single lane, well paved roads. Upon departure ensure you pay the departure tax at the kiosk prior to getting in line for your airline when leaving. You will also be asked to fill out a customs departure card when in line. It's a little awkward, but necessary I suppose. Everyone is very helpful and pleasant.

The people: Overall Costa Ricans come across as extremely peace loving, friendly people. They truly care about their country, their environment and nature. There is a calmness to them that I have not really seen elsewhere and they do not seem out to get your dollar. They seem very content, which is a rarity these days. We were of couse in a less populated part of the country that has a safe and small town feel so perhaps that makes a difference. But I must say that I am impressed.

Little Extras: The little extras the resort provided were very thoughtful. After believing that the champagne and strawberries were a beautiful welcome and a lovely anniversary gift we were surprised by the little Happy 25th Anniversary cake we received on day 3 of our stay - what an absolutely nice and thoughtful touch. Neither of us had ordered it and we had only mentioned our anniversary once, upon check-in. The feel is that The Westin goes out of their way to make their guests feel at home and feel special. This is a very well managed resort with enough activity to keep you happy, but not too much that you feel a stressful vibe. It was a quieter resort suitable for honeymooners, families and couples looking for a relaxed and stress free experience, perhaps it was the time of year we travelled, but I suspect it is so most of the year. I really cannot find anything to criticize about this place and would highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Tower 2 - Starwood Preferred Room - top floor (3) to avoid the lady who thumped like an elephant and clacked across the tile in heels.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank ShellsOnTheBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinConchal, Public Relations Manager at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2013

Dear ShellsOnTheBeach,
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with us, and thanks for choosing us to celebrate your 25 anniversary!
We're happy to know that you had a renewal experience with us, and enjoyed all the services and facilities of our resort: Royal Beach Club, green areas, restaurants, spa and pool.
We certainly are proud to be an eco friendly hotel, we take care of the environment and the ecosystems of our natural wildlife reserve.
Thanks for all your kind comments.
We hope to have you back soon!
Warm regards from Costa Rica,

Zasha Pérez Gallardo
PR Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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