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“Great spot on Coco Beach.....beware of salesmen!”
Review of Cafe de Playa

Cafe de Playa
Ranked #23 of 106 Restaurants in Playas del Coco
Price range: $10 - $70
Cuisines: Bar, Seafood, Central American, Costa Rican, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Scenic view, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
New York
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great spot on Coco Beach.....beware of salesmen!”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

First off: location, location, location! Right on the beach. It's a great stretch of beach too! Plenty to see and do in the area. They even have an outdoor sound system for a little background ambiance while enjoying the sun.

The room was decent size and clean. My only complaint (admittedly trivial sounding) about the room was inadequate lighting - it was sooooo dark and it was difficult to see what you were doing and I often bumped the walls. It would be fine if I left the window blinds open but I couldn't because I was in a first floor room next to the bar.

I was handed a "questionnaire" upon checkin.....i thought that was a little odd - it asked about my income, marital status, etc. Since when is that info something that a hotel guest needs to provide? I recognized it immediately as a pre-qualify survey for timeshare sales. It all became clear the next morning when I was surrounded at breakfast by parties of 3 at the breakfast tables with timeshare salesmen doing their best to sell "interval ownership" to guests. It was a bit annoying to listen to the sales pitches all around while I tried to relax, eat and enjoy the morning ocean view.

We saw the hotel manager several times during our stay. The only time he stopped to greet us was when he said, "hello" and then requested that we leave a 5-star Trip Advisor review because the resort was working hard to move up the ratings list.

In summary, I wouldn't hesitate to stay at this resort again. It's a little pricey for what you get, but as I said, a lot boils down to location. We loved the staff and the resort is very clean. Noise at night was not an issue, and we were right next to the bar/restaurant. I'm just not interested in listening to a sales pitch on vacation. This would be a 4-star rating if it wasn't for the salesmanship!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bottombet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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397 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Cahuita
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Boutique hotel the Costa Rican way”
Reviewed January 12, 2014 via mobile

Great terrace with bar / restaurant right on the beach . The rooms were well equipped and comfortable . Only few rooms all around the pool , very private but with the option of being social by the sea side joining the private area of sunbeds right on the ocean . We spent new year there and was perfect . Also great to go there only for drinks or food.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lauraanjali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
239 reviews
175 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Go for a Drink, Breakfast or Lunch, but do not expect to Sleep”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Cafe de Playa is the nicest, most upscale beach bar and resto right on the beach in Coco. The frozen drinks, spanish-focused wine list and especially their ceviche were excellent. We enjoyed a reserve Verdejo wine, which was superb with seafood. The staff is warm and courteous. They will place comfy lounges wherever you wish and ply you with lunch and delicious beverages all day.

Days, the scene consists mostly of condo occupants from across the street who apparently have rights to beach chairs here, and visits by various real estate salespeople taking clients there for lunch, presumably to romance them into buying a share of some sort of real estate. As night approaches, conversations become less feasible with the techno beat pounding ever-louder. Each night, one can watch the older-demographic crowd depart at dinner time to avoid the noise.

We stayed there two nights last February, and three nights in January 2014. Our most recent stay cost over US $1,200.00, an unreasonable amount. We were charged $250 a night plus tax and service for a "Suite" consisting of a rather conventional guestroom with a large bathroom.

As far as we know, we were the only overnight guests around during both stays. There is good reason for this. We should have learned last time that there is no regard for guests' sleep at all. Even though the bar area does not get busy, the incessant pounding of techno beats and the voices of the jubilant staff and their cronies carry on until 2 a.m., making sleep before that time impossible. The cheerfully raucous morning breakfast staff is thoughtless about their occasionally loud voices.

Friends who live about a mile away up in the hills complained to us about this techno-beat noise. On our last night, we informed the staff that we were leaving at 4:45 a.m. to travel to Nicaragua. This did not change the noisy bar agenda until all hours. So we got two hours sleep.

The manager appears to have boundless energy and confidence in his concept of a "nightclub hotel", while some claims seem implausible. For example, says he has been the chef at three, three-star Michelin restaurants in France. The "special" dinner he cooked us did not reflect that. Assorted seafood with various sauces and cardboard-like "puff" pastry was, ahem,... unappealing.

He is the force behind the pounding "music" and an absurd laser light show beginning at dusk, consisting of erratic broadcasts of bright green light beams into the trees and sky. (We went sailing and could see this light pollution from offshore.)

So, we tried to embrace Cafe de Playa as a hostelry, and wound up liking it as a daytime beach bar.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank westlakeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
74 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Upscale food at a reasonable price”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We had drinks (they have a 2 for 1 happy hour) and snacks on the beach several times to watch the sunset at the end of the day. This is the only restaurant that has beach chairs (and massages). We also ate two typico (or tico) breakfasts there and an evening meal. The evening dinner could have been served at a 4 star restaurant. It was elegantly presented and delicious. I had fish and my husband had tuna. The locals told us they thought it was expensive, but in comparison to what we would probably pay in the states, it was very reasonable.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Barbvan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
barrie, ontario
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Absolutlely Perfect!!!!”
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We visited Cafe de Playa twice during our recent visit to CR...breakfast was perfect...the Tico Breakfast was so good....just the right amount of breakfast in a gorgeous setting. We returned to take in the sunset and have dinner a couple of days later and that was even better! Champagne on the beach watching the sun go down...the best Sea Bass in Pastry dinner you could even imagine!!! What an absolute treat! The drinks were pricey but the setting is so perfect, it just doesn't matter!!!! Omar was our waiter and he is such an great guy!!!!! Seriously recommend going...such a nice experience!!!!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank chriskal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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