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“Not four star by any means”

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Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Upon arrival we were not checked in until exactly 3:00pm (their check in time). It was 97 degrees and we sat in the lobby sweating for two hours. The hotel was not full and we found this very odd. The beds were very comfortable, however, we found the bathrooms to be gross. The toilet wouldn't flush and tub wouldn't drain, both requiring maintenance calls. Toilet remained an issue all week. There was mildew and dirt in bathroom and there was a constant sewer odor. Buffet breakfast was very nice, food otherwise disappointing. When we inquires about local restraints we were told there were none, only toxins there were some excellent choices across the street. The beach although pretty has a big rib tide and not the best location for swimming. It appears that some of the other reviews were written by hotel staff as we do not agree. Not a lot of activities, no kayaking...

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Patrice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2013

As the owner of the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, I was mortified to read your review and I apologize for the negative experience you had at our hotel. I do not know the date of your stay, but If the hotel was not extremely full at the time you checked in, you should have been accommodated quickly into a clean and ready room. Also, if space was available, you should have been upgraded to a better room without the maintenance issues that you describe. I wish to sincerely apologize for the problems you had. We are actually beginning to renovate all of the guest-room bathrooms at our property; it is true that they currently are a bit tired and outdated, but there is no excuse for dirt and mildew, ever. Again, we are truly sorry. I also must note that our staff would never be permitted to write reviews, so all of the reviews that are on this and other websites are always written by actual guests. Fortunately, most of our reviewers have better experiences than the one that you describe. On a final note, the conditions at our beach change according to seasons, tides and weather; most times it is excellent and safe for swimming, body surfing and boogie boards. Also, there is kayaking available; I don't know understand why you weren't able to do this activity, nor get information on local restaurants from our concierge. Very strange! I do promise to get to the bottom of this and make sure it never happens again.

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Reviewed April 27, 2013

The location of this resort was absolutely perfect for us, thanks to previous trip advisor reviewers who helped us choose the town and resort. Gorgeous white sand beach, steps away from the large pool. Nice sized clean, pool-view room in the southwest building, with a very comfortable bed. Although they did not have us in the king bed pool view room reserved on their website and our email room request five days prior did not help, they changed us to a king room on the second floor, which was fine. The view was not as good as I suspect on the third floor, but we were literally fifty steps from the pool ... a twenty second walk back to the room.

After visiting many other towns (Tamarindo, Potrero, Brasilito), we were immensely pleased with our choice of Flamingo Beach Resort. The grounds are immaculate, the staff friendly, and the pool fun for guests of all ages. The water was a touch cloudy our first full day (Sunday), but was perfectly clear after that. Based on previous reviews, we had worried about noise, but it really wasn’t a problem, even on the Friday night when a wedding party lasted until about 11:30.

We did not do any meal plan, preferring to try many restaurants in the area. What we found was disappointment outside the hotel, the exceptions being Marie's and Flamingo Subs and Pizza. The food at the hotel was very good the two nights we ate there. Appetizer lunches at the pool bar were hit or miss … soggy nachos one day, delicious but horribly messy quesadillas another, and fairly tasty chicken fingers a few other days. The breakfast buffet was OK, but expensive without the meal plan the one day that we chose that option. Marie's, across the street, is far better for breakfast, both food and price.

You won’t find much shopping or nightlife here, but Tamarindo is a short thirty minute drive for such activities. Typically, evenings are quiet with a few people swimming and sitting around the pool and a few people in the upstairs bar.

Flamingo Adventures, across the street, was the best price for private tours, including the beach vendors, who also may lack the "legitimacy" of other businesses. Don’t miss the Palo Verde river tour … monkeys, macaws, crocodiles and other wildlife are absolutely amazing. Our tour included a Tico lunch in the tiny town of Ortega (probably won’t find it on a map), which was one of the better meals of our trip!

Oscar and other bartenders at the pool bar always gave us good drinks and laughs to boot. Drinks are very expensive, so we bought beer and liquor at the store a block away and then had a couple of drinks per day at the hotel bars.

A pleasant surprise was the photo staff, particularly Valerie, who do candid and professional photos that you can later purchase for eight dollars each for the digital image. The beach photos were fun memories that we will cherish.

We have absolutely no regrets choosing Flamingo Beach Resort and will definitely return on our next trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ugadog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We loved our stay at Flamingo Beach Hotel. We stayed at an ocean view suite and the view was perfect.
The hotel has a huge swimming pool and part of it is on the shade so for the ones that do not want to much sun or for those that are with children it is a plus.
I have received massages in many places and the one we received at the hotel was one of the best ones, you should try it. look for the promotions. After you take one treatment you may continue using the Jacuzzi at the spa for the rest of your stay.
Breakfast was buffet and very good. We did not take the all inclusive plan since we love to eat out and see new places. We ate at Maries that is about one block away from the hotel and it was very good and not that expensive. We also went to Tamarindo several nights for dinner.

Room Tip: The hotel has a horse shoe shape and one of the sides is right next to the road. Request the rooms t...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Francis A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We recently stayed 4 nights at this hotel. The hotel was nice and had all of the amenities that you could want. The pool was nice but the beach was amazing. The hotel sits right on the beach so you only need to walk a few steps and you're on the beach. The hotel also provides lounge chairs for its guests so it was nice to sit on the beach instead of by the pool (much cooler too with the breeze!). They also had a small casino with about 30 or so slot machines and a family center with ping pong, fooseball, and tv's. Breakfast was included each day and was good. We ate dinner at the hotel one night and it was also very good. The only reason why I gave the hotel four instead of five is because the night life is lacking. We went into Tamarindo most nights to have dinner and shop so if you are looking for something to do at night, this hotel may be a little remote for you. It was a 20-30 minute drive to Tamarindo, we had a rental car but if you don't, the taxi ride can cost you $30 one way which can get expensive. Overall though, we had a great time!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a pool or beach view not one facing the parking lot
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Valerie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

My family (me, husband, and two children, ages 9 and 2) stayed at the Flamingo Resort for three days and had a very relaxing seaside vacation. The resort is small and charming, perfect for a family with kids.

The pool: The pool area is very nice, not too big and not too small. I love the ledges where you can sit half submerged. And, I loved the covered kids pool that was connected to the adult pool because my children could safely play right next to me and out of the sun. There is a small plastic playground right next to the kids pool, too, so that entertained the kids when they tired of the water. The swim-up bar looked fun, but with two small kids it was just a pipe-dream....hahahaha. They had filtered water next to the pool where you could help yourself.

The beach: The beach was lovely, close to the pool (across a small road) and had plenty of trees for shade. The hotel provided some lounge chairs, too, so we spent the better part of each morning lounging in the sand and building castles. The sand is fairly grainy and dark, so be prepared to dig dirty sand out of your swimsuit at the end of the day. The water is rough (it always is on the Pacific side), so there is not much swimming. We did, however, enjoy dipping our feet and watching the stingrays. Sunsets are amazing! And, definitely treat yourself to a massage on the beach. It is worth every penny.

Food: The food is average and a bit expensive. Overcooked chicken fingers and fries will cost you @ $15 poolside (after tax and tip). Nachos with fake cheese sauce are about the same. Needless to say, we only ordered poolside once. Breakfast is a bit better. Ours was included and featured yogurt, fruit, baked goods, eggs, beans, rice, juice, etc. There was enough variety to keep us happy for a few days. Drinks at the pool are 2-1 at happy hour, so it was a nice way to welcome the sunset. Our kids enjoyed their virgin dirty monkeys.

Service. I think the people were the friendliest of any resort I've visited. Everyone was genuinely polite. Service was fast and friendly. You could charge everything to your room so you didn't have to carry money, except for tips.

Rooms: The rooms were OK. Tile floors, two beds, TV...nothing special. There was a fridge but it was only unlocked on the final day and contained VERY pricey snacks. The bathtub was a bit odd (it was elevated and seemed unsupported) and there was no water pressure to wash away the sand. We had a first floor room that faced the pool, but it was somewhat below ground and surrounded by bushes so it was always dark and dank. There was also a very dirty runoff grate that ran next to our patio, so our outside area always swampy and full of garbage and leaves. I regret not asking to change to a room on a higher floor and would highly recommend NOT staying on the ground floor.

Activities: There were none. If you are easily bored, this is not the place for you. They posted an activities board that said they had Bingo and SCUBA (and things like that) but both times we showed up to "play," no one was there to lead the activity. My kids were a bit disappointed, but soon forgot their troubles when we headed back to the pool. There is a pool table in the main foyer and a family center (with two pool tables, a foosball table, etc.), so you can always entertain yourself that way.

Town: There are a couple little shops/restaurants within walking distance so we ventured out to the supermarket for some ice cream and to Marie's for lunch. Both were overpriced and underwhelming but at least we had options. I know many folks ventured by car into nearby (and less expensive) towns for dinner but we didn't feel like driving after a long day in the sun. We were not there for a culinary experience or nightlife, so the lack of amenities didn't bother us.

What I loved: The kids pool with its thatched roof, the main pool with its ledges, and the shade trees on the beach.

What I would change: I wouldn't stay on the first floor again. It was dark and dank. A few more activities would be nice (or at least commit to the advertised activities). I would definitely stock up on snacks and drinks before I hit the resort so that we had didn't have to take out a second mortgage for food;).

Room Tip: Don't stay on the first floor.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ColoradoEasyPeasy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

There are so many good things to say about this resort that I'm not sure what to start with. We like to stay at all-inclusive resorts when we visit somewhere for the first time and this hotel definitely is one of our favorites. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts that only serve a buffet, at the Flamingo all-inclusive guests can order from a menu or choose the buffet. The food was excellent and they had plenty of variety. For people who like to try different restaurants while on vacation, there are two restaurants located just a short walk away.

The hotel is small enough to feel intimate, but large enough to provide all the amenities. The rooms were clean and up to date. Most rooms with a pool view also have at least a partial view of the ocean. We never had a problem finding a chair by the pool, but if you want a chair in the shade get there early. Of course the swim up bar is almost always shaded so no worries if you can't get your hands on a shady chair. The beach is right outside the hotel, and you can get a beach chair from the hotel so you don't have to lay in the sand.

One of the best things about the Flamingo would have to be the staff. We were always greeted by smiling faces, and everyone was always friendly and helpful. While the same can be said for everyone that we met in Costa Rica it was especially true of the hotel staff.

There is only one bad thing that I can say about the hotel, and that only affects the scuba crowd. The hotel website says they offer an "on-site dive center" that is misleading at best. Diving can be booked through the hotel tour desk, but the dive operator is not on-site. This means that you can't ask specific questions about the diving or the dive operation. There is also no storage for dive gear like you would expect with an on-site dive center. The dive operator will pick you up in the morning and drive you to the dive boat though, so there is no need to book separate transportation to get to the boat.

That gripe aside, We had a fantastic experience at the hotel. If you are considering a trip to Costa Rica I would definitely recommend the Flamingo Resort.

One last piece of advise: When you leave Costa Rica there is an exit tax. This is not paid at the airline counter. There is a separate desk that just handles the tax. If you go to that desk and pay the tax on the day you arrive then you can avoid the long line on your departure day.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DiveLog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Overall we had a good experience at the Flamino Beach Resort and Spa. The staff was friendly and helpful...finding us a room to check-in to early (that had recently been rennovated), providing a second room to use across the hall when our air conditioner malfuntioned (sounded an alarm every 20 minutes). We didn't want to switch rooms because none of the available rooms had been rennovated and were not as nice as our original room -- so they let us leave our stuff in the original room, sleep in another room across the hall until our AC could be fixed the next day.

The room was reasonably quiet and the beds reasonably comfortable (especially in comparison to Mexican hard beds!)

Our package included a free breakfast buffet daily that we enjoyed. There was sufficient variety of food and changes day to day to keep it interesting. We especially enjoyed the fresh jucies (e.g., beet root, carrot/orange) and fresh fruit. They also do omeletes to order and had a large variety of local breads and pastries.

We took advantage of the resort activities (e.g., aqua aerobics, yoga, massage class) and enjoyed that -- although the leader of those activities (Lulu) is very directive! She is there to make sure you work hard and do things "right!" The resort is small enough...and although at fairly full capacity during our stay...the demand for the activities is low enough that we either had personal attention or were in very small groups for the activities.

To stay connected the hotel offers free wifi in every room -- but ours didn't work until the morning we were leaving. That wasn't a huge inconvenience because the wifi was accessible in the lobby and the resturant. They also offer limited free access to personal computers if you want to travel without your laptop, tablet or smart phone. The connection is reasonably fast.

The beach is literally adjacent to the hotel. There were never more than a handful of people on the mile long beach. This beach is clean, has a nice sandy bottom and is very swimable -- although you are best off going just a little south (to the left as you hit the beach) before swimming. Immediately across from the hotel there are some large rocks on the sea floor that you wouldn't want to smack into in the surf.

We didn't eat lunch or dinner at the resort, and found the meal choices in town expensive and somewhat limited. The food at Marie's (just across and up the street from the hotel) was very good and nicely presented, but we thought over-priced. (The price on the menu doesn't include the mandatory tax and tip, so what seems like "a lot" ends up being really a lot!) Our best and most memorable meals were taken at the local "Soda's." In particular we enjoyed "La Choza de los Antujitos" -- along the east side of the road just north of Brasilito. There is another Soda on the right as you come into Huachas from the north (across the street from the large grocery store and next to a used clothing store) that is really good...busy with local businessmen and truck drivers delivering goods to the coast). It had free wi-fi too! But to tell you the truth we didn't have a bad experience with an Soda we ate at -- clean, realtively inexpensive, and tasty. The service at some can be slow (everything is made to order and they seem to wait for you to ask for your bill in most places).

Although we aren't likely to go back to Costa Rica, I wouldn't hesitate to stay at this resort again. (Note: it's about a 5 hour drive to the airport in San Jose and less than 2 hours to the airport west of Liberia.)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank UTHogboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa

Address: Playa Flamingo | Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo 50308, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Flamingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Price Range: $107 - $348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once you've experienced a Pacific Ocean sunset from the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, you may never want to leave. Located in the vacation province of Guancaste, you’ll be perfectly-positioned to explore Costa Rica's natural beauty and limitless adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Hotel Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach Resort Costa Rica
Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Playa Flamingo

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