Throughout our stay I went back and forth on this place. All in all it's a good value for the money and if you plan to stay here at night and get out and explore during the day this is a good place for that.
I will start with the good: The rooms and the grounds were very clean and well kept. Beds were comfortable and clean and so were the rooms. Hats off to their staff and management for keeping this place up. Also, we always felt safe and the security seemed to take their jobs seriously which made us feel good. Very good location - this place is basically right on the beach and you just have to cross a small street and you are walking in the sand. There are some waves and current at the beach but nothing a decent swimmer can't handle. The breakfast buffet was pretty good and it was nice to start off the day with a decent meal before heading out (we didn't do the all-inclusive so I cannot comment on that). My wife had a serious allergic reaction during our stay (not related to the hotel) and we called the front desk for help. They had a real doctor in our room within 30 minutes and he got her fixed up which was awesome. It cost us $200 but it was worth every penny. They have a couple photographers on site that take professional photos of you during your stay. I cannot remember her name but the girl who was taking the photos was really nice and she captured some great photos of our family and daughter which we purchased for $8 a piece. Having a stranger take photos of you while you are hanging by the pool or beach is a little strange at first but we got used to it and since they did not pressure or bother us we ended up really liking this service.
Now it's time for the not so good: The overall staff just didn't seem all that friendly. Some of the staff were really friendly and fun, some were kind of friendly and some weren't friendly at all. It was really a mixed experience which I didn't like. One thing that blew my mind was the concierge seemed so put out when I approached her with a question. I turned to my wife and laughed because I couldn't believe I was getting attitude for asking her a simple question. Isn't this her job? Also, the person working in the gift shop that was reading a magazine and wearing earphones that seemed put out when she had to say hello when we walked in to shop for souvenirs. I turned right around and walked out and we bought nothing from her. Not buying from somebody that acts like they don't want me in their store. It would be nice if all of the staff would make eye contact and say "hello" or "hola" when you walked by them in the hotel. It would also be nice if everyone just smiled and had a good vibe. That would have made our experience so much better. And I know this has nothing to do with the hotel but most of the guests were not very friendly. I guess being from Texas I have different expectations when it comes to being friendly and the fact a lot of people staying there were from Canada and the Northern part of the U.S. probably had a lot to do with it. I'm just used to smiling, saying "hello" and being polite to everyone. I'm not used to people not smiling and not making eye contact and not saying "good morning" or "hello". Also, things like cutting in front of you (or reaching over you) in the buffet line for breakfast without saying excuse me got annoying pretty quickly. Speaking of breakfast, nobody every explained how things worked. Every day we learned something new about breakfast like you can get smoothies made or you can order pancakes or fried eggs. We had to figure this out on our own. It would be nice if somebody explained all of this when we sat down to eat each morning. Also, getting our coffee refilled was a chore. Multiple times I got up and filled my coffee myself. This was puzzling to me because I appeared to be the only guy in the entire place that tipped our waiters every morning. We also tipped housekeeping every day but only got small bath towels and one large bath towel every day. There were three of us in the room.
A few tips to people looking to say here: There is no poolside service. You have to go to the pool bar and if you don't have a credit card on file they get a little annoyed. Put a card on file if you plan to drink at the bar. Outside of breakfast we ordered food a couple times and it was not that great. Walk down the road and eat at the Mariner's Inn. They had good food at decent prices and they are really nice. We went to Marie's down the street (which everyone recommends) and for myself, wife and daughter it cost $50 for lunch and a couple drinks. A little too rich for my blood.
A few tips to the management: PLEASE provide written instructions on how to use the Air Conditioning System and put these instructions next to the remote. We struggled with the AC the entire trip and should not have to call for help at the front desk when we want the room cold. Please don't make us feel weird if we don't book services and tours through the hotel. We did our research and booked with services for which we felt comfortable and safe. Whenever we needed help from the front desk from our tour services faxing us info. they weren't helpful and acted like we weren't making good decisions. Finally, there was a nice lady at the front desk (Crista or Cristen) and she was really nice and helpful. She stood out above everyone and made up for others that weren't so helpful. We really liked her.
- 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