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“Mixed Feelings”

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Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 11, 2014

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.

Room Tip: We stayed on the second floor and liked our room. Very convenient.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank 3DTurkey
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 February 19, 2014

Thank you for sharing your review regarding your recent stay with us. It's a shame that it wasn't as overall positive as we would like, but we have taken note of your complaints and appreciate the constructive criticism. We especially liked the suggestion about the written instructions for the A/C remote control and have begun to fully implement it. We are surprised that you didn't find our staff to be so friendly, because usually their friendliness and interaction with our guests is one thing that stands out in most reviewers minds. We can't really do much about the friendliness of the other guests, but we will say our crowd differs from week to week. One week we will have a lot of families, another time it will be more couples, sometimes complete strangers bond and form lifelong friendships at our resort, and other times folks just keep to themselves or their own groups. You can never predict it, and it's part of what makes the hospitality business so interesting and dynamic. Wish you had had a more compatible crowd when you were there, we are sure it would have really made the difference in your overall experience.

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847 - 853 of 2,119 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2014

The resort is 29 years old and it shows. It does need a facelift! I was disappointed that the staff was unable to give us directions to a local restaurant and bar where the band the "Leather Backs" were playing. They definitely want you to spend all your time at the resort. We found that prices for activities scheduled outside the resort were considerably less expensive. For example, hiring a boat for sport fishing at the resort cost a whopping $500. for 5 hours. The same excursion booked ourside the hotel was $350. Still expensive but quite a savings. The same was true for kayaking and snorkling adventures.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank disappointed96
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 February 19, 2014

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay with us. While we are not yet quite 29 years old, it is true that our property is nearing its third decade, but we have renovated it extensively several times. We are sorry you were disappointed in your stay, but it is totally not true that we "want you to spend all your time at the resort." We offer so many activities and excursions off of the property, and offer flexible meal plans to accommodate those who plan to be out exploring most of the time, unlike many other all-inclusive resorts. Also, the fact that some of our staff members cannot give directions to a local bar/restaurant where a musical group catering to local North Americans and tourists is playing shouldn't be held against them, because you have to remember that our staff members probably do not patronize these establishments and may very truthfully not be familiar with the venue.

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Reviewed February 6, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the resort for 10 days from 1/11 to 1/21. The weather, the food,the employees there, are top notch. I could name names of the staff but each one was gracious, accommodating and resourceful. The rooms were clean and inviting. I already said to my wife I want to go back next year and reserve room 1205. It's a big world and I'm not sure we will actually go there next year but we will visit again some day. A most memorable vacation in a beautiful country.
Frank Di

Room Tip: Overlooking the pool is nice and there's plenty of vegetation between the balcony and the pool t...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Frank D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Although this is just another resort it is wonderfully located. We were disappointed that they could only provide us with double beds although we had ordered a queen or a king, when we arrived they said they had upgraded us to a no view junior suite (still double beds) with a cooking unit, as we had paid extra for pool view and had no intention of cooking we refused it sending them into a bit of a spin. When we did get a room overlooking the pool it was wonderfully located we could see both the pool and the ocean. The resort is within walking distance of several restaurants and facilities the on site restaurant is very nice, overlooking the beach and with good food. The pool was great but the loud music from the pool bar was a bit much at times and seem to cater to the younger group of which there were not many, most patrons seemed to be older or families with children. The WiFi was very poor reception.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ozart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

Playa Flamingo was the destination for our honeymoon. Such a perfect location for all kinds of activities. It is a little dated and could use some updating, but for the location and price; you can't beat it! The swim-up bar, wonderful. The beach, wonderful. The staff, wonderful. I do suggest renting a car at the airport and drive to Flamingo because the country side is breathtaking. This also allows for freedom to explore the towns around, but most importantly, to be able to drive to Mar Vista and have the absolute best food I have had. This honest comparison comes after all my travels across Europe, South America, and North America. But, if your need is to sit and relax, enjoying life as it comes, then partake in their all inclusive meals. This will include all day bar and home liquors. This also seemed to be a nice family destination with all of the activities around to enjoy. I strongly suggest going down during the off season; the area is much more green, far less people, and better deals. If somebody mentions rain, remember it is tropical climate and the rains only come in the evening, for a short period.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

Welcoming staff
Clean,cool, and comfortable rooms with attentive housekeeping staff
Not much hot water when showering in the morning, but we didn't care...the temperature was refreshing
Beautiful pool
Swim up bar...bartenders very busy but also fun
Breakfast fresh fruit was amazing. We did not choose an all inclusive package because we wanted to experience other local/typical CR cuisine. The coffee was better than any I have had. Wait and hostess staff attentive, polite, and fun
Great for families
Concierge desk to help you book some tours (we used them to book a tour to Monteverde and had a great time.)
Selected this hotel because it was one of the WestJet vacation destinations.
We would stay here again
Walking distance to many attractions, if we needed to go further, taxis were trustworthy and reasonably priced.
We felt welcome

Room Tip: Next time, we will ask for a room with a hammock. Otherwise, we would stay in the same room with 2...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Nadine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Our experience at this hotel was not the best, although many guests were enjoying it very much. If you want to stay right on a beautiful beach (quite rocky, swim with care) and take advantage of the all inclusive (extra$) meal and drink deal, it's the place for you. If you want to experience Costa Rican culture, you will need a car to drive to other restaurants and sights. There is not really a town to speak of. Also, beware of the economy rooms. Our 'ocean view' economy room was on the bottom floor and felt like the basement. The decor had all the charm of a hospital room. We had a view of a grassy berm, which is probably there to keep water out. The room at first smelled strongly of fruity cleaning products, when that aired out a bit it smelled like bad plumbing. Sure enough our shower backed up and the sink made ominous blooping noises. It smelled so bad we spent the night in our very comfortable hammock on the lanai, under the stars with the sound of the surf, which was quite lovely.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathleen K
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 February 19, 2014

Ouch! We truly apologize that your stay and your room were not up to par. We wish you would have gone immediately to management when you had plumbing issues and worked out a room change. That is just something that just shouldn't have happened and we greatly regret that our resort did not meet your needs or expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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