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“Great Hotel, great value!!!”

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Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
New-York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Hotel, great value!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2009

I just got back yesterday, it was an amazing experience and I hope to go back to central America in a very close future.

First of all let’s talk about positive sides of this trip:

1.Great and Unbeatable Value (Air Fare + Hotel $525, found this deal at priceline.com)
2.Hotel- unbelievably beautiful and comfortable enough, so don’t be afraid when you see 3 stars,
It will definitely exceed your expectations. Rooms are very clean and comfy, equipped with AC, mini bar and the fridge,
And a small balcony. Our room was facing the road outside the hotel which I found great, because It was very quiet, with a great view
And small swimming pool right underneath our balcony.
Room service was fine, probably it will take you couple of times of calling the front desk to get a new towels :), but over all we got our room cleaned every day.
Major Pool was great, very clean, not too much chlorine. Had a swim bar, so you will definitely enjoy being around the pool during the day and at night.
Generally the hotel stuff was pleasant, helpful and very sweet. I had a slight communication problem with some of the stuff due to my bad Spanish and their heavy accented English :), but we solved this problem by using body language in some occasions, which I found pretty funny.
3.Beach- located just a few steps away from the hotel, to be exactly across the road :). It’s not a large beach but it’s very quiet, and it’s not crowed at all. The sunsets are breathtaking…I loved to come after the dinner and watch the sun going down….
4.Food- is very Americanized, so if you are looking for something more traditional, you are definitely have to go outside the resort area. There is a nice place called Marie’s just a few min walk, food is quite nice and definitely much cheaper than inside the resort. Than next to that place there is an Italian restaurant Angelinos (I believe that’s correct name), hmmm it was well designed and pricy, average dinner for two is around $50-$80. All other places are about 20 min drive…with a good food and less expensive.
Regarding In-resort restaurant: there is a buffet right at the pool area, the food is very, very, very American…But good quality…prices vary from $13 for breakfast and $25 for a lunch and dinner.
Bars- in-resort there are 2 : drinks are fine and they had a good variety (suggest to try Pain Killer) average price $6-$8 per drink.

Ok, now a little bit of negative aspects of my trip:

1.Transportation- as many others I highly recommend you to fly to Liberia, I flew to San Jose, first it’s a 4 hours trip , second one-way trip will cost you about $75-$80 per person if you will choose to take a van, taxi is $100 per person, bus it’s about $35, but you have to go to San Jose bus terminal first to take a bus, which runs on a strict schedule (and don’t forget to check if you are travelling during any local holidays, which may interrupt bus service, like it happened to me.) I personally travelled by van and found it very comfy and safe, plus there were no stops, so I got to the place much faster. If anyone will be travelling from San Jose, you can reply to this review, and I can give you the phone number to the person who took me to Flamingo. He was very sweet and if you are travelling not alone, you can definitely bargain the price down.
Plus if you call him in advance he can come and pick you up from hotel at any time to take you to the airport. One bad thing is- he doesn’t speak English well, so I had someone in the airport speaking with him :)
2.Be aware if you planning to use credit/debit cards, you will be charged extra taxes and fees.
3. Entertainments- I suggest to check the local shop down the street from hotel , they have better variety and prices .

Over all I did enjoy it and hope you will as well.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Multynat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2009

I am writing this review mainly out of frustration from reading other recent reviews. I am 17 years old and stayed at the hotel for 5 days with just my two parents. I was somewhat nervous to go to Costa Rica without a friend and just my parents but the Flamingo Beach Resort made it an unforgettable vacation!

As other people have mentioned the one recommendation I would make is to fly into Liberia and not San Jose!! Seriously, it may be more pricely but it would totally be worth it!!! That is an awful 4 hour drive at night after you have been flying all day!!

The room was great! I was very impressed and thought the bed was quite comfortable! The air conditioner in our room was not noisy as some have mentioned and I hardly even noticed when it was on. The maids came around daily to clean and the hotel was very clean overall.

The food there is ok, just as everyone else has added.

The staff is GREAT! They are all sooooo friendly and try to do everything in their power to make your stay perfect! For the most part, the people in Costa Rica are all very friendly!

Many also complain about the road between the beach and the hotel. When I read reviews before leaving about having to cross a road to get to the beach, I was dissapointed. When I arrived however, I found the "road" to be more like a dirt path. The "road" is pretty much only wide enough for one car to drive down and there is very little activity. I actually enjoyed the little activity that the "road" did bring and ran on it every morning to help keep in shape! The hotel is definately beach front!!

Alex is the man that some have said is to be found lurking around the hotel. He took us zip lining and on a boat tour! I had a great time, and loved Alex!!! He is real and will tell you what is good and not so good! I would recommend talking to him!

It does quite down very early in this part of Costa Rica. Around 9 PM everything was pretty dead and the sunset is around 5:45 PM. As a teenager, I'm used to having the majority of my fun late at night! However, I didn't mind getting up earlier and winding down earlier, it made the vacation more relaxing!

The pool is amazing! I thought the beach chairs were actually pretty comfortable, and I found it easy to relax! The towels they supply you with are also just fine! The swim up bar was the site of many of Manuels activities! It was just a fun atmosphere!


Overall I was very impressed with the Flamingo Beach Resort! I had low expectations going into the trip that were blown away by the great time I had! I have been to the caribbean and have stayed in nice places before and I would say the Flamingo Beach Resort is definately high up on my list! Please do not let bad reviews scare you away from this resort! I am a picky teenager and I had the time of my life!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ilovecostarica242018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2009

I find writing a review for the Flamingo Beach Resort a little more difficult than most. The reason is because the staff was great, and the pool area/lobby area were both very inviting. The hotel is basically right on the beach. (Ignore the people who complain that there is a road in between - - it's not like it's a major thoroughfare that you can't cross. It's a dirt road that gets minimal traffic.) The setting of the hotel overall is very good. Oh - and I appreciated the free use of the computer and internet upstairs from the lobby.

Anyway - now on to the reasons why I would not stay at the Flamingo Beach Resort again: The rooms need some MAJOR updating. The furniture should be thrown away. It is all very old and run down. The mattress was HORRIBLE!! There was a huge lump in the middle or I guess I should say that each side of the mattress was severely sunken in from years and years of use. My husband basically was unable to sleep the entire 3 nights we were there. Also, the air conditioning is a unit up at the ceiling of your room that is very loud and blows very strongly in certain areas of the room (however there is no air conditioning in the bathroom for example). So, basically, you'd get blown away while sitting on one side of the room and get no air on the other. The bedspread and side chair had noticable stains on them. And, the sheets were very scratchy. The towels were OK, but nothing special. Water pressure was non-existent. I loved my vacation in Costa Rica overall (primarily because of our stay in Arenal), but couldn't wait to get home just to take a shower with some decent water pressure.

Also - - the towels that they provide out by the pool are ridiculously small for a "beach towel". Many of them are ancient as you can tell by their rough texture and faded coloring. The pool chairs themselves, while comfortable, also get very hot in the sun. So, it would have been nice to have been able to get more than one pool towel per person (considering how small each towel is), but they do not allow this. By the way, in April 2009, the pool felt like bath water. Not very refreshing when the temps outside were around 95 degrees... Hopefully, it's not always this way.

The food is not very good. I'm shocked that anyone does the all inclusive plan here. They only have 1 restaurant, which is mediocre at best. We had the breakfast plan, but that's only because on hotels.com, we could get a poolside room with daily breakfast for $110 per night including taxes. Had we booked through the hotel's website, that same room with no meals would have cost us over $200 a night. Then, the all inclusive would have been substantially more on top of that. NOT a good deal!!! If you just pay by the drink, for example, a daquiri is $6 as is a rum & coke. It would take a ton of these to make up the difference in cost they wanted. The breakfast buffet is only about $5 per person. And, we did order lunch one day - - each of ours was either $8 or $9 each. Again - - not worth spending the money for the all inclusive. Besides, you will get bored with the food there.

There's not much to do in Playa Flamingo. Tamarindo has more activity, but also probably has more crime. (That's my guess just from visiting both places. Fortunately, we did not have any problems.)

We booked a sunset cruise through the person they called the concierge with no problems. While he was very helpful, I was disappointed that he was not actually a hotel employee. Rather he worked for a private tour company and competed with some other characters who we saw lurking around (primarily on the dirt road between the hotel and the beach) who were trying to sell us some tours. All that being said, we enjoyed our sunset sail on the Lazy Lizard boat. And, we had a good meal (also booked by the "concierge") at Mar Y Sol, which will come pick you up for free from the hotel. They are only a few minutes away but the walk would have been straight up hill.

My overall impression of this hotel is that it's the type of place where I would have stayed with 6 of my friends all squeezing into one room back in high school and I would have been perfectly happy with the accommodations. Now that I'm in my 30's, though, I can find better and wish that I had. This property has potential but needs some major renovations. It's the type of place that I would wish that Marriott or some chain like that would come in and take over to fully update. For now, I'll stay away, though...

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunnyskiesabove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2009

First of all, there was some confusion with the all inclusive package. It looks like the website(bookit.com) has corrected the confusing part. We were stuck owing an extra $300 upon arrival. We asked if there were other options(ie breakfast only, drinks, etc) and told no. There was a breakfast only plan. the food is not that good so it's unfortunate that we paid for the all inclusive. The guacamole is yummy!

The resort is very isolated. A review mentioned a 5 minute walk to town. there was a plaza across the street with 2 restaurants and a pharmacy, not exactly a plethora of options. No town by my standards!

The rooms were clean, but stink of mildew. I needed to wash my entire suitcase and even my brushes. A normal amount of mildew is beachy, but this was really strong!

The gym is a joke if you care to work out. the treadmills are like cement and the weight machines may cause injury!

The spa was the one bright spot. The rooms/interior were gorgeous and such great value for the money. Unlike US spas where you barely get the alloted time you pay for, here they actually go over! Ask for Jane, a massage therapist, she is wonderful!

I would not return to this location. The hotel is not that nice and it is very isolated. If you want a quiet family vacation, this may be the right spot for you. Otherwise, Tamarindo seems much more interesting and affordable.

Lastly, consider a car rental. The cost for 2 people to/from the airport and to/from Tamarindo was $250(with tip.)

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank baltmd35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MI
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights while on our honeymoon. We booked through latindestinations.com/Swiss Travel Services, and our breakfast was included in the package.

Downsides: the rooms on one side of the hotel look out onto a road and construction. But you can still see palm trees and hear the waves crashing in the ocean, so while we had one of these rooms, it really wasn't that bad. It was fun to watch people go by on the road.
Some travelers have mentioned the loud latino music played constantly. It is played somewhat loud and pretty consistently, but we didn't find it to be obnoxious. Sure, it's not a dead silent place, but you can still hear the waves, and there's a nice road or beach to walk down if you want some quiet. In our room, on the side of the hotel overlooking the road, you couldn't hear the music.

Everything else - beautiful pool! Very nice and helpful staff. The beach was gorgeous, and not very busy. Everything was kept clean, and our towels were replenished every day. We had some problems with a defective scooter that we rented, but we let them know about it, and they gave us an extra day rental on it for free, which we thought was great customer service. The breakfast buffet is very very good, and you can eat breakfast out in the restaurant looking over the ocean.

Restaurant recommendations - Marie's across the street is good - their casado is excellent. We went to a little local place down the street at the bend of the road, and it was very good as well, with very friendly staff. It's a good place to go to get some local flavor.

There's not a ton to do right in the town - a souvenir shop, a pharmacy, a couple restaurants, and places to rent things or take tours. But Tamarindo and Brasilito are only a few minutes away (Tamarindo about 20 minutes), and they're fun little towns.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marieka83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2009

We juut got back from Flamingo Beach Resort with 2 more couples. Housekeeping needed some improvement. If you do not put the sign on the door that housekeeping is needed they won't come. Also, if your air condition doesn't work be adamant and don't leave on excursions or outings until you know it's fixed. The first night was uncomfortably hot because our air conditioning was not working. We called around 3:30 am for some assistance and told that the maintenance crew doesn't come in until 8 am and they were all booked and could not give us another room. Around 9:30 am after no one came we went to the desk and they then called maintenance. They must have forgotten. They reassured us at 12 noon that the air condition was working. Our mistake was that we left for an excursion and came back late in the evening. During the night we noticed our ac was not working. I then woke up periodically during the night to turn if off so it could defrost (it was frozen) and then turned it on 1 1/2 hours later. We then had ac for a coupIe of hours until I did this again. The next day we called maintneance again and demanded a room. After some discussion they provided us a room 1 1/2 hours after our request. Needless to say, our last night after a room move we had air condition. We were suppose to get a king size bed but they only had 2 double beds available. Thus our husband and I slept in separate beds during our stay. If you are staying and you notice your ac not working stick around until you confirm its working or demand another room. it will save you some sleepless nights.
The other couples we were with had no ac problems and had king beds. I guess we were the unlucky ones in the group. I'm not sure if I'd stay again. I will say that the pool area is very clean and the sunsets breathtaking.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jca469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2009

Stayed at this hotel with a friend and we thought the service was terrible. Reception staff were particularly unhelpful and unwilling to accomodate for even the smallest requests (e.g. having teabags in the room rather than coffee, calling a local tour operator to confirm our next trip). The restaurant lacked the flexibility to accomodate our vegetarian diet sticking to only what was on the menu. Bedsheets were not replaced daily (we noticed the same marks on both days). Apart from the great location, I would not recommend this hotel to anyone

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mick3London
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 & Spa

Property: Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Playa Flamingo | Playa Flamingo, Playa Flamingo 50304, 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only resort located on one of Costa Rica's most famous blue-flag, ecologically protected beaches, this resort location is the perfect beachfront base from which to explore all of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Flamingo Beach Hotel Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach Resort Costa Rica
Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Playa Flamingo

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