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“Absolutely Amazzzzzzzzing”

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Playa Grande Park Hotel
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
los angeles
1 review
“Absolutely Amazzzzzzzzing”
Reviewed October 21, 2010

One of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.

Gated with a pool and sushi restaurant. Does it get better?!

When we stayed there there were monkeys in the trees over the hotel, it was amazing. The hotel is spotless and the owners are amazing, just incredible. So nice and hospitable. The owner even took time to walk us down to the beach, suggested other spots to see and taught me how to surf!! It was the best vacation ever.

All the rooms had flat screen tvs, great beds, a/c and the bathrooms are amazing. Very private and very new. I loved everything about it. Not to mention I felt super safe being that the hotel is gated.

I will be back to visit for sure!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank deborahleah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 reviews from our community

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English first
Southeastern Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2010

When you plan a big trip, months in advance, you spend a lot of the time leading up to departure hoping that you “got it right.” Especially when you’ve committed the entire trip to a single area and a single property. (Yes, you can always pack up and move to cut your losses, but the no matter what you “salvage,” the trip will always carry a whiff of failure.)

All I can say is that our family got it right in a BIG way by staying at the Playa Grande Surf Hotel last month.

We went with a single pursuit in mind – surfing – and both Grande and the hotel delivered in a big way. As mentioned in previous reviews, the hotel owners, Andrew and Tamara, are both surfers. So they were able to point us in the right direction for waves. There were a couple of days when the Grande breaks were pretty messy, but we still got some really fun surf thanks to their “local knowledge.” And Andrew always made sure coffee was on and ready, even when we headed out early. Usually there were bananas and/or cookies too.

But beyond the surfing aspect, Andrew and Tamara are amazing people who take great pride in their beautiful hotel and work hard to keep it in prime shape – which isn’t easy in the climate of coastal Costa Rica. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and cleaned and mopped every day. Beds were very comfortable - sheets and towels are high quality (not that this is personally a make or break issue, just shows attention to detail by the owners).

Linens are not turned over every day, which is common practice in Costa Rica. Water usage, both where it comes from and where it goes (into septic systems), is an important issue throughout the country. We were happy to lessen our eco-impact on this amazing country. The hotel does have pumps, so the water pressure in the rooms is great. Shower flow is strong and toilets flush well. Anyone who has traveled around Costa Rica knows this isn’t always the case. Even at “top” properties.

The rooms have a small fridge, which is wonderful (do Andrew and Tamara a big favor – be sure to keep all your foodstuffs in the fridge, or in sealed plastic bags). The rooms also have a flat screen TV with 70+ channels (mostly Spanish, but a significant # of English ones), a ceiling fan, and A/C – which is wonderful. Oh, and the hotel has Wi-Fi too. It’s nice to be able to check flights and torture your friends with pics of the great time your having.

The location of the hotel is good too, on the main road about 150m from the beach. It sits all by itself for now, with the nearest house three lots away (probably 70m). Of the other Grande hotels we considered, it turned out that three of them sit side-by-side-by-side, sharing walls and property lines. Not that Grande is all that noisy, but the Surf Hotel was the quieter location, even being on the main road.

Oh, a major, major point that hasn’t been mentioned yet. The hotel is very secure and safe.

We spent eight nights here, which I think is a pretty good test of any hotel. And were we ready to leave at the end? No we weren’t. Room #5 had become a pretty comfortable home by that point. It’s a beautiful hotel, it really is. And Andrew and Tamara were gracious and helpful hosts – at every turn. Their recommendations for everything - food, shopping, etc. - were spot on. Unfortunately, July is the offseason, which meant that the hotel’s Sushiko restaurant was not up and running. But it will come to life again in the fall.

As for Playa Grande itself, it’s hard to describe the area to someone who has never been there (and I’m glad nobody really tried to describe it to us). We read and researched the area before we left, yet we were still grasping to take it all in once we arrived. But after a day of settling in and poking around we started feeling pretty comfortable.

Playa Grande is wonderfully laid back and quiet, and still feels a bit on the wild side (one day a herd of cattle from nearby Montapalo wandered into town and casually started munching on every vacant green space). The beach is just down the street, and broad and uncrowded. There are some buildings and houses gathered along the beach at the end of the road – the hotel Las Tortugas for one – but you can walk south for miles on untouched coastline. We never felt uncomfortable at any time. The vibe we experienced was always positive and friendly. Playa Grande was exactly what we had been looking for.

But Grande is not a compact community. Things are a bit spread out. We were glad we rented a car (in our case a 4WD SUV). We drove to surf spots and to eat. The nearest serious grocery store is several kilometers outside of Grande.

The bottom line – we loved Playa Grande. “Pura Vida” it is. We’re so glad we choose Grande over a nearby but more popular (and busy) surf town. And as long as Andrew and Tamara are the proprietors, the Surf Hotel will be our hotel of choice on the Guancaste coast. We’re already scheming our return.

Restaruants

Kee-kay’s Place in Playa Grande (note: this is not the proper spelling..the proper spelling set off Trip Advisor’s profanity detector) – one of the coolest places on the entire planet with the coldest Imperial anywhere. We ate here every night and were treated like honorary locals. Great food from a typical casado meal, to pizza, to Argentinean style rib-eye. The staff is super friendly, and Kee-kay himself makes everyone feel welcome. It’s a truly special place with a genuinely welcoming atmosphere.

The Wave Café in Playa Grande – Run by a friendly American, great coffee, baked goods, and fruit plates. Got several of our mornings off to super starts.

Marie’s in Playa Flamingo – a bit of a drive north but worth it. Great fruit drinks and breakfast, Tico or American style.

Nogui in Tamarindo - First meal was so good it was worth another trip into Tamarindo. Great fish tacos, fruit plate, and a wildly fun dish called a fruit sandwich. Right on the beach, great views. You can see Playa Grande from your table.

Places

Frijoles Locos Surf Shop, just up the street from the hotel. Super friendly, with gear and t-shirts made in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SurfsUp60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langley City, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
68 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2010

We returned from our trip in January and I've been meaning to write a review ever since - the owners are fantastic. We had to cut our stay a day short (with a few months notice to the owners), and Dave was more than accomodating and understanding. Ian was also terrific - so friendly and very helpful on our friend's last morning when the driver showed up and then drove away when he didn't see them waiting. Ian (at 5am) stayed with us, phone in hand, until they had everything re-sorted out and were on their way to the airport.

Now for the house - there were 2 couples in our group. My boyfriend and I lost in a game of crib so we got the loft upstairs, which even in the 30 degree heat outdoors, was very comfortable with the fans that are set up there. All of the beds were very comfy as well, and in the master bedroom where the A/C is located, our friends staying there actually found it too cool to have on all night while they were sleeping. It was perfect though with the bedroom door open to cool the whole space down during the day and we never had any problems with it being too warm inside. The shower was awesome, we knew that the kitchen only had a mini fridge so stocked it accordingly and had no problems. We'd buy ice from the little store a 5 or so minute walk away to use for our drinks and that worked just fine.

The grounds on this property are absolutely gorgeous. The pool and outdoor shower are beautiful, the tiki hut in the yard is awesome, and just the entire property is immaculate and so well maintained. Location is perfect - it takes about 5 minutes to walk to Mar Bar (best wraps ever), Playa Grande Inn (their restaurant has fantastic pizza), and a couple other restaurants/bars within these small hotels just down the road. There's a small store with most of what you need just up the road, and on the way to the store you pass the surf rental shop which is very reasonably priced.

And of course, the beach - less than a 2 minute walk and you're on what has to be one of the best sections of this huge beach. We LOVED Playa Grande, the whole atmosphere was just the best - now we want to go back but stay for at least a month!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank J9ie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, New Hampshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2010

After reading the reviews here had chosen this hotel for a 2 day stay in Playa Grande. Had wonderful experiences in every other place we stayed while in Costa Rica. When we arrived here however the owner seemed peeved to have guests after a busy season(now the rainy season). Upon checking into our rooms we noticed a leaking toilet and wet floor which we let Andrew know about. He took immediate and irrational offense to our pointing this out. We simply wanted him to know so he could get it fixed before it caused damage. His response was to blame us for the mess(mind you we had just walked into the room). We ended up at another hotel which was wonderful so all's well that ends well. Perhaps a bad day for the owner but it certainly not hospitality.

Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank hillhiker10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 21, 2010

My wife and I spent the first week of our honeymoon at the Playa Grande Surf Hotel.

Andrew and Tamarra are the hosts and our week long stay was nothing short of perfect. There are 8 rooms in this hacienda and in the middle is a swimming pool overshadowed by a beautiful tree. Jungle creatures come to visit every day, (raccoons, bats, various birds, iguanas) and Andrew and Tamarra take great pride in keeping the place clean and the garden looking spectacular. The rooms are cleaned daily, there is access to a fridge in the room and also there is a sushi restaurant on site (although the cook was gone during our stay)

The hotel is only a 100m walk to the massive beach where we learned to surf for the entire week. Andrew and Tamarra are always helpful with anything you need and they also have free bike rentals which we used to go buy groceries in the nearby village.

If you go to Playa Grande, stay here.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Surfergirl7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
libertyville
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2010

So making a long story short, we (I and my 12yo and 14 yo) showed up at their door steps at 7pm because our previous reservation cancelled on us couple days in advance (??!!), and told us this would be our alternative. They had no availble room for us, so they let us use one of their own bedrooms, they felt bad to offer it to us. We were thrilled to have clean and cool room for the night. Tamara and Andrew moved us the next day (we didn't have to touch any of our stuff) to one of the rooms that was ours for next 4 nights. I could write a story about sheets, towels and how clean this place is ( I was watching a cleaning lady scrubbing a floor with a sandpaper, no kidding).
The place is very, very safe, and it's not only because it's watched by Andrew and Tamara all the time, but also because of all the respect they get from local people by helping them all the time. I had a key to my room, but never used it, there was no need.
They have "sushi nights", only when the fish is caught that day, and when they do have those nights, it is the best sushi you'll ever have.
Hotel is not on the beach, maybe 3 min walk, but worth every step, since there is no hotels "on the beach" in this area because of the latherback turtles sanctuary.
Andrew gladly will take you surfing, they have all the boards possible. Great place. great owners. Thank you Tamara And Andreas!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lovegoodservice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson Hole
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

Wow, we ate at the restaurant and had a wonderful time! Terrific service, frosty Imperials, and wonderful Shrimp Tempura and amazing Sushi! Andrew and Tamara were awesome hosts and made us feel welcome. A World Class experience. You must eat there!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DQDUDE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Grande Park Hotel

Property: Playa Grande Park Hotel
Address: Main road into Playa Grande estate | 250 to Northeast from MINAE, Playa Grande 50309, Costa Rica (Formerly Playa Grande Surf Hotel)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Grande Park Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape from your busy life and experience true Pura Vida! Playa Grande Park Hotel in Guanacaste Costa Rica is a charming Spanish style hotel like no others in the heart of Playa Grande. Just minutes away from the beach, discover the comfort and service of our hotel nestled in the beauty of a pristine natural park to create the memory of a lifetime. When Pura Vida is in the air it is all about you. Our beautiful Playa Grande hotel is the place to relax and unwind. Pick one out of four room types that will cater to your every need for an unforgettable vacation. Start your day right with the complimentary hot breakfast, enjoy the waves and miles of untouched beach, relax by the pool in the courtyard surrounded by tropical plants, and even take a guided turtle nesting tour. Try the creations of our world-class chef, go surfing, jetskiing, diving, fishing, horseback riding - you name it! We want you to have the best time of your life and Playa Grande Park Hotel in Guanacaste Costa Rica provides everything to make that happen. ... more   less 
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