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“Mixed feelings with this hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel RipJack Inn

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Hotel RipJack Inn
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings with this hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2014

I always start by saying that I am a wedding photographer and I shoot a lot of weddings all over the world, so I don't get to chose the hotel nor do I pay for my trip, so its an unbiased review.

OK, I stayed in room 1 right under the restaurant and right by the entrance, so it was not quiet, but that didn't bother me but may bother others. There is a new and old part of this hotel. The newer bit was actually quite nice, if I stayed in these rooms I may have given this review a 3 or maybe 4 star, but where I stayed I disliked the old fashioned smelly room.

Now that said the bar and restaurant upstairs serves amazing food, kinda like a 5 star restaurant and bar above a 2 or 3 star hotel. All kind of weird to explain. Would I stay there again, no. It is very remote and a good 40 mins walk down the beach to the town of Playa Grande. Also beware of the alligators on the beach, I kid you not! I walked down the beach to go into the town of Playa Grande and nearly walked into an alligator by the estuary. Do not try and walk over the estuary, pay the $1 to the guy there and get the boat over. The locals say these alligators are harmless, either way I seen a few of them and there were no signs warning me. The pic I have attached I took with my iPhone. All in all I loved Costa Rica.

Room Tip: There are new and old rooms, so ask which ones you are getting
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank one2onephotography
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, April 17, 2014
Thank you for your time to share your feelings about the RipJack Inn.
We regret to hear that you did not particularly like your room. We do have several different room categories to choose from, ranging from standard rooms, which are the most economic ones like the one you had, to deluxe rooms, suites and a bungalow. Guests have the option to look at photos on the website to help them decide for a room to their liking and according to their price-value expecations.
We are happy to see that you enjoyed the food and drinks in our restaurant. We will make sure to pass the compliments on to our kitchen and restaurant crew!
With regards to the location, we would like to stress that the RipJack Inn is situated "downtown" Playa Grande. The 40 minutes walk you are referring to is to Playa TAMARINDO. Compared to Tamarindo with its various shops, restaurants and night clubs, Playa Grande is a small and tranquil surfer town with only a couple, nonetheless great restaurants and shops. We strongly recommend travelers to do their research to not be disappointed when they come to Playa Grande and expect action and night life. The better destination for that is Tamarindo indeed. However, this being said, many people prefer the tranquility, which is the main reason they choose Playa Grande over Tamarindo. If they do feel the need for more, Tamarindo can be reached by walking, if you are willing to walk 30-40 minutes. It is a beautiful walk on the beach, best early mornings when the sun is not too hot yet. For people that do not feel like walking all the way, another option would be taking a taxi down to the estuary and take the boat from Hotel Bula Bula for $ 3 pp. Or taking a taxi all the way. It is up to you.
Thank you for mentioning the crocodiles! We keep informing our guests that they should not try to swim across the estuary due to the crocodiles. You will find many locals and also tourists doing it anyway, under-estimating or simply ignoring the danger. You might not be able to see them all the time, but that does not mean they are not there. We offer exciting estuary tours safely on a boat to actually enjoy seeing the crocodiles and many other animals.

Once again we thank you for your time to write a review for us and we send PURA VIDA your way.
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366 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
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English first
Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2014

I'll start with the restaurant and their staff, for whom I give 5 stars in every respect.I have some food allergy issues (gluten, dairy, others) and got in contact with the hotel before I booked my stay. Management was very proactive and provided me with the planned menus during my stay before I arrived. When I arrived, the wait staff and chefs were all versed in my issues (and really friendly, good people), and were flexible in modifying dishes to my needs...and it all tasted good! The menu is a good mix of Costa Rican and North American fare (or a hybrid), but when in CR, my preference is to eat CR food, so by all means, add more traditional CR options to the menu! Will I eat here again on future trips? Absolutely!

For the hotel side of things, the front desk staff were very helpful in assisting with shuttles to/from the airport before I arrived. I was traveling alone and decided to go with one of the larger deluxe rooms located in a building separate and away from the restaurant building. The deluxe rooms are in a two-story, L-shaped building with a pool in front. The smaller rooms are beneath the restaurant, and come with hammocks right outside their doors. The rooms were nice and clean except for one issue: Insects. On my previous stay in PG at the Bula Bula Hotel, I never observed any in my room. Here, there were termites in the bathroom from day 1, and I am sure cleaning staff were aware everyday, and nothing was done. I had to squash two cockroaches in the main room as well. I am pretty tolerant of bugs, but when I walked into the bathroom a few days later to see swarms of termites on the bathroom walls, it was time to complain. Front desk staff responded right away and immediately offered me another room, which I accepted...the bathroom in the new room had ant problems, but not at a level I was willing to complain about. One other issue was that the little bottles of shower soap were not restocked daily for some unknown reason (running out and had to ration?), but at $125/night, I certainly would expect them to be. Fortunately, there was a hand soap dispenser at the sink I could get soap from.

Surf. Boards can be rented a 10 minute walk away at Frijoles Locos Surf Shop, and you can store your board securely in a rack in view of the front desk. There's also an outdoor shower to wash everything off. The hotel is steps away from the beach and the bigger waves on PG. This also means crowded conditions at high tide, and you will encounter territorial and aggressive behavior. Personally, for my intermediate skill level, I didn't like the vibe, and chose to head south down the beach a little ways away from the crowd, or even further, down near the beach entrance by the Playa Grande Surf Camp, where the vibe is more friendly and laid back.

Room Tip: If traveling solo, the smaller standard rooms in the restaurant building are probably fine. I was wo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cloudbreaker39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, April 3, 2014
Hi Cloudbreaker39, thank you for your elaborate review. It is thanks to your proactiveness in informing us about your allergies that allowed us to prepare and comply with your special diet requirements throughout your stay. We are more than happy to see the reward in your 5 stars for the restaurant, staff and service. It is great to hear that you would 'absolutely' come back. Thank you! As much as we love your compliments about the restaurant as much do we appreciate your feedback about the hotel. We regret to hear that you seemed to have had a couple of insect issues in both of your rooms. Even though bugs and insects are an ever-present issue and one of the prices we pay for living in the tropics, please be assured that this is not a standard here at the RipJack. However it happens now and again and we are glad you made us aware right away so we were able to react. With regards to the lack of restocking the bathroom amenities, we again thank you for this pointing out to us. It is standard to check the amenities and restock every day. Once again we drew the maids' attention to both of those matters to illiminate any future complains. Again we thank you for your valuable feedback, since only this way we are able to improve and illiminate problems like this. Pura Vida!
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Lillooet, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2014

Rip jack rocks!!!!! rooms were clean, service was amazing, the treetop restaurant was spectacular and the friendly staff were phenomenal. It was a close walk to the beach. on a scale from one to ten it gets a 10 withought a doubt!!!! We loved the playa grande area and especially the rip jack inn. Can't wait to go back!!!! Pura Vida!!

Room Tip: The bungalow is the best
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, March 23, 2014
Thank you so much! Definitely made our day reading this review. Looking forward to having you back. PURA VIDA!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2014

We stayed at the Rip Jack for 4 nights in March and my only wish is that I didn't have to go back home tomorrow! I could easily stay another week and would highly recommend this spot to anyone but especially to families. We stayed in one of the suites by the lap pool and were very happy. Lots of space inside, one room with a king bed for us and an adjoining room (no door) with 2 single beds for our boys. Kitchenette with fridge, sink, counter top with cupboards filled with plates, cups etc. And a toaster oven and coffee maker. Perfect for us.

Staff are very friendly and helpful and booked all our taxis and excursions. We did the turtle night tour (oct to March) and saw 3 200 lb turtles pull themselves up from the ocean and one load eggs! Also did the estuary tour and saw howler monkeys, crocs, lots of birds.

Rip Jack is the closest hotel to the beach in this part of Play Grande and there is a path right outside the hotel that gets you to amazing waves in about 2 minutes. Beach is very quiet except for all the surfers. Morning and late afternoon are the best times as the sun is super strong mid-day.

The restaurant is very good and well priced. I highly recommend the teriyaki tuna and the ribs but it's all good and well priced. Friendly service. Next door is also a casual beach spot La Marejda and Marbar. Both are also great and Marbar makes the most amazing smoothies at their Raw foods bar. Gotta go for those.

Yoga and pilates offered daily which made me very happy.

The only thing I'd warn about is the lack of ATMs in the area and the cash limits. You have to go to Tamarindo for a cash machine and only the Scotiabamk ATM in the supermarket gives $US. And you are limited to all machines to $200 day regardless of what your limits are at home. Other than that there really was no reason to go to Tamarindo. I found it very busy and commercial. Playa Grande is much more chill. But when you have to go, take. $10 taxi to the Boula Boula and then the water taxi for $2-$3 pp otherwise it's a $30 cab ride each way!

Room Tip: For a family of 4 the suites by the lap pool are perfect,
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
Haven't even left and already wrote a review for us, and not just a review, also an excellent rating - THANK YOU! Hasta la proxima y pura vida!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

We came to Costa Rica to Surf and Relax and heard Playa Grande had one of the best beaches with great waves. We chose the Rip Jack Inn as it seemed closest to the beach and we were right. It is not on the beach, but right across from the beach through a wonderful little path of trees - we LOVED it. This is the closest place you will find on the beach in Playa Grande and it is great. The staff is fantastic and super friendly and accommodating, the rooms are clean and large and the grounds of the Inn seem so private even though there may be many guests. It is just a terrific layout with several pools and nooks to relax. Almost like having your own private little paradise. There is a restaurant upstairs with terrific fresh food and amazing drinks that you can take out on the beach every day to watch the most beautiful sun sets.

They have daily classes including boot camp on the beach and yoga in their own glassed in studio. There are several restaurants next door and there is even an organic health smoothie bar next door where they also make homemade granola bars (perfect to take out on the beach as they don't melt). There is a little bit for everyone in Playa Grande. It is small but peaceful - except when the monkeys are howling! Make sure you go to Frijoles Loco's to rent your bikes and surf boards as they have the best selection around and have great instructors as well.

Can't wait to go back for another visit of perfect, peaceful, WARM and awesome surfing vacation!

Room Tip: all rooms are good - but rooms that are the deluxe rooms have 2 queen beds
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
Dear Julie, thank you for your amazing review about the RipJack and our community. We love that you enjoyed everything Playa Grande has to offer. It is knowing that together we can make someone's vacation that special, that keeps us doing what we do. Pura vida!
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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

My mother and I were supposed to stay here for only 2 days and we ended up staying a week. We loved it! Playa Grande was such a beautiful and just perfect beach. RipJack is on the beach. There is a great restaurant upstairs. The staff is soo nice and made our stay so pleasant. We stayed in the bungalow, it was just perfect, especially with my puppy! I spent 6 weeks in Costa Rica and my week in Playa Grande was my favorite and just special. RipJack Inn is wonderful!

Room Tip: Bungalow is great!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EleonoraPavlina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Wow, thank you for this fantastic review and ranking. We are super excited to hear that your week in Playa Grande and with us at the RipJack was your best week in Costa Rica. Give your puppy a cuddle from all of us and say hi to your mom! See you again. Pura Vida!
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

this place is paradise....yoga and surfing and hammocks hanging all over.... the staff is so friendly and attentive, the place is clean and the weather is perfect. The food is good. I had an amazing time I left feeling so relaxed I will return again. the beach is perfect. I went solo and meet great people..... if you are looking for a little yoga and a little tan and surfing, and a place to sleep in a hammock in the afternoon under a few palm trees this is the place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Manonmarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RipleyCostaRica, Manager at Hotel RipJack Inn, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Hi Manon, merci beaucoup for your great review. Just reading this makes us feel relaxed ;-) We know we are blessed to be working in such a beautiful place and to meet such amazing people like you. We love that you loved it and we are looking forward to having you stay with us again! Until then, take care and pura vida!
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Additional Information about Hotel RipJack Inn

Property: Hotel RipJack Inn
Address: 50m Al Sur de Oficna de Minae, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Grande
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel RipJack Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
RipJack Inn is a quaint 21 room owner operated hotel located only 75 yards from the ocean. Our rooms are each individually decorated and come equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fans, coffee makers, in room safes and outdoor patios. With the exception of our standard rooms each room also has cable TV and mini-fridge. Rooms can all accommodate a minimum of three or five guests depend the type of the room. RipJack inn offers a full service restaurant with some of the best food in the country with a heavy emphasis on fresh local seafood. During your stay take advantage of our on-site yoga, massage and surf lessons. RipJack Inn can also help you arrange all of your activiites including sailing, golfing, diving, sport fishin and much more.We are located just one hour from the Liberia International Airport (LIR) or 20 minutes from the Tamarindo Airport (domestic). Playa Grande is a laid back quiet beach town that is also part of the National Park created to protect the endangered Leatherback turtles. Nesting season is between October and February. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Ripjack Playa Grande

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