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“Amazing hosts, convenient yet secluded location, wonderful stay”
Review of Hotel Cantarana

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Hotel Cantarana
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We really can't say enough about Marko and Savina and their hospitality. It was hard to believe the raving reviews. But from the friendly way that they interact with their guests to the heartfelt goodbye, you truly do feel like family. Of course, they also run a wonderful hotel. The grounds were always immaculate, including the pool, and Marko makes some mean meals (not to mention Savina's baking). Breakfast is unbelievable (so much fresh fruit, yogurt, bread and cheese, eggs, etc.), and really jump starts your day of adventure.

We spent the last few days of our 10-year anniversary (July 2013) with Marko and Savina, and they made sure that we had access to all the resources we needed to make the most of it. They booked our Blue Dolphin sailing and snorkeling the first day, and arranged transportation to other local attractions like the white sand beach, Playa Conchell, and El Huerto for some delicious brick oven pizza.

Of course, they are located right there on the beach of Playa Grande, and are only a short water taxi from the touristy town of Tamarindo. On our last day, we even made the hike to the black sand beach.

Oh, and Hotel Cantarana is also just a short walk from Wilbert's store and bar, which is convenient for a bottle of water, beer, a snack, or whatever you may need. He had even just opened The Cave, a more clubby vibe addition. That was a fun way to end the week, actually for my birthday. I guess it is worth noting that everyone in the area speaks perfect English.

There has to be something not so great, right? Fine, people are right, the Wi-Fi doesn't quite make it to the rooms. But it works just outside, by the pool, and you are supposed to be enjoying Costa Rica, anyway! ;)

We spent the first half of our vacation at Hotel Mountain Paradise (volcanic region of Arenal), and we wouldn't hesitate to return for another stay at either location. Marko and Savina, you are the best. Thank you for making our anniversary trip effortless and enjoyable.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 115 of 275 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

Hotel Cantarana is a lovely hotel for people who like peaceful surroundings, a beautiful beach within 3 min walk, a good restaurant and attentive young staff.
You need a car to get around. Ask for the nice (and private) mangrove tour, really worth the money. Liitle shop within walking distance for the necessary things (sunblock...!). Buy a drink and walk to the beach for an unforgettable sunset....

Room Tip: room in the main building isn't bad, but the other rooms are nicer
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank TheArtFactory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cantarana, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Cantarana, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2014

Dear Linda,
thank you so much for your warm words! We hope to meet you again in our small Paradise!
Pura Vida

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

This place is incredible!!…Any kinks mentioned in reviews below have been worked out. The staff was great! Very friendly and super helpful and genuinely interested in their guest. Rooms were clean, beautiful grounds, fantastic food (breakfast included – great value) and beach a short walk away. They provide beach towels, chairs and umbrella complimentary. Staff also continually provided us with ice as my wife was nursing a sprained ankle. Playa Grande was an excellent choice! BEAUTIFUL beach, very nice waves and just enough restaurant options for dinner and drinks. Lots of day trip options. Tamarindo is just a short walk/water taxi away if you desire to visit. Rented a board at their sister hotel down the street . The owners and staff made everything so easy ……..really one of (if not the) best places I have ever stayed and could not think of a better way to celebrate our (my wife and I) birthdays!! PURA VIDA!!

Room Tip: Rent 4 wheel drive vehicle!
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TD33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federico d, Propietario at Hotel Cantarana, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2014

Thank You so much for your review!!

We always look forward to making our guests stay as unique, as comfortable and as memorable as possible.

Thanks for celebrating your birthdays with us!

Pura vida,

Federico de Mezerville

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Reviewed December 25, 2013

The room was clean and lovely. The location is a short walk from the beach which is also the leatherback nesting site. There is nice pool and hammocks in the hotel too. The dinner was delicious and reasonably priced.
We could never find staff in the afternoon. As someone mentioned in the earlier review, it did seem like the staff was hiding. When we did find the staff they were friendly & helpful. The front desk gave us bad directions which ended up in us getting lost or long walks in the extreme heat. I understand she is new to the area, perhaps giving an employee orientation before assigning them work would help with this. We were told the walk to tamarindo on the beach was a short 15mins. It was more like 30mins each way and it was a very hot afternoon. On our way back, we looked for marker 28, which we were told was the exit from the beach to the hotel. Again this information was incorrect and we ended up in someone's backyard chased by dogs. We used marker 25 which was actually the closest exit to the hotel. It took us another 15 mins to find the exit out of the beach due to this.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Diana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Lovely setting, quiet location. Rooms were comfortable and clean. private porch area was nicely appointed. Rooms included a safe, fridge, and TV.

Free Internet connection was great by the pool, but lousy in the rooms.

Pool area and grounds were stunning and well kept. Lounge chairs, tables and a hammock provided ample space to relax. Just a short walk to great surf and a spectacular beach.

Included breakfast was really nice, the restaurant area is lovely but it was hard to know what was available from the kitchen. No menu, it was like a game of 20 questions to find out what our options were, but once delivered tasty and well presented. Dinner prices were reasonable for the area.

Front desk staff/hostess was new and was just learning the place but quite helpful and patient. The manager spoke excellent English.

We will visit again when in the area.

Room Tip: With only five rooms, hard to make a bad choice. Rooms on the right side get morning sun, rooms on...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KBCNET
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federico d, Gerente at Hotel Cantarana, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Thank you for choosing us to spend your holidays!!

We are delighted to know that your time in our hotel was good. We always make our best to fulfill all the expectations of our customers.

Best regards,

Federico de Mezerville

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Reviewed December 1, 2013

Good: The accommodations are great, very clean, nice shower. Pool is beautiful and also the nature around the hotel.
Breakfast is very good but the menu was confusing for me, not sure what was available.
Dinner in the hotel is great and also the price! very good experience.
Bad: The hotel do not serve lunch. It's very hard to find lunch around. There is one place only which is very expensive for the food.

The Hotel is very far from the city. It is a very relaxing experience. When I go back to the area I'll certainly stay in the hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Flavio V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

My husband and I spent the last 4 days of our Honeymoon at Hotel Cantarana and where very disappointed. We came after new owners took over so that may have something to do with how it is being run.

When we arrived we were informed that do to it being low season, the restaurant upstairs would only be open for breakfast. The previous owners informed us it would be open for all meals.It would have been nice to know that this was no longer the case. Being that I am pregnant ,this made the food/ beverage sitaution very inconvient.We ended up having to rent bikes and travel to the different restaurants to find lunch and dinner. We ended up spending alot of time eating at Bula Bula Restaurant. They had a very friendly and fun staff! If we hadn't prepaid at Cantarana we would have immediatly switched to Bula Bula's hotel.

The Honeymoon Suite was defenitely no honeymoon! Although we did previosuly read that it was located underneath the kitchen, we had no idea how noisey it would be! Every morning around 5:30:-6:00am we were woken by sounds of banging pots/ pans,people talking, etc.It also had a weird smell like old food. We were asked if we could hear the noise, told them yes, and got a response of, " Oh I am so sorry, I will tell everyone to be more quiet" Being that my husband and I were the only guest at the hotel during that time, I felt that the course of action should have been immediately to offer us another room away from the kitchen.

Lucky for us, the air conditioner went out in our room 2 days into our stay and THEN we were moved to another room. The second room was much bigger and offered alot more privacy.

Another issue was cleanliness. The pool water was so foggy and we never saw anyone cleaning it. There were ants all over the pool furinture. Needless to say we spent most of the time down at the beach. The cleaning staff would come in and make our bed and change towels, but never swept our outside porch that was covered in sand from the beach. It just seemed like staffing was short and always off hiding somewhere.

The only postives I can say are that the scenery around the hotel are pretty and the fruit at breakfast was always fresh. Unfortuntely, The negatives out way the postives... I feel like my husband and I should have been provided some sort of discounts due to all the issues. We would not recommened Hotel Cantarana.

Room Tip: Do not choose Honeymoon Suite if you are looking for peace and quiet!!
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Lalaej86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federico d, Gerente at Hotel Cantarana, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Andy and wife,

Thanks for taking your time to write us this review. We regret not having met your expectations!

The restaurant is closed for September and October 2013, only open for our guests for breakfast. As explained by the post at the time of making the reservation.

Our staff asked for some inconvenience of noise or being move of room, with the answer of you there was no problem.

You always mention your happiness being in the Hotel specially when you met the owners.

We did't charged for the room prior your arrival. Your husband and you paid when you make the check-out when the shuttle set up by the Hotel to the airport. Actually you and your husband tried not to paid for one confusing our morning staff. That we think is not very honest and ethical.

Our staff Clean the pool very early in the morning so it will not affect the privacy in the pool area.

All our rooms are clean every day inside and outside the rooms!

Hopefully this answer finds you well!

We are doing our best to provide a better service to all our guest!

Don't hesitate to come again if you want it!

Warm regards,

Federico de Mezerville

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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 Hotel Cantarana

Address: Palm Beach Estates | 50308 Cabo Velas, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Grande
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Grande
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Grande
Price Range: $75 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Cantarana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our small Boutique Hotel is situated in the Northwest of Guanacaste on a peninsula bordering directly on Marino Las Baulas National Park. We are 100m from the almost deserted endless beach of Playa Grande. In our beautiful double rooms & tropical garden you will find tranquility & relaxation in soothing seclusion. Our atmospheric restaurant invites you to tasty culinary excursions for your eyes and taste. Our experienced team looks after you with great care, doing their very best to make your holiday a pleasantly unforgettable one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cantarana Hotel Playa Grande

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