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“Great Find!!”
Review of Hotel El Velero

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Hotel El Velero
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 6, 2007

I was hesitant to book this hotel given the mixed reviews online, but went ahead and booked it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised!! We took a cab from Liberia airport for the 25 minute/$40usd ride to Playa Hermosa. First impressions of the property were that it was clean, and well maintained (see pictures). Front desk clerk Janet was extremely pleasant and helpful, and the owner Mike, was friendly and inviting. The only thing i found odd was the hand out for the television remote, air conditioner remote, and two laminated cards for beach towels. If you need a beach towel, you turn in a card to get it. Turn the towel in, you get the card back. If you check out and do not give either a towel or card, you get charged $20usd per card.

We were assigned room 204 on the second floor. We took the spiral staircase up one flight of steps to our room. This property does not have an elevator/lift for any persons with impairments, so ask for a first floor room if you cannot do stairs. As you can see from the pictures in this review, the room was nice. It was clean and best of all QUIET!! Only two rooms on the property face the ocean, the rest face the parking lot or a neighboring property. We had a parking lot view, which turned out to be a good thing. Turns out, the private home onthe other side of the parking lot is home to approximately10-15 Howler monkeys!! This was fun at first, but then when they keep waking you up at 5am with their nonstop grunting/growling, it gets tiring (maybe not not for the kids!!). It really would not matter what room you had, you would hear them, so moving was not really an option.

The room came equiped with a safe, closet with hangars, celing fan, chair and small ottoman, and a 2nd closet with shelves in case you are one of those folks that like to unpack everything when you get there. The bathroom looked to have some recent updates; new tile in the shower, granite countertop on the vanity. Water in the shower gets REALLLLY hot so be careful to test the water before putting your kids in. It also had a small hairdryer and small hotel size bars of soap, and clean towels. One ice machine was found on the first floor, but there was no ice buckets in our room. We had brought our own small cooler, so we didn't ask if they had them at the bar or at the front desk. The issue of the hall lights at nights appears to be fixed, as the staff turns the hall lights off between 10pm-1030pm and leaves them off. I can certainly see how this would disturb sleep for those that had to tolerate it on previous posts. I would still recommend either a curtain or shutter for the frosted window by the front door, directly below the offending light.

The bar/restaurant was good. The local Costa Rian beer, imperial, was approximately $2usd per bottle, and mixed drinks were around $5usd (margarita's were GREAT!!). Food was good, and the prices were comparable to other restaurants in the area. The waiters/bartenders were quick and attentive as well as very polite and all spoke English and Spanish. Breakfast offered a variety of plates from apple pancakes (pancakes with real shredded apples stirred in), omlets, American breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon), or a typical Costa Rican breakfast of eggs, corn tortillas, black beans and rice, sour cream, and a piece locally made cheese. Dinner was good as well, with an assortment of fish, rice and pasta dishes. Again, prices were consistent with other restaurants in the area.

This hotel also offers free Wi-Fi. The downside was that it was only available in the common areas, and not in the rooms. It worked well the few times we used it and little or no disconnects.

Overall, a good value for the money. I would only recommend this hotel to travelers with a rental car, as there is not a lot to do if you do not have a car, unless you plan on staying on the beach for your entire visit,. There is a small 7/11 type market within walking distance for any last minute necessities or snacks.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank VeronicaG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 - 375 of 418 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2007

My wife and I stayed at Hotel El Velero while on our honeymoon. August is the off-season so we paid $69 per night. The room was clean and nice. The bathroom was clean and the hot water never failed. The air conditioner worked great. By far the greatest aspect of Hotel El Velero was the staff and owner, Mike. Mike and his staff went out of their way to make sure that we felt welcome and had a good time. And the food was to die for and affordable.

The only thing that could have been better was the hotel room pillows. This is the only complaint we have. The pillows were soft and mushy and there were not enough of them.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Olafpdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2007

We ended our trip to Costa Rica at Playa Hermosa. We were excited to get to the beach with our 2 small children (5 and 7). Hotel El Velero was a bit of a disappointment when we got there. The staff was not friendly or helpful. This was completely different from any other experience we had while in Costa Rica. The room was small, seemed dirty, and we could barely turn around in the bathroom. Our room also had the window that looked out into the hallway. It let in a considerable amount of light.

The pool was about 10 feet from the restaurant, so we felt that our children were interrupting diners if they were playing in the pool. Also, the restaurant was not particularly accommodating for our children. After one night in El Velero, we moved a couple of doors down to a family-owned hotel, which was much better and more enjoyable for us.

Pescado Loco is just across the street. We found this to be a fun place to eat and it was fairly inexpensive.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank merrybMerryb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2007

We stayed her for 5 nights mid july 2007. We really liked El Velero and are considering going back in December. The location is great, the staff is extremely helpful, and the food in the restaurant was superb. It is a great mid range budget place directly on the beach.

Stayed: July 2006
4  Thank apmcpm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2007

My husband and I stayed at Hotel El Velero in July of 2007. It was very reasonably priced and overall we were happy with what we got. The hotel is fabulously located right on the beach and provides towels and beach chairs at no charge. The hotel & restaurant is all open air and very lovely. They have a library upstairs from which you can take and leave books. The staff were friendly and helpful and the food in the restaurant was good. In fact, if I never had to go into our room I'd be thrilled with Hotel El Velero. Our particular room was quite dark and just made me feel dirty. The bathroom was tiny and the paint on the walls were peeling. The AC had mold growing in it so when it was turned on the room smelled. Although the beach towels were nice and thick, the towels provided in the room were very small, thin and scratchy. There are also frosted windows in the rooms that let light from the hallway into the room. The first night the hallway light was left on so I had a hard time falling asleep. Subsequent nights the hallway light was turned off so this was not a problem. I had a chance to look at a few other rooms and they did not appear to be nearly as dark and dingy as the one we stayed in. I liked Hotel El Velero for the general look of the hotel, it's location, food and staff but would definitely request a different room if I ever go back!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank jhd78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2007

Worst hotel ever. You don’t want to stay here disgusting grosses and horrible place. Towels were dirty so were the sheets. There were lights in the hallway on all day and night and lit up our room.
Save your money and stay somewhere else…

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DeadlyDesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2007

This was our first stop in Costa Rica and we wish we would have stayed at least one more night. The hotel was very clean and nicely decorated. The beach is wonderful and we could walk out our door and be on the beach almost instantly. We read the reviews before we left and asked for a quiet room away from the restaurant. They placed us in a nice room in the back of the hotel. We were trying to decide between El Velero and Hotel Playa Hermosa “Bosque del Mar” and after walking down the beach to Bosque , we were happy we chose El Velero. Restaurant and bar were fun, staff was friendly and food and pina coladas were very good.
We ate breakfast up the road at the Hotel Acacia. The fresh fruit was wonderful.. The Ginger Restaurant further up the road was very nice for dinner. The tuna appetizer was great.
Taxis are expensive in Playa Hermosa because they need to come from Playa Cocoa. You'll need to walk a ways to restaurants.
We were there the end of May 2007 and the hotel and beach were not crowded at all. All those people on the plane from Houston must have stayed at the all-inclusives . We made the better choice.

Stayed: June 2007
3  Thank springstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel El Velero

Address: #1 On the Beach, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Hermosa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Hermosa
Price Range: $98 - $168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hotel El Velero, a mediterranean-style, boutique beach hotel just paces from the Pacific blue waters of Costa Rica's pristine Playa Hermosa. Hear the waves crash and breathe the clean, salty air as you relax in our seaside tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Velero Hotel
El Velero Playa Hermosa
Hotel El Velero Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

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