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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- El Velero Hotel
- El Velero Playa Hermosa
- Hotel El Velero Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste