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“Disappointed...”
Review of Hotel Pasatiempo

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Hotel Pasatiempo
Ranked #3 of 51 Tamarindo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Bed was very bad and had difficulty sleeping. please get new mattress. This was the biggest problem. Also the WiFi only works in restaurant or pool, not in the room. Please is it possible to get stronger router? Especially it is not convenient at night time. Last, for some reason, mosquitos were always in my room. I killed many. Maybe the maid leaves door open too long? I told lady at front desk but had the same problem that night.

I like the pool. It is small but nice. Also, the outside area and room is pretty. But please fix the bed...

  • Stayed: December 2012
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4  Thank Cmplx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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399 - 405 of 617 reviews

Reviewed December 15, 2012

My gf and I stayed here for 3 nights at the end of November. We spent the first 3 nights in Tamarindo at the BW Vista Villas. This hotel is not very big, it is very quiet. Compared to BW Vista Villas it was cleaner and the grounds are very well kept. It was quiet and peaceful the whole time we were there. The staff was friendly and the location wasn't too bad with a short walk down the hill through town and to the beach. If you are looking to be right on or across the street from the beach then this might not be the best choice. However, those options are limited in Tamarindo and the walk is not difficult and we never felt unsafe walking back to the hotel at night.

The included Breakfast consisted of scrambled and hard boiled eggs, toast, various jams, cereals, coffee, juice and fruits. It was good and we enjoyed it. We stayed in the deluxe room (via groupon) which had a/c and a tv with a good amount of American channels if you are looking for that. The restaurant on site, Ttiki, was excellent and we wished we got to eat there more than once! I would definitely recommend eating here even if you are not staying at the hotel. We had come from La Fortuna/Arenal area and were not looking to do much in the way of adventure tours, but the front desk looked as though they had a lot of options to help you with if you wanted.

My only real complaint concerned the WiFi... you can only get it out in the restaurant or pool area, not in your room or on your front porch. To me, this is not too big of a deal, but worth noting.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mcc42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Our stay at the hotel Pasatiempo has been very positive. We have been able to relax at the pool surrounded by a tropical vegetation and to enjoy the morning coffee with allot of fresh fruit and cereals at the open air restaurant. The room was confortable and clean and Randy was always very helpful and ready to give us ideas about where to go and what to do in Tamarindo.
Location is very good as it is in a a quiet street but on walking distance from the beach, shops and restaurants. This is certainly a hood choice to stay in Tamarindo.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank MPLDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Avoid: Objectionable practices
I stayed at this boutique hotel recently and found it to be generally fine, until at checkout. Others have commented on the beds, which is basically a single mattress on an immovable concrete slab. I slept ok, but the bed has zero "give" and I understand why others may complain if they sleep for more than a night or two.  My one star rating is a matter of principle for two questionable practices I object.

 First, management quotes rates and sends confirmation for its rooms in dollars (not colones), but refuses to check out in dollars...unless the hotel is paid in cash. So unexpectedly, the hotel forced me to charge my credit card at their arbitrarily inflated rate of 510 colones during check out. The hotel could have chosen to confirm my reservation in colones, which is very simple and fairer, but they didn't.  At least I would have known I would be paying more at check out.  Or, since they chose to confirm in dollars, they could have used a fair exchange rate but they didn't do that either.  The consumer has a right to know exactly what they will pay, and then pay what they are told.  One can only speculate why this hotel doesn't do either of these two very simple things.  But the result is clear.

The hotel charged my credit card at their own inflated, above market rate in colones (while explicitly telling me it is their bank rate which I find implausible) resulting in a to 2-4 pct overcharge for a card paying guest, and excess profit to the hotel, versus the quoted rate.

 And the guest is none to the wiser until at the time of check out. 

 Of great curiosity, the hotel did offer to accept cash dollars without a penalty, but more on that later.  My other hotels in Costa Rica always allowed me to to check out in the currency they quoted, including dollars if they quoted and confirmed  in dollars, for the exact amount of the original quote.  This is minimally accepted business practice.  The 2-4 perecnt difference amount to the end customer is not large, but it is objectionable as a matter of principle that the hotel knowingly charged a higher effective price to the guest at check out than what the hotel confirmed, and then pockets that difference.  Overcharging is overcharging regardless of the amount.  Especially when an honest solution is very simple.  The hotel should either advertise and confirm the bookings in colones, or accept dollar settlement as my other hotels did if the hotel chooses to confirm in dollars.

 My second objection concerns their offer to waive the mandatory 13% government sales tax if I settled in cash.  Management made this offer to me when I confirmed my reservation by phone, but this became an inapplicable issue to me as I settled by credit card as noted.  Costa Rica is a great country.  Upon reflection, the mandatory sales tax is an important source of revenue for the country in order to maintain the nation for both locals and tourists to enjoy.

Management has dismissed my complaint by saying it's a small amount (which it is not for all guests in the aggregate) or everybody does it.  I find these neither credible nor acceptable answers.  Again, my rating reflects a matter of principle for appropriate ethical behavior.

I recommend readers avoid Pasatiempo and stay instead at the many better hotel options just down the street and closer to the wonderful beach.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
9  Thank JNelsonRedSoxFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

We booked Hotel Pasatiempo for 2 nights and ended up staying 4 nights. The rooms are basic and clean, AC is good and cable TV was a welcome extra. From check in the staff were very friendly and helpful and suggested and booked tours on our behalf. The pool are is lovely and is nicely shaded in the afternoon when you need to hide from the sun. Breakfast was great and set up in the lovely pool-side restaurant. Mattresses are a little hard and the shower was cold but that seems to be pretty much the norm in Costa Rica ! Overall we had a great stay and would return.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Griffiy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

We researched Tamarindo hotels extensively and based on reviews decided to book with Pasatiempo after our first choice did not have availability on the original dates we selected. We had a suite and looking at the pictures posted, the suites look spacious and comfortable. Wow it couldn't be further from the truth. The suites are small and my husband and I were struggling to get around each other (we are not big people). There was some kind of animal feces all over the floor. We would clean up one spot and then hours later come back to the room and there would be more. We were told it was geckos, but looked too big to be from a tiny gecko.

The postives: It's affordable, close to the beach and the pool area is ok to sit by.
The negatives: The bed is concrete. There was literally no 'give' to the mattress. We woke up sore after the first night and immediately cancelled the rest of our reservation and rebooked down the road. Thankfully we did as we enjoyed the rest of our stay at another hotel. The rooms are small and Wednesday nights are loud pretty loud there.

If you're on a budget and like very hard beds, then this is the place for you. If not, spend a bit more and stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank TCStewart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel-Pasatiempo, Owner at Hotel Pasatiempo, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2012

I am so sorry that we let you down and you feel that you got less than you expected. We have spoken at great length over this review and have truly taken it to heart. I believe that a successful customer service experience depends on how a staff reacts when a client has an issue, and I feel that we could have done better in your case. First, we are renaming the Suite. The name "suite" conjures an image of something very luxurious, filled with amenities; and that is a target that we cannot meet in the price range that the room is selling for. I believe that it is a fantastic room, with a beautiful bathroom and a living room area, and I firmly believe that it is an amazing value for what it is, but maybe the name "suite" does not work. We are sorry that you were expecting something more.
I chose the beds personally and with great care after testing many models. I picked the firm orthopedic mattress because the vast majority of our visitors are very active, filling their days with canopy tours and surfing, and this mattress offers a very back-healthy sleep. What we normally do, if someone feels that the bed is too firm, is add a couple of mattress pads and soften it up for the clients taste. It is easy to make a firm bed soft, but impossible to make a soft bed firm. I am sorry that we did not offer this to you. We will not make that mistake in the future.
Gecko poo.... I never thought that I would be writing about gecko poo. We have a great many animals at Pasatiempo, and I think that it adds to the charm. Costa Rica is obviously filled with biodiversity, and people expect that. We have geckos, and sometimes they get in the rooms. I absolutely love geckos, they are beautiful, funny to watch, and they eat insects. They are natures little insect control device and I appreciate that their work spares me from using toxic insecticides in this delicate country. Their poo is surprisingly large for an animal so tiny (we are talking the size of a rice crispy) and I can understand your issue with this. I am very sorry that we did not remove the gecko from the room for you.

I am committed to taking this bad review and making it into something good for the hotel, and good for our future guests. The sign of a true hospitality professional is the ability to learn and adapt constantly, and we learned quite a bit from your criticism. I hope that you come back to Pasatiempo the next time that you are in town and stay with us, I will make it my personal mission to make you feel happy and comfortable.

Sean Davis
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Rooms, breakfast, pool and fundamentals were all very good, but what was outstanding about the experience here was the care and support by the owners. First, tours and expeditions were well planned, even proper shoe attire was recommended as we departed. Secondly and most importantly, late at night my friend became ill and needed medical attention, in communicating with the security guard in a combination of my limited Spanish and sign language he called the owner, Sean for me. After my explanation of what was going on not only did Sean reach out to a Doctor to come but Sean also came to wait with us for the doctor to make sure that all was well and that the doctor could communicate in English with my friend. All turned out fine, but I cannot overstate how meaningful that level of support and compassion (and good conversation) is in the middle of the night !

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Susankat2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pasatiempo

Address: Main Street, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 51 B&Bs / Inns in Tamarindo
Price Range: $87 - $169 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Pasatiempo 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Pasatiempo is the perfect small boutique hotel in Tamarindo Beach. A breezeway leads you past the reception area to our tropical pool and restaurant. We offer more than fair prices, and if you are looking for an intimate place, with abundant green gardens surrounding the pool, then we are the perfect choice. We are located at only 400 yards from the beach at Playa Tamarindo. We are located in the quiet part of town yet just a 5-minute walk to the beach. Your room will be surrounded by nature, but within walking distance of everything in town. Relax at the pool, enjoy a cocktail or nice fresh meal at Monkey La-La our full service bar/restaurant or book an activity during your stay. Rooms feature high efficiency A/C, flat-screen televisions with cable, orthopedic mattresses with divine pillow-top, private bathroom with shower and hot water, safe box, fridges in higher categories, and a little private terrace in front of your room. Live Music 3 times a week (7:30pm to 9:30 pm) ... more   less 
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