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“Not a golf resort”

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Hotel Tamarindo Diria
Ranked #11 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This is a hard hotel to rate. Lots of positives but multiple negatives as well. If I could have given 3.5 dots I would have. But, I just can’t justify 4 dots under the circumstances and thus the 3 dots is all I can give.

The positives: Our room was across the street from the ocean and was nice with a balcony overlooking the large pool. Free wifi came with the room. When we first got there, we saw one of the workers delivering a small refrigerator to another room on our floor so we asked if we could have a fridge as well. He happily delivered us a nice little fridge for the room. We used it for sodas and beer; a very nice perk. Also, my wife didn’t bring a hair dryer and since the room didn’t have one, we called and one was quickly delivered. The resort has a nice free breakfast with both hot and cold choices. The free breakfast was good and a definite money saver. The back pool is huge and has a nice swim up bar and lots of shade in the pool so that you can swim and avoid the sun if you’re so inclined (I am). The pool bar has a great wifi connection if you like to surf when you’re relaxing with a cold drink. Most of the workers at the resort were very nice and helpful. One golf positive was the guy at the golf desk helped me get a discount on the golf so that I was able to tee off at noon at Hacienda Pinilla for a $75 green fee (rather than $125). Not a bad rate at all for a nice course.

The negatives: Diria is not a “Golf Resort.” They advertise a free driving range but when I asked about it I was told that the golf courses had driving ranges that I could use for free. No other range was mentioned. The Hacienda Pinilla is a 30 minute drive away and a $35 dollar taxi ride one way ($70 round trip). When driving around Tamarindo, I saw what appeared to be the advertised free driving range about 2 kilometers from the hotel. I never saw anyone using it and don’t know if it was open. Also, if you’re going to advertise yourself as a “golf resort” I think that you should provide free or reduced rate shuttle service to the golf courses/range and have standard reduced green fees. Neither exist. Granted, I got a reduced green fee, but it was only because of my perseverance and boldness in pushing for a reduction since I knew the course was empty. I ultimately rented a car to drive to the course for my games, $48 a day including gas. When I booked my second game at the course, I talked them into the reduced green fee again and later learned I got it because they pretended I was staying at the Marriott! Yeah, “Golf Resort” is clearly a misnomer but I was able to largely work around it. Also, we had a bad experience with one of their tours. We booked the “Palos Verde” tour at the Diria Tour desk. It was supposed to be a river tour, a visit to see the pottery makers, and a free lunch for $80 a person. Turned out because of the rains earlier in the week, we couldn’t go to the pottery makers and free lunch, which they had to know when we booked the tour. So, all we got was the river tour for $80 per (spent more driving to and from then on the actual tour). When we got back to the resort, we were told by the tour guide we would get a free lunch from the Diria and then he quickly disappeared. After we loitered at the tour desk for about a half an hour, the Diria then refused to provide us with a free lunch. When we complained, we were told we would get a $8 per discount in lieu of the pottery tour and free lunch. Then, we literally had to hound the tour desk for three days to get our $16 refunded. Diria refused to get involved (i.e., no $16 room credit) and said it wasn’t their responsibility; it was the Tour provider’s responsibility. Needless to say, we booked the remainder of our tours outside of the hotel.

We didn’t let the negatives drag us down, but frankly it would have been a nicer stay without them.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mobiushorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 5, 2012

Location is fantastic, right on the beach with gorgeous sunsets. We stayed during low season but the restaurant was still pretty full every morning at breakfast and most of the sunset view rooms not being renovated and refreshed were booked.

The room renovations were extensive in some wings of the hotel, but we were in no way inconvenienced by them. The rooms were comfortable with firm beds, good pillows, and excellent air conditioning. The balcony overlooking the beach was fantastic - and very roomy with a table and chairs.

Breakfast was average - if you didn't make it down before 7:30 most of the fruit would be gone, and they were awfully slow about restocking empty hot dishes. But it was tasty enough, and the waffle station and omlette station are always appreciated.

The staff at the front desk, cleaning staff, waiters in the bar and tour desk staff were friendly and cheerful. I did feel that the hotel concierge and front desk were not particularly useful when it came to bar and restaurant recommendations as they preferred to point you back into the Diria restaurant and bar options. We ended up finding some great restaurants (La Baula for fantastic pizza, TTiki for generally excellent fish and desserts to die for!!) but the hotel certainly didn't help us find them.

Room Tip: Sunset rooms are great, try to book on the side NOT near the Pizza restaurant as there was quite lou...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank NewfieGirl13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is a great hotel at a great location. I stayed there for a bit in September 2012. I had pool view room. (The room was spacioius and the shower was good too) This hotel has ocean view as well.
The food of the restaurant was really good....loved the ceviche! Behind the hotel on the main street there are other restaurants for you to try...if you get tired of the hotel food. Now for the service, I can't stay enough, people are constantly checking that you are well taken care of. For the price and location and I can't say enough. If you have never stayed in Costa Rica, this is a great place to wet your feet! We drove from San Jose to the Diria, I would recommend you fly in and out of Liberia. The roads in Costa Rica are not the roads you are used to.....

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank DJ13_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Tamarindo is very quiet during the green season. too quiet.

the Wi-Fi password for the playerscafe network in Liberia airport is: playercafe

avoid that cafe. $21 for a chicken panini!

As for Diria hotel, is the best in the area. very large campus with huge pool and great beach access. the breakfast is lovely, open 6:30am onwards.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank v2patil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Comfortable and clean hotel with friendly staff. The breakfast buffet is great opens early for those people with early tours. Great location- right on the beach with two awesome pools. I highly recommenced staying at the Diria if you are in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank mem_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We just returned from our trip to Costa Rica. Our last 4 days were spent at the Diria. This was the only downside of our vacation. The purpose of our vacation was to explore wedding venues in the Tamarindo area. We went with my son and his fiancee. They are planning to get married in February 2014. We visited a lot of hotels, condos, beach clubs and restaurants. We met with wedding planners. They have made their final decision and it will NOT be at the Diria.

I would like to mention first and foremost that I have travelled a lot. I have stayed in hotels around Europe, Caribbean, South America, North America and cruised a fair bit. This was our 3rd trip to Costa Rica. After the first full day at the Diria, I was ready to move but we had purchased a romance package which included 2 meals. We decided to weather it out.

Our meeting with the wedding planner was void of information. She made the appointment but showed up 25 minutes late. She showed us some of the places that the wedding, cocktail party and subsequent reception could take place. That was it. She gave us no written information of the food and/or beverage packages. She had no idea of the room prices. She told us that we could expect the information by email by the time that we returned home. Still nothing. We were very disappointed.

Things got worse from there. Our room was small by European standards. We had oceanfront rooms. The bathroom was tiny. There was mold on the walls by the bed and in the bathroom. There were spiders living in the lofted ceiling. The refrigerator smelled like fish. At 10:30 pm, the music started at the beach club next door. It is incredibly noisy with huge bass. At 3:00 am, the music ended. At 3:15 am our phone rang. No one there. Others I spoke to the next day had the same thing happen to them. They obviously have a problem with their phones. Needless to say, we got very little sleep. The next morning, I spoke to the front desk and the concierge. Andre told us that everyone complains about the music on Sunday mornings after the party on Saturday nights. This happened on a Tuesday night. Don't stay here if you plan on sleeping.

Besides the rooms, we were very disappointed with the service. The staff spends most of their time standing in little groups chatting. They completely ignore the customers. In the 4 days that we spent there, only once were we asked if we would like a drink from the bar and this was only because Jose the restaurant manager was there.

The hot breakfast was of very poor quality. It was overcooked and mushy. On our last morning there, we got our own coffee because the waiters completely ignored us. It was a good thing that there was fresh fruit, cereal, yoghert and bread to fill the void. They will make fresh omelettes and eggs to your liking. We had some wonderful breakfasts in Costa Rica but they were not at this hotel. We ate at The Flying Bull and Matapalo Restaurants which are part of the Diria. These meals were part of the Romance package BUT they have separate menus for this package. We did not know that until we arrived. The waiter asked for a ticket which we were not given. This was sorted out by the restaurant manager. The food was ok. The waiter brought us a receipt for the cost of the entire meal which we refused to sign. He then brought us a receipt for the Perrier water only which was extra....$14.00. Unbelievable.

Golf- we didn't use this service but it is not on site and is only a driving range. It is not in good shape.

The one and only thing that this hotel has is the location. The grounds are beautiful especially since they are right on the ocean. You may use the beach chairs by the pool and on the grass but the chairs in front of the resort are rented by other individuals. We frequently went for walks on the ocean but you can do this from any resort in the area.

For the cost of this hotel, stay elsewhere. There are many great hotels that provided fantastic service and the accommodations would be superior.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank canadachris44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Being a frequent traveler, I heard Costa Rica was a nice place to come for a little adventure. After much research, I decided to book my trip to Tamarindo and stay at the El Diria resort. Staff was very nice and hospitable. The tour desk operators knew my name the minute I got there and were very professional. The facility itself was very clean and it gave off this impression that you are staying at a tropical resort. My room was right on the beach so the view was good.

Having breakfast included with the stay was a plus and the food was very good. I did (3) different excursions and they all surpassed my expectations. The only downfall was arriving there during there rainy season. Me being an amateur photographer, the weather did not cooperate much to get the pictures I wanted. The town itself is very nice. My only complaint is the uneasy feeling of drug dealers approaching you on every block. Of course this is not the hotels fault but since I was traveling alone it made me feel uncomfortable. Overall, I plan to visit this area and hotel in the near future and look to possibly visit the Arenal volcano next time. Two Thumbs up!!!!!

J. Graham

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Tamarindo Diria

Address: Tamarindo Beach, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Tamarindo
#5 Business Hotel in Tamarindo
#7 Spa Hotel in Tamarindo
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Tamarindo
#10 Family Hotel in Tamarindo
#10 Romantic Hotel in Tamarindo
Price Range: $162 - $332 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Tamarindo Diria 3.5*
Number of rooms: 239
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Tamarindo Diria is the iconic beach hotel located in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with its own personality perfect for an authentic Costa Rica vacation. Features direct access to the most famous costa rican white sand beach, front ocean view accommodations, 4 swimming pools, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Tamarindo
Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach And Golf Resort
Tamarindo Diria Hotel

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