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“Great location - has plenty to offer”

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Hotel Tamarindo Diria
Ranked #11 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed December 9, 2006

We really enjoyed this hotel and we're glad we stayed here. The location is outstanding - right in the middle of town and within walking distance to plenty of restaurants, shops and caddy corner to a little supermarket. 2 ATMs are within spitting distance and it takes just a few minutes to get to High Tide Surf Shop, Iguana Surf or anything else you might need in town.

We had a sunset room - spacious and clean with a fantastic view of the beach. We're glad we paid extra to be by the beach. There were usually people by the beach-side pool but the back pool (stunning) was usually barren... that may change as high season rolls around.

Breakfast is great - fruit, yogurt, breads, pastries, gallo pinto and traditional American food. More than you need. The bar is great although service out by the pool and the lawn is very scarce - you'll get faster service by walking to the bar and placing your own order. The Matapalo Restaurant (next to the beach) is well worth visiting for drinks or a snack at sunset.

If you like to surf, there's a surf spot in front of the hotel. On smaller days, you'll be dodging swimmers and beginners at surf schools. Larger days break well over the reef. Just to the right of the property (as you face the beach) is a slightly hollower wave. 5 minutes will take you to the rivermouth and a nice barreling wave. You can also walk over to the water taxis (right by the rivermouth) to cross the estuary to Playa Grande. A 45 minute walk along the beach will take you to the most popular break in front of Las Tortugas. The rest of Playa Grande has plenty of breaks, though. Grande is typically 3 feet bigger than Tamarindo.

Some restaurants we visited:

El Jardin Del Eden - wonderful atmosphere and very good food. We would consider this hotel next time as the pool/gardens were gorgeous.

Lazy Wave Cafe - Reminescent of an Asian or Moroccan influence... outstanding seafood with an exotic twist. Some seats are traditional dining tables while others are couches and low chairs in a red-tinged outdoor dining area. Highly recommend Delice Del Mar.

Nogui's - Good but I don't see why so many people fall all over themselves for this place.

Nibbana - Probably my favorite place... also with an Asian feel. Outstanding pork loin and the tuna tartare was delicious!

El Coconut - An expensive place but excellent and the atmosphere is very nice. Norwegian-run and nice for a fancier dinner.

Kahiki - Very cool bar with a great atmosphere and tasty mojitos. Located next to Iguana Surf.

Pasatiempo Hotel and Bar - Good if you're looking for an American-style hangout. More of a party place than anything else.

Panaderia de Paris - French-run bakery with good pastries and coffee... comes with authentic French "service" ;)

Witch's Rock Cafe - Good casual hangout with a lot of gringos. Defnitely not gourmet but if you're craving some "bad" food (nachos, chicken tenders, etc.) this is a good choice.

  • Stayed: November 2006
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6  Thank Brichford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,051 - 2,057 of 2,519 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2006

Just returned from week long Anniversary trip to Tamarindo! What a fabulous time! We stayed at the Tamarindo Diria and it was absolutely wonderful. The hotel is under remodeling but it did not affect our trip at all. The staff was extremely accomodating and friendly. Kudos to "Fast Eddie" and Jose at the bar, Pablo who was very helpful and made sure our anniversary was incredible, William who was a great waiter/server, and Favio who showed us around. The food at the hotel was wonderful and the Mojitos were even better. The room was beautiful and bed was comfy.

We only did one excursion through High Tide Surf Shop. We did the Southern ATV Surf Tour and it was awesome. If you aren't afraid of mud, book it w/ Rigo as your guide. He was phenomenal and the waves at Playa Negra were double over-head.

We rented a car to get back to Playa Negra and Avellanas to hit the surf again. If you aren't afraid of "Rally Racing" it is a blast. There are some rough spots and we hit a couple washed out roads, however the Ticos were great and showed us alternate routes. We went on a horseback ride up into the jungle... lots of Howler Monkeys.. don't go for more than an hour though.

Dining in Tamarindo -- We ate at several different spots. I will only list those that we recommend.
Noggis --- Fabulous Tilapia and Ceviche
Witches Rock Surf Camp -- Nachos as Big as your [--] - Awesome ( Make sure you say hi to Baby Otis!)
Monkey Bar --- Fantastic Quesadillas
Tropical Fruit ?? (Across from Witches) - Excellent/Cheap lunches.. can't go wrong
The Coconut Restaurant --- Our favorite spot! Went for our anniversary dinner. The service was outstanding. The owner made sure all was perfect. Food was out of this world. Don't miss out!
Lolas at Avellanas beach --- Incredible scene. Tables out on the beach. Great Avocado Salad and Margherita Pizza. Don't be surprised if an Iguana decides to pass by during lunch. Ask about "Peter Pan Possum", too cute pet of the owners. Warning only open from 11-3 Tues-Sat. Don't miss out on this one either. You will have to drive or take a tour there. Howler Monkeys galore.

Nightlife-- The town is small, so each night a different bar is having specials. We met several locals and they took us to some great places.
Jazz Bar Casino Bar --- See Cynthia, she is the best. Tell her Missy said hi!
Mambo Bar --- It was ok... got harassed..
Babylon --- excellent scene.... saw a Reggae Band : Mechatelyu, ended up going there twice. Great pizza there
Rey Del Sol --- Cool spot/ funky kinda retro atmosphere
Monkey Bar -- Great time... Watch out.. ya better like Jaiger
Witches Rock -- Laid back atmosphere... great happy hour 2 for 1
Diria Bar - Fun, great atmosphere, and excellent service. Eddie and Jose were great. If you are lucky you will get to see Scrappy who makes himself comfortable at the bar.

The only downfall of the trip was the blatent harrassment to buy drugs. Hanging out with locals deterred this however.

I have read several reviews which state the opposite of what I am saying. I find it funny that people complain about the roads, what do they expect? I was a little disappointed that the swim-up bar was closed, however it was our choice to travel during the low-season to avoid the crowds. I have also read complaints about the construction going on at the hotel. Hello, they are trying to make improvements for guests like you and me. Do people expect them to close down while this is being done?

I will close by saying... we will be back!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank CamGar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2006

The Diria definitely has the best location in Tamarindo if you want to be in the center of action. We didn't get a chance to see the other resorts while we were in town, but they are so far away that it wasn't even worth the ride to check them out. And every few days a local family of monkeys visits the trees across the street, which makes for a fun morning.

First, the hotel--the rooms at Diria are clean, air conditioned, well maintained and the staff is overly friendly. The restaurant has above-average bar food and is great for lunch after a morning near the beach. I say near the beach, because the Diria provides chairs for sitting on a grassy area near the sand, but does not allow its lawn furniture to be taken out onto the beach. If you try, the armed guard or the giant iguanas will be sure to stop you! If you are one of those crazy people who go to tropical resorts to actually sit on the sand you are not completely out of luck--there is a chair rental area about 200 meters to the right of the hotel gate which will give you two chairs and an umbrella for about US $5 for the whole day.

Second, the beach--Tamarindo is more of a soft sand (mud) beach than you may expect. It has a certain amount of rugged beauty, but you definitely want to sacrifice a day there and take the $40 taxi ride to Playa Conchal--a stunning, nearly empty beach made entirely of tiny sea shells. The water at Conchal is also much clearer than any of the other beaches along that stretch of Guanacaste.

Third, the tour desk--Diria's concierge is top class--talk to Egnes and he will work tirelessly to get you the tour or excursion you need. Be sure not to let Pablo the breakfast host sweet talk you into a boat ride though (and that's all I'm going to say about that).

Finally, the town--Tamarindo is in a transition period between a surfer shanty and a Carribean-style resort. There is an eerie combination of foreign cocaine dealers and four/five-star restaurants. Don't let this dissuade you from a visit though--even though the petty theft has skyrocketed since the town began developing, there is almost no violent crime. Just be a sensible tourist and keep a close eye on your belongings and don't leave anything visible in your car.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled with friends
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7  Thank slb3w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2006

We stayed at the Tropicana for 3 nights. The rooms were not fancy, but affordable and clean. It was close to the beach and restaurants. There was some noise during the day due to construction nearby, but we didn't spend that much time in the room anyhow. Had no problems with the service or front desk, they were friendly enough, but we didn't need or ask for much. No restaurant or bar which would have been nice, but okay if you don't mind taking a stroll for your morning coffee. The pool was clean, but deserted most of the time. There didn't seem to be too many people around, probably they were all at the beach, or exploring elsewhere. Overall, if you don't require extra amenities and don't plan to spend your vacation inside a room this was a fine place to stay.

Stayed: February 2005
2  Thank esjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2006

This hotel is totally overpriced considering the sub-par state of the rooms. We paid well over $200 per night for a hotel room that was not much better than what you'd get at a cheap motel in Canada. There was a stain on the wall, furniture was shabby, decor was dated, etc. The beach is overcrowded and nothing special. The hotel is guarded by armed men with rifles, which creates a very hostile atmosphere. Our friends staying in other hotels in the area were not treated well by the gaurds.

The worst part of our stay was the night we discovered that the employees had trapped a poor cat in a milk crate near our room. The creature mewed pitifully through the night. We were able to get to cat by negotiating with the armed guards. The cat had a piece of twine around its neck in a noose and looked to be in very poor shape. This sort of inhumane treatment was completely uncalled for and very disturbing. When we tried to let the cat out of the crate we were prevented by the armed gaurd. According to the gaurd on duty, the owner was aware of the situation. We later complained to the manager but by the time we got back to the spot the cat had 'disapeared'.

This place was by far the worst place we stayed in Costa Rica and as we stayed here for the last three nights of our trip it left us with a very bad and unsettled feeling.

Why stay here when there are so many other great places to stay in Costa Rica? Our friends rented a house down the beach that was beautiful, private, and way cheaper.

  • Stayed: January 2005, traveled with friends
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11  Thank mallory25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2006

We checked in to the El Diria after checking out of another disappointing hotel in Tamarindo. We are a family of four that traveled with a 3 and 6 year old for a three week trip to Costa Rica. We had a ground floor, beachfront room at the El Diria. It was paradise for our family! We could walk out to the beautiful large baby pool and swimming pool. We could see our son on his boogie board in the ocean from the room and covered porch. The grounds are spacious and spectacular. Guests have access to the largest pool in Tamarindo a short walk across the street that is part of the El Diria. It is enormous, with zero entry for the little ones. The breakfast buffet is delicious and the service warm and prompt.

We plan to return to this hotel next year and relive our wonderful memories! It is worth the trip, and by far the nicest hotel to stay in while visiting Tamarindo!

8  Thank findthebest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Diria this June as a part of a travel package. We were a bit concerned about some of the reviews. We booked it at a great price, so we weren't expecting the best. We were relieved when we arrived. The hotel is nice and has a great location. It is right on the beach and within walking distance to many places to eat. Don't miss the breakfast buffet. They did not have safes in the room, so I was a bit worried since every guidebook strongly reccomends you lock up you valuables in CR. The desk has an envelope system in place for their safe and I had no problems with it. The service was inconsistent, some staff were extra nice and others couldn't be bothered. The bellman was extra helpful, he even tried to help me find a lost bottle of sunscreen at the pool. We did get a great deal, so we were very pleased. If we had paid a lot more, I think we would have just been satisfied though. We had a great time on the horseback riding tour booked through the hotel. Absolutely worth the money!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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5  Thank travelang
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
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: $156 - $320 (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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