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“Vista Villas - The Party Hotel”

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Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas
Ranked #13 of 22 Hotels in Tamarindo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Santa Monica, California
Level 6 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Vista Villas - The Party Hotel”
Reviewed July 12, 2011

We had never been to Costa Rica before and we weren't sure where to stay in Tamarindo. Our first few days had been spent in the Arenal/la Fortuna Area at one of the more expensive hotels in the area. After a luxurious and relaxing day at this hotel, we were ready to party. We had heard that Tamarindo or Jaco would be the place to go. We weren't sure if we would be arriving on a Friday or a Monday (we were contemplating a short stay in Monteverde after Arenal). We realized that arriving in Tamarindo on a Friday would optimize our chances of finding an active nightlife scene. With a little internet research, we found Best Western's Vista Villas. According to the reviews, this place is where MTV had filmed one of it's Spring Break shows. We also saw several reviews which stated that basically the "entire town" could be found at Vista Villas on a Friday night (ladies night = ladies drink free). Wherever we would end up staying, we knew we would be paying this place a visit. We decided to skip Monteverde and headed into Tamarindo on Friday morning. Being that we had decided to spend our Friday night at Vista Villas "Monkey Bar", we decided we would make it easy on ourselves and check into the hotel.

We arrived at the hotel at around 1pm. We checked in without much hassle (just a small, but reasonable wait behind other customers). This gave us time to get some rest and eat before the evenings festivities. Tamarindo was much hotter than it was in the Arenal area, so we took a short nap (with the A/C blasting) and then headed down to the pool. The pool area was clean and had plenty of seating includeing lounge chairs, regular chairs and being that the restaurant/bar was connected to the pool, there was also all the bar/restaurant seating. The pool was a sort of infinity style with one small waterfall pool overflowing downwards into the main pool. There was music playing int he bar area (mostly classic rock and lots of reggae). There was food available (2 pizzas for $5 and other typical bar food) and the drinks were reasonably priced (although not at any great bargain price). We had been expecting the "ladies night" free drinks, but sadly they do not start their "ladies night" until 10pm. Unfortunately for us, by the time there were free drinks available, we were already pretty legless and fairly well exhausted. The sound man began setting up around 6pm and the "club" music started blaring shortly thereafter. Although our room was on the side of the hotel furthest from the pool area, we could still hear the ear boom reggae LOUD AND CLEAR...and it went on until about 3AM, which was about 3 hours longer than we had really hoped or expected. Had we not exhausted and drank ourselves into oblivion so early in the night, this probably would have been much less traumatic, but we had and it was, so my memories of my first night in Tamarindo have unfortunately been tainted. I don't know what I would have done if we had gotten a room closer to the pool area. It might have gotten ugly. As much as we wanted to bomb the pool area/Monkey bar in the evening hours, we really loved it during the afternoon. It was nice to be able to take a dip in the cool, clean pool whenever we were not in the mood for the sticky beach or after walking long distances around town. We would make at least 2 stops at the pool area each day that we were there. The pool also had a really nice view of the Pacific Ocean/Beach.

The room was small and consisted of a queen bed, a small shelf/rack for hanging clothes and a safe. There was also a small bathroom with shower (I do not believe there was a tub). Very basic and on the small side, but this was good enough for us, being that we did not intend to be in it very much. There was a TV with cable and the room was very nicely air conditioned.

The staff was very pleasant and very polite - always genuinely thanking us for tips and smiling at us while never letting us pass them by without a "hello" (or "hola"). Anything we needed (more towels, unlocked/opened our door if they saw us coming, etc). The reception desk had a nasty habit of trying to sell over priced tours, but they weren't necessarily BAD tours, they were just much higher priced than you could have gotten "downtown" (further down on the main road). On the plus side, they were not pushy about it and did not bother us at all - that is to say that they only tried to sell us these overpriced tours whenever we would ask them if they knew of any tours leaving on a given time/day. When our tour operator was late to pick us up, they were already aware of the situation and had already made calls on our behalf - which was just one of the many helpful things they did for us while we were there.

We wanted a party and we got it! Vista Villas is a really nice place during the day with great views, kind staff, food, music and fun, but I would not recommend this place for folks who want to get some sleep as the music thumps from about 6pm til about 3am each night (I cannot speak for the weeknights, as we were only there for the weekend). After 2 nights, we moved across the street to the much quieter La Laguna Cocodrilo (see my review for La Laguna Cocodrilo here on Trip Advisor).

Room Tip: If you want to sleep at night, stay as far from the pool as possible
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LanieFire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 28, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to give us such a detailed commentary. Your careful notice of our pool and bar area is greatly appreciated. However, we’re sorry that you ultimately didn’t enjoy our famous Ladies Night, which you had researched and came here for. It is extremely popular, and as you learned, draws people from all over the country. It is an exaggeration to say that the next night we blasted music until 3 a.m., because in fact, our Crazy Monkey Bar closes at 9 p.m., and with it the music at the bar shuts down. As a matter of fact, except for Friday, our bar shuts down at 9 p.m. every night.

While we can’t vouch for the tours you may get downtown, we can tell you that the tours we sell at our hotel are all quality controlled and safely operated. That may be worth the price of booking through us, with prices that we feel are competitive with those in town.

We do appreciate the acknowledgement of the good work on your behalf of our staff, and are glad that with that you felt taken care of while you were with us at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas.
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Huntington Beach, California
1 review
Reviewed July 7, 2011

The rooms were super comfortable, the AC felt very nice, the Crazy Monkey restaurant was a great place to unwind with a drink, and staff members like Alice were very courteous and helpful answering all my questions. I'll be back for sure.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Jeff32513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Thanks for the nice comments about our hotel. It’s great to be noticed for our rooms, restaurant and staff. We’ll be on the lookout for you again.
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Manhattan Beach, California
1 review
Reviewed July 7, 2011

My stay at the Tamarindo Vista Villas could be one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever enjoyed. I’ve stayed at four and even five star hotels and this place is right on par with them for the breathtaking views and amazing staff.

From the moment I checked in, I received nothing but friendly smiles and remarkable service from the entire staff. I spent a good amount of time during my weeks stay in the pool\bar area and I’d recommend anyone traveling to Costa Rica to stop by for a drink, a dip in the pool and enjoy the wonderful views. Being a foreigner and not too familiar with the local language, I was relieved to be greeted by English speaking bartenders Katy and Kim. Their polite, friendly attitudes and impeccable service (great cocktails too!) made me feel like I was at my local bar back home and when they were gone the rest of the staff picked up right where they left off. They were all more than happy to strike up a friendly conversation and provide useful tips about the town and Costa Rica in general.

On a side note, I’m writing this review on my first day back at work and I’d like to thank the Tamarindo Vista Villas and their staff for an amazing vacation but also for making this day that much more unpleasant.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank scott_schl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Wow, what praise. Thank you so much for saying we were one of the best hotel experiences you ever enjoyed. We really appreciate that praise on Trip Advisor where our reputation can be made or broken by the reviews here. It sounds to us like your entire stay was terrific and we are glad that we were able to provide you with such a great experience, especially your time at the Crazy Monkey Bar. Hopefully, you can carry some of the joy with you as you make your way back to life at work.
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Hermosa Beach, California
1 review
Reviewed July 6, 2011

I recently stayed at this hotel and while I was expecting to have a good time, my experience far exceeded my expectations, mostly due to this hotel and the staff. When we arrived and checked into our room, I was expecting a "garden" view or similar. However, I took a picture of the view from standing inside the door to the front patio, which I included below. The room itself was clean and cool with the AC and there were only a few mosquitoes I saw in the room the entire week, when I normally get bit by hundreds.

I then headed straight for the monkey bar. Apparently not looking like a Tico, the bartenders Kim and Katy came over and while serving us gave us some tips about what to watch out for if we were going out that night. The rest of the trip they provided good recommendations and kept the Pilsens coming. Their friendly attitudes and fun personalities made the stay much more enjoyable and relaxing.

Trevor was also helpful in arranging some travel outside the area as well as serving at the bar Saturday morning, to bring me back to life from going out Friday night.

One thing that seems to have been overlooked in other reviews, and maybe I just noticed due to the good amount of time I spent lounging in the pool, probably more than most, was the work ethic of Manuel. He was always walking quickly around the pool deck from one task to another, always showing enthusiasm and focus.

Overall, the hotel was nice, the staff was great, the trip was way more fun than I ever expected, and going back to work will be tough.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank EricNP_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
We love hearing about such wonderful trips and how we were part of making them happen. Thanks for the kind words about our staff, Kim, Katy and Trevor, and, particularly our unsung hero Manuel, who keeps a low profile but works hard, as you noticed. We want our guests to have the best vacations possible, and it is a company goal to prioritize our guests and the property in order to attain that objective. Hopefully, now that you are home, you will continue to have great memories of the time you spent at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed July 5, 2011

If your looking for a resort feel, this place is not for you. Everything is simple. Rooms are good, a/c works well but the location is the best. The staff was wonderful and it looks like they are trying to upgrade the property. Its a very close walk to everything. So if you plan on staying in your room, don't. Go out to the pool, have an Imperial beer, enjoy the views and then walk down to the beach and through town. Missing it already!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 4ALOHAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
We appreciate your positive words about our hotel. It is our intention that we give our guests the best environment for their vacation, and we hope to do that with our staff and location. Of course, we’d be nothing without guests like you, so please hurry back soon.
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Marietta, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed July 4, 2011

the staff was great they helped with all our needs. The room was very clean.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank rodman1156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Thank you for your short, direct comments about our hotel. We are a simple, fun, safe hotel and your distinct words reflect that.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2011

As an airline employee, this was my 31st time to Costa Rica and at least my 4th to Tamarindo. They are in an excellent location at the edge of town and right across from the beach, in walking distance to anything.As always, we were greeted by friendly staff, and given a clean room with an awesome view. The have a new manager named Trevor, and he is great. Very proactive. The food is great and prices hard to beat. If you are looking for a Cancun resort, not the place for you. If you want a clean, fun, safe and affordable place to relax and enjoy Tamarindo, this is the place for you! Pura Vida!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lrs383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamvv, Guest Relations Manager at Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
It´s particularly gratifying to hear such high praise from a seasoned traveler such as yourself. We are honored that you chose our hotel and that you recognized our location, staff and services. Given your track record, it´s our hope that we´ll see you again very soon!
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Additional Information about Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas

Property: Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas
Address: Calle Principal 1000, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Tamarindo
#8 Family Hotel in Tamarindo
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Tamarindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A great place to play! The BEST WESTERN Tamarindo Vista Villas offers the best ocean views, a clean and safe environment, and a wonderful staff.... All just steps away from the world famous beach of Playa Tamarindo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas Hotel Tamarindo
Tamarindo Best Western

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