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Hotel Capitan Suizo Beach Front Hotel Boutique
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed October 27, 2010

Our stay did not work out the way we had anticipated. We booked two different places in tamarindo just to get a different feel, one a small bed and breakfast and the other a larger resort. We absolutely loved the B and B, called Sueno del Mar, but were looking forward to trying the Capitan Suizo.

Unfortunately we showed up on the day it reopened from being closed for a while. We had to wait about 2 hours until the room was ready which was ok, because they have an outside bar, a big pool and beautiful grounds. Our bungalow was very nice, spacious and inviting. Unfortunately the bathroom is not air conditioned like the rest of the room and is pretty hot and sticky. I didn't mind, but the wife wasnt thrilled. The room was very nice and modern.

We went to dinner and the craziness began. I must say, we were very, very underwhelmed with our meals. We are not very picky people when it comes to food. I am usually happy with most meals. All of our previous meal in costa rica were very good, just not this one. The food was not bad, just OK. One of the charming things about this place is the wildlife.....lots of racoons and monkeys, but it was out of control. During dinner Pepe, a local racoon jumped in my wifes lap and onto the table. It was a real cluster. This happened numerous times. He got into our food and spilled hot, scalding coffee on the wifes lap.......Not Good! The shooed him away numerous times. He got pretty pissed off and tried to bite. A guy scruffed him and took him away, pepe screaming all the way. Now my wife rehabs wild animals and loves animals more than 9/10ths of the people on the planet, but this was crazy. One day someone is going to really get a nasty bite. Coco, the smaller one is much more gentle. You have to understand that these are wild animals. You cannot keep them off of you, as they are continuously fed.

Well, after dinner, pretty shell shocked, we went back to the room. The toilet then broke and they were unable to fix it. That is a deal breaker. They didn't have another room. We were hosed. I called and then went back to Sueno del mar where we stayed the rest of the trip and were thrilled.

Ok I do want to be fair. The people there were very nice and extremely helpful as well as horrified by our experience. Before the dinner experience, the manager gave us free dinner and a free nights stay do to our wait for our room. Then the toilet thing happened. They felt terrible, but not quite as bad as we did. Part of the problem was bad timing when we arrived. I did love the room and the grounds, as well as their dedication to taking care of wildlife. I dont know if i would go back, not because of the place, it is beautiful and there are nice people, just don't know if I would chance it again. Maybe the food is good and we just didn't get a good meal.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank acgold64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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913 - 919 of 1,239 reviews

Reviewed October 8, 2010

My family and I spend 5 wonderful days at Capitan Suizo in August, we rented the appartment which offered us the luxury of having a lot of space.
The staff was terific and my boys loved the animals and specially the monkeys.
We eat breakfast at the hotel every morning end truelly enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank caymanbeachgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2010

I wasn't quite sure what to expect of Capitan Suizo, and even after our stay I'm slightly confused as to what kind of hotel they are trying to be. To give some context, the day we arrived in Tamarindo it was (as I later looked up) 99 deg. F with 100% humidity. I have never had a problem tolerating heat until experiencing that. It made me want accomodations that I wouldn't want to leave, at least for several hours.

Unfortunately, Capitan Suizo was not that kind of place. The rooms are furnished with very utilitarian and spartan sensibility--the kind of cookie-cutter modular furniture that echoes the 1970s and European chain hotels. This would be fine if I was expecting some kind of rusticism, but as the hotel was billed as being more upscale (and expensive) than our previous lodging in Arenal (Hotel Mountain Paradise), I was confused. My biggest issue with the room was the dingy towels and bathmat. I couldn't quite tell if they had picked an unfortunate color or if they were actually that worn out.

Our biggest issue overall, was something which we later found out would've been hard to avoid. The "ant" problem. I had read reviews about the ants, and stupidly assured myself that people were exaggerating. I've dealt with more than one unpleasant ant infestation in various homes, and a few stragglers at a hotel in the tropics would be fine. Well, let me assure you that they weren't exaggerating. Soon after we checked in the "ants" started pouring into our room from the door frame. A nestful of them. And they flew. They flew into the room and started landing everywhere. The front desk sent the man with the bug spray and he sprayed down the origination point, which thankfully stayed dormant the rest of our stay. After we asked, he brought a vacuum to clean up the carcasses. I later learned that these flying critters were termites, though the locals call them ants, and they have what amounts to a yearly breeding season when the appear. I don't know if they were also termites, but (non-flying) ants started creeping in from the back door (which opens into a little service alley near the main road--kind of awkward), not long after we dealt with the flying termites. These were much more casual and trickled in in various shapes and sizes throughout the weekend. We did have to call for the ant spray one more time, as they were drawn in by an EMPTY sugar packet. We thought we'd taken every precaution that not an ounce of food was present--we even flushed the unused sugar! I don't know if this happens every May or if it depends on the weather, but it's something to consider when timing your visit to Capitan Suizo. I'm sure it is lovely when it's not "ant season," but frankly we were glad to only be there 2 nites. The staff is great, and very responsive, but you can only call the poor porter so many times before you just start hitting the things with a flip flop. All the little carcasses were swept up by housekeeping each day, so I do appreciate that thoroughness. We figured there was no point in trying to switch rooms (the place seemed full anyway--you could barely get a chair by the pool or beach), after we saw an equal number of "ants" crawling directly into our neighbors room. The second floor might have been better, but in that weather I'd choose the ants in order to have A/C.

The landscaping is great, and obviously the howler monkeys and other animals are the highlight. I was disappointed the only birds were grackles and jays, smaller birds probably don't stand a chance with these big guys getting fed by the restaurant. The pool and beach area is very nice, though chairs were scarce, and it seemed like the people in the bungalows loaded the ones by their bungalow with a towel and then ignored it all day. Personally, I hate big squishy, still-damp pool chair cushions, so I was pleased to find a chair without one, and had to argue a bit when a staff member tried to give me one (though I was impressed that they were very quick to switch used ones out with new ones!).

So to sum up, Capitan Suizo is hard to categorize. It has a simple, almost rustic aesthetic (so don't be misled by the price/4 star rating that it will be luxe), but the staff is lovely, the restaurant/bar is good (breakfast was delicious!), and you do feel secluded despite being so close to the town. (It was such a quick easy walk along the beach, and only slightly further on the road). I think it would be great for kids (as long as they understand not to harass the monkeys/cats/lizards)--room to explore with getting lost. I might return if we were to go back to Tamarindo, but would probably want to try an upstairs room or a bungalow for less of a cookie-cutter hotel room feeling. For more pics/stories from the rest of our trip you can visit my blog : discerningdilettante.blogspot.com.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank discerningdilettante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2010

Based on other TripAdvisor reviews, I actually changed a previous reservation to stay here. I was really disappointed by Capitan Suizo. It is a great property, but in dire need of a makeover. We had a beachfront bungalow. The setting was amazing, but our room what kind of dirty. There was toothpaste spit on the sink faucet. The showercurtain was old and gross. All of the moulding on the fixtures was really visible and cracked... and I never typically notice that kind of thing. The towels were old, tattered, and thin. Also, the shower had a pump dispenser for shampoo and bodywash, which is fine, but it was old and yellowed. The AC barely worked. I understand that Costa Rica is a wet place, but our room and bed was really damp. There are also several older thermostats on the wall... just kind of visually unpleasing. There are also lots of old nails in the wall, I assume old picture hangers, that were just sticking out in odd places. Also, it took our maids 3 days to bring us handsoap. The rooms are dark and there was a lightbulb out in our room.

The food is excellent, the grounds are great, and the animals are awesome. However, I felt like the hotel is banking on that and really needs to upgrade the rooms.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank scostello80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2010

I stayed here for 4 days for the first half of my trip to CR for my honeymoon. We stayed in #6, a bungalow behind the restaurant. This place is really unique in the way that the property was designed around the plants and animals that were already there. While we knew that there were animals on the grounds, I don't think we were ready for the amount of interaction. 15 minutes into being at the pool the first day, a raccoon came right at where we were laying out and totally tore apart my wife's hat. In a moment a couple of the staff were there, calling the raccoon by name (Pepe) and we were actually petting and taking pictures with him a moment later. Similar interactions with the iguanas and howler monkeys occured throughout the trip. This was really cool, but also got a little old by the 4th day.
Also, while the bed was amazing, I would agree with other posts that the room was kind of damp, especially the bathroom. I was really glad we had air conditioning, because the room otherwise did not get much airflow. In addition, we had a few ants by the bedstand and a huge (dead) roach on the floor by the door on our last night. These did not bother us, as the place is really incorporated into nature, but in any other situation, either would have been an issue.

Positives: Service/friendliness of staff, beach, bed, peaceful (no music, no tvs, etc)
Negatives: Room quality, animal interactions got tiring

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CraigLChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2010

Just returned home from a week in Costa Rica staying at the Capitan Suizo in Tamarindo and the Flamingo Resort in Flamingo Beach.

Had an amazing time in Capitan Suizo nad loved almost everything about it from the owner and her staff to the delicious breakfasts in the open air dining room, the nice pool, the location which is perfect, and of course all the wonderful and friendly animals who run around the place.

At first I was shocked to read the last couple of negative reviews from other visitors who didn't seem to have the same experience as us but on reflection I think much of it may have to do with which room you end up in at the hotel. When we originally booked, we had asked for one of the individual 'beachfront" bungalows only to be informed that they were all fully booked and we ended up getting a standard room. After initially being very disappointed in the end we we're REALLY glad!!!!

The bungalows which are quite expensive, are situated around the grounds of the hotel but really only one is beachfront with views out onto the beach. The others are set near to the pool and to be quite honest seemed a liitle dark and dank due to the wet and humid temps in Costa Rica and also because they are surrounded by the beautiful lush trees and plants that have grown up all around the grounds.

We ended up on the second floor in room #34 which having looked around the property, was maybe the best in the hotel. The room was delightful, clean and airy with a lovely balcony looking out onto the grounds towards the pool. the bed was super comfy with clean soft sheets and it was so relaxing with the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. We also had airconditioning which was quite useful for some of the time we were there.

I think if we had been in a room on the ground floor or a bungalow for that matter, we may not have been quite so happy, as they appeared to be much darker and could be a little musty again due to the tropical plants and rainfall. Bottom line I would suggest saving your money by not booking a bungalow and request an upper level room (preferably #34).

A quick word about towels. I too think that the room towels were a little old and thin, but to the reviewer who complained about the beach towels being just sheets I think they were confused. The hotel provides beach towels for guests to take to the beach but ALSO when you walk out onto the beach there is a basket with additional "sheets" which we assumed were for placing on the sand so you could lay your towel on top of that....it seemed a nice touch to us.

Overall we LOVED staying at Capitan Suizo and would always return if in Tamarindo. It;s definitely not cheap but nothing in Costa Rica was particularly cheap. I'd rate the hotel as a 3-4 star in US standards but with some REALLY wonderful touches. What it lacks in LUXURY it makes up in charm and the owners sincerely care about the environment and the nature and wildlife surrounding the property.

Hope this helps!!!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Bazza90036
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2010

My husband and I came to Capitan Suizo on for the second half of our honeymoon. Our previous hotel in La Fortuna, Costa Rica was better than Capitan Suizo in so many ways and it cost $100 a night less. I am still staying in the hotel now, only 2 nights left, but if we were staying in Tamarindo longer I would have definitely tried to switch hotels.

Some good things about the hotel:

They have cute animals running around like monkeys, racoons, lizards etc that you you can get pretty up close and personal with. One racoon climbed in my husbands lap today.

The location is great, an easy walk to town.

Things we didn't like:

The outdoor shower wasn't very clean and the faucet handle was broken. When I grabbed it to turn on the faucet, it just fell off. We had to take off the handle and try to move a little plastic thing around to try and get the right temperature which wasn't very easy. The next day after they came to clean our room, they just set the handle back on... and did nothing to try to fix it.

The bugs! Every night before we went to bed we would go around the room and try to kill all of the bugs that we could find. One night there was a little lizzard or something inside...but those don't freak me out as much. We made sure to always close the door tightly and couldn't figure out how they were getting in.

The room smelled, probably because it was so damp.

We hadn't done laundry our entire trip yet, so we had alot of laundry to do. They would do your laundry at the hotel, but they charged $ 0.60 for each underwear you wanted washed, $2.00 for 1 shirt.. and they had prices for everything else but I don't remember them. I would have had to pay atleast $20 for one load of laundry.

The rooms are very dark.

They give you specific towels to use for showering, the pool, and the beach. Like a previous review said the towels were really worn out . The towels you were supposed to use for the beach were just sheets in the shape of a beach towel.

There is no TV and no internet in the rooms. (There are two computers in the lobby that can be used for internet, but the mouse on one of them doesn't work) It is part of the hotels philosophy not to have tvs in the room to promote social interaction, which is fine...but why does the room cost 300$ per night if you dont even have tv or internet??

No room service.

Thats all I can think of right now. I wouldn't return to this hotel for the price. It is worth maybe $150/night, but I wasn't really looking for a $150/night hotel on my honeymoon. I am surprised the hotel has gotten such good reviews on trip advisor previously.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sbassler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hotelcapitansuizo, Manager at Hotel Capitan Suizo Beach Front Hotel Boutique, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2010

Hola! First of all I would like to thank guests for taking the time to write their valuable comments. Positive comments are very gratifying but negative ones are undoubtedly very important to us, because they help us to react, review and improve our operation procedures & plans in order to recover our main goal: our guests’ full satisfaction.

The outdoor shower wasn’t very clean, faucet handle broken: we are very sorry to hear that and we would like to apologize!

Bugs and little lizards: In our guest booklet we inform people about the little lizards that are called gecko”: Geckos are quite prevalent. These shy animals live both in the gardens and buildings; sometimes one can be found in a room. They are about 2-4 inches in length and walk along the walls and ceilings. They are harmless. We consider them beneficial as they eat insects, mainly mosquitoes and consequently help maintain relatively few mosquitoes throughout the hotel”.

In case someone is loved” by the mosquitoes we have mosquito-nets that are made especially for our beds, so that they fit perfectly – we are sorry that in your case we didn’t have the chance to offer them to you.

Laundry: Since the opening of the hotel, our laundry service is charged per unit, not per load.

Beach towels: The pool/beach towels that we offer are 33 x 66 inches Terry Cloth towels. The ones that you mentioned, located at the beach exit, we call Sand Sheets”. Those are very simple, thin towels for people who love to sit or lie in the warm sand to enjoy our beautiful beach in a natural way.

TV: I would like to copy the owner’s viewpoint on this item from our guest-booklet in the rooms. In the section Short History and Philosophy for Those Interested” the owner writes about the time during the construction of the hotel in the years 1992-1995:

In our rented house, there was no television or air conditioning and instead of windows there were mosquito screens. Because of this, we enjoyed the balmy evenings and nights of Guanacaste and in the mornings we woke up to the singing of the birds, the howl of the monkeys, the cockcrow and roaring of the sea. Again and again we became aware of the pleasantness and richness of Costa Rican nature and how restful a natural way of living can be. It was our intention to transmit this experience to our guests. We opted for an architectural style that would allow the sea breeze to pass freely through the rooms, with sufficient ventilation and sliding doors that permitted the room to be as open to nature as possible.

As we weren’t able to have a television, we had the opportunity to experience how relaxing it is not to daily consume the often negative information, but instead spend time having valuable conversations, reading interesting books, observing and enjoying nature. An extraordinarily high number of guests who were staying with us during the time of construction confirmed that they felt the same way. Therefore, the question with or without television” never became a topic. We took the decision to exclude televisions and involuntarily it became part of our philosophy.”

We offer an Internet corner with two computers and a wireless access in the lobby area which are a free service and available 24h/day. At the information desk we offer newspapers.

Room Service: From the 1st of November 2010 we will offer room service.

We are referring to your other points in our general answer to guests’ comments in August¨ at the bottom of our statements ”.

Thank you very much for your positive comments about our animals and Capitan Suizo’s great location!

Vinicio Hidalgo, General Manager

General answers to guests’ comments in August 2010

Our idea of referring to the similar comments from August 2010, are not to make excuses, rather we would like to communicate our plans on the corrective actions and improvements we are planning to make in the coming months.

This year has been exceptionally rainy, the most rain we’ve had since the opening of the hotel in 1995. In some months, rainfall reached twice the amount that fell last year and many days the humidity was over 90% (Data from the National Institute of Meteorology).

The hotel is embedded in the forest and was build underneath native trees. The situation with so much humidity and rain was new to us. We have to admit, that not only the grounds and walkways suffered during the extremely wet past three months, but the moisture also affected some rooms and even the foliage growth exceptionally strongly.
After this experience we will prepare ourselves better for the next rainy season. We are planning to cut some tree branches in order to bring in more sunshine. This of course has to be done without any negative impact to the trees’ natural balance or to our wildlife; they are part of our native natural treasure and their benefits are enjoyed and appreciated during the whole dry season, with refreshing shadow and pleasant temperatures.


Rooms too dark: during this year we have put a lot of effort into fulfilling the Sustainable Tourism Certification Program requirements . We will be evaluated in two months. As part of the hotel’s energy saving plan we recently changed almost all the light bulbs to eco friendly” compact florescent lamps with warm soft lights to keep a nice atmosphere inside the rooms, as well as the grounds of the hotel. This has proved to be inadequate for some areas and we understand that we have to find a better solution and more adequate lighting for those specific areas shortly.

Since several years we have been closing the hotel in September – October for 4 to 6 weeks in order to carry out detailed maintenance work at our premises. We do it this way so we don’t have to bother our guests with construction noise during the rest of the year. We are guided by one of the best and well-known architects in the country and we are convinced that when we open again the hotel will be in great condition. We are optimistic and positive that after the reopening our hotel will be enjoying motivating reviews again, as was the case before August 2010.

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Additional Information about Hotel Capitan Suizo Beach Front Hotel Boutique

Address: Playa Tamarindo | 2 miles from the local airport in Tamarindo, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Capitan Suizo)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Tamarindo
#1 Green Hotel in Tamarindo
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Tamarindo
#2 Spa Hotel in Tamarindo
#2 Romantic Hotel in Tamarindo
#3 Business Hotel in Tamarindo
Price Range: $200 - $619 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Capitan Suizo Beach Front Hotel Boutique 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Capitan Suizo is an environmentally conscious and future oriented beach hotel. It is an ideal place for relaxation that carries a tropical ambiance and lies amongst a lush garden. With a discreet elegance and a touch of Swiss quality that blends with an informal and joyful atmosphere, Capitan Suizo is an oasis where it is implicit that nature and animals are integrated with love and respect. Capitan Suizo is located directly on the beach in a privileged area 1 km outside of town and at the end of the bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Capitan Suizo Hotel
Capitan Suizo Tamarindo

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