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“A wonderful experience in "Rainy Season"”

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Parador Resort and Spa
Ranked #11 of 47 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 13, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Parador to celebrate our first wedding anniversary from May 4-8. We bought a Living Social deal for 4 nights stay that included 2 passes to the National Park. I really don't have any negatives to state about our stay, I am only giving it 4-stars, instead of 5, because of the minimal food options (we personally like variety...but if you don't mind that sort of thing then consider this a 5-star review!). But we had rented a car so we ate all of our meals, with the exception of 1 dinner and all breakfasts, off the resort grounds. The breakfast was excellent, in our opinion. Always different options and amazing fresh fruits, breads and juices. We had sushi for dinner at the resort and it was very good!

The staff was exceptional; so sweet and helpful. I did not encounter one unhappy or unfriendly staffer at the resort. When we checked in to our room, I was curious to see if there were any other rooms available with a better view (just for kicks). The bell boy, Franklin, quickly took us to another room to see if we liked it better and VOILA! We paid an additional $100 and were in a room with an amazing view (420) within minutes. Very impressed by that.

I would recommend renting a car if you are the type that likes to explore the area you're in and you don't want to stay at the resort the entire time. We rented from VAMOUS rental cars and had a great experience with them. The car + all the insurance can be pricey but we felt it was worth it. (If you rent a car, the only advice you need is #1- get ALL the insurances and #2 do not to leave ANYTHING in your car at any time. That said, we didn't have any issues or breaks ins but I had heard of other tourists leaving things in the car and it being stolen- just be smart!).

Parador is located literally at the end of the main road through Manuel Antonio and not really walkable to other bars/restaurants so you will either have to take taxis or you're stuck on the resort (in terms of meals/shopping). But there is a shuttle to the Public Beach (where you can rent chairs/umbrellas and order food/drinks) or you can walk to the private beach. It is about a 10 minute walk but nothing outrageous. (If you're in normal health you can easily walk there, just wear sneakers since the area walking down to the beach is a little off the beaten path). But once you are there it's quiet and serene, hardly anyone there, which is a nice change of pace.

We did not hire a Guide for the Park tour. And I'm glad we didn't because even if there was an animal somewhere everyone would gather and the guide would tell you what he/she was looking at anyways so what's the point of paying for that when you can just walk to where the mass of people is anyways? We had a great experience without a guide and saw a TON of monkeys off the trail near the beach. And there was not a soul around at first, it was just us and about 10 monkeys then others started to gather. So not having a guide had no baring on our experience. But if you prefer to hear all the nitty gritty details of the Park then hire a guide.

We went to several other hotel bars for happy hours and meals. Was nice to get out and see other places and try more authentic costa rican food. My husband likes to try things off the beaten path so we went into places where the staff spoke very little English but even in those situations the Costa Rican people were so friendly and nice.

Weather: I was worried about the weather prior to the trip since May begins rainy season but we basically had picture perfect weather all but one day. It rained a few times in the evenings but it was nice to hear the rain so it didn't bother us at all. In the mornings it would be a little cloudy/foggy but by 8 am it was all sun! It was wonderful. Our last day it was pretty cloudy with intermittent rain but it was awesome to be in the pool while it rained. The sun peeked out a bit and we still both managed to get sun burnt anyways (The sun is much stronger there!). And I never burn that badly.....definitely beware of stronger sun. I noticed the weather changes there quickly. Even when some clouds rolled in, soon enough they were gone. Don't let the "rainy season" deter you; it's low season in terms of tourism so the resort wasn't crowded at all which was great. And like I said, we saw plenty of sun! :)

Overall, a great experience and I would recommend to those who wish to simply relax and soak in the sun/sights as well as those who want to tap into their adventurous side (you can schedule zip lining or hiking or anything you want right at the resort. The staff sets up the time for you and you show up in the lobby when told and someone is there to take you to your destination. It couldn't have been easier!). No need to worry about planning your activities before going, you can do it on-site.

So....long story short: awesome time! Go for it!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Kate K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Thanks so much for sharing. We do our best to make sure our guests have a complete 5-star experience, from the accommodations to the food, the pool, the spa, and yes, our staff is a big part of it as well. We hope that you had the chance to take one of the nature tours at Manuel Antonio or at the resort and took home many great pictures of the local wildlife.
We love the rainy season, too, as things slow down a bit and we’re able to catch our breath—at least a little! The view from your room is really unbeatable and there’s nothing like enjoying it from your balcony. We’re happy to hear that it was a memorable vacation for all of you and hope to see you soon!

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Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Hotel Parador has a beautiful setting at the end of a crazy, narrow road south of Quepos, Costa Rica. Our room was large and comfortable and the view from our balcony was magnificent. However, there was a strange vibe we got from the employees that they didn’t seem happy and that we were a bother that they had to put up with. This was the only place over the course of eleven days in Costa Rica where we got this feeling. They seem to need smile lessons. The beach is a torturous walk down a hundred yards of paved road then another 200 yards of crumbling pathway to an unkempt public beach. We read later that there is a shuttle to a beach in Manuel Antonio National Park that is much better. A friendlier staff might have mentioned this amenity. The restaurants were very expensive and the menus failed to pique our interest so we filled up at lunch then munched on appetizers at the bar to save money. The bar staff seemed friendly enough when they were talking among themselves but were reluctant to smile at their patrons much less engage them in conversation. It was almost excellent, if it hadn’t been for the employees.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tomlanin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

We are so surprised and sad to hear your comment about our employees. This is really very rare to hear such a review and we apologize.

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Reviewed May 8, 2013

We spent a week at Parador and literally didn't leave the resort for a couple days. The resort is beautiful, good food, and the staff went well beyond our expectations to be helpful. The wild life was everywhere,amazing views, and we even saw a rainbow. Recommendations for local activities and food were spot on. It is the perfect place to relax or be active.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JFord577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Ford One of our favorite couples ever – sweet, kind and so much in love!

Our recent 30th anniversary couple from Massachusetts did indeed capture the magic of Parador Resort & Spa. You were provided with all the pampering and spoiling that you truly deserved.

Every guest at Parador is treated like a member of our family and the entire staff welcomes every chance to help and assist them in their every need.

We Wish for You many years of love, happiest and Pura Vida!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with others here on this Tripadvisor

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

We stayed at Hotel Parador from April 26-May 04 and were completely satisfied. Parador is perched on top of a very steep hill and has excellent views of the ocean. Many of the rooms offer a view of the Pacific and the surrounding jungle, which is beautiful and fascinating. The jungle comes alive around 6am and the animals can be heard easily over the din of the air conditioner. Monkeys, toucans, and other wildlife easily visible on the hotel grounds.

Hotel: the main part of the hotel has extensive woodwork throughout which really adds to the atmosphere. The rooms are well appointed and comfortable, although it's probably time for them to buy some new pillows -- ours were flat and lumpy.

Staff: very friendly and trustworthy.

Food: the food is excellent on and off the resort. The complimentary breakfast buffet was delicious and filling. Lunch was reasonable but dinner can get expensive if you eat there every night. The chef puts out great food but for my wife and I it cost about $90 for dinner with 1 drink each. There are some cheaper food options in town but not many - Costa Rica, or at least this part of it, is as expensive as a typical Canadian or US city.

Wildlife: You will be tripping over the monkeys, iguanas, and sloths. Enjoy!

Manuel Antonio National Park: $10 per person entry. Hire a guide once you're inside to get the most out of your visit. They've been doing it so long they can spot frogs, snakes, and monkeys that I otherwise would have walked past. Inside the park is the beach -- clear water and soft sand. The public beach just a few hundred yards away is much rougher.

Getting around: We rented a vehicle from the airport in San Jose and thought it was worth it. Getting down from the resort into the nearest town is about 5km of very steep winding roads. The hotel offers a shuttle service and taxis are available, but we found it handier to come and go as we pleased. We had trouble finding this resort on the GPS so the rental agency programmed another shop close by.

Overall: can't say enough positive things about our stay. I did notice that when we mentioned where we were staying, both the locals and other tourists would nod approvingly, since the resort has a good reputation and a prime location. It's one of the more expensive resorts but I thought it was worth it. I'd go back for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Gary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Wow, we blush! Thank you so very much for your wonderful and detailed comments. It is our humble goal to accommodate all our guests with the highest standards of quality and customer service and we are so very happy that we met your expectations. Regarding the Park tour -- while it is not absolutely crucial to enjoy Manuel Antonio National Park under the guidance of a guide, our professional certified guides have the eyes, equipment to spot the unique wildlife of the jungle. Furthermore, a guide provides a much more comprehensive educational experience regarding our area’s flora and fauna. Pura Vida and we hope to see you pretty soon…

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Reviewed May 6, 2013

I work as travel inspector and I just passed 3 amazing days at El Parador! The property is elegant and classy, the decoration is romantic and exquisite! Love is in the air All over this place, delicious gastronomy, good wines and cocktails. The pool is completely the best in All Manuel Antonio area and invite You to swim since the First time You enter to the hotel. Amazing ocean views All the time! The staff is extremely friendly, genuine and respecful and willing to assist You All the time in a Perfect way that makes You feel at home from beginning to ending of your Pleasant stay. This an ecoluxury hotel that really worth to visit. get ready to fall in love!

Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
2  Thank YourEcofriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

MUCHAS GRACIAS! Well, what can we say in response to such a stellar review? We’ll start with a heart-felt Thank You! We are always delighted to learn of our guests positive experiences at Parador and are grateful that you’ve taken time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts and observations with us – and the world. Come back soon! It will be our pleasure to serve you again.

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Reviewed April 30, 2013

My husband and I just attended his son's wedding. Resort was first class including amenities. Restaurant was excellent. Loved the experience. Actually saw monkeys on one morning frolicking in the trees. Loved the pool and the pool side bar. I agree with past reviews that the hotel staff were very warm and friendly. Actually pronounced my name correctly - my proper name I mean. The only other time that has occurred was at the Ritz Carlton in Puerto Rico. We had the reception dinner at the Parador as well and everything was perfect including the surroundings, the meal and the service. Highly recommend. The only thing we didn't like was the three hours plus drive from the airport. However the driver of the shuttle bus was wonderful and the trip was actually very interesting

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Burm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

The Parador was a five star resort in my opinion. The views are incredible and the grounds are amazing. The hotel staff were so friendly -- always asking what they could do for us. And they were always smiling. The room was beautiful and we were upgraded upon arrival. We walked the hotel trail and saw monkeys and a sloth early in the morning. The pool area was a paradise with swim up bar. I am not sure how there could be a nicer hotel in the area than this one.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marilyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jrodriguezarroyo, General Manager at Parador Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Dear Marilee. We pride ourselves on providing wonderful and personal service to our guests, so we are thankful that you mentioned it as a highlight of your trip. As a 4-star property with 5-star service, we provide our guests with everything they deserve and more than they expect. It's all magic, created every day in Parador Resort & Spa.
We are so glad you had such an amazing time during your stay! You really did get the best view in the resort and nothing sounds better than waking up to the view of the exotic monkeys and the cute sloths. We would love for you to return and explore more of Costa Rica!

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Additional Information about Parador Resort and Spa

Address: | Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#5 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#6 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: $265 - $455 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Parador Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Parador Resort & Spa, Costa Rica’s premier eco-luxury resort. Sitting high above the Central Pacific coastline, this award-winning hotel is built on 12 acres of rainforest in beautiful Manuel Antonio, just minutes from Costa Rica’s best beaches.Known for its dedication to preserving and protecting Mother Nature as well as its first-class amenities, Parador offers a long list of activities for your enjoyment and a staff ready to accommodate your every need. Experience inspired cuisine. Take a walk along a white sand beach. Swing through the rainforest canopy. Or simply relax and take in the view from your splendid suite. It’s all about responsible luxury, pura vida style. Parador Resort & Spa… Where Green Is More Than Just A Color. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Resort Parador
Parador Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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