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“Great ocean views but little else”
Review of Costa Paraiso

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Costa Paraiso
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 2, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Toucan Nest at Costa Paraiso in July of 2007. We had originally planned to stay four nights at Costa Paraiso, travel south to the Osa Peninsula, and then stay at Costa Paraiso for another three nights at the end of our trip. However, our first four nights at Costa Paraiso more than convinced us that we would not return Here’s a summary of what happened:

Day 1:
•The toilet would not flush unless the tank lid was taken off. We mentioned this to Doug immediately, but it was never corrected during our stay.
•No soap, shampoo, or any basic toiletries are provided.
•Towels are scarce. Only two shabby (meaning some of them had holes the size of oranges) bath towels and one hand towel are provided each day. When we asked for more for the pool, beach, etc., we were told that none were currently available because they were in the wash.

Day 2:
•No water when we got up in the morning.
•No electricity when we got up in the morning.
•Water pressure in the shower was so low that it was just barely trickling out for my shower. It was also cold throughout our stay, despite Costa Paraiso’s claim of having hot water on their website.
•In the middle of my boyfriend’s shower, the water was completely off for the second time in one day. It was restored several hours later.

Day 3:
•Woke up to the air conditioner dripping water onto the bed.
•The maid did a poor job cleaning throughout our stay. However, she did go through our beach bag to throw away plastic water bottles that we were hoping to reuse.
•More towels with holes were provided.

Day 4:
•Awoke to the sound of heavy gardening (sawing, etc.) at 7 AM.

Upon check-out, we informed Doug and Jennifer that we would not be returning for the three nights at the end of our trip due to the reasons listed above. We then spent half an hour arguing with them about not charging us for the last three days. Jennifer was particularly unprofessional, raising her voice and complaining that we were inconveniencing them by canceling our reservation. Our complaints about the hotel’s shortcomings did not seem to register with Doug or Jennifer. After telling Jennifer that we would dispute any charges for the final three nights with our credit card company, and continued haggling with both her and Doug, they wound up charging us an extra $30 for our canceled reservation. Further, in addition to the 16% tax that we rightfully owed for our stay, they tacked on a 9% fee that they could not explain. If anything, given the problems we experienced, I feel that they should have given us at least a partial credit for our inconveniences, rather than us paying them any additional amount.

In summary, Costa Paraiso is not what it advertises on its website. Neither my boyfriend nor I expected deluxe accommodations, but we did expect the basics of water, electricity, a working toilet, etc. Costa Paraiso has great ocean views, but not much else.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank FunintheSun_7710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPManagement, Manager at Costa Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded February 9, 2008

I'm sorry to hear that this guest did not enjoy their stay., but I can understand why. Unfortunately during their visit a massive balsam tree fell on our property and broke our water lines and took the electrical pole out. The sawing the guest is referring to was us cutting up the tree, which took two days due to its size. Power and water were sporadic as we were trying to fix the problem.

I don't recall the argument the guest is referring to, but we were under a lot of stress at the time due to the tree-related crisis. Our official policy is that when making a reservation guests pay a non-refundable 25% security deposit. The $30 that was charged was the deposit for the night that they were leaving, because it was unlikely that we would have the opportunity to fill it because they checked out late. We didn't charge the 25% for the other days that they cancelled because they had legitimate complaints.

Contrary to what the guest has said, Costa Paraiso is exactly as advertised on our website. We do have hot water showers, which are electrical and do not work when the power is out. Our towels currently don't have holes in them, but holes do occur from time to time and when we notice them we take the towel out of circulation.

Costa Paraiso is a small resort of 5 cabinas, so when problems arise, like a leaking air conditioner or a toilet that is not functioning properly, it takes time to bring in people to fix things if I can't fix it myself, especially on the weekend. I'm sorry that so many things went wrong during this guest's visit. We do our best to make things right, but if you want a 5-star hotel experience, you'd probably be happier in Guanacaste. If you want to stay at the beach saurrounded by mountains, jungle and wildlife - and you don't mind the occasional temporary inconvenience - you are going have a great time here!

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280 - 286 of 335 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2007

My wife, mother, father and I stayed here in December of 2006 and had a fantastic time. The location is great as it is one of the few places we found the is actually on the ocean (great view from your front porch!). The accommodations are well maintained and we enjoyed meeting everyone at the place (guests and staff alike - all very friendly).

The setup is sort of cabana like. If you're looking for a standard hotel with interior hallways, etc - this is not for you. But, if you're looking for a well maintained relaxing place to get you into the Pura Vida feeling of Costa Rica, this is great.

The pool/pool deck area is also very enjoyable. A new rancho has been constructed over 1/2 the pool, making it enjoyable to sit out during both the day and evening. A second rancho is also on the property for those looking to get a bit more privacy.

Highly recommended and happy to answer questions!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank CalgaryCdnHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2007

My wife and I stayed at Costa Paraiso in February 2007. I was asked to make a deposit equal to one night's stay ($169) via credit card and pay the remainder in cash or traveler's checks which I did. I then noticed that I had been charged for twice on my credit card. One of the owners, Doug, acknowledged the error and agreed to reimburse me. I received a check that could not be cashed in the U.S. My bank charged me a fee for the return of the check. I followed up with Doug who offered Paypal. I agreed. He then said his account was closed. He has since said that he will send me a check drawn on a Canadian account but has not done so. That was over a month ago. I then offered to settle this amicably so I would not have to write this review and received no response.

On another note, one morning at breakfast, I overheard two of the owners speaking with the former owner of the resort about getting friends to write positive reviews, etc., to drum up support. While I don't know if this occurred, I didn't like the sound of what I heard.

Overall, it is a nice place that is poorly run. The scenery is great, but the rooms, especially the bathrooms, are dated. I cannot believe the hassle that I have had to go through to try and receive a refund which they have acknowledged was owed. I'd recommend avoiding this headache.

Stayed: February 2007
4  Thank phineas13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPManagement, Manager at Costa Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2007

Although this customer was charged twice on his credit card, we have tried several options in good faith to reimburse him, including immediately sending him a check. He has been issued a check by our Canadian bank account, which is a corporate account, and as such is subject to business cycles that take time. We have every intention of settling this amicably despite the publishing of this complaint here, which is certainly justifiable although may cause undue damage to the reputation of Costa Paraiso.

To answer the allegation of trying to drum up support on Tripadvisor through friends: Yes, I have spoken with some of our guests about Tripadvisor, and one of my friends has reviewed our resort here - after staying here - but I have never suggested to someone who hasn't been a guest to give us a review, and I have never suggested what the content of the review should be. Tripadvisor is a well-known resource for travellers, and should it come up in conversation - as it does from time to time - I do not plead ignorance.

I can't comment on the snippet of conversation that this guest overheard, but I suspect it was taken out of context. In any case, we don't actively solicit reviews from guests and have never suggested to a person who has not been a guest here to give us a review.

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Reviewed March 16, 2007

The best place ever. If you ever go to Costa Rica be sure to fit at least a couple of days in at Costa Peraiso. The staff are so generous and friendly and the view is breathtaking.

Stayed: March 2007
4  Thank Roosterhoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2007

A buddy and I went to Costa Paraiso for a Christmas break (mostly to get away from the snow here in Canada) and it was all we could have asked for. The view was astonishing and the staff was fantastic.

Doug-las and Jennifer were very helpful in offering suggestions and could not do enough for us. We stayed in Coconut Cove - a cozy cabina that thankfully had air-conditioning, a must-have in CR.

They even had fishing rods that they let us use.

I can't wait to go back!!

Haldor Thorkelson, Calgary AB

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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6  Thank hthorkelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2007

I've been going to Dominical for several years now and stayed in the town, but this year I went with my girlfriend and wanted something more upscale and private, and I didn't want to deal with wierd people wandering around the streets. We spent four nights at Costa Paraiso and it was exactly what we were looking for. The location there is simply stunning. We stayed in the Toucan villa and we had an amazing view of the ocean crashing on huge rocks and an island from our deck. I haven't seen any place in the area that is right on the ocean except here. It's worth just stopping by to see the location. Our room wasn't big, but it had a king size bed that was very comfortable and the AC worked great. The kitchenette was pretty shabby, but they serve breakfast and we ate out the rest of the time so it didn't matter to us. The owner Doug and the manager Jen were very welcoming and even partied with us a couple of nights... defninitely a different vibe from what I've seen at other places. The only negative was that we didn't rent a car, so we needed to rely on taxis to go for food and sometimes it's impossible to get a cab. There are great restaurants close by though, so rent a car if you want to stay here. All around great place, highly recommended!

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank HoustonWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2007

Wanted to let everyone know that this place is fanastic. As far as places to stay with a quaint on the ocean feel, they are second to none in the area!

Beautiful piece of land, great people working there---Jen, Doug and of course Tequilla the dog!!!! My new wife and I were lucky enough to swing into the Costa and blessed by their wonderful set up!

It was the perfect place for us to unwiind after getting married! It was great having beers and getting to know everyone there as well.....made us feel like family! Young owners and operated...great place to stay for the younger and older crowd. Real people with real attitudes......great experience!!!

Stayed: February 2007
6  Thank TWolvesBacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Costa Paraiso

Address: 2km South of Dominical | Rocas de Amancio Rd, Dominical 12345, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Dominical
#2 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Dominical
Price Range: $99 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Costa Paraiso is an oceanside boutique hotel located near Dominical on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, you will find several hideaways to relax along with a refreshing swimming pool. The onsite restaurant Por Que No serves delicious Tican-fusion dishes along with a Chef's Daily Special.On the beach, the hotel backs onto the north entrance to Playa Dominicalito. Only a 5 minute drive to Dominical, you have access to all the adventure tourism the region has to offer...surfing, kayaking, scuba, stand up paddleboards, canyoning, ziplining, atv, horseback riding and yoga. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Costa Paraiso Dominical
Costa Paraiso Hotel Dominical
Costa Paraiso Costa Rica/Dominical

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