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“best family vacation at Punta Islita”

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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed February 24, 2014

We just spent five glorious days with our two daughters, ages 11 and 14 at Punta Islita in mid February. As soon as we arrived, Marvin, our concierge graciously welcomed us and was extremely helpful throughout our stay. We stayed in a beautiful 2 bedroom casita, with a view of the ocean. Every morning we would look forward to sitting on our patio and watching the Macaws fly by. The plunge pool on the patio offered refreshing relief from the heat. The beach is pristine, and we all enjoyed the warm temperature of the ocean. We took advantage of the activities offered at Punta Islita. We had the pleasure of having Viales as a tour leader for the Monkey Quest, Ziplining and Kayaking. Viales was fun and kind to our family. Since we did not have a car, we ate all our meals at the hotel. We found the food delicious and we enjoyed the atmosphere of the dining room. The waitstaff was excellent, and we were fortunate to have Randy assigned to our table for many meals. He knew our names, was extremely attentive and taught us a good amount of Spanish. We also appreciated Antonia, the housekeeper, who always kept our casita clean, and folded our towels in beautiful origami designs. Our family had a wonderful time being together at Punta Islita. It was hard to leave and we can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Janet599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Warm greetings from Costa Rica Janet! Thank you for choosing Hotel Punta Islita as your special family getaway. I am delighted that your extraordinary experience inspired you to write such a colorful review. Thank you for fully immersing in our surroundings to best enjoy Costa Rica's amazing wildlife and landscapes. I will gladly relay your comments to Marvin and Randy! Please do return very soon! Perhaps you could combine your next visit with a stay at our sister property, El Silencio Lodge & Spa for a full beach and mountain experience. Best regards!

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

Just got back a week ago from 4 nights with my wife at Punta Islita. The trip to the resort as is often noted here is an adventure. The route we took even involved a river crossing. The resort is isolated which adds to its mystique. 1) Rooms We actually got to experience two rooms. After checking into our room we went to dinner. Upon returning afterwards we found that it had been taken over by ants. Certainly not hundreds but 30-40 which werer everywhere including the bed. After "discussing" this with the manager we were moved to an over the top villa so they did go above and beyond in dealing with the problem. Both rooms were very nice although to be truthful the villa was starting to show some wear and tear and it was quite a distance to the main area. 2) Staff was very nice. Extremely friendly and hard working. the Costa Rican people seem to have an incredible work ethic that doesn't necessarily exist in the Caribbean. Both bartenders were talented and amusing. 3) Food Food in 1492 restaurant was good not great and certainly not a good value. Amazingly enough we thought the food at the beach was much better. Tthe best food and the best value was the food at the local restaurant which to their credit the resort seems to support. Great local food at great prices. Go! You didn't really come to Costa Rica to eat burgers did you? Breakfast at 1492 was adequate but nothing special. We had just come from 4 nights at Nayara where the included breakfast was remarkable. 4) Tours We did not go on any tours because to be truthful talking to the people who had convinced us they were not that special. One little excursion which is not to be missed is going to the Macaw rescue center. A chance to see several of these magnificent noisy birds up close. All in all we had a good time at Hotel Punta Islita. One problem with the resort is that it is very spread out but the provided transportation is amazingly prompt. Had we not gone to Nayara I probably would have given this resort 5 stars but in truthfulness it is not on the same level as Nayara.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Daniel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Greetings Daniel! Thank you for taking the time to detail your experience at Hotel Punta Islita. Although it was decidedly positive, we certainly did not achieve the WOW level that we aim for. I apologize for the ant intrusion and I am glad that we were able to properly compensate for the inconvenience.

Sustainability and a close relationship with our neighboring communities are two of our main objectives and we always encourage guests to patronize local micro-enterprises and enjoy the local community art museum. Thank you for giving praise to their offerings!

I kindly ask you to provide more details about your impressions of our offered tours and activities. We try to offer engaging experiences that include eco-adventures like canopy zip-lining, river kayaking, surfing, horseback riding, and hiking. We also offer cultural activities, excursions to local secluded beaches, and learning opportunities with sea-turtle conservation and red macaw recovery programs. I am thrilled that you fully enjoyed the latter but would love to learn why the other activities were not perceived as attractive. Please feel free to contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com Your further comments will be greatly appreciated! Warmest regards.

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

My husband and I just returned from a relaxing stay at Punta Islita. We travel to Costa Rica with some regularity and are fairly familiar with the country but had never been to this location before. We stayed on Marriott points and did receive a nice upgrade due to my husband's status, which made our stay even more enjoyable.

The service and concept are what makes the hotel/resort special. The entire staff is gracious, friendly, and exceedingly helpful. The concept of spreading the resort over a large area creates a sense of privacy that is very pleasing. The grounds are beautiful and make a nice visiting spot for much local wildlife. The views are amazing and peaceful.

The food was consistently good at all locations. The hotel was serving a buffet breakfast during our stay and it was delicious and included more than enough variety for our tastes. We were there for several days and a little more variety at the two restaurants for lunch and dinner would be nice. There are really no other dining options close by except the local restaurant down the road, which had quite good food but seemed to have inconsistent hours.

We enjoy Costa Rica mostly due to the friendly people, the scenery and the wildlife. During this stay we were fortunate to watch a female whale and her calf playing while they traveled for several minutes, a group of the howler monkeys playing one evening by the hotel entrance, the beautiful macaws, and several other local birds. We also enjoyed our yard iguana that visited us with regularity to eat the red hibiscus flowers.

Because we are lazy and have done most of the available activities at other locations on other visits to Costa Rica we did not participate in any of these activities here. We did rent a car for our entire stay and visited Playa Carillo which is a lovely beach only about a half hour away and then drove through Playa Samara which was a bit too touristy for us. We enjoyed having a car for the trip, but that, of course, is a personal preference only.

Overall, we had a very nice and relaxing time at Punta Islita and saw more wildlife than we had expected. We have plans to return next year and will definitely rent a car again. We look forward to seeing many of the kind staff that helped us enjoy our stay this year and visiting a country, that to us, is always a pleasure.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jaleha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Wow! Your magnificent experience at Hotel Punta Islita certainly reached the excellence levels that we want to provide to all our visiting friends. Thank you so much for sharing the details of your stay and the many little surprises that Mother Nature kindly provided. We certainly look forward to your return and hope to help you keep exploring our beautiful Costa Rica. Perhaps you could add a visit to our sister cloud forest property, El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Gracias!

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Reviewed February 21, 2014

This part of our stay was our time to relax. We chose a Marriott Boutique because the client volume is usually smaller than those of the bigger Marriott resorts. Liberia Airport near by. Hotel is beautiful. We had to push to be upgraded, even though we knew there were upgrades available. Rooms 1 & 2 are probably least desirable. 5 thru 8 have lovely views. Staking out your lounge chair near the infinity pool is practiced here, and with only 8 chairs which have access to umbrella shade, you need to do it, too. Same down at the beach. However, more selections down there. Very nice pool down at beach, with a shade area, in case you have small children. Best beach for us so far, regarding swimming & long walks. Breakfast seating is first come, but evening is not. Be sure to confirm your evening table, and even then, it might change come dinner time. Our most special time here was lunch on the beach. Tuna sandwich that was to die for, and a wonderful server, Giovanny, completed this special moment. Thank you, Giovanny !! Room service was impeccable. Close encounters with macaws. Nice pictures to look back on.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 & 2 lease desirable. 5 - 8 awesome......
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank max55Pinehurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2014

Warm greetings Max! Thank you for taking the time to share highlights of your experience at Hotel Punta Islita. I will surely send your special kudos to Giovanny! We will absolutely comply with any possible upgrades as outlined in the Marriott Rewards program. I would love to have more feedback regarding your experience with the upgrade assignment process. Please feel free to write to me at: outreach@grupoislita.com

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

Our family returned to Punta Islita the last week of January after a two night stay/combo trip at El Silencio, its sister resort (see separate review). We first visited PI last March and enjoyed our stay so much we decided we had to go back. While we booked months ago, when we discovered our daughter had a week off during state exams, the timing turned out to be perfect. We escaped NY during the coldest week of the winter!

We arrived late Mondayafternoon after a bit of a drive from El Silencio, made longer by hitting construction twice and one delay due to moving cattle. Btw, it is possible to fly to PI, but I have an aversion to small planes, so even though it takes longer, we are happy to drive. Luis, our concierge for the stay greeted us and set us up with a welcome drink. After relaxing a bit, we set out to our villa, Guanacaste to settle in. What a gorgeous view of the ocean complete with a plunge pool,living area, kitchen,, two large bedrooms each with en suite baths and a separate hall 1/2 bath.

We thoroughly enjoyed our prior stay and so glad we returned. When we were there last March, the hotel was more crowded, though at the time we didn't really notice because it is not a mega resort, but this visit we could see the difference. For activities we took the sunset horseback riding trip since we enjoyed it so much the last time. This time we spent more time riding on the beach and got a special treat just as we approached the viewing area, white-faced monkeys. It was great to have Nelson as our guide again and my birding guide later in the week. We also did the monkey quest with Benacio (sp?) and in addition to seeing many, many howlers, we stopped at the beach in Corazilito before returning to the resort. It is deserted and absolutely stunning.

Most days we spent at least a few hours lounging on the beach, where it was too easy to order food and drinks. If one tired of the ocean, there was a great pool as well. For dinners, we ordered room service twice as we could get smaller meals, when we ate too much at lunch. One evening we went to Kambute, the only restaurant in the Islita town, but very authentic and very good and twice we had dinner at the hotel dining room. We enjoyed the food very much and thought it had improved over our last visit but that may have had to do more with the volume of guests at that time. Breakfast was ala carte but plenty of choices and very very good. We did not miss the buffet.

My husband took advantage of the 9 hole executive course and had great service from Carlis, who made sure he had plenty of water during his game. Both my daughter and I used the spa services, which were wonderful. There was some confusion on our appointment but they worked it out very quickly. The highlight for our daughter was surfing lessons with Nelson (a different Nelson that the nature guide). He is a fantastic teacher. I did a birding tour with the other Nelson one morning and loved that as well. I had joined him last year and it was great to spend the first part of my visit finding some of the birds on my own and then new ones with him. Nelson's passion are the scarlet macaws, and PI has a release center on the property. When we were there a year ago, only a couple had been released, now there are many and it is a beautiful sight when they fly overhead. We saw several enjoying breakfast in the almond trees and separately I found a few more down near the beach. Their colors are spectacular.

One of the nicest aspects of our return was seeing staff from our prior visit including Andrey, the general manager. He made a point of stopping at our table to welcome us back and we were able to tell him how much we enjoyed meeting his brother Jimmy at El Silencio as well as some of his other colleagues from El Silencio. Marvin, our concierge from our last visit, filled in when Luis had a well deserved day off, and was kind enough to arrange for us to see a casita for a possible future visit. We also had great service from Geovanny and Edgar in the dining room, many waitstaff down at the beach and in rare moments when Luis wasn't around, Isel helped with our queries. Luis was new to us but we were glad to get to know him as he was a terrific concierge for our family.

When Saturday morning arrived we were very disappointed to leave a wonderful place. It was a 2.5 hour drive to Liberia, where we caught our flight back to the states. We are already planning our third visit.

Room Tip: We have only stayed in the two bedroom villas, Guanacaste, which is more to the right if you are loo...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank CobbHillBrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2014

Reading your review has made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed and heartfelt account of your second stay at Hotel Punta Islita. Your return is the best sign that we are attaining our goal of providing extraordinary service and amazing opportunities to enjoy some of Costa Rica's most authentic and off-the-beaten-path beach landscapes. I am especially enthused that this time around you had a chance to include a visit to our sister cloud forest property, El Silencio Lodge & Spa. We wish you many happy, Pura Vida returns!

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Reviewed February 15, 2014

My wife and I stayed at Hotel Punta Islita for six nights during the last week of January, 2014. The drive from Liberia Airport to the hotel was lengthy (about 2 hours and 45 minutes), but it wasn't a bad drive at all. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Izel, who was our concierge for the trip. I can't say enough about how accommodating she was during our entire stay. After greeting us at our car with cool towels, she sat us down with a cocktail to provide details on the property. We were then escorted to our room, which was beautiful and well-appointed. We stayed in a standard room (no plunge pool or jacuzzi) because we were using Marriott points for the stay and the more upscale rooms were not available through use of points. The property and the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. The infinity pool is a great place to hang out during the day and enjoy the views and the sun. There is a swim up bar and the temperature of the pool was perfect. We had a lot of fun spending time with the bartender, Johan. He was a great source of local information and a very entertaining and accommodating guy. The beach is also a great spot. The setting is picturesque and there is also a pool down by the beach as well as a swim up bar and restaurant. We ate at the restaurant for lunch on a couple of occasions and the food was pretty good overall...stick with the standard Costa Rican food...excellent ceviche. While Punta Islita is very remote (about 45 minutes away from the closest town) there are plenty of activities in the area. We went kayaking, ziplining, and horseback riding. The horseback riding with Eduardo was definitely the highlight. While a little scary at times when going up to the top of the hills that overlook the Pacific, the two hour trip was fantastic and Eduardo was a great guide. I would also recommend the spa...it is one of the most gorgeous and relaxing spas I have visited and I have been to many. Overall, the people that work at the hotel were fantastic. An example of the hospitality...after our first day at the hotel, my wife felt a nauseous one morning (likely typical travelers illness). When we got out to the pool in the late morning, Izel had a coconut waiting for my wife to sip during the day so that she would stay hydrated. It was very effective and a great example of the level of personal service you get at this hotel. You don't have the anonymous feeling you get at a large resort. I would highly recommend this resort for couples. I don't believe this is a good place to bring children given the location and the fact that the pool in the main resort area is for adults only. This was one of the things that made this trip so relaxing. The only recommendation I would make to Punta Islita is the food options. You have the opportunity to eat at the main restaurant for breakfast and dinner, but you need to go to the beach restaurant for lunch or opt for a bar menu in the main resort area. While the food is very good for breakfast (freshest fruit I ever had) and good for dinner, you kind of get bored with the options after staying for a week. The independent restaurant down the hill from the resort, Cafe Kmbute, was excellent...I would highly recommend eating there a couple of times for dinner. One other note, make sure you fully pack toiletries and medicine for your trip. There is nowhere to find items you would consider to be pretty common. Another example of great service...my wife forgot her contact solution and Izel arranged to have a driver who was heading to Punta Islita from the airport, stop in Samara and pick up the solution and deliver it to the hotel. Again, a testimony to the excellent services at Punta Islita...at the same time, a warning that you need to make sure you have everything you need because you won't find it in Islita. If you are a couple looking for peaceful vacation in a gorgeous setting, visit Punta Islita and enjoy some time without a care in the world and some of the nicest staff I have ever encountered.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank whijo03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2014

Greetings and a very special thanks for taking the time to write such a vivid and thorough review. I am delighted that your experience at Hotel Punta Islita was outstanding and diverse. Thank you so much for acknowledging the hospitality details provided by our team. They are truly wonderful people! Deluxe Rooms and Suites are perfect and romantic for couples. For families, we strongly recommend taking advantage of our Private Villas, accommodations that feature the comforts of home plus a private plunge pool. We certainly hope to see you again in the very near future.

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Reviewed February 14, 2014

We originally called into the beach at Islita and went to the beach bar for a drink. There we chatted to Miguel and discovered it was the Hotel bar. We then drove up to the hotel for lunch and were blown away by the view. We thought that this would be the ideal way to finish our trip to Nicoya peninsular in Costa Rica. The hotel is spectacular in every way, wonderful infinity pool, 9 hole golf, riding, shuttle to beach, colony of macaws and outstanding restaurant. The staff are outstanding and ever guest has their own service manager who will make bookings etc and checks several times a day that everything is OK. Not cheap but outstanding.

Room Tip: Every room is brilliant
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MikePFelixstowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2014

Saludos Mike! Thank you so much for your impromptu visit and for taking the time to share your enthusiasm with the Trip Advisor community. Warmest regards!

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Additional Information about Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection

Address: Punta Islita 50201, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Punta Islita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Price Range: $192 - $633 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Punta Islita is the only beach resort in Costa Rica to offer a full menu of complimentary tours, activities, and experiences. These include favorites like canopy zip-lining, horseback riding, monkey quests, and sea-turtle spotting. Plus unique experiences like creating art with local community artists, traditional cooking lessons, golf clinics, and more! Set in a secluded ocean cove in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Its award-winning planet-friendly, people-positive model offers a unique opportunity to fully engage in intense eco-adventures and authentic cultural experiences. The property features Deluxe Rooms, Suites, and fully-outfitted Private Villas. Ideal for honeymoons, relaxation getaways, family vacations, extended stays, or destination weddings. COMPLIMENTARY SHUTTLE AVAILABLE FROM LIBERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LIR) PLEASE CONTACT US TO SCHEDULE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Punta Islita Hotel
Resort Punta Islita
Hotel Punta Islita

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