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“This is Pura Vida”

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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 29, 2014

Second time here, and can only say "why did it take so long to return?". I love this place. It's simply beautiful, the staff are amazing, the food is great and the rooms, especially #12 are extraordinary. Room #12 has a king bed, big walk in shower and big bathroom, gorgeous big deck with mountain view on one side and ocean view on the other, very private, complete with deck chairs, sitting area, hammock and a Jacuzzi. We never left that deck and our room for two days! The staff are amazing, special thanks to Luis- our concierge, and Giovani- our dining room ambassador. The service is over-the-top! Everyone looks after all the details for you, just sit back and enjoy. The ground are impeccable. the wildlife is breathtaking. We had flocks of macaws and green parrots every morning, an array of butterflies throughout the day. Monkeys climbing in the trees. The grounds are very well manicured. The spa was very relaxing and attentive staff at hand.
The staff make it a point to let you know they will do whatever it takes to impress you. Bliss.
Thanks you Punta Islita.

Room Tip: #12 is best, we were in another room, but were allowed to switch rooms because we asked for the best...
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank forktravels
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 June 4, 2014

Thank you so much for highlighting the sense of bliss and close contact to unspoiled nature. The level of personalisation and attention to detail that distinguishes our staff is magnified when we have a chance to be repeat hosts. On behalf of Luis, Giovani and the macaws, monkeys, and butterflies... we look forward to your third visit in the very near future. Pura vida right back to you!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014

My sister and I stayed at Hotel Punta Islita for 4 nights at the end of February. We decided to fly Nature Air, which was a quick flight and a great decision. We arrived at the Islita airport and there was a hotel van waiting for us. After a short drive, we arrived at the hotel. We were in awe of the beauty from the moment that we got there. We had to wait about an hour for our room to be ready, as we arrived in the morning. That one hour wait seemed like nothing in such a beautiful setting. We were provided with cool towels and delicious welcome drinks. We were eventually guided to our room, which was upgraded to a beautiful ocean view villa. The view was unreal. We spent most of our days lounging by our private plunge pool, and our evenings at the lobby pool bar drinking amazing cocktails made by Miguel. We also did zip lining, the cooking class, and we got massages. The zip lining was very fun and beautiful. The cooking class was a blast. We were able to sharpen our Spanish skills and make some delicious food. The massages were amazing and the spa was absolutely stunning. One of the evenings, we decided to stay at our plunge pool and enjoy some champagne. Miguel was kind enough to make us a platter of champagne and different mixers delivered to our room for a girl's night. What a wonderful time! All of the staff was friendly, welcoming, and went out of their way to make our stay memorable.
Unfortunately, I got sick on our last night there. The next morning, we were scheduled to fly out. We were able to arrange a doctor's appointment in San Jose through the staff at the hotel. The staff went out of their way to help me feel better, providing me with a cool towel, gatorade, and coconut water while we waited for the van to the Islita airport. When we arrived at the Islita airport, a very nice gentleman that was on the van with us got me some ice to cool the towel. The same man kept checking on me throughout the flight and when we landed in San Jose, he insisted on carrying our luggage and finding a cab for us to get to the hospital. He then gave us his business card and told us to call him if we had any concerns or problems. He turned out to be the CEO of Hotel Punta Islita. What a wonderful staff, from the housekeepers to the CEO. Although the trip ended on a bad note, our experience at the hotel was amazing. I would travel back there in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Julianne D
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 May 15, 2014

Saludos Julianne! Please receive a warm greeting from Costa Rica and a cheerful thanks for taking the time to reminisce about your stay at Hotel Punta Islita with your sister. Wonderful to learn that you enjoyed such a variety of relaxing, cultural, and adventure activities. And a very special thanks for emphasizing our team's hospitality. Saludos!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014

I haven't cried upon leaving a vacation since I was a kid, but upon saying goodbye to the always, smiling staff who went above and beyond to make sure we had a unique experience, the sounds of the beautiful birds and howling monkeys, the exquisite views of the jungle, the ruggedly gorgeous coastline, and just the overall lushness of the property, my tears started to downpour. This property, its staff and the beauty of Costa Rica has truly been one of the best experiences of my life and I knew I was leaving a special place.

My husband and I decided to book a much needed, last-minute vacation the first week of May 2014. We were not, at the time, planning to travel outside the United States for this particular getaway when we discovered Marriott's Autograph Collection of properties, and Hotel Punta Islita. After reading the numerous excellent reviews from others on Trip Advisor who seemed to appreciate the same level of luxury, quality service, and seek a unique but authentic experience as us, we decided to book. And Hotel Punta Islita was this and so much more!

Although it is part of the Marriott family of hotels, there was nothing about Hotel Punta Islita that felt like you were staying at an American hotel chain in another country--you truly felt transported to a different world. Hotel Punta Islita is not surrounded by other hotels but is in a remote area, nestled in the jungle/rainforest along the Pacific coast, and has a very "unhotel" like feel, with the rustic elegance of terracotta floors, beautiful tiles in public areas, stones, roofs made out of natural materials from the area, and open air spaces and restaurants. We decided to make the 2.5 hour journey from Liberia airport using Hotel Punta Islita's driver and we are glad we did as we were able to enjoy the different sceneries and villages along the way and didn't have to worrying about not being experienced drivers when it came to crossing the river in a 4x4 ---that was pretty cool, must admit. The rooms and property were decorated with arts/crafts from the local town, Islita. Having upgraded to the Junior Suite Casita with private patio, hammock and plunge pool made us feel like we had a little home-away from-home, not just a hotel room. I don't know where in my own country you can sit on the patio in the morning, sipping coffee and listen to the howler monkeys, watch a swarm of parakeets fly by and ingest the most beautiful sounds of the jungle combined with the ocean---so relaxing.

The service at this resort is perhaps the best we've ever had---warm, friendly, genuine with an uncompromised level of professionalism. They truly want you to have a good experience at the resort and in their country and always saw an opportunity to go above and beyond to enhance our experience. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Marvin who introduced himself as our personal concierge, helped us settle in with a Guaro Sour which quickly became our cocktail of choice all week and he oriented us to the property. He gave excellent advice when it came to the excursions and took care of booking them for us as we would like. He always checked-in with us when he saw us to see if everything was going ok and if there was anything we needed. We really enjoyed having consistency amongst the waitstaff at breakfast and dinner. (We rarely ate lunch as they offered such a hearty breakfast, which was included). Antonio and Mike made an effort to get to know us and provide us with a wealth of information about local foods, wines and life in the area, and provided us with a personalized food experience. Antonio suggested and coordinated a special seafood experience/presentation for dinner (the Mariscate--not sure if I spelled correctly) one night because he knew how much we loved seafood and told us we MUST go have the fresh fried Whole Snapper down beach restaurant because it is the best way to eat snapper for him----and we agree! Thank you Antonio for coordinating for such a great food experience and thank you to the chefs for making it! And we discovered their mixed ceviche-some the best we've ever had! He also made sure we had a fresh mango plate everyday without us even asking because it was mango season and we just couldn't seem to go a day without them---so fresh there, he just knew we'd be having them! And Mike always filled us with Pura Vida! We really enjoyed hanging with Brahner at Harry's Bar at the infinity pool and his Guaro Sours---it was hard not to have "uno mas" with that view from the pool and Brahners fun, dry humor! The food and drinks at both 1492 and Borrachio Beach restaurant and both bar's were fairly priced considering they were really the only choices on the property and in the vicinity for that matter. We love new foods so we found there to be a nice mix of local specialties combined with more continental fare for the non adventurous diner.
Other service staff like housekeeping even enhanced the experience by adding special touches at each room service with their artful placement of bouginvillas in the room and property maintenance staff always paused what they were doing for a quick hello and welcoming smile.

As for excursions, we did bird watching with Viales---very passionate and knowledgable about birds of Costa Rica and now I really enjoy watching them more at home as a result of this experience. We got a bonus as we were able to observe a monkey family in action. We also did horseback riding in the jungle with Eduardo--exciting way to take in the jungle and breathtaking views of the area and wildlife. My husband and I were both inexperienced riders and we never felt nervous as the horses were very calm and well-guided by Eduardo. Zip-lining through the jungle is a must do if you've never done it. Regretfully, we didn't do the monkey quest or see the Macaw conservation project--we were so enjoying the property, the infinity pool, Brahner's Guaro Sours and relaxing under the almond trees that we just couldn't fit it all in. Next time!

My husband and I usually don't vacation at the same spot twice, but we both agree we will be back to Costa Rica and we would come back to Hotel Punta Islita! Next time, instead of 6 days we need two weeks! Perhaps we will try their sister property for a week, then comeback to Hotel Punta Islita. We also think that the first week of May was a great time of year---almost the transition from the dry season to the rainy season. The weather was warm (and humid), an occasional rain late in afternoon or during the night so the jungle and the property was beautiful, green and lush, not brown and acrid as we were told it can be during dryer parts of the season. Until next time….Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sarasprings
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 May 14, 2014

Warm greetings Sara! Thank you for embracing Costa Rica and its unique character so wholeheartedly. Our goal is to provide a memorable sequence of extraordinary experiences because we believe that travel is a singular opportunity to live intensely. Thank you for letting us know that we fully succeeded! And thank you for such a beautiful narrative about your experience. Looking forward to next May!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014

My best friend and I spent 2 nights at Hotel Punta Islita as part of a longer trip to Costa Rica. I immediately fell so in love with the property that I convinced another friend and her husband to book a stay! From the moment we drove across the river (yes, across and thru the river) and up the winding road, I knew this hotel would be special. We were greeted with cool towels and welcome cocktails, and had lunch gazing out across the Pacific Ocean. Every single staff member that we encountered was kind and friendly, happy to help and to just enjoy the day with us. Briner served up delicious mojitos at the swim-up bar, and Antonio was a most gracious server in the restaurant. This is THE PLACE to go for honeymooners or singles just wanted to check-out and step-in to nature. You'll wake to the sounds of howlers and macaws, and might fall asleep to the sound of a distant thunderstorm. The rooms are immaculate, the beds and linens are so comfy...it's like sleeping in clouds. I've traveled extensively, around the world, for both business and pleasure...and I've never been anywhere quite like Hotel Punta Islita. As we were leaving, Antonio said, safe travels and don't forget the way back. <3

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Annya B
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 May 14, 2014

Dear Annya: It was a singular pleasure to have a chance to host you and your best friend. Your enthusiasm and intense travel attitude is contagious! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Trip Advisor community. We certainly look forward to your friends' arrival and will always look forward to your return. Warmest regards on behalf of all the staff!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014

Stayed here two weeks ago while travelling with another couple. I used my Marriott points and was pleasantly surprised to find that we and the other couple had been upgraded to our own casitas which included a plunge pool and hammock. The resort has beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding mountainside. ALL of the staff were fabulous. Everyone went above and beyond to meet all of our requests and we really enjoyed our interaction with them.

Based on the reviews I read, I think everyone has hit on all of the pros, so I will not detail out all of those. However, I did have 2 Cons that I would mention to any future travelers. Really, the pros outweigh the cons, but I read MANY reviews prior to my trip, and I wish folks had mentioned the two things below:

-There are bugs, and they are in your room, in your shower, and on your bed. We did come at the beginning of rainy season, which I am sure saw more bugs out than usual. I spent the first few days trying to look passed all of the bugs that were in my room, but after killing 30 bugs on my bed in a matter of minutes and finding a scorpion in our drapes, I asked for them to change my room. They were very accommodating and switched me over immediately. The second room was better, but there was still the occasional bug crawling/flying around. I completely understand the environment, but given the caliber of the hotel, I was not expecting to be co-mingling with insects in my bed. I wish I had been warned of this ahead of time so I would have come more prepared (or in all likelihood, would have stayed elsewhere).

-If you are renting a car, the drive is about 2.5 hours from the Liberia Airport. It is a LONG, BUMPY, WINDY, ride. If you get carsick, this is not a ride you want to take. Once we got to the hotel, going pretty much anywhere was an hour adventure on the same dirt roads. I can only imagine that during the height of rainy season some of those roads are impassable. The hotel does offer everything you could want, so you don't HAVE to go off property, but it was nice to get out for a change of scenery and food options.
Something else I did not realize was that the rental company (Avis) FORCED us to pay for insurance even though I thought I was covered with my AMEX card. They would not let us leave without insurance, which added significantly to our overall rental cost. There were several other customers there going through the same thing, so it was definitely not clear that opting out of insurance was not allowed (even with an AMEX or Corporate coverage).

Overall, we had a fabulous stay at Hotel Punta Islita and very much enjoyed our time there. Take advantage of all the adventures the hotel has to offer!

Room Tip: Casitas have a patio, hammock, and plunge pool.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KaitSAS08
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 May 14, 2014

Warm greetings from Costa Rica. Thank you so much for exploring our country through Hotel Punta Islita and thank you for giving us and the Trip Advisor community such useful feedback. We are delighted that your stay was overwhelmingly positive, especially on account of our fabulous staff. We sincerely apologize for the presence of bugs in your first room. The start of the rainy season brings about lush landscapes and the sporadic spike in nature's six-legged citizens. We have taken appropriate and eco-friendly action to minimize their presence in guest facilities but once in a while nature's intensity is as overpowering as it is beautiful. Our staff will never spare efforts to either address the problem on the spot or relocate our guests to another room option. I am glad that we were able to offer you the latter. Thanks for highlighting the fun of the adventures we offer!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014

We own a vacation home in Costa Rica, so we often travel the country and stay in different places. We stayed for two nights at Punta Islita last week, second time there (but the first 10 years ago). The resort looks just as nice as it did 10 years ago, maybe better. The service was excellent, in every way possible. Marvin the concierge went out of his way to make sure that everything was perfect. The restaurant and bar staff were friendly and prompt. Food excellent, we especially enjoyed the whole fish at the beach bar and the octopus in the main restaurant. The waiter found out that it was my husband's birthday the next night (and that tres leces is his favorite cake) and made a personally decorated cake for us. So nice. Our room (a deluxe, #4) was beautiful, everything worked perfectly, plenty of space and the private terrace with hammock was a treat. If you go, I would highly recommend that you visit the macaw breed and release center on the property. The sight of 32 recently released macaws flying in to feed in the evening is amazing. The work that Carlos and his team are doing in re-introducing the macaws to the area is incredible and a great visit for adults and children. We had an amazing time in Punta Islita and now that the macaw program is there, we are looking forward to visiting again soon with our grandchildren in tow. One thing, I had hesitated to go to Punta Islita after hearing that it was operated by the Marriot. I actually really like Marriots and am a reward member, etc., but we wanted to stay somewhere that was more authentic than most of the properties they run here in CR. We were happy to see that the property is still owned by locals, and retains the very special, low-key atmosphere and is still a fantastic place for a get-away. It is remote and a little more difficult to get to than some resorts, but it is well worth the extra effort.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank rmaria
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 May 14, 2014

Dear Maria - Your review means a lot to us. Not only for giving us the key perspective of a repeat guest but as one who can attest to the unique character of Marriott's Autograph Collection program. We are proud to be members of a curated selection of outstanding properties that by definition embrace Marriott's excellence standards while retaining and highlighting authenticity. Hotel Punta Islita will always be defined by a close relationship with its local communities and an intense commitment to protecting and recovering our amazing natural setting. Autograph Collection respects and celebrates each property's signature individuality while providing travelers with the wonderful perks of reward membership. Thank you for cheering both!

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Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

After driving a fun dirt road in a 4x4 we arrived at Punta Islita. Marvin greeted us with moist towels and checked us in. He upgraded us all to a suite for our stay. The property is very well maintained with friendly staff. Private plunge pool and yard with the suite. Clean rooms. The beach pool and bar are nice as well. The infinity pool with swim up bar has an amazing view. Two surfing spots are 10-15min drive from property. One south and the other north. You are pretty much confined to the hotel when it comes to dinning as the area is very remote.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
Thank MGsurfer
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 May 14, 2014

Saludos fellow surfer enthusiast! Although my skills are best suited for Islita's beginner-friendly beach, I remain hopeful to someday ride the waves at nearby Camaronal and Samara beach. Thank you for focusing on the surfing options that are available to our guests. I am glad that you enjoyed your stay and hope you return very soon!

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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: $193 - $627 (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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