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“Totally worth the drive!”

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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 7, 2014

This hotel was the perfect end of our Costa Rican trip. This place has some enchantment to it that just made my wife and I relax, relax and relax even more. The atmosphere is excellent, you are staring at their private beach on the pacific ocean (I think this was therapeutic to me). I loved the music they were playing in the bar, which opened up to the most magnificent infinity pool. The food was excellent, definitely ate way too much and the drinks were fantastic. Local costa rican specialties as well as your favorites.

Best of all is the service, I can't rave enough how fantastic the service is. Upon arrival we were greeted at our car with some wet face towels to cool off and freshen up a bit. Then escorted to the restaurant where the bartender prepared us an awesome costa rican drink while we were checked in. Our bags were brought directly to our room, we were also given a free upgrade to a suite. The staff was constantly catering to all of our needs at all time and it didn't stop until we left. Very courteous, polite and helpful staff. There service went beyond even my highest expectation.

The rooms are fantastic, we got upgraded to a suite and had our own jacuzzi, view of the beach, king size bed, comfortable stay (air conditioning, fans, etc are in the room). You cant' go wrong with any of the rooms, but must say that the one we stayed at is exceptional.

I can go on and on about this hotel, definitely give it a try if you are going to Costa Rica. The drive is totally worth it! Last note, the restaurant had the most delicious food ever! Compliments to the chef, we even made it to dessert...even when there was no more room left in our stomachs.

Room Tip: Take the advice on the website, try to arrive during the day. It is a bit remote and driving on an...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Winston S
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 July 8, 2014

Hola Winston! Hotel Punta Islita is certainly off-the-beaten-path. The secluded location sets the perfect stage for relaxation and prompts the ideal state of mind to enjoy dreamlike ocean landscapes, fun eco-adventures, and authentic Costa Rica. Access may pose a bit of a challenge, but offers the best option for travelers who want to avoid crowds and a touristy vibe. I will gladly relay your kudos to our Chef! We recently revamped our menus and guest feedback has been fantastic. Thanks for adding your voice! Saludos!

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403 - 409 of 989 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2014

Wow! What a resort, if you can get one of the villas with a plunge pool I highly recommend it. The resort was beautiful. The food was great. The hospitality was unbelievable. We did not want to leave. Not just because the resort was amazing but be because the people were the friendliest of any resort we have been at. When we left we felt we were leaving friends. If you go there please say hi to some of our friends - Antonio, Tito, Miguel, and Johan.

Room Tip: The villa with the plunge pool is something you won't forget.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank R G
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 July 8, 2014

Warm greetings RG! Thank you so much for your enthusiastic review. We are very proud to be part of Autograph Collection, a unique ensemble of independent luxury properties. Curated by Marriott, but autonomously managed, member hotels have achieved world-class standards while retaining the authentic character that makes them extraordinary. We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed July 1, 2014

This hotel has an exceptional view and equally exceptional staff. The room was quite small but overall we were comfortable. Loved the Red Macaw rescue center located nearby. There were lots of on-site activities, like surfing lessons, and ziplining right on the property which was convenient.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank BonnieNimmo
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 July 2, 2014

Dear Bonnie –Thank you for underscoring Hotel Punta Islita’s exceptional view and exceptional staff. Our goal is to wow each and every guest with an amazing stay that best reflects Costa Rica’s charm, hospitality, and eco-wonders. Although your comments are undoubtedly positive, the overall score you assigned falls short of our goal. Please do let us know if there is anything we could have done better. We genuinely appreciate all suggestions and observations as the best way to ensure the superlative quality of our guests’ experience.
I look forward to your comments: outreach@grupoislita.com

Warmest regards and thank you so much for taking the time to review our property and for choosing Costa Rica as a family vacation spot!

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Reviewed June 30, 2014

This was a family getaway that blew us all away. Marvin met us at our vehicle when we arrived and brought us to the restaurant bar for a much needed drink while our bags were taken to our villa. The level of service only got better from there. The staff of this resort are the most friendly we have ever encountered. They go beyound to ensure your every desire is met. The best we have experienced in our many worldly travels bar none. The grounds are well maintained. The open air restaurant superb. They went out of their way to accomadate our daughter who is a picky eater making her things off the menu. A special thanks to Marvin, Antonio and Tito, they are the best. Andrey who is the General Manager went out of his way when we had an AC problem in our villa. If you want an amazing vacation this is the place. We are planning on returning next year.

The Herndon family. Houston, Texas

  • Stayed: June 2014
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2  Thank Stxlawman
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 July 1, 2014

Saludos Herndon family! Wonderful to hear back from you. We are incredibly proud of our staff and their amazing ability to create welcoming spaces through a caring attitude and meticulous attention to detail. This singles out the Hotel Punta Islita experience as extraordinary. Looking forward to your return next year!

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Reviewed June 30, 2014

Our recent stay was a perfect vacation from the first contact with the staff at Punta Islita. After finding the hotel on a travel website, the staff was helpful from the very start by offering a competitive rate and we booked directly through the property. This also allowed us to stay in our casita, which (as other reviews have noted) all have amazing views.
Our stay at the end of May was the beginning of rainy season, which seemed to keep some other travelers away, but this was actually quite a benefit. The hotel was even quieter and the rain only came in for about an hour in the late afternoon--perfect time for a drink or a nap.
The property is absolutely beautiful from every location, from the top of the hill to the beach, and we enjoyed all of the activities we did, including horseback riding and zip-lining. The hotel even set us up with a private boat for a half day to head out on the water to see dolphins, go swimming, and do a little bit of fishing.
Enough cannot be said about the staff of the hotel! Everyone was friendly and accommodating and provided top-notch service.
While the food was good, we did wish there were local options on the menu, but even here the restaurant staff offered some adjustments for more local fare. (That said, we highly recommend taking a night or two to eat at the restaurant in town.)
Overall, highly recommended!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mattr789
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 July 1, 2014

Pura Vida Matt! Thanks for embracing Costa Rica's Green Season and Hotel Punta Islita's uniquely relaxing, fun, and good-natured vibe. For travelers who wish to experience a low-key atmosphere and the unforgettable sight of the tropical forest in verdant bloom, the rolling showers can definitely add to the experience. Saludos!

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Reviewed June 26, 2014

When I first arrived I didn't synch. I usually like to be in small towns and have lots of options. After 2 days I found out it was me that was the problem. Punta Islita forces you to slow down and enjoy the amenities and location. Once I embraced the opportunity to relax I had a much better experience. My wife and I had an amazing trip we thoroughly enjoyed this hotel and we both regretted the day we had to leave.

One of my greatest fears was being in a remote location and having limited choices at outrages prices. I have to say I was embarrassed after we saw the prices. an example a signature drink was the Sour, (Guaro and lime juice) it was only $5, a beer was only $4. these prices just don't match the location or the service level. I have seen comments about the prices and I have to say they are some of the most reasonable prices at any resort or hotel in Costa Rica and far lower than should be charged at a world class resort like this. I expected to be charged twice what I spent on food and drinks. particularly based on the location, We spent time in Mal Pais, the prices were the same for sodas and small restaurant's. I asked the waiters if the prices were low due to it being the green season and they said no. We were there during a special so our excellent full breakfast was complimentary as well as awesome internet which allowed us unlimited Skype calls home. The cell service data and voice is excellent all over Costa Rica. really a nice surprise!

Everyone advises to get the soaking tub and I couldn't agree more. It can be very hot and humid in June and without a tub ( the pools close at 7PM) there are few choices. If you want to remain out doors you have no way to combat the heat. I don't like hanging in any room when I am on vacation. The pools make all the difference. The first room I got did not have a tub. After two nights suffering outside sweating profusely, I spoke to the manager to see if being Marriott Platinum could help get an upgrade and they accommodated us to a very nice cabin with a soaking tub.

Service, was incredible! I can't single anyone out they were all exceptional and worthy of positive comment. Everyone ( even gardeners, maintenance workers and housekeepers) greeted us with a "Buenos dias" and a smile. My experience in Costa Rica is that TICO's are very friendly but this resort has taken it to the next level. The waiters even teased me a little which I happened to like. They were sincere and genuine which makes all the difference.

We did a couples massage at the SPA and it was one of the best experiences I have had. They really worked out all sorts of knots and stiffness, I don't get massages often but this was well worth the little money spent.

I also found the food and drinks were very good quality. the dinner menu changes every three days but they will cook something off the other menu if you request it. Coconut papaya soup was awesome and they offered to cook it up for me when the menu changed.

We ate at the beach restaurant and it was good as well. Had Pizza both times. We shared a pizza and it was a good size. It cost about $18. I enjoyed the Tico and the Hawaiian which adds coconut to the traditional ingredient's, also it was loaded with cheese. We added the pepper flake infused olive oil which gave it a kick that I like.

The location is remote but so much beauty accompanies this location. Macaws, iguanas, armadillos, lizards, fireflies, butterflies and birds typically only seen in books.

This resorts location is truly a gem, we came north via the beach out of Manzanillo and crossed the Bongo and the Ario on the way up. they were crossable during our visit but can be too deep depending on rainfall. Not recommended but it certainly added to our trip by conquering this route with our little 4x4. I hear travelers comment about how much they like Costa Rica from behind the walls of large American compounds, with Islita you really are in Costa Rica.

We did a couple day trips to Samara and Carrillo and took the river crossing short cut ( day time). saved 30 minutes.but mainly we did it because I liked the excitement and challenge. A trip to Carrillo and to Samara give you another side of Costa Rica. They are worth the drive.
This was my 5th vacation in Costa Rica, we rented a 4x4 from Wild Riders in San Jose and drove to the Puntarenas Ferry and then to Mal Pais. From Mal Pais we drove the coast route north to Punta Islita. I liked the freedom and independence.


If you are thinking about staying here I would say book it,

Room Tip: get a soaking tub, I liked room 11 because it was near the car and the main area. easy walk no hills...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Ian L
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 28, 2014

Experiencing the real Costa Rica is indeed amazing and I thank you for giving us a chance to be your hosts. Having a premium service hotel in a very remote and secluded location does pose challenges. Our Food & Beverage team has been working hard to further boost local sourcing and revamp our bar and restaurant offerings to feature the best possible value to our guests. Thank you for noting the success of their efforts!

Your thorough review is much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to detail your experience at Hotel Punta Islita and its surrounding areas. You are a great explorer!

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Reviewed June 23, 2014

This became a Marriott property near the beginning of 2014, but my impression is that not much has changed since they attached the "Autograph Collection" sign to the wall. The hotel staff seems well-honed and likely so far before Marriott came along and they're generally great at what they do: providing attentive, pleasant service that befits this property's upscale location, grounds and pricing. This is true from check-in to check-out.

The grounds are well-kept and on a hillside with most rooms below the main building. Your calves get a work-out walking up to meals/activities, but this is the case with many seaside Costa Rica luxury lodges which are often built on steep slopes so that rooms can all look out to the sea. Getting up top from your room is doable if slow, as the steps and paths are even and true. There's a path all the way down to the beach which seemed way too long to try, especially on the way back up hill; we opted for the frequent, free shuttle, which was the sensible choice, especially on the way back up. The beach, by the way, has it's own small club for food and drink as well as another pool with a swim-up bar.

We (me, wife, teenaged son) had a 2BR villa on the 300 level (two levels down from the main pool and restaurant). It was very large w/ a full kitchen, clean, decently decorated and virtually bug-free. You can't help the occasional ant or millipede in this lovely country, especially outside the dry season, and I think we saw, maybe two things over 2.5 days in the room which probably came in while we had the door open to the private wading pool. I've been happy to torpedo other places when I felt there was an insect problem, even in the tropics. This place gets high marks from us in that regard. The villa view, by the way, was pretty nice, although marred by a cell phone tower below, near the golf course. On the other hand, the wifi and cell service was pretty good, so this is a minor complaint. Plus, the view from up top by the main pool and eatery was perfect and unobstructed and that's where we spent most of our time, anyway. Bird watching from the room was wonderful, though. Lots of green parrots, among other things.

The main pool is of the infinity-variety and cleverly designed so that most of the time, you could swim from sun to shade at will. The swim-up bar was shaded, too, and we enjoyed watching World Cup games from the water.

The restaurant was very good, with excellent, friendly staff. In general, food in Costa Rica is not wildly priced and it was possible to have a nice, $18-$21 entree here, although salads and drinks do drive-up the price.

Activities: one nice thing about this place is that many activities occur on-site, including zip-lining, which is not as involved/amazing as some other locations farther south, but has 8 fairly long lines that eventually sweep you high above a forested valley, enough of a thrill for novices. They also have horseback rides close by. We took advantage of the complimentary Ara Macaw Reclamation Site tour, which we found just great. The land was donated by the hotel years ago and the project is still supported by Punta Islita. They're re-populating these wonderful birds. The tour shows the results---dozens of the scarlet macaws dropping by for dinner. We made a donation to the effort when we got home.

We also took them up on the dinner-on-the-beach, which is pricey, but memorable with plenty of nice touches. In fact, the dinner gave the hotel staff a chance to show their worth. About an hour before our dinner, we called the front desk to ask whether we could postpone until the following night, as steady rains were not letting-up and by design, our dinner was probably going to have to be moved up to a private corner of the pool deck (not exactly as nice). They had already set-up our table and happily invited us to have a regular dinner there at no extra charge---and then set-up the beach dinner for us the following night when the weather was better. They also surprised my wife with a small cake, as I had mentioned that it was her birthday.

Nothing leaves a worse taste in your mouth at expensive hotels than having to haggle over last-minute changes of plans and pre-booked activities that fall through for one reason or another. There was no such problem here. They knew you were paying a decent tab to stay with them and they really seemed interested in making your stay worth it. Again, excellent service.

Two problems: the first was pretty minor: a large sliding glass door in our villa was repeatedly coming off its tracks. We were able to snap it back, but finally stopped using it. I reported it on the exit survey and received a very quick response from the hotel thanking me for the heads-up.

The other problem is the same one that anyone who drives to this place discovers---and there isn't anything the hotel can do about it. The roads leading from the main highway up to the hotel's neighborhood are mainly dirt, gravel and at times, rough, rutted, rock and clay. It's best to have an SUV and a GPS. I would not recommend trying to find this place at night. The road conditions are a concern because the mandatory insurance you buy with rental cars in Costa Rica does not always cover tires. However, take it slow and you'll get there. Allow for about an hour off the main highway even though you're not really going that far.

On the plus side, the drive offers a great view of the Costa Rica back-country, complete with several small towns and "fun" creek and stream crossings on one-lane bridges, some of which offer incomplete guard rails, apparently due to unhappy souls who took these too fast or who had problems during the higher rainy season when rumor has it, the water rises up to bridge-level. This was nowhere near the case in June, however, when rain was a part-of-the-day thing and creeks and streams were largely behaving themselves. It was on this road (on the way out) that we saw our only troop of howler monkeys (stopped for 20 minutes and watched (and listened) to them passing through).

Overall, this was a great way to start a Costa Rica adventure, an adventurous 2.5 to 3-hour drive from the Liberia Airport and another 5 - 5.5 hours from Punta Islita down to Manuel Antonio (which everyone should see before you go).

Room Tip: The 300 level villas are large, but two flights below the restaurant/pool areas. You might want to a...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank pabirds
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 24, 2014

On behalf of the staff, the Macaws, and the many readers who will find your comments incredibly helpful... Thank You! Your detailed review of your experience at Hotel Punta Islita is incredibly thoughtful. I am delighted that we succeeded in creating a magical vacation experience for you and your family. A special thanks for noting the amazing design of Costa Rican architect, Ronald Zurcher and its clever use of the setting's topography. Another special thanks for highlighting and supporting our partnership with Ara Project's Red Macaw recovery program. And I would also like to echo your recommendations to only drive in an SUV and with GPS. We strongly discourage nighttime driving. Warmest regards, and thank you for fully embracing Costa Rica's amazing adventures!

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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: $221 - $742 (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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