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Reviewed July 14, 2017 via mobile

Hotel Punta Islita
This was the first stop in our introductory trip to Costa Rica.
After staying at San Jose Marriott for a night we started our journey to Punta Islita.
First - driving: google maps really work here even without data roaming enabled. Just need to download the offline map before the trip. Also time estimates are fairly correct. The only caveat is - sometimes the road is actually rather 4x4 type of track and you need to watch carefully to not missing it since you likely would expect something better. Locals recommend you need to arrive at hotel before dusk and if you are with kids or not really adventurer - that appears to be true. However it will not kill you - will just extend the trip time. Rain is not so bad while on this road. Ideally you want to land at Liberia - will save a coupe of hours of driving. Ideally to have a 4x4 or AWD car if you're driving around that area. Pay attention to A/C when picking up a car - out of two cars we got one was blowing just hot air another was blowing cold but the fan worked only at low position.
Now - hotel: the property is located on the hill of going almost to the shore, but not directly on the shore. They have a beach club separately on the shore along with the pool bar and restaurant. Beach chairs and umbrellas, very nice setting. Shuttle goes from the office area to the beach club or you can take stairs from lower units it will be like 7-10 min walk through golf course and bunch of mango trees. Everything is maintained pretty well. Beautiful viewed from the villas. We liked it a lot. Here I also must say that you will need to climb stairs pretty much every time you leave your unit. So, this property may be not a good choice for folks with mobility concerns or issues - i.e. bad knees, heart or similar.
Next - staff: very friendly and engaging. Marvin was the one who met our group and he was just awesome. It's a different check in experience- very nice - just relax and they will take you through the entire process that would conclude by booking activities (see next section). The only thing one may consider negative is slow service at restaurants, but, hey, you're on vacation - enjoy the view. The snack bar by the pool at the beach club will have food /drinks provisioned faster.
Then - activities: some included into your package - some are extra provided by 3-rd parties. If you are Marriott rewards elite member - chances are everything is included, otherwise check with the hotel. Horseback riding was fun, and zip line give an introduction to he activity (it is several 50 to 100m lines) . The beach is ok- but not amazing - still can jump on the waves and swim a bit. No snorkeling.
On that note, we went pretty much all over the country and only descent snorkeling was by the Playa Conchal. Not even Punta Uva. So if snorkeling is in your plan - you may consider staying at Westin Guanacaste instead.
Overall: great experience, somewhere between 4 and 5 stars. I will give it 5 here on more optimistic "Pura Vida" side. Good for both romantic getaways and family trips.

Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
2  Thank Alex 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 17, 2017

Thank you so much for your review and excellent guide for Costa Rica-bound adventurers. It was a pleasure to be your hosts. We have noted your comments about the service speed. Thanks for the observation! Please return soon! The turtle nesting season is about to start in full swing!

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Reviewed July 13, 2017 via mobile

We loved this place. Took advantage of zip line, cooking, turtles, kayaking, and the hot tub with the room. Staff are amazing always wanting to help and enjoying their jobs. Smiles everywhere. Macaws are beautiful, do visit the ARA project next door to help them out but the macaws also visit the property. On property we saw monkeys, macaws, iguanas, butterflies, and leaf cutter ants. Lots of fun. Shuttle to the beach works well. Resort is off the beaten path, and not much outside resort so if you want lots of nightlife go elsewhere. For relaxing and just enjoying things, hard to beat this place.

Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Cryptoref
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 14, 2017

Greetings and thanks so much for embracing our hospitality concept with such enthusiasm. We love to be a gateway destination that connects the traveler with the surrounding culture and nature. The complimentary experiences we offer are geared to generating amazing opportunities to engage the senses and human bonds in an approach framed by authenticity. We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed July 12, 2017 via mobile

When preparing to vacation for our 25th anniversary, my wife and I wanted to go somewhere new and strike a balance between relaxation and activities. I prefer to spend each day differently but she likes to stay at the same place and have no agenda. It turns out that we found the perfect destination.

Arriving at Hotel Punta Islita was exactly as expected after the long transfer from Liberia. We knew what to expect, so the drive was fine and very scenic. We were promptly greeted upon arrival and the service level remained very high for our entire week. I'd have to compare this to the service we received at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, HI, except it was much more personable. Starting at dinner the first night, we met Antonio and continued to see and interact with him throughout the week. Professional, personal, friendly, accommodating, and respectful throughout all interactions. We also enjoyed meeting Randy, Luis, Joe, Minor, and Edgar between the restaurant and the beach bar. I'm convinced that the staff and service are 1/3 of the reason for such a great vacation. We decided to eat at the main restaurant each night because of the excellent food and service. In fact, I ate a different meal for every lunch and dinner and never regretted my choice. Food preparation has a local flair and we were pleasantly surprised by the pricing and variety.

While in Costa Rica, you must experience the local culture and habitat. The hotel's complimentary activities were a fantastic way to experience variety everyday. Our favorites were zip lining, the painting and keychain making, cocktail mixing and cooking class. We were able to visit the nearby town/museum and take some short hikes to see wildlife. This is the primary reason we selected this location and we weren't disappointed.

Finally, the environment and accommodations were very romantic, private and relaxing. Our Jr Suite with plunge pool was appreciated and perfectly situated within the resort. We didn't mind the walk up to the restaurant or down to the beach, and used the opportunity to count steps and floors each day! We could choose to be in the quiet or busy areas of the resort depending on our mood each day.

Overall, it was a perfect balance of environment, activities, food and service, beach and pools, and local culture. Next time, I will want to see more of Costa Rica, but it was an incredible experience at Punta Islita.

Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Dave H
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 13, 2017

Greetings Dave and thanks for sharing such an amazing life celebration with us. The type of experience you describe is exactly what we want to offer our guests. A destination where the standout features are friendship, nature, and experiences that prompt bonds. Please do return to Costa Rica and consider our sister properties, El Silencio Lodge & Spa in the cloud forest and Isla Chiquita for island-glamping fun.

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Reviewed July 12, 2017

This hotel is in a beautiful setting in Costa Rica. The people who work there are beyond friendly and truly make the experience a special one. The activities were subpar in my opinion, food was just decent. The reason for my poor review is because we booked a room online for 3 people prior to our stay and paid the full amount as was described on the website. A few days later our card was charged an ADDITIONAL $240 for a third person. This was never communicated and the website was very misleading. We would have chosen another hotel had we known about this additional charge. They claimed it was for payment for all of the activities, most of which we were unable to do because of the rain. Truly a disappointing experience when we were charged this extra amount. I would NOT recommend this hotel if you are sleeping more than 2 people in a room.

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Christine 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 13, 2017

Warm greetings from Costa Rica. Your case is troubling to us and we would certainly like to clarify any misunderstanding. We have several communications with a member of your party where the additional person charges were explained. The responses we received were indicative of a clear understanding of the package's total fees. We will gladly review our records with you in order to rectify any mistakes. Please do contact me at your earliest convenience.

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Reviewed July 5, 2017

Wife and I (50's) went here in February. Just ned to saythat everything was fantastic, from the service every day at the restaurant, to the service at the beach, could not have been better. We have been to costa rica before, done all the costa rica stuff with kids, this was our vacation. We did on site zip line horse back riding, night hikes, monkey hikes all on site no long trips of site to get places. restaurant was great best food we've had in costa rica
Only down side of place is water can be rough, and even for me it was tough swimming back in a few times. And if you're coming to see wildlife this is not the place see McCaws and maybe a few howler monkeys
But for a week with no worries no need for transport and beautiful location, this can't be beat!!

  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank David11803
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 6, 2017

Thank you so much for your visit and comments. It was a pleasure to provide an engaging destination that prompted you and your wife to explore and embrace Costa Rica's intense eco-adventures. Warmest regards!

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