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“The real Costa Rica - Hotel El Sueno and Buddha Bar, San Juanillo”
Review of Hotel El Sueno

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Hotel El Sueno
Ranked #3 of 4 San Juanillo B&B and Inns
colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The real Costa Rica - Hotel El Sueno and Buddha Bar, San Juanillo”
Reviewed July 17, 2009

The small village of San Juanillo is situated between popular surf spots on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. This place is perfect if you are looking for tranquility away from the typical tourist-infested vacation spots. Here, you might be the only one on the beach, especially in the quieter months. (July is a great time to go!) You can fly into Nosara, the closest airport. From there you'll travel by dirt road through the jungle to San Juanillo. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys hanging out in the trees, and iguanas running under your feet. The cabinas at Hotel Sueno are awesome, and the food at the Buddha Bar and Restaurant is beyond excellent. The menu includes daily specials of fresh fish, chicken dishes, and the linguine al pesto is fantastico! Drinks are well-priced so you won't be afraid to spend a few nights hanging at their bar, enjoying cocktails or cervesas. The hosts are friendly and speak English and Spanish. The beaches here are secluded and beautiful, completely natural and free from the anyone trying to peddle merchandise. It's a real experience of Costa Rica living, filled with fresh fruit and fish, clean water, and of course, the mighty Pacific.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank ski_ist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
skargow
1 review
Reviewed May 14, 2009

What an amazing place! I was in Costa for two weeks and the 4days I spent at El Sueno were just what vacations should be! I couldn't stop eating the food they serve! It is unbelievable how good the cooking is (and good for you) The staff are very friendly. They speak English and are happy to teach some Spanish. The atmosphere at the Buddha bar was fantastic. I didn't want to leave. The Bali art is beautiful and I was even able to purchase some of the pieces that I liked best!
The snorkeling was the hands down the best I've ever seen and I've been hundreds of places... so relaxing, you can even hit the beach in your birthday suit if you want... its all yours... this is real Costa Rica!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank skargow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed May 8, 2009

I loved this little place! The service was great, everything was clean, the food was delicious, the beach was beautiful and natural and the town was adorable. There are plenty of fancy resorts and hotels along the Guanacaste coast, but I would pick this one over any of them even with unlimited funds. This is the place to go to experience the real Costa Rica. There aren't many places left where you can walk out into the ocean, turn around and look back at a beautiful, unspoiled beach without a single high-rise hotel in sight. We had the beach practically to ourselves! Go now - before some international corporation discovers this little gem and "develops" it!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lisav86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
80212
1 review
Reviewed May 3, 2009

My husband and I decided to visit Costa Rica and stayed in Hotel Sueno, located off the beaten path in San Juanillo. We were fortunate enough to ring in the new year on the beach under a sky of infinite stars and fireworks. The service at the hotel was excellent. We ate savory, authentic Costa Rican dishes and enjoyed drinks at the Buddha bar. We highly recommend stopping bye this hotel during your stay in Costa Rica. This sanctuary is located within a few yards of a white sand beach, where we witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen. We rented snorkeling gear from the hotel and spent the afternoon swimming with the aquatic life. We look forward to staying at the Hotel Sueno on our next trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Morningdew703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
1 review
Reviewed April 29, 2009

My wife and I spent 12 nights here for our honeymoon and had a very pleasant experience with this hotel/restaurant/bar and village. The rooms are simple yet clean, comfortable and they also have a safe. The food served at the hotel's restaurant was always fresh and well executed. The restaurant and bar are decorated with art from Bali and they do have WiFi but we did not use it. Beers were cold (that is all you need?). There are also 2 mini-supers in town for most needs.

The best part of staying here was the somewhat remote location (20 minutes north of Nosara) which allowed many days of exploring secluded beaches, spending quality time with your mate(s) and having very little "tourist" influences. Snorkeling was excellent on the beach west of the football field. Also visiting the many beaches and fishing villages nearby via rented 4wheeler really secured the feeling of a "real" trip to this area of Costa Rica. We would recommend a visit to this area/hotel for those who like to find true "pura vida."

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dabrewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boulder,co
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2009

This place is gorgeous. If your looking for a real, cultural, costa rican experience, this is it. The beaches are beautifully landscaped, filled with white sand, and mostly empty of other travelers. I had a blast snorkeling in the warm, calm waters and an unforgettable experience kayaking during the sunset. The rooms at hotel el sueno are basic, but ideal for a place to rest and shower. The food and ambiance of the buda bar was impeccable, and made it hard to leave. I shared some of the best fruit I have ever tasted during my stay. You will have a great host, very friendly employees and an adventurous, river crossed journey to near by towns. I loved it.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank rmcg777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chillwaukee, WI
1 review
Reviewed April 18, 2009

This was a really nice find. My family has a house further up the coast and we had heard a lot about San Juanillo being a very beautiful, clean, empty beach community. The beaches were really nice, great for snorkeling and some surfing. "El Sueno" was a very nice hotel and we had great hosts. Stevi the manager was especially friendly and he is always eager to bend over backwards for his guests. Get to know him and chill in the Buddha Lounge and your stay will be exactly what you want it to be.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank bigbirdncoocoocol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel El Sueno

Property: Hotel El Sueno
Address: 1 East Plaza Deportiva, San Juanillo 6150, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > San Juanillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in San Juanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel El Sueño de San Juanillo is located on the Pacific Coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. Just steps away from the most beautiful unspoiled beaches and coves of Costa Rica. Relax in clean, comfortable rooms with wireless internet access. Enjoy our great seafood and vegetarian restaurant as well as our Buddha Bar World Music Lounge. Take advantage of our package deals and group rates along with our exciting tours (kayaking, boating, surfing, canopy tours). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel El Sueno Costa Rica/San Juanillo

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