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“Wonderful Experience”

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Clandestino Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Parrita
Certificate of Excellence
Georgetown, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed March 13, 2014

If you like to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist traps Clandestino Beach Resort is for you.
Getting there will take you down a pretty rough dirt road but at the end of your drive is a beautiful property with: clean comfortable rooms, an upscale restaurant featuring great food, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and a wonderful, professional, friendly staff (our favorites were: Edward, Byron and Flo) ready and willing to make sure your stay is comfortable and relaxing.
While the road is a little arduous it is still only 35 to 45 minutes to Quepos where you will find: a hospital, banks, a post office, gift shops, etc.
Clandestino isn’t for everyone but for us it was absolutely perfect.

Room Tip: A couple rooms have ocean views
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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Toronto
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Great, very romantic rooms, nestled in the gardens, nothing but a short walk to the restaurant and pool and across the road to the beach.
Pool was perfect, enough beds and nice to have the splashing of the waterfall. The beach was great for walking, and wonderful for watching the sunset over the Pacific - not so great for swimming though with the dark sand making the water less than inviting, and the concern about riptides, but you can enjoy the wonderful view and sound of the ocean from the numerous hammocks in the afternoon.
Food was pretty good at the restaurant, simple options for breakfast and a fairly extensive dinner menu, try the mahi mahi with Dill sauce. Service was friendly.
The hotel is 5kms off the main road from Jaco to Quepos along an unpaved road, which runs along the beach for much of the way. It took about 45 minutes to get to Manuel Antonio, but it was a pleasant and safe drive.

Room Tip: There are only about 12 rooms, so you really cannot go wrong.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Miltonred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Just had to make an update to my previous review.

I stayed here with my girlfriend for 8 days during the first week of February.
First of all, there are some things you need to know about this place.

1. You are in the middle of nowhere and it will be difficult without a car, unless you rely on calling a taxi from the hotel. There is almost nothing near the hotel and Clandestino’s amenities are to a minimum. The nearest town is a 20-25 minute car ride along a very bumpy road. That town is not touristic at all and looks a little run down and might seem a bit intimidating for some people. Just make sure you stock up on water, sun cream, snacks etc. before you come to Clandestino.

2. The fact it is in the middle of nowhere is not a criticism. The beach feels almost as if it is exclusively for the use of the guests at Clandestino. The views are marvelous, the beach is beautiful, it is very quiet.

3. If you don’t like dogs, stay away. There are at least 3 dogs here but they are all good-natured. I love dogs as much as anyone and I understand that they are there for the protection of the guests. However, I thought it was a bit unprofessional how they are allowed to roam around the restaurant. Also I encountered several dog poos around the grounds, in the garden, near the pool and near the hammocks. They are lovely dogs but it seems they need a bit more discipline.

Positives – The location is wonderful in terms of the views. The food in the restaurant is very good, although I think the breakfast needs more variety. The restaurant staff are all fantastic guys and really friendly as is the really friendly maintenance man. The gardens are well maintained and the rooms are nicely furnished and comfortable.

Negatives – The room was spotless when we arrived but I wasn’t impressed with the cleaning of the room during our stay. Glasses in the room were never replaced or washed. I don’t think our towels were changed, if they were it must have been no more than once, that goes for the sheets as well.

We also had an issue with Geckos entering the room through the roof at night. I am familiar with Geckos and I know they are harmless creatures that actually keep a place clean but my girlfriend is a city girl and had never encountered them before. Also they can be a bit noisy. She asked the owner Diane if something could be done and she only bluntly replied ‘No !’ No explanation, no reason, just ‘No’.

I took it upon myself to plug the hole in the corner of the wall with tissue and they never came back. I also fell whilst doing this resulting in a few cuts, which I admit was a bit clumsy of me, but what amazed me was that Clandestino didn’t have a first aid kit on site. I believe the owner went to her house to get one but all she had were a couple of bandages. Not really sufficient. My girlfriend drove me to the local town to go to a pharmacy to buy iodine and bandages. Not impressed.

I also didn’t like the fact that the owner, a French lady, seemed to spend a lot of time talking to the French guests. I understand that it is her language, but a little bit of effort talking to the other guests would have been nice. She didn’t appear overly friendly yet all the other staff members were fantastic. Clandestino could become a brilliant resort if only it cared a bit more about the smaller things, sometimes I feel they rely too much on their perfect location.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jimmy_Kuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelham, New York
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2014

Our experience with Clandestino was one of extremes. Extreme highs and lows. Depending on who you are and your situation, it might be right for you - there's a lot to appreciate about this property. However, we will not return, nor will we recommend it to others.

When I booked our stay with Clandestino Beach Resort on hotels.com, I had neglected to thoroughly read their cancellation policy (totally my bad). I had booked with enthusiasm sometime in October. In late December, my husband had a shift in jobs, and we decided that we needed to make some changes in our upcoming Costa Rica trip (in February) to make it more affordable. It was then I discovered that the deadline for cancellation had already passed (even though the trip was almost two months away) and we were fully committed to staying there. With that, we changed the dates/hotels we could shift, and decided to make Clandestino the "splurge" on our vacation.

When the much anticipated day of our trip arrived, the snow storm hit the east coast. All flights cancelled. We couldn't get out for days. We had five different hotels lined up, and numerous excursions, and true to Costa Rican's "Pura Vida" lookout on life, they all were incredibly gracious and willing to help us - making it possible for us to keep almost the exact itinerary. All but one. The Clandestino Beach Resort. They would not shift our dates, even though they had availability. They held fast to their "policy". If we did not stay with them during the originally scheduled dates we would lose $400. They were however happy to book us for our new dates at full cost. I kindly declined.

We found a way to make it work, because we simply couldn't afford to eat the cost. Luckily we had booked it for the end of our trip. It wasn't ideal. We had to travel all the way from Carate (the southern most part of Costa Rica) to Parrita (where Clandestino is located - virtually the middle of nowhere) - back to Dominical and Manuel Antonio. Lots of extra driving, but once I got over my agitation I figured that we were in paradise, so...pura vida!

We got to the resort and it's beautiful. Truly. They've thought of all the little details that create a sensory experience - the rooms smell like vanilla and ylang ylang (I think that's what it was), and there are little candles and sea shells scattered throughout the room, on the bed and in the bathroom and on the tables. Truly lovely. The rooms are all glass - a bit like you're in a fishbowl - with lovely landscaping on one side and a sheer chiffon curtain hanging on the other to protect your privacy (without the curtain you would be very exposed so I can see how one reviewer, whose curtain was removed, felt very violated). Visually, the place is stunning.

When we arrived, I sat down in the little hanging chair that was a bit askew on our front porch and thumbed through their booklet that they had artfully placed on our bed amongst the shells. In three different languages they outlined their "policies". Having already had an experience with how they view their "policies" and having read the other reviews, I looked around the room and found my anxiety mounting.

You see, we have a 9-year-old son who came with us. The hotel is on a black sand beach. I looked around the room at the white-white curtains, and the white-white sheers, and the white-white-bedding, and all the little fragile nicknacks so artfully strewn about, and knew that we were in the wrong hotel. What was supposed to be a restful, joyful experience became "don't touch this, and don't touch that". Having just stayed at an eco-lodge in Carate (which was awesome!), where nothing was too delicate or precious to use, I found Clandestino to be totally wrong for us. Additionally, it wasn't built for the kind of commercial wear-and-tear that hotels require. The sliding glass doors and screens weren't commercial-grade and were already showing wear - difficult to keep in their tracks and to lock. I noticed the hanging chairs that were askew. It was as if the whole place was a gorgeous elaborate set for a movie, but not designed for real people to use.

So wouldn't you know it, on our last morning, while our kiddo was still sleeping, I was getting ready in the bathroom and my husband sat on the toilet to put his socks on - we're whispering back and forth about our plans for the day, when the toilet seat underneath him shattered into bits. It could be a cultural thing - maybe Costa Ricans don't sit on their toilet seats when closed - but it was a jarring end to a stressful experience. They charged $60 to our credit card for the seat-debacle and I'm just glad to be done with it.

If you are not 150% sure that your flights won't cancel, or you won't change your job, or that something won't come up to shift your plans, I'd be careful booking with this place. Regardless of the extenuating circumstances (we offered to provide flight cancellation notices), they are not willing to re-evaluate their non-refundable policy what-so-ever (this was, by the way, a full week out of our booking - they had a week's notice). But yes, they have a right to their "policy". I just don't like to do business with companies who have bad policies.

If you're a couple, or if you're having a girls-retreat, or a wedding with child-free guests, Clandestino might be perfect for you. It's isolated and stunning (and the breakfast was terrific).

But if you have kids (or husbands who might sit on the toilet seat), there are hundreds of better options in Costa Rica. We can't wait to return - but it won't be to Clandestino.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Kimberly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Many of the previous reviews sum up the place. Its not for everyone but was perfect for us. We are a couple in our 30s that just returned from an 8 day stay in Costa Rica. This was one of five hotels we stayed at. We loved it. The setting was surreal. We loved the little bungalows. We loved the dogs (and actually invited Max to sit with us at breakfast) and it was nice taking strolls on the beach with them. The beach is so secluded.... one night we even enjoyed some skinny dipping in the ocean :) The hammocks on the beach and swings on the porches were a nice touch. It was also nice to have candles in the room. We loved the breakfast as we are big fans of desayuno tipico. We had a car, so it was no problem. We drove at night to Quepos. No problem. The staff was incredibly friendly. I can't say the same for the owner. I assume she was the lady yelling at the staff in Spansih. Oh well. We didn't have to deal with her so , again, no problem.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BerBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spokane
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014

We just spent 5 days here at this lovely property. We liked everything about it, the service, the food, the room itself. The location is situated on a wonderful stretch of beach. It is about a 15 minute drive on a rough road to get back to pavement so once you are at this property one doesn't leave very often so really there isn't much choice of places to eat.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cbw643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redmond, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

Totally agree with jimmy.

My experience was atrocious. Here is why:

1. Getting there - 8.5 kms of bumpy unpaved road. Note that kms are shorter than miles but with the road conditions and speed limits it takes a lot longer than you'd think. No taxis around so if you are not renting a car you are out of luck. I fell for the hotel based on pics with nice looking patio, sheer drapery, swing etc. It looked perfect place for celebrating our 10th anniversary. When I reached I was very bummed for being in the middle of nowhere and 40 mins away from Manuel Antonio.

2. Restaurant - food wasn't bad but like the previous reviewer said having dogs roam around was just not professional. They were constantly roaming around tables sniffing food. It might be ok with some but not everyone.

Staff was obviously ok with dogs walking around the restaurant but seemed very uncomfortable with my toddlers. Staff would stare at them like they were going to ruin their property.

3. Owner - the owner has no idea what customer service is. Never had courtsey to stop by ask how were doing or just say hi.

This trip was a huge deal for me. I had been planning this for 6 months but she ruined it in seconds. We were in Costa Rica over 10 days but I wanted to stay at Clandestino for my anniversary. The day before anniversary we spent all day at Manuel Antonio national park. When we came back at night I noticed one of the sheer draperies on the patio outside our room was coming off a little bit. They were hung using velcro. Next morning at the breakfast on my anniversary day, the owner pulls me on a corner and I get yelled at about the drape. She blames my kids for pulling it off. I tell her they didn't but she goes on to blaming us and says she can watch everything from her house which is across from our street. How creepy!!! I asked her if she saw my kids pull it. When she had no response she makes a face and just walks away. I leave for the day right after the breakfast and when we come back after lunch with a hope to enjoy the rest of our day, I notice the sheer completely removed from our property. We're we being punished? I go to follow-up and the person at front desk tells me that the owner is a little too particular about her resort and everything but she had no clue why it was removed.

Even if we did accidently pull it off (which we didn't) was it that big of a deal? If it was removed because it had problems, why couldn't it be replaced. We were deprived of the services we paid for and no clarification was ever provided. We lost our privacy and we had to keep the curtains on inside the room because the drapes on patio was removed and the room was pretty much all glass on all sides.

Oh and with the owners house close to our room we could hear dogs bark until late night.

4. Phone - There are no phones in the room. If you need room service you have to walk to the front desk and its very likely you will have to wait outside their front desk which is a "closed door office", where they randomly have staff meetings. There was no courtesy/pay phone on the property either. I had to make an urgent local call so I requested the office to let me make a call. I got a frown was told that the office will close in 10 mins so I should be quick. Note this was at 7 and the night before I checked in at 8:30 and office was open then. I wasn't told about the rates but the at the time of checking out I was charged for the calls. I didn't mind paying but if it's a paid service I shouldn't have been treated with a frown and should have been told about the rates before hand.

5. Others - Not much of room service. Gecos all over the property and inside too.
Breakfast options are not great. I was told we could get breakfast whenever and could order omelets or pancackes. Pancakes got my kids so excited but upon asking we were told they couldn't make them. Pool is ok but sloppy paint job and you you might end up swimming with toads.

Overall I had a terrible terrible experience and Clandestino is definitely not a kid friendly place to stay. We stayed at 3 other hotels in Costa Rica during our trip and were very pleased with service and felt very welcomed but stay at Clandestino was a huge mistake. Also, it is extremely over priced for the facilities and service.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
14 Thank NorthWestTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillermo C, Propietario at Clandestino Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear guest,

The location is perfectly indicated as much in our web site as in each commentary of our guests. That is one of the reasons why our guests come, they are trying to find a place aware of the noises, pollution and turistic zones. This is the best way to enjoy of the real nature. By your commentaries, we can know that you haven’t travelled around Costa Rica and this is one of the few hotel that you have been; all the good Hotels in Costa Rica are located far of the cities, having roads without asphalt and our road is one of the best roads to arrive to a unique place like that. Yes, there are taxis available.

Yes, also we have dogs, they are trained and 99% of our guests enjoy a lot with them. When the dogs are bothering or when the people is having lunch or dinner we take the dogs back home. The kids normally play a lot with them as your kids also played.

Madam, your are contradicting about all the opinion from the guests. You think that I’m unpleasant, moreover I think that at the moment you arrived at the Hotel you were rude with me and we the rest of the staff; it was a general comentary. When some guests are rude or bad mannered and by this way, your childs also; very very unbred and they don’t know how to take care about the material of the Hotel or bodering the other guests, I have to advice you and explain how to take care about the thinks. The courtains located around the terrace, white and new ones, were pulled down and steped by your unbred son, I saw it when I was coming from my home. You are right, we took the courtain off for take it to the laundry, wash and dry it. I try to have all perfect, as I commented before this is a very quiet Hotel, very nice, with beatiful views and I can’t believe that bad- mannered guests broke the material and the calm that we have in the Hotel.

We don’t have telephones in the rooms and you wouldn’t find another Hotel in front of the beach with telephones on the room; all that has metall oxides and it brokes in few days. It’s impossible to offer this service. In all the Hotels, when you make phone calls, they charge you the call service.

GECKOS, we are in the wild nature, not only Geckos, also we have Iguanas (blue, green, brown...), crabs, monkeys, slots and so many different animals that live around the Hotel; that is one of the nicest reasons to stay here, live with the nature.
The Geckos are friendly animals, they are peaceful and you can be safe because they don’t do anything. Moreover they eat little insects and it’s better for us, less mosquitos. There are ignorant guests that only have been living in cities and they have fear. I advice to this people to go to big Hotel buildings if they don’t want to find Geckos and sure that you can find it also.

We had received in our Hotel a big quantity of kids, good mannered and all of them had enjoyed of the installations and moreover they don’t wan’t to leave. I supose if you had stayed in big hotels all included that they don’t has importance about the noise and I repeat what I said about the bad- mannered, you would have enjoyed a lot, so know you now where you can stay the next time.

Best from paradise.
Diane and Guillermo ( the owners )
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clandestino Beach Resort

Property: Clandestino Beach Resort
Address: Este Desde la Entrada a Playa Palo Seco 5 Km | Playa Palo Seco, Parrita 60901, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Parrita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Parrita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clandestino Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Clandestino Beach Resort is a Beachfront boutique hotel, located in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, on a beautiful and wild beach sprinkled with coconut trees along 10 km of in Palo Seco Beach. The hotel is located at about 20 km from Quepos and 45 km. from Jaco next to the magnificent Manuel Antonio National Park. The highway from San Jose is in very good conditions, leading the guests on a two hour drive through an incredible landscape with several different microclimates and a very diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the area, the sounds of nature, the tropical breeze, the wildlife and of course also get to know the local culture and people. The hotel has 12 luxury rooms, designed in natural tones and built with local materials such as Teak wood structures, Royal Palm leaf roofs, natural stone bathrooms, and bamboo ceilings, terraces and furniture. We offer you 4 rooms with king size beds and 8 rooms with two queen size beds each (all rooms have TV, Free WIFI, A/C, ceiling fans, hair dryers and hot water). For your safety our hotel has security cameras and night watchmen. The hotel also features a large, turtle-shaped swimming pool facing the ocean, Jacuzzi, a waterfall, and a water mirror for sunbathing, all surrounded by lush gardens, green iguanas, wonderful birds, sloths, funny capuchin monkeys that come to the hotel from the Mangrove. It is in every sense a dream come true. The unique and beautiful restaurant features an ocean view and serves international and local dishes that appease even the most demanding connoisseurs of gourmet cuisine. In the cozy bar you will be able to enjoy a variety of delicious tropical cocktails, play pool and table tennis or just lay back and enjoy your stay. All of this with an exclusive atmosphere and good music. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clandestino Beach Resort Costa Rica/Parrita

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