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All reviewsplunge pooloutdoor showercosta ricamanuel antonioprivate gardenrestaurant staffhotel is beautifulthe wait staffcouples massagetotal privacybright colorsopen airrented a carrainy seasonpeaceful placeblack sandocean front
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Reviewed June 16, 2012

Alma is outstanding. The hotel layout and decor are very nice. The landscaping is beautiful. All of the staff were courteous and friendly. Our meals were very nicely prepared and presented. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sunshine807095
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

My friend and I just returned from an amazing four night stay at Alma. It was our first visit to Costa Rica and we adored people, food, music, fauna and flora and (surprisingly) lack of mosquitos. Alma's architectural design and impressive art collection make it such a special experience and the beachfront location is magnificent. We were lucky to have perfect weather almost the entire stay: hot, sunny and a wonderful light breeze.

Staff were very courteous, responsive and helpful prior to our arrival and during our stay. The waitstaff were all very pleasant and friendly. Cuisine was always fresh, healthy/organic, delicious and reasonably priced. The complimentary continental breakfast was also very good.

Our spacious villa was the cleanest space I have ever stayed in, worldwide! Maid service was superb. The kitchen space was very handy and we appreciated the new flatscreen TV for the one evening it rained. If you are a light sleeper, earplugs and an eye mask would be good as its bright and the birds are vocal starting at 5:30am.

The resort is remote so you if interested in day trips, renting a car makes the most sense financially as we found the taxi to be a bit expensive for our day trip to MA. We hired a great driver for transfers, Alex (AlajuelaTours@gmail.com). We did make use of the hotel's bikes and explored the neighborhood a few times.

The two pools were clean, well designed and warm. The ocean has very limited swimming opportunities, but the beach is perfect for a morning run. We felt safe and well taken care of during out time in CR and found Alma to be a wonderful resort for unwinding and relaxing in a beautiful, peaceful and tranquil setting.

A few small suggestions in a dream world would be: possibly add one complimentary fitness activity in the future as there is no gym, upgrade the mattresses, add aloe and/or hair conditioner to the toiletries, slightly expanding the menu, and using softer (but still eco-friendly) light bulbs in the room.

Room Tip: Beachfront is worth it! All of the villas feel private.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lilroedeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We found our way to this lovely ocean-side property through ex-pat friends who have been living in Costa Rica for about five years. They directed us to the special arrangements made by the Xandari Hotel in the Central Valley and this "little brother" hotel on the Pacific ocean. Accordingly we spent two nights outside of the capital San Jose, were driven by van the 2-1/2 hours to the Alma and enjoyed four nights in this luxury resort location. Like the Xandari, it was designed and built by California architect Sherrill Broudy, who spared no detail in creating a unique and arresting facility. His wife, Charlene provided all of the decorative elements in the 20 villas and public areas: paintings, murals, mosaics, and tapestries, each more colorful and charming than the next.
Alas, we enjoyed everything about the Alma but quickly learned that while there are many, many attractions in the neighborhood, without a rental vehicle, you are exiled, isolated, almost inprisoned. Through the very helpful Reception we engaged a local taxi and booked both the Rain Forest Tram ride and the "Crocodile Man" boat tour on successive days. The taxi was not inexpensive but Jonathan, the driver was professional and knowledgeable and a good driver.

At the Rain Forest Tram, a ski-lift-like hour-long ascent above the rain forest, we were all but alone in an eight-passenger gondola, accompanied by our naturalist guide, David. The ride was pleasant enough but we saw zero wildlife and learned more than we ever needed to know about trees and scrubs and decaying organic material on the forest floor.

The crocodile cruise the next day we more memorable. Again, since this was the Low Season, my wife and I (and Jonathan) were the only passengers on a 40-seat boat, piloted by Luiz and directed by Franklin, a veritable encyclopedia of information about birds and crocodiles and mangrove forests. His enthusiasm was contagious and when he extracted a palm frond from a low hanging branch and fashioned a grasshopper from it to present to my wife (it was a birthday vacation, after all) he made the trip more than memorable.

We thoroughly enjoyed Alma and next time would opt for a rental car to give us more mobility and freedom of movement. I cannot think of one negative to add to the Alma but suggest at breakfast when you find uneaten cubes of mango or pineapple on your plate, toss them onto the nearby lawn. The iguanas will rush out and perform for you, catching and gulping down any and all morsels that come their way.

Room Tip: All rooms/villas are completely private and all face the ocean from the covered terrace. There is NO traffic or any other noise so I would count all rooms equally desirable.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kallmancon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Playa Esterillos Este is, I understand, one of the few white sand beaches on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. A new highway puts it just 2 1/2 hours from the San Jose airport. We were able to spend our last night at the hotel and had an easy drive the next day to catch our 1 p.m. flight home--much better than staying in an airport hotel or in San Jose. The grounds are lush and shady, with hammocks and lounge chairs on the grass under the palms, and just beyond, the pristine beach and sparkling water. An architect and artist designed and decorated Alma del Pacifico, using stucco and vivid colors and lively works of art. The bathrooms are huge. We spent our days snorkeling and hiking and then retreated to the spa for truly expert massage. The dining room is open air and the food is very good. Don't miss the ceviche! I went with my sister and daughter, but this would be a fabulous spot for a honeymoon.

Room Tip: All of the rooms--10 or 12 in all--are private, walled casitas facing the beach. There's no such thing as a bad choice.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Debbie919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

From the moment we arrived it felt like a true vacation and a perfect place to relax. We had a garden room and it was incredibly quiet and private. The fact that every room has a router meant perfect wi-fi signal which was awesome. The staff are wonderful and the grounds lush and beautiful. We loved walking on the beach in the mornings. There are two pools, one of which is a proper lap pool which we loved. The hotel is a bit secluded which means you have to drive a bit to get to another restaurant. We ate all meals at the hotel and after a few days would have appreciated a wider slection or daily specials. The food was good but certainly not the best we had in Costa Rica. The location is perfect for a secluded getaway which is what we were looking for so would definitely return.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gbwt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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