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“Relaxing, secluded beaches” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

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Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Playa Esterillos Este | Near Manuel Antonio, Esterillos Este 10-6300, Costa Rica (Formerly Xandari by the Pacific)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Certificate of Excellence
Solon, Ohio
Level Contributor
138 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Relaxing, secluded beaches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

We stayed here for two night so we would be closer to San Jose than Manual Antonio for our afternoon flight. Location is convenient to the highway and the route to manual Antonio(1 hr), Jaco with tourist shops and restaurants(15 min), and San Jose(about 2 hrs) yet very secluded down a gravel path to the beach. Hotel is modern with open air dining under a grass-roofed gazebo, bright-colored rooms, and friendly staff. . Rooms are comfortable with ocean views, and just steps to the beach from the private patios. (unique shower is next to a sliding glass door to a private courtyard - almost like taking a shower outside. Ocean side patio also has glass to view the ocean from the entire room, but curtains can be drawn outside the patio in the evening) Beautiful sunsets and the beach only had a few people walking their dogs or riding horses as I looked North or South to the horizon. There are only about 20 cabanas on the property so we felt like we almost had the place to ourselves. I woke in the morning and collected sand dollars on the beach with my son. They also have two pools. I would recommend this hidden gem to anyone that wants a few days of secluded relaxation or downtime on the beach.

Room Tip: All rooms view the ocean and are convenient to the restaurant, pool, etc. We had room #4 across fro...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OnAPlane2Day
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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397 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    300
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

Booked three nights at the Alma last minute and couldn't have been happier with the choice. Gorgeous, well-maintained grounds, pool, lush landscape, right on the beach, great food and service. Went with friends but could easily envision renting out the whole place for an event like a wedding. Our villa was private, enormous, clean, had everything we needed including an unobstructed view of the beach. It felt like our own vacation home - very peaceful, yet within driving distance of Quepos and Jaco if you need more to do. Thanks!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nyc2theworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

If you are looking for a relaxing resort by an excellent beach in an uncrowded setting, this is it. The beach that this resort is on is miles of white sand beach with constant rolling waves day and night. The beach view rooms look out over gardens and then out to the beach and the Pacific. The resort has only 20 rooms (I believe) and all have their own unique designs. The staff and service were excellent. There was no need to test the driving in the dark at night because the food was excellent and reasonably priced. We originally were booked for three nights but extended it to a fourth night because we enjoyed it so much.

Room Tip: The beach facing rooms were worth the extra dollars.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kram53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JF&PM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lilroedeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ramsey, New Jersey
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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 N...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kallmancon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars 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...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

Property: Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
Address: Playa Esterillos Este | Near Manuel Antonio, Esterillos Este 10-6300, Costa Rica (Formerly Xandari by the Pacific)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Esterillos Este
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast along Playa Esterillos Este, between Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio, Alma del Pacifico is a luxury Costa Rica hotel featuring beachfront Caribbean hotel rooms and suites, a three-meal restaurant, full-service spa and a variety of exciting vacation activities. With distinct architecture and art, an extensive array of amenities and superb personal service, Alma del Pacifico Hotel is the premier luxury hotel in Costa Rica. A great alternative for luxury travelers wanting to visit Manuel Antonio while being on the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Xandari By The Pacific Hotel
Xandari By The Pacific Resort
Alma Del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa Costa Rica/Esterillos Este

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