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“Do not stay in room 8! Bad shower!!!”

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Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Certificate of Excellence
Pacifica
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Do not stay in room 8! Bad shower!!!”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We had a cold shower with occasional bursts of scalding hot water. We have had four different people come deal with it. Each time they assure us it is fixed, but it is not. For this high class resort to have this poor of a shower and not fix it is maddening. Our kids, in room 19, have a great shower coming out of one of those large "rain"-type shower heads. Our shower head is from the 1950s. After hiking and biking, I expect a good shower in this fancy a hotel. I will attempt to load a pic so it is clear what I am talking about. Also my seafood fettuccine last night was tasteless. BLT at lunch was great. Beach, art, pools: all are lovely, but if you have a problem here, do not expect it to be reconciled.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dingos8baby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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461 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (135)
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Madrid
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

We have just spent Christmas here (December 21 - 25, 2012). We chose Alma del Pacifico because of its alleged Conde Nast reference. We had reservations confirmed by the hotel until December 26. Relying on that confirmation, we bought airline tickets and flew all the way to Costa Rica only for the hotel to tell us when we got here that they were full on December 25 and we had to leave.

They gave us a beachfront bungalow, number 8. The view and location on the beach were marvelous and the vegetation of the property is amazing. The mattress hasn't been changed since the 1990's and the old bedsheets were all stained black. The room is a hybrid between a camping resort and a cheap hotel room, although the size and layout were nice. The bed and the entire room was infested with ants, cockroaches and other bugs. The maid spent three hours cleaning the room while we had to sit outside in the dark by the pool and at the bar waiting for her to spray the room and clean it. The bartenders were too busy chatting about what they were doing for Christmas that they didn't bother to wait on us.

Next morning we went to breakfast, which was included in our package -- so we thought. Breakfast to these people means a few slices of fruit, some toast, and a yoghurt. No protein in the form of cold ham, hard boiled eggs, nothing. If you want a plate of eggs, that costs $13 extra.

One of the managers, Jason (a Canadian) came to talk to us. He is the only employee on the property who tries to please the guests and seems to know what he's doing. Everybody else couldn't seem to care less and was absolutely incompetent. Jason moved us to a larger room with a private plunge pool which he promised would not be infested and gave us permission to order whatever we wanted for breakfast.

The new room was nice in layout -- much larger with more space overlooking the beach and a small plunge pool. The style of the room was the same, non-renovated, college dorm room feeling. The mattress was even older than in the first room and the linens were awful. The bugs in the bed and all over the room returned in a few hours.

Food at the restaurant was edible, but mediocre in quality and high in price.

One morning, with the do not disturb sign hung, the reception clerk woke us up by telephone at 9 o'clock in the morning and told us we had to leave the room right then and there so that the maid could clean. Angry, we went to have breakfast and had a walk along the beach. Two hours later nobody had cleaned the room. We still don't understand the purpose of that phone call except for the incompetence of the person involved, and that person was at a loss for words when we asked for an explanation.

Instead of placing shower gels and soaps in their $400 per night room -- which even a Best Western does nowadays, they give you one cheap bar of soap that doesn't even generate any foam or lather.

They don't clean the spiderwebs on the property. So in the entrance of your villa, you have to cross these huge spiderwebs with the scorpions right inside and must stare right out at the spiderwebs from your dinner table in the restaurant.

The air-conditioning does not work. In the first room it was a separate split unit which made more noise than a 747 and gave off a blue light that lit up the entire room at night so you couldn't sleep.

In the larger room, it was a better vent system, but no cold air came out and it was also noisy.

The plunge pool has a stone statue (a frog) where water passes through. They don't turn it off at night and you hear the motor and water all through the night -- no sleep at this hotel.

There is only a curtain to close in front of the beach view so that passersby cannot look into your room at night. However, there is absolutely no system of window shades or curtains to black-out the light at night. This means that whether you want to or not, you have to wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning every day because that's when the sun starts lighting up the room.

When the bugs returned to the larger villa, we requested that the maid clean, spray and change the linens. She sprayed the walls and left all the dead bugs all over the walls. We asked that she return and the dead bugs she cleaned from the room could have filled a gallon milk container to the brim. All she did was sweep them out onto the entrance patio of the villa. So when we woke up the next morning there were thousands of colonies of ants on our doorstep eating the dead bugs.

Our pre-paid package included transportation back to Arajuela above San José Airport. The hotel receptionist called our room the night before and said that nobody in that sector was working on Christmas Day. That was supposed to be our problem -- first they cancel our reservation unilaterally and then on the day they impose on us to leave they say they can't find us transportation.

They advertise that they have a full-service Spa. It really is just a small building next to one of the pools with a few treatment rooms. They do not have spa therapists on staff. When you go for your appointment, they call some local from the town to come give you a massage. The massage was good but the ambience was not what we were expecting.

The international chain hotels in Costa Rica have the same flora, fauna and vegetation as the Alma del Pacifico. Yet their rooms are not infested with bugs and their mattresses are new -- not from the early 1990's. They fumigate their rooms and property professionally which keeps the bugs under control. At Alma del Pacifico, the maid running to your room with a can of Raid in her hand is not going to solve the problem.

The pools and the jacuzzi were nice -- although there is no lighting at the jacuzzi at night which makes that area of the swimming pool complex somewhat dangerous. The pool towels also appear to be from the 1990's and were left in broken Tupperware containers throughout the property. There were never enough towels.

For $100 per night, one can grin and bear the problems and mismanagement of the hotel. But at $400 per night we felt that we threw our money into the hotel's bug-infested toilet.

Happy holidays and let the traveler beware.

Room Tip: Make sure they give you a can of Raid or Baygon to keep at your bedside
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Gili P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevenson Ranch, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

This is a really nice Hotel by the beach a little far from the airport . We stayed there the first week of December and I thought it was great. It's a very peaceful place and we loved having the jacuzzi outside our room. Amazing view from our room. The open air restaurant overlooks the beach , the Peruvian Chef was very nice and made me a Peruvian dish "Lomo Saltado" it was excellent.
We had Jonathan driving us around , he is a taxi driver at the Hotel. Ask for him and he will take you around to see Jaco, Manuel Antonio and if you want to go to dinner outside the Hotel, he knows a very good restaurant on the beach.
We had an amazing time . Thanks Ana and staff

Room Tip: Our room was the corner one with jacuzzi very nice and big.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Janettodr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We stayed here in mid November and I can't say enough good things about this hotel and the staff. The hotel itself is stunning, it is distinctly Mediterranean, the atmosphere is very calming and peaceful. There is an open air restaurant that overlooks the grounds and beach, two crystal clear swimming pools with fountains, and beautiful, colourful gardens. We were warmly welcomed by Aldo the hotel manager and he gave us a tour of the place and we ended up staying in Villa 3 which overlooks the stunning beach.

Our room was more the size of an apartment with floor to ceiling windows, and a shower that opens up into your own private garden. The room was immaculately clean, airy, bright and beautifully decorated. As a very special touch they put in our room two huge bouquets of exotic flowers fresh from their garden. The bed was very comfortable and we had a private patio with lounging chairs.

Our meals were top notch, fresh ingredients and delicious, and the service was excellent. All the staff were very friendly and accommodating. The beach is endless with powdery dark sand and very clean. They also gave us a tide schedule so that we knew when it was safe to swim and the water was a very pleasant temperature for swimming.

Our only regret was that we could only stay one day, we so wanted to stay longer. I highly recommend you treating yourself to this hotel.

Room Tip: Villa 3 was very spacious.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RoxyRoadTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We loved the beach so much we didn't do much sightseeing. We had this amazing colorful resort to ourselves as they were gearing up for the busy season. We loved that the location of Alma being so close to to Joco and Manuel Antonio and Quepos, which we did get out to visit. A big thank you to Aldo and the other staff that went out of there way to answer my endless questions and getting all our needs met. My husband and son took their first surf lesson provided by the resort and our now hooked on surfing. We love Costa Rica and plan on returning again and again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We stayed at the Alma del Pacifico in early November 2012. We had a little trouble finding it, since it isn't signed from the east, but once we found it, we were enchanted! We stayed in #14, which is a garden bungalow and very private. The architecture is very colourful and modern with beautiful, interesting artwork on the walls! We especially liked the round wall of the indoor/outdoor shower! The grounds are lush and gorgeous with two pools and a hot tub. We really enjoyed the lounges and hammocks that were right on the beach which goes for miles and miles. Since we were there at the end of off-season, it was not very busy and we had the place to ourselves much of the time!
The breakfasts are served in the dining room and were very delicious, especially the banana rum pancakes! We enjoyed one dinner there and it was delicious as well.
While we were there, we visited Jaco which is about 30 minutes away. We went up to the Rainforest Adventure and took the zipline tour, which was amazing! The tram goes from 1000' up to 3000', and then a series of 10 ziplines bring you back to the bottom. What an incredible view!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John and Kathy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I stayed at the Alma del Pacifico for our wedding this past Spring. I cannot say enough good things about the Alma!! The staff is amazing, the rooms are a relaxing blend of tropical paradise and vacationing comfort, and the beach is beyond spectacular. This was truly the wedding of a lifetime and a perfect private paradise.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amy S
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)
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 #2 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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