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“A perfectly situated Costa Rican escape!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa

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Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Certificate of Excellence
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A perfectly situated Costa Rican escape!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

My husband and I took our honeymoon at the Alma del Pacifico for 6 days at the end of January 2013, and it was such a dream come true! The villas are beautiful- full of vibrant colors and beyond spacious. The pools are quiet and serene. The beach is secluded and goes on forever with some of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen in my life. The staff is warm, welcoming, and never failed to help us get what we needed- from upgrading us to an available room when we wouldn't be able to check into our original room for another 6 hrs upon an early arrival, to booking all of our tours and getting us a rental car delivered, even helping us to learn/speak Spanish while going out of their way to speak to us in English and make us feel comfortable! The food in the restaurant was fantastic, drinks strong, and service delightful- Freddy, Michael, and Giancarlo are true gems! We especially loved the seclusion of Esterillos Este, yet, especially with the rental car, the proximity of Manuel Antonio 40 minutes South and Jaco 30 minutes North was a nice daily opportunity to see a lot of this beautiful country! There was more than enough to do in this stunning area! Check out Diego for Horseback Rides on the beach and AXR for ATV rides to the waterfall in Jaco!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CSeigneur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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451 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    336
    85
    16
    5
    9
See reviews for
122
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Isolated down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere Costa Rica; exit a highway and cross an airstrip to get to your personal Nirvana. If you enjoy slow service, bad food and Spartan room amenities, Alma is fine. I used to come here when it was the Xandari and it had a bit of charm despite its awful location; it has now lost that charm and poor location remains. Definitely avoid this and stay at better options in Manuel Antonio or Guanacaste.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CaribHotelReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

Great place to relax on an expansive beach, beautiful pool and grounds. Excellent food. Makes a perfect base between Tarcoles ( Aligators and Carara National park) and MAnuel Antonio. Beautifully decorated villas! Love this place, though a bit hard to find off the main road.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TofinoJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

Shared drinks over sunset at the bar/rancho. The beer margarita is a special treat!! Can't beat the awesome setting to enjoy the sunsets.

Have also has spa treatments here. Very nice and very professional.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charlene C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I recently stayed at Alma Del Pacifica in January 2013. It was fantastic. Below is the breakdown.

Service: Overall I would give Alma a 4/5. Service was excellent from booking manuel antonio to activities at the hotel. My one small complaint would be food and beverage service. Having said that the waiters are great, kind and courteous but food/drinks always took a while. Personally, it didn't bother me but I could see how an older couple may get a little annoyed.

Rooms: We stayed in a garden villa and it was excellent. Extremely spacious, clean and beautiful. Room includes snacks, juice and a couple of bottles of waters that are replenished every day. For the price, it was and will be the nicest room I will ever stay at.

Beach: Empty, gorgeous, soft sand. One of the nicest beaches I have been too. I would go to Playa Esterillos over any clear water Caribbean beach. Simply breath taking.

Food: For breakfast the banana pancakes were impressive, my girlfriend loved them. For all other meals I stuck to seafood only because of the freshness. The snapper was delicious if you don't mind fried fish. I ordered the tuna both rare/medium rare and both were surpassed my standards for tuna. They also have great snacks for at the beach like chips and salsa. Do not expect a crazy gourmet meal but the meals were a great mix of freshness, american tastes with a slight costa rican flavor. I was never disappointed and would go to this restaurant if it was in NYC.

Drinks: The price was normal to slightly cheaper then expected. Blended drinks were a bit weak for my standards but my girlfriends seemed to love them.

Price: Simply unbeatable for the price. I'm sure no one has complained but if any reviewers did then "cheap" is not even a sufficient word to describe them.

Overall: I plan on coming back and I am not the type of person to revisit a destination. Overall excellence and made for excellent portion of our vacation. If you don't mind the inconveniences of its remote location then this hotel will keep you smiling your entire stay.

Room Tip: Go to Manuel Antonio and let the hotel book you a guide. Very knowledgable and it is impossible to e...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jonathan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

A real gem on this coast. The team are fantastic and can't do enough for you. Great food and the best tuna shashimi I have ever had at just $10. Amazing beach which is almost all to yourself. Make sure you ask Michael to make you a "special" margarita if that's your poison. It was the best we had coast to coast. The deep tissue massage by Vladamir is also highly recommended at the spa. All in all a very special place that was the perfect end to an amazing trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RGO3503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thanks! I know our staff works really hard to make everybody's experience in Costa Rica memorable! We're really fortunate to have such a great team with Michael, Vladimir, Ricky Freddy, Giancarlo and all the others.

Hope to see you again next year for a sunset cocktail at our beach bar!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013

We chose this hotel because of its lovely remote beach but when we arrived we were given the wrong room (bed was wrong) and then when we asked for the correct room we were told we were wrong even though I had the reservation. It took them two days move us into the right room but only after constant reminding. The coffeemaker didn't work, the air conditioning dripped water on the beds, the flashlight in the room had dead batteries.

We wanted to see local attractions. The staff when asked about arranging a tour gave us different prices for the same tour and one lady told us they would charge the room $20 just for making the reservation.

In general the staff was disorganized and for lack of a better word acted "shady." We asked about other restaurants on the beach and were given answers that ranged from "there are none" to "why do you want to leave this place?" unhelpful. There are in fact several wonderful hotels on the same beach that have great restaurants. Every one of them better than Alma's. I highly recommend the Pelican.

The same responses were given when asked about a grocery store.

The icing on the cake happened when I was checking out. My friend was still in our room making sure we hadn't left anything. The manager who was helping me told me that the maid had just been in our room and said we had taken stuff from the minibar that I needed to pay for in cash, since the bill had already been printed. Just as he finished saying this my friend walked up. When I asked her if a maid had been in our room just now she said no. As soon as she said this he backtracked, saying we should forget about it. HE WAS TRYING TO SCAM CASH LAST MINUTE!

Dont stay here. Its not worth it.

Room Tip: try the Pelican. Its down the street.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Ellen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarryStrud, Owner at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thanks for the feedback. We are committed to providing the best possible Costa Rican experience and your comments help us to achieve this. We investigated your comments as your experience was very atypical. We’ve already taken action on some of your constructive comments. However, a good part of this I think is attributable to language barriers in a country where English is not the primary language and a new employee to whom we have given additional training.

I apologize for the mix up with the bedding- we are working with our reservations staff on this. We also appreciate your other comments and have added a flashlight battery check to our room inspection.

Tours are offered as a convenience to our guests and Alma does not charge any service or booking fees.All tour reservations are booked using pre-established prices in our computer system. It follows that the only reason to get the variance in pricing is when looking at different tour options or operators. Most likely this is attributable to a language issue.

We encourage guests to visit other restaurants in the area and have a dining guide in each of the rooms. Over the past several weeks I personally have recommended restaurants in Jaco & Manuel Antonio to over 50 people. However, the options within walking distance of the hotel are really limited to two options which are both basically small beach bars with pool tables, one of which has had 3 ownership changes in the past 12 months. We will consider recommending it once we have had a chance to try it out ourselves.

The mini bar charge at check out appears to be another issue of “lost in translation." A small mini bar charge was discovered after the room bill had been closed out and the credit card charged. Because of the small amount, our desk clerk suggested a cash payment. When this was questioned, he chose to comp the small room charge.

Thank you again for your feedback. Communications and training is always a high priority especially when your staff is helping guests in another language.
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 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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