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“Perfectly relaxing”

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Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 23, 2009

We just returned from the Xandari, and loved it. Our room (#1) was large and very clean, with spectacular views of the ocean. My wife is especially concerned about cleanliness, and she enjoyed our room more than I have ever seen her approve of anywhere else! The food was very reasonably priced and impressive, with a reasonable array of choices. Our plan included breakfast, which was simple but tasty (other options cost money, i.e. pancakes/eggs/etc). The service was pleasant and attentive. The swimming pool was small, but well-conceived. Frankly, in my opinion the pool was pointless because the beach is so great-so we spent almost no time at the pool.

This is a fantastic resort for those looking for simple elegance, long walks on a deserted and beautiful beach, and for relaxing. I would not recommend this resort for those looking for a singles scene or a wide variety of entertainment options in close vicinity. You will need a car or to coordinate tours if you want to go someplace else for food or entertainment. As we did not want either, the Xandari was perfect. The restaurant noted below (low tide lounge) is in esterillos oeste, and definitely not a quick walk.

The wildlife at this resort was limited but beautiful. We had the opportunity to view plenty of scarlet macaws (but you do have to watch or listen for them), and a great number of iguanas.

In regards to one poster that complained about the lack of blinds, you can block out the sun if you like. However, one of those options involves closing an outside drape (and in our case blocking its movement in the wind with chairs). This didn't bother us at all, we just got up a bit earlier and loved the clear sunlight and view of the ocean coming in. For those who like living in a cave, our room probably would have been a bit disagreeable. You also have to be a bit mindful about exhibitionist displays!

Overall,I would highly recommend visiting this report, and hope to return myself some day!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Drsooner1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 24, 2009

For our 5th anniversary, my wife and I couldn't have found a better experience than our stay at Xandari by the Pacific. An excellent value for an upscale, original stay, Xandari Pacific makes an ideal location for day trips through the Costa Rican coast, including Manual Antonio NP and the local ziplining canopy tours. However, you'll probably have to force yourself to leave. Xandari exhibits a laid back, relaxed, make-you-feel-like-family experience that I can best be described as non-pretentious and simply elegant (no bell boys or flat screens here, just hammocks stretched between palm trees, a great outdoor restaurant, and original, colorful art). Xandari is managed by an American with a keen eye for good taste and hospitality, along with one of the most genuine, humble, and friendly group of Costa Rican locals I've met (their also bilingual and help you get through your attempt at Espanol).

Highlights
- Playa Esterillos is a fantastic beach. Great for body-surfing.
- Spa experience was fantastic. Try the organic scrubs.
- Ideal for romance, beautiful place end-to-end

Critiques
- Hard to find any, but I'd say that if you want more nightlife (late-night dancing, bar scene, etc), Xandari is more suited for relaxed romance (or family beach fun) and people tend to rise early with the sun and head to bed early

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JustinG788
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2009

The grounds at Xandari by the Pacific are the most beautiful I've seen. The rooms are cute, large, and you can step from you balcony right out onto the beach. It doesn't get much better than that. It's secluded, away from towns, but it is a short cab ride into
Parrita or Jaco. If you get a cab, ask for Fernand. He's friendly, full of information, and he speaks English so well you won't even be tempted to try Spanish (but do try. That's just being polite and they are very forgiving when you butcher it.) If you go to Manuel Antonio National Park, Fernand can take you there in his taxi. We had Ronaldo as our guide and he was amazing. His services are well worth the money.

The spa is amazing at Xandari. The staff is very well trained and the facility is relaxing and gorgeous. The food in the restaurant it excellent and they have a nice wine selection. You may be tempted to go into town for a change of pace, but we found you certainly don't need to.

Be careful if you get in the ocean. There are rip tides. Mind the warnings they give you, but have fun, because the beach and the water are wonderful.

Be sure to give scratches to Xanda, the resident kitty. She's a love bug.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank keithhonea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

We were looking for a resort to experience Costa Rica without the hustle/bustle of traveling around the country and we found it at Xandari by the Pacific.   This small, intimate resort provides an absolutely beautiful, quiet, secluded spot to unwind, relax, and reconnect.   As we had planned to spend the majority of our time at the resort we did not rent a car but instead opted for the resort to arrange transportion from the airport (2-1/4 hours) ($$$).   We stayed in a Beachfront Maxima Villa for our 7-night stay and did not regret paying the extra dollars.  It provided exactly what we were looking for: clean, spacious and comfortable accomodations; privacy; an unforgettable view.  The private plunge pool was great! It provided the perfect spot to cool off, relax and watch the perpetual motion of the ocean during the day and the star-filled sky at night. As mentioned in previous reviews, there are no curtains/blinds on any of the windows. We loved the openess/oneness with the natural surroundings. The shower may be a little intimidating for some at first but it is a beautiful, private setting to refresh! The comfortable king-sized bed is adorned daily with different "towel critters" and fresh flowers. The resort grounds and exotic gardens that surround the pool areas and individual villas are stunning and meticulously maintained.  The daily visits of a scarlet macaw to a tree in front of our villa was always a highlight. The wide, uncrowded beach is just a few level steps from the villa and provides endless miles to walk, search for sand dollars and shells, and watch the beautiful sunsets.  The ocean currents can be strong so the resort provides times for low/high tides and the safest time to swim. We had all of our meals at the resort's restaurant and never had anything we didn't like. A complimentary light breakfast is provided. A more hearty breakfast can be purcheased ($). The lunch/dinner menu isn't large but is quite adequate. Fresh-caught fish is provided daily. Prices for lunch are under $10 and for dinner $10-20 on average (plus an almost 13.5% sales tax and 10% service tax!). The wait staff was great and all spoke adequate/very good English. The resort can arrange day trips to a variety of parks/activities in the area if you so choose. We did a private guided tour of Manuel Antonio Park ($$$) hoping to get a more personal/up-close experience. Unfortunately, this is a very popular and busy park (about 1 hour from the resort). The crowded trails sometimes diminished the experience but the park did provide an opportunity to observe sloths, monkeys, iguanas, tucans and other birds in their natural surroundings. Our best time, though, was our time spent at Xandari by the Pacific. Highly recommended for those looking for a romantic, relaxing, quiet vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lapa-citrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
xandaripacific, Hotel manager at Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2009

Dear guests,
thank you for your wonderful review of our hotel. We just want to make sure that everyone else knows that every beachfront villa absolutely has curtains for privacy. The curtains are located outside on the room's beachfront terrace to include the spaciousness of the terrace in your privacy.
All villas that have east or west facing windows have blinds for sun blockage.
Thank you!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2009

Xandari is a good choice for couples who want to be on the beach. The location in Playa Estrillos is south of Jaco and before Manual Antonio. If you are driving, there are signs that point you there. The resort itself is not big. The property is beautifully landscaped and quite contained. The resort is painted bright colors and each room is its own building within a walled area. This can be quite private, but also make you feel closed in. We stayed in a garden room which had a nice porch, a dining table on the side and an outside shower which looked as if it was an extension of the inside shower. The rooms are large with plenty of room to move about. The bathrooms are quite nice with the large shower.

There are plenty of places on the resort to catch some sun, including the grounds in front of the beach. The beach is black sand and is large. You can walk for miles in either direction. When we were there, we rarely saw other guests. The food was good but not outstanding and priced for a luxury resort.

If you have your own car, it is possible to go out to other places for dinner. One night we went to a bar down the street which seemed to have a lot of expatriates. The breakfast bar is mediocre and doesn't have much selection.

Xandari is a nice resort that is in fact on the beach, unlike many of the places on the coast which are up on hills. I would not suggest Xandari for a week-long stay as you are likely to feel too secluded. Its a good stop for a few days at the beach without the crowds of Jaco or Manual Antonio. The resort does offer daily excursions for a fee.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank PaigeCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2009

This was my second trip to Xandari Pacific, again I loved everything this amazing hotel has to offer. I used the hotel package 3 days in the Central Valley and 4 days on the beach.
It was just as fantastic as my first trip in December 2007. We had a garden room, every detail of the room and surrounding area is perfect. We had all our meals at the hotel restaurant, the staff is amazing especially Freddy, the food was delicious.
We met interesting people for all over the world. Make sure you book a few spa treatments, the rooms are beautiful and the service is excellent.

We relaxed for four days, but if you want activiites they are endless, we decided to sit under the palm trees and watch the macaws returning home between 4-5PM. Their they were feasting on nuts not 30 feet from our lounge chairs, how wonderful is that....

I highly recommend both Xandari Hotels, especially if you want first class serivce.

I highly recommend the Xandari Pacific for all travelers.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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Thank BobbiB64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

We stayed for 7 nights in January 2009 in a Garden Villa. We had a fantastic week and would highly recommend it.

The villa was very spacious and was set amongst beautiful gardens. The Garden Villas don't have an ocean view but there is so much space available on the beachfront of the hotel that it is of no consequence. Some days it felt like we were the only people on the beach - it may as well have been private. There are plenty of sun loungers and lots of space at both the beach and pool areas.

The restaurant serves great food and the staff were excellent - very friendly without over-doing it. We ate there most evenings. Prices are probably a little more than in nearby towns but the setting is fantastic and it's good quality.

They also bring cocktails direct to your sun lounger.

The hotel is in a quiet location, there isn't much within walking distance so either enjoy relaxing, rent a car, or you can take trips direct from the hotel but you'll pay a premium for the taxi fare.

The only small downside was the slightly surly reception staff.

Loved the geckos that hang out on the exterior hotel walls at night...and the scarlet macaws that occasionally fly overhead during the day.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank semi-detached
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

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 #2 of 5 Hotels in Esterillos Este
Price Range: $158 - $412 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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