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“Not 4-Stars, Not Even 2-Stars!”

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Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
A TripAdvisor Member
“Not 4-Stars, Not Even 2-Stars!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2006

This place is OK-looking upon arrival. But upon further inspection, the rooms weren't very clean, the service was fair, and the food absolutely sucked. They claim to be a 4-star resort, but they are no where near that. Being realistic that I was, in fact, in Costa Rica, I didn't expect too much. But I was very disappointed, especially considering the rates they charged us gringos. And to top it off, a large group of us (over 100) stayed here for a surfing contest, and more than half of our group got food poisoning. All-inclusive should not mean diarrhea and vomiting at no additional charge! I would recommend NOT staying here, unless you plan not to eat the food. Be sure to surf at Boca Barranca, but stay somewhere else!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2006

Have been on many trips and this was another good one.Found the airport in San Jose to be very busy and jammed with drivers when you exit. Watch your bags carefully and don't hand them over to anyone until your sure it's your proper ride. On a side note find a washroom before retrieving your bags from the turnstyle as it's a long ride to Puntarenas. The road is another story. Very mountainous terain and roads are in poor condition as well as most of the vehicles on the road which is very busy with traffic as it's two lanes the entire way and passing on hills and bends is normal. Saw 2 head on collisions in the 2 weeks we were there but on the upside I didn't see any speeding and police with radar is common.
The resort itself was great. Like many on here we didn't really like the first room we got in the old section of the hotel so the next morning we asked if we could switch and within a half hour we had a room with a walkout 20 ft. from the kids pool. Couldn't have been better as we happened to have 2 of them with us. The resort was busy as we arrived on a saturday and the hotel was full of people who come for the weekends from SanJose. During the week it really thinned out so we had a nice mix. We were happy to be able to meet so many Ticos that were on vacation as with many other places the only locals you meet are working for you. The staff worked very hard and there were many of them.Language was never a problem and you must realize you are going to a spanish speaking country so don't go expecting everyone to serve you in your native tongue.As far as I could tell the front desk staff spoke better english than me and as far as everyone else we managed to get by without one problem. Bartenders were great especially if you find a few working extra hard and slip them a few bucks here and there.The place was pretty clean when compared to other resorts and the food was great.2 weeks and we never got tired of it. They had a great variety so even when the themes overlapped on our second week we still had many chioces we hadn't tried yet. The beach was nice to look at but is not used very much as it is way too hot for walking in the daytime (black sand) but the pier is nice and there were surfers at the mouth of the river and near the pier.Went to Manuel Antonio national park for a day trip and it was great. The only drawback being the long 2hour van ride with our 2 young children. Our guide ended up being the same guy CR tours that transfered us from the airport and he did an outstanding job. Also went on the jungle safari boat tour on the Torcules river about 45 minutes south. Hired Dimas to drive for this one and saved a bundle.Got his # from other guests who were also happy to save some cash as the tour operators are very expensive and we saved around $2oo US on just this one tour. The drawback being Dimas' van is a little ify and seatbelts were missing from the back. The jungle tour was a little disapionting but great for the kids as they get up close with the crocs and feed them fish. As far as the jungle goes this one comes complete with billboards advertising condos for sale.If you are looking for adventure look elsewhere.The canopy tour was great but had to leave the kids out of this one.I don't know if they have restrictions but I would think fairly tall 12 year old could handle it. Went the full day and had some terrific scenery riding up the mountain on the back of a horse.Mostly novice riders but we all managed to stay on top as the horses were well behaved. 25 zip lines and a swim in mountain river later and we were back at the Lodge for a fine lunch and a few cool ones. A little over a $100 US for the day but well worth it.Visited the town of Puntarenas one afternoon for a few souveneers and found it a bustling little town centre but we were warned not to dress flashy or show off your jewelry while in town and it was recommended we not visit there at night. Also when leaving the resort it was recommended we carry a photocopy of our passports as the Police have been known to confiscate originals looking to make a few extra bucks. The entertainment at night was very good and the mast bar was beautiful but the disco named the "19th hole" could drop the 19th and would be more aptly named. The kids program was OK as our kids used it on ocasion for playing games in the pool or visiting the kids club the odd afternoon. Drinks were good and beer was OK but just draft.Enjoyed the pizza bar for lunch but burgers and dogs left a little to be desired.The main dining area is open for breakfast lunch and dinner so you have many choices. Overall I felt the resort was great for the price and a nice place for families. The rainforest is the main attraction in Costa Rica so if we return i would probably stay in a smaller Inn or retreat near or in the forest and try getting off the beaten path.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
34 Thank iceback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2006

This was by far the best vacation I've ever been on. I went with my best friend for spring break, because we did not want to go to some crazy college spring break town. This place was exactly what we were looking for.
We called the hotel before we arrived in Costa Rica, and they set up a taxi driver to pick us up at the airport. When we landed and got outside the airport, we saw a sign with our name on it, with the sweetest taxi driver under the sign. It was $70 to get to the hotel, but in our opinion, VERY worth it because we didn't have to wait on a bus for their stops or anything like that. Plus he was able to tell us a little bit about what we were seeing. I will recommend that at least one person in a group know a little Spanish. It is not necessary, but very advantageous. It just really helps and they REALLY appreciate it when English speakers at least try to speak Spanish.
So upon arrival at the hotel, we were checked in very easily. The room had already been paid for, so no problems there. Our room was VERY nice. It had a room when you walked in with a pull-out couch (we have no idea how comfortable that was) and a little sink outside the bathroom. The bathroom was very nice and clean and the bedroom was closed off and that was very nice as well. It had a great porch off the bedroom because it was on the first floor. Nice tables and chairs and great view of the pool. We had a little noise at night because of the shows, but we loved listening to it too.
I recommend so strongly doing the full-day canopy tour. The guides were AMAZING and the waterfalls were out of this world. We got to swim at the bottom of a waterfall! It was so fun. The zip-lines on the tour was so much fun it was crazy! The other people on the tour were so much fun too, so that was great.
We talked to tons of people staying at the resort and got a lot of recommendations from them. Some people had gone on a tour with this guy named Rudy. He took us to places that most people would NEVER see. A secluded, private beach behind an old abandonded hotel. We fed monkeys that he feeds everyday so they are used to humans, but not best friends with them. Still sort of timid. But that was amazing. We saw crocodiles, bats, cows, everything! So definately ask around when you are at the hotel. You can get great ideas from the locals and people that have been at the hotel for a few days.
The restaurants at the hotel were great. Especially the seafood restaurant. So fun too! The buffet place where you eat breakfast lunch and dinner is good. The fruit there is AMAZING. The chicken and beef were always good, always cooked a little different every night. And the theme was different every night too! And it always tied into the dance performance, which were so good! Keep an open mind with the performances as night. The people that perform are the workers you talk to all day. They work harder than any other place we've seen. All day and all night they are there. And they are spectacular. The shows are just fun, lots of dancing and great Michael Jackson moves, etc. Just fun stuff!! :) So enjoy that!
We went to a soccer game too, which was crazy! But so fun too. Soccer there is an obsession! It was a little out of control at times, but you have to remember that is their culture, so it is totally acceptable. And that was fun.
But all in all our trip to CR was FANTASTIC. And this hotel was so great. The room, the food, the BARS-yum, the staff, everything was fabulous. We are planning to go back next year for Spring Break and maybe just live there forever! Enjoy it if you go!!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2006

We just got back from our week long stay and I must admit I was not impressed by the resort at all. If I was Spanish speaking I am sure I would have been treated differently. Before arriving at the resort I had called the manager to make sure things were as I requested and was assured that everything was as I asked. When arriving at the hotel I was welcomed politely and again our room was as I requested, well when we finally were escorted to the hotel room there was not one thing there that I requested plus only 2 double beds. I had asked for a king size bed plus a sofa bed for my daughter, which I was told I would get. After being up since 5 am and flying 5 hours,then sitting in a vehilce for the long 2 hour drive plus the heat, my daughter wanting to go swimming and my husband also tired. I found my patience was not there anymore. When I called to the front desk I was greeted very rudely plus the person I spoke with did not speak very good english. I was finally put to someone who did and had to explain my whole story again about speaking with the manager and how I was told about the type of room I would receive. She than proceeded to tell me that none of their rooms have king beds and this is all they have, I argued with her for 1/2 hour and finally she showed me a room with a king size bed and a twin for my daughter. It was amazing how for 1/2 hour I was told they do not have any king beds and then by the grace of God one appeared. Go figure that one out.......Like all the reviews had said the room did have a musty smell but I was told by a few previous guests to bring Glade Plugins which I did and it helped a little. After all the mess with the room was resolved we were than dealt with a few other hurdles, one being the lack of english speaking employees, the kids club was all in Spanish, you could not swim in the ocean and the sand was black, the main restaurant was outside so it was always hot and uncomfortable. The Italian restaurant was inside but getting a reservation was near impossible. They would tell you to come back between 10-12 to make a reservation for that day, you could not make one ahead of time but when getting there at 10 am I was told they were totally booked that night, when I asked how this is possible they looked at me and did not seem to understand what I was saying. Finally one man allowed me to make a reservation for the following night. It seemed like one thing after another and you had to always fight and aruge to get what you wanted. THe room was nice and clean except for the smell and at night you are either too hot or too cold. My daughter got sick the second night we were there, the next day a nurse came to see how she was but he did not speak a word of English and we had to wait for someone to translate. When we were getting ready to leave I notice my necklace was missing, which was locked in the safe the whole time. I asked to speak to someone in security and he could not speak a word for English. I was told they would contact me via email to let me know what was going on and if they found anything. I left my email address, phone numbers and even said I would give a $200.00 reward hoping this would help but to this day I have not heard a word back from them . My husband went on a few tours and the driver Dimas (who I would recommend in a heart beat) was the only one who made us feel welcome. He picked us up at the airport, had a sign with our names on it, and was very helpful. Plus his English is excellent. If you need his email address and phone numbers please email me and I would gladly pass this on. I would not recommend Fiesta as one of my top 5 vocations. IF you go there I would recommend you stay in the new section, our room number was in the 34-- area. IT had a great view of the ocean and the pools were newer. Take insect spray,at night there are pleantly of insects and some bite. BE prepared to meet alot of people who do not speak english and be very agressive with what you want. It is too bad you need to be like this but being nice only went so far. There was not much for the kids to do but I was very lucky it was March break so my daughter had pleantly of kids to swim with. All the tours are at least 2 hours away and if you have a good driver like Dimas than he can take you to these places and to the towns. Plus he translates for you which was a big help. I could go on and on about all the negatives but the positives are the weather is excellent not a bad day, it is very hot, the newer pools are very clean and the house keeping staff try hard to give you want you request as all as they know what you are talking about. It was a good experience for my daughter to see a different country and meet kids from different places but would I go back there or recommend anyone I know to go to Fiesta, not at all. What silified my decision was the way they handled my jewlery missing and not even sending me an email back saying it was not found. Having a safe in your room you would think that your possessions are safe but unfortunately this was not the case here. Everyone has a different view of all these places they go but in the end the final choice is yours . LIke the saying goes "Knowledge is power" and the more you know the more prepared you are. This was my main reason for writing this review.

I hope this review was helpful and if you need any further information please email me at fhsmith1@hotmail.com.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank CanadaFreda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2006

Well hello everyone. We were at the Fiesta for one week (Feb 27th to March 6th) There were 3 couples in our party. We had a great time. The resort is beautiful and I was very pleased with it. Some of you have commented about the staff and guests being spanish. You need to remember you are in Costa Rica and this is the language they speak. We found if we needed help there was always someone there who spoke english and very well I might add. The one person was Michele (guy) who lives there and comes from Montreal and speaks perfect english. Sergio Smoya who is in charge of the front desk also speaks English. We did not find a problem with communication. Our room was perfect. Out the sliding doors was a pool and hot tub. (heaven) Sergio helped us with the room. I contacted him before we left. He set us up with great accomodations. Others have also commented on the food. Well we found it was fine. Food was available all day long and the french fries are great. We also got hamburgers that were quite tasty. We go two pattys on one bun. Ask for that. Now the food is a little different but again you are going to Costa Rica. If the food was the same as ours what would be the point. The weather was superb. I was shocked to see the beach because others in here complained of the dirt and murchy water. Well we didn't see any of that. We swam in the water (which was not cold) and had a ball. The sand is hot but we wore water shoes and had no problems. As others, we contacted Dimas in November of last year and have been in contact with him up to our arrival. He is fantastic. We have no complaints. The people who booked their trips within the resort were at times disappointed and they did pay more than us. I have just heard from Dimas and he says he has bought a new van and is excited about it. He is a great friend now, speaks very good english, and takes you to places that are out of the ordinary. He seems to know everyone. I would recommend emailing him before going. Just tell him Nadene sent you. We went out on an off beat trail and we found this georgous water falls. Dimas said that now we found it he will take his clients there for a picnic, pictures and a swim. It is totally worth it and is about 10 minutes from the resort. He also took us to see the monkeys, (not where the tour buses go) but again on a side street in someones lot and called the monkeys. It was delight feeding them banans that Dimas brought on his own. If you don't know where to go just tell him what your interests are and he will guide you through a tour that is worthwhile. He did not charge big bucks so we tipped him everyday because we felt completed when we returned. We did take a taxi one day to Puntarenas where the ship had docked and found a wonderful flee market that was quite large and the items were not expensive. Check to see if there is a ship docked there for the best deals. Dimas can be reached at ------ Email him, you will not be dissappointed. If you need more info you may email me or contact me here. Take care and stay safe.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank skeeter3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2006

We already wrote a lenghtly review but our internet connection timed out, so we have decided to give you a breif synopsis and if you require further detail you can email us.

We didn't like the Fiesta Resort because we felt that it catered mainly to Spanish speaking people. There is also non-stop constuction begining each morning. We thought that the CRT tours were impersonal, over-priced and their ethics were questionable. We had our tour cut short and a camera and money stolen.

Get out on your own, forget the tours with the groups. The taxi and local buses are safe and affordable and you will have a chance to really see the country. Met an English speaking cab driver who offers private tours at a considerable discount on his days off. If you are interested his name is Chico and his numbers are [-------------]. He really put a positive spin on what otherwise could have been a bad vacation.

Erick & Chantel Johnston

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2006

My 7 friends and myself just returned from Fiesta Resort and casino. We had a great week because we met about 12 great Canadians to hang around with and we had a great personal tour guild (lots of fun).

The resort is good enough for the money you pay, the food is average as is the entertainment and accomadation.

If you get a standard room they will put you in the old section in the 1100`s, these tend to be alittle moldy smelling but as far as rooms go they were very clean and good enough.

The hotel had about 75% Costa Rician guests, and all the entertainment was done in Spanish. Very little english is spoken there and very few employees speak english although everyone was very friendly. The grounds are very nice and well kept up except the main pool which got really dirty and wasn`t cleaned for 3 days. The disco was smelly and full of 16 year olds so you never really felt comfortable there.

You can see lots of wild life running around the resort which was really neat, iguanas, birds, crabs and lizards but hardy any bugs.

The beach was hardly used by anyone as the sand was so hot and the water murky because of the sand colour and around the pier was full of crabs. They had 5 nice pools so you didn`t need the beach anyway.

As far as tours go we had a guy named Dimas take us around for less than half of what the resort tours wanted. Resort tours ran from about $89. to $110. Our guy took us out for about $35 to $45 dollars. Dimas was able to get us discounts at some shops and took us to places we never would have seen. He called the monkeys from the trees and we were able to feed them by hand. He spoke great english and we learned lots about the culture from him. You can call him when you get to Costa Rica his phone # is (home) [-] (cell)[-]. The staff at the front desk and the gate know Dimas. He made our trip.

All in all we had a great time. To enjoy Costa Rica fully you must leave the resort and see the country its so beautiful. Just know thats its a 3+ star and you get what you pay for.

***** By the way their summer holiday runs till the first week in feb so if you don`t like kids go after this date.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank travelgirl69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica

Property: Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Address: El Roble 171-400 Puntarenas, El Roble, Punta Arenas 5400, Costa Rica (Formerly Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Costa Rica - Puntarenas)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Punta Arenas > El Roble
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 315
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The closest all-inclusive resort to San Jose! Doubletree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica - Central Pacific is a modern, full-amenity, all-inclusive resort hotel. This beachfront Costa Rica Hilton hotel is perfectly situated on the Central Pacific region outside the port city of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Located only 50 minutes West of Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose, and two hours south of Liberia International Airport (LIR). Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. Snacks and drinks available all day long. Two a-la-carte restaurants open for dinner. All-day activities for adults, teenagers or children, nightly entertainment and lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Hotel El Roble
Doubletree El Roble
Doubletree Hotel By
Hilton El Roble
El Roble Hilton
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Province Of Puntarenas

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