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Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
Belleville
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great Location to Explore Sites”
Reviewed 13 January 2007

Hi. My husband and I were at the Fiesta Resort and Casino in Puntarenas for the first week of January 2007. I was a bit apprehensive about this resort after reading reviews because the beach didn’t sound great and my husband and I tend to be a little more adventurous than the average resort traveler. In the end I have nothing but good things to say about the whole experience. Read all of the trip advisor reviews and you will know that the buffet food is good to great, the rooms are large and clean in building 3, the staff range from fine to exceptional. The Italian restaurant has a lovely atmosphere and great service, Emilio was wonderful, but the food was disappointing.
More than anything this location is the right place to be if you wish to take day trips to many of the national parks, sites and attractions in central and southern Costa Rica. For the semi-adventurous traveler who is looking for a safe, clean and comfortable haven after a day of sightseeing Fiesta in Puntarenas is a great choice.
What made our trip outstanding was the day trips we took with an exceptional cab driver. We met Juan Espinoza when we needed a cab back to the resort after a shopping expedition to the tourist market in Puntarenas on our first day. Juan drives for the city taxi company in a brand new cab (#94). It turned out to be our great fortune that we met Juan. He speaks perfect English, having spent 5 years working in Canada in order to buy a house in his home town of Puntarenas. We asked him to drive us to the sites. Being local he knows all of the places to see, eat, explore - and where not to go. Juan helped by calling ahead to the zip line tour company, the Crocodile Man tour (which was a great way to see river wildlife and not at all the Gringo tourist experience I was expecting), the cloud forest park, and the hot spring, to be sure he got us in before the arrival of the big bus groups. With his guidance we got to see all of the sights that the guide books said were “must do’s” but avoided the holiday crowds. Juan offered as little or as much help as we wanted in terms of taking us to additional sites, to eat at local diners (Sodas) that were off the beaten path but safe and clean and part of experiencing the “Typical” Costa Rica. He took us to a bank that worked for my particular debit card (Scotiabank in San Ramon was great) when the banks near the resort did not work out, and he helped with the many interactions which required more Spanish than average folk from small town Ontario are ready for. If you are interested in traveling on your own or with a small group of new found friends I highly recommend Juan. He can get a travel van if needed. He will ensure that you see the best sunset of your life about 1 hour away from the resort at a very upscale hotel, he will call ahead to check road conditions and bus tour times, and he will guard your gear while you snorkel with sea turtles. For us, he became a great travel companion as well as guide. If you are looking for someone you can trust to take you around Puntarenas or around Costa Rica you can email me at wilzap@inorizons.net for Juan’s contact information or have the hotel desk people call the taxi company to request him personally. Trip Advisor does not allow us to post contact information for businesses. Know that the resort and the tour companies will not be thrilled to hear that you are striking off on your own with a taxi driver. However, avoiding the tour bus experience with an English speaking driver you can trust is priceless!!

  • Liked — food and the rooms
  • Disliked — beach for swimming
  • Tips/Secrets — make use of a reliable guide
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank christineBelleville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
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English first
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2007

Many people, including myself can be very picky when it comes to resorts, but let me say this was incredible. If you love night life, shows, the sun, relazing by the pools (3), and alcohol then this is the place for you!
The food was average..like in most 4 star resorts, but there is a lot of it, and two restaurants (italian, and seafood).
The employees were absolutly amazing, and we made friends with all of them. They are friendly, and are just plain great!
There are many locals on vacation there, so learn your spanish , but i didnt know more than 2 words and i came back speaking the language.
The scenery is GORGEOUS, and the weather is always gauranteed. we had sun and 35 degrees everyday and only had one partly cloudy day. It is the only hotel in puntarenas so it was really nice and secluded there are no people to bother you on the beach attempting to sell you things.
The tours are amazing-zip lining was incredible.
Half my flgiht either had a place there or was going to buy...so pack your bags and go qucikly before you miss out!

  • Liked — the staff were amazing, the night life was good, and the pools were beautiful
  • Disliked — the front desk
  • Tips/Secrets — learn a little spanish
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Love-to-travel07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarenville, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2006

My stay was April 06, & was wonderful. I knew it wasn't the Caribbean but a beach vacation wasn't what I was looking for.
First, the positve. My room (new building) was clean, cool, & comfortable. The pools were lovely, with specific children's and adult-only areas. The food was varied although not gourmet: pasta, grilled meat, salad & soup always available, and plenty of local specialities & delicious fruit. I enjoyed having mainly local fellow tourists. The hotel found English-speaking taxis easily (went to San Jose--definitely see the Gold Museum!--and to Arenal volcano--with informative & friendly drivers) and several tour companies are on site. Nice landscaping, polite staff, beautiful sunsets to watch from the pier. However, my big reason to choose this hotel was LOCATION. I wanted to experience the country's varied ecology. Many popular resorts are in Guanacaste, where the sand is white, but the distances to most parks etc. are long. Roads are poor, as others noted, and it's not a small country. From this spot I was close enough for day trips to San Jose, Arenal volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park (get a guide--Nathan with AC vacations was great--guides have scopes & know where to find the wildlife).
Negatives? The dining hall is basically "outdoors" with a roof, so to me it seemed too hot at lunchtime. There were no chairs on the beach despite its great view of the Pacific (yes the sand is dark brown, which freaks some people apparently, but the water is fine, if you remember that you won't get that bright blue water effect without white sand). The casino is one pathetic little room, and the entertainment is mainly Spanish, but that's what most of the guests speak! I didn't have much time to watch TV, but the English channels were mainly movies; a North American network would have been nice.
To sum up, I thought it was a pleasant resort which gave me what I wanted--a comfortable base from which to see the diversity of a very fascinating & friendly country.

Helpful?
41 Thank centralNFLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Mass.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2006

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 5 days in April. We split our 10 days in Costa Rica between here and Manuel Antonio, which was fantastic as well.

The Fiesta is a favorite of locals (Ticos) and a great all-inclusive for the price. The buffet food was really good. Each night is a different theme. If you ask, they will give you to-go containers at breakfast to take lunch on excursions. For every 3 nights you stay, you can make a reservation at one of the restaurants. The Italian place was very bland but we heard from others that the seafood place was good. Make your reservation(s) as soon as you arrive at the resort.

The Fiesta staff is very friendly. Most speak English well and are very helpful. When the tour companies couldn't find enough people for the Monteverde tour on the day we wanted to go, one of the people at the front desk hooked us up with a taxi driver named Rodolfo. It ended up being cheaper, more flexible and he took us to a less touristy area of the cloud forest where we saw lots of wildlife. Rodolfo's English is okay (he does actually work for a tour company) but not great. You'll get more out of it if you speak a little Spanish. But I would still recommend him to those who don't speak the language. He drives a new, air conditioned SUV which made the drive to Monteverde a lot more comfortable. The roads are not paved!

We didn't pay extra for premium drinks and the drinks were pretty good except for the wine. They make just about every tropical drink under the sun. If you are going to Costa Rica for the beaches, Puntarenas is not the right region of the country. But the Fiesta's many pools - and swim-up bars - are amazing. And the sunsets are beautiful. Watch from the beach or the bar on the pier.

A note about excursions … When we were there, the tour companies that operate at the Fiesta required a minimum number of people for excursions (usually 6) so I recommend putting your name on the list for everything as soon as you get there so they can find others. We did the 1/2 day canopy tour (ziplines) and the Mangrove boat tour with the tour companies and Monteverde with Rodolfo. All were lots of fun.

While in Costa Rica, we used a minibus company called Interbus to get from place to place (San Jose to Puntarenas, Puntarenas to Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio to San Jose). The first two trips were about $20 per person. The last was around $30 because it is a longer distance. I highly recommend Interbus as a way to travel. It is door-to-door and much cheaper than the hotel shuttles. All the minibuses have air conditioning.

  • Liked — Pools, food, location (close to many attractions).
  • Disliked — Tour companies' were not proactive about recruiting people when they required a minimum of 6, so we had to do one tour on our own.
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't make reservations directly on the Fiesta's website. You'll get better rates through Expedia and by calling, espeically if you speak Spanish.
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
28 Thank TravelerFromBoston76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, CO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2006

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon at The Fiesta Resort. We thought it was a perfect all-inclusive hotel. The staff was all really friendly and willing to assist. Harold at the tour company inside of the hotel hooked us up with great tours and cab drivers. We lounged the pool one day, and then would go on a tour the other, alternating through the week. It was a perfect vacation and a perfect place to stay.

  • Liked — The 4 different pools were nice, the pier bar was good, the food was good
  • Disliked — The open times at the bars were a little confusing
  • Tips/Secrets — Check out the pool by the new building - it has a pool bar too!!
  • Stayed June 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank aliwahl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2006

My wife, 7 year daughter and I just came back from a seven night vacation at the Fiesta from July 2 to July 10. We were in search of a family resort with a heavy local influence, and that is what we got. My wife speaks fluent Spanish, and we raised our daughter speaking Spanish since she was born. We wanted to give her the opportunity to make Spanish speaking friends and become immersed in the language, and in that regard, Fiesta provided everything we were looking for.

I give the resort a positive review. However, there are several caveats. First, as I had noted, people’s experience with a particular resort varies in accordance with the time of year they go. We discovered that Costa Rican children had their two week summer vacation in the beginning of July, which would account for the large number of families. To us it seemed that nearly all the guests came with their children. I would also estimate that at least 80 per cent of the guests were Costa Rican.

Secondly, our positive experience was due largely to my wife and child’s Spanish speaking abilities. If we came down knowing no Spanish, things would have been different. The staff, however, all seem to have a least a very good working knowledge of the English language, and many Spanish speaking guests enjoy the opportunity of trying out their English skills.

With that in mind, my comments are as follows:

Weather: Not bad for what they call the rainy season. The days were hot and humid which made the pools so much more attractive. The most unbearable time was the early morning, when the sun on most days seems to be unimpeded by the clouds. Once the clouds come in, it cools off a bit, but stays humid. A shower lasting no more than an hour usually comes along late in the day or at night. Only one day did we get enough rain to make a difference. On our last day, it started raining about two, and did not stop until nighttime. Once people realized that it was not going to stop and that there was no lightening to worry about, everyone went back in the pool and enjoyed swimming in the rain.

Kids' Club: The club was great, provided your child speaks Spanish. I do not know if it works otherwise. They have a great staff, and one person in particular by the name of Christian stands out. They have pool games in the morning and afternoons for the children, as well as the other imaginative games using objects such as water balloons outside the pool. There is a kids' dinner every other night at 7PM where the staff gets dressed up and puts on a bit of a show. Every night at 8PM, the kids go to the stage at the theater for more fun and games prior to the evening’s entertainment.


Beach: If a beach is important to you, you have come to the wrong place. Although they try to make it sound attractive by indicating the beach is made up of black volcanic sand, in reality, it consists of silt from a local river. I don’t know what it is actually made up of, but it looks more like mud. I know of only one person who went swimming in the ocean, and he claimed to have left covered in seaweed.

For all intents and purposes, assume this is not a beach resort.

Pools: On the other hand, they have nicely made up for the lack of a beach with a beautiful system of pools. If the pools are not heated, the water is certainly warm enough. Very nice.

Food: The food is not good or bad enough to influence a decision. There were a couple of good dishes, some bad, most of them passable.

Entertainment: The evening entertainment consisted of lip sync musical reviews. The “cast” was made up largely of ten trained dancers, and I would have to say at least one of them was actually Broadway quality. The shows also included two performers who had acrobatic training, who would come out as the evening’s comedy relief. The shows were all in Spanish, which for the most part, did not present a problem, except when the acrobats would do too much dialogue and not enough sight gags. My one complaint is that whoever was in charge of the productions did not appreciate keeping things short and sweet. The shows did not start until 930, and sometimes went an hour and a half, which was made more difficult to sit through during the sweltering evenings.

Afterwards, the disco opened up, and the "cast" kept things going to the wee hours, although we did not stay.


Activities: I did not notice too much going on, except for a foam pool party they had every other day. They would basically shoot this soap foam substance in the pool, covering the guests. It’s hard to describe, but certainly, a lot of fun. I know they had a number of scheduled activities, but I did not seek them out.

Rooms: We stayed at the new section identified as building 3, composed of about 40 units, each having its own private terrace. I would recommend the bottom floor, as it has easy access to the pool. Building 3 has its own pool, and seemingly its own separate identity. I think most of the gringos stayed there, for reasons of which I am not sure. Do not stay in building 2, which is the newer section built before building 3, UNLESS you get an odd number room in the 2600 series. Only those rooms have a terrace. And do not get a room in the old section for reasons described in some other reviews. Anyway, the room we stayed in was large, modern and clean.

Side trips and getting there: If you have looked at the other reviews of the Fiesta, you are certainly aware of Dimas. All the great things that have been said about him are true. Since the monitors here will delete any phone number or email address, I strongly recommend that if you go, you Google his name with Costa Rica and Fiesta. He is good, and reasonably priced.

Booking the hotel: Call the hotel and speak with them in Spanish, or have somebody who speaks Spanish call on your behalf. Do not accept the first rate quoted. Ask them if they have any better rates or any specials. Believe me, this works and you will save a lot of money.

Summary: All told, the place was very good, as long as you know what to expect, and it is what you are looking for. It was fun, clean and a very good buy for the money. I may go back, but probably not next year.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank labocagrande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
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
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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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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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