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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!!
- 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