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“A Perfect Vacation”

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Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Herradura
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Perfect Vacation”
Reviewed 21 February 2008

Our family, including our 6 yr old b/g twins, visited the Marriott Los Sueno for a week in early February and I have absolutely no complaints.
My husband and I relaxed and the kids had a blast with the fabulous guys/girls at the kids club. (club Tortuga).

The grounds were spectacular, the pool was great and the entire staff at the hotel provided great service! Every positive item that was written in these reviews is true. So I will address issues that I was concerned with prior to my trip.

There were not a lot of kids staying at the hotel...we are used to staying at Marriott Timeshares, which are more family-oriented. However, there were enough children there to keep my kids busy. And of course they loved the pool!

The best part for us was the Kids club & I cannot say enough good things about its staff, especially David, Frankie and Joe. I felt so safe with them watching our kids that I was able to completely relax and enjoy time alone with my husband.

My daughter (age 6) and I took the Zip Line tour from the hotel. She LOVED it....so if anyone is wondering if kids could handle it, they definitely can.

The poolside service was great. It seemed like someone came around every 5 minutes. We especially enjoyed the service provided by Morgan, the bartender at the swim up bar. He was so friendly and gracious and great with the kids.

The water system at the entire Los Suenos resort area is filtered, so the tap water is safe to drink.

As far as meals go, I actually preferred the restaurants at the hotel over the off-property ones. I do not like to eat seafood, so that is probably why I wasn't overly fond of most of the places we dined at. And don't attempt the beef, steaks are not the best in Costa Rica.

The weather was very hot. About 90 degrees every day. (I'm not complaining) And sooooo sunny. It rained once or twice during the night-that's it! Be prepared to spend lots of time poolside and bring plenty of lotion. There were more than enough lounge chairs and umbrellas. The pool was warm, but refreshing.

Lastly, we were very satisfied with the taxi services provided by Leonardo, whom we hired prior to our trip. Our plane was 2 hours late (a whole other story) and I was so happy to see that he was still at the airport waiting for us. On the way to the hotel, he stopped at a local grocery so we could get drinks etc. (stock up for the hotel, its important!) and he also stopped at the Los Tarcolitos River so we could see the 30+ crocodiles that hang out there.

  • Liked — The Balcony and the View from our Room
  • Disliked — Rooms were a little small for a family of four
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank cpaw58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
Baltimore, MD
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2008

My mother and I stayed 2 nights at this hotel recently (we just got back!!) We absolutely hands-down LOVED it here!! My mom was in love with the pool....its huge and winds and meanders all over the pool area. The grounds are also beautiful, with lots of nooks and crannies to sit and relax, lush vegetation and lots of chairs, umbrellas, and even a few hammocks!

We were upgraded upon arrival, so instead of mountain views, we had a splendid view of the ocean and a huge balcony. The room itself was greatly appointed...big beds, fluffy mattress and tons of pillows! The bathroom was also very nice, great water pressure! Pure luxury!!

Ate once at one of the on-site restaurants and then tried a fabulous Italian restaurant in the marina. There is also a gift shop and coffee shop on site. Note to future travelers: if you are going to Los Suenos from San Jose, make a stop in the city to buy wine and drinks. The prices are through the roof at the Marriott, even for simple things like soda and bottled water. Oh, and like some reviewers said, the beach is not really all that nice. Its a volcanic beach, so its kinda a dark brown/black, and strewn with small rocks. But it DID have these cute pink shells washed up on it, so I'm glad I ventured down to the shoreline.

We had the best time at this resort...we really packed in as much time luxuriating outside by/in the pool as we could. Very memorable and we are definitely coming back!!

  • Liked — The Pool!!!
  • Disliked — Expensive internet access. No wireless.
  • Stayed February 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Kiki_19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ny, ny
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2008

My boyfriend and I just returned from a WONDERFUL week at Los Suenos. To be frank, I was anticipating a disappointing customer service experience based on some of the reviews on this site. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the staff. I spoke Spanish to many of the hotel employees and I feel like they appreciated that. They especially appreciated my boyfriend’s humble attempts to converse in his very basic Spanish. At the end of our stay, there were a number of errors on our bill, but they were quickly rectified when brought to the attention of the management. The only other minor issues were that the shuttle did not run according to schedule to and from the marina, though we quickly discovered the path, and never really needed the shuttle. Also, we were a bit disappointed that we were unable to take the Bijagual Waterfall day trip, as not enough people signed up. We found out, upon questioning, that we could have rented a car and driven ourselves to the falls and rented horses once there, but by the time we’d learned of this option we were pressed for time. Just wish the activities staff had been more proactive in helping us find a solution.

The grounds were stunning, from the gorgeous flowers to the lovely pool, no details were ignored. We never had any problems finding chairs around the pool. The bar staff, as well as the pool deck employees were friendly and accessible. The fitness room was very nice and well-equipped. I should have spent more time there, but that’s an entirely separate issue…

During our stay there were a number of very large groups also staying at the hotel and they seemed to have quite a few planned outings, which meant for quite a bit of personal service for us! We were often one of the only tables at the hotel restaurant.

As for extras we did the following:
Golf: We played the course three times and LOVED it. There were lots of iguanas and beautiful birds and we were even lucky enough to spot some monkeys. The course was well kept and truly beautiful.

Spa: We each had three treatments at the Spa over the course of the week. My experiences were all very positive. I had the chocolate scrub with the mango massage, the Pura Vida massage and the collagen facial. All of them were fabulous. I liked my aesthetician Angelica so much that I requested her each time. My boyfriend had a therapeutic massage and two Swedish massages. He was not overly impressed, in fact he was actually disappointed in two of the massages. He was specific with the masseurs about the specific areas that he’s like for her to concentrate on (his lower back), but they largely ignored that request.

Zip-line: We were the only ones on the tour. We had a great time and we loved the beach that we stopped at following the canopy tour.

Manuel Antonio: This was not to be missed! The park was stunning and thanks to Joel, our very knowledgeable guide we got to see SO MANY animals from three-toes sloths to monkeys, to things like coatis and aguites that we’d never even heard of before! We liked it so much that later in our trip we rented a car to drive back. The only drawback is the terrible road conditions. You must cross two one-way bridges on your way to the park and there is often a very long wait as they close the bridge for repairs. We saw the new bridges that were being constructed to replace the old ones and we were told that they should be completed in 2 years. Regardless, the park is a must-see. Stop and eat at El Avion on your way in our out of town, it’s such a cool spot.

Jaco: As mentioned in a number of other reviews, Jaco is a bit of a seedy spot. However, we were glad that we decided to stop there for two reasons: the souvenir shops and a FABULOUS seafood restaurant, Hicaco which overlooks the ocean. If you stop by Jaco, be sure to eat there.

A few final tips: We booked the Golf/Spa package which also included breakfast and a daily $50 credit. I would recommend doing this based on breakfast alone. There were over a dozen types of fresh fruits, an omelet station, a smoothie station and tons of hot plates as well as lots of pastries.
Bring lots of suntan lotion. The sun is intense and so is the price tag on the lotion at the gift shop… $15 for 8 ozs.!! Turns out there is 60% tax on imports in Costa Rica, so I guess we can’t really blame the Marriott. Nonetheless, avoid that place if at all possible.
For the most part, all of the dining options at the hotel and at the marina were very good. We were unimpressed by Bambu, the sushi restaurant, but we are used to Manhattan quality sushi and it couldn’t compare. El Galeon at the marina was top-notch, both in quality and presentation. The service was just as good. Finally, try the restaurant, El Pelicano. It’s a short cab ride from Los Suenos and the seafood was amazing.

All in all, we would highly recommend Los Suenos. What a time we had!

  • Liked — Staff, food, pool
  • Disliked — Remotely located
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank tucci013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southlake, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2008

I'm having a really hard time writing this review - because I learned at this hotel - it depends on the type of person you are - and what you are expecting.

I am a nice person.

There were a lot of not nice people staying at this hotel at this time. Some day I will learn that - going some place warm in the winter time brings people from the north. That is fine. But.......I personally think it is wrong to "save" prime pool chairs that you are not going to use for the next 5 to 6 hours. In my opinion, it is just wrong, yet certain people do that and the hotel allows it.

We were turned away one night for dinner from a restaurant at the hotel because we made inside reservations ( were not asked at the time of making the reservation) they had NO ONE seated outside and we told them we would just be one hour -nope - cannot eat here - ok..it doesn't matter that my husband spends 100 plus nights at your hotel each year and that no one has reserved the tables or that no one is in the restaurant - nope.
Unlike some other people that I saw there - didn't insist on the impossible - I witnessed people returning frozen lemonades because they melted 30 minutes after they were delivered. The hotel staff catered to these sort of folks - (they also "saved" pool chairs for hours at a time without using them). But if you are just an honest, non-pushy person not looking for something for free sort of person, you are ignored.
The General Manager of this hotel does not wear a name tag - I
don't think that is Marriott policy. Actually she told me that she was supposed to - but avoids it. Does she not want to be complimented on her hotel?

I could not pay for a nicer room - I so wanted a room w/a balcony - and they didn't care that we stay so often at Marriott and that I booked the room 8 months in advance - so be careful with your room type.

It's not a typical Marriott - it's clean and safe, and that's about all I can say for it.

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank TX1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Marriott Los Suenos for 4 days in early December. The hotel is lovely, but a bit overpriced. The Marina (which is walking distance) is new and has some great restaurants and bars. The grounds at the hotel are well-maintained and the pool area is terrific. It's a "winding" pool and not deep, so you can get an inner tube and just do a "lazy river" thing. The beach, as mentioned in previous reviews, is nice to look at from afar, but you really don't want to spend any time there. You would think the hotel would do something to attempt to maintain it, but then again, I'm not sure it belongs to the hotel, so maybe they don't have an option. There was a terrific white sand beach at Manuel Antonio Park and in Jaco (which the town itself is pretty tacky in our opinion -- but you have to decide that for yourself). We certainly wouldn't spend any time there,

One thing, BEWARE of the cost of using the in-room phone. We had issues with our cell phone while in Costa Rica -- long story -- but had to stay in touch with the states because of family concerns (my father-in-law is in hospice care). We used the phone in the room to call and get messages at home. The minimum turned out to be $34 for just picking up the phone and dialing, it was probably a 2 minute call. We didn't realize the the exorbitant cost until we got our bill or we wouldn't have even gone near the phone. There is an "Internet cafe" at the Marina where they charged us only $2 (and we actually talked to people) for the same numbers in the same state. So, if you can't use your cell phone and need to make calls DO NOT USE THE PHONE IN THE HOTEL ROOM. I'm not sure how much of a kick-back the Marriott gets. I realize that making calls from hotel rooms is expensive, but this was RIDICULOUS. Go to the Marina and use the phone at the Internet Cafe if for some reason you actually need to make calls.

  • Liked — The pool area
  • Disliked — the beach
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank greenwoodgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chappaqua, NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2008

Pros:
* Excellent Food - The food is very comparable to restaurants in NYC. We ventured off premises one night and were so upset that we did not eat at the Marriott. We spent 7 days in Costa Rica (2 nights at the Marriott) and no other restaurant compared to the Marriott. It was so surprising to find such great food at a hotel in Costa Rica. After eating here you will have a different perspective on hotel food.
* Great views of the Pacific
* Good evening music performers
* Well decorated for the holiday season
* Excellent marina if you like to go fishing
* Clean rooms
* Very friendly and customer service oriented staff (except the front desk)
* Extremely Safe resort - Lots of security to get on the property. It is pretty much a compound with other developments on the premises.
* Nice golf course on premises
* Nice clean shopping center near-by
* Costa Rican are very friendly
* Really nice pool. Very large (no slides though). One of the most picturesque pools I have seen.

Cons:
* Terrible customer service at the front desk - They were rude and had an attitude. Very surprising when everyone else that works at the Marriott is SOOO Friendly.
* No real wildlife on the property. If you want to see monkeys, sloths, etc. you either need to take a tour or go to a resort in the jungle. We went to Issimo Suites in Quepos and had monkeys come right to our porch.
* A 2 hour ride from the airport to the hotel.
* Beach is far from the Caribbean. No one really goes to it. Most people are at the nice pool.

Tips:
* Bring fruit down to the Marina and put in the water. The fish love bananas and mangos and other fruits. If you are lucky you will also meet a young boy working down there. If you speak spanish, he will show you all the fish. So sweet, but so sad. He is under 12 years old and he works there most days, cleaning the boats. All he wants to do is show you what he knows. Not looking for money.
* Do not use the hotel to book your taxi service back to the airport or other destinations. You can save a lot of money by taking the shuttle to the marina and getting a taxi at the marina. A shuttle goes to the marina every 30 minutes (free). Taxis come to the marina on a frequent basis. Dont panic if one is not there. They will come shortly. You can save $20 to $40 dollars on $60 to $100+ cab rides. The hotel is obviously taking a cut.
* When arriving at the airport, you can get a cab to the hotel for $80. We just went to the cab line and grabbed one. Plenty there.
* Do not go to the seafood restaurant at the Marina (cant remeber the name). Marriott has better seafood dishes and is 20-30% cheaper.
* Cigarettes are really cheap ($15 or less a carton) in costa rica. Make sure only to bring 1 carton per person back to the states otherwise you will have to pay taxes at customs.

  • Liked — Food, Views, Staff
  • Disliked — Front Desk Staff - Everyone was the same
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Thezooathome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2007

Just got back from a week's stay at the Marriott Los Suenos. The hotel is beautiful and well-appointed, with great restaurants and excellent service....if you book here, you will not be disappointed.

Costa Rica is a beautiful, yet rugged country and it's nice (depending on the type of experience you want) to come back to luxury accomodations with full amenities, filtered water system, etc. Marriott Los Suenos was a peaceful oasis. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. Here are a couple of other helpful pieces of info:

GROUND TRANSPORTATION:
We rented a 4x4 SUV for the week and did our own driving. (The hotel can arrange a taxi to transfer you to/from the airport for roughly $80-$100 each way). It will take approx 1 3/4 - 2 hours to get to the Marriott from San Jose Airport. A beautiful and scenic drive. The roads are narrow, hilly and windy - so take your time. Try and leave San Jose quickly - as we learned of theives who try and puncture the tires of tourists in SUVs so they can rob you when you pull over for help or to change your flat tire. Although you MUST always be alert and cautious when traveling - we found the Tico people to be wonderful, kind, gracious and helpful. So, keep your guard up, but know that you'd have the same type of 'tourist" warnings in any big city potentially.

JACO:
Jaco is about a 10-15 minute drive from Los Suenos. It's a low-rent surfing town (i.e. think Tijuana with a beach)...and I wouldn't recommend spending more than 1-2 hours there. If you skipped it completely, you're not missing anything. But again, everything is an experience...

MANUEL ANTONIO:
Definitely worth going to. It took us a little under two hours to get there (crossing two bridges that are barely held together by scrap metal and chicken wire - yikes). The rainforest in the national park is easy to navigate and there are plenty of well-marked trails. We hiked on our own without a guide (or you can hire guides outside the park). Inside the park there are 3 white-sand beaches that are wonderful. There are lots of street vendors selling their wares outside the park, and there are some good deals on batik and jewelry if interested. Also, when leaving Manuel Antonio, stop and have a late lunch at El Avion - a bar/restaurant built out of a C-123 cargo plane that sits on the hillside overlooking the Pacific.

BIJINGUAL WATERFALL (tour)
This was a tour we booked directly through Marriott Los Suenos and it was incredible (must be in excellent physical condition). You ride horseback through the rainforest for 45 minutes, then climb down the 600 ft. waterfall trail, climb BACK UP the 600 ft.waterfall, then ride horses to the upper falls where you swim for a while, then ride the horses approx. 45 minutes back to the camp at the top of the hill. Awesome experience. But not for the faint of heart...

FISHING
My husband went on two fishing charters during the week. If you walk down the Marriott beach down to the left, you will find local fisherman who will take you out fishing...or you can walk over to the Los Suenos Marina (to the right) and there are many captains willing to take you out also.

At the end of the day, it was wonderful to come back to the Marriott Los Suenos. I look foward to returning...
Hope this review was helpful.

Helpful?
18 Thank edgeofthecay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

Property: Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Address: 800 mts West from Herradura Entrance | Playa Herradura, Central Pacific, Herradura 5024005, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Herradura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Herradura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 328
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recognized by Travel & Leisure magazine readers as one of the "World's Best," the Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort is a luxury Costa Rica resort hotel nestled between the warm waters of the Pacific and a 1,100 acre tropical rainforest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Hotel Herradura
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean And Golf Resort
Marriott Los Suenos Ocean Hotel
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort Costa Rica/Herradura

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