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Hotel & Club Punta Leona
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Reviewed 5 June 2010

We had an excellent vacation at Punta Leona and would definately like to go back in the future. I was a bit worried after reading some of the negative reviews, but Punta Leona was exactly what we were looking for. If you are expecting a five star resort, like one of the big chain all-inclusives, you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a more authentic Costa Rican experience with a great beach and a relaxing environment, you will probably have a great time. There are many different types of accommodation on the property - from very basic apartments that seemed to be used mostly by Costa Rican families through to condo suites. We stayed for a week in the Selvamar Rooms, which are cute little bungalows. The rooms were basic, but well-maintained and cleaned every day. They had flat screen TVs, air conditioning, and small fridges. Wifi internet was available in the rooms which we didn't really use, but I think the service was a bit sporadic from what we heard. There is also a business centre with a few computers you can pay to use.

The property is very spread out, but everything is quite walkable, so if you don't mind a bit of exercise this is no problem. The main lobby and pool area was about a 5-7 minute walk from our rooms. The very beautiful Playa Blanca beach was probably about a 20 minute walk - if the tide was out you could walk along the beach to get there. Otherwise, its up quite a steep hill, which we never attempted to walk because it was so hot and humid. We did use the shuttle nearly ever day and found it to be very efficient and the driver very friendly. We never had to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes at the most, and usually it was only a few minutes. We weren't really in a hurry, so we didn't mind waiting.

The Playa Blanca beach is fantastic - we spent most of every day there. There are some chairs available to sit in under the shady trees - it was easy to get a chair during the week, although the beach was much busier on the weekends when it fills up with Costa Rican families. We loved this about Punta Leona, that is not just for foreign tourists! The water is beautiful, although it can be a bit rougher with waves on some days. There are life guards who tell people where to swim to avoid the rip tide, and we soon learned the best spots to swim where there were no rocks and a sandy bottom.

The main pool area is nice as well - there is an adult pool which is about 5 ft deep and a large kids pool area. You get free towels for use at the pool. There is also a bar by the pool, and a grill restaurant at both the pool and at Playa Blanca. We ate at the Playa Blanca grill almost everyday and it was delicious. Breakfast is served every morning at a buffet close to the Selvamar Rooms, and it was fun to watch the coatimudi and monkeys try to steal food. The food at breakfast was pretty good - lots of fresh fruit, breads, and omlettes and pancakes made to order. Dinner buffet was pretty good, we preferred the grill when it was open late on weekends, but we could always find something to eat.

We were on an all inclusive package, but not everyone at the resort is. Staff were a little more reluctant to keep refilling your drinks than at some all inclusives I've been too, but if you tipped well you got pretty good service. One note of caution - if you're on an all inclusive, some of the more expensive items on the menu are not included, so make sure you ask you waiter if you're unsure. If you book at the a la carte restaurant, don't order a bottle of wine or you'll have to pay for it. Only house wine by the glass and beer are included. Most mixed drinks at the bar are also included - they have a seperate list you can ask for for all inclusive packages.

The property is on a huge nature reserve, so there are lots of activities - hiking trails, a guided bird walk in the morning and lots of beautiful plants. The butterfly farm was closed when we were there, which was disappointing. There is also a zip line canopy on the property, although we weren't brave enough to try it. There is also a staff person there who will books tours and exertions for you, and he was extremely friendly and helpful. The resort is a little isolated, but he will book a taxi to take you into Jaco, and you can also rent cars from the resort to go on your own day trips.

Overall, this is a great place for a laid back beach holiday at a good price. Anyone who has reasonable expectations about their holiday will have a great time here.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank LMRaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2010

Avoid it if you can! A terrible place overall despite the nice forest.

1) Too many paperworks that one has to carry during the stay. a) A wrist band to wear at all times (the security guy asked me to show it while I am still swiming in the pool when I happened to put the band in the bag), b) a towel card, $20 if you loose it, c) a small piece of paper to carry if you want to put restaurant charge to your room bill (a room card will not work!), d) a guest is asked to ¨clear the paperwork¨ upon check out (yes, the instruction paper given by the hotel is called ¨CLEAR YOUR PAPEWORK

2) The SPA place looks and smells like a public toilet with a price more expensive that you would get in States. One massage bed, and a basket of cheap nail polish are in the place. That´s all. It´s weired that the hotel promotes the spa service heavily and put the fliers all over the place. One should feel shamed to promote such a dirty place.

3) No hot water for shower for the first night. The hotel staff didn´t send anyone to fix it in 5 hours after I called the reception desk. Called again, eventually someone came to turn on the water heater. I don´t understand why they can not turn it on upon our check in?

4) It took more than 45 minutes for utensils to be delivered to the room when the food became totally cold.

5) I ordered the iced tea at the buffet dinner and was told that I could get it from the juice dispenser, and it turned out that there were just orange juice and fruit juice available there. When I asked again, the server started laughing and said okay and I will get it. If the iced tea was not available, he could easily said so.

6) Expect at least 5-10 minutes for identity check before you can enter the restaurant for dinner since the reception lady needs to clear the records ( the wrist band is requested to show, the small piece of paper with your signiture needs to be checked to match her record on the computer, sometimes she needs to call the front desk to confirm,etc, one by one...)

7) A small lizard was found on the bed upon going to sleep. (Not a complaint since the hotel is loated in a jungle.)

8) The chairs around the swimming pool were dirty with debris, water, and sand. Just because the envirnment is clean, it doesn´t mean these chairs do not need to be cleaned.

9) I ordered the chicken wings while resting at the pool chair. 20 minutes later, when I was ready to taste them, I was told that the chick wings were no longer available. That´s fine if something is not available, but please do not delay for such a long time. No drink list was brougt to me when I asked one.

10) The onean water around the hotel area is absolutely dirty, with garbage floating around.

The hotel staff always smile and polite. That´s very nice.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank travel10010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2010

I love Punta Leona. Playa Blanca is picture-esque and incredible. The hotel has a nice relaxed feel. It has more cultural feel than something like the Marriott while also being quite luxurious.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank dshearn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

Our visit was nice, very relaxing. People were friendly and knowledgable. It was very crowded the days we were there as was holiday weekend. Only complaint was rides to/from beach took an extremely long time. Overall, stay was very pleasant and would recommend for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank azvetman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

The rooms were excellent, and off the beaten path for privacy, with a pool and restaurant nearby. The staff, food and amenities were all great. We liked the split beaches, although had trouble getting beach towels in the mornings. Our favorite was Playa Blanca. The beauty of the entire place was awesome - we wish we could come back every year. One thing we would suggest 1) the staff at the Reservation Desk were not able to add a night to our stay -- we had to call San Jose. This was an inconvenience.

We hope we can return again soon!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kathleen0809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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