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“Gorgeous View”

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Vista Las Islas Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paquera
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
94 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Gorgeous View”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

This hotel has a gorgeous view! The rooms are neat and clean with nice decorations. small frig in room and was great to sit out on the balcony. There are ranchos with hammocks which are nice but only have valley view not really of the ocean. The larger one has a sliver of a view. Lots of butterflies, hummingbirds and wildlife. Howler monkeys in the distance.

The Cons: Front Desk: We were required to pay in cash, but were allowed to pay credit/debit for food. This was bad because didn't really have enough extra cash. But we had traveled up the hill from the ferry and by now it was about 3pm so wasn't going to go search for another hotel. For off season it was a bit high. There were only two families at the hotel.

You will either need a car or if you don't you will not really be able to walk anywhere. Somewhat remote. Too far from the beach! Would be ok for a few nights if you are taking tours. They have an extensive list, but unsure without a car how you get to some of them since our only choice was to drive there.

I wouldn't call the front desk rude, more a bit ditzy and too talkative with little information. She is spanish and german, but is dead on french accent and even uses french expressions.

I didn't like that the bathrooms were under the front desk so quite a few steps or long around. This is not a place for anyone with issues with steps.

The food was good and very fresh and homemade. The problem is that they have you up on that hill and they take advantage of you with the pricing. Example: scoop of ice cream with a bit of chocolate is 7.00 usd. Dinner for 4 of us and two of us shared was almost 80.00 with no alcohol. In town we had dinner for four with smoothies, dessert, and full meals for 44.00. There is a limited menu and only written on a menu board. Very few choices. Breakfast was included which was a nice surprise since we weren't told ahead, but at 7:45 was not really ready as foretold.

Also, no help down to the rooms:...Remember, I said steps and down slopes with luggage. The rooms are built like duplex casitas on the hillside.

The pool was nice and clean. With swim up bar that was not open. They did turn on music at night which was nice. They insist on giving you pool towels, but if you leave on your chair while you go to the restroom etc they will take it away.

I would eat in town before going up and take some snacks. Maybe have a drink or two which the sign said was I believe 5.00 for happy hour? or stop and grab a six pack for the frig in your room.

We loved the view, but next time I think we will try the all inclusive in Tambor.

Room Tip: All rooms have a wonderful view
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank CostaRicaTravelGuru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Solothurn, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 June 2014

We loved our stay at this hotel. It's set on a hilltop. The infinity pool has majestic view to the ocean and turtle island middle of the rain forest. The staff was very friendly also we can recommend the open air restaurant. Also offer the hotel a lot of nice tours. We wish we could habe stayed longer.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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1 Thank Philipp K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 June 2014

This hotel has a magnificent view of Nicoya Bay and it is very well maintained. However, if you are planning to be close to the beach, this hotel is not for you. The nice beaches are at least 1h drive, on bad roads. So you either spend the whole day away, traveling to beaches, or there is not much to do, except for the tours that are offered in the region. The WiFi works on and of only at the restaurant and our rooms had no TV when we arrived (satellite was broken!). The staff is very nice, except for the manager. She was unpleasant and not helpful at all, always denying to accomodate any request or doing things like openning the safe, that was locked in our room. Another member of the hotel offered us a different room that had a working TV, although I compained to her twice and she never bothered.

Room Tip: Talk to the staff; ignore the manager
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tamara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Fernando, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile

The view was amazing and rooms/structure of the resort we're very nice but other then that the enchantment of this hotel ends there. The woman in the front who checks people in (I believe she said she is German but sounds French) is extremely rude. I had called earlier in the day to inquire about a taxi and how much it would cost to get to the hotel from where we were. The woman said she would inquire and said to call back. My fiancée and I decided to just keep the rental we had and drive there ourselves so we did not call back since we had borrowed our current hotels phone. When we arrived (after being in the car for 3 hours driving thru the petrifying trails Costa Rica calls "roads") we were greeted by the very rude woman with a lecture about how we should have called back and pretty much demanded an apology because she had reserved the taxi for us. I reminded her that we had only called to inquire about the price and never did we ask her to reserve the taxi. She would not listen and continued to make us feel responsible for her mistake until we apologized. Once we checked in we went to our room. Our room was nice, clean, and had an amazing view. On the other hand the water pressure was extremely low (I left like I was being misted by the water in the shower), the water only got like warm in the shower, the lighting was extremely dim, little by little we started noticing small insects in our room (there was a rather large crack between the front door and floor), and the tv was not working. We weren't happy but we didn't want to make a big deal, we were exhausted from our drive.
My fiancée had to get some work done and we also wanted to let our families know we had arrived safely. We found out wifi is only available in the restaurant. We went to the restaurant to use the wifi but it was not working, the rude woman kept telling us that the wifi was working and it was our phones that were not picking up the signal telling us to keep trying (this is not the case, we have an iphone and galaxy s4). Once we were able to connect, about 1 hour later, the signal was pretty weak. We wanted to eat but the food was extremely over priced in the restaurant so we decided to eat in the nearby town (which we were extremely happy that we had kept our car because the drive to the hotel is extremely rough and other reviews are correct in that it is not safe to walk).
We booked a tour through the hotel (all the tours were extremely over priced but we really wanted to do a tour). The very rude woman gave us directions on how to get there. My fiancée specifically asked if we would be fine getting there in our yaris (which we were shocked that the little car was able to make it to the hotel), she blew him off saying "yes, yes, of course" and continued with her directions (which were not accurate). We had to stop at the ferry station and ask around. A gentleman working at the ferry station told us where to go but said the road was extremely bad and to be very careful. We found out that the road was mainly grave with large rocks, downhill on the way there, and one side was a huge cliff. Once we got to the people who did the tour, the looked at our car, shocked that we made it and said that they would have picked us up at the ferry station had the woman told them we were in a yaris. They also asked how we were going to get back and offered to pull us out of a ditch if did not make it back up the hill.
Aside from the rude lady, we felt we were getting jipped. The hotel says "resort" and when you walk around it seems fancy, it has nice furniture and nice rooms but we got the feeling that the owners realized they had gone above and beyond with the furniture, tiling, structures, etc and weren't seeing profits so they decided to cut down on wifi, lighting, water pressure, and hike up prices in the restaurant.
We did not leave with a positive feeling, we wished we had not gone to that area of Costa Rica at all and just gone somewhere else. It gets two stars for the view, pool, hotel structure, and other staff members who seemed very nice and hard working it's just unfortunate that our main interaction was with the very rude woman in the front.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank maryama89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We stayed in this hotel for three nights whilst on a trip with friends and it was a lovely stay - the staff is very friendly and helpful and the restaurant and bar are excellent. Incredible view which is especially enjoyable when relaxing in the pool. Can't recommend this tropical getaway enough!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stephanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

As an individual who prides himself on being impartial, I will try to write this review from a more positive outlook.
To start off with, the location of the premises is spectacular, of that there is no doubt, however one can only stand in wonderment at a breathtaking canvas for so long. If you do not have access to a motor vehicle or to unlimited funds for cabs or tours then Vista Las Islas is probably only viable for one or two nights: We had booked for four.
We arrived late (2000hrs-ish) due to travelling from San Jose by Public Bus (We don't embrace being 'tourists' and so enjoy living via the locals) and then catching a cab from Paquera up to Vista Las Islas. On our way up to the property from Paquera, we had our first experience of the road network in the area, which is bumpy to say the least (4 wheel drive vehicles struggle to navigate the area).
There are no footpaths or segments roadside to safety allow pedestrians to navigate busier, well used tracks without the fear of being ploughed over. May I make it clear from the outset that any journey from Vista Las Islas to town via foot would be a game of Russian Roulette. I'am well versed in the ways of Pedestrian activity and this is not a location for playing walk about, much to my disappointment. We did have to escape the confines of Vista las Islas for fear of madness at one stage by foot, but that was to venture down to Playa Organas Beach, which I will describe as below later.
On arrival we were 'greeted' by a gentleman, whom I can only assume is drafted in at the weekend to cover the owner. He did his best to understand our pidgin Spanish, as we did for his English and after a brief period of twenty minutes hard-work we were shown to our room (Number 10). After the long journey (6-ish hrs by bus, ferry and cab) we were in a mood to eat and sleep, unfortunately this was not to be the case.
Number 10's Air-con was broke (Essential no.1 in the jungle). This was in companionship with an infestation of biblical proportions and the fact that it was a 'Standard' room. The room didn't just have a couple of insects buzzing around but the entire jungle had decanted into the room especially the bathroom. The sink was overflowing with bugs of every description, alongside the toilet, the walls and every other orifice available. It was completely unliveable and my first impressions of this 'Boutique' hotel were not the best. I checked the sliding door bug mesh and that was closed alongside the one in the bathroom and so either they had been there for a while and multiplied or there was an internal problem with the room. As a result, I enlisted the assistance of the gentleman that had booked us in, he wasn't too happy, as a playoff football game on the TV in the open-air eatery was in progress and so assisting us wasn't his primary concern.
After approx. 10 mins he acknowledged my presence and begrudgingly sauntered behind me to the room. He agreed that the Air-con was bust and as a result he would make efforts to fix it, I then showed him the collection of guests that had assembled to greet us and even as a local he was shocked and surprised by such a large jungle crowd. He had no fixes for this problem and stated that he would see about getting rid of them in the morning.........As you can probably expect, both myself and my wife weren't too happy about the response to being the main course for the jungle that evening and as a result I asked to move rooms (One thing after another and all that.....Boutique is in the title after all).
His response was less than enthusiastic (Football game in progress) and he stated he would try and call the owner to gain permission???? This I found rather odd but hey, when in Costa Rica and all that...
He came back after around 20 mins (Half-time perhaps) and stated that he had not been able to get hold of the manager (I was under the impression that they lived on the premises later in the stay) and so could not assist in our quest to escape the vastly increasing numbers that were residing under our temporary roof. It was at that point that I lost my rag and he found himself on the receiving end of our first impression of our visit to Costa Rica in our first proper hotel of the stay. He then got the message and came back 10 mins later to say that he was moving us (Much to the disappointment of our guests who had now lost their English supper experience).
On arriving in Number 20, we noticed that the room actually fitted the criteria of room we had booked (Deluxe room) and that it was insect free, the Air-con was working and everything was clean and tidy. The first impression of Vista Las Islas was not the best and so we made our way up to the restaurant with an air of discontent.
The food was not great and was vastly overpriced ($21 typical) in comparison with what we had encountered in San Jose the previous day ($15 typical). This caught me a little off-guard as typically city prices are overpriced and the food can be underwhelming but this was not the case in this instance. This food was the same throughout the stay and had we not been in such a remote location, we would have eaten elsewhere. The only positive note I can add to the food, is that the cook made decent scrambled eggs for breakfast. The breakfast is made up of a tiny choice of watermelon et al, cereal, toast and eggs if so desired. Vista Las Islas is well aware that it has a static audience and so does not raise its gourmet game.
Thankfully we met another couple that evening that were an absolute godsend and delightful to boot. They offered to take us with them on an exploration of Curu and so we jumped at the chance as they were fantastic company and they had the freedom of a 4x4. As an aside if you get the opportunity to visit Curu, then do. Its stunning and has a fantastic beach and jungle area (Monkeys, spiders and beasties of every description).
The visit to Curu was brilliant and we very nearly left the hotel to continue our journey to Arenal with the other couple, this we decided was not economically viable, however we also recognised that we were to be stranded at Vista Las Islas for another 2 nights.
Over the following days we ventured down to Playa Orangos once (Awful rubbish laden beach which held no comparison to Curu). The walk down to the beach took roughly 30 mins and the walk back was probably around 50 mins uphill. I contemplated walking to Paquera but then my survival instinct kicked in as I was happier walking in the jungle, than by the side of some very dangerous roads.
We both submitted to being isolated within the hotel and soaked in the sun by and in the infinity pool and ate overpriced, just-ok food.
During our stay we met the owners (Swiss-German) several times and they were passionate about the area and seemed happy with the hotel. I can't criticise their desire to thrive in the area but they are about the only offering of any substance within the immediate area and so make use of the dollar exchange rate and food prices.
The hotel absolutely and utterly needs a gym/fitness centre alongside an area that sells products such as sundries/essentials and local goods. This would then cater for couples that cannot access the local area but still want to engage with it alongside having something other to do apart from laze by the pool.
How would I rate Vista Las Islas and the area for couples/families with transport or pots of cash for tours - Highly, if even just for the view.
How would I rate Vista Las Islas and the area for couples/families on a budget without transportation - Go elsewhere (Montezuma/Papagayo).

Room Tip: Terrible room - Room 10 Good room fitting Deluxe description - Room 20
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

This hotel was a most pleasant surprise!! The view was amazing especially fro the beautiful zero line pool!! Lots of steps but worth the trek! Our most favorite treat was the howler monkeys in the evening while having dinner in the restaurant. Beautiful place to stay!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank riv72bsa67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vista Las Islas Hotel & Spa

Property: Vista Las Islas Hotel & Spa
Address: Playa Organos, Paquera, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Paquera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Paquera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Vista Las Islas Hotel & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Vista Las Islas Hotel & Spa Costa Rica/Paquera

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