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“The worst experience in my life”

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Almonds and Corals Hotel
Turrúcares
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The worst experience in my life”
Reviewed 8 December 2011

Though the website gives you only little information we decided to stay for 3 nights in the hotel at the end of Oktober. We needed to pay the three nights before arrival. For the price you do expect a luxury hotel with all the aspects of a luxury hotel, however you get a tent with a jacuzzi just big enough for one person. Nothing luxury at all in the “pavillons” and that “luxury feeling” was what we wanted for some days. When we arrived we had mixed feelings about the environment, it was not clean, of course nature is beuatiful. We made a walk to the beach over the trail and it had several excrements of monkees over it for several days, so no maintenance and the same impression had all the hotel.
We liked to have a nice cup of coffee, but the only coffee they offered was a cup of coffee from a percolator (probably all day there). We decided to leave directly due to what we found and until now they did not return our money.

Room Tip: The only thing we can say is avoid this hotels, there are much better options.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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Germany
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2011

This hotel is really unusual: Shelters in the rain forest, you hear the monkeys houl at night. Yet shelters have all 4 star comfort, jacuzzies etc.

Hotel and facilities are maintained very well though it must be dificult in midst of the rain forest.

Nevertheless, be prepared to encounter some insects (very few inside rooms, but many ourtdoors), and great wildlife.

Good is food, but fairly little choice.

The beach right in front of the hotel is simply perfect! We were there three day, and were all alone on a 10 miles sandy beach for most of the time. Once, wild horses passed by at the beach.

We found this hotel to be a beautiful, romantic place, great wildlife experience, and perfect beach. Strongly recommended for a short stay - 2 or 3 nights.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aksu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

My wife and I have mixed feeling with this hotel. Let me explain why by pointing out the positive and the negative experiences we had during our 2 night stay at this hotel.

To start positive: the hotel is located at a very nice location near the calm village of Mazanillo (much nicer in my opinion than nearby Puerto Viejo) and really gives you a tropical feeling. You feel that you blend in with the rainforest around you. There are plenty of wild animals to be spotted inside the hotel already. The beach is very near and looks beautiful. The rooms were nice and clean and also bring you a real "I am in the rainforest" feeling. The food served in the restaurant was excellent.

Our jacuzzi was broken we found our the first night. After reporting this the next morning to the reception desk they had it fixed when we arrived after visiting the beach. Nice and quick service.

The negative experiences of us started when arrived. The reception desk was so busy with a wedding that was about to take place that we felt like we didn't belong there. A key was given and a road pointed out and that was it. When we found our room it was still being cleaned (even though we arrived 30 minutes after we supposed to be able to check in). The cleaning lady was not too friendly. That night a wedding too place at the beach which included loud music and spoiled a bit the "nature feeling". At the restaurant we had dinner with the wedding guests (not our choice but there was no other option) and the waiters looked kind of confused that they had to serve us as well. They did, but in a hurry and without too much of a smile. We felt uncomfortable.

At 3am we woke up because some of the wedding guests, who almost all stayed in the hotel, became noisy. And not only the wedding guests got noisy: the hotel managed to put us in a room in between 2 families with babies. When you know that the hotel rooms have no wall and you can hear your neighbours even when they whisper, you can imagine what we heard.

To our surpise the next night another wedding was planned and took place. The guests were less noisy but dinner was server again with the wedding guests and while we tried to have a romantic dinner instead we were "forced" to listen to speeches of guests and the favourite music of the bride and groom. Again the waiters served us in a hurry and had more attention for the wedding that took place.

Would I recommend this hotel? In the end: yes, but it was close to a no. Before you book you must be sure no weddings take place and that your room is not located near rooms with children. Staff can be more friendly so don't expect too much on that level. The surroundings, location and rooms give you a unique experience and in the end that made me choose yes.

Room Tip: Make sure no weddings take place during you stay and stay away from rooms with little kids nearby.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank w00t-sjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Costa Rica
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Where to start ... Arriving at the hotel no one was waiting for us or helping with our bags. At the check in nobody guide us to our room, they only indicated the path ...
Once in the room, you could see the lack of maintenance of it, stained sheets and towels, the jacuzzi was dirty, we were able to feel the springs of the mattresses, pillows had mold, and we heard everything going on in nearby rooms.

At dinner we were told it was a la carte, and consisted of 5 steps (salad, ceviche, soup, main, dessert), my mother wanted to skip the ceviche but she was nott allowed and had to wait until all of us finished ours, in order to get the soup. The mains were disappointing, and it showed that each of them was reheated in the microwave.
The second night dinner was a buffet. There were 3 different options for dessert, I wanted to take a portion of tiramisu and a banana cake (portions were very small), so I thought that it would not be a problem if I take two. One of the waitresses came up to me and said “is not possible to take 2 desserts, how should we solved the problem?” I was 100% amazed at the lack of service and rude attitude, and did not think anything but return one of the desserts. When I left my amazement I decided I wanted to talk to the owner so I asked another of the waiters where he was, mean while the rude waitress came and said "tell him whatever you want, things here have always been and always will be that way ".... when I talked to the owner he apologized for what happened but nothing more. Not intended to offer us back the dessert that was taken away from us, not attempt to go further to try to improve our stay at the hotel, nothing....
Another thing is the beach, nobody ever informed us that it wasn´ts possible to swim in the sea in front of the property due the strong currents, the hotel did not have towels for this area and they had 3 chairs that are broken.
Feeling frustrated I wanted to change my hotel, and got into trip advisor web site to see other people's experiences, my surprise was that they had all loved the place ... I guess not attended by the rude waitress that we had, and are not very demanding in terms of cleanliness and comfort. Many times I wanted to approach the owner again and tell him the frustrations we had, but after his poor response to the complaint of the dinner I realized that he wasn´t going to do anything to make me and my family feel better.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gaby R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Manzanillo hotels

Maplewood, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2011

This might have been a beautiful spot to stay but our 7 day vacation turned out to be a 2 day nightmare when our luggage including passports, money, phones, cameras etc. were stolen from the resort van that was driving us to Almonds and Coral on the first day. We are still waiting to hear from their management that has not been to cooperative.

Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank ernestobors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montclair, New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2011

We'd never been to Costa Rica, but were impressed by all the favorable reviews on Trip Advisor. We couldn't have been more misled. We had a misadventure of the worst sort.
After flying into San Jose and being advised by Marco and Alan at the resort to stay that night in San Jose, which we did, we woke early the next morning to be picked up by the resort's only driver, By 8 am we were in the resort's van and on our way to Almonds and Corals, which is a five-hour drive from San Jose. Within two and a half hours our trip had turned into a nightmare. First of all, there is only one road to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica from San Jose, and it is harrowing, and I've never seen so many 18 wheeler trucks on one road in my life, and certainly not on a road of that type. The resort driver suggested we stop at a restaurant along the way he knew to use the rest room and get a bite to eat. So far, so good. We headed into the restaurant, secure in the knowledge that our driver was in our van and looking out for it. The restaurant was open to the parking lot, and we were no more than a few feet away from the fan during this time. In the time it took to use the bathroom and order our food, we returned to the van to find it had been robbed. The Almonds and Corals driver had gotten out, ordered food himself, sat with his back to the parking lot, and left the van (which sports the word "Turisma") on the side, leaving doors unlocked and windows open. Gone were my documents, credit cards, cell phone, prescription medication, and many other belongings, and my partner's stashed away cash, camera, books, computer hard drive, and much more. I won't torture readers with how the rest of the day unfolded, as we tried communicating with our driver, local police, the American embassy back in San Jose, etc. While we were reluctant to finally get back on the road to the resort--which was still five hours away once we did what we could back in San Jose---we had the reservation, and were still dependent on the resort driver/van.

The ensuing trip was so harrowing we literally feared we wouldn't make it. Every other vehicle on the tiny, windy road was a huge truck, and the van's driver was not adept at making us feel safe, to say the least. It was a horrible five hours. In the midst of it, we were told that the resort wouldn't be able to keep open the restaurant to serve us dinner when we finally arrived, so we would have to stop, not eat, or eat sandwiches left in our hut. It was only 9 pm!

When we finally did arrive, the resort that awaited us we saw, was nothing special. We have stayed at plenty of rustic eco-resorts before and loved them, but this one just didn't
see, at all inviting. We went to bed, hoping the next day would be better.

We awoke to find we were the only guests at the resort--out of 30 huts ours was the only one occupied. Breakfast was sub-par. Our next stop was the beach, just a few minutes' walk. We were greeted at the beach by a permanent sign warning us not to enter the water there--the currents are too strong!!! The beachfront property was not well tended, and looked as if no one had used it for some time. We went back to the resort and had a conversation wtih Alan (who was very nice, but couldn't do much for us), asking why we were the only guests. We were told that beginning two nights later, the resort would be full----WITH HIGH SCHOOL KIDS!!

While the resort did refund us for one night of our two-night stay, we have since been trying to get them on the phone to find out about the status of our insurance claim. We keep being told Marco or the other owner will get back to us, but it's been a month and a half, and no one has. Because we were so traumatized by the events and so unimpressed with both the resort and how it dealt with the entire episode, (not to mention that we'd lost our credit cards, cash, etc), we came home after two days. We requested the resort provide a different driver than the one who had left the van unattended and caused the whole problem (and been incredibly rude on the drive that night), but unbelievably, the resort did not have another and further, DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY WE WANTED A DIFFERENT DRIVER. We found our own driver by going into the nearby village and just asking one to drive us back.

There is nothing positive to say about this resort. Even judging it on the basis of natural beauty, in comparison to all of the other spots I've visited in Central America and elsewhere in the Caribbean, it is just not all that nice. We have stayed several times in a place not far away, in Panama, that sounds similar on paper, but Al Natural (the place in Panam) is about a thousand times nicer.

We are still waiting to hear about our insurance claim, but so far haven't even received a return phone call or email.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
Helpful?
7 Thank ernesto1073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2011

As soon as my boyfriend and I arrived I was awe struck. We decided to travel during the off-peak season, which I highly recommend if you are looking for relaxation and serenity. We stayed for two nights. The first night there were only two other couples staying at the lodge and the second night we were the only ones. We had the entire beach to ourselves. The afternoon rain is one of the disadvantages of staying in Costa Rica in the "green season" but we enjoyed waking up early with the howler monkies (they are loud and start howling as early a 3am so if you are not an animal lover like we are this may annoy you. We LOVED it though. It is a truly unique and amazing sound) and enjoying the sunny mornings until the rain came when we would retreat back to our cabin and enjoy the jacuzzi. I thought it seemed a bit odd to have a jacuzzi in a hot climate but it turned out to be GREAT! The forest stays quite cool and the rain cools the temperature even more. It was perfect. Warm on the beach, cool in the forest.
We never once saw a bug in our cabin which we were surprised by. We brought loads of bug spray and an extra mosquito net just in case but in the cabin we were fine.
The only thing we weren't completely satisfied with was the restaurant. The food was good but I expected the food to match the my awe of the lodge and surrounding property. The wait staff was very friendly and the service was good.
I highly recommend this lodge. It is not just a hotel it is an experience!
If you are staying in the off season they don't offer all of the same tours that are offered when there is a high volume of guests. Just be sure to check with the owner when you arrive so you know what is available. We did the Crazy Monkey Canopy Tour. It was awesome! We saw howler monkies, toucans and a sloth. Bring bug spray for this.
Also you can walk on the beach to the town of Manzanillo. It is a cute little town which is worth a visit.

Room Tip: Specials during off-peak
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank M0za
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Almonds and Corals Hotel

Property: Almonds and Corals Hotel
Address: Manzanillo 681-2300, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Manzanillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Manzanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Almonds and Corals Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Almonds and Corals, nestled amongst the exuberant jungle of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica, offers three in one unique destinations, because it is part an exclusive Caribbean beach resort, part a safari camp and part an eco-conscious boutique hotel. The owners are devoted to offer one-of-a-kind accommodations awaiting your arrival and a unique sensory experience that promotes harmony between inner and outer self. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Almonds And Corals Hotel Manzanillo
Almonds And Corals Hotel Costa Rica/Manzanillo

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