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“Nice, but unsure if it's worth the price”

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Xandari Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice, but unsure if it's worth the price”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

Xandari is lovely. It's close to the airport, which makes it super convenient if you want to make sure you're there on time. There's a shuttle service that can get you there too. The grounds are stunning. The owners of the property have clearly spent a lot of time, money and love in developing them. The botanical gardens, orchards, orchid house and walks to waterfalls were all very beautiful. The room was nicely appointed, very large, and the balcony was nice and private. Their newest pool was gorgeous, too, with sweeping views. Their continental breakfast was probably the best I ever had, too!

All that said, after coming from Makanda by the Sea, I felt it not quite the lush resort it promised to be and did not have quite the soul that Makanda had, so the place left me a bit cold. It also bills itself as a resort, which I always think of as having several eating options, activities on the premises, and almost certainly a gym. I know it sounds silly, but if I'm paying such a high price, I expect more. The shampoo was just the shampoo/conditioner hybrid, terrible for my hair, so I ended up using the kind I bring. They offer to bring you weights to your room and there's a ping pong table, but I wanted a treadmill (the walking paths weren't conducive to running) and there is really no place to go outside of Xandari. Also, while I appreciate their efforts to be green by using efficiency bulbs, the lighting was horrible in our rooms. There must be a better way to be environmentally friendly and shed some nice light?

All in all, I wish I had spent the money a different way, but it's certainly not a bad place to stay and as long as your expectations are set that it's more of a nice hotel with your own casita and some pools and walking grounds, with a restaurant, I think you'd probably be just fine. I think my expectations were just set too high!

Room Tip: If you stay in the rooms in the 20s, you will be a bit farther from reception, but you'll be clo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank remtheory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 19 February 2012
Dear remtheory...Thank you for taking your time to write this review. We are glad you enjoyed Xandari but sorry to hear we did not fulfill all your expectations.
Thanks to your comments we are fixing the the lighting in villa #22, the bulbs are not working properly and we will be placing an extra light in the middle of the ceiling. I checked the other villas on the west side and the lighting seems appropriate.
We are also looking into other biodegradable options to replace the shampoo/conditioner.
We hope to have an opportunity to host you in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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821 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
210
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
Date | Rating
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

Just got back from CR,we spent our last night at the Xandari Resort and Spa and were able to negotiate a price of $ 200 per night, but left just a bit disappointed. Let me start with the positives, the views and grounds are spectacular,though we really didn't get a good introduction/orientation from the front desk staff, so be sure to ask for one. As I wish we had budgeted more time for a hike before taking off for the airport. The trails lead to a few waterfalls and are really well maintained . The restaurant was fantastic and actually reasonable in regards to the quality and service. Our dinner there was one of our best meals in CR.

The main negatives-
1) The front desk staff seemed only barely interested in us, I think in part because we had the discounted rate, there was no formal introduction/orientation. The property is large and I was lucky to find a map of the grounds in the room and read about the natural features of the property.

2) the rooms are large and offer sweeping views of the valley below. But are dated, with weird Ikea like light fixtures and awful halogen lighting. (the showers are awesome semi open into a private courtyard and having a mini kitchen was nice).

3)Even though the 3 pools are "heated", none were adequetly heated, as it does get a bit chilly in the evening. Which explained why for the most part the pools were empty. Even the hot tubs were tepid.

(4)The included breakfast was continental had a wide selection but even so if you wanted something more substantial, like eggs,it was as add on. Kinda of a rip if you paid sticker price.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nyalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 13 February 2012
Dear nyalla...Thank you for your comments. We are glad you appreciated our food, grounds and views...of course we are very sorry to hear about the lack of customer service during your check in. We will be taking the necessary measures to improve this issue. We strive to keep pools at 80 to 82 degrees, and the Jacuzzis get up to 104 F, so we are surprised about your comment.
Thank you for taking time to let us know how we are doing.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2012

We stayed at the resort for one evening on Jan 30, 2012 before returning home.
The resort is close to the airport and a great location for a last day of relaxing before flying home. The grounds are nice as is the lap pool near the room. The rooms are large and functional but need to be updated. The shower was very nice but toilet and sink are are very dated as well. The patio was nice and large but a jacuzzi would add a lot to the ambiance.
There is no air condition or even ceiling fan. We were told it is best to keep the sliding door locked at night so it got very stuffy in the room. When we finally did open the sliding doors we realized that there were no screen doors. There is no TV or WiFi in the room and the very poor reception for the internet in the lobby are as well.

All in all it is a very decent hotel but way overpriced. For $299 a night I expected more luxurious and updated accommodations. If you can reserve it for $199 go for it!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amnona1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 13 February 2012
Dear Amnona1,
Thank you for your feedback, we are taking note of your comments and we will do our best to keep improving our premises.
We are considering adding wireless internet in some of our villas, and we are currently trying a simple system. We still need to do more testing to make sure it will work.
Our villas were designed with high ceilings & louvers for cross-ventilation, and they normally stay cool all day long. We have fans available at the front desk.
Please accept our sincerest apologies for not fulfilling your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

My husband and I stayed in a Prima villa (the base room category, villa 12) for 2 nights in January and it totally exceeded our expectations. Our room was huge, and had a beautiful view of the central valley. It had a comfortable queen size bed, a large shower with a view of the garden outside, and a small kitchen area with a sink and mini-fridge. It was spacious and beautiful, but simple in terms of amenities, not luxurious. The highlight of this resort is the grounds, which are lush and beautiful - there are flowers and palm trees everywhere. We loved the sunset pool, which has an amazing view and a nice outdoor hot tub - we went there 4 times during our stay and we had it completely to ourselves each time (we were advised that the resort was not full - however we saw many other guests there, so it was not empty either). The food in the restaurant was delicious and healthy, and the restaurant also has a beautiful view. We were very surprised by how inexpensive the items on the menu were - drinks were well priced too. Continental breakfast is included, but you pay for hot dishes separately. However, at $265 per night the room itself was our most expensive in CR. The service at Xandari is top-notch. When we arrived at the airport, William was waiting for us. He was very knowledgeable about the area and gave us some great tips for some of the other areas we were visiting, as well as around Alajuela. We also arranged for him to drive us to our next hotel, which was well over a 2 hour drive, and the resort charged us only $100 (this was actually cheaper than renting a 4x4 and much more enjoyable). We thought it was excellent value, especially when we compared it to prices at other resorts we stayed at in CR. We also did a full day trip to Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and the Doka Coffee plantation. Rodrigo was our driver and guide, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about the sites we visited. He was very patient, allowing us to customize our tour exactly how we wanted. Xandari charged us $150 for the full-day private tour, which again was excellent value (other resorts charged higher than this for GROUP tours). Both of our guides spoke English fluently. My only regret is that we did not return to Xandari for our last night before flying home - it would have been the perfect way to end our trip (it is only 15 or so minutes from the airport).

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MandA2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

First let me say that they hotel and grounds are nice and the added benefit of being on a piece of property with falls and hiking trails was great! But after reading all the reviews discussing how "Absolutely Amazing" this place was I was expecting more. Perhaps I got my hopes up to much. Also, I have to say that I stayed in this hotel and the Hotel Nayara while in Costa Rica which are pricey (for Costa Rica) properties so my review is on the value not comparing this place to a standard inn. Also hotel Nayara was impeccable so perhaps had we stayed at this place first my review would be different. We stayed in the Star Villa (the highest level of room; $530/nt plus tax for a 2 bedroom) for 3 nights last week. When we arrived the guy at the desk was very helpful and they provided a golf cart to take us and our stuff to the room. When we arrive, it was clean and everything was in place. The provide complimentary fruit, sodas, water, and cookies which was nice. The room and view are as gorgeous in person as they are in the photos! The rooms are very (very) spacious with comfortable sofas and chairs, the bathrooms were very clean and large as well. Only a few complaints with the rooms:the robes were thin and not comfortable, the maids left the doors open so I had to kill several 2in spiders and wasps throughout our stay (my husband is allergic), there is a huge ant problem and you cannot leave food anywhere (we had to take the trash out front of our gate every night or we would wake up with an infestation and ants infested my friends purse she had a single tootsie roll; we had to make several in the middle of the night calls to the front desk to get cans of raid), there is no WiFi internet in the rooms. I understand bugs, you are in the rain forest, but the ants seem like a more controlable issue. We made dinner one night and within 5 minutes of starting to prep we had ants. The robes and WiFi less understandable, especially for the price you are paying. Breakfast is complimentary with the room. The fresh breads, muffins, and fruit are delicious, but don't expect any more. They do have other items for extra $. They have one restaurant on property for lunch and dinner. The food is good for a resort, but mine was poorly cooked both nights we ate there. You can get free coffee through the restaurant throughout the day which is nice. The grounds are pretty and the Grand Waterfall (No. 4) is great and there is a pool at the bottom you can swim in. There was one front desk guy who was there several times who was pretty rude and very unhelpful, he appeared to be a guide? He was wearing shorts and a vest every time we saw him. We were wanting to go to a restaurant in town and we had looked at the top rated restaurants on TripAdvisor before going. The front desk person had not heard of them and so we asked him for a suggestion and he said "Well, there is nothing interesting in Alajuela. There is an Argentinian steakhouse which you could try..." (that Argentinian restaurant is 15/15 in Alajuela according to TA so we didn't go). Hungry with no options we were ushered into the Hotel's restaurant ($115 for 4 with no alcohol). My suggestion take the $12 roundtrip taxi to the new supermarket and pick up some fresh and cheap fixings for a dinner ($7 for dinner for 4) to cook at your room. We took rides with Rodrigo through the hotel to a few of their day trips, and he was super nice and accommodating. Overall the hotel was good, it was clean (minus the bugs) but definitely not a great value. For the $600 per night (including taxes) we paid per night I would expect a lot more. There was barely any customer service, we maybe were spoken to by staff 3 times a day including at breakfast and for the price tourists are staying it seems a bit more could be done (iHomes for music players, WiFi). If you are wanting to stay in Alajuela it may be the best option and again a good hotel. Just be aware that there is nothing close to walk to.Also airport transportation is included.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TechTreks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 February 2012
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that your stay did not fill your expectations.

Keeping the ants away from the villas and gardens using only environmentally-friendly products has been a huge challenge, but we hope a new product we are using will provide an effective solution.

We are surprised by your customer service comment and will take corrective measures to make sure our staff continues to give only their best to our guests. We will be taking a deep look at all your comments and use them to improve our guests´ experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2012

My husband and I spent a day at the Xandari Spa, we were absolutely blown away by the experience. We were given excellent care by the staff there, special thanks to Konrad and Clara who took us on a relaxing and exhilarating journey and made this day truly PERFECT!. We were lucky to arrive in a day were they gave complimentary meditation and stretching classes which we took before the massage and it was a wonderful way to start our relaxing and pampering day. The place is truly breathtaking and gives a feeling of serenity. We thoroughly recommend this Hotel and most of all the spa experience. It is like none other, not just a fabulous massage, but a whole experience of well being physical and emotional.

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
95 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

Spent my last two nights here before flying home with a plan to relax and have a spa day before heading back to reality. The resort is amazing with stunning views of the Central Valley! The spa was good, but not great. The restaurant was fantasic...food, wine, and view.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IxChel3300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Xandari Resort & Spa

Property: Xandari Resort & Spa
Address: 1 km northwest of El Diamante Bar | Tacacori, Alajuela 4050, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Alajuela
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Family Hotel in Alajuela
#6 Business Hotel in Alajuela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Xandari Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Xandari is a 40-acre plantation with botanical gardens, orchid house and over 5 kms of nature trails including five waterfalls. Xandari is the creation of an architect-artist couple, with 24 spacious villas overlooking the Central Valley. Only 20 minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport. In addition, three fabulous swimming pools, including the new 125 ft. Long Sunset Pool with a stunning view, and two outdoor jacuzzis. The restaurant serves fresh, continental and Costa Rican menu, featuring many organic fruits and vegetables from our own gardens. Xandari Spa Village is harmoniously integrated with nature and consists of a Yoga Room and five private palm-roofed jalapas with jacuzzi perched on a mountain ridge, where natural ingredients are used in massages and body treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Xandari Resort And Spa
Xandari Hotel Alajuela
Xandari Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Alajuela

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