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“Xandari passes but has a few issues . . .”

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Xandari Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Alajuela
Certificate of Excellence
NJ
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Xandari passes but has a few issues . . .”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2008

My husband and I stayed at Xandari for five days this month and had a mixed experience. Our stay was generally pleasant, but we were surprised at how poorly the hotel is run.

Arrival and Check-in: This was by far the low point of our stay and was handled so poorly that we seriously considered looking for other accomodations. After the driver delivered us safely to the hotel, there was no one at the hotel who spoke English. The front desk was not staffed after 10:00, so there was no one to contact when, five minutes after arriving in our room, the power went out and left us stumbling around in complete darkness until about 9:30 the next morning(assuming our phone had worked, which it did not). We were not even able to call family at home to let them know we landed safely. Later, we learned that the electricity had gone out earlier that day, so the hotel management knew about the problem and the possibility that the electricity may go out again. Given that the hotel has no generator to deal with such a contingency (which speaks to how badly the hotel is run and how little thought has been given to emergency contingencies and guest comfort), someone should have been there all night to monitor the situation and deal with the power outage when it occurred. Although the manager assured us that the owner would speak to us about our concerns and he did arrive during our stay, he did not talk to us or address the problem at all.

Tours: The tours were a high point of our stay even though the weather did not cooperate. William, the guide who works with the hotel, was incredibly knowledgable and helpful in planning our excursions. The excursions are a bit expensive but are much more reasonable when we were able to share them other couples, which we very much enjoyed. William is outstanding, and we highly recommend the excursions.

Grounds: The hotel grounds include some very nice hiking trails, but the pools are both pretty bad. Dirty and not at all comfortable. Also, the lighting is completely inadequate after dark. We needed to walk up the hill for dinner in nearly pitch black conditions, which did not feel safe at all. I know Xandari is a green hotel, but I am surprised their insurance even allows for such unsafe conditions. We had to resort to riding to dinner in a golf cart, which should not have been necessary and is certainly not green.

Staff: The staff was very pleasant and helpful, particularly Johanna at the front desk.

Room: Our room was lovely and had a beautiful view. Although there is no turn-down service, the room was kept quite clean and comfortable.

Food: The food is okay. We appreciated the vegetarian options and the reasonable prices. Restaurant service is also excellent.

Spa: The spa is really beautiful and unique and was a high point of our stay.

Overall, I would say that Xandari is a nice hotel. The owner/ management just needs to think more about guest safety and comfort.

  • Liked — Beautiful views and great staff.
  • Disliked — Uncoordinated management.
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank curlyjoeNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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821 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    147
    27
    7
    3
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210
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7
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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2008

Stayed at Xandari our first and last night in CR. Great room - spacious with views from everywhere. Staff were very accommodating. We arrived late. They knew that in advance and advised us to order dinner for our room. We arrived to three dishes, plus they give you a fresh fruit plate and some drinks for free.

Food was outstanding and menu prices were very reasonable.

Staff were extremely helpful.

Xandari has this awesome trail on the property, a tough hike down but you get to see some waterfalls including one that must be over 100 feet high. Hike back up is tough too.

Location is good and bad. It's on the way to the Poas volcano (which was also very nice), but if you're driving yourself, it can be tough to find your way here. Not the fault of Xandari - there is some bad signage in the city of Alajuela. If you're being driven or if they pick you up (which they will), then no problem.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — directions
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank wredlich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2008

Me and my girlfriend stayed here for one night to treat ourselves (this was outside our budget) and it was certainly worth it. The rooms are beautiful, spacious and come with huge balconies with spectacular views. It feels more like an apartment than a hotel room. The decor is quirky but very appealing. The restaurant again has great views at night and excellent food. The Spa was really great, and again you have to rub your eyes when your massage is over when you see the view. Our only regret was that it poured rain most of the time we were there which meant that we didn't get to walk the trails, see the plantation or visit Poas volcano.

  • Stayed August 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Homesick_Alien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eastbourne, UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2008

We stayed just one night at the Xandari as our first night of our honeymoon. It was recommended to us due to it being close to the airport, yet being an amazing, relaxing hotel to unwind in from our long flight. It didn't disappoint.
We were collected from the airport from a member of the hotel staff - much appreciated as traffic was a nightmare! When we arrived at the hotel we were told we had been upgraded to he honeymoon suite, which was a lovely surprise. The suite was fantastic - spacious, fantastic view over the central valley, and was filled with everything you needed and more.
The grounds of the hotel were also amazing - there is a lovely short walk down to a waterfall - ideal for working up an appetite for breakfast.
Dinner was great - had a great introduction to the traditional costa rican menu. Breakfast was satisfactory - healthy options only!
Just wish we could have stayed a few more days to really make the most of the hotel. Maybe next time!

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zoe000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2008

My husband and I spent the last night of our 10-day CR trip at Xandari to relax and unwind before heading home, and I was very happy to have found such a place. Nestled up in the hills of Alejuela outside of San Jose, but very close to the airport (about a 15 min drive; and another reason I chose it as our last night), Xandari has very spacious art-sy "villas" (2 rooms / building) that offer AMAZING views of the valley and an attached spa that was certainly one of the best parts about our stay there-- our massages/spa treatments were done in private "huts" with equally AMAZING views (i.e. essentially outdoors to enjoy the beautiful temperate weather during the day; evening weather was a whole other beast during our short stay). the property itself is immense, and they have fairly well-maintained hiking trails to 5 different waterfalls on the property, which we enjoyed doing leisurely on our arrival day.

With that all said, I probably would NOT stay at Xandari again... unless it were my last day in CR. Only because (1) you're fairly isolated on the hill and a walk to town is not all too close/convenient so all our meals were at the hotel, which got to be a bit pricey (2) as "different" and art-sy as the rooms were, they were more home-y and down-to-earth than luxurious and modern...they seemed more appropriate for families with children than couples.

Service was friendly and laidback/approachable, not so much polished/professional, and the kitchen's food was quite tasty with medium range prices.

  • Liked — spa, hiking trails, close to airport
  • Disliked — isolated
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank fozziebear500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaconsfield, UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2008

We stayed for just one night in Sept 08 (before flying out of SJ), but we wish it had been longer. What a great place!

All we wanted was a nice place for a 20hr stopover at the end of a 2 week holiday - main criteria being close to the airport (which it is - only about 25 mins). But as soon as we arrived we realised we were getting so much more.

The hotel is superbly laid out within its own (i think 400 hectares) grounds. The reception and restaurant area are very nice with good views out over the grounds. The food is excellent - some of the best we ate in Costa Rica.

The rooms are amazing - very funky designs (lots of colours and curves), large sofas to lounge on, and free soft drinks (a good reflection of the thought that has gone into this hotel).

We spent the afternoon walking around the grounds which was a perfect way to pass the time - there is a 2.5hr walk through the orchard (lime and orange trees), to the 5 waterfalls in their grounds (yes, 5!), through the rainforest, and past coffee plants. Everything is exceptionally well looked after (I read there is a team of 10 gardeners), and some plants are named.

The 2 pools looked great, and the TV room and games area were also fun. But we went to the spa which was very good.

The hotel is at a much higher elevation than the beach (where we had come from), and it was nice to be in a cooler climate. But overall the hotel just has a real sense of calm and relaxation about it. We would definitely come back here.

  • Liked — Location in private grounds with great views; rooms (more like suites)
  • Disliked — Nothing really - hard to fault
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mrandmrsnorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2008

This place is unreal! The rooms are spacious, modern, very clean, with large balcony overlooking the valley and san jose - I couldnt sleep at night because I kept waking to watch the dazzling view! Shower is huge and feels like one of those external rain showers! Complimentary water, soft drinks, juices, biscuits in the fridge (nice change!). Hotel restaurant is well priced with decent menu and amazing view. The resort has a its own rainforest with huge waterfall if you are up for a 1.5 hour hike. The spa is so relaxing and not overpriced (compared to Sydney prices). Each treatment is in a private hut with straw roof and rainforest view - I highly recommend the chocolate indulgence followed by a jacuzzi. We stayed here for 1 night and moved on to Arenal. Should have based ourselves here the whole time and done day trips!! If you are tossing up staying in San Jose, give it a miss and stay here instead.

  • Liked — View was amazing. Staff were very helpful. Umbrellas made available to guests. Spa was great. It was like an eco lodge - made their own shampoo, coffee etc.
  • Disliked — nothing.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SSusann
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 Family Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Romantic Hotel in Alajuela
#1 Spa 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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