What a shame. We stayed here for three nights last week with our three young boys. The hotel has some great views, and is a wonderfully landscaped property, the rooms have cool bathrooms and are decently proportioned spaces.
The service is just plain awful, and it ruins the experience. Of the three hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica this was a clown operation. Later in our trip in other areas of the country we ended up in conversations with other people who had similarly poor experiences at the Mountain Paradise.
With such a negative review, I better give the ugly specifics. It all started on arrival as we watched the family in front of us hauled off to their room in a golf cart. The driver tried to steady the bags in the front seat as he left the reception area before crashing half the bags off the side of the cart. A minute later the driver returned to reception with the family to ask other staff for directions to the room.
That evening we were tired and stayed on property for dinner at he restaurant. This was a big mistake. Their one and only restaurant at a family resort has no kids items on the menu. We managed to talk the staff into buttered noodles, and then gnawed on our overcooked entrees.
The next day we called down to reserve spots on the regularly scheduled complimentary shuttle for a ride to town for dinner, and were told no problem. When we arrived at reception for the shuttle there were already two families waiting, but staff claimed the shuttle had left already. They offered us some for fee hotel taxis. After my wife explained the phone calls and reservations they wanted to know who we talked to. We later learned that "who told you that" is a standard response. There never really was a shuttle that had already left, and upon demand they did deliver a van to take all 12 people to town.
The next day we learned why they are so eager to get you in their "taxis". They will charge you 2x the rate of what the red taxi cars charge you to go somewhere. Their hotel taxi they confirmed by phone would cost us $10 to the Springs Resort, suddenly cost $25 even after our protest. Amazingly the return hotel taxi from the higher end Springs Resort costs just $15.
If you ask the hotel for a second key(a simple card key), they inform you that there is an extra charge for that.
On another occasion we retuned from a morning tour and hit the pool for lunch. We had to hunt down service over at the restaurant after someone at reception already wrongly told my wife they didn't open until 2pm. You get vastly different answers from different people on property. Another couple had already been waiting there for over an hour after requesting towels at the pool, as usually there are none.
The biggest mistake you can make at this hotel is thinking the staff cares or takes pride in service. There are maybe one or two employees worth rehiring if you could takeover management of the operation.
On our last day we went up to the pool for a drink while we waited for our car to the airport. The bartender wasn't there, and when he arrived couldn't find the key to the freezer. When he was done bopping around to his music that was always on too loud, he found the key. All the beer in the cooler was frozen... Over the course of our stay, I marveled at the bartenders ability to try and give change at some unusual exchange rates.
I could go on with more stories, but it all comes down to one thing, this is a place where they are trained that once they have you, they have got you. Whether you return or not doesn't matter, and while you are there they should get all they can out of you.
It is the only place or experience from our entire eight day and night trip in this wonderful country where we felt people were being deliberately dishonest with us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Home away from Home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mountain Paradise Hotel
- Hotel Mountain Paradise Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos