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“Amazing resort!”

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Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
Reviewed 5 August 2011

First of all, we stayed here using a timeshare where all-inclusive is mandatory - we did not book as a hotel. We had never done all-inclusive before but had read here that the restaurants were good so we were happy to try it. The resort is WONDERFUL! We have stayed at many timeshares and hotels around the world with our children and this resort is in our top three.

The pool is enormous - I read the largest in Central America. With the all-inclusive, you have access to snorkeling equipment and rafts for the pools, and other sports equipment such as tennis rackets and bicycles. We really wanted to spend a lot of time exploring Costa Rica but we spent two days at the hotel just enjoying the pools, beach and grounds.

I went in expecting to request a specific building based on reviews here, but since we used a timeshare, we were in one of the condos which is in a different area. We got a first floor unit with a view of the lake and golf course which was great for us. The room was spacious, comfortable and deluxe. The beds were very comfortable and we all slept well. There is a mini-kitchen and with the all-inclusive, they stock the mini-fridge with sodas, beer and water every day. Maid service is every day and the room was kept very clean (and you do not always get daily maid service with a timeshare). One note on this - do not leave room service dishes and trays on your patio at night unless you want to be woken up by coati and raccoons looking for a snack. The service at this hotel is wonderful. We got to know the drivers of the transportation carts and they were all very friendly and eager to please. The restaurant staff were also very friendly and accommodating. My only complaint is we had a broken hair dryer in our room and when I called to get it fixed, they put in a worse dryer (that sparked and almost caught on fire). Not a big deal, though. We saw many iguanas and lizards, different kinds of birds, interesting insects, kittens (my kids were thrilled) raccoons and coati (a large family with babies) around the resort. We also heard of a troop of monkeys but did not see them.

Restaurants: The main buffet is *wonderful* and we enjoyed breakfast daily there which included a fresh juice station with tropical fruits, an omelet station, numerous baked breads, cheeses and authentic Costa Rican dishes. We also at lunch at the buffet once and dinner once as well - all were very good. Our favorite restaurant was the Italian, and we were really impressed with the service, atmosphere and food. Our kids loved the fact that a raccoon came by every night looking for snacks on the outside patio. We ate at the snack bar for lunch most days and they have wonderful hamburgers and pizzas (baked in a brick oven?). We tried the Mediterranean Restaurant and also thought it was good, and the staff was kind of enough to bring my son a dessert with a candle and sing to him on his birthday. We did not have any bad food while we were there.

Family-friendly activities: We were there with our two children, ages 10 and 8. I could not find much information specific to the area on family-friendly activities. I was also not clear based on the timeshare description whether some tours would be included in the all-inclusive but they were not. We had a rental car, and based on our experiences, I would highly recommend a gps (we rented one) and if you can swing it, an upgrade to four wheel drive (we did not pay for this as it was much more expensive by about 4X). As it states in guidebooks, many of the roads are not labeled and we surely would have been lost and frustrated without the gps. Some roads are also in VERY poor condition with potholes the size of bathtubs. We had to turn around at one point when, after a big rainstorm the night before, we came across a river in the road. Locals were passing through, but my husband was not comfortable our car had clearance. The car took a beating, but it got us to all of the activities and we saved a TON of money not doing packaged tours (which often ran $180 a person for the day).

We did the following activities with our children, all which are within a three hour drive. We went horseback riding right on the beach at the hotel and they took us down the beach to the nearby town. You will see the horses coming by every day and we just walked over and they gave us two to ride (around $50).

We also went to the nearby town of Tamarindo several times. There is decent shopping there, and a great surfing beach. The beach parking lot, though there is a security guard, is known for car thefts so don’t leave valuables and we were advised to leave our glove box open to show we had nothing of value. In Tamarindo, I called Iguana Tours directly to ask if we could take a boat tour through the mangroves. I was told we could so we drove over. This was an interesting tour, though the boat was small and tipsy, and there were not life preservers. My children and I were a little nervous, as we saw around 6 American Crocodiles and our guide told us bull sharks all come into the river from the ocean. There were iguanas and land crabs and various birds along the trip, and our guide parked and walked us to a known family of howler monkeys which he made howl but hitting the tree with a stick. This was an interesting tour and we saved a lot calling directly and driving ourselves.

Also in Tamarindo is a smaller canopy tour called Monkey Jungle. After visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest, and seeing one of the biggest/fastest zip line tours in Costa Rica (no thanks!), we were ready for a smaller, tamer version with the kids. We just drove by Monkey Jungle tours (not in the guidebooks) and hoped we could be scheduled for a tour. We drove through the back way (the direct road into town and up to this tour was the one with the river) and we were fortunate they were taking a group up and could accommodate us. The minimum age is 8 and I asked that both of my kids be hooked to guides which they agreed to with no problem. This tour was great and the guides were really nice. We had 7, I think, zip segments and were standing very near a group of howler monkeys at one point. They also provided fruit and drinks at the end and had a large Tarzan rope swing which my kids loved. The only issue here was that we were to pay afterwards (we paid $30 a person when I heard them charge others on a tour $50 a person), and I did not have that much cash, assuming they would take credit card. This was an ordeal and the guide had to drive me into town to an ATM (embarrassing). I paid him extra for his trouble, but remember that many places to do not take credit card in Costa Rica.

About an hour and a half away is the Rincon de Viejo National Park. There is a hike there at the base of the volcano that was amazing. There are boiling “pots of mud,” geothermal pools of boiling water, a *gorgeous* waterfall with a family of howler monkeys living in the trees above, and plenty of adventure for the kids (ie: rope bridges, things to climb over/under – but not difficult). There were white-faced capuchin monkeys and large blue butterflies along the trail. This ended up being a little longer than expected but one of my favorite experiences of the trip. From there we wanted to try the hot springs and mud baths. There was one near the base of this hike that was closed when we went by and he directed us to one a bit further and I am so glad we went to that one. The hot spring baths were along a beautiful river and there is a neat hanging bridge you have to cross to get there. They paint you with volcanic mud and then it dries and you soak in the hot spring. SUPER cool experience and only $10 a piece I think (again, would have been $$ with a tour).

Finally, we drove to Monteverde Cloud Forest hoping to tour both it and see the Arenal Volcano Park . The town at the base of Monteverde is Santa Elena and it is a neat little town. We ate at the Treehouse Restaurant, which is built into a large fig tree, and the food was great (I think there is also an adjoining hotel). The drive to this town, especially the last hour, is TERRIBLE. Bumpy, unpaved road. Crazy. Our goal here was to take the gondola through the cloud forest and to walk on the hanging bridges then head over to Arenal. There is also a gondola at the Arenal Volcano owned by the same company. The gondola ride was uneventful and a bit scary since he mentioned they close it in high winds and a big wind hit when we were mid-way up, but pretty. The hanging bridges were really neat. This is a guided tour and we found a group of howlers that were eye level with us about 200 feet up. They put on a little show for us and apparently even sometimes leap on the bridges. Again, I was a little nervous as you could see through the bridge bottom down, and the bridge would tilt slightly and bounce as people walked and looked over the side- not great if you have a fear of heights, but one of the highlights according to my kids. You can make a reservation for this tour, and when I called I was told they were booked but we went up anyway and they took us out. We skipped the huge zip line tour that normally starts at the top of the gondola. The guidebooks seemed to say we could take a ferry over the Arenal area to see the volcano which I really wanted to do, but apparently this trying to see both is a multi-day activity. I would plan to spend the night in this area if you want to see both. The volcano was not very active at the time anyway, I was told. My husband wanted to drive back before dark because on the way there we were pulled over for speeding and the police officer seemed to have pocketed the money we gave him (no receipt) so I think we experienced a “shake down” but he was nice and my husband was going way over the limit of 80Km per hour so I think it could have been worse.

All in all, a great trip and I would LOVE to return to this resort one day. I would also like to explore different areas in Costa Rica. Gorgeous country, friendly people, fabulous resort. Hope this helps!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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15  Thank Carla G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 June 2011

We just got back from 6 days at the Reserva Conchal. Like the review before this we stayed in the Malinche building. Everything that monarchtravel said is very true. There were some guests at the reception who were being moved from the other group of condos to the Malinche because they weren't happy.

Room Tip: Malinche building
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank TucsonTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

We have stayed at Reserva Conchal in the Malinche building three times and have always loved it! The view is spectacular out over the ocean and the golf course, and the units are all large, well stocked, and beautifully decorated by the individual homeowners. The Reserva Conchal Beach Club is also spectacular with the most gorgeous white sand beach in Costa Rica with gentle waves for swimming, friendly helpful staff, good food and a wonderful spa. Sure you have to take a shuttle or drive there but it is worth it. I don't understand the other complaints voiced here at all. And if you don't want to cook in your unit or eat all of your meals at the Beach Club there are several great restaurants in the neighboring town of Brazilito we always enjoy. Pura Vida!!

Room Tip: Malinche units 3rd floor or above are the best!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank monarchtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2011

We stayed at Reserva Conchal from 21 May 2011 for 9 nights and we had honestly the best holiday of our life:)) Everything was simply perfect and the people were so friendly. Here some few tips. We flew with Iberia to San Jose and decided to rent a car to drive to Reserva Conchal. This was a bad idea, the drive took us 4h30 under some heavy rain and after a flight of 11h I will not recommend it. The best is probably to take a flight from San Jose to Iberia then to rent a car. One thing to know, Reserva Conchal is so vast you definitively need a car there. So we arrived at 9h30pm and we were given a very large very nice 2 bedrooms condos. When we wake up in the morning we realised that the view from the condos was not great so I went to the Reception to ask to change condos. I met Carlos there who offered me to visit 3 other condos and to choose the one I prefer, I could not believe it how Carlos was so nice and so friendly. We choose a condo in Malinche which was simply stunning with the great view of the ocean and the golf.
The Beach Club is a pure joy with perfect service and delicious food but you need to drive there as it is too far from any condos. Reserva Conchal offer everyday for $15/person to rent a golf car to have a tour of the Reserva. This is a MUST. You have a guide with you that will show you all the animals and explain the history of the reserve. Our guide was Manuel who is also a professional golfer and he was great. We used Adventure Flamingo for all our trips (snorkeling, rafting, canopy etc..) and Franco the owner went always the extra mile to make our stay special. I will definitively recommend to use them as they are cheaper than other group operators in the area but MOST IMPORTANTLY they are reliable and super duper nice. Justin, who worked for Franco, made our trip to rafting a very special one.
All in all it was the best time of our life and for we are considering going back. I will definitively recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Virginie3313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2011

Just returned from our trip to Costa Rica. We stayed in the Bougainvillea condos. It was well equiped and beautifully decorated with nice views of ocean and golf course. I strongly recommend renting a car. We used the shuttle for one day, when it worked it was great when it didn't (at night) it was frustrating. The beach club was great for breakfast and lunch, the spa was terrific and fitness center was very nice. Every member of the staff was helpful and went out of their way to fulfill any request.. We enjoyed the restaurants especially Carlos and Carlos, and Mar y sol. We also has good food at the Happy Snapper. We went to Bahia del sol in Potrero, the food was good, but no one got what they ordered. Four out of six appetizers were wrong and also two out of six dinners , this place gives new meaning to leisurely dinning. It was convenient to pay the departure tax at the rental office instead of at the airport. We found it helpful to carry ones for tipping, and every place accepted US money. Something to note if you go near Easter time, no alcohol is served Thursday thru Sunday. We really enjoyed our first visit to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank r0siey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2011

My family visited Reserva Conchal last week (first week of April) and we enjoy our stay very much. We are already making plans to come back. We stayed in a two bedroom deluxe, We had a spectacular ocean and golf view. The codo was very well keep and the decor was very good. We went several times to the beach club to have our meal. The food is delicious and is very affordable. Less expensive if you were to eat in the locals restaurant around brasilitus or tamarindo.
They have shuttle service, our kids used the service and they said it was on time and the drivers are friendly. We rented a car since we wanted to discover the pacific coast. Out of the three hotels we stayed during our trip to Costa Rica, Reserva Conch was the best.
Top notch Product!!!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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5  Thank Markthompsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2011

We stayed in malinche condos the unit itself it is marvelous the wonderful view of the ocean and the golf course make it hard to leave the place. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The beach club is the place where you take all your meals and where tha spa is as well. It is approximately 10 minutes from the condos but there is efficient complementary transportation.

I will definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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3  Thank Elefante8112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa

Address: Cabo Velas, Playa Conchal 506, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Conchal
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Conchal
Price Range: £124 - £586 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Reserva Conchal Beach Resort, Golf & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 40
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Reserva Conchal Hotel Playa Conchal

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