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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - An All-Inclusive Resort
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Reviewed 13 August 2014

We took our family (13 of us) to the Westin Playa Conchal to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was a wonderful week of fun and family. We all stayed in the Junior Deluxe Suites. The rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable. We ate at all the restaurants during the week and the food was exceptional. The pool area was very nice and it was wonderful to be waited on while relaxing in the sun. The entire hotel staff was very friendly and eager to meet everyones needs. We all went on a river boat tour and most of the family went scuba-diving, snorkeling, zip-lining and enjoyed the hot springs. Several of us utilized the spa and my niece even took a golf lesson. This vacation offered memories for all us - not only of a great vacation but also an opportunity to celebrate the product of 50 great years of marriage and each other!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank Joyce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

My family and I just returned from the Westin Playa Conchal after a wonderful week of fun, relaxation, dining and adventure. It’s a wonderful property in a wonderful part of the world. We could not have been happier with our entire experience from beginning to end.

I found other Trip Advisor reviews to be incredibly helpful, so here is my return of favor to the Trip Advisor community.

First, some context: I’m an SPG Platinum, my wife and I traveled with our 18 and 16 year olds, we go to Hawaii every year and tend to compare beach vacations to what we know.

A few initial observations from an SPG perspective. While we received a tremendous amount of pre-trip contact from the front desk and concierge teams as a Platinum guest, absolutely everyone is treated with equal care regardless of status. As an all-inclusive resort, it’s hard to differentiate since it’s already over the top – wine delivered to room (sure, but just go to any of the seven bars and it’s included); chocolate strawberries (sure, but every meal has a great selection of desserts). The only benefit to being Platinum is the use of the Royal Beach Club pool and restaurant, but the main pool is just as nice, has more activities and is closer to more dining options.

First, arrival. I would recommend flying into Liberia over San Jose. No need to drive an extra couple of hours when most US and Central American carriers fly to Liberia. Contact the Westin in advance and arrange for a car to take you to the property. It’s about an hour depending on the road construction and the pace of travel. Reasonably priced too.

As a family of four, we chose two connected rooms. That was an excellent choice. And since the primary cost of the property is the food and drink, it was actually cheaper to get two rooms of two than try to put us all into a single suite. Our rooms were great. Clean, open, high ceilings with fans, great baths with Westin amenities and bathrobes. Twice daily maid service kept the sand out, the towels clean and everything fresh despite the warm (hot) weather.

BTW, we went in August – the traditional rainy season. It rained one day of seven. Guanacaste is in the dry part of the country and it seemed to be particularly dry.

We booked an adventure. It’s tempting to just stay on the property since everything is included (kayaks, snorkels, boogie boards and a many, many activities – we did beach yoga four of our six mornings) as well as every meal – but strongly encourage at least one all-day adventure. We chose to book through Swiss Travel who is the onsite adventure booking service. We selected “Pure Adrenaline” which was comprised of horseback riding, tubing, repelling, rock wall climbing and zip lining – we strongly recommend this tour.

Now the food. Here is my honest take on absolutely everything we ate. N.B.: despite the enormous quantity of food, it is entirely possible to eat healthily – and if your diet demands, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc.

Breakfasts: Nearly everyone eats at Mitra, the buffet. It’s very good, great combo of traditional Costa Rican foods (try the Gallo Pinto with eggs on top), American breakfasts and power foods and juices. A great breakfast after yoga for sure. We also ordered room service for the morning that we did our adventure since we had an early departure. Perfectly delivered, to the minute. Probably should have taken advantage of room service one more time.

Lunches are either at the buffet or at a pool-side off-menu restaurant with salads, sandwiches, etc. Plus there is a pool-side pizzeria. Careful with your extra pizza as the coatis will track down the scraps wherever they end up. (more on the animals later)

Dinner – we were told to reserve in advance by a friend and it was key that we did. The sit down restaurants – there are five – fill up early; you cannot count on getting a dinner reservation unless you plan ahead, but if you do plan, you will not have any problems. Most people just refer to the cuisine rather than the name; here are the ones that we tried.

French – in the upper lobby, our favorite. Great salads, soups to start, entrees were really well done including fish, steak and shrimp dishes. Excellent desserts too. Clearly the most elegant, but OK for all ages. N.B. tell your kids to pack appropriately, everyone was in nicer shorts, shirts, dresses etc. (without being stuffy or pretentious).

Italian – in the Royal Beach Club, also great. Personal favorite was the tenderloin with gorgonzola. Kids thought the pasta was the best meal they had on the property.

Latin American – just OK. Hard to believe, we chose for our first night in order to jump right into the culture. Some things were good, others just so-so. But definitely try it.

Asian – well you’re in Costa Rica… A few good items, particularly the sushi and other apps. Entrees a bit over sauced and heavy.

Bars – we tried them all. Pool side, in the pool, by the golf course, in the lobby at the Royal Beach Club. Five kinds of mojitos, three colors of margaritas, Mai Tais, Pina Coladas – we tried them all. N.B., the drinking age is 18. Seems like a pretty popular place for 18 year olds.

A few final comments. There are monkeys in the trees, iguanas, coatis, raccoons, bring a birding guide, binoculars, camera with a long lens. And five favorites:

1. Gallo Pinto with two eggs over easy
2. Beach yoga
3. White water tubing
4. Mai Tais
5. Wonderful, comfortable room

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
25  Thank drosen85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

We stayed at the Westin in August 2014. Mother/daughter trip.
The resort is beautiful , lush and green, great pool, and right on the beach.
We stayed in the royal beach area at the very end of the resort. The beach was steps away. The room had a enclosed patio so it was a perfect view whenever we were in the room. The beaches are public so there are a lot of locals, we never had any problems. There is a lot of wild life around the resort which we really enjoyed seeing.
The concierge service is awesome, jonathon made sure everything was taken care of. He made sure all our dinners were reserved right away and was always available. My daughter had a sinus infection and we took care of it in a couple of hours with the help of the staff.
No problems with housekeeping or the room, didn't really spend a lot of time in the room.
The restaurants are ok. The food was good and fresh (beef was always perfect) but different from what we are used to. No tummy issues at all. The food service staff is hit and miss some of it may be communication problems but they seemed somewhat unorganized and grumpy.
The pool is clean and comfortable, we spend a couple of hours relaxing there. There are a lot of bees, I did not get stung and there not much that can be done.
Massage at the spa was great well wort the money.
We did not book the excursions through the hotel, we did the snorkeling and the guy was kinda rude.
For us the stay was perfect, we were gone during the day and we were taken care of by the hotel during down time.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Tanja R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Overall we had a wonderful experience at the Westin. I’ll start with the positives: the staff is friendly and efficient; pool-side chairs are plentiful, the rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable; food and service are excellent at all the reservations-only restaurants and good at the buffet; the beach has plenty of shade, beautiful white sand and comfortably warm but refreshing water you can swim on. As to entertainment and activities, the aquarobics at 11 every morning is not to be missed, there is also yoga every morning but we didn’t try it; snorkeling is decent on the rocky area of the beach on the right side of the hotel during low tide; night entertainment is mixed, the live music was very good, others were so-so.
Areas for improvement, first and foremost please make stronger and better coffee for breakfast, Americans and Canadians do appreciate a good cup of coffee, so how about brewing some of the locally grown coffee for the Westin guests! The bees … there are too many bees all over the pool. Be careful if you are allergic to bee stings.
Excursions and fun things to do: make sure you talk with Eric Garcia (red shirt at the beach entrance to the hotel) if you enjoy horseback riding, ATVs or a half day trip to Palo Verde. He’ll beat hotel prices and arrange for efficient and friendly service, talking of which, thank you Raul for showing us a great time on our trip to Palo Verde and horseback riding.

Room Tip: Transportation is frequent and around the clock, so room location is not that important unless you have trouble walking a block or two.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Jvazs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This was our first time in Costa Rica and we weren't sure what to expect. The resort was beautiful and the rooms were very nice as well. Everything in and around the complex was clean and well maintained. The food at all of the restaurants was exceptional! Our favorite was the Bamboo. I recommend this hotel very highly. As far as activities go, we had pre-arranged 2 trips which turned out to be a mistake. When we arrived we found Eric Garcia right outside the resort when you access the beach. He works for Vandara and he and all his guys are in red shirts right outside the gate of the resort. They were friendly, professional, trustworthy, and they gave us much better deals on MUCH better trips than what we had booked. We booked a combo Zip line, horse back ride, mud bath, hot springs, and water slide package with them that also included an incredible home cooked all organic lunch with choice of Pork, chicken, fish, with all kinds of sides and fresh delicious juice. The whole day was FANTASTIC!! Alex Rabbit was our guide for the day and he was also fantastic!! He took my daughters phone and took pictures of us all day long and made sure we were getting to do everything that we wanted to do. We also booked an ATV sunset ride with Jeff, he was also awesome and that was really fun to do. We rented Jet ski's and my son was going to go surfing with them but we got rained out and he didn't get to do that. The white water rating trip we went on that was pre booked was a HUGE disappointment compared to using Eric and his RED TEAM! When we go back again, the first place I will go is to see Eric to book all of our activities for the week!! Now I know, and I recommend you do the same. Also outside on the beach are several people offering massages for $20 an hour. I tried a few and GiGi was absolutely head and shoulders the best!! She was out the gate to the left and just a short walk down. Eric and his red team MADE our vacation extra special.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are ok because the run shuttles all the time that take you all around the complex
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank bplocki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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