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“Brilliant time”

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Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 24 September 2008

Booked the resort through First Choice having checked through numerous reviews on Trip Advisor. Most were positive about the Flamingo Beach and therefore we decided to book for 2 weeks.

Prior to trip I had also looked on the forums regarding trips as I was not sure whether to book prior to heading over there or book once we arrived in the resort. However we looked on the forum and decided to book with Carlos Luis Jimenez of EcoExplorer. He was very helpful and provided us with numerous options. We booked 3 trips with EcoExplorers including Arenal Overnight.

We departed from Gatwick airport for the 11 hour flight which was your typical charter flight - free meals but pay for everything else i.e. water, snacks and premium movies. Did have a shock on the flight coming into land at Liberia Airport as it was lashing rain and at one stage the plane just dove forward before levelling. But I was not alone in thinking 'this is it' followed by grabbing of seats and screams. However we landed safely in torrential rain but very very humid.

We were transferred from Liberia Airport to Flamingo Beach resort which was about a 90 minute drive away. Upon arriving at the resort we were checked in and shown to our room which was perfect - 2 double sized beds, TV, fan, AC, and the normal facilities. Our room overlooked the pool and the beach could be seen from it too giving us a perfect view.

We settled in and then headed to the beach to catch the sunset and walk along the glorious beach followed by dinner in the restaurant.

We were then met on the next morning by the First Choice and Hotelbeds reps who went through the usual information giving session followed by the trips that were available. We booked more trips with Lunn Poly including Paulo Verde River Trip, trip to Monteverde, sunset on a catermaran and Nicaragua day trip.

Generally the facilities within the Flamingo Beach resort were excellent including a decent sized pool with swim up bar, the food on the whole was good expecially breakfast. Lunch and dinner tended to be buffet pretty much every night with differing flavours i.e. Italian, Mexican etc. However something which we didn't realize until near the end of the holiday was that we could order food from the A La Carte menu through all inclusive at no extra cost. There was a bar upstairs above the restaurant which closed at 10 on weeknights and 12am on weekends. However there was the bar / casino in the main complex near reception which was open very late if never populated and was not part of the all inclusive which was probably why nobody was there. There was a gym which was fairly well equipped and various shops. Outside of the resort was a brilliant restaurant called Marie's which we went to a number of times for dinne, lunch and breakfast. There was a pharmacy, boutique and various other shops in what looks like a relatively new complex. Down the road was the Mariner Inn which had internet access and decent food and beer (got caught in their in one particular storm and played scrabble).

The trips with First Choice / Hotel Beds were good and well catered for with lunch and / or breakfast included depending on what time you started at. Most were very early starts and we were often the only people leaving from Flamingo Beach. Howeverour trips with Carlos from EcoExplorers were excellent - on 2 of the 3 trips we took with him it was just us and him. This meant we could go at our own pace and indeed that is often what happened. Arenal was excellent as we stayed overnight and Carlos had booked us into the Don Juan appartments which had panoramic views of the Volcano. Overall we had a brilliant time on the trips with Carlos, he really is a brilliant guide and really ensures that you have an excellent time in his country. Indeed on our last trip which we shared with a Canadian couple, once Carlos dropped them off he took us to a Bull Ring fesitval in Filadelphia which was excellent and gave us a real flavour of how Costa Ricans enjoy themselves. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica I cannot reccomend enough EcoExplorers and Carlos.

Whilst we were at the hotel there was building works happening at the entrance. However First Choice offered us a move but as it was not affecting us we did not feel the need to leave.

Overall our trip to Costa Rica was amazing, there is so much to see and do, it is such a beautiful country and I would definitly return. The resort of Flamingo Beach is beautiful and the hotel was perfect with plenty to do and see. Tamarindo is only 20 minutes away and Conchal about 10 mintues away. The sunsets were amazing and the beach was too. It was a shame to leave!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Gearoid78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 September 2008

I was a little worried before we left because of some reviews on this site. I can truthfully say that I had nothing to worry about. We arrived in Liberia just after a major rain caused by hurricane Hannah. We were met by our driver from Vacaciones Barcelo, arranged by Expedia. He told us that the bridge was closed going to the Flamingo Resort, he didn"t know when it would reopen, they were worried that the water would go over the bridge. He took us to a very nice open air restaurant to have lunch and wait and see if they opened the bridge. He stayed with us, telling us we might have to spend the night in Liberia, he kept getting out and checking the situation and manuvering around cars trying to get close to the bridge if it opened, just about the time we thought we were have to go to a another hotel they opened the bridge and less than an hour later we were at the Flamingo. Our check in was easy and we loved our room, it overlooked the pool and had a view of the ocean. I got a great price on Expedia and wasn't sure what our room would be like. The pool is beautiful and the swim-up bar is great. The drinks were very good. Plenty strong. The food I thought was very good,especially if you order off the menu. The hotel was very empty most of the time we were there so they only had the menu most of the time. But even if they had the buffett, you could order from the menu. I got one of the premium dinners several times and the extra they charged was well worth it but the other meals were very good also. Try the lobster, I got it twice and it is to die for.
Manuel is a great activity director when he had some people to work with.
Several days we were there he had a hard time trying to find enough participants for anything.
Other than our day of arrival and a couple of thunderstorms our weather was wonderful. We were there ten days.
Aranal volcano is a must-do. We were very lucky and saw it out of the clouds in the day and night. The hot springs are very nice also. Also riding horses on the beach is another thing that we loved. Our sunset sail and snorkle was fun although the snorkeling was not that great that day. my advice is go to the Flamingo Resort if you can, we are world travelers and we were very, very satisfied.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank maryh987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2008

We've just returned (literally) from our two week holiday at this hotel. Before we left home, I checked Trip Advisor and was concerned about the recent reviews of the hotel and surroundings. Well, as you can guess from the title of this review, we had a fabulous time. From arrival to departure this hotel did not fail us. The staff were very attentive, friendly, courteous and caring. The rooms were immaculately clean and well furnished. We had two adjoining rooms (ours with a 6ft bed and our daughters with 2 4ft beds) with views over the stunning swimming pool and beach. Food was available as and when you were hungry from the extensive menu or the buffet. There was a wide selection of meats, rice, vegetables, from the buffet with themed nights (carribean, italian, etc) and the menu had a good selection of meats, seafood, pasta & rice,. We had the all inclusive deal but could also pay £1.50 approx to choose from further options on the menu (eg fillet steak or langoustines) but only did this on two occasions as there was plenty of choice. Cooked breakfast was available daily as well as a selection of fresh fruits, juices and as much beautifully smooth coffee as you could drink. The dining area overlooks the beach and surrounding coastline. The pool is stunning with a great atmospheric pool bar and fun selection of cocktails (for kids too). We had a really fantastic time met great people and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank DevonWills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2008

This resort was absolutely wonderful. This was my first time out of the country and I must say, it was well worth it. I thought Costa Rica was going to be good, but not this good. The resort was right on the beach and the resort was very pretty. The rooms were clean, the pool was clean and so was the beach. We came during rainy. season and it was still wonderful. The staff was wonderful. Pablo, who worked at the front desk was so nice. He was very friendly and continually gave my boyfriend and I numerous suggestions on where to go and where to eat. He was so helpful. There was also Victor. My favorite. He was the tour man. He gave us wonderful prices which were also very reasonable. He was so nice to us. Anyone going to Costa Rica needs to find out about Victor. He will give you the best experiences ever. Anyways, Costa Rica is beautiful, the resort was wonderful. We had so much fun. Everyone needs to take a trip to Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lorelle15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2008

Well what can i say- we have just come back from our honeymoon staying at the Flamingo beach resort and loved our 2 week stay there.

i think i will break this review into parts so you get the general idea of what this hotel is like.

accommodation-

ok, please understand that this hotel is 24yrs old so is not brand new or luxury, there is not much wrong with the appearence. when you enter the hotel you will be taken to a tempory entrance round the back of the hotel, so the appearence is not great. they are building a new archway round the front to keep up with all the new condo's being built.
the interior of the hotel is very good, our room was spacious with a queen size bed. we had no problems!
the lobby is very nice along with the resaurant.

pool area-

there is one main pool situated in the middle, there is a further small pool which is used for volleyball round the side of the hotel.
the pool has a swim up bar, which Elias and Rey normally run- they are fantastic guys and will make almost anything! (ask for a dirty monkey!) and say hi from all the brits who left in a big group in aug!!
there is a childrens pool which is completely shaded which is perfect for children to get away from the very hot sun.

restaurant-

there is only one restaurant which isnt massive, this hotel does not have al'carte! if you are all inclusive you get the buffett or you can choose from the menu so there is more choice. the food is just ordinary nothing special!
the pool is also a snck bar which you can order food fom and sit round the bar or pool area.

entertainment-

there isnt any!!
they have a salsa night on a saturday night at the bar above the restaurant.
there is a casino with a bar and dance floor upstairs near the gym where the minimum bet is about $5 be aware that if you are not gabmling you have to pay for drinks!!
the bar above the restaurant closes at 10 each night apart from saturdays when its midnight.

Manwel - is the sports dude, does volleyball, waterpolo, beach football, salsa nights, dance lessons, and beach walks, so if you want to stay active he's your man! (and he's lovelly!)

beach-

lovely!! talking to other people who stayed at other hotels flamingo is the nicest!
the sea is fairly rough but is great for body boarding. it is calm very early in the mornings if u want a swim! beware that the waves get very big sometimes over 7ft so when they come down on you it can hurt!

in August the sun sets about 6pm and there is a lovely sunset. the pool is open till quite late unless there is a storm!
the pool bar is open from 10-6pm

all the staff at this hotel are extremely polite and very helpful. we had a good laugh with Elias and Rey at the pool bar and they made our stay even more enjoyable.

Trips-

the trips we took were-

Arenal volcano-
a very long day but well worth it! arenal is 4 hours drive away!

Pula verde river ride-
this is a trip along the river where u may get to see crocs and monkeys and birds. we were very lucky and had the monkeys come onto our boat, (take some fruit!!) if you get the guide Andres he will be very good and will let the monkeys come close, others i heard do not ket them on the boat and u can only see them in the trees above!
it takes about 2 hrs to get to the river, after the boat ride you will get to have lunch in a traditional cafe which is lovely.

Canapy tour zip lining-
not for the faint hearted!!
zip lining above the tree tops, i did a few tricks with instructors, upside down and superman!!

tamarindo surfing-
ha ha was very funny, great if you want to have a surf lesson and is only half a day!

there is a small dirt track to the beach from the hotel, it is not really a road but a few residential cars go past. you just cross this and you are on the beach, about a 1min walk from the pool. there are showers outside so you can wash the sand off before going back into the pool or hotel.

we went with first choice from the 8th aug - 22nd the weather was ok, but remember that sep and oct are the wettest months so if you go from jul- nov it will be wet. we had a storm nearly every night and a couple being very loud, i would reccommend taking a torch just in case you get a power cut like we did as there are no emergency lights anywhere in the hotel! we only had one power cut and that was a night we had a very loud overhead storm!

please note there are no fire or smoke alarms in the rooms or hallways. all i saw was a fire hose just down the hall from us.

we had every other day sunshine on the 1st wk & only about 2 days sunshine the 2nd week. the rest of the days it was either really cloudy or raining all day.

overall we absoloutly loved this hotel and would love to go back!!

is you have any questions feel free to ask.

ps.we met people who stayed at the occidental allegro and it was based on a cliff so lots of walking!!

Flamingo is deffinately the best!!

this is a 3* plus hotel so dont expect luxury!!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank sticky_vicky_1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2008

My wife and I have just returned from two wonderful weeks at the Flamingo Beach resort, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
We booked an all inclusive holiday through First Choice after reading numerous conflicting reviews on Trip Advisor.
Whilst there was some building work going on and the lack of toilet facilities near reception was awkward, they in no way spoiled our holiday.
After one night on the ground floor in a massive room facing the car park, we switched to a pool facing room with balcony (the hotel were extremely helpful in our moving rooms). The rooms are a good size, have excellent AC and a good choice of TV channels.
The swimming pool area is superb, and as the beach is only 10 yards away, there is plenty of opportunity to sample the warm waters. The sea is sometimes a bit rough - but great fun for swimmers and body boarders.
We found all the hotel staff to be extremely pleasant, with special mention to Manuel on activities and Karla from the Pool Bar.
We took 3 trips with First Choice and 2 with Victours. All were superb but special mention must go to Victor who has an office above reception, as he organised unusual things for us - he is a larger than life type of character, but if you go to the hotel, go and see him! (Fishing is his speciality, but we did not use him for this as we do not fish)
We found the food and drink to be very good, although a bit more variety would have enhanced. It is strange that there are no Cocktail menus available in the bars but you could have what you wanted. Elias was very knowledgeable about the drinks at the pool bar.
Our only gripe about the hotel was the taxi service provided by a rather surly person (adrian?) who seemed to have the customer provider equation the wrong way around.
Overall as long as you miss the heavy rain months of September to November you will have a great time.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JohnMartina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2008

My fiancé and I booked our holiday with First Choice and then came on Tripadvisor to read up on the resort. We became very concerned by what we read and that instead of a romantic getaway we were in for the holiday from hell!! After spending two weeks at the Flamingo Beach Hotel, I want to give my honest opinion for everybody else thinking of travelling there.

In terms of building works which people have complained about on here, it didn't affect us at all. It is at the front of the hotel and you cannot hear any noise inside the hotel so this doesn't affect the holiday whatsoever. To be honest you can hardly see it either and will make the hotel look lovely for those that see the completed work. In fact, in terms of building works, there are some apartments being built on the hill opposite which our balcony overlooked. However they are near to completion and again didn't affect us at all despite seeing it every morning.

When we first drove past the hotel, our hearts did sink a little at the view of the hotel from the road. All I can say is that from the outside, it could do with a lick of paint and perhaps a little updating. However this is quickly forgotten once you enter the hotel.

Our room was wonderful, very big and a lovely balcony. When we arrived it was spotless and it was cleaned every day and the bed made. Big bath and shower always had hot water. Air con was good and provided with fresh coffee each morning for the coffee maker in room. Bed was huge and very comfy. Safe in room as well which you are advised to put all valuables in.

The restaurant was very nice. We stayed All Inclusive and there was a choice of a menu of buffet. We generally went for the Buffet which we could never fault. Breakfast was especially delicious. The staff were very good in the restaurant and tried their best it supply an excellent service despite having some very tedious complaints (see below). One American complained about the crabs walking across the floor outside. This was rare but thought it was amazing as did many others. William in particular was an excellent waiter and remembered most peoples favourite drink despite so many staying there. He always came over with a black coffee as soon as we sat down. Great guy!!!

The pool was lovely and big. There are games available such as Volleyball but this is played in a separate pool round the side of the hotel so doesn't affect guests. There are plenty of sun beds and a swim up bar when you can order your drinks and food.

I noticed on here that there was generally dissatisfaction with the reception. We can see why there is an issue here. They were helpful but could have been better. They were slow and the main issue was at check out when there was only one computer. When there were 40 people trying to check out at the same time, this caused a long wait but we Brits are used to that!!! The hotel also tried to charge us for use of the minibar which we hadn't touched at all. We did notice on the second day that someone had been in our room and put another Snickers in the fridge and a can of Coke. At the time I thought that may cause a problem which it did. We didn't have to pay but on entering your room I would recommend you check the mini bar first to know what is there so they don't put extras in and try and charge you.

Now this isn't meant to cause offence but it is clear from reading the reviews on this site and from staying in the hotel, who the ones are that are unhappy with the hotel, the Americans. Now this isn't to say that it is all of them or only them but that it is my perception. The hotel mainly attracts Americans, Spanish and the Brits. All the British people I spoke to whilst staying there had a lovely time with no complaints which is reflected in the reviews here. However the Americans were complaining about every little thing. At dinner, one American lady went mad because she couldn't have skimmed milk. Another night, an American family went crazy as they couldn't reserve a table at dinner. Diner is served 18:30-21:30 so there was always plenty of time to eat and was generally quiet so couldn't quite understand this. There was a complaint from the Americans that their bags hadn't been carried to their rooms. Now I am a regular visitor to Marriot and Hilton Hotels and have never had my bags carried. I wouldn't want to have them carried by someone else, but this seemed a big deal for them. There is also one tennis court which was booked up one afternoon, again an American family went mad as to why they couldn't use it. These are just a few of the complaints we heard. I will be honest about the main problem we had which was quite a major one. Both weekends we were there, 2 American soccer teams of about 25 boys stayed at the hotel. The first weekend was fine and they seemed like nice people, not making much notice and nothing like the British lout who goes to Ibiza. However the second weekend was terrible. Another group of about 25 arrived. They were extremely loud and got extremely drunk. One group was staying in the room next to us and they arrived back at 2am. Lots of the piled into the room next to us and for about an hour were shouting, moving furniture, banging, screaming etc etc. I know I should have complained but went for the British grit you teeth and take it. The next day I went to my First Choice rep, Marie Eve who found out that the group had left. However we saw that the room was wrecked. For the rest of our stay, five nights, workmen were in the room fixing everything and repainting the room. One member of staff told us that they had destroyed the room. We weren’t given an apology by the hotel despite informing them and nothing was said of the incident. If you are staying at the hotel, these groups only tend to stay Saturday and Sunday nights. In fact the hotel gets very busy at weekends with Americans but then is very quiet in the week. It was clear that Costa Rica to them is our Greece. I would recommend that if anyone else experiences this then ring security who one would hope would sort the situation straight away and if I had done, maybe prevented so much damage. However this is our only negative of the stay and I wouldn't want to put off anyone going as it really is a fantastic hotel.

If travelling with First Choice, we would recommend the trips. Arenal Volcano, Monteverde and the River Boat Ride were amazing. They have excellent tour guides who are extremely knowledgeable and will make sure you have a brilliant time. We also did the sailing trip which we had problems with but this was put right by Marie Eve and shouldn't affect anyone else. She is a fantastic rep and sorted out any concerns we had straight away. We cannot speak highly of her and helped make our holiday amazing.

Finally just wanted to say one more thing. We are very quite, private people who hate staying in big hotels for a holiday. We really wanted to go to Costa Rica so had to sacrifice a small hotel or villa for a big hotel. The experience with the American's was why we don't like big places. However despite this, the hotel was amazing and we were extremely happy with our stay. We both felt that it was the best holiday we have ever been on and couldn't recommend the hotel highly enough.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank blythie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa

Address: Playa Flamingo Santa Cruz | Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo 50308, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Flamingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Price Range: £91 - £196 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once you've experienced a Pacific Ocean sunset from the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, you may never want to leave. Located in the vacation province of Guancaste, you’ll be perfectly-positioned to explore Costa Rica's natural beauty and limitless adventure. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, Ebookers, 5viajes2012 S.L., getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Hotel Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach Resort Costa Rica
Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Playa Flamingo

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