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“Perfect beach location, service could be better”

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Hotel Tamarindo Diria
Ranked #11 of 24 Hotels in Tamarindo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 13 May 2011

This was my second stay at the Diria.

Last time, I stayed in one of the ground floor “classic” rooms – great value but views of the road. This time I wanted to come back and take full advantage of the hotel’s location right on the beach and booked an Ocean View room.

The hotel ‘complex’ is split over two sites, separated by the main road into Tamarindo.

On the ocean side are all the hotel’s main facilities - reception, restaurant, bar, café, small pool, business centre etc.

On the other side of the road is more accommodation, parking (for your 4x4 which you’ll want for the road coming into the town!) and, the highlight for our party, the massive pool. It’s one of the best hotels pools I’ve been to - never too busy, lots to explore, and plenty of room for everyone!

The hotel has a “colonial Mediterranean” style, with warm earthy shades, and blends in very well to its surroundings.

Our Ocean View room was on the 2nd floor (first floor in Europe) the best feature being the balcony which made the most of the weather and wonderful view over the gardens to the ocean. The water was coming right up the walls of the hotel garden at high tide so you couldn’t get much closer!

Tastefully decorated in a neo-tropical style, the 2 large double beds were big enough for all 4 of our party. The bathroom had a large walk in shower with plenty of hot water and great pressure, with a sink outside in the corridor area which was very useful. The air-con in the room was very effective. Additionally, there was a flat screen TV with lots of channels, minibar (asked at reception to have it opened) and internet that had to be activated at reception but was accessible in the room.

While there are lots of attractions and activities in the area, The Diria is also a great place to relax and unwind. We enjoyed superlative cocktails (strawberry daiquiri especially!) and delicious quesadillas with a cooling ocean breeze, watching surfers riding the waves.

The only negative point I have concerns some elements of the service at the hotel – I found the breakfast staff here rude, inattentive, and to have a real attitude problem. Unless you were a large family, or looked like you’d tip, they couldn’t be more disinterested - clearing the table, setting it with new cutlery, getting some coffee - it all really seemed like too much effort. Similarly, some of the Reception staff seemed to have developed this attitude.

It just wasn’t like that the last time I stayed here. If the management read these reviews, perhaps it’s something they’d like to look into and address.

Tamarindo is one of my favourite beaches in the world – the sunsets here are incredible, and it’s somewhere I love going back to. However, I think that now I’ve stayed in an ocean view room, I’d look at one of the small boutique hotels in the area before choosing to stay at the Diria again.

Room Tip: Book an ocean view room on top floor
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank ajinternational
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 May 2011

I traveled here with my husband recently on our honeymoon. We had previously just stayed 5 days in La Fortuna which was amazing! All the locals exclaimed about Tamirindo, and how great it was. In retrospect they were all single young men.

As a married young female on her honeymoon of middle class, and travels often, I am open for all experiences and have camped with the best of them. I had read mixed reviews about this place before I booked through my travel agent, and was VERY weary! But I followed all the advice and booked by the pool side (not because of the extra money to spend beachside) but because I read it was quieter, nicer, and newer. The day we arrived we had to be moved 5 times before we were finally in a bearable room!!! I will explain. We arrived in our first room poolside. Don't be fooled by their pics, the pool isn't THAT close to the room. It was pretty however from the balcony, BUT the front of the rooms and the room itself had such a strong foul odor of SEWAGE! It was awful! It was coming from the building (shopping mall) in front of the poolside rooms (which are across the street from the hotel). The room also had no refrigerator, and there was bird poop all over the balcony. We asked for a new room and they moved us down the hall. This room smelt a little better, but still had no refrigerator and a foul odor of sewage, it was so nauseating. Venice didn't even smell compared to this!
Again we went to request room change. At this point on of the bell men and the front desk worker, Tahtina (something like that) were talking about me and my husband in spanish (yes I understood them!). So then they DOWNGRADED us, to a room felt to be in a prison. However the first room they try to downgrade us to had a ladder and the air conditioning was broken so then the next room. It was down a dark hallway with a concrete wall as your view, and two chairs and a table INSIDE the room like a motel. You couldn't tell you were near water! So we asked for our reimbursement for the room, at this time Judy told us (after a discussion with the Tahitina person, who never made eye contact and again was rude) that we could just deal with that when we got back to the states through our travel agent. We were informed by Judy at this time, "its not like you need it right now". Now at this point I was very upset, they were curt, and barely obliging with our concerns for the room. I asked if there was nothing better. She said they had rooms oceanside, but had the nerve to hint that we were only complaining to get an upgrade. She said, "you paid for poolside, that was the room you requested, we can't just give you a better room just because you want one". At this point let me say, Judy had told my husband she smelt the sewage smell, however to my face when I was present told me she had not smelt anything. At this point we involved our travel agent after the first room disaster, AND THANK GOD we used them. We were eventually upgraded to beachside room. The view yes was awesome. However, there was a dead roach in the room, there was no hot water in the shower, and the fridge when finally opened had bacteria spores growing and stunk when open because it had stopped working ( have pics I will post later). At this point I didn't care, it was the least of the problems we had faced, wasting 5 hours on our first day in Tamrindo. The bed is so firm, the stone floor was more comfortable to sleep on. And yes you can hear everything outside and beside you in those rooms.

I was so fustrated with the hotel that we finally just unpacked. After made to feel like we didn't deserve a quality room after paying $170-190, for our poolside room, and told an upgrade was 35$ extra a night. I talked to another honeymoon couple that had just book two days before the trip and had the room at $160 a night beachside view, and another couple paid $150. SO REALLY?!?!

Tamrinido itself was ok. The food is excellent everywhere away from the hotel. I refused to give that hotel one more dime. We did use their hired help for surf lessons, Victor, and he is their ONLY saving grace. Besides the view (I am guessing why this place is still even in business). The place next door Nabbina has happy hours 11-1 and 5-7, and they are so nice, and have just as good of view, we ate there 2 nights in a row. There is a superb Italian restuarant owned by a woman from Rome that s the closest to Italy I have had since last year, called El Boula.

Breakfast at the hotel was ok. If you don't mind all the flies landing on the food throughout the morning, and waiting a very long time for coffee, or even a possible table to be cleaned off. There is no blow dryer, and obviously you'll be lucky to have a working fridge, if a fridge at all. The last day there also topped the cake of why this place is horrible. I had seen a few people check in their flight near the desk. Well apparently only if Judy is available can you do this. That doesn't make ANY sense! Why don't they train some of their other staff, or provide a way for you too?? No we didn't bring a computer, we were on our honeymoon!!! Then my husband had maybe 50 dollars in colones he asked the front desk if they could change to US dollars, in La fortuna they did is with ease AND a smile. Of course the front desk said they couldn't, so I tried the bar, then the bartender said the front desk COULD....I see a problem with this. We eventually found a nice local person to do it for us. Since it was SO HARD for the hotel to do this.

My advice: if your young and single and don't care sleeping conditions and want to pay a lot of money for bad service, stay here. Otherwise to keep the same view and still visit Tamirindo go elsewhere! Captain Suzio, and many other places exist with whats got to be better service. And my honest opinion is just go to another beach area, don't even go to Tamirindo. Oh and the golf part of this resort is 4 miles up the road, its putting range you have to take a taxi to.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Gfirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
prtamarindodiria, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Tamarindo Diria, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2011

Of course we regret that our resort and rooms did not seem to meet your expectations. We always aim to make a stay at the tamarindo diria beach & golf resort as pleasant as possible. Also we try to give all information about our room categories from the beginning and the choice to upgrade to another room category by the time our guests check in. Regarding the room pricing and refunds for category changes, if you book through an agency all rates and offers as well as the refunds go through the agency, this explains why the front desk would not be able to deal with that matter. A free upgrade a surplus that is always given independently of the travel agency and would not be consulted with them. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the beach and the surfing lessons with our surf instructor Victor!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

We really enjoyed it here. We read lots of reviews on TripAdvisor before booking here and based on what we read we weren't expecting anything too special. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived and found the hotel to be much nicer than many reviewers made it out to be. The Four Seasons it is not, but the rooms are nice sized and very clean. We stayed in an ocean front room which I highly recommend after seeing that many people had to walk across the street to get to the beach; we did not. Also, aside from the big pool, everything you need at the hotel is on the ocean side of the street: reception, tour desk, breakfast, bar, dining, another pool and obviously the beach.

We chose Tamarindo because we wanted to do some surfing, and there is a perfect beginner's break right in front of the hotel. Morning, noon and night there are waves. It was great!

We would definitely stay here again if we returned.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank hbsavannah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

So the best thing about this hotel is where it sits on the beach and in town relative to shops and restaurants. You can surf right in front at high tide or walk down 150 meters north to a another break. It is centrally located to surf shops and tons of eating options. Tamarindo is a great up and coming surf town and the weather is perfect for warm getaways from up north. If looking for surf lessons, go into Blue Trailz just across the street and ask for Stephanie. She spent seven days with my wife and was a phenom teacher. Her husband also does group lessons. The water is so warm there, you can stay all day in it too!

Unfortunately, there are quite a few drawbacks staying at the Diria. One, lots of people at the hotel who ate there were getting sick including two of our party of 5, so be cautious. Secondly, the front desk is always understaffed and you have to wait in line several times a day to either exchange towels or get your iPhone wifi code re-entered (twice a day sometimes). Also, if sitting on the beach is your thing, be prepared to pay some local $10 a day for loungers and more if you want $15 if you want two umbrellas.

We did go fishing with Coyote Sportfishing's Frank Berrocal and he has a really nice 35 foot Carolina Express and we caught and released a nice 90 pound sailfish which was a nice highlight. If you are a good surfer, hit the Atrium at the mouth of the river where there are nice long breaks to the right and left. So much fun!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Grande_Doug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2011

We walked in smiling and were met by the same by the staff. We were 2 hours before check in, and they gave us our room right away. Room was beautiful, (we had a sunset ocean room). The grass is raked every morning, saw it from my 2nd floor room, just perfect. Bar and restaurant staff couldn't have been nicer, and they make good drinks. Breakfast is complete with everything you need, different every day we were there (5 days). The pool bar across the street is beautiful. Great beach and sunset. Will go back. Ray and Robin

Room Tip: get the ocean sunset room.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank raybin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2011

We stayed in the Diria Tamarindo in April 2011, just before and during the Easter week or "semana santa." We stayed in a room with a pool-view, but fortunately our balcony gave into the tropical garden and we could hardly see the scenic pool. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet, and we only suffered noises from a nearby dancehall for one night. The hotel and the gardens are very clean. We enjoyed both the scenic pool as well as the beach side and children's pool on most days and even it was a busy time, the pools were not too crowded. We thoroughly enjoyed the breakfasts with fresh fruit, local rice & beans or full English or waffles (if that's what you like), as you wish. Tamarindo is a developed resort without much original Costa Rican culture, but it is very pleasant and an easy option for families with small children. The beach itself is lovely, large and gorgeous with good waves and also suitable shallow areas for children to dip in. We hired a car and toured the country, which added to the experience. Some of the rooms at the beach-side end of the hotel were too close to the restaurant and bar--so I would recommend the non-beach side part of the hotel as it is less busy, the scenic pool is nice for children.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ducktape39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2011

We loved the service! I can't believe any one would complain! Jose, was the best! We adored Gretchen, I believe, at the pool bar!Possibly one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in! Excellent for the price!
We had a 2nd floor with a balcony that opened to a stunning view of the most beautiful grounds and the perfect ocean! Safe and Secure! Wonderful people that treated us so kindly!

Room Tip: Don't bring your laptop, enjoy the view, t
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rcote055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Tamarindo Diria

Address: Tamarindo Beach, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Tamarindo
#5 Business Hotel in Tamarindo
#6 Luxury Hotel in Tamarindo
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Tamarindo
#8 Spa Hotel in Tamarindo
#9 Family Hotel in Tamarindo
#10 Romantic Hotel in Tamarindo
Price Range: £113 - £223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Tamarindo Diria 4*
Number of rooms: 239
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Tamarindo Diria is the iconic beach hotel located in Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, with its own personality perfect for an authentic Costa Rica vacation. Features direct access to the most famous costa rican white sand beach, front ocean view accommodations, 4 swimming pools, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, and much more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach And Golf Resort
Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Tamarindo
Tamarindo Diria Hotel

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