I whole-heartedly agree with the other reviews that have been posted about this proprty. We just got back from a week long aniversary trip and had a great time. The staff are really amazing and seem to genuinely enjoy working there and their enthusiasm rubs off on you. Rather than regurgitate the reviews that have already been made, I'll simply offer some tips for the first time visitor:
1. If you have the means, spring for the Eros Suite. It's only an extra $100 a night as compared to the King Suite and well worth it. We stayed in that room and loved every minute of it. Its a big room with a separate shower room, toliet room and sinks in the main room so that you and your spouse can comfortably be using the facilities at the same time without being on top of each other (the bathrooms in the other rooms are fairly standard hotel type bathrooms, albeit with outdoor showers). Its also a nice retreat if you want some private time as there is a couch inside and two lounge chairs on a private deck outside where you can hang out. You always have the option of going down to the main level and hanging out by the pool with the other guests if you want to socialize. Definitely the best of both worlds for a couple looking to enjoy some private time together but also looking to meet some new people. As an aside, we enjoyed all of the other guests we met on our trip and loved dining with them and some of our fondest memories (and best stories) are of the new friends we met on our trip.
2. You will encounter wildlife both at the resort and away from it. The resort is an open air concept so you will see geckos climbing the wall (they eat the bugs, so their presence is actually encouraged) and you will most likely encounter the resident iguana by the pool during the day while he is sunning himself. At night, frogs (toads?) congregate on the pool deck. In the early morning, you will hear howler monkeys making grunting and hooting noises from the nearby trees. We did not see any tarantulas but did see two very small scorpions, which are not poisonous and which the staff made fairly short work of once alerted to their presence. I really enjoyed all of the wildlife, as it was a huge novelty to see such animals, however, I know that some people have an issue with such creatures. Regardless, as I stare out the window at 6 inches of snow, I fondly recall that just a few days ago, I was feeding bananas to an iguana by the pool.
3. The road from the resort to pretty much anywhere you want to go is unpaved and bumpy. It will take you about 30 minutes to get to Playa Avellanas and around 20 minutes to Tamarindo. I suspect that those prone to car sickness may encounter some issues with that, as we did see a few gringos in passing tour buses with their heads hanging out the window (altough that could very well have been the result of too many mojitos, it's hard to say exactly). The only paved roads we encountered were on the outskirts of Tamarindo and on the way to the airport. We relied solely on LADE for transportation and am glad we did as I can't imagine trying to navigate these roads by myself. The roads are in pretty rough shape and not very well marked. I would recommend letting the resort take care of transportation for you (especially since you are paying for it anyway as part of your accomodations). This is especially nice if you want to go into town for dinner and/or drinks and not have to worry about driving after imbibing a few too many.
4. Being a bit of a foodie, we tried to sample many of the finer restaurants in Tamarindo. Being a surfer town, what is considered "high end" might not be what you would expect as compared to a decent sized city in North America. As such, while the meals we had in town were decent, the food we had at LADE was superior is pretty much all respects. They provide you with a menu in the morning when they make your room (they leave the laminated menu on your bed) so you can always make a game day decision about whether to eat at LADE or in town if the menu is not to your liking. However, I would recommend eating at LADE as much as possible if you like good food. Its only $40 a person and wine and beer are included. The new chef, Andrea, is amazing and a real joy to talk to. Her cooking class was great and includes dinner (you get to eat the fruits of your labour). Given that its $50 a person and dinner is included (a $40 value), its really only $10 a peron for the class, which is a bargain. Also, the sunset couples massage followed by the romantic dinner in the spa was a real highlight of the trip. They give you an hour long couples massage, followed by sparkling wine and strawberries in the hot tub overlooking the jungle and then a catered meal in the privacy of the spa area with a nice bottle of wine (i.e. a step up from the house wine which is available every day). All of this for less than you would pay for a nice meal at a gourmet restaurant in North America. Amazing!
5. Try and book your activities through LADE. They have great connections with the local businesses that provide these activities and they seem to really cater to you as a LADE guest (likely to keep up the lucrative referral network - which really works in your favour). As a bonus, they will even pay for it and add it to your room bill, avoiding the need to carry lots of cash with you (since credit cards are not always accepted). We did the ziplining with Pura Aventura and had a great time with them. Their regular surf instructor was unavailable but they set us up with a replacement for surf lessons at Matos Surf Shop (Juan) who was amazing.
6. The spa services are really good and at half price for guests, a real bargain. My wife got a mud wrap, a facial and a pedicure and seemed happy with all three. We both got the couples massage, which was great. We ended up making more use of the gym that we imagined given that we had a bit of rain on the trip and also had a tremendous amount of time on our hands as we seemed to be unable to sleep in past 6 am (internal clock as a result of young kids). The open air gym is pretty basic (treadmill, eliptical and a bench complete with two sets of dumbells). It was enough to get in a decent work out and help build an appetite for all the wonderful food you'll be consuming. One of our highlights was getting in a good workout and getting very sweaty working out in all of the humidity and then diving straight into the pool in our workout gear to cool off. I also have a fond memory of Andrea bringing me a coconut to drink from to rehydrate while I was in the middle of a workout. Amazing service to say the least.
7. Don't be fooled by the weather forecast. We went in October during the rainy season (green season, according to the CR marketing folks). We were a bit freaked out when all of the weather forecasts we saw online were calling for rain every day (and not just rain, but torrential rain). We even considered postponing the trip or cutting it short and going somewhere else to chase the sun. We're glad we didn't. We got sporadic rain over the course of our trip but also got a significant amount of sun. There was only one day when it rained the entire day long and the staff made a real effort to keep us entertained, offering free cooking classes and facials and making fun blender drinks. On the few other instances when it did rain, we simply stayed on our covered deck and read, knowing that when the sun did come out, we'd have more than enough time to catch some rays. I never would have guessed that I'd come home with a sunburn, but that's exactly what happened.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a 5-Star Costa Rica boutique hotel & spa resting on a 27 acre estate atop a small mountain with stunning views to the Pacific Ocean. Within a 15 minute drive, (which we provide to you as a courtesy) you can surf, swim at two beaches, shop, take a canopy tour, go sport fishing, ride horses or ATV's, play golf, visit nearby towns, nightlife, restaurants. Day trips are available for whitewater tubing, rappelling down waterfalls, hot volcanic mud baths, and river experiences with crocodiles and with white faced monkeys in your boat! Rates Include: - Transportation to towns, beaches, shopping and all area attractions. - Full breakfast and delicious lunch every day. - Wash, dry, fold, iron laundry service. - Free Cuban cigars. - Exercise center, WiFi. - Concierge level service- 3 to 1 staff to guest ratio. - Coco the Chocolate Lab. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Los Altos De Eros Hotel Tamarindo
- Los Altos De Eros Tamarindo