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Hotel San Bada
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Reviews (955)
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All reviewsrooftop barcongo restaurantcaravan tourpublic beachmanuel antonio national parkshort walk to the beachcosta ricafifth floorfloor roompark entrancebig poolclosest hotelhowler monkeysmain poolmusty smellwatched the sunsetadult only pool
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724 - 729 of 955 reviews
Reviewed 1 January 2012

Our stay at this awful hotel started at check-in: we arrived around 6pm, only to find out that our room had not been cleaned. That would have been fine, had they actually told me that; yet they assumed that because I am blonde and white that I don't understand Spanish and proceeded to take us on a dog and pony show while the maids hurriedly cleaned our room.

Only they didn't actually clean the room; the sheets were filthy from the guests before us, and the room had no towels, information or pillows; and the air conditioner did not work. We should have cut our losses and left, but there were no other hotels available in the area (we checked) so we complained to the manager. To his credit (and to the reception staff) he genuinely seemed to care and gave us another room. But caring is not enough; the hotel is less than a year old and already falling apart from poor craftmanship. It should be gutted and rebuilt with quality materials.

The next room we got was clean; but had other curiosities that we found endemic throughout the hotel. For example, it was impossible to aim the showerhead anywhere actually inside the shower. That might have been a bigger problem, except the hotel had no hot water most of the time we were there; so we ended up showering at one of the nearby hostels (which had no problems with hot water; despite charging $70 less a night than Hotel San Bada.)

The craftmanship of the hotel is just telling of how everything is. Nothing is straight; the walls, fixtures and furniture are the absolute cheapest they could find, and the place looks like it was built by schoolkids who were shown a Home Depot video. Seriously, one of the light switches for our room was in the closet because they apparently felt that was a good place to put it.

Add to this the wonderful New Years Eve party they threw: we never knew about it, but that just prevented us from paying $80 per person for the restauraunt's disgusting food and mediocre drinks. Unfortunately, it also prevented us from sleeping until 3am, because the band insisted on playing for a handful of drunk teenagers until then.

The beach itself is a crowded public beach which is not really safe at all: there are no lifeguards, dangerous riptides, and don't leave your belongings unattended. On the plus side, there are plenty of drug dealers around at night, if that's your thing. We ended up driving an hour and a half to Jaco or Dominical most days just to have a decent day at the beach.

I guess Hotel San Bada would be okay if you just want a place to bed down at night (except the beds are uncomfortable and hard as a rock.) But for my money, I would stay away from Manuel Antonio altogether: the park is nice, but you can book a trip here from a lot of places. There are too many great hotels in Costa Rica to bother with this dump. The staff is nice, but they can't make up for the fact that this place will probably be condemned within 5 years.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Courtnem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2011

Wonderful fairly new hotel right next to the entrance of the National Park. Highly recommended.
Rooms:
All rooms have a great view of the park and the higher floors (5th floor) of the ocean as well. Very comfortable, clean and spacious rooms. Baths have large tubs and a wonderful rain shower.
Pools:
Very nice large pool on the grounds with a swim up bar/slide/waterfall and another small pool on the roof with a large tanning deck, adjacent to the rooftop cafe/bar with a fantastic view of the forest, ocean, beach, mountains.
Location:
Perfect. The best in Manuel Antonio and quiet except for the sounds of the sea, birds and howler monkeys which was delightful. Right next to the entrance of the national park. The hotel has a private tunnel leading to a path to the beach/town and is a 5 minute walk to the town, public beach, transportation, shopping, restaurants etc.
Food:
Included breakfast was good particularly the fresh fruit, juice and coffee. The food in the main restaurant "Congo" was good but for for better local food would go to the local restaurants such as "El Avion" which was outstanding with an unbelievable view.
Service:
The best part. The staff were really friendly, courteous and went out of their way to make our stay comfortable- Elias, Christian, Marlene, Kenzie, Leo, Susan, Hanti- Muchas Gracias, Pure Vida!!! Among the best hotel staff anywhere.

Room Tip: 5th floor rooms have a view of the ocean as well as the national park.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank stevenoronha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

The hotel is brand new but designed, built and finished on the cheap...It appears crumbling with apparent unfinished concrete walls, apparent nails in the bathroom, and standing water around bathtub. It reminds me the workmanship of the post-communist era. It pretends to be luxurious but is done on the cheap with questionable sense of esthetic (at least the esthetic that did not appeal to me). I would rather prefer a simple authentic lodge style done with quality.

The area behind the hotel (view from the room windows) is quite unappealing. It is actually more like a swamp that I am sure is prone to invite mosquitos and other insects. (Apparently, higher floors have ocean view but we were on 3rd floor).

The WIFI throughout the hotel is very much hit or miss as the WIFI antennas are not properly positioned, and even when a WIFI connection is established the bandwidth is so inadequate that it makes Internet access unusable.

Upon our arrival the hotel appeared deserted with an upside of excellent service. However, just after Christmas, more guests arrived totally overwhelming the hotel staff. In particular, at the restaurant at breakfast time people were waiting in line for the food buffet to be replenished and our room cleaning service did not show up until 6pm (despite hanging the room cleaning service request sign on the door since the morning) at which time we declined.

The hotel has a relatively nice swimming pool but is equipped with a dangerous slide. The slide turns at a steep angle and pose an evident risk of injury (one person sliding with his child hit his head during the turn but was able to protect his son).

On a plus sign, the hotel has an excellent location with a walking distance to the beach and is located just at the entrance of Manuel Antonio park. After visiting the park, we were able to walk to the park's beach after lunch (access valid the whole day of the visit). It is within walking distance to many restaurants and a bus stop. (I would not recommend eating at San Bada... pricey, limited and not appealing.)

The location earned this hotel 2 stars.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Agnes J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dporrascr, Director of Sales at Hotel San Bada, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2012

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your feedback. I would like to comment on some of the issues that appear not to have met your expectations. Regarding the points related to the design of the hotel, we understand that everyone have different "tastes" and a clear example of that are some other reviews that praise our hotel originality and beauty design. The Hotel was built with strong and solid basis (not cheap materials as the review state without a fundament) which makes it one of the strongest and solid structures in the area.

About the area behind the hotel, that you called a "swamp" it is part of the National Park and is a place where you daily are able to see deers, monkeys, lizards and a lot of different birds.

Also, we are going to bring your feedback about the maid service to our Rooms Manager in order to improve it.

We would like to share with you that the slide instead of a risk is an attraction that every kid and most of the adults enjoy, of course there are some rules that people need to follow like the one that says that only one person set a time is allowed in order to avoid any problem.

Finally, we would like to thank you for pointed out our excellent location with a walking distance to the beach and next to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Warm regards,

Hotel San bada Friends.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2011

Hotel facilities are in an impeccable condition - everything is super clean and comfortable, staff is super nice and helpful. Rooftop pool has a stunning view of the forest and the ocean, definitely check it out.
Complimentary breakfast has a very limited selection of food, so after several days I couldn't eat there anymore.
The hotel is very close to the beach (about 5 minutes walk), but the beach itself is pretty rough - very stony (I even cut my foot walking on it) with dirty-looking sand. The waves are so high that I found it impossible to swim or even to stand still in the water. The waves kept knocking me off my feet and dragging me under the water. I ended up going to a much nicer beach inside Manuel Antonio National park, but the entrance there costs $10 and it closes at 4pm. I heard there is a really nice beach in Dominical, but you need a car to get there, so I didn't try it.
This hotel doesn't have SPA on property, but if you are into it, I highly recommend Raindrop spa (best massage and facial ever!). It is in Quepos, about 15 minutes ride from the hotel. Hotel concierge can arrange reservation and taxi for you. I recommend their 2hour chocolate wrap massage and facial.
Bottom line - if beach is your primary interest and you don't have a car, maybe you should consider another location. Otherwise, it is a great place close to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Natalia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2011

Loved the place the staff is the best Leo and Andreas and Aldo!!!! This hotel should suck up all the old Mariposa staff and be the new Mariposa outstanding brand new and best location and the sunsets on the 6 th floor are awesome.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank seashore1826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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