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“GREAT LOCATION.....GREAT PRICE”

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Hotel Playa Espadilla
Ranked #21 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 July 2009

We arrived in Manuel Antonio for the last week of our trip to Costa Rica. The hotel was great. They set us up in a room with 3 beds. We actually were the only ones in the hotel at the time of our stay, so the service was excellent. Made friends with the staff, who were very friendly. Free wi-fi internet so you can make calls using a Skype account on an IPhone. Lots of animals and beautiful natural landscaping around the grounds. Food was pretty good, but you can just go walk down the street to get other choices. I recommend this little road side/beach stand. When you get to the main road, make a right and follow the path where all the vendors are up the road toward the beach/park. There you will find a make shift pavaillion with trash bags for the roof. They make casados(plate of theday) with amazing bbq food and sides.....so cheap....ate there everyday!!!

Overall, if you are looking for a great place to stay, stay here. It was very cheap, and close to everything, as opposed to the luxury hotels on the hill where you need to take a cab or bus to get to the beach. Great for sleeping and hanging out. You are in COSTA RICA.....you shouldnt be in your room anyway!!

You also can become really friendly with the locals, because many people leave later to go back up the hill, and you are still in the town chilling with everyone. Made many friends!!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank juiceyjc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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148 - 154 of 267 reviews

Reviewed 30 May 2009

Pros:
Prime location for Manuel Antonio Park and beaches
Very friendly restaurant staff and decent food
Nice pool and on-site park with monkeys and other wildlife

Cons:
Tourist trap rates and meal-plan bundling
Unaccommodating and complacent and front desk staff
Suspicious and unexplained math on the final bill

We arrived just after 1pm on a Sunday. Krishna, the front desk clerk, explained that our room was not yet ready because of an air-conditioning problem and welcomed us to leave our bags at the front desk and have something to eat at their poolside restaurant. He said he'd come for us as soon as our room was ready. We obliged and noted the looks of despair from the maids as we passed by them on our walk to the pool.

Lunch was fine. The waitress was very nice and seemed genuinely happy to see us that day and those following. Krishna never came to take us to our room, so we went back to the front desk. When we arrived Krishna bluntly explained that the AC was working for the moment, but could not be guaranteed to stay that way. Better yet, the maintenance person would not be in until the next morning. We were welcome to roll the dice if we wanted to stay in the room we reserved. And, despite it now being past check-in time, Krishna off-offhandedly mentioned that the room was still dirty because a huge group of students had made a big mess of the hotel the night before.

Naturally, I asked to be moved to another room--one that was equal to or better than what we reserved. Krishna impassively told me that was _impossible_ and that our only option was to stay in one of much less desirable Playa Espdadilla Cabinas across the street. He then pawned us off on a co-worker to have a look at the cabina. It was dark and much more basic than the room I'd reserved more than a month in advance.

We begrudgingly opted to stay in the cabina that night since the AC worked and the Cabinas seemed quieter than the hotel. To add insult to injury, Krishna told me that he was charging the rack rate for the cabina ($80 per night) even though the cabinas were deserted and we'd essentially been downgraded to an inferior room. He explained that the he was doing us a favor since we'd still receive our mandatory meal-plan breakfast they'd bundled with the original room and we'd be able to keep our prized reservation for the following nights at the hotel.

Our stay at the Cabinas was fine. The woman who ran them was even kind enough to apologize for the problems with the other room--the only apology we heard the entire stay. The pool was actually a bit nicer than the one at the hotel and the AC kept us cool that night. The room was definitely no-frills, but my only real complaint was the electric shower. That's right: The shower head had exposed electrical wires running to a contraption that heats the water for those who are lemming enough to stand under it. Visions of our previous misadventure in Romania came to mind, but that's a different story.

The next morning after some healthy marital debate, we opted to keep our reservation at the hotel assuming there were no further problems. My wife's impeccable time management logic had won out to my insistence on the principles of hotel justice. We didn't want to waste what little time we had in Manuel Antonio shopping for another hotel.

The woman at the front desk announced that our room was ready and that there had in fact been nothing wrong with our AC the day before. The previous occupant had programmed it with the remote control and the staff hadn't realized that until the maintenance person showed up that morning. Oops. She quickly handed us the keys with no hint of apology for our inconvenience and the incompetence of yesterday's staff.

Our new room was larger and brighter than the cabina, and thankfully sans electric shower. Interestingly, the cheapo mattresses were identical to those in the cabinas. Our two nights in the room we reserved were uneventful in the mediocre room (other than the lack of a shower mat for the skating rink bath tiles). It was what one would expect at a Super 8, but twice the price of the other, nicer hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica.

Upon check out, I was concerned when the woman at the front desk furrowed her brow at our bill. Apparently someone had overridden Krishna's $80 rack-rate charge for the Cabina and charged us $47 instead. But, the required breakfast-plan was now $22 per day (up from the $13.53 I was quoted on my confirmation form). In the end, we paid about $50 less than originally quoted. It didn't quite compensate for the downgrade or mediocre quality of the rooms overall, but I was too tired to argue.

My advice is to shop around in Manuel Antonio (more than you might need to elsewhere) and don't expect any help from the front desk if you stay at the Hotel Espadilla.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank toolmeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVIL, Director de Recepción at Hotel Playa Espadilla, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2012

We regret what happened in 2009 but will certainly guarantee that such situations are taken into account so as not to repeat again. Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2009

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank puravidaVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank darcydu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2008

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank GervsN1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2008

  • Stayed: July 2004, travelled with family
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2  Thank alebron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2007

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled on business
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1  Thank Tautog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Espadilla

Address: 300 metros antes de la entrada al Parque Nacional, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range: £109 - £149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Playa Espadilla 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is located within a 2 minute walk from the main entrance of the majestic National Park of Manuel Antonio. Hotel Playa Espadilla offers well equipped and cozy rooms, in the best Costa Rican atmosphere. The hotel`s own Biological Reserve is a special area for those who enjoy to hike and get in contact with nature. Costa Rican owned and runned. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Espadilla Hotel
Hotel Playa Espadilla Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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