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“loved the room the view and the food”

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Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa
Ranked #18 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
West Palm Beach, FL
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“loved the room the view and the food”
Reviewed 21 April 2008

The suite was very spacious and the view was fantastic overlooking the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean. The suite had two walls with floor to ceiling glass. The entire hotel only had nine suites. The restaurant was all open to the rainforest and monkeys visited frequently. The staff was very friendly especially Edgar at the front desk. I can't wait to come back.

Howard Krause
West Palm Beach, FL.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — bathroom wasn't really private
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Howardkrause
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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774 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2008

My sister and I visited Issimo Suites at the beginning of April for 6 days. We booked this hotel only by trip advisor ratings are were very happy with our decision. Issimo is a bit of a splurge cost wise for young professionals like ourselves, but it was worth it because we had a wonderful time and looked forward at the end of a long day to coming back to our spacious, clean, bug free, beautiful, air conditioned suites with private balconies.

I agree with other reviewers that Edgar, one of the front desk concierges, makes this hotel what it is. I would not give this hotel an excellent rating if it was not for him. Anything we needed whatsoever, he offered to handle for us quickly and pleasantly. I truly felt safe knowing that he was looking into our flights for us or booking our excursions.

Our suite was the cheapest, --#4. It had a beautiful view of the ocean (facing West) so sunsets in full view. And also a nice view of the jungle that most mornings and evenings had monkeys in full and clear site playing. The room was beautiful and natural. There was a long sofa by the huge windows which was my favorite hang out to read my books -- very comfortable and I often thought of sleeping there instead of the large king bed which was a little soft for my taste.

Many people have written about the bathroom layout, #4 has absolutely no problem with this. The toilet is in its own small room with a door. the shower is open to a bathroom that is closed off by a 6ft wall and there is an additional screen that can be placed in front of it in case someone wants to use the sink or so. The tub is next the the shower. The tub was gorgeous -- set in natural stones on a platform, daily fresh flowers floating in a low pool of refreshed water, candles, etc. I never took a bath though my sister did and she had not problem with hot water.

The electricity did go out several times during our visit for a maximum of 20min so it really was absolutely no big deal. There is no water or phone when the it goes out.

The spa was wonderful. Candyce did an excellent job of eyebrow shaping for me. Paloma did an amazing massage. The atmosphere in the spa is incredible. There is local handmade jewelry for sale that at very good prices that I highly recommend.

The pool was totally perfect. I really was the only person in the pool every single day! It is a long pool -- definitely NOT a pluge pool. Approx 30+ft long, 15ft wide. Definitely swim-able. The pool is shaded by a canopy of jungle -- the same jungle the monkeys often play. I was a little nervous one day when three capuchin monkeys decided to visit me at the side of the pool! But they were much more scared of me than of them. Sun hits the pool and pool deck from 10-3 each day, otherwise shade (the only downside)

The food was good, I would not say great because only some entrees were amazing. The breakfast every day was amazing though. The desserts are not worth ordering, we were disappointed every time. Most nights we opted to eat elsewhere like Gaia, Barba Roja, a local pizza place when Agua Azul was packed. Many people write that the food was price was reasonable...my sister and I ordered two meat entrees, sometimes appetizer, two glasses of wine, included 10% service tax and 13% regular tax and typical price was 70 US dollars -- probably the most expensive dinner in the area.

There is a beach nearby to Issimo -- the previous private cove they advertised is in fact to dangerous to walk to and has been closed off for the most part. I did wander that area however and see a lovely lookout point, but it is true that the hike now to the beach is dangerous. There is short walk from the front of the hotel down a road in construction then down a well made jungle path to Biezans Beach. Nice beach greatly affected by low tide. I saw several sloths in the trees by this beach as well as monkeys, vultures, and all type of birds. The water is exceptionally warm, not very clear. It was a puzzle to me when our catamaran dropped us at this very beach for snorkeling. The visibility is awful, but the swimming is pleasant and safe without any waves or current.

Excursions we took: canopy safari zip lining -- 100% recommend, mangrove kayak with Iguana tours -- recommend this tour but would have preferred instead to do the night tour, catamaran dolphin siting and snorkeling -- never saw dolphins, snorkeling was awful -- but still a fun day on the ocean if that is your thing, Manuel Antonio park -- 2 days worth, beach #3 is the best -- wish I had another full day to spend there.

Hope this helps!!!

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The waiter at dinner
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank alumba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2008

This is the perfect hotel for your Costa Rica Central Pacific experience. With only 9 rooms the attention to detail and personal service can not be matched and the room selection is amazing. All have fabulous views, spotlessly clean, food supurb and White Faced Monkeys will bid you good morning from the railings as you drink your morning coffee or fresh selection of juices. This is our 2nd visit and we will continue to come as much as possible.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
Thank lt5023
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2008

The location is fabulous with incredible views, capuchin monkeys who visit, warm people at the front desk and many helpful services. Breakfasts and the food in general as well as the service were exceptional. But...
Depending on which room you are in, it can be a long climb to your room. Suites 1 and 2 (we were in #2) are a 3-4 storey climb from the entry. There is no elevator. Suite #2 has incredible picture windows but no balcony: not a complaint just a fact.

The hotel hasn't quite figured out its identiy: is it a family spot or a honeymoon spot. This is important for it to do because it is quite compact. It calls itself a family hotel but tits website alks about honeymoon suites. When we were there, two large American families visiting together had their children essentially take over the small pool area and balcony above. While this was partly a function of inconsiderate parents, it was also a function of poor design, if the intent is to attract families with children. We were with teenagers but if I had been on a honeymoon, I would have been looking for another hotel.
The suites want to appeal to honeymooners with open jacuzzi tubs and an open shower. While an inadequate screen is provided, it does make it a bit awkward for families with teenagers.
Suite #2 is a two level suite, with a king size bed on the loft level and two cots down below. Unfortunately, the air conditioner was above the bed on the upper level. It was noisy and made the area cold while the kids down below needed fans to make the termperature bearable.
While most hotels in North America charge outrageous prices for their minibars, it is a bit annoying to find the same phenomenon in Costa Rica particularly when one is staying for several days. We solved this by removing their stuff from the bar fridge and installing our own. This did not appear to be a problem.
Prices to launder clothes were at least twice what we encountered elsewhere in Costa Rica. Again we solved this by taking our laundary to a lavanderia on the MA road: taken in one evening, ready by noon the next day at a fraction of the price. Difficult to do if you don't have a car.
At the prices charged for the hotel, one would have liked something better than caked coffee whitener for one's coffee in the room in the morning. They could put creamo in the car fridge.

The hotel has a spa but again with prices that are ridiculously high and as a result we seldom saw anyone at the spa. They charge $110 USD for a 50 minute massage. I had a wonderful one hour massage at the public beach in MA for $40 USD. My wife and daughter opted for a Mani-pedi at a spa just outside Quepos where the prices were much lower and the service was wonderful rather than paying the outrageous amount Issimo was charging.
One could mention the road here but it is no worse than many access roads in Costa Rica and certainly no worse than the other hotels on this road. Municipal bylaws requiring all of the hotel properties to contribute to pave the road appears to be a foreign concept in Costa Rica.
Having said all of the above, there were many things about Issimo that we very much liked. The views, the food, the monkeys, the pool while small was cool and deep. We liked that of all of our hotels in Costa Rica this had very good pillows. I liked that included in the rate was a shuttle to take you to and to pick you up from the public beach together with towels so that even with a car we didn't have to worry about parking at the beach. We very much enjoyed the people who work there, from the front desk to servers, maids and handyman.
And so at the end of the day, we found it to be above average but not exceptional.

  • Liked — The views, service and beach shuttle
  • Disliked — The climb to our room, prices
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank wgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2008

We just returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica....what a fabulous vacation, however we stayed at Issimo Suites and wish we had stayed elsewhere.....while this place is new and has decent sized rooms, it is NO WAY a great spot for honeymooners......the signs at the hotel even say Issimo "Family" suites

there were 2 large families with several younger children who scream and yell while playing in the tiny pool....and the pool was terrible, considering all the luxurious resorts down the street (Mariposa, La Mansion Inn, Arenas del Mar, etc, etc)

No privacy with the kids everywhere and only 8 total rooms in a small building......the maintenance guy also walks by your "private" room with patio and large window at 8am, so you have to keep the curtains closed in the morning and lose the view (which is not much of a view considering you get a much better view at any other hotel in the area)

I could go on and on, but I won't....only one other issue to point out...our bedside drawer had a xeroxed copy of kama sutra sex positions and a used tube of KY jelly when we checked in.

Just think twice before you book at the Issimo Suites and think about looking at any of the other resorts in the area that charge the same amount but have way more to offer

  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank pollagrande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodbridge, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2008

Pros: The end of our weeklong trip to Costa Rica brought us to the Issimo Resort. The staff was more than accommodating at this boutique style hotel, especially when we arrived much earlier than anticipated. Edgar allowed us to eat breakfast, store our luggage, and provide a shuttle to Manuel Antonio. However, we found ourselves wanting to spend less time at the park and more time back at the hotel. The rooms in this intimate hotel are beautifully appointed and featured great views of the Pacific. We even had a few visitors stop by (squirrel monkeys!) while we were reading in our lounge chairs on the balcony. We chose to eat our meals at our table on the balcony (at no extra cost) for privacy and to enjoy every moment at this hotel. As many posters before us have mentioned, the food was absolutely wonderful. Do not pass up the chance to enjoy their banana pancakes (truly amazing!) for breakfast with fresh pineapple juice. The seafood dishes for dinner were also fresh and well prepared, particularly the ceviche. We were so disappointed to only have had one night at this piece of paradise and highly recommend it to anyone staying in the area.

Cons: Road to the hotel is a little treacherous - but then again- aren’t most roads in Costa Rica?

  • Liked — The intimacy of the hotel and the staff!
  • Disliked — Foam mattresses in Costa Rica leave much to be desired.
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank CosioFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 April 2008

My husband and I booked a reservation to Issimo Suites through Travelocity for Sunday March 9. We received a confirmation email from them a week prior to our trip. We arrived to Manuel Antonio and Issimo Suites on Sunday mid-day, but to our great dismay we were told that there was NO RECORD of our reservation! We were expecting a disaster, but instead we met Edgar. Edgar is a staff member at Issimo Suites, but after a few minutes we forgot that he was a virtual stranger and thought he was an old friend. Edgar radiates a genuine friendliness that is completely unpretentious. He called Travelocity on our behalf and tried to clear up the issue, but they gave him (and us) a ridiculous run-around for almost an hour! Our conversation with Travelocity ended with the advice of a representative (operating from India!) that we could find another hotel in the area and stay there! They didn't even offer any help! And so, Edgar stepped in and saved the day. Although the hotel was entirely booked for the next few days, there was one penthouse suite available for Sunday. Edgar offered us the penthouse at a discounted price. We enjoyed our (albeit short) stay there immensely! The suite was clean and beautiful, with a marvelous view of the ocean. We were sorry when we had to check out, but the Issimo staff went all out to help us make the most of our day. They stored our baggage while we went out kayaking and looking for another place to stay. When we returned to pick up our baggage they offered us the use of their showering facilities (including soaps and towels). We were amazingly impressed by the level of service at Issimo Suites! The hotel is small and intimate and the staff really reflects that atmosphere. I will definitely try to return here on my next trip to Costa Rica - but this time I WILL NOT BOOK THROUGH TRAVELOCITY! Be careful, travelers, when you book your reservations through Travelocity... They really messed this one up for us. And thanks, Edgar, for saving the day! We look forward to seeing you again sometime.

  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank RachelRocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa

Property: Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa
Address: | Waterfront, Manuel Antonio 6350, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel, Spa & Waterfront Reserve offers intimacy and elegance for your romantic escape. Each suite includes a Jacuzzi bath tub for relaxation and enjoyment, as well as a majestic ocean view overlooking a pristine pacific cove. A plush king size bed, sofa, and room service from our boutique restaurant await your arrival. You can also indulge yourself with a massage in our spa after a day of adventure on one of our many tours or beaches. Our romantic hideaway suites access adjacent sandy beaches with a walk to the cove or famous Manuel Antonio Park and beaches. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
Issimo Hotel Boutique
Issimo Boutique Hotel
Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel And Spa Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio

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