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“Wonderful . . . but . .”

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Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa
Ranked #18 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Muscat, Oman
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Wonderful . . . but . .”
Reviewed 6 June 2008

First the disappointment

Booking this place was so tedious we nearly gave up. There was only one member of staff who controlled the whole thing. If she wasnt there when we telephoned in frustration when emails werent responded to, then noone else had access to her correspondence. It took a week of email to-and-fro to get a tariff and offer for what we gave as our clear requirements in the first enquiry. During that time, the package price first increased by $150, which we accepted, and then after everything was confirmed and agreed, she admitted a mistake (we couldnt check it as she never gave us the individual prices) and asked us for a further $199 which we refused. She reconfirmed the price without this last extra, until we came to check out when she again asked us if we would like to pay it out of goodwill, again requiring our refusal. No great problem but it left a slightly bitter taste.

Everything else was wonderful:

The rough road down to the place mentioned by others. . . who cares? Taxis to town were fast and cheap and we were nearer the beach than anyone else. It was a short walk through the jungle in the company of monkeys and birds to a small cove with clean sand and warm gentle waves.

The room (No1 top floor) was large and beautiful with floor to ceiling wrap-around windows (glass walls on two sides) with the most magnificent views of bay, jungle, sky imaginable. A shame there was no terrace, other rooms have them.

There was the Jacuzzi with flower petals and other jungly flower arrangements so ridiculusly magnificent . . . passing any expectation even for our wedding.

The interior design of the room was comfortable fun and slightly whacky - just lovely.

The open shaded terrace dining room with reception desks and waterfall-wall feature was attractive and the waiting and concierge staff all excellent.

There is a funny little pool just big enough to bump your nose on the other side after a dive (why 3.5m deep?) but great fun with a sunbathing deck. We had it to ourselves off season, it may not have been so much fun if crowded

Free wifi internet works fine but doesn't stretch to the rooms which was probably a boon for the honeymoon. And there is a free desktop machine off the dining area.

Food was great, not restaurant wonderful but all flavoursome and well presented.

All in (almost) all - a wonderful place.

  • Liked — the room with a view
  • Disliked — booking/reservation procedure
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Pura_Vida_Nico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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778 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (157)
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Philadelphia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2008

We stayed here for eight days and absolutely loved it!!! The room was so cool!!! A bit eclectic, but wow the place has some style. It was very clean and the jacuzzi was wonderful!!! The restuarant was also really good!! We had one meal that was amazing!! Breakfast is included and we enoyed it every morning. The staff really made an effort to help and made us feel very comfortable. It is perfect for those who want a smaller more intimate hotel. I would definately recommend the place and would stay there again.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank tmgskiguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2008

Tucked in the jungle with stunning views is Issimo Suites. Gorgeous rooms, wonderful service and within walking distance to several other hotel restaurants (try the Sunspot Grill at Makanda!!!). Each room has a private balcony with ocean views. Monkeys at play just outside your room!

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank l_startup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2008

My husband and I spent 6 nights at Issimo in early May. This is known as the rainy season but we LOVED the weather. It did rain almost every day in the early evening or overnight, but it was welcome due to the heat and humidity during the day.
Issimo Suites was a wonderful place to stay. Upon arriving we were told that we were upgraded to a Penthouse room (#5). It was a bit confusing since the room was not actually on the top floor but the view was beautiful, and so was the room. It is an open floor plan. We loved the architecture and decor. The room - and bed - were very comfortable and everything was very clean. The housekeeper did an excellent job. In fact, one day we arrived at the room as she was mopping the floor! You don't see that in every hotel.
The jacuzzi was a great bonus in the room. I soaked in it just about every day after coming home from a long day of hiking. It was so nice to sit in the tub and look out at the beautiful view. They also provided a fridge, stocked (expensive) mini-bar, and microwave, as well as cable TV and a DVD player.
The staff of Issimo really made our stay so wonderful. We specifically enjoyed our conversations with Edgar (head desk) and Leo (waiter), but every encounter we had with every staff member was pleasant and enjoyable. Everyone is very accommodating, even the security guard who several times alerted us to nearby animals. While at the hotel we saw all three types of monkeys, as well as an anteater and a sloth! The staff had as much fun as we did spotting the wildlife.
I had two different massages at the spa with Paloma. She was excellent, very professional and thorough.
The food was good - some entrees were better than others. We had dinner there several times, and also really enjoyed our dinners at Makanda and Mariposa. Of course we had breakfast there daily since it was included, although we also had one breakfast at Cafe Milagro which was outstanding. The breakfast at the hotel was good - again, some entrees were better than others. We only had lunch there a couple times but everything we had for lunch was delicious.
One of the things I liked most about Issimo was its small size. We met several nice couples while staying there, but also enjoyed privacy in our room and even had the pool to ourselves most days.
There were only two negatives about our room - the air conditioner was loud, at times it woke me up. Also, we "ran out" of water several times, which was very inconvenient. I had to wait for water sometimes to brush my teeth and shower. However, I understand that they use water tanks and the plumbing is not very advanced. Small price to pay for the amazing location, views, and staff.
Thank you to everyone at Issimo for a great week!!

Also - we rented a car and drove from San Jose to Manuel Antonio. I am so glad we decided to do it this way! The drive was beautiful, roads and drivers were fine. Sometimes the view was so beautiful we had to pull over and get out and take pictures. The roads to most of the hotels in Manuel Antonio are definitely in poor condition, but that literally comprises the last 5-10 minutes of the trip. We drove up and down the steep hill every day without a problem, and really enjoyed having our car.
We also really enjoyed our Canopy Tour with TiTi Canopy - highly recommended.

  • Liked — location, staff, views, cleanliness, food, spa
  • Disliked — problems with running water at times
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank anonymousnj55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alamosa, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2008

A truly outstanding boutique hotel, Issimo offers elegance, privacy, and relaxation, made possible by a professional and personable staff, an elegant and affordable restaurant, a delighful architecture, amid splendid natural beauty. Easy transit into Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park, and to and from the airport in San Jose add to the ease and enjoyment of the experience. The concierge is well-connected to numerous local vendors who offer fishing, horeseback riding, and tours of the local rainforest. We plan to stay at Issimo again!

  • Liked — The entire staff, from senior management to the night watchman!
  • Disliked — Rough, steep road.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank eduardo59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2008

I booked the Presidential Suite and and an adjoining Penthouse based on the reviews here, but the place was a bit of a surprise. I am a seasoned traveler to Manuel Antonio and have stayed in all the major (and high-end) hotels in the area so know what to expect.

PROs:
1. Loved the private pool/balcony of the Presidential Suite and decent views.
2. Staff is super-nice and does try to please but is hampered by poor management.
3. Good WiFI but Internet went out often for several hours every day.

Now for the CONS with 1 biggie:
1. the Penthouse Shower, Toilet and Sinks are in the main room with minimal (if any privacy), so go with those you trust. I mean that if you are in the toilet, all the noises, smells and sights will be privy to all in the room. The Presidential Suite was a little better in this regard.
2. No info provided on check-in as to policies, check-out times, how to use phone, room service etc.
3. Rooms try to be fancy but nothing is placed conveniently-phones in awkward places, lights that can not be shut off from bed,
4. They spent money on the room, but then use cheap amenities for TV etc. 4 remotes but none to turn on the TV (have to get up to do so).
5. Restaurant is expensive for what is provided and they are unable to give each table more than 2 menus as they do not have enough.

The look and feel of the hotel is more like a Best Western trying to go fancy (lit up billboard on the front of the hotel with pictures of the rooms). It really should not command the prices they are charging (it is about 1/2 to 1/3 too high). The Presidential Suite is really the only viable option and may be best for a family of 4. Honestly there are much better options:

1. For romance: MAKANDA by the SEA
2. For fancy: GAIA Resort
3. For families: Si COMO No

  • Liked — Private Pool of Presidential Suite
  • Disliked — Way too expensive for what is provided, better options in the Area
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Simple_CR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
1 review
Reviewed 24 April 2008

Issimo suites is a beautiful Hotel in a beautiful area. We loved the food, the room and the staff. The Hotel is very, very clean, uncommercial, private and at the same time close to the town and all surrounding attractions and resturaunts.

We have traveled around the world and would highly recommend this hotel and destination.

Our only recommendation would be to put a bar somewhere. It is sometimes difficult to get a drink.

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
Thank tgraz13
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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