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“Couldn't have asked for a better vacation!”

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Issimo Suites Boutique Hotel and Spa
Ranked #19 of 46 Hotels in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 April 2009

Rooms are extremely large and luxurious, with large comfortable beds and awesome jacuzzi. The staff is very friendly and helpful. They arranged what ever we wanted, such as tours or even things off the menu. The pool and restaurant have an excellent view. The restaurant is totally open and romantic at night. The restaurant is pretty good, the chef is young but everything is very tasty. The hotel has nice decorations, very open, with great views. The openness of the hotel invites monkeys to come and visit when they cross through the area, which is a real treat! When I go back to costa rica, I am definitely staying here again.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank sweetpeacb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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568 - 574 of 790 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2009

Do not want to repeat what has been said, so I will keep it brief.
Pros: Great staff, Elizabeth is the best. Small pool, but never crowded. Clean rooms. Nice view.

Cons. The area-it has a Daytona Beach feel, many hotels and stands, especially as you are closer to the Park. Beautiful beaches but crowded and many people asking you every 5 minutes to buy something.
Air conditioning is weak. Much has been said about the food. Average at best. Several good examples: breakfast the first day included hash browns. The hash browns came shaped like a square that had been frozen and then microwaved. I thought I was mistaken until I bit into it and part of it was still frozen...yuck! A dinner of chicken and rice. The chicken was a hard as leather, it had obviously been under a heat lamp/ warmer.
Bottom line... would not return to the area period. There are to many natural, beautiful places in Costa Rica to spend time in this Daytona Beach look alike.
One last note.... the highlight was a restaurant called Capi, Capi.. simple the most amazing food.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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Thank xcapeohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2009

My husband and I stayed here on our honeymoon and we loved the area but the hotel wasn't what I expected after reading the reviews.

Pros: We loved the food! I am not sure why some people had bad experiences with the food but we didn't. We had the honeymoon package so all our dinners were included. The first night I had an amazing shrimp dish and my husband had a delicious filet. The meat was cooked perfectly and the shrimp had a great sweet taste. The rest of the nights the food was really good but it did seem the quality went down a little. We never had a bad meal there and between we tried almost everything on the menu. The breakfasts are included for guests which is a nice touch but they are a little small. If you are looking for a big hearty breakfast you might have to order more than what is included in the free breakfast.

Besides the food the views are amazing! It overlooks the crystal blue water and there area lots of monkey hanging around. We enjoyed eating in the restaurant every night and watching Manuel Antonio's beautiful sunsets. The rooms are spacious and the one we had included a nice balcony.

They did have a shuttle that runs every hour during the day that goes down to the beach and national park. The shuttle is free and was easy to meet up with at the end of the day. Although a cab ride is only about $8 to anywhere in the town this was still a nice feature.

Cons: The cons mostly involved the rooms themselves. We found the beds extrememly hard - very uncomfortable. They were in desperate need of a pillow top or mattress pad to make them the slightest bit soft. Luckily, we were tired every night from being active all day so we just crashed on the hard bed.

The first day we got there we found some ants in the room but didn't worry about it because we figured we are in the middle of the forest and this is normal. On the second day when we got back to our room the ants were all over our suitcases (we didn't unpack just lived out of our suitcases)! I mean everywhere, it was gross. We had to empty everything out on the balcony to get rid of them. We called the front desk and they sent a lady to spray the room and after that they were gone. They did take care of the problem but it was still bad. The door to the balcony has a gap between it and the floor so all sorts of bugs were coming in and out - they definately need to fix this problem. We ended up keeping a towel at the bottom of the door to keep this from happening again.

The bathrooms in most rooms are open - VERY OPEN. Out of three rooms we looked at two did not have doors to the toilet. They had little saloon style doors that would not keep out any sound or smell. We were on our honeymoon and really didn't want to see that side of each other!!

The pool is small but it was never crowded. We did enjoy it in the afternoons after being out all day but I wouldn't say it's a place to hang our for a long period of time and not a place kids would enjoy. There is also no bar around there so you have to go upstairs to get food or drinks.

Overall, the hotel was nice but I don't think we'd stay there again. I think you can find better places for this price and next time we will.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank caradawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2009

We spent our 25th anniversary at Issimo in February, and could not have been more pleased.
On or arrival we were surprised to find that our room had been upgraded to the royal suite. This was a actually a gorgeous studio apartment with floor to ceiling windows facing the ocean on one side and the forest on the other. The suite had a huge wrap around balcony with its own private swimming pool and jacuzzi. Each morning we awoke to visits by the resident troop of capuchin monkeys.
The staff was friendly and attentive, and any small issue that arose was taken care of promptly and cheerfully.
We ate in the restaurant a couple of nights and the food was quite good. Breakfast was delicious and I highly reccomend the simple, traditional Tico Breakfast of eggs, beans, rice plantains and cheese.
One quick note about the infamous road to Issimo. The gravel road is bumpy, but by no means as bad as it is made out to be. We had a tiny rental care that had no trouble making the trip.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank tarheel1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2009

Let me begin by saying that we chose this hotel solely on the basis of the reviews on this website. My wife and I stayed for four nights on our honeymoon. We had previously stayed at another boutique shotel just south of Domincal for three nights where the food was impeccable and inexpensive. Needless to say we thought to ourselves "We can't wait till we get to Issimo Suites," considering how good the reviews were. And that is where the disappointments began.

Let us first start with what we liked (or at least could tolerate:)
The staff were very friendfly and always smiling. My wife remarked as to how the one waiter/chef reminded her of a big koala bear. They weren't always attentive though and were very slow to accomadate reasonable requests.

The Location was pretty good. It is close enough to Quepos and even closer to the National Park, Manuel Antonio. The beach is a hike; I'd recommend taking their shuttle down the hill or driving and parking on the side of the road. From there it is a 5 minute or less hike to the right along a stony path to the beach, There are roosters and chickens walking around the area right where you enter the beach. I guess they belong to the owner of a little bungalow (steel shack) that is there by the beach. They try and get you to rent snorkel gear and kayaks. The beach itself is ok. Not great but not bad. The water is warm but to clear and it is a bit muddy.

The room itself is aesthetically pleasing as soon as you walk into the room. The lay out is in a unique studio style as it is only one room, including the toilet and tub. The view is very pretty out of the room and especially in the restaurant. The balconies are decent sized. Tacky yellow railings, but nice.

The disappointments:

I have to say the biggest let down was the food. I could only describe it as reheated,, previously frozen, second rate food--the kind I'd expect to get from Old Country Buffet, Ponderosa, or Golden Corral, etc. In fact, Applebees, which is terrible, has better food. I am sorry some of you disagree, but this is the honest truth. I should hae known considering the "chef" also doubled as a waiter. The first night we both had the filet. My wife's was raw and mine was pretty rare. We had to send her's back. Once we finally started to eat we almost threw up. It tasted like chewing on a rubber car tire--seriously. We ate one one bite and almost started crying.

The remaining three nights we only ate their fish, which was much better than the atrocious filet, but still sadly sub par. The saddest part was that this over-priced culinary nightmare cost us $300 a night!!! We booked the "romance" package which includes a meager breakfast and these deplorable dinners. We felt forced to eat them. You can get far better food from the little hole-in-the-wall joints in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. In fact, the best food we had was from this husband and wife who had a grill right by the entrance to Manuel Antonio. You can get a plate of grilled beef, chicken, or pork, rice, beans salad, and plantains for five bucks.

The pool was ridiculously small, dirty, and the entrance forced you to walk through the restaurant. We asked a waiter to bring us drinks....forget about it. We had to physically walk up there twice. Frustrating.

Now you'd think that a hotel that advertises "A spa in every room" would actually have a working spa. Think again. We had no hot water in our tub. The hot water worked in the shower and the sink but not the tub. I call them immediately at 6:30 pm and the receptionist said they'd send someone right away. A FULL HOUR GOES BY and still no one comes down, so I call back. She says to me.."Oh the maintenance man goes home at five and we try to call him at home. We'll fix it tomorrow."

At this point, after the horrific dinner, I was extremely upset. Was I supposed to just telepathically know that no one was coming and that it would have to wait until tomorrow???

The next day no one comes. I have to ask a third time. They send in this lady who speaks no English to "check it out." What does she do? She comes in and turns that water on and waits a minute and sticks her hand under it and says."Si, no bueno." I could have done that!! What did that accomplish? Nobody comes again that day to fix it. After the third night I just gave up. Absolutely unacceptable.

On our last day there was a power outage that lasted for 3 hours, during which we had no hot water. Again, one would think that a hotel charging 300 + a night would have its own generator. Nope.

Thankfully there are lots of things to do, great people to meet, and many places to visit in the area, because we wanted to spend as much time away from the hotel as possible. My wife and I are from southern california, a place with many 4 and 5 star hotels and restaurants, and I can you without a shadow of a doubt, this is not one of them. We are very down to earth and are not overly demanding, but this place didn't live up to the rating of a motel 6 or holiday inn.

If you are considering staying in the area, I would highly recommend you look at Mango, Moon, Makanda, or even Hotel Mansion before Issimo Suites.

And that's the honest story.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sparnman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2009

Stayed at Issimo Suites over Christmas. We had Penthouse Suite #1. Such a gorgeous view - one side rainforest, one side ocean. Floor to ceiling windows - out of this world! Bathroom etc is part of the room, but screened off from main bedroom - as long as you are not on full view - what is the problem of toilet/shower being more or less in same room? Didn't bother us at all.
Only ate breakfast in the hotel, which was bit on small side - but nice. No proper bar - little one by the pool, but you never got served it you sat there. In the open plan dining room, you could take a drink - but that was more formal than being in a bar. Guess that's more the way of life out here, and hey - you go to different places to get away from the normal don't you?
All in all a beautiful hotel - just a bit out of the way. Taxis charged $8.00 to go anywhere. Maybe would have been a better place if you had own transport, but didn't spoil anything for us. Staff very friendly especially Angel and Edward. (Hi guys).

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sephora M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2009

This hotel is incredible if you want to have a relaxing, romantic with a view that gives the feel of being in a tree house. Every room is different and each has their own special qualities.

Suite 1 and 2 have the best views (we stayed in suite 1) of all the rooms because the view is the least obstructed due to the fact that they are the top two rooms,but if you want a balcony you will want a different room.

Room's with balconies are good because if you request it they will set up a table and tiki torches and they will bring dinner to you.

Speaking of dinner to your room, the restaurant is very good they serve breakfast (free to all guests of Issimo), lunch and dinner. The best part is if you feel like relaxing in your room for any of these meals there is no additional charge for room service.

Another thing that is good to know is that the Hotel has a shuttle you can prearrange for transfers to and from the Quapos airport.

I had read in a prior review that the pool is nothing special but I disagree. The hotel has done a great job of designing the entire place to feel open and relaxing in a tighter space. Although the pool are is smaller it was clean, a perfect temp, partly shaded for those who don't want to worship the sun. Not to mention a very nice view.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MariesKisses
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

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: £152 - £321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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