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“A Little Slice of Heaven...Amidst a Lush Jungle!”

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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Little Slice of Heaven...Amidst a Lush Jungle!”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

My best friend and I spent 2 nights at Hotel Punta Islita as part of a longer trip to Costa Rica. I immediately fell so in love with the property that I convinced another friend and her husband to book a stay! From the moment we drove across the river (yes, across and thru the river) and up the winding road, I knew this hotel would be special. We were greeted with cool towels and welcome cocktails, and had lunch gazing out across the Pacific Ocean. Every single staff member that we encountered was kind and friendly, happy to help and to just enjoy the day with us. Briner served up delicious mojitos at the swim-up bar, and Antonio was a most gracious server in the restaurant. This is THE PLACE to go for honeymooners or singles just wanted to check-out and step-in to nature. You'll wake to the sounds of howlers and macaws, and might fall asleep to the sound of a distant thunderstorm. The rooms are immaculate, the beds and linens are so comfy...it's like sleeping in clouds. I've traveled extensively, around the world, for both business and pleasure...and I've never been anywhere quite like Hotel Punta Islita. As we were leaving, Antonio said, safe travels and don't forget the way back. <3

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Dear Annya: It was a singular pleasure to have a chance to host you and your best friend. Your enthusiasm and intense travel attitude is contagious! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Trip Advisor community. We certainly look forward to your friends' arrival and will always look forward to your return. Warmest regards on behalf of all the staff!
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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English first
Parsippany, NJ
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Stayed here two weeks ago while travelling with another couple. I used my Marriott points and was pleasantly surprised to find that we and the other couple had been upgraded to our own casitas which included a plunge pool and hammock. The resort has beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding mountainside. ALL of the staff were fabulous. Everyone went above and beyond to meet all of our requests and we really enjoyed our interaction with them.

Based on the reviews I read, I think everyone has hit on all of the pros, so I will not detail out all of those. However, I did have 2 Cons that I would mention to any future travelers. Really, the pros outweigh the cons, but I read MANY reviews prior to my trip, and I wish folks had mentioned the two things below:

-There are bugs, and they are in your room, in your shower, and on your bed. We did come at the beginning of rainy season, which I am sure saw more bugs out than usual. I spent the first few days trying to look passed all of the bugs that were in my room, but after killing 30 bugs on my bed in a matter of minutes and finding a scorpion in our drapes, I asked for them to change my room. They were very accommodating and switched me over immediately. The second room was better, but there was still the occasional bug crawling/flying around. I completely understand the environment, but given the caliber of the hotel, I was not expecting to be co-mingling with insects in my bed. I wish I had been warned of this ahead of time so I would have come more prepared (or in all likelihood, would have stayed elsewhere).

-If you are renting a car, the drive is about 2.5 hours from the Liberia Airport. It is a LONG, BUMPY, WINDY, ride. If you get carsick, this is not a ride you want to take. Once we got to the hotel, going pretty much anywhere was an hour adventure on the same dirt roads. I can only imagine that during the height of rainy season some of those roads are impassable. The hotel does offer everything you could want, so you don't HAVE to go off property, but it was nice to get out for a change of scenery and food options.
Something else I did not realize was that the rental company (Avis) FORCED us to pay for insurance even though I thought I was covered with my AMEX card. They would not let us leave without insurance, which added significantly to our overall rental cost. There were several other customers there going through the same thing, so it was definitely not clear that opting out of insurance was not allowed (even with an AMEX or Corporate coverage).

Overall, we had a fabulous stay at Hotel Punta Islita and very much enjoyed our time there. Take advantage of all the adventures the hotel has to offer!

Room Tip: Casitas have a patio, hammock, and plunge pool.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KaitSAS08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Warm greetings from Costa Rica. Thank you so much for exploring our country through Hotel Punta Islita and thank you for giving us and the Trip Advisor community such useful feedback. We are delighted that your stay was overwhelmingly positive, especially on account of our fabulous staff. We sincerely apologize for the presence of bugs in your first room. The start of the rainy season brings about lush landscapes and the sporadic spike in nature's six-legged citizens. We have taken appropriate and eco-friendly action to minimize their presence in guest facilities but once in a while nature's intensity is as overpowering as it is beautiful. Our staff will never spare efforts to either address the problem on the spot or relocate our guests to another room option. I am glad that we were able to offer you the latter. Thanks for highlighting the fun of the adventures we offer!
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San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We own a vacation home in Costa Rica, so we often travel the country and stay in different places. We stayed for two nights at Punta Islita last week, second time there (but the first 10 years ago). The resort looks just as nice as it did 10 years ago, maybe better. The service was excellent, in every way possible. Marvin the concierge went out of his way to make sure that everything was perfect. The restaurant and bar staff were friendly and prompt. Food excellent, we especially enjoyed the whole fish at the beach bar and the octopus in the main restaurant. The waiter found out that it was my husband's birthday the next night (and that tres leces is his favorite cake) and made a personally decorated cake for us. So nice. Our room (a deluxe, #4) was beautiful, everything worked perfectly, plenty of space and the private terrace with hammock was a treat. If you go, I would highly recommend that you visit the macaw breed and release center on the property. The sight of 32 recently released macaws flying in to feed in the evening is amazing. The work that Carlos and his team are doing in re-introducing the macaws to the area is incredible and a great visit for adults and children. We had an amazing time in Punta Islita and now that the macaw program is there, we are looking forward to visiting again soon with our grandchildren in tow. One thing, I had hesitated to go to Punta Islita after hearing that it was operated by the Marriot. I actually really like Marriots and am a reward member, etc., but we wanted to stay somewhere that was more authentic than most of the properties they run here in CR. We were happy to see that the property is still owned by locals, and retains the very special, low-key atmosphere and is still a fantastic place for a get-away. It is remote and a little more difficult to get to than some resorts, but it is well worth the extra effort.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank rmaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Dear Maria - Your review means a lot to us. Not only for giving us the key perspective of a repeat guest but as one who can attest to the unique character of Marriott's Autograph Collection program. We are proud to be members of a curated selection of outstanding properties that by definition embrace Marriott's excellence standards while retaining and highlighting authenticity. Hotel Punta Islita will always be defined by a close relationship with its local communities and an intense commitment to protecting and recovering our amazing natural setting. Autograph Collection respects and celebrates each property's signature individuality while providing travelers with the wonderful perks of reward membership. Thank you for cheering both!
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Tequesta, Florida, USA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

After driving a fun dirt road in a 4x4 we arrived at Punta Islita. Marvin greeted us with moist towels and checked us in. He upgraded us all to a suite for our stay. The property is very well maintained with friendly staff. Private plunge pool and yard with the suite. Clean rooms. The beach pool and bar are nice as well. The infinity pool with swim up bar has an amazing view. Two surfing spots are 10-15min drive from property. One south and the other north. You are pretty much confined to the hotel when it comes to dinning as the area is very remote.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank MGsurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Saludos fellow surfer enthusiast! Although my skills are best suited for Islita's beginner-friendly beach, I remain hopeful to someday ride the waves at nearby Camaronal and Samara beach. Thank you for focusing on the surfing options that are available to our guests. I am glad that you enjoyed your stay and hope you return very soon!
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Camden, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 May 2014

We stayed at Hotel Punta Islita for the second half of our honeymoon. We stayed in the Junior Casita. The room is very cozy, however it is also much smaller than I imagined. The bathroom has a tiled walk in shower. The water pressure is poor and the water temperature varies from very hot to very cold without adjustments. The shower head is loose and does not stay in the position it is set and falls, which is fine for me because I am short. The bathroom door is glass, so if you need privacy this may be something to think about, but this did not effect our stay. The overall atmosphere of the room is nice and feels authentic, but is more "Costa Rican" than luxurious. The glass cup by our sink had what looked like toothpaste on the bottom, I guess from the previous visitors. It comes with a hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and bar soap. Everything but the bar soap is put into dispensers that are hanging on the bathroom shower wall. They are average, and if you require deep conditioning, you may want to bring your own. The bed is a king size canopy bed, which is beautiful and comfortable. There is a TV, with cable, but in order to watch a movie you have to get a DVD player from the office and bring it to your room to connect to your TV. The single bed, that is advertised as additional sleeping is actually a sofa. The casita is just one room and very open, which is great for a couple. Our private deck had a plunge pool and hammock. It was semi private, as we were located next to the walking path, so as people walked by they could look into our "private" yard area, although this did not really bother us. The air conditioner is located on the fall wall on the left of the room. It cools decently, but it is hard to feel the cool air while in bed. The bathroom is the furthest from the AC, and stays very warm and humid (but you are in Costa Rica). During their low season, they do not offer lunch, but snacks. You can get these at the pool by the beach, or the main pool bar. The bar by the pool next to the beach closes at 5pm. Randy, who has typically worked by the beach pool bar, has been wonderful and very welcoming! During breakfast, the wait staff is very pleasant and good, but typically there are only two wait staff, which makes for a longer breakfast than we'd like. The service is the best it can be given that only two people are working the breakfast area for the whole hotel. Overall the food was adverse.
The view is wonderful from our room. I would say the beach is actually a black sand beach. The beach itself is not the prettiest I've been too. The beach has a lot of debris and is very rocky. The ocean is more of a grey-green than blue.
We did the howler monkey tour- which was the best tour we did while in Costa Rica. We would highly recommend it. We also had a surfing lesson that was wonderful as well. We have never surfed and a local came met us at the beach. The waves are not that big, but then again, we didn't need or want huge waves.
All of the staff has been very wonderful and accommodating.
The hotel is very private and small, creating the perfect feel. We really enjoyed our stay here. I would definitely like to add that I would not call this luxurious, but more of a boutique hotel.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SarahBeth0503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Saludos Sarah Beth and please receive our warm thanks for selecting Costa Rica as your honeymoon destination. Thank you for letting us now that you really enjoyed your stay. Our goal is to rise to the level of extraordinary and from your observations, I can tell that some details were not attended to. We sincerely apologize for the problems found in your Jr. Suite and bathroom and thank you for alerting us and helping us guide our maintenance schedule.

Just to clarify a possible misunderstanding, the Borrancho Beach Club Restaurant offers a full lunch menu year-round. And we are about to expand lunch options to include our main dining option, 1492 Restaurant. I will gladly answer any questions or address requests for updates at: outreach@grupoislita.com

Warmest regards!
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Pasadena, California
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014

We spent the first five days of our honeymoon here. It was wonderful!!! They really made our honeymoon special.

Pros
- Amazing and fun staff (Isel was so accommodating)
- 5 star service
- Great bartenders (shout out to Johan!!!)
- Adult only infinity pool
- Not crowded, quiet and relaxing
- Food is average, but I am a huge foodie and have high standards (Ceviche was my favorite)
- Plunge pool and view were to die for!
- Beach is beautiful with plenty of chairs and cabanas
- Free breakfast buffet was good with eggs/omelets made your way. Tip: You can order bacon from the waiter and they bring it for free :)
- We met some fun and nice travelers when we were here
- Massages were amazing!

Cons (which were are very very minor)
- I want my hotel rooms to be freezing and these rooms just got cool.
- Food is a little expensive (so go to the local restaurant)
- Special BBQ night (Beautiful, romantic atmosphere, but didn't feel it was worth the money)
- Beach is a long walk or a free shuttle ride away (which is not a big deal)
- Beach is a little rocky, sand is really hot, and there are creatures in the water so bring water shoes
- All common areas, including the restaurant are open air. So it was a little warm some evenings.

Tips
- Coronas will cost you $7, so try the local beer, Imperial, for $4.
- Go to the local restaurant Kmbute (alternate spelling Cambute). The hotel will drop you off and pick you up for free. And the food is better than the hotel and much cheaper.
- We paid to have a car take us to Samara Beach for the day. It is worth the money to go bar/restaurant hoping at one of the prettiest beaches.
- We flew into Playa Islita on Nature Air from SJO. 30min prop plane ride was well worth not having a 6 hour bumpy road drive.

Room Tip: Seriously! Spend the money for a plunge pool!!! We saw three different rooms and the plunge pool is...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amyb127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Dear Amy! It was a pleasure to be your hosts during the first five days of your honeymoon and it was a pleasure to read your review. Your comments and suggestions not only help fellow travelers but guide our efforts to ever improve our services.
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Huntington Beach, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

The moment you arrive you know you are somewhere special. The grounds are spectacular and the people are so, so friendly. Luis met us at the car with cold towels and water. This was a nice, and much needed, welcome after a LONG car ride over very remote roads with ill-working air conditioning. Antonio and Edgar took care of our every need at breakfast and dinner. Johan and Miguel made sure our glasses were full of tasty drinks at the swim up bar. The spa was so beautiful. I had an open air room and could hear the monkeys howling and birds singing during my coconut scrub and massage combo. I got to shower off outside in the jungle! My husband had, and very much enjoyed, the Thai massage. Very skilled masseuses; highly recommend the spa!

I also highly recommend the bird watching outing. Nelson, the resident biologist, was terrific. I have never seen such beautiful birds or anyone with such fond appreciation and knowledge as Nelson. This was a highlight of our entire trip.

Our room was small but comfortable and overlooked the ocean. The food was good, particularly given the remoteness. The breakfast, the fries and their ceviche were the best.

If you are looking for a remote get away with all the amenities and great service it is worth serious consideration.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Lori S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 5 May 2014
Dear Lori -A cheerful gracias for taking the time to detail your impressions and experiences at Hotel Punta Islita. Antonio, Edgar, Johan, and Miguel will be delighted to know that they succeeded in helping you and your husband relax in full enjoyment. I am thrilled that you both had a chance to experience our nature-immersed Casa Spa! And I will gladly relay your birding kudos to Nelson :) Thank you so much for your comments.
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Additional Information about Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection

Property: Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Address: Punta Islita 50201, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Punta Islita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Punta Islita is the only beach resort in Costa Rica to offer a full menu of complimentary tours, activities, and experiences. These include favorites like canopy zip-lining, horseback riding, monkey quests, and sea-turtle spotting. Plus unique experiences like creating art with local community artists, traditional cooking lessons, golf clinics, and more! Set in a secluded ocean cove in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Its award-winning planet-friendly, people-positive model offers a unique opportunity to fully engage in intense eco-adventures and authentic cultural experiences. The property features Deluxe Rooms, Suites, and fully-outfitted Private Villas. Ideal for honeymoons, relaxation getaways, family vacations, extended stays, or destination weddings. COMPLIMENTARY SHUTTLE AVAILABLE FROM LIBERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LIR) PLEASE CONTACT US TO SCHEDULE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Punta Islita Hotel
Resort Punta Islita
Hotel Punta Islita

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