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“Warning this is paradise”

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Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Islita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Warning this is paradise”
Reviewed 20 April 2006

After spending several days in central Costa Rica we were more than happy to leave It was a short flight to the Pacific coast and we were all greeted by Andreas who was the hotel manager and took us to the air conditioned bus and gave us a brief background on Punta Islita.
At the hotel we were welcomed with cool fresh towels and taken into the open air restaurant where drinks were brought and lunch could be ordered while staff checked us in personally. No lines to check in and a wonderful meal.all our meals were superb and the food was fusion-Costa Rica meets the world-delish!

Our room was cool,clean and adorned with fresh flowers on pillows,towels and tables. As a matter of fact we later met the florist who does all the grand flowers in the hotel as she was working on pieces in the gallery-yes an art gallery. The hotel is beautiful and the feeling is of casual luxury. the staff is proffesional and friendly from management to house cleaning.
since the rooms are terraced all of them have a view of the ocean and a hammock outside your private terrace. We walked down the path that marks the beach and found ourselves in a mango grove. The beach is great for surfing but rough for swimming which did not matter since there is a pool ,spa and restaurant at this beach. We stayed there and had a pleasurable day.All the guests we met were happy to be there too.A shuttle then came and picked us up so we did not have to hike back.

There is a charming little town with all the buildings hand painted with charming local art,as well as a yellow church,an art school and wild life all around. It is a nice walk or ride from the hotel and the people you meet are pleasant and welcoming.

Andreas later showed us a villa as per our request and it was beautiful. A two bedroom with living space ,kitchen etc. MOre like a luxury condo facing the ocean with a wading pool and private traace. The villa is great for a family ,plenty of room and privacy as well as tastefully decorated . Paradise with air conditioning !

This was a wonderful experience and I will highly recomend it to people who like to travel and want to be treated as welcome guests as well as be pampered ! Wish we had done all our adventure things here ,but the relaxing was great !!!!!

  • Stayed April 2006
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Helpful?
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 April 2006

We stayed at Punta Islita for two nights in a Deluxe Room. First of all don't try to get to Punta Islita by road from SJO, it is a LONG and BUMPY ride(approx 6 hrs). Checking in was not a problem but the staff seemed to be helpless when we made a complaint about a light in our bathroom that wasn't working. They told us there was nothing they could do about it and they wouldn't even offer anything for compensation. The rest of the room was spacious and beautiful but we did encounter a trail of ants near the window and they seem to make themselves quite at home in our room. The breakfast was probably the worst I had at CR. We ate at many hotels not as "fancy" as Punta Islita and had better food. It was mainly a continental breakfast you can have at a Comfort Inn. Not much selection and watch out if you order anything more (like a bottle of water) because they'll charge you a hand and a foot for it! We did a lot of walking around the grounds. Very well maintained. The sand on the beach wasn't impressive though it was dark and not so soft. There are a lot of people with kids in the premises not as quiet and romantic as other reviews may say. It made us feel like we were in California rather than Costa Rica. I think we were quite let down mainly because of the expectations we had based on other reviews. And for the price (US$300++/night) it didn't live up to the name of a luxury hotel.

  • Stayed March 2006
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2006

As avid travelers, we are hard to impress... However, I must take the time to write about our wonderful vacation in Hotel Punta Islita. After spending one incredible week exploring rugged Costa Rica, we enjoyed 5 perfect days of fun, relaxation, and uplifting experiences.

Islita offers high standards of service and comfort, but what really makes the property unique is the positive aura that permeates throughout your stay. We were genuinely impressed by the staff´s friendly attitude, especially because it seemed sincere and not the result of heavy "customer service training". We soon learned that this is probably due to the special relationship that the hotel has with the local communities. They have a great caring tourism program that provides tangible benefits to the tiny villages that surround the hotel. For example, instead of selling the same souvenirs that you find throughout other Costa Rican hotels, they market original art pieces crafted by local groups. We purchased an incredible one-of-a-kind mirror framed by an exquisite piece of polished driftwood.

In terms of our stay, we always felt at home and relaxed enough to make special requests including modifying the menu options to accommodate a vegetarian diet. All were met with care and interest.

We strongly recommend Punta Islita visitors to participate in their community programs, including patronizing local restaurants such as Cambute and the spectacularly placed Monkey Bar. Another highlight is the guided Community and Museum tour.

Salud!

MRG

Stayed March 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank ggo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2006

If I visited Hotel Punta Islita again I would do it differently. I would stay in a two bedroom casita with private pool for a little more than the cost of two basic rooms. Ofcourse, you now need to bring friends. The basic rooms are just ok,they could use a dresser or desk and the bathrooms are substandard. But the small villas are very nice...They all do have ocean views, but some are far better than others. The downside to this potentially lovely place is 1. it is really hot and the walk down to the beach is steep and long. They will shuttle you though. The water can be rough and/or rocky in places, the swimming pools are just for dipping, not laps, and the water is really warm, so you don't really cool off.
2. the food is overpriced and has a high opinion of itself. Best bet is fresh grilled tuna over salad at the beach. The "special" beach buffet is ultimately buffet table quality (ie, old in five minutes) for $35.00 ea. The little Cambute restaurant, walkable and down the street is really good fare, not dirt cheap as they know you are gringos, but a relative deal compared to the hotel.
3.nice tennis courts, but you need to be driven there and it is so incredibly hot in Guanacaste, you can play for about 45 minutes.
4. the service is largely indifferent. There is not a big history of tourism here so the staff are relatively new at the art of hospitality, and it is suffering in the basic niceities of a "small luxury property."
I think their designation is in regard to other places in Costa Rica and not to be compared to real luxury properties around the world, though the views are quite lovely. The hotel is environmental, which I greatly applaud and appreciate.
You are isolated here. You can get alot of reading done and it is relaxing. There are really no common rooms beside the main open air dining room. So, you better like your room. There is no place to go unless you have a car and then ofcourse the roads are difficult. We flew in as per past recommendations on this site. I've heard from others that the excursions are just okay. The gym is pretty good. The spa services (and setting)are nice but overpriced for the experience level. This place is best when you bring your friends with you....it's that low key.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Lillybelle-Colorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 6 March 2006

We stayed at Punta Islita for four days in early March and had a wonderful time (just got back). The setting is gorgeous - in a private cove overlooking the ocean. The service was great. The people who worked at the hotel were friendly and helpful and contributed to the overall atmosphere of the resort...

We loved our room - a casita with plunge pool, and definitely took advantage of the plunge pool. Great way to refresh yourself given how hot it was. The set up of the rooms at Punta Islita allowed for privacy, at the same time, we had a great time meeting our fellow guests (encouraged by the friendly atmosphere.)

The hotel is a place where you can relax by one of the pools/beach or you can take part in some of the activities offered by the hotel. We usually did one activity a day. In addition, we used the gym first thing in the morning (best time to use it due to the heat.)

Punta Islita's relationship with its community is unique and contributes to its atmosphere - the hotel helps support the development of the arts in the community (and for us added to the 'feel-good' atmosphere of the resort) We took a tour of the outdoor art of the town with the museum director.

Re meals: There isn't much of a choice of where to eat outside of the hotel. There is one local restaurant, Cambuto, just outside the 'doors' of the hotel that is easy to get to (use one of the hotel's golf cart).
We preferred the hotel's beach restaurant for breakfast (vs the main restaurant) - its breakfast has more of a local touch to it. One evening we ordered room service and had a romantic candlelit dinner on the terrace of our room. Also inquire about the barbecue on the beach...

There is not an active nightlife in the hotel nor in the neighboring town. The feeling of the resort is more of relaxation than wild "partying".

We loved Punta Islita and would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2006

The setting, the grounds and the rooms are wonderful. Unfortunately, for a top Luxury Hotel of the World, the service is not up to standards we expected. Necessary maintenance wasn't done (lights out on paths, fans not working, TV not working), and little was done when requested. And when we mentioned these things when checking out, there seemed to be little or no interest on the part of management. Dinner on the beach is well worth it. But, all in all, I think there are better choices.

Helpful?
5 Thank daffypuf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 4 March 2006

The food was amazing, and they have the best pina coladas. They are like milk shakes. I just wish I could get the recipe. The only thing I didn't like was a supertart margarita. The horseback riding was great, because you can really run the horses up the mountain and on the beach, but you will feel sore afterwards. We arrived at the beginning of the rainy season in the middle of May, so it rained a few hours each afternoon, but when the clouds would break, it was just beautiful. We stayed for 5 nights which was about the right amount of time, since it was just the two of us, and you can only relax so much. Flying in and out was a little stressful, since we had never been to Costa Rica before. When we exited the airport, and there was just a mob of people, taxis, and shuttles. One guy tried to help me with my bag, but because of the language barrier, it meant I had no clue why he was trying to grab the bag out of my hand. When the plane from San Jose to Punta Islita lands, the only building is a little waiting area for the resort, so there is no confusion, and they even give you a beer before the van rid up to the resort. On the way back, the little Sansa plane from Punta Islita to San Jose was over an hour late, so we missed our connecting flight. We got a later flight from San Jose, but it meant we only make it to Dallas, TX or any of the other major hubs that day.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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