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Reviewed 20 July 2012

What a beautiful property! We stayed 8 nights to take advantage of the 4th night free promotion. We ended up getting bored and wished we had spent a few of our nights closer to the surfing beach, rainforest or volcano. We were there July 5-13 and the humidity was nearly unbearable. There is no A/C in common areas during the day--when I couldn't go to our room because my son was napping, the only place I could go to cool off was the gift shop. The lobby, the two restaurants that are open during the day and the lounge are semi-outdoor with no breeze and were very hot. I was told that it is very rainy in Oct/Nov, very dry and everything brown in Mar/Apr, turns green after first rain in mid-May. High season is mid-Nov to Mid-May.
There are two zip lining places between the Four Seasons and the Liberia airport--you'll save some time and money by stopping to do zip lines on your way to or from the airport.

The first thing I did after check-in was ask about tipping. They explained that there is a 10% service fee on everything so you don't need to tip anyone above and beyond that unless you want to. It was really nice to not have to worry about carrying cash around every day. The staff was really great--everyone was very helpful and seemed genuinely interested in making us happy. I found it a little odd that they don't wear name tags (except at the kids club). Once I asked our golf cart driver if the Trail of the Giants tour gets cancelled when it rains. He wasn't sure and offered to check but I said not to worry about it. He dropped us off at the restaurant and a couple minutes later he came into the restaurant and found us to tell me that the tour would indeed be cancelled if it rained. I was quite impressed at his following through! It didn't end up raining that day and the Trail of the Giants tour was great. There were two trees full of howler monkeys at one of the golf holes. We were happy to see those because we only ended up seeing monkeys one other time on the hotel property.

There are three pools (all next to each other, one designated for adults only). They are all only 3 feet deep and have no slides or anything, but they do provide pool noodles. I was quite disappointed to find that both beaches have only very small waves that break near the shore. I assumed since one side of the resort was on the Pacific Ocean that it would have waves big enough for bodysurfing or boogie boarding, but it turned out that both beaches were in bays. We were lucky one evening at sunset to see a baby sea turtle running across Virador beach into the ocean! The nature trail that connects the two beaches is really neat but be aware that it includes hundreds of stairs. Be sure to get a map because there are no signs once you get up to the road and you'll have to navigate a roundabout to get to the stairs leading down to the other beach.

The reason we chose this hotel was that we understood that the kids club (KFAS) was open from 6:30-8pm. We planned to feed our kids around 5, get dressed for dinner, drop them off at KFAS and then go out to a nice dinner by ourselves. However, we were quite disappointed to learn that this was not possible every night. One night the front desk told us that KFAS was closed that night and our only option was babysitting at $30/hr with a 3 hour minimum. We decided to take the kids with us to the steakhouse and our golf cart driver asked why we weren't taking the kids to movie night at KFAS. Turns out the front desk had been wrong about it being closed but by then it was too late for us to change plans because our kids hadn't been fed and we couldn't drop them at the movie night hungry. Another night KFAS actually was closed, and one night they had S'mores night that turned out to be a family activity that only lasted about a half hour (again we went to all the trouble of making sure our son had a nap so he could attend evening KFAS, fed the kids dinner, got dressed up, and then found that we couldn't go to a nice adult dinner because the kids could not be dropped off at KFAS. We ended up just getting room service). One night the KFAS staff invited our kids to come back at 6:30 for a Costa Rican party. When we arrived at KFAS at 6:30 it was totally dark. After asking a beach attendant who made a call, we finally found out that the party was being held in a conference room across the street from the lobby. Would have been nice if KFAS had informed us in advance of the location change and/or left a note on the door.

We were so happy to have read other TripAdvisor reviews and learned about the American Express Platinum card Fine Hotels & Resorts program! We got 4 free daily breakfasts at the buffet or room service, plus room upgrade (went from a Canopy Suite to a Canopy Suite with Private Plunge Pool - valued at double the price of our original room!) Totally worth the annual fee (approx $400) and my husband loves that it gives him access to luxury lounges at airports around the world (be aware that the Liberia airport lounge is only open Dec-May).

We were pleasantly surprised to find a laundry room with free soap and fabric softener sheets right across from our Canopy Suite. For some reason it took four hours to dry a medium-sized load of clothes on the highest temperature.

To get to Prieta Beach Club, the golf course (where the Trail of the Giants and Caracol steakhouse are), you get there by standing outside the lobby and they will call for a free SUV shuttle. Be aware if you have little kids that they will be riding without a car seat to get there. The beach at Prieta has black sand (beware it is VERY hot and you need to wear your sandals right up to the water line) and bigger waves than the two beaches at the hotel.

Food at all the restaurants was good although expensive (for example, $20 for vegetable stew). My favorite cocktail was "18 on the Green" with guaro sour, simple syrup, lime, cilantro and basil. Be aware that if you sit at Tico's (the lounge) you can order off the menu of any of the restaurants. This was helpful when we were with our little kids and/or weren't dressed up but still wanted to eat good quality food.

Please see my review of Tours Your Way--we were very happy with their airport transfers, zip line, surf lesson, and ATV tour and our 4 and 8-year-old sons were able to participate in everything.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

Our family has mixed opinions of the Four Seasons.

On the one hand, the grounds are beautiful, the rooms are nice and we got a good rate. My husband and son played golf and although it was very difficult, they had a grand time. They saw howler monkeys and cool raccoon looking things, etc.

On the other hand, the staff on the beach were pretty lazy. There were cigarette butts, little pieces of plastic all over the place. It's as though they raked it and felt they were done with their job. There was bird poop on many of the chairs and they didn't bother to clean it off. Not what you expect from a Four Seasons property.

When we tried to have them set up other excursions for us off the property, it was difficult and more than twice as expensive as booking directly via the internet with the tour companies.

Also, the food was not very good and there wasn't much variety. We all agreed they need to improve in this area. It is very, very expensive to eat here so we expected much more with regard to their food.

I felt quite upset one morning by some things the staff did. When I couldn't sleep, I went down to the beach around 7:30 a.m. and went for a walk while the staff was setting up the beach chairs. A couple of them saw me taking a walk. Then I went to sit on one of the chairs and closed my eyes for a little cat nap before we went on our excursion. I woke up to a staff member standing over me demanding to know if I was a guest at the hotel. I felt very uncomfortable and of course, irritated that I had been woken up. When I let the front desk know, they were not very helpful.

We had an amazing trip to Costa Rica but I don't know if we would stay here again. There are so many better places to be in Costa Rica.

Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
9  Thank Kelly N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

I can not say enough about this beautiful, safe, amazing hotel. The rooms are big, beautiful, well appointed ( I loved the large screened in porch), very clean and large bathrooms as well! We checked in without a reservation and they still had a lovely custom welcome card in our room for us. The staff is amazing! They all give their best and make your experience unforgettable. We loved watching monkeys from our room, mini golf listening to Howler monkeys, sunset watching on the beach with amazing service and comfortable fun seating (big fluffy cushions on the beach or a lovely chair prepared for you). The food was absolutely wonderful, we all enjoyed the Brazilian BBQ and went there twice! They had a 4th of July party that was the BEST we have ever been to (We want to be there again)!. Lovely grounds, clean, great staff start to finish. If you have the opportunity to stay here, TAKE IT...or you will miss a vacation you will talk about forever--guaranteed! Thank you Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica for the vacation of a lifetime!

Room Tip: Our room had the pool on one side and the ocean on the other. THE BEST!
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Cindy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

We visited over the 4th holiday, celebrating a birthday and an anniversary. Every aspect of our stay was phenomenal: the beach (quiet and relaxing), the rooms (clean/classy), the food (diverse/tasty) and oh yeah- the golf for my husband (challenging and scenic!). But what made our stay extremely enjoyable was the staff. I vacation quite a bit, and stay at luxury hotels often when I do. Above a certain point, top end hotels are simply brick and motor establishments: it's the staff that distinguishes the property. Special kudos to Oliver and Luis, two attentive staff members who made our stay special indeed. We will be returning, without a doubt.

Well done, Four Seasons!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank UptownDoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

The service was excellent from the airport pick up through to downtown transfers. I found the staff very helpful on every level. I found the property magnificent with a really great ambiance and feel. Food was very good in some ways but I was a little let down by the food variety. The resort is priced at the top of the market and rightly so. I would not hesitate in suggesting this property for any type of visit.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Lechiffre1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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