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Barcelo Tambor
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Reviewed 3 December 2013

Pros - remote quiet beach, long for walks, soft black sand; very clean everywhere; great service; all you can possibly need in pools, beach, sports, etc.; rooms - well stocked/spacious/comfortable/view/balcony/complementary room drinks; Barcelo had sister hotel in San Jose that one can split stay with at no charge;

Cons - Car rental insurance can only be obtained via local Costa Rica agent and is extremely expensive; 5 hours drive from international airport; poor English skills in staff; entertainment catered only for Spanish speaking; very busy with locals (although they all stayed in pool which was nice for us on beach :-))

Best experiences - waterfall visit, west coast sunsets, offroading

Tips - if not afraid of offroading, best way to experience area is by 4*4 or ATV; most tours can be accomplished by yourself and non commercial experiences with obviously certain exceptions such as sea fishing and zip lining.

we rented a Small SUV because we like to explore by ourselves - it is about 40 minutes from landing to get on road with your car - trip straight to Barcelo is 2 hours to ferry, potential 1 hour wait, 70 minute ferry ride, 40 minutes other side to resort - we landed around 5 and we got to resort around 10.30... i wasted about 30 minutes at rental place because we didn't know we had to by law take local car insurance at $400/week so was not pleased with that but once we went offroading we understood why :-)

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Bez009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2014

Dear customer:

Thanks for posting your comments on this page.

We are glad to know about your stay in the hotel was pleasant and met your expectations.

We have been working to implement English courses to our staff in collaboration with human resources department, as well as in night time shows.

The Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach hopes to receive you for further visits in Costa Rica.

Best regards;
Raúl Arranz
Director
Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We arrived at 11 AM and our room was ready. Check in was easy and our room was on the second floor in building 6 which was at the left end of the complex looking from the ocean. All the building are two story and all the rooms have balconies or patios. Ask for a Conor and you will also get a hammock. Our room was clean with a fridge safe coffee maker and coffee. We asked for coffee mugs but never got any, we did have our travel mugs so it wasn't a problem. The all inclusive food was pretty good and they had two specially restaurant stake and seafood which we ate at twice and a Japanese restaurant which was really good for being in Costa Rica. Great sushi. Most of the food is typical Tico with lots of rice beans fry plantains chicken and fish. The desserts were good as most of the locals are not into sweets except ice cream. Large pool with lots of chaise lounge around the pool and on the beach. The swim up bar was a popular spot with beer wine and drinks all day long. Entrainment at night started with kids at about 8PM and beginning at 9 the dancing and music shows ran till about 11PM and then the disco to who know when. So being out at building 6 was a plus. Service in the buffet for breakfast lunch and dinner was lacking, but at the specially restaurants it was much better.
The mini golf was way different than what we have been use to In the US so give it a try. Barcelo had a lot of afternoon games like archery bocci and volleyball as well as football (soccer) The also have Macaws Monkeys Iguanas as well as a Coral Snake we saw on our last day.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank GeraldHirsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2014

Dear Gerald Hirsh:

We want to thank your comments made through this page.

We have taken into account your suggestions and we are working to improve our menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as the buffet in our main restaurant.

We proceeded to congratulate the staff working in the specialty restaurants on meat and seafood likewise Japanese food.

We are looking forward to count again with you in our facilities.

Best Regards,
Raúl Arranz

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Reviewed 23 November 2013

I spent fourteen brillinat days in Barcelo Tambor Beach. Now I'm 6 days back in Moscow and still in raptures and full of good reminiscences. Absolutely responsive and helpful staff. Not all of them can speak English but they will always find anyone who can and will not leave you unattendant.
The room was OK, everything needed, including a good TV set that I didn't even have a chance to watch - that's the animation team's fault - they did their utmost to distract me from watching it. You will go to a reataurant for breakfast - they will rehearse. At 10 a.m. they will be at the swimming-pool and the beach. You will go for lunch, they will rehearse. At 3 p.m they will be back at the swimming-pool area again. You will go for dinner, Tambor Beach group will be on stage from 6 to 8 p.m. I can't speak Spanish but the singing was absolutely brilliant and the Latin America melodies are so fascinating and not very simple at all! At 9 p.m kids hour will start. How happy kids were! And for me that was a good chance of learning Spanish. As was a bingo game that followed the kids' hour. I studied numbers in Spanish because the host repeated them in English and Spanish. There were other events - karaoke and different contests as well.10 to 11 p.m. was the main show time - an absolutely magnificent attraction - with dances, songs, circus. 11 p.m. was clubbing time. There is a night club in the hotel.
As to meals, they were OK. Maybe I'm not an expert here because I believe we are not born to become a Mr or a Mrs Piggy. My food specialtiesare fish, vegetables and fruits. I'm not for the first time in Latin America and Barcelo hotels but this one was outstanding for the choice of fruits. As to fish the choice was very poor. Should be wider - this is SEA shore, isn't it?
Something should be done to distract peiople from the swimming-pool area. On some days it was impossible to get to the swimming-pool bar! The swimming-pool is absolutely overcrowded.There is a wonderfool beach with very warm sea. Some bar should be arranged at the beach.
Wild life in the hotel area is remarkably special. You may see macaws (and there is a macaw reproduction centre at the hotel), racoons, iguanas etc.
Of course, your impressions always depend on what kind of person you are and how arrogant you are. You may always find faults. But on my last day I, a 57-year old MAN, couldn't go for dinner. I was crying. I wanted a never-ending fairy-tale. I went to the sea shore instead for no one to see me crying.
Belive it or not, I was happy there.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
4  Thank Александр Н
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

Again, very happy with my last visit to Hotel Playa Tambor, this is already 13 years of staying every year for my vacations.
As usual the food excellent, the restaurant à la carte spectacular, impressive menu for a Hotel All Inclusive.
The rooms most of them with ocean view, very happy with the daily activities of the animation team.
I hope to visit again soon this heavenly hotel highly recommended!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Esteban H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014
Google Translation

Estimado Esteban:


Reciba un cordial saludo de parte de la Dirección General del Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach.

Por medio de la presente le expresamos nuestro profundo agradecimiento por el tiempo invertido en dejar sus comentarios en la página. Se procedió a informar al chef lo satisfecho que ha quedado con nuestro menú y al equipo de animación sobre las actividades diarias.

Asimismo, le agradecemos por escogernos para el disfrute de sus vacaciones durante estos años.

Una vez más le agradecemos por el aporte tan valioso que nos brinda.

Cordialmente,

Raúl Arranz Medrano
Director
Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

The Barceló Tambor Beach is at best an average "all Inclusive Hotel" You can eat all you want as long as you are hungry when they are serving food. Liquor is included as long as you don't expect to recognize the label on the bottle. Everything exposed on the shelf is NOT included in the "All Inclusive"

The food, when available, was pretty decent, but often being enjoyed by the bees. The pool area was very nice and refreshing with a walk/swim up bar.

Getting here is an adventure in itself. Unless you fly into the 3000 ft strip which ends in the ocean (which I highly recommend) the drive and ferry boat ride are exciting and a bit un-nerving. The experience as you get off the ferry, might cause you to turn around immediately....there is no way you could imagine that there could be a resort on the other side of the cobblestone walk and gypsies selling fruits and trinkets.

Oh yes, the all inclusive does not include internet. They charge $12.95 American or 6500 Colones per day for an internet bot much better than dial up.

Room Tip: No elevators. First floor is easier if you are not living out of a backpck
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Jim T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jonathan M, Revenue Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2016

Dear Jim,

Greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

Our services are aimed to make your stay an excellent option.

Nowadays, the wifi service is free reserving through our web page.

Thanks so much for visiting us. We hope to have you back in our facilities.

Sincerely,

Raúl Arranz.
Director General
Hotel Barceló Tambor

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