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“Wished I had paid attention to the bad reviews”

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L'Acqua Viva Resort And Spa
Ranked #20 of 22 Hotels in Nosara
Reviewed 19 March 2011

I decided to ignore the bad reviews given the stunning architecture of this hotel but shame on me. Indeed, this is a very confusing hotel-- beautiful design but constructed poorly (cracks everywhere, paint peeling, dust filled), waiters speak little english, the manager seems rude and apathy is dripping from the staff. The worst is the shuttle service which is absurd-- a beat up, rusty van which they stop using before sunset necessitating that you spend $25-30 roundtrip to get to any restaurants. I would skip Nosara if you're planning a trip to CR. It has no good hotels and there are no roads!

  • Stayed: March 2011
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4  Thank Streetlux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 - 61 of 93 reviews

Reviewed 9 February 2011

I have been going to Nosara for many times a year, year after year. When I saw the construction of L'Acqua Viva I have to admit I thought this was going to be a big deal. I was not disappointed when I arrived for dinner one night as the place was beautiful, well done and original. And it went right down hill from there..........................

The rooms were constantly bathed in dust from the road right outside the window. It is the main drag in and out of town and to look out your window at a semi truck with all of the associated dust and noise is more than I could have ever imagined.

Dinner was best described as "An Assault". The staff spoke little if any English, the lobster smelled of ammonia and I have seen more substance in a DNA sample than what they brought out as a glass of red wine.

I can not figure this place out. Few if any stay here or dine here, yet the place stays open. I was actually there again last month (January 2011) for a fund raiser that a previous writer referred to and while the food was OK, the way they ran the buffet was a total joke. One person serving everything took forever.

This place has a horrible location, the worst management and a bad case of apathy.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank BahamaWoodstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2011

Buenos dias,

Escribo en Ingles, para mas comodidad.

Following our telephone conversation of Friday afternoon,with your office, the Hotel Lacquaviva arranged a room change.
This was just as well, because the following morning there was no water in that section of the hotel, and we would have had to move in any case.

It is interesting and annoying to note that this 'award winning' design is so poor from a number of points of view.

Namely >
The noise from the road affects 50% of the rooms. The flight path from the local airstrip passes diectly over the hotel, night and day.
The quality of the constuction is poor, when compared with the other five places we have stayed in
Costa Rica.
The gardens are very small and poor in design and layout. The lighting, after dark is poor, with some steps poorly lit. The staff carry a torch, flashlight.
There is poor privacy, as it is possible to see into the rooms from the pool areas, and from other rooms.
A hotel of this standard without any tissues/ Kleenex in the rooms, or anywhere in the hotel is BAD.
The staff are generally not very personable, they rarely have a smile, and are not well trained.

>> Every where else in Costa Rica the employees have been happy, very personable and attentive,
ready to help and far better trained >>

Access to the beach is by walking along the busy dirt road, for approx 30 mins or more. There are clouds of dust from the vehicles, and a degree of danger. There is limited transport to the beach, offered by the hotel, but poorly organised.

The world class restaurant claimed by the advertising is a bad joke. The food is average at best,
but poor in many ways.
We were advised at 4.00p m Saturday, that the restaurant would not be open for dinner.
There was a funcion, and we were invited to take the buffet at 50$ US per person!!

It is not surprising that this hotel has had a very quiet season. The last evening and morning we were the only people in the hotel.

We can only urge you to avoid sending anyone else to this hotel. It is not of acceptable standard,
and will lead to unhappy guests.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Candjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2011

If you are looking for a perfect combination (relax & fun, forest & beach), L'Acqua Viva Resort & Spot is the place to be. Best in the area, not only provides with a really Costa Rican rain forest, but also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the fascinating blue waters of the beaches of this country and all within a walking distance. An excellent place to get in contact with nature and the ocean. Surfers, this is the place for you…!
All rooms are decorated with luxury design with all amenities available, spacious showers and their unique style, impressive…!. Tall ceilings and windows make you feel like you are truly in paradise with morning day light and the sound of nature.
All staff and the entire personal is remarkable, they really get out of their way providing you with the most excellent service from the instant you arrive in the resort.
A five start restaurant with incredible views in any direction and exceptional food and service will give you the experience of a lifetime. Excellent Costa Rican continental breakfast (included). Also you can find a exclusive variety of cocktails in the bar …
Next time or first time you plan to visit Costa Rica, do not forget to include L'acqua Viva Resort & Spa in the agenda.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank santipersonal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2011

We booked this hotel in Nosara after seeing the beautiful pictures on the website and from other travelers. It was our first time in Nosara and since we were on our honeymoon we thought we splurge a little and spent 4 nights at L'Acqua Viva. Overall experience is a big disappointment and will not come back again.

LOCATION
This hotel is away from the beach Playa Guiones about 7-10 mins driving time. It would be a trek if you were to walk to the beach on the unpaved roads. If you don't have transportation I would not recommend to staying here. The hotel offers free parking which is nice.

ROOM
I have to say the architecture of the property is unique and soothing. However, if you are looking for value in the rooms pay more and get the suites. The value for the deluxe room is not even comparable to luxury hotels in other regions of Costa Rica. $205 for a room will offer you a simple 500 sq feet room with a 27" tv with one chair for seating. You get the normal coffee maker, hair dryer, ice bucket, mini frig and suitcase stand. There is no clock, radio or kleenex in the room. The bathroom has dual shower heads which the setting does not even work right. The best thing in the room is the AC other than that there isn't much to brag about. The deluxe room is located by the road which is very noisy all day with the cars, ATV, and motorcycles kicking up dust and rocks. On one of the nights we found a cockroach in the room which made me very nervous.

FRONT DESK
The moment we checked into the hotel room we noticed how quiet the property is. The front desk gal who checked us in can barely speak English. She was hard to understand and many times misinformed us. When we inquire about the tours we were informed that the tours only take cash which was quite annoying. The hotel will make the arrangements but you pay the tour guide direct. We did the horseback riding tour and that was worth every penny - highly recommend it.

The hostess/hotel did nothing to make our honeymoon special. No free drink, special appetizer, free water or even a congratulations. When I saw our deluxe room I wasn't thrill at all. I asked to see how much it would be to upgrade knowing that the hotel is not a full capacity. (We saw 4 other couples during our stay.) There were no gesture of a free upgrade or discounted rate to a suite instead I was quoted the full rack rate to change rooms . We finally was able to get some great insights about Nosara from Louis (he works at the front desk) on where to go and what to do in Nosara. He was very helpful.

SHUTTLE
Don't let the word shuttle fool you at L'acqua viva. The so call shuttle service is a golf cart. We were informed by front desk upon checking in the shuttle only takes you to Playa Guiones at 8am, 10am and returns at 12pm and 3:45pm. I can't help but think those are the strangest time schedule. We later come to find out the last ride back is 3:45pm because the golf cart doesn't have head lights so they don't want to drive in the dark. We took a flight out of Nosara airport and the hotel used the golf cart and shuttled us to the airport.

SPA
On my second to the last day at the hotel my husband and I decided to get massages. The spa menu has normal Swedish for $90 and head back & shoulder for $50. Since there were no indication on the spa menu on the length of the massages I verified with the front desk and were told that they were all 6o minutes. So I went with the head back & shoulder. It turns out I only got 30 minutes. I was confused so I went to the front desk to verified. They apologized for misinforming me and said they would talk manager to remove the charges. At the end, the charges were not removed by the hotel and I felt like they were giving me the run around. On top of that, the massages were not even good, at no point in time did the masseuse asked how I was doing or if the pressure was good etc. It definitely was not 4 star resort standards. It was no wonder that the spa menu was not even posted on their website instead it was something about a hair salon?! I definitely did not see a hair salon at the hotel.

FOOD
Your room rate includes breakfast but beware, breakfast is the same thing every single day. It is plated services so you eat what they give you. You can opt to order something else from their breakfast menu. Of course they will charge you.

We had dinner at the restaurant 3 nights out of the 4. They have a decent size menu and the food is nothing to rave about. The vegetables were often undercooked and the mashed potatoes tasted like it was from the box. What I don't understand is they do not serve any Tico food on the menu. Pretty disappointing if you ask me.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Ann G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2010

The hotel is beautiful and the rooms are top notch for CR. The location is secluded but it's a good hike to the beach and main part of Nosara. The staff arranged an ATV rental to get around which worked out great. They found us good deal and we didn't have to lift a finger. The ATV was delivered right to the resort. Breakfast was great but our dinner didn't impress us at all. There are much better places to eat in town. Overall it's a nice place to stay but if you're looking for something close to the beach, this is not the place.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Whisky_Finn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2010

We stayed at hotel for 10 days while taking surf lessons through Safari Surf School. The outdoor areas of the pool is just hands down gorgeous and well maintained. The numerous pools are beautiful, as is the lobby, bar area and restaurant. We had the 2 bedroom presidential villa. When we first walked in we were really wowed. The downstairs has a foyer area and then two family rooms. Each has its own TV with a sofa and two chairs. Also downstairs was a full kitchen with a bar to eat at and a 1/2 bathroom. Upstairs had 2 bedrooms both with King beds and full bathrooms. These rooms are very spacious and bedding very comfortable.

This villa is very nice, however there is one main problem. The bedrooms do not have ceilings. They are just open to the top of the A frame of the villa. Anything you said or did in the bathrooms or bedrooms you could hear through the entire villa. In the same note, if you were downstairs any noise you made would be heard in the bedrooms, such as watching TV or getting up early to make coffee.

We only had one other minor complaint. The AC was hit or miss. When we complained to the staff they were extremely attentive and came to work on them which helped. However, with it being so open it was very hard to keep this large space cooled. I do think the AC system is pretty typically for what you find in Costa Rica and also what we had in our rooms in Belize.

On a side note, we had great cable service and free wi-fi. The hotel also has computers for guests to use in lobby as well as a spa and workout room. We did not take advantage of these during our stay, however both looked nice.

We were told before we arrived that we could walk into town from the hotel. You can walk it, however it would not be an enjoyable walk. Very dusty road that doesn't have good views. I would highly recommend renting a car or quad. We used the Toyota rental in Playa Guiones which was great. We were so glad to have a car and really enjoyed exploring the area.

We enjoyed staying off the main strip and would highly recommend this hotel to other travelers.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank charlestonpanic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about L'Acqua Viva Resort And Spa

Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara 85-1000, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 22 Hotels in Nosara
Hotel Class:4 star — L'Acqua Viva Resort And Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
L'Acqua Viva is idyllically situated in the middle of lush vegetation, bordering the extraordinary Forest Reserve and Wildlife Refuge of Nosara, at a short distance from the spectacular beaches of Pelada, Garza and Guiones, this last one considered a paradise for surfing. The hotel displays a genuine architectural style, which harmonizes with an exclusive decoration representing the fusion of diverse ethnic elements from around the world, creating a high end atmosphere and comfort to enjoy the tropics. Many of the spaces of the hotel will surprise the guests with carefully chosen pieces of art of well-known artists, which belong to a private collection. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
l`Acqua Viva Resort And Hotel Nosara
l Acqua Viva Hotel
L'Acqua Viva Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Nosara

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