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“Excellent hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Harbor Reef Hotel

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Harbor Reef Hotel
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Nosara
Certificate of Excellence
Portsmouth
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2010

Stayed in one of the surf suites with wraparound balcony, can't fault it the room was lovely and cleaned every day by friendly staff. Loved the outside pool and proximity to the beach was good. travelled with a group of 14 surfers, who had all stayed there twice previously, the restaurant did struggle a little when we all ate together but when only 5 of us went the food was excellent. very friendly staff and would certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2008
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jessmh20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
Thank you very much for your feedback and we are delighted to hear your stay was a good one. We are committed to improving and we look forward to seeing you back here in the near future. Pura Vida!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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291 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    173
    88
    16
    4
    10
See reviews for
94
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10
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
NYC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2010

The house we rented in good faith was not what we expected for the price (you can find far better accommodation in the area for the price with competent employees and a management who would take care of their guests) : dark and depressing house; beds with no mattress covers; polyester sheets and barely nonexistent pillows; ants everywhere; one towel per person and a poorly equipped kitchen.

We were not shown at all how to set the house alarm, only told verbally incorrectly by a non english speaking employee. We arrived late in the evening and had to introduce ourselves the next day to the manager who took our booking. The numerous keys frequently jammed and they were not labeled. The slats on numerous windows had fallen out giving full view to whatever we had inside albeit bars on the windows. The management however did not think it necessary to replace the slats. Subsequently the house was broken into and a two week old laptop was stolen as well as other electronics, two back packs and clothing from the washing line outside the house.

The food in the restaurant is dire with new york prices attached, barely anyone ate there. Almost everyone staying at the hotel is American. No feeling of having left the U.S., and the staff look miserable.

The owners of Harbor Reef Lodge have no concern for their guest. Their sole objective is to make money whilst they can.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NYCdismayed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
We are very sorry to hear of your experience at one of our rental homes. This is definitely not common with our properties and I am very sorry you had to endure this type of experience on your vacation. As of November 1st, 2012 we are under new ownership and new management. Here at the all new Harbor Reef Surf Resort we are committed to hospitality and the needs of our guests. Currently here in the hotel we have installed safes in all of our suites and have more on the way for our jr. rooms. Further we are upgrading all of our 22 rooms with new mattresses. Our rental properties have also been updated and we are committed to them being of the best quality in Playa Guiones. We would love to offer you 15% off at our hotel if you would give us another try. We promise you will be delighted with the changes in our service and hospitality. We hope to be able to serve you at a higher level very soon. Pura Vida!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto and the world
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2010

Easy to find hotel thanks to signage, which is important in Nosara where there are no road signs. Check in and out was a breeze, and we had no issues with the bill. Service at front desk and in restaurant was pleasant.

We stayed in Surf City suite, which is two rooms (not separate though) including a sink and fridge, as well as bathroom with shower and toilet. There were ceiling fans and A/C if needed (which we did only mid-day). The space was nice, there was a small pool and hammocks just steps from our door, the restaurant food was delicious and moderately priced. No in-room safe; must check valuables with front desk. We were ground level, which was important for us with an active toddler, and we could hear howler monkeys behind our building. Gardeners did a great job on the “jungle” path. Security at front parking lot is helpful for peace of mind. Only downside is the mattresses are really uncomfortable, the linens threadbare and the room not the cleanest. Also, the included breakfast is only a continental, which is was a disappointment. For the price, these issues should be addressed.

Walking distance or quick drive to surf shops, massage, groceries, laundry, other restaurants, and 10-minute walk beach. Close to beach is a must in this area since you either stay close to the beach or place with a view. There are building restrictions about how close to shore one can build; so this location is pretty good.

Would stay again and would recommend hotel and resto to others for price point in comparison to some other accommodation in area.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank elspethandbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
Thank you for your feedback. As of November 1st, 2012 we are under new ownership and new management. We have recently ordered new mattresses and are upgrading all of our 22 rooms and suites. We have also installed safes in all of our suites and have ordered safes for the remaining jr. rooms. We are committed to making your stay more comfortable and giving you the hospitality you deserve. Come see us again soon at the all new Harbor Reef Surf Resort! Pura Vida!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manhattan Beach
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2009

My husband loves this place. I think he loves that they accommodate and appreciate the surfer traveler and offer a comfortable spot for girlfriends and wives. And he's a sucker for a swim-up bar.

The hotel itself is a dense but landscaped jungle property, featuring hammocks, 2 pools, and an adorable restaurant.

The rooms would be great for surfers, young travelers or families willing to be a little rustic. The place was quiet and clean; the balcony was lovely, and the hardwood walls and ceiling were pretty, but there isn't too much space and the beds weren't fantastic. There were a couple of free-standing structures that housed suites that seemed really nice.

The room price includes breakfast, which is an awkward order of one particular item on the breakfast menu. The good news is, it's eggs, fresh, hot, and to order. The bad news is, if you want something at all different, you pay full price.

The son of the owner helps at the restaurant. He and the rest of the staff are absolutely lovely and all speak English. The bar is fun and friendly. The beach is really close. The room prices were very fair.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatlK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
Thank you for your review. We are glad to hear you enjoyed our hotel. We are currently under new management as of November 1st, 2012 and we are committed to making improvements that will better your experience even more! Please come and visit us again soon and let us take care of you! Pura Vida!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2009

I was a little freaked out after booking at Harbor Reef after reading about the financial problems some people had: but while I'm sorry for the struggle those people are having I found my stay at Harbor Reef to be very comfortable and this had a lot to do with the wonderful staff.

I was a solo traveler (young woman in my 20's) and felt totally safe at Harbor Reef. Victor the main guy on premise is extremely helpful as are the front desk staff, wait staff: everybody!

The room was simple and clean. The air conditoner worked fine. And it was a nice quiet place to stay. I came right at the beginning of rainy season so the bugs were a little intense but that had nothing to do with the hotel.

All in all I would not hesitate to stay at Harbor Reef again...this has much to do with the extremely helpful, warm, welcoming staff.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank laffryer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
Thanks for your review and we are happy to hear you had a wonderful stay with us. We are now under new ownership and new management and we are committed to constantly making improvements at the all new Harbor Reef Surf Resort. We look forward to you returning to Nosara and staying with us again! Pura Vida!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2009

Please avoid staying here. It is a trap to steal your money. They supposedly have respectable terms but make "errors" and don't correct them. I am looking into any Costa Rica legal agencies to pursue their fraud but right now warning others is the only recourse I have. Avoid the financial headache!!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BizaNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
I am very sorry to hear you had this experience back in 2009 with our hotel. We are now as of November 1st under new ownership and new management and we are committed to making improvements for our guests. We can assure you that nothing of this nature will happen in the future and if you would considering giving us another chance we would love to offer you 15% off your next stay. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again! Pura Vida!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simi Valley, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2008

I am a frequent traveler to Costa Rica for surf and adventure and most recently stayed at the Harbor Reef which was just okay. Great hotel for young surfers that don't really get around much or care about their room but the property is a little rough. Make sure you don't get one of the rooms by the little man made stream running through part of the property that is actually water coming from the laundry area. The water stinks. They have a newer section that was not available for my dates and while it may be nicer, the old rooms are fairly basic and a little old and dirty. They are just a place to rest for the night and no place to hang out.

Like much of Costa Rica, these rooms used to rent for about $30 per night and they kept upping the charge by $5 or $7 every season until they got to the ridiculous rates they are today. Americans keep coming and paying so they just keep charging what we will pay. Do some research and look at other places on line beforte you book here unless they reduce rates radically!

  • Liked — proximity to Guioness beach
  • Disliked — overpriced and somewhat dirty
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bill7873
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harbor-Reef-Lodge, Manager at Harbor Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 6 November 2012
Hi and thank you for your feedback. We are currently under new ownership and new management as of November 1st, 2012. We are in the process of upgrading all of our 22 rooms and suites with safes and new mattresses. We would be delighted if you would give our hotel another try in the future. We would like to offer you 15% off your next stay at the all new Harbor Reef Surf Resort. We think you will be delighted with the changes we are making and we look forward to having the opportunity to serve you again in the near future. Pura Vida!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbor Reef Hotel

Property: Harbor Reef Hotel
Address: Del Hotel Cafe De Paris 400 Suroeste y 150 al Este, Nosara, Costa Rica (Formerly Harbor Reef Lodge)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Nosara
#4 Family Hotel in Nosara
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Nosara
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Harbor Reef Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a 22 room hotel nestled in the jungle by the sea. Our rooms are surrounded by lush gardens and offer a tranquil setting for our guests to relax after a fun day surfing and exploring the beautiful area of Nosara. Our restaurant offers a swim up pool bar, great music, delicious food and cold cervezas. It's a great place to kick back in the evenings and mingle with our friendly and hospitable staff. Paradise awaits you. Pura Vida! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Harbor Reef Hotel Nosara
Harbor Reef Hotel Costa Rica/Nosara

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