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Reviewed 26 March 2014

We spent an enjoyable week at Ocotal in late February of 2014. Myself, my wife and our four year old daughter enjoyed ourselves very much. We (minus our child) had stayed at Ocotal several years prior to this visit, however this time around the difference was that we chose a Bungalow suite adjacent to the path traversing due north to the restaurant or a right turn 'Clyde' down to the tranquil and pretty beach area. Being that we were repeat visitors we had the benefit or perhaps disadvantage of being able to compare the hotel to what it had been in its past life. Without being too critical, it is fair to say that definitely the care and services element are now in many respects a thing of the past. In fact when I first set eyes on the main pool area this time around I was instantly disappointed by the lack of t l c and the apparent neglect and disregard for what was once a fun, service friendly and lively little pool scene. That is certainly not the case anymore as there is no longer a bar area, the pool was blatantly dilapidated and this could arguably detract from ones stay, since it is always nice to have both an Ocean and pool option when on your holidays. Not so now. Nevertheless without dwelling too much on the former glory days of the Ocotal, there are still many positive attributes beholden to this Hotel. The views are spectacular, amazing and beautiful. Everyone working at the Ocotal were friendly, top notch people, who catered as best they could to our every need in a polite and efficient manner. Nothing stuffy or pretentious here which is the way we liked it. So hats off to all the great staff at Ocotal and thank you for your hospitality. Breakfasts and dinners were perfectly fine and once again with the beautiful and expansive Ocean views, just gazing out at the big blue with far off topography on the horizon is something I have regularly missed since returning Stateside. Our bungalow room was fine, perhaps a little more light and improved feng shui on the furnishings might have enhanced our berth experience slightly more, but all things considered it was fine. There was a nice Canadian couple staying next door to our Bungalow and I believe they were a little less enamored with their humble holiday abode and they weren't overly critical people either so I can understand if some others might find the accommodation a little sub standard. I wanted to go diving, but since the on site shop had no other potential customers to sign up on the mornings I was up for it, I was told by the front office at reception that there were would be no dive boats going out on the two or three mornings I was interested in. In my previous stay here, the Dive shop was excellent, but on this occasion I never saw any life in the Dive shop. I was most disappointed on missing out on a few dives. We opted for a sunset/ snorkel tour, Crocodile River tour, jet ski escapade and these were all fun activities, especially the first two excursions. Father Roosters down the beach was always a nice oasis to grab some lunch and a few local brews in between dips in the Ocean.
I love Costa Rica. It would be difficult for me not to have a good time in this locale, but traveling with my wife and young child raises the stakes for a little heightened desire for luxury and Ocotal just about managed to be on the right side of that parameter. The real assets are the natural setting and serene location of the Hotel perched up on a cliff overlooking a charming beach area and this coupled with the friendly staff meant we were happy to stay here and sad to leave, a pretty good indication of time well spent in my humble opinion.

Room Tip: Being a family of three, we liked the spaciousness of the Bungalow and our own/ shared little plunge pool. Nothing too luxurious but reasonably satisfactory and comfortable.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank PugwashSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pat P, Owner at Ocotal Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Hello!

Thank you for your comment.

We appreciate your stay with us, and hope to continue providing excellent service to all of our customers. We have taken note on your details and will do our best to continue being a great resort for couples and families!

Kindest regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

The photos do not do justice to the spectacular views that you see at Ocotal Beach Resort! The birds and iguanas are plentiful and add to the experience, so you will always want to have a camera handy. We found the breakfasts and other meals to be delicious, especially the seafood. Our servers, Alvaro and the others were a lot of fun, friendly, and always on task. This was a scuba diving trip for my husband and our friend. Although the water is cool (about 73 degrees) and visibility is limited, they had a great time and saw many large fish, rays and eels. I have to agree with other reviewers about the resort showing age and in need of some rehab. The plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms do not work as well as one hopes and could use updating. We would definitely go back because the area is so beautiful. Every night, we were spoiled with another fantastic sunset.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Kristin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

The hotel is a nice hotel, if you paid about half what they are asking. There are major maintenance issues, like broken stairs, rotting porches, and dangerous pathways. Not a good spot to bring your kids. Like I say, if I paid half, I'd be happy, but at these prices I expected a lot more. The restaurant is ridiculously priced and the food is below average for Costa Rica, if you stay here, there is an awesome restaurant just down on the beach. I tried to close my shower glass door and couldn't as I was afraid it was going to fall on me.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Travelledwithkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

Expect a resort, get a hotel. Beautiful views of the ocean, and lovely location. Beware of the rooster restaurant- they gave us shots of water (instead of tequila). Had hot water in bathroom, and wifi at the reception.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Juztabro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

As mentioned in prior reviews this hotel has great views but it is worn down and could use some rehab. The bathrooms could use a make over but are not that bad and the pool bar that is by the beach has not been operating for at least a year or so. We stayed in room 401 which is on the top of the hill and there are only 5-6 units in the 400 building and there is a pool right outside of these units. This pool is by far the best to watch the sunsets and relax and if you get lucky you can look down the cliff in the trees and see some monkeys. The hotel offers a free breakfast and it was good. The beach at the bottom of this hotel is very nice and not very popular so if you get up in the morning you will have the beach almost to yourself. I did not do any snorkeling but a few people told us there is some good snorkeling on both ends of the beach. A short walk down the beach is the restaurant Father Rooster which offers dining on the beach and great food and drinks. I would recommend having a car if you stayed at this place so you can take a short 2-3 mile drive into Coco where there are some great shops and restaurants and another nice beach which is a bit more popular. I would stay at this place again for the views, location and price. The hotel also offers different tours which we did the one day tour to Nicaragua and it was incredible. But you can negotiate the price of these tours. It started out at $165 per person and we got it down to $150 per person but a few people on the tour said they paid as low as $135.

Room Tip: I would recommend a room in the 400 building.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DCtoTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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