Arrival: Jan 1 – Jan 8, 2009 Very organized, received our room keys on the bus while driving to the resort from the airport. We were presented with a welcome drink upon arrival also.
A bit dated, we had some trouble with ants and termites. Nothing too major. Not bad enough to complain and move. They were getting in via the balcony doors. Safe worked fine. Pay $2 US per day, they give you the instructions on how to set up your own code for entry. Easy.
Restaurants and Bars:
Fantastic!!! The a la carte restaurants were excellent, make sure to make your reservations. The buffet was great, the kids loved the abundance of fresh fruit every day. The snack bar was also really good, we ate lunch there almost every day. Homemade pizzas, burgers, hotdogs, nachos….. great food. The staff at the buffet and bars were so friendly and SO good with the kids. My kids took a real liking to Jimmy and we couldn’t leave for the airport until they had said their goodbyes and gave him a hug. He was the best!!
The pool was great. The beach was nice, the ocean water was warmer than the pool. Water aerobics every morning at 11. We even played bingo a few times while at the pool. Lots of fun.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We found that the entertainment staff were all very dedicated. Always something to do. These people were there in the morning and were still there to put on the show at night. All very friendly, especially with the kids.
Other Comments:: Overall, a great experience. If we were to stay at this resort again, I think we would put out the extra $ to stay in the premium rooms (Bldgs 10 & 11). The people I spoke to that were staying in those rooms, had no ants, termites or any other bugs to complain about. They were all quite happy with their rooms and also received fresh fruit in their rooms upon arrival. Gift shops are not related to the hotel, I found them to be quite pricy. I bought a photo album in a small town called La Fortuna (a stop on the Arenal Volcano trip) for $13 US. The exact same album in the gift store at the hotel was $32 US. So, if you are planning any excursions outside the hotel, try and do your souvenir shopping there. It will be much cheaper. Also, a word to the wise, get your bottled water from Pablo’s Bar, they will charge it to your room and it is much cheaper than buying it at the gift shop. There are water machines everywhere, so if you just keep refilling the ones you bought, you won’t need to buy too many.
Go on day trips… the best one by far for us was the Palo Verde River tour. It was a day that we will never forget. And, if you are fortunate enough to get Sergio as a guide, it will also be a day that you will never forget. He is a wealth of knowledge about his country and will show you things that other guides would never even think of. He goes the extra mile for his tours. For instance, he showed us some termite nests and how they grow on the trunks of trees and then he ate some of them right off of a stick. He was also able to get a troop of White faced Capuchian monkeys to come on the boat and we fed them bananas. That is just a small glimpse into the day that we will always remember. Sergio rocks!Overall, we had a fantastic vacation in Costa Rica and are hoping to get back there again. One week just isn’t enough time to see such beauty. For a small country, there is alot to see. 2 weeks would be nice. PURA VIDA!!
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