My husband and I stayed at Plaza Yara in December of 2010 and we truly enjoyed EVERY aspect of our stay. Because of some scheduling conflicts with our working trip to another part of Costa Rica, we had to change our reservation a few times. Each time this was done quickly and without charge. They were very understanding and accommodating. Because of the changes, when we arrived we were in Room #5 the first night and then moved to Room #7 for the rest of our stay. Below are tidbits I hope you will find helpful.
Room #5 - Small but nice. Never felt cramped but probably would feel cramped if more than two people. Perfect for a single person or a couple. Door opened directly to the bed, a few steps past the bed took you to a little breakfast table/sitting area, and a few more steps took you to the back of the room which housed a small kitchenette area with sink, coffee maker, microwave, fridge, etc. To the left of this was an immaculate bathroom with blue tile. To the right was a wall of floor to ceiling windows (no balcony for those interested). This looked out into a forested area. To the extreme left of this area you could see the pool if you really stretched. I really enjoyed sitting at the table the following morning. I was able to open the windows and hear the animals as I sipped coffee and planned out our day. Warning though, the windows didn't have screens so if you had a child it would be very easy for them to tumble out. Room was spotless, beds and sheets comfortable. The night we stayed and first thing the next morning, the people above us stomped around, talked loud, and the kids ran back and forth throughout the room yelling, chasing balls, and rolling things across the floor. This made for a sleepless night but once they left all was good. There must have been complaints from others because the housekeepers apologized to us as well as the front desk over and over again. All in all we really enjoyed the room very much and I preferred it over Room #7.
Room #7 - Extremely large, open, and clean. Nice furniture and setup. Room #7 is not in the main building but rather in the tall building to the right of the main building. La Hacienda restaurant sits between this building and the main building. There are only two rooms in this building. Room #7 being up a narrow flight of stairs and Room #6 being beneath it. Be forewarned this building does NOT get wireless access (the main building where Room #5 does). This presented a small problem for me as unfortunately I did have to do some work while here. Javier and Nelson were quick to take action once I brought it to their attention with the end result being for me to use their personal wireless usb. That is what I consider customer service! Once you enter the room, you walk into a huge sitting area with a table and chairs. There's also a kitchenette area with the standards from Room #5 just way more room. You then walk into a nice sitting area with a sofa and chairs. Beyond that is the bedroom, a huge walk in closet with safe, and a bathroom. Just as with Room #5 everything was spotless and well maintained. Comfortable bed, even though I know beds are different for different people. The TV in this room was EXTREMELY small compared to the size of the room and how far away the bed was. It was very difficult to see from the bed. The TV in Room #5 was bigger. We couldn't get the windows to open in this room (no balcony for those interested). Personally I didn't enjoy the view as much as in Room #5 because to the left you looked down onto the open air restaurant's tables and they at you and to the right was a private home. Directly in front was some of the forested area but I enjoyed the view from #5 better. The noise from the restaurant wasn't an issue. Yes, you could hear the music but it really wasn't bad music. In fact it was kind of nice and the music stopped around 9pm if I remember correctly.
I know some people are confused by the art gallery but it really is a nice little gallery. Don't be put off when you hear people say it's above an art gallery. Our check-in was quick and efficient. We were shown our room and even helped with our bags (we were bringing gifts for some friends in Quepos). Once in our room, everything was explained and shown to us including the pool area. We saw titi monkeys in the area behind the hotel one day. They have a great setup here and for people who don't need to be right on the beach, the rooms here are a STEAL. Couple this with unbelievably clean rooms, wonderful service, fun and welcoming staff, quick accessibility to Quepos or Manuel Antonio and you have yourself a winner.
We never tried the breakfast even though it was included so can't comment on that.
Bus service was cheap and convenient. Don't be put off by having to walk up the hill to catch the bus back into Manuel Antonio. It's not a bad or hard walk. There isn't a side walk but there are areas to walk in the grass and we found drivers to be respectful when they saw you walking. Coming back from Manuel Antonio we found it easier to get off at the stop right after Gaia and walk down to the hotel rather than going to the stop past the hotel. This would also be a better place to catch the bus going into Quepos. We took the bus all times of day and night and didn't feel unsafe at all. We even waited at the bus stop up from the hotel at night and didn't feel unsafe. It takes a minute to get to Manuel Antonio by bus because of stops but I don't think it was more than 15 minutes? Busses ran on regular days about every 15 minutes. On Sunday it was a lot longer.
Prices can range from $6-$8 US for two people if I remember correctly. I personally would advise against having the hotel call you a taxi as we found them to be more expensive that way. Simply walk out front of the hotel and flag down a taxi. Taxis pass by regularly even at night. Taxis without passengers will either blow their horn or flash their lights when coming up to you to let you know they're available. Just raise or stick out your hand, inquire how much, and hop in if you're satisfied with the price.
Marlins - Will always be our number one favorite. Exceptional food, great service, and good friends. It's a must on every trip. Good Happy Hour also (2 for 1) and the drinks are strong. Love it!
Barba Roja - Pretty good food. Only had appetizers but they were good. Best thing about this place are the AMAZING sunsets! Drinks were ok but Happy Hour pricing was pretty bad. Happy Hour is only discounted drinks and the discount amounted to about $.40 - $.50 US off drinks. Definitely not as good as 2 for 1. Service was ok. Great spot to meet people as everyone's there to watch the sunset.
Byblos Pizza Place right next to Byblos Resort - Scrumptious pizzas! Every time we've eaten here the pizzas are great! You can also get pizzas to go from here. One of THE best things about this place are the monkeys. Every trip this is where we've been treated to all kind of performances from the little critters. Capuchin and titi monkeys in droves! Along with bats and agoutis. Go in the afternoons around the 3-5pm hours. They put on quite a show and you can watch them while you chow down on your delicious pizza.
Byblos Bar - Good place for drinks and pool tables. If you need a sports fix they have TVs with whatever's currently playing in the US.
Mexican restaurant - I can't think of the name of the restaurant but it's down from Barba Rojas on the left (going towards Manuel Antonio). It had just recently opened when we were there in December. Great little spot with good, cheap food. I had the burrito and it was great. Hubby had something else (can’t remember) but he said it was just ok. He tried my burrito and said he wished he had gotten the burrito. They also deliver but you will need to speak Spanish. They don't have many tables though and they filled up fast when we were there. They have a breakfast bar (?) area where you can sit and look out at the street and watch the world go by. Oh and they have EXCELLENT jamaica.
Mono Azul Restaurant - Up the street from Plaza Yara by the bus stop. The food was just okay but it's close by if you're just trying to relax. Drinks were a little weak. Service was good. They had a little gift shop there that had some neat things in it at a decent price (last minute gifts).
Bambu Jam - Eh, it's a place to party if you must. Old American songs like any tourist town. Always seemed packed with tourists so it's a definite hang out spot to meet people. Ordering drinks or food can be extremely confusing when it's packed. Of course it takes forever to get anything but you're there to enjoy. Nothing spectacular.
I know this is long but I hope it helps. All in all we LOVED Plaza Yara. It was so wonderful we wish others didn't know about it. We're headed back and will be staying at Plaza Yara again and again. Thanks to Javier, Jonathan, and Nelson for a wonderful time! See you soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Plaza Yara is located only five minutes to Manuel Antonio National Park. Hotel Plaza Yara offers all suites feature custom made furniture,queen size beds,kichenettes and spacious baths. relax on the balcony and enjoy the jungle views with variety of wildlife with passes daily including monkeys,sloths,iguanas and exotic birds. Hotel Plaza Yara offers the possibility for you to enjoy your stay in comfort,casual elegance and in tune with nature. ... more less
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