Before I get into the reasons for my low rating I would like to say that my wife and I do a lot of travelling, we’ve stayed in hotels ranging from 2 to 5 stars in close to 15 countries. This is our second visit to Costa Rica and between the two trips we stayed in 9 establishments throughout the county, many of which were managed and run by Ticos. We based our expectations on the experiences we had in similar establishments.
This hotel has a handful of staff and none of them speak English. While I am not arrogant enough to expect to speak English everywhere I go in a Spanish speaking country, I would expect somebody in a hotel in one of the most visited parts of the country to be able to manage in English. If that’s not the market they are catering to, fine, but then why have an English website? It sets a certain expectation.
The website states they have a tour desk and a concierge which is a complete falsehood. Perhaps the manager doubles as those things, but seeing as he’s rarely ever at the front desk, it’s of little help.
There is a bell you can ring if you arrive at the front desk and no one’s there and the manager usually comes within a minute. This is unless it’s his lunch time in which case you can ring all you like with no effect. As we needed to get our room key, which was behind the front desk, we persuaded the cleaning lady to get him for us. It shouldn’t have to be that difficult.
They advertise a laundry service and promise to return the clothes within four hours. We dropped most of our clothes at 2pm and still hadn’t received them back by the following morning. At breakfast we enquired and were able to surmise the person who does the laundry didn’t work in the afternoon. So four hours turned into 24 while we were stuck in the same sweaty clothes. Again, this type of misunderstanding wouldn’t happen if at least one member of staff could communicate with the international tourists.
During our visit there were only three rooms occupied and they placed us in a room overlooking the pool. Breakfast is served at an outdoor kitchen next to the pool from 7am and that’s when they start blasting music onto the pool deck. As most of the rooms faced the pool, we were shocked they didn’t seem to notice this might wake up the guests. We asked the manager to turn down the music and the following morning he did, but shouldn’t it be a given you don’t play loud music when guests are still sleeping?
To summarise, I felt they don’t put the needs of the visitors at the forefront. They appear to do what they want and the guests’ needs aren’t really considered. Manuel Antonio has literally a hundred hotels to choose from. I would recommend looking into the other options.
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