Holiday review by Mrs. Susan Richardson
Name: Mrs. Susan Richardson
Date of trip: 02/03/2017
Number of people: 2
The wildlife was wonderful - we ticked off just about everything on our "must see" list! Nayara Springs was a special treat - the best massage I've every had! - and we were lucky enought to be upgraded to a fabulous Ocean Vista Suite at the Parador in Manuel Antonio. So, the holiday provided a nice mix of on-the-go activities and relaxation time. Thank you for all your hard work, Paul!
There was an abundance of wildlife, but not to the extent that we had envisaged before our arrival - a view that was shared by a number of other travellers that we met en route. Clearly the Costa Rican Tourist Board are doing a good marketing job!
Yes, Tribes delivered once again! However, there was some confusion on the part of the local operator - the representative who met us at the airport was under the impression that we were travelling to Tortugero the next day by bus, rather than by plane. Therefore, he was not aware that we had to leave one suitcase behind in Costa Rica (for later delivery to Arenal) so did not supply us with the plastic suitcase wrapping we should have used. It was sorted out by us making a call to the local office, though. We would have preferred a later flight to Tortugero as the early morning pick-up was a struggle after a long flight the day before. The only other suggestion is that it would have been preferable to stay at Xandari on our return to San Jose at the end of the holiday, rather than have to suffer the serious traffic problems in the city. Having said that, we had no complaints at all about the Hotel Grano Del Oro, which was excellent - our suggestion is purely due to the traffic situation.
Finally, the tour of San Jose area on our last full day felt a bit like a hard sell, with stops at several places where there was clear pressure to buy souvenirs and other local delicacies.
Some excellent guides (Ronald at Selve Verde, Angelo in Tortugero and Elias - from the Parador Hotel - in Manual Antonio, in particular). Others were focussed on the flora rather than the fauna, which isn't our particular interest but will have pleased some of the other travellers, of course. The group numbers were just about right.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Some of the tour guides exhibited a clear understanding of this type of issue.
The places you stayed
Due to late pm arrival and very early am departure the following day, all we saw was our room! The staff were helpful in sorting out the issue related to our subsequent luggage collection by Swiss Travel for forward delivery to Arenal, though.
The standard of accommodation was a bit of a let-down - very basic (I had to request an extra fan in the room), possibly because we had come from something superior at Tortugero. However, the wildife was particularly good, especially the birds.
What can I say - outstanding! This place was a special treat - it was hard to tear ourselves away, even to go ziplining which was great fun! The service here was exceptional - the staff are always looking to go the extra mile to help. Fabulous!
We didn't feel that this place had much to offer us - the accommodation was quite basic, as was the food (albeit the portions were plentiful), the staff were ok but not as welcoming as at the other places we stayed.
The free upgrade to an Ocean Vista Suite made this another very special place to stay. The restaurant was excellent, as was the hotel's guide. Elias, who took us to Manuel Antonio. Another night there would have been fab!
Excellent accommodation and service (great food), despite the above-mentioned problems with the city centre location.