Holiday review by Mrs. Deirdre Devine
Name: Mrs. Deirdre Devine
Date of trip: 17/08/2017
Number of people: 2
The hotels at the Caribbean and Pacific coasts were surprisingly close to the beaches and this was glorious, especially in the brutal heat. The Caribbean coast was probably where we saw most wildlife and we were not expecting such a vibrant rainforest so close to the beach and hotels. The tour to Cahuita National Park was a highlight - so much was pointed out to us by our expert guide. This helped us to spot things when walking in the forest unguided. We got a shock to see venomous snakes sitting innocently on branches in plain sight, especially when our guide said it would only take 3 hours to die from a bite! In a short hike, we saw lizards including iguanas, monkeys, sloth, 2 types of snake and parrots. On the coral reef, we saw rays and even a small shark. The views at Arenal were stunning and the bridge tour enabled us to see a different side to the rainforest. We loved the weather and how you could get extremes in a day - scorching sunshine followed by lashings of rain and lightening storms. We think our cabin was struck by lightning at Canon de la Vieja - that was exciting! The boys enjoyed ziplining at Canon de la Vieja and the horseriding was also fun. At the Pacific coast, the hotel was perfect and we enjoyed the fantastic sunsets with a range of happy hour cocktails, brilliant bars nearby and bobbing around in the warmest and most wonderful ocean waters. We organised a fishing trip in the bay and were delighted to see whales, a turtle and spend time in the company of a pod of dolphins.
We clearly benefitted from your experience and organisation. Every hotel had our booking; every tourbus arrived promptly and came to find us. We were grateful to have the last few days in a beautiful and restful place and were well looked after at all times. We wanted to see exotic flora and fauna in their natural environment and this exceeded our expectations, often due to the expertise of the guides employed by you.
The activities you selected for us were just right and appropriate given the heat!
Only the elusive waterfall visit fell short of expectations but this was nothing in comparison to the store of wonderful memories we have collected.
Rory answered all our questions in advance and suggested an itinerary to meet our needs and interests and within our budget.
I loved the Vamoos app although didn't have time to use it on the holiday. It was great to have a countdown to the holiday and easy access to the weather in our destinations and our itinerary.
All the paperwork was provided in a timely manner.
Guide in Cahuita National Park was particularly good.
Gustavo at Canon de la Vieja deserves a special mention for his guidance and humour on the ziplines.
All drivers were polite and professional. We had great confidence in their driving at all times.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
All the hotels promoted green issues from reusing towels if possible to recycling and water conservation. We were happy to make donations to the national parks to help them in their work.
The places you stayed
The personnel were polite and the room was clean and functional.
Only water was provided in our room.
The rooftop bar was friendly and the food nice. Breakfast was brilliant.
Although the hotel itself was good, the location was awful. We felt uncomfortable walking around the streets and there was nowhere to eat (that we could find) which meant to had to eat at the hotel.
The initial transfer to the hotel from the airport took over 2 hours in awful traffic because we were dropping off at different hotels and seemed to spend an interminable time at the same roundabout. The same journey took only half an hour in reverse. As there was nothing in central San Jose for us, we would have been happy staying in a hotel closer to the airport.
Fantastic gardens - lots to see. Excellent location close to the beach and rainforest. Wonderful walks in both directions.
Polite personnel. extremely clean, coffee provided and a welcome drink with cold towels!
Breakfast was varied and delicious and the restaurant was very attractive with lots of carved wood.
The room was quite small and it was not possible for all 3 of us to sit outside our room. Shared seating areas didn't look too inviting eg broken hammocks. This was a bit out of kilter with the high standards in the rest of the hotel.
We would have liked to have known earlier about the Jaguar Rescue Centre as this was only an hour's walk from the hotel but tours were fully booked when we arrived. They could publicise this better in reception.
A beautiful cabin with wonderful views and the ability to sit out both the front and the back. Cabin was clean and spacious and lived up to the description. The pool was lovely.
The room was not ready when we arrived and we had to wait for 20 minutes in reception even though it was long after check-in time! No welcome drink either!
A very smart hotel in a first-rate location.
Personnel were lovely, there was a welcome drink, cold towels and coffee in the room. There was space to sit outside the room and the shared areas were comfortable and inviting.
Breakfasts were good.
The location was a highlight....almost on the beach and a fantastic sunset or view of the storm from the open bar as appropriate! Pelicans flying past the diving platform and the lizard who lived in the tree were exotic additions. We liked the labels on the trees also!
Good to have a supermarket, bars and tours nearby.