Holiday review by Mrs. Elizabeth Bellamy
Name: Mrs. Elizabeth Bellamy
Date of trip: 25/07/2018
Number of people: 2
The variety, in terms of experiences and environment, of this trip was incredible! The abundance of wildlife everywhere we went was way beyond expectations - the excitement of hearing the Howler Monkeys "roar" or the surprise at spotting the furry bundle of a Sloth slowly moving through the tree above you was beyond words. Our guides were all friendly, welcoming and so knowledgeable too. What an amazing experience and one we'll be talking about for years to come!
A wonderful holiday, full of variety which exceeded our expectations!
Rory was fabulous! I shall miss our regular communications! He was excellent at returning all my emails and patiently reassured me with regards to any concerns I raised. His knowledge of the country and the individual hotels was evident and we were very happy to trust his judgement. Thank you so much Rory!
All our guides were all very friendly and knowledgeable.
Driving in Costa Rica is a whole new experience and the normally jolly friendly Ticos become impatient and easily irritated by other road users! The nature of the Costa Rican roads and the number of lorries don't help! However, we never felt we were put at risk by their driving and soon became accustomed to it! Without exception all our pick-ups were on time and their vehicles absolutely spotless inside and out! Very impressive!
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
The hotels we stayed at were all very nice, mid-range establishments frequented by fairly affluent international travellers. Particularly on the Caribbean coast, poverty was very evident and we felt a little cocooned behind guards and security gates, so I'm not sure that we helped particularly in terms of local people other than their employment at the hotels. Lots of hotels boasted environmental awareness, but ultimately I didn't really see any evidence of anything other than the usual towel washing or straw using signs. That said, at least there is this awareness and that can only be a good thing.
The places you stayed
Very contemporary city hotel and great first night stay.
Easy to be critical of this hotel on first impressions. It's very tired in places, with the roof of the restaurant and reception "patched" with corrugated plastic. However, the array of wildlife and the incredible beach across the road more than made up for this. The reception staff helped us arrange a taxi for a day of sightseeing and when our youngest son got stung by a jelly-fish their concern and knowledge was really reassuring.
Wooden cabins; incredible view of Arenal and immaculately tended, luscious gardens - just wow! Even a False Fur-de-Lance wrapped around the boys' balcony handrail on return from dinner one night - cue much excitement/terror!
Perfect place for R&R. We loved it! Very friendly team of staff - probably the best during our Costa Rican adventure. We didn't leave the hotel apart from walks and swimming along the deserted beach!
To visit and stay on a coffee plantation was fabulous. The beautiful hand painted murals were just lovely. I wish we'd had longer, but in fact for a family with teenagers one night was probably plenty and hence only rating it "Good". Lots of environmental awareness here - evident from the rooms to the restaurant and the plantation itself. They are rightfully very proud of their achievements.