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at the Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
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Will not issue refund
Aug 25th, 2020
Despite the hotel being closed and numerous promises of issuing refund for paid stay that was not able to happen, 6 months have passed and this hotel has not issued a refund. Do not give them your money. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Punta Islita COVID shutdown experience
Jun 18th, 2020
My family had the unique experience of being at this hotel in mid march as the country shut down to outside tourist due to COVID. Rather than rush home, we decided to stay in Costa Rica and we ended up being one of the last to leave the hotel. The first thing I want to call out is the exceptional job the hotel staff did to care for us. They went above and beyond helping us with the logistical challenges of prepping to stay in a country for an unknown period of time as flights were all canceled. As we don't speak Spanish, their help was essential with local phone calls and services. What makes this even more impressive is that the staff always put us first and never gave a hint that they were bothered by the challenges they were potentially facing with toursim shutting down and their personal financial situation in the air. Even when proded, they made us feel comfortable and safe by asserting a positive outlook even as the hotel was preparing to temporarily stop having guest. Even while we were gripped with worry, they never stopped smiling. We ended up staying in Islita for another 2 months (at a nearby house), finally leaving in ealry June, so I thought I would provide everyone with an update of the area. The hotel continued to be staffed to some extent - ensuring the property was maintained and safe. We walked by the hotel grounds every day and the grounds stayed well maintained - with the most activity being the local children who would pick the mangos, star fruit, and water apples from the trees on the property. We would run into the staff every so often, such as the restraunt staff who were just as friendly in May as they were while working at the hotel when we stayed there in March. At the time of leaving, the entire area had still not had a single COVID case due to its isolation and the impressive Costa Rica public health response. I hope that maintains the case going forward. Of course situations can change, but as of June when we left, I feel confident recommending that the hotel will continue to be an amazing place to stay once the country reopens. If you have questions about the area or what it was like to travel to the national parks after they opened again, I will check back here to see if I can be of any help. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
The Ne Plus Ultra
Jun 6th, 2020
Do you know how I've been distracting myself these days? Do you? I've been scrapbooking. I have! Moi—me! Can you imagine? Maurice is mortified, and fears I've plunged into plebeianism, but he's always been such a fussbudget, as you well know. As Serge always said (before that unfortunate Rwandan rhino run-in rendered him mute), "Desperate times call for desperate measures." What have I been scrapbooking, you ask? My favorite trips. Why just last week (or was it last month?) I was sorting through photos of my stay at Hotel Punta Islita when Yvette burst into the billiard room and informed us that dear Checquers had escaped out the pantry door when Chef opened it to accept the day's delivery from Binny's. I was horrified! Strepsirrhini have no business roaming Astor, and I feared for my furry friend's life. Thankfully, the street is nearly vacant of vehicles these days, but since the lockdown, there's been a spate of coyote sightings throughout Chicago. They're running amok! They are! I needed to act post haste or they'd be having ring-tailed-lemur tartare for brunch. I called Bippy, who was already a good half-dozen sheets to the wind. Useless, that one. And Bruno was nowhere to be found, which was suspect, considering that our Democrat governor has quarantined us all, like caged animals. Just then, Wolf (of the Parkinson-White family) showed at my door for an emergency Zero-Balancing session (the COVID had exacerbated my misophonia to the point that even the once-gentle, pleasing "pop" of champagne bubbles now sends me into apoplectic fits), towing that dreadful aquamarine massage table of hers. In broad daylight, I might add. Wolf, upon hearing the news, organized a search party. And before you can say "daughters of the American Revolution," a scared (but safe) Checquers was back at home, leaping from one José Thenee chandelier to the other. That Wolf: I do not — and I don't — condone her style choices (Crocodiles footwear, in tangerine, of all colors!), but I concede that she's indubitably competent. And, order in the household restored, I was free to indulge in my scrapbooking of my stay at Hotel Punta Islita. Dear, dear memories. Tout le monde knows that I, your humble Artemis Buffington, inherited Double-Secret, Triple-Palladium Bonvoy status from my wanton Mother who slept her way through European royalty and scions of industry for the better half of the 20th century, racking up all sorts of hotel loyalty program statuses and points along the way. So of course I booked my stay using Bonvoy points. (Five nights for the "price" of four. You can never be too rich or too frugal, I always say). Shall I gift you with my assessment of the property? I shall! PROS - This hotel is surrounded by nature. Gorgeous surroundings. In five days, I saw multiple macaws, four scarlet macaws, monkeys, iguana, and a wild deer that came up to me and let me pet it - $55 shuttle ride is reasonable (and it's an interesting drive) - 35,000 points per night, and fifth night free, is a great deal - When I didn't like my first room, they moved me - Friendly, helpful staff. Margarita (Anna), who we saw mainly at breakfast, was awesome. She could be the general manager one day - Randy, the bartender at Harry's Bar, makes the best bloody marys I've ever tasted in my life (he uses fresh tomato juice from Costa Rica-grown tomatos and Linzano tabasco sauce) - Breakfast is not elaborate but it's very good - Top-notch coffee - So many great public places at which to hang out: the outdoor "lobby", Harry's Bar, the pool at the hotel, the pool at the beach, the pool bar at the beach, etc. - Very conducive to meeting other guests. Social atmosphere - Inclusive activities are varied and easy to schedule. A good way to fritter away an hour or two. The sunset tour is extra, but definitely worth it - Wonderful room (12). High ceilings, lots of space, screens on windows, high ceilings, ceiling fans, AC, fridge, natural light, quiet, decent bedding, etc. Loved the deck: comfortable chairs, amazing views, big hammock - The stars at night are very bright - Fun restaurant options. We heard from many people that the pizzas at the beach are excellent -- we were too full after breakfast to try them. There are three restaurants in town, five minutes away. We went to two of them, twice. Both were very charming, with fresh, flavorful food and engaging owners - Nice walking on the beach. We didn't swim, but other guests spoke highly of it (and the water is warm) - Good music in bar/restaurant CONS - Having spent, literally, three years of my life in Marriotts, I was disappointed that they assigned me to 27 (dark, close to road, no fresh air) initially. (But they moved me at my request.) - Count on at least 20 minutes to navigate the bumpy road up to the property - The best aspect of this hotel is its proximity to nature. But that means ... proximity to nature. You will probably see a big spider or two. You might spy a scorpion TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Relax in a remote area
Mar 19th, 2020
We spent Four days in this luxury Hotel. The wonderful surroundings, the friendly staff and the included Hotel activities Made our Stay very relaxing. You can See many animals around the Hotel. The Beach is beautiful but has strong Rip tides - like on many beaches in Costa Rica. Take into Account that driving Needs a lot of Time in the area of Nicoya. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
If you’re looking to get away from it all, in comfort.
Mar 15th, 2020
I loved this place. I’d go back. And I rarely do that. The setting on top of a hill overlooking the beach is amazing. The main building holds the restaurant and an adults only infinity pool with an awesome view. The units are all along the hillside in separate little cabin-like buildings, each with a little gated entrance. Most have a great view of the ocean and even though it’s a ways downhill, you can hear the waves. The website has accurate photos. I was upgraded to a junior suite as a gold member. The room was large with a sitting area, bedroom, and deck with a plunge pool/hot tub and hammock. Very nice. And I loved how the wood was incorporated into the design like the big piece of driftwood built into the bathroom wall. Some reviews said updates were needed, but I feel the decor was just fine and added to the getaway ambience. WiFi was great, all around, and even at the beach. Note some units are a bit far from the main building and up a steep hill; if walking is an issue, tell them I’d say. I think some farther away get golf carts maybe to get around. Also, while it’s not on the minibar list, the 1.75 liter bottle of water is not complimentary. I assumed it was for drinking, making coffee, etc. so you may want to bring one and refill it at one of the purified water coolers around the grounds. I paid $6 each for two before seeing the bill. I drank the tap water at meals and was fine. The hotel includes a host of activities for all. From zip lining to magnet art. Horseback riding, walks to see monkeys and birds, arts and crafts. You can find something for everyone. I saw scarlet macaws and monkeys right on property. And leaf cutter ants trimming the hedge alongside my room’s deck. There’s a van to take you down to the beach club area or you can walk the stairs for exercise. The food there and at the main restaurant was very good and lots of variety. Prices were reasonable too. I’d stick with the seafood - personal preference and meat is usually better in the states anyway. Breakfast had a variety of tropical fruit along with the typical items, and some Costa Rica items too. Some interesting juices as well, like pineapple with basil, and cucumber with ginger. I’m writing this looking up at an endless sea of stars from my hammock, wishing I didn’t have to leave. I enjoyed it greatly. P.S. the last 10 kms. of the road here Is gravel and quite rutted, even in the dry season. If driving, I’d suggest a 4WD for clearance. I could tell all wheels were engaging on some of the steeper hills. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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