What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Know what to expect (and you will have the most magical stay of your life!)
At first, I hated this place. Here is what I think you need to know: 1) Don't expect Ritz or JW Marriott luxury. I was expecting a JW Marriott type of hotel experience with the option of having a Villa. I did not realize that the Autograph Collection is a group of independently owned properties. So, don't expect a Ritz or JW type property. For us, our Villa was in a little bit of disrepair. We got in at 2AM. In the morning, I told my wife that we had to leave. I went to the front desk and asked to move to the "hotel" instead of our villa. We were in Villa AZ-701. It might have just been our Villa. (Maybe just tell them you don't want AZ) I think some of them may be independently owned and rented out. Ours had no hot water in the kitchen, the dryer didn't work, etc. That being said, the rooms were clean, the beds were comfortable, etc. It worked for us. 2) The property is huge! The villas can be very far from the restaurant. For breakfast, we had a 20 minute walk up a steep hill. We like walking and are all into fitness so we thought it would be great. However, it is really not doable to walk everywhere all of the time especially in the heat. There is a shuttle service that is pretty good. However, it is a giant pain to call every time you want to go to breakfast. That being said, someone built something really magical here! They could have built a giant hotel on the beach but instead chose to scatter villas throughout the hills. Thereby, they preserved the nature of the place. My first morning I woke up and saw 3 red Macaws fly over my head. I also saw some macaws land in the trees. We saw monkeys passing through the trees in our backyard, a coati came up for a quick drink of the plunge pool, etc. 3) The villa is not a house. Ours had an outdoor hall that connected 3 separate bedrooms. So, my daughters were in one room, my sons were in another room and my wife and I had our own room. For romantic purposes, it was nice to have a separate room with my wife. However, it also meant that I was worried about the kids being alone. My Dad brain went to "What if the boys stay up all night playing video games?", What if someone tries to kidnap my girls?", etc. I thought we would all be in the same house. Still that being said, the place is very safe. I can't imagine anyone ever having trouble. I just wish I knew that when I booked it. 4) If you are seeing monkeys, macaws, coatis, butterflies, hearing howler monkeys in the distance, etc., there is a tradeoff. You will also likely see lizards, iguanas, spiders, scorpions, etc. Thankfully, we never saw a snake. However, we did have a scorpion in our room. He was easily caught in a glass and escorted outside. 5) The service is slow in the restaurants. For us, it was comparable to being in a big city in northern America versus a small town in the South. In South Carolina there is a slower pace than New York city. Islita is a very small town. So, there is a slower pace. The trade off is that you will meet the most lovely people on the planet. 6) This hotel is located down several miles of dirt road. It is in the middle of nowhere. I saw 75 miles from the airport and thought it would take 75 minutes to get there but it is about 2 1/2 hours from the airport. 2 hours with no traffic. 7) There were some negatives but I'm still giving the place 5 Stars! For my family, we had the most magical experiences of our lives in this tiny town. We went fishing with Francisco tours, we learned to surf with Islita surf school, we went on a monkey quest with Ronald Vialles, we went zip lining, we swam in the ocean daily, my wife and girls got massages and facials, we went into town and ate off property, etc. We also met Otto, Marvin, Alberto, Margarita, Jose, Jacob, Miguel, Mario, Briner, etc., etc. As I talked to other guests of the hotel, they all said the same thing..... "At first, I was a little disappointed with my room or the wait for coffee in the morning or how long it took to get here...... but now I can't stand the thought of leaving. I love it here and I love the people". I highly recommend this very unique place to stay.
Constantly having to check tickets for unwarranted charges. For instance order a cube libra (rum and coke) and get charged extra $2 usd for coke. Just for a splash of cola??? Also staffing is poor. Service was slow due to lack of staff. Prechecked in and still had to wait 2.5 hours to get room.....most activities cancelled or curtailed . Items that two years ago that were complimentary are now charged. As Marriott preferred member bar has been lowered
Best Customer Service
This hotel went above and beyond when it came to customer service. The friendly staff and overall ambiance made my trip unforgettable. The views from the room and pool are stunning. I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone looking for a relaxing getaway in paradise. Also, I had one of the best massages of my life at the spa. Shoutout to a few people that made our trip memorable - Eduardo, Margarita, Michael, Kervin.
One of our most relaxing trips
We just returned from Punta Islita Hotel on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. This was one of the most relaxing trips we have ever taken. This fantastic property is really spread out and we used a golf cart to get around. Our room was a 3 bedroom Villa with 3 king beds. Great views of the ocean and lots of wild life. The Scarlet Macaws would eat from the trees in our backyard as well as multiple flights above. Whitetail deer, monkeys and iguanas were all around. The drive from Liberia airport is about 2.5 hrs. Be prepared for the last 30 minutes is really rough and winding road but worth the ride. The hotel arranged transportation from the airport. It was $180 each way for 2 couples. The food was great. We spent one day at the Spa. Very nice. We did the zipline. One of our friends celebrated her 71st birthday by doing the zipline. We had a private dinner on the beach by torch lights. Fantastic. Marvin was a fantastic concierge. Randy was the best server we've ever seen. Margarita was fabulous. We did wear masks going into the restaurants but not at the beach. We also left the property for Don Ramiro's. This was one of the coolest dinners ever. Much less expensive than the hotel but fabulous food. Very small. Only seating for 12-16 people. Overall this was a fantastic trip during COVID. The people at this property made it very special. We'll be going back soon. Dr. Joe
Very remote and relaxing
If you are looking for a remote place to get away to, this is the place. Driving in is and experience as the road is horrible. However, once you get here, it's a super relaxing place. You CAN, however, come in via helicopter with Aerotour. We had a lovely 3 bedroom villa with a nice pool and covered patio area that overlooked the bay. It is a bit away from the hotel, but we wanted remote. They gave us a golf cart to use, but it only sat 4 people comfortably. I didn't quite understand why the 3 bedroom villa that sleeps 6 people only had a 4 person golf cart...but with only 5 of us...we were able to squeeze together. We finally resorted to using our own vehicle because it was more efficient. We had great fun making magnets at the community art center. GREAT community! And the Macaw Refuge and Breeding Center is amazing. There is a little beach restaurant that is only open for lunch with great food. The beach is the typical black sand beach that is prevalent in Costa Rica. We didn't spend any time there, as it was a bit hot with no breeze. We hung out in our villa pool watching 10 macaws fly over and eventually land it the tree next to the property. In the morning, we had a pizote (coatimundi) check out the pool area. We watching him from the living room. So much fun! Dinner was fabulous. Chef Randy is a gem. We had a European dining experience with excellent presentation of the food, an explanation of what we were eating, a nice wine paring (although it was only one bottle of wine), and a selection of desserts. The service was great. The staff is very friendly. They knew our names and remembered how we liked our coffee in the morning. BTW for some of the other people who have written bad reviews because of the bugs and geckos in their rooms....YOU ARE IN A RAINFOREST. There are bugs. We didn't have any in our room, and even if we did, it comes with the territory. Get over it.
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