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Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Dreadful”
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Recent stay here was a disaster. As a HH member we used points to stay over Easter, a disappointing waste of points. Contact from the HH manageress prior to our arrival was poor. We were 'upgraded' upon arrival to a honeymoon suite in building 2, of this had been my honeymoon I would have thrown myself off the balcony-oh wait there was no balcony, ok thrown myself out of the window-oh wait they didn't open and were too dirty to see out of! The rooms in building 3 were newer and we were promised a transfer to one of these rooms half way during our stay. The hotel was packed and it was impossible to get sinners around the pool, because despite there being a policy of 'no sunbed saving' this was not followed by the guests, mainly locals, and not enforced by any of the security/attendants. The buffet food for lunch and dinner was appalling, breakfast was passable-made to order omlettes each day for us. Drinks were weak, cocktails were just fruit juice, house wine and beer passable. Service was very poor, probably as there was a no tipping culture, waiters/bartenders were surprised to receive a tip. Bills include 13% tax and a compulsory 10% service charge in Costa Rica so the staff here perhaps saw no reason to provide great service. The two a la carte restaurants were better, but you are only permitted to eat there once for every three nights you stay. We made a fuss and were given vouchers to eat there every night-but the standard was still not great, not a patch on a decent all inclusive in Mexico. There is really nothing near this hotel, the beach is very dark sand, they don't even have sunbeds out as nobody wants to go on it, the sea is murky and all day long there is a constant stream of ships passing from the nearby port-which does not make you want to swim. I've read other reviews which say that Hilton bought up an old property and turned it into a doubletree, which makes sense. Shame on them for putting their name to this and not putting any investment into the property or the service that is expected from Hilton.
We checked out half way through our stay, we had a hire car-thank god, and drove an hour and a half to Manuel Antonio/Quepos, the best move of our holiday-fabulous place, great beaches and views like none other.

  • Stayed April 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Geordieabroadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Amherstburg, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Upon arrival received a warm and friendly welcome by the consierge and desk staff. While eating a deliciously warm cookie was given an explanation of all activities available at the hotel.
We were pleasantly suprised with our room. It was very large, clean and overlooked the ocean and pools. We normally have problems sleeping when away, but not here. The king size mattress and pillows were very comfortable.
We found all the hotel staffs to be extremely friendly and very helpful. Everyone went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. We had a little problem with ants on the balcony and they were dealt within minutes of our calling the front desk. The pools and grounds were cleaned daily as well the staff were constantly cleaning up after guests. Everything was spotless. We found the resort to be just the right size. Everything was within walking distance and plenty of shady places to lounge at. The buffet restaurant was absolutely fantastic. There were so many choices available, and yes we tried them all, and even had desert. However, if you're a coffee drinker, we found the bar served the best coffee. The restaurant coffee was drinkable but not what we are used to.
If you plan on taking day trips this hotel is within an hour or two drive from all attractions.
We would recommend this hotel to anyone.
PS: With all the walking, zip lining and horseback riding we did during our stay I used the service of the hotels massage therapist. This was the best sports massage I have ever had and believe me I've had quite a few at home.

Room Tip: Building 3, 3rd floor was found to be quieter.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Maureen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
146 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

We spent 5 days here and it exceeded our expectations. We read all the reviews and we were pleasantly surprised. We stayed in Bldg 3 (recommend as it is newer). We were warmly greeted at reception and had daily water as well as towel animals in our room. Our room overlooked the water (3336) and the balcony provided great sunset views. The pool bar was good, but stay away from the dark rum drinks (aste like gasoline). The food was ok at best, however we did not plan to spend a lot of time at the resort as we were there to explore. Puntarenas can be missed as it is not very attractive. The specialty restaurants did not live up to being "Special" at all. Stay away from the whole fish as it is very bony . Since i used points on the stay it was free so from a value standpoint it was very good.

Room Tip: 3336 (Bldg 3) overlooks the water
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank OldManBinky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, BC, Canada
Level Contributor
81 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Just spent four wonderful days, relaxing, suntanning, walking their safe beach and eating at this all inclusive resort.

Recommend this but transportation from San Jose is a bit expensive but it is a 1.5 hour taxi ride. It cost us $90 each way and bus/large van was about the same price for two people.

It would be nice they added another restaurant for the evening meal. We stayed in building three on the second floor. Room was nice but bathroom a bit tired given that it is a HIlton and their star rating.

Room Tip: There are lots of day trips available. The Zip line tour over the waterfalls is wonderful but be a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kiskatinaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philly Metro
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

I am writing this review about a year late, but wanted to share my experience in April 2011. The hotel grounds were pretty secure and very well maintained. It was very different seeing iguanas roam freely around the property. There were a lot of local guests on the weekend, which was much more crowded than the weekedays we were there. I am a hhonors member, so we requested and got a ground floor room in building 3 that opened to the semi-private pool in building three. It got very hot, so there were times that the water in the pool felt warm. There are other pools on the property so you have options. Bring your sunblock and adventurous spirit. Our excursions to Monteverde to take the canopy tour and go ziplining was awesome. We also thoroughly enjoyed our catamaran cruise to Tortuga Island (calypso cruises). Also we highly recommend you use Dimas or Estaban Salazar Guido with suenostours to arrange excursions and for any of your transporation needs. They are both highly reliable, friendly, bi-lingual and very knowledgeable about Costa Rica.

Room Tip: Request building 3. Due to the humidity, you may want to open the windows to air out your room daily...
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank PHLTraveler515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coarsegold, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

This hotel was filled with locals more than international tourists. It was pleasent, had nice amenities and I was able to get free wifi in the loby. However, the rooms were disappointing and the area was not good at all. The all inclusive part was nice however, but the best part of our trip was going to the rain forest near the valcano, we actually decided to stay the night and went to Tabacone hot springs...now that was amazing! Go there instead!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank PinkMFT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
294 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

This Double Tree resort is probably better for the party-minded crowd. It is relatively inexpensive and the all-inclusive rate lets you drink as much as you want. It has a fairly large number of rooms grouped in three 3-story buildings with a multiple pools but only a modest amount of additional space. Most of the deck chairs are around the pools although some are on a grassy area above the beach. It has two lighted tennis courts and kayaks for use in the ocean. There is a disco and a small casino. From its website one can only get all-inclusive rates (although there were some indications that other rates were available locally). The all-inclusive rate includes lot of opportunities for snacking and three regular meals a day (or more if you want, since you get a “bracelet” that lets you go into the dining room so you could visit for each meal twice). The main dining room is buffet style for all meals. There are two specialty restaurants with table service open for dinner only at which reservations are required – and you can only reserve one night for each three days you are there. (Hilton Honors diamond-level members get a second night’s reservation.) The breakfast was what one expects in a place like this and fairly good although the coffee is not particularly good (one guide book commented that although Costa Rica grows some great coffee, most of the good stuff is exported). The lunch and dinner buffets varied around average quality. Usually one could find something one liked, but I would not call it high-quality. For example, the desserts looked very attractive but were not very good (as is the case for many modestly-priced buffet restaurants). House wine or beer is included with lunch and dinner. The wine (red or white was the choice) was not particularly good (better wine was available for purchase) but the majority of the guests seemed to opt for the one or more of the endless array of cocktails available from the numerous bars. In fact, the main leisure activity of the guests during the day seemed to be the consumption of these from the many bars around the site (including two swim-up bars). There was also a bar open from 5pm until sometime after sunset to view the sunset over the ocean midway out on a pier owned by the resort. Here we asked for a red wine and he had to hunt around to find a smallish box wine which he had to open. The wine name seemed to be “Grosso” (looking at from a distance) and it did not seem an inappropriate name. The next night we asked for red wine again and we got the second half of the box – apparently nobody else drank the stuff. The wine in the dining room and the main bar was poured from carafes and I am not certain whether it was identical or not. It seemed to taste a little better – but that may have been the effect of the accompanying food.
The specialty restaurants had better house wine. Of the two, we much preferred the fish restaurant, Cana Brava, which, like the main restaurant, is under a thatched roof with open sides but much closer to the beach. The other, the Toscany, is indoors and we did not find the food particularly exciting. The great advantage of a buffet is that if you take something that turns out to be not to your liking, you can try something else. In the specialty restaurants you order from the menu (although I suppose you could head back to the buffet afterwards if you were not satisfied).
The resort has three buildings with rooms (look at the satellite view on Google or other map program to get an idea of the layout). The east-most, Building 1 is built round a courtyard containing a small pool. Just northwest of that is the main dining room with several pools and a swim-up bar between it and the beach. Generally fairly loud music was being played in that area. Building 2 is to the northwest of that and Building 3 is the U-shaped building that is furthest west. It has three interconnected pools and a swim-up bar. The middle pool was the only one in which one could swim “laps” for exercise – if you did it early or late when it wasn’t crowded. The music was a little more subdued here so if you want to sit and read, this is the better area, and certainly the better area for a room if you don’t plan to party the night away. We had a very pleasant room close to the beach in Building 3 – and only about 20 paces from the land side of the swim-up bar!
There is a long beach stretching to the northwest all the way up to the town of Puntarenus, but it is not a particularly pleasant beach to walk along since it looks “dirty” – although that is mostly because there is a lot of volcanic dust in the sand. (A river empties into the ocean a little way to the southeast which limits the distance one can walk in that direction and it does seem to carry some silt which leaves some dirt in the sand.) Puntarenus itself is not worth a visit. Various agencies offer day tours for those that want to walk in cloud forests, try zip-lines, or other activities.
It is about 75km from San Jose’s international airport and is up to a two-hour drive (Google Maps says one hour, but if you drive in Costa Rica, expect to take longer than Google or a GPS navigator estimates). Because it is the closest resort to the capital, San Jose, it appeared that the majority of guests were from there so it was very crowded on Friday and Saturday but significantly quieter on Sunday night. I would recommend avoiding the weekends if possible.
It has many of the attributes of an inexpensive hotel/resort. For example, one gets a card that one can exchange for a beach towel. When you check out, you have to return the card, indicating that you have returned the towel. (However, the quality of the towels would be unlikely to tempt theft. It reminds me of the old line that “The hotel was wonderful – the towels were so fluffy I could hardly close my case.”) If you want a fancier place in a nicer area, look at resorts in the Papagayo area about 155km northwest. We stayed at the Hilton there but it is about twice as expensive as the Double Tree and there are numerous others, even some that are around five times as expensive. You get what you pay for (maybe) and the Double Tree is a good choice if you like to sit around the pool and party.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gogocar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica

Property: Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica
Address: El Roble 171-400 Puntarenas, El Roble, Punta Arenas 5400, Costa Rica (Formerly Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Costa Rica - Puntarenas)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Punta Arenas > El Roble
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in El Roble
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Doubletree Resort by Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 315
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The closest all-inclusive resort to San Jose! Doubletree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica - Central Pacific is a modern, full-amenity, all-inclusive resort hotel. This beachfront Costa Rica Hilton hotel is perfectly situated on the Central Pacific region outside the port city of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Located only 50 minutes West of Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose, and two hours south of Liberia International Airport (LIR). Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. Snacks and drinks available all day long. Two a-la-carte restaurants open for dinner. All-day activities for adults, teenagers or children, nightly entertainment and lounge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Hotel El Roble
Doubletree El Roble
Doubletree Hotel By
Hilton El Roble
El Roble Hilton
Doubletree Resort By Hilton, Central Pacific - Costa Rica Province Of Puntarenas

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