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“Great apartments - needs more attention to details...”

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The Preserve at Los Altos
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
98 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great apartments - needs more attention to details...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2012

We just returned from a great vacation in Manuel Antonio, and spent 6 nights at Los Altos. I always read TA reviews extensively before making travel plans, so this review will be very detailed for the benefit of others.

The resort is very well located, with several very good restaurants within walking distance. The area has a sort of "village" atmosphere, which we enjoyed very much. There's a small supermarket - Joseth's - within a few minutes walk, which is very well stocked. The condos are spectacular - 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, and very spacious. As a family of four with two teens, we really enjoyed the space. Even "his and hers" closets in the master suite, which was a real treat after our previous hotel, where we lived out of suitcases for a couple of nights.

I was, however, a little disappointed with service and attention to details. We had high expectations, based on TA reviews. After a difficult five-hour non-stop drive from the Arenal area, we were looking forward to our welcome drink that others have enjoyed. There was no welcome drink. We checked in, and were taken to our room. The staff member immediately walked over to our sink, and expressed relief that the water was working. He then attempted to show us our stove, and could not get it to work. Then he tried to open the balcony door, and had difficulty - said he would have maintenance look at it. I went to turn on a lamp, and the bulb was out. I should add that none of these were major issues, and were quickly rectified (the breaker needed to be reset for the stove; the water was reliable during our stay). Staff were friendly and tried to help in any way they could, but still, this was not a great "first impression". There was no TV in the master suite (I was told that they only put these in when the unit has been sold). There were only 2 barstools, not 3 as advertised. There was no iron/ironing board or blender, as advertised (these were supplied upon request). There was no make-up/shaving mirror (not a huge deal, but it is incorrectly advertised on the website. When I phoned to question this, I was asked which website I saw it on -- I explained that it was the hotel's own website. They then tried to say that the regular bathroom mirror was what they were referencing... I don't think so. The staff member then said he would go into town the next day to purchase a "purse" sized make-up mirror. I already had one of those. Again, not a big deal, but my eyesight isn't great, and a good make-up mirror is something that I appreciate having.)

The maid service was unreliable - on our first day, we returned to our room around 2:45 p.m., and our room had not been made-up. The second day, our empty Kleenex box had been overlooked by the maid. We requested a replacement, but it did not arrive. Body lotion/shampoo was not replaced unless specifically requested. There are no bathrobes provided, which I would have expected in a 5-star resort. They ask that you place a card on the bed when you wish to have bedsheets changed. I did this after the third night, and it was completely ignored. I placed the card once more on the following night, and again, it was ignored. At this point, we had only one night remaining, so it seemed to be a bit of a waste to be changing the sheets, but I asked to speak with the manager to express my concern about my request being overlooked two nights in a row. There was no manager available at the time, but our sheets were promptly changed.

The beds are comfortable, but the pillows are low-quality foam. The showers are spacious and good water pressure.

We had dinner at the on-site restaurant, Karola's, on our first night. It was relatively expensive and the food was terrible. We did not return, except for breakfast (keep reading...)

I think that for the size of the accommodation, the resort provides good value for a couple. They charge $75 per person, per night, extra for teens. They do include breakfast, so I was expecting it would be very good, given the significant surcharge. It was a very basic 6-item buffet (no menu choices as described in the in-room menu). The same buffet was served every day (verified by conversations with other guests). We skipped after day two, and, like may other guests, went to Cafe Milagro across the street for the remainder of our stay (excellent breakfast and cappuccinos). If you appreciate decent food, budget a few extra dollars for breakfast.

The wifi is not great - it worked quite well on our balcony, was "iffy" in the living area, and did not work at all in the bedrooms. It was very weak in the pool area.

I used the gym - very basic equipment. One eliptical, a few bikes, but no treadmill, which I would have appreciated (it's very hot to walk/run outside).

We went to the beach twice, and it was nicer than I expected, and very private -- few people make use of it. Our kids enjoyed the water, and picking hermit crabs off the rocks. We walked down the first time, and I am quite fit and enjoy walking but would not recommend it -- lots of loose rocks and very steep inclines. I definitely would not walk back. They do provide a free 4x4 service to shuttle back and forth.

Overall, we did enjoy our stay, and would recommend it, but they certainly have room for improvement with the services they provide.

Room Tip: The higher the floor, the better the view.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Cheekywoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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496 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
110 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

We stayed here for five days with our family of four and were very impressed with the accommodation. You step off the elevator into your suite - in our case the first thing we saw was a giant window facing the jungle (in some suites this window was frosted as it faced inwards). The hotel is very new and the suites are very modern and large, but also very comfortable. We loved having space to retreat to in the heat of the day, and the balcony to sit on early in the morning and late at night and listen to the wildlife. Wifi access was free and the connection was very good. I'd say the only in-suite negative was the beds - a little soft for my taste and the sheets came off too easily.

In terms of the grounds, the hotel overlooks the infinity pool, which in turn overlooks the ocean. The pool area provides both sun and shade, the water is an amazing temperature - warm but still refreshing. Add a pool bar and nice seating and you have a decadent venue for relaxing.

The beach was a short 10 minute walk down a hill, and the hotel provides a shuttle up and down. You just let them know when you want to go and they'll take you or pick you up.

Breakfast buffet was included and was diverse enough to please my family. Restaurant was outdoors and you could see wildlife in the trees just outside. The hotel is also very well located with many good restaurants within walking distance.

My only complaint was that one day the hotel had a wedding, so they took half the pool chairs away around mid-day to set up and then closed the pool at 4. As previously mentioned, the rooms had a good view of the pool area, so it was somewhat disappointing when the wedding didn't even use the area until after 6. I think it would have been nice if the hotel could have comped us a drink or something rather than just making it clear we weren't welcome.

That said, on the whole we felt very welcomed at Los Altos. It was really a nice place to stay and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants more room than a standard hotel room provides.

Room Tip: Up high is better, and suite A and D face outwards rather than inwards.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2012

I am still sitting by the pool at Los Altos in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica on day 6 of a 7 day stay at the hotel. I am very pleased with the hotel and the amenities. The photos of the rooms are accurate. Each unit is identically decorated and the elevators open directly into the foyer of the unit. Towards the Pacific side of the unit is the kitchen/living/dining room and a large balcony overlooking the ocean and pool below. toward the back of the unit are three bedrooms. One master w/ king bed and two smaller bedrooms. One with two twins and the other with a queen. There are 2 1/2 baths per unit. No tubs, just glass enclosed, spacious showers. The penthouse units are larger and appear to have a fourth bedroom and additional balconies and rooftop spa.

I stayed in unit 14a with my wife and two kids and my parents stayed in 14b along with my sister and her daughter. They were able to provide us keys to the doors by the back fire escape staircase and thus we were able to walk freely between the two apartments when we wanted to. Otherwise, it would have been necessary to take the elevator down to the ground floor and then back up to the 4th floor using their elevator key to allow the elevator to open on their side.

The hotel is nicely situated about half-way between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. There are several restaurants within walking distance and the front desk called us taxis for the restaurants located outside of walking distance.

The beach at the hotel is private and beautiful. We asked for a ride down in their pick up truck and it was a fun ride down about a kilometer of steep dirt road with nice vistas along the way. The beach itself is small at high tide, but is substantial at low tide. It is set inside of a small inlet so there isn't any significant current and the waves were relatively small for Costa Rica. Ask them for chairs when they drop you off. There is shade at the edges of the beach under some palms and sea grape trees. There are rocks and tide pools to explore once you are at the beach and my kids didn't want to leave after 2 hours when they came to pick us up. We found a ton of hermit crabs, lots of scurrying crabs, small yellow eels feeding on tiny shrimp in the tide pools, and a few small fish in there as well. It took a while to find the eels, but it once we did we kept finding more of them. They look like tiny moray eels. Body surfing was fun as well. We also had the entire stretch of beach all to ourselves and it was fantastic. The surrounding jungle is lush and beautiful.

I would definitely stay here again. The only complaint I have is a recommendation for Mar Luna restaurant. If found it very overpriced, average at best in quality, and I have some suspicion that there may have been a special "gringo" menu with jacked up prices. The typical dish in Manuel Antonio restaurants is under 10,000 colones, or $20 (U.S.). The rate for their snapper was 20,000 colones and had one meal for two people to split for 80,000. Perhaps there is no kickback to the employee who recommended the place and it is just that expensive. I hope so. But that is my only complaint. Otherwise we loved everything about the hotel.

Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank ElectricMachete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nyc
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

My husband and I had our wedding reception at Los Altos over President's Day weekend and had our 26 guests stay at Los Altos. We looooved our stay here. Our guests were so happy with their condos. First off, the staff is exceptional - very accommodating and eager to help you. We especially found Caesar (front desk) and George (restaurant staff) to be very helpful. You really feel at home here because the staff learns you by name and are quick to respond to your requests. There were so many little (albeit annoying) requests that we and our guests made (e.g. can we get a first aid kit, can we get extra chairs in our room for the wedding day, can you bring extra towels up, etc) and not once did a staff member seem bothered. Jonathan, Lenin, and the owners/managers (Oren and Alejandro) give bright smiles every time you pass the front desk and are so easy-going and happy. Efrain, the reservation manager, was very accommodating and easy to work with.

Condos: You definitely feel like you’re in a luxury condo. Very spacious, high ceilings, and new modern furniture. It’s so big that it was easy to place things all around and lose track of them (but this is not really a con). The key system could be clearer. You’re given a white key and when you misplace it, it’s very hard to know whether it’s your key or someone else’s key – but this only happens when you have more than one condo rented out (we had about 5 condos and the penthouse, which was EVEN bigger than the condos and has a HOT Jacuzzi on the roof). The bed in the master bedroom was really comfortable. The layout of the master bedroom is really nice with two sinks, a WC, and a big walk in shower. The showerheads could be a little stronger. The kitchen has all the amenities you need. We bought a ton of beer and alcohol the first night we got there and just hung out in the living room/balcony. So relaxing and so much space to do this.

Pool: The pool is really relaxing and you can gaze off into the sunset while sipping a marguarita. Some bartenders were better than others. George made good drinks. Happy hour special was nice, but not all liquor is included in the HH. The Jacuzzis could be hotter. Fun to see the white faced monkeys come up to your chair (we even saw a mommy with its tiny baby).

Karolas: The breakfast crew is quiet (but this is just how I like breakfast) and a little slow, so if you’re hungry or have to make a tour on time, let them know and they’ll bring out the fruit and eggs at the same time. If not, it’s a two course breakfast and everything is really fresh and delicious. I’m now obsessed with Costa Rican rice and beans, Costa Rican salsa (brown sauce) and hot sauce, and plantains. Breakfast was so satisfying, every morning I wanted to wake up early to eat. Lunch options are reasonably priced and were cooked well (we had casados, mahi mahi sandwiches, quesadillas, and steak wrap). Dinner options and bottles of wine were a little pricey and we found instances where dishes were over-salted (like the tuna carpaccio) but overall it was a nice experience.

Wedding Reception: We really have to thank Karolas’ chef, Gustavo, and his crew for taking every bit of feedback we and our wedding planner, Karen (Tropical Occasions), gave him. During the tasting, we really changed a lot of the menu, such as changing the sauce on the surf and turf, changing the fish entrée, asking for less lime on the ceviche, changing dessert altogether, and Gustavo made every change and made the wedding dinner delicious. Everybody raved about how good the lobster and steak were (and we’re from NYC…some high standards to reach) and were really satisfied with their dinner.

Room Tip: Get the penthouse. If you want a better (higher view) get the superior condos. The standard rooms ar...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank s c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2012

This place was absolutely amazing!! We had three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and an amazing view of the ocean. The place is exceptionally clean and just soooo beautiful, the staff is super friendly, the location is ideal, the restaurant has a great menu, the bar has the best drinks I've ever had (Jessica is the best bartender ever and her guaro sour is to die for!!), the pool is gorgeous, their beach is so private, clean, and beautiful, and Cesar (who works at the front desk is the most helpful and kind person ever and he went out of his way to make our stay perfect!!). I could go on and on about this place, but words just cannot explain it's perfection. We loved it and have nothing bad to say about it....we just can't wait to go back again!!!

Room Tip: Pick rooms closest to the oceanside and the highest up you can get!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank missingsevilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

Wow wow wow, we loved this place!! We stayed in Manuel Antonio for 4 nights and after 2 nights at the Gaia hotel a few minutes away it was a relief to check out of there and check in here. Gaia is the number one place to stay on Trip advisor and it is a wonderful property but the over bearing staff and walkie talkie system between staff that follow you around the property marking your every move ruin the holiday feel of the place. It feels more like a army camp tracking you and clocking you in and out. I think Los Altos is a hidden gem that would be up there at number 1 if more people knew about it. It is a much better reflection of the Costa Rican life and way, laid back, attentive without being in your face and happy relaxed friendly staff who great you out of courtesy and not to order. It was amazing. The apartments are out of this world and the space in them seems to go on and on and on! The property has a fantastic pool with stunning ocean views and a walk down to a private deserted beach. The breakfast is lovely and the restaurant offers wonderful lunch and dinner with a view of the sunset. We also had the closest encounter of our trip with monkeys here at Los Altos, so close it was fab! They come down to feed in the fruit trees right outside reception and we saw families of monkeys feeding and playing, I will never forget it. Free parking is included and there are also lovely restaurants within walking distance of the hotel in minutes. You are free to come and go as you please and the reception is covered 24 hours. All in all Number 1!! Next time I am back I am heading right back to Los Altos I don’t think it can be topped!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank keriUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

We were recently married at Los altos and cannot say enough wonderful things about our experience!

The rooms are huge, beautifully designed, and modern. The resort is close to everything, we were able to walk to several restaurants, a grocery store, neighboring resorts, beaches and more. The national park and downtown quepos were only a short $5-$6 cab ride away.

Since we were traveling with so much extra stuff for the wedding, the size of the room turned out to be a godsend. We were able to spread out our welcome bag items and bits of decor we brought with us which was really convenient. Also with many of our friends and family stopping in we were thankful for the large livingroom and kitchen areas.

The staff were all really kind and helpful during our stay, since the property only has 28 rooms, most of the staff knew our names within the first few days, and it was nice to be greeted by name each day.

The onsite restaurant Karolas has really yummy food, we wanted to try a few different places during our trip but ended up eating breakfast, a few lunches, and dinner at Karolas during our stay because it was so good. The resort has a selection of drinks and snacks in the rooms for purchase and we felt that compared to a normal mini bar the prices were very reasonable. Even still, with a full kitchen we stopped at the little supermarket and picked up fruits, snacks, soda, and waters to have on hand. We didn't really do any cooking, but the resort has provided everything you would need to cook in you room.

There is a beach onsite, we walked down to the beach on our first day (caution should be used when walking down because there are spots where the path is steep, and there are loose rocks) The resort provides transportation to and from their beach, just ask the desk. The onsite beach was quiet, but a bit rocky. We went to a neighboring beach the next day, which we enjoyed, and the beach inside the national park which was breathtaking but busy.

Some general notes for travelers: the resort provides free breakfast, and extra items to purchase for breakfast. there is no on site resort shop, but there is a supermarket down the street. There is no dry cleaning service as it is very uncommon for the area. Manuel Antonio has many hills, so when walking wear comfortable shoes. There are no tubs in the bathrooms at Los altos (at least not in the few rooms I saw) but the showers are beautiful. Guests staying in tower 1 seemed to see mores monkeys from their rooms than we did in tower 2.

We will definately return because they value for the room size and amenities was beyond what we could have even asked for.

Room Tip: My family stayed in tower 1 and saw squirrel monkeys almost every morning.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JKKD2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Preserve at Los Altos

Property: The Preserve at Los Altos
Address: Kilometer 4 on road to Manuel Antonio National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park 6350, Costa Rica (Formerly Los Altos Beach Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Manuel Antonio National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#9 Spa Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Preserve at Los Altos 4.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bold in presence; playful in personality. Los Altos Resort and Spa is Manuel Antonio's premier laid back luxury boutique resort. The Los Altos aesthetic represents a sensitive integration between tropical authenticity and modern amenities. We offer 28 gorgeous private residences, each boasting a vivid Pacific Ocean view through floor to ceiling windows. Also, for a luxury resort in the heart of Manuel Antonio, our rates are very reasonable. Very reasonable, and you get a lot out of us, which we're happy about. We like to keep things simple. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Los Altos Beach Resort And Spa
Los Altos Beach Hotel Manuel Antonio National Park
The Preserve At Los Altos Costa Rica/Manuel Antonio National Park

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