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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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