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“Positive Gluten Free Stay in Costa Rica”

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Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa was an excellent three day/night RnR stay after spending four full days of adventure out in the Arenal/Monteverde part of the country. My boyfriend and I had an 'all-inclusive' package which include most menu items and all bar items (except 'top shelf').

Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa catered to my gluten free needs VERY well. Upon arrival, I met with the head chef of the resort's kitchen, Carlos. He and I discussed what was 100% gluten free and free of cross-contamination and what items could be prepared gluten free (i.e. a quesadilla made with a corn tortilla rather than a flour tortilla, making nachos with corn chips that were fried in fresh oil rather than oil which had been cross-contaminated with other wheat-based fried items). Carlos was able to tell me what sauces I could eat as part of the meals and which ones I could not have. Costa Rica in general is fairly easy to eat gluten free in considering they eat a lot of meats/fish, rice and beans and fresh eggs and fruit. Carlos also gave me the names of two other chefs to speak with if he was not on the resort when I wanted to order food. The whole kitchen staff, including the waiters were wonderful to work with.

The overall hotel/pool had a lot of day time activities (water aerobics, Spanish lessons, outdoor hikes, water volleyball, game room with pool and ping-pong, a movie room which features family films and let's not forget a pool bar). The resort backs into the ocean so that at every meal if you so desire you may sit outside, have some good food and enjoy the view. Warning - bring/wear bug spray. During the day it's not too bad, but when that sun sets, the bugs come out to play. Speaking of 'sunsets', this resort has THE BEST, wow. Everyday around 545-6pm, you get to see the sun turn from yellow to orange to red and fall the ocean with a perfectly clear view.

Night life is quite at this resort. The bar and swimming pool is open until 11pm, playing pool is 24/7 and there is a mini casino that has table games (we spent some time there and it was fun - great staff). I would definitely say it is 'family friendly' and couples. My boyfriend and I are 28 years old. Since we did so much the days before we were okay with the quietness for three nights. If you are looking for a 'singles' or 'festive night' environment though, I would like to suggest looking elsewhere (such as Hotel Riu (had some friends stay there and they said it was a younger crowd (25-40), not many kids and a great party environment) or The Westin Resort & Spa).

The rooms are very clean, flat screen TVs with English speaking channels, large traditional 'American' style hotel room, a pad-lock safe, minibar/fridge, and cleaned everyday promptly.

The Spa was fantastic! We did a hot stong massage for 80minutes. Upon check-in to the hotel, you are given a frozen drink and a 20% off coupon to use the spa.

The hotel offers beach activities. It is not encouraged to use the outside vendors at the beach to do ocean activities, but my boyfriend and I did. We had a good experience so I would encourage one to save the money and use a vendor.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LaurenBerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

We are truly grateful that you chose the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa for the beach portion of your adventure-filled Costa Rica vacation! We always try to accommodate anyone with special dietary needs as thoroughly as possible, and your experience proves this. We welcome our vegetarian guests and those on gluten-free, diabetic or other special diets, and we will always work with you to prepare delicious, nutritious and savory foods that fit into your health plan. We are also so happy you enjoyed our lovely pool, our activities program with Lulu, and our amazing sunsets! Pura Vida! Thanks so much for sharing your positive experience on Trip Advisor.

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Reviewed 25 April 2012

Came with one of my friends to stay here at the end of January to stay for a week. The room was nice and clean. Wifi was great! Buffet food was good. Had lots of options. Not a really good place for young or singles because there isn't very many of either. Gets quiet at night so definitely explore Tamarindo for night life. Beach was nice.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Lalilove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on your stay at the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, and for your postive comments. We are happy you had no problems with the WiFi, because it is a service that we do everything in our power to provide at top-quality, but frequent service outages by the government-owned provider are completely out of our control, and we are frustrated that our guests believe that we are the ones not providing this service as promised. You are correct in saying that the Flamingo Beach area is relatively quiet in terms of nightlife. Tamarindo is 20 minutes away and definitely has more bars, surf culture and such. At the same time, many of our guests do like the peaceful, unhurried charm of our beach as well. Thank you so much for your comments; we hope you will come back and visit us again in the future.

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Reviewed 24 April 2012

We traveled to Flamingo Beach Resort which we were sent to by Gate One Travel after finding Sol Samara to be unsuitable. We paid the upgrade for a suite (which we were never in) which was great. The rooms are lovely and the towells very plush. We wish we could have had our parents in the adjoining room, but that room wasn't available. We all paid the upgrade for all inclusive even though my father in law drinks very little as the hotel prices for food were expensive and after traveling for several days we were happy to just stay put. We thought the food was very good and enjoyed the chef who came out and spoke to us after each dinner. Oscar and Patricio were great in the dining room. We asked for poached eggs one morning and when we requested Hollandaise, it was delivered quickly even though the cook had no English and we spoke no Spanish! Gravin and the female bartender were great at the swim up bar. We enjoyed the pool a lot and just moved towells when people didn't appear. This happens at every all inclusive and it irritating, but the offenders know they are wrong and will usually understand when their towells are moved. Lulu led water aerobics and that was fun and I didn't see any dance lessons. This is a no frills, no entertainment resort. Food is good, rooms, linen and water pressure were great. We had WIFI in our room tho' maybe because we were in corner suite on third floor. It would have been nice to check out restaurants nearby but we enjoyed our stay here to simply relax at the end of a very active trip. We did do a horseback ride which I contracted on my own by watching them ride by the hotel. I wanted a one hour trip and paid $50 for two of us for the hour. I also recommend OMA, the masseuse extraordinaire which operates from a grove of trees on the beach to the left of the hotel. She was booked but everyone I spoke with RAVED about her!! Front desk guy, Charlie was very helpful when we checked in. We checked ouit the casino quickly one night, nothing to rave about there. Overall, we enjoyed the Flamingo Resort, tho can't comment on the spa.

Room Tip: Apparently stay away from the lower level. No elevator, so if you can't do stairs, be aware.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Pambo816
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

We really appreciate that you chose the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa for your recent Costa Rica beach vacation! We are very, very glad that we were able to provide the quality and service you expect in a vacation getaway. We appreciate your compliments to our hard-working staff and are very pleased that you enjoyed the food at the resort, and your time around our lovely pool. It is totally annoying that some guests are inconsiderate and leave their towels on chaises to "hold" them for the entire day---you totally did the logical thing in moving towels of guests that weren't present! It is something that we regret happens, but unfortunately it's very hard to stop. Please come back and try our Serenity Spa. I am sure you will find the health and beauty treatments to be excellent and our spa facilities are comfortable and luxurious. Thanks again for your kind words in this forum.

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Reviewed 24 April 2012

This hotel is in a mission to make buck. The system implemented there is design to make maximum profit. For example there are posters everywhere: Why go out? eat in our restaurant (questionable selection and quality).
They want you to buy everything from them - for premium price. You can get everything (services, food, trips) outside the resort for less.
Service people you meet every day are very nice and accommodating, I did not have contact with management.
Vegetable lovers - be prepared for fasting, no vegetables there. Definitely place not for vegetarians.

Room Tip: The higher the better, Very few rooms with ocean view.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aszrem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Thank you for your recent stay at our resort. I am very sorry you misconstrued our efforts to encourage guests to try our restaurant. We are currently revamping our Food & Beverage department to improve service and quality. While it is true that there are services available outside the resort for lower prices, we also know that there are very unscrupulous, fly-by-night "pirate" operators of tours and services who have no professional training, no insurance, no standards, etc., and for health and safety reasons we try to only recommend licensed professionals with excellent reputations and standards. We are very sorry that this policy gets misinterpreted, because our guests are totally free to come and go as they please and hire whomever they want for tours and services, and eat wherever they like in the local area. Also, we certainly do offer several vegetarian dishes on our menu and our Chef is always willing and able to make up special plates for those following any particular diet. We are sorry this was not communicated better in your case. Now that our high season is ending we are also beginning an intensive customer service program to improve our staff's communication with our valued guests. We do value your business and regret that you were less than satisfied with your stay.

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Reviewed 24 April 2012

My parents came to visit me for a week, and I managed to get away from the city (and working 60 hours a week) with them and my tico boyfriend. My parents' room had an ocean view, and our bedroom was connected to the huge living room in their room by a double door type of thing. This hotel had everything that I like - easy beach access, a swim-up bar and a great pool, a spa, gym, and breakfast included. I have nothing to complain about other than falling asleep during my hot stone massage because it was so relaxing. I was even able to request my mojito with Cahuita so it was a coconut mojito! The front desk was also able to help us with recommendations of where to eat. I don't have any complaints, really. Plus, if you're the type of person that needs a hotel with A/C and WiFi, then you're in luck! The WiFi works better in the lobby, but I was able to catch some signal from my room. I would recommend staying here.

Room Tip: If you can score an ocean view room, the sunsets are awesome :)
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank charlotte a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flamingo B, Owner at Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2012

Thank you so much for staying with us at the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa and for writing this lovely review on Trip Advisor. We are so happy that you enjoyed your vacation in every way and wish to recommend us to others. Aren't those hot stone massages in the Spa just amazing?!

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Additional Information about Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa

Address: Playa Flamingo Santa Cruz | Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo 50308, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Flamingo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Flamingo
Price Range: $169 - $441 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Flamingo Beach Resort And Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once you've experienced a Pacific Ocean sunset from the Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa, you may never want to leave. Located in the vacation province of Guancaste, you’ll be perfectly-positioned to explore Costa Rica's natural beauty and limitless adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flamingo Beach Hotel Playa Flamingo
Flamingo Beach Resort Costa Rica

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