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Reviewed 4 November 2005

This resort was a disappointment. It wasn't well-run and there wasn't much to do. We stayed at the Costa Smerald in December 2004. It turned out that most of the staff had decided to take their vacations that week, so only one of the four restaurants was open, there were no night-time activities and cleaning was hit and miss. The place is not four stars--maybe 2.5 at best. The food was ok but largely consisted of stale buns, unidentifiable crustaceans at dinner and sweets. And the snack bar in the middle of the property only served nachos with that horrific fake cheese. That's it!
Our room had a nice view--it was one of the villa-type rooms set in the hill--but a trail of ants marched across it and down the walls at all times. And the bathroom was in disrepair, with a leaky tap and stained enamel.
The beach was visually interesting but it was a public beach-not one exclusive to the hotel. Local Costa Ricans shared it with us, bringing their pets and family members. The sand is brown--not white like some of the brochures may advertise. If you don't mind a busy beach filled with locals, then this works for you. However, if you're looking pristine sand and privacy, forget it.
To the arachnophobes--don't go! We discovered that the multiple holes in the sand right next to our room actually belonged to tarantulas. I never saw one but it was never far from my thoughts....
If you're going to pay a lot...go somewhere else.

Date of stay: December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Camper9921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2004

My husband and I went to Costa Rica in Dec. 2003. We stayed at the Grande Papagayo Resort. At that time it was Costa Smeralda. Since the ownership change I can't say anything about improvements as I don't know what if anything has changed. The rooms were very nice, the hotel property was beautiful and the staff very friendly. The only complaint I would have is the food. It was good but just wasn't anything special. There wasn't much in the way of any organized activity such as beach volleyball or anything like that. But we enjoyed our stay enough that we are returning in Feb. We are going to the central Pacific area this time as Costa Rica has so much diversity that I need to see more. If you don't like high humidity then you should go to the Guanacaste province as it is the driest in the country.

9  Thank DianRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC