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Reviewed 15 February 2016

This place met and exceeded our expectations. My husband and I are two professionals from the mid-atlantic. We work a lot and take 1 week each year to go to a tropical destination without kids and are looking for total relaxation. This week was the most unique and unforgettable by far and we are going through Islita withdrawal today, our first day home.

From the moment you arrive, you are treated with kindness and respect and the staff go above and beyond to get you anything you desire. Everyone makes an effort to get to know you personally and you really feel like they care about you. The location is amazing - an oasis in the desert in this dry season (November - June) and the first sight of the infinity pool with the magnificent pacific beyond literally brought tears to my eyes after the 2 hour 20 minute ride from the airport.

We had hoped to upgrade to our room to one with a pool but the place was booked (although I suspect it is always 'booked'). It really didn't matter, though, because the room was perfect for the two of us with a hammock and open view of the ocean.

We fell into an easy routine with mornings at the gym (hardly anyone else there) with a view to the ocean, a late breakfast of Ada's omelettes and fresh local fruit, and then split our time between the adults only infinity pool and the beach. Lunches were down at the beach with our toes in the sand. I was a little surprised at how far the beach was (about 1/4 mile) with a steep descent but we enjoyed walking it each day and getting a few extra steps in.

We did a few activities - am and pm horseback, monkey hike, macaw rescue and checked out the local museum in addition to getting a facial (me) and massage (husband). All excursions were well worth it and felt like we were really getting to know the local culture although we would have equally enjoyed just laying by the beach or pool.

What I loved most about this resort was the solitude and space and the people that worked at the hotel. Even though the hotel had many other guests, you never had to complete for a chair or table, there were many more relaxing places and desirable viewpoints than there were people which is so refreshing and kept the stress level to a minimum. As many other people have posted, the people are unforgettable and you feel like you know them after only a week. Every interaction we had was pleasant but we won't forget hanging out at the pool bar practicing Spanish with Johan, our sunset horseback with Violas as he told us about the local community and Julio and Randy, two of our excellent waiters.

One final note, for anyone worried about Zika virus, don't be. We never saw a mosquito there and wore our bug spray for the first two nights and then gave up on it. It was a little windier than usual during our stay and I suspect that along with the dry climate this time of the year, really limited them.

Enjoy! I'm jealous if you're going!

Room Tip: They all look spectacular!
  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank dochasan2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2016

Greetings and heartfelt thanks for your thoughtful review. It really captures the essence of our team's hospitality and enthusiasm for making Costa Rica a welcoming, thrilling, and engaging destination. Warmest regards!

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Reviewed 12 February 2016

I stumbled upon this hotel merely by accident during a last minute search for vacations spots, and I could not have been luckier. From the second I was greeted at my car with warm towels, to hugged farewell, I felt less like a guest and more like family. Since 2014, I've been back to Islita 5 times, and have loved every second of it. This is a hotel unlike any other I've been to, and I've traveled all over the US and to other foreign countries. I love it because it does not in any way remind you that you're in a Marriott chain; nor, do you get that big resort feel when you're there, despite having all the amenities (and much more) of these. Rather, you get the sense of privacy, luxury, and personal attention from staff that makes your stay rare and special. Since I began visiting Hotel PI, I've made friends with several of the staff members and can sincerely call them my family. With the exception of a few new faces, the same lovely people have been working there for many years and go out of their way to provide excellent service. If they don't have it on hand, they will make sure to get it for you--and always with a warm smile and friendly attitude. Hotel PI is exceptionally clean, in beautiful surroundings, and has a variety of deluxe rooms, spacious villas w/private pools overlooking the ocean (my personal favorite), and a wonderful beach on the property. The food is wonderful, as well--not your standard hotel fare; and if you'd like something special, the chef is always willing to prepare a dish to your liking. I do not eat meat, so the hotel has always asked about dietary restrictions and prepared my food minus the meat. The breakfast every morning is my favorite meal of the day. There's nothing like drinking fresh orange juice and munching on warm tortillas, eggs made-to-order, and fresh fruits while gazing at the gorgeous sunrise as the waves crash against the point. In the evening, drinks are deliciously prepared by Johan the bartender. Johan entertains with his witty comebacks as servers Antonio, Jose, Julio, Briner, Minor, and Edgar WONDERFULLY provide the best dinner service. In the afternoon, a great choice is Coco's Beach Club, where Randy, Tito, and Miguel work very hard to keep the cold drinks and hot food coming while you can chill pool- or beach- side on a sunny Costrican day--love these guys! Last, and definitely not least, are Marvin, Marco, Errol, and Luis in customer service/concierge/activities. These guys work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure every little detail is worked out in advance of arrival and during stay. They can arrange for hiking, boating/fishing, kayaking, turtle exploring, spa visits, zip lining, and numerous other exciting activities. They are amazing and I cannot say enough about them. If you are considering a trip to CR, please do not hesitate to give Hotel Punta Islita a chance. I promise you will not regret it. This is a hotel you will come back to over and over again, and will feel like family every time.

Room Tip: The beach is on hotel property; friendly to kids and adults-only; plenty of activities; plenty of privacy; luxury and exclusive
  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ShanonWW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2016

We always look forward to your return Shannon! Thanks for making this little beach corner of Costa Rica your special home-away-from-home. And now that we include all of our resort-led tours and activities we hope to always offer you memorable adventures and enchanting experiences.

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Reviewed 9 February 2016 via mobile

We are finishing our five night stay at Punta Istila and heading to more of Costa Rica. We could have spent a week no problem. This is a terrific place to relax and they offer lots of diversions with their included experiences programs. We enjoyed birdwatching with Viales, Manuel at the beach bar taught us the secret to the perfect Piña Colada in mixology class, Ara lead a cooking class in three varieties of Ceviche and prepared my eggs exactly to my liking each morning as part of the extensive breakfast buffet. Every member on the staff was on the lookout for how to be of service in the most genuine way. Hats off to Sergio the waiter, mui sympatico, Sergio at reception and Sergio, the shuttle driver (I understand there is a 4th Sergio in the kitchen). Johan has created the award winning welcome drink - Morana Mia. I, enjoyed quite a few during our stay. GREAT massage from Jessica in the spa. My wife thought is was her best ever. Calis, offered me tips on my short game on the executive par three. It's a quite compact but pleasant course.

The pools and beach front are warm but refreshing. You could stay in all day. Disregard any description of a rocky beach, but do bring flip flops as the black sand gets hot above the water line. A local offers Surf lessons and board rentals in gentle surf. Lounge chairs are under well pruned almond trees where Mccaws frequent to the delight of the guests.

The property is quite secluded and the town of Islita has only a small artisan museum and restaurant so you need to be OK with staying mainly on property. Despite their virtual monopoly, food and beverage prices are quite reasonable for a resort. (Entree 15-$35, fancy cocktails $7.) Rooms are clean, well appointed but not large, the Jr suites are spacious with a sitting area and private whilpool on your patio. Wifi everywhere including the beach. Walking the property is easy if you are reasonable fit. Otherwise, shuttles are on demand and arrive within minutes. The walk to the beach is less than 10 Minutes from the top of the guest rooms. Despite being full Over the weekend, we never felt there was a crowd. Dinning room seating, lounges sat the beach were always available. Only once were we unable together two stools at the pool bar. Four stars rather than five only because the food was quite good but not outstanding.

We'd return and recommend without hesitation.

RB

Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
1  Thank BostonRabel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Gracias! It is always a pleasure to experience our resort through the eyes of our guests. Especially when they have enjoyed such a diverse array of activities. Thank you so much for taking the time to celebrate so many of our staff members by name. Their hospitality is truly outstanding! Please return soon!

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Reviewed 9 February 2016

This is a beautiful resort that exceed our expectations. Nice rooms, fantastic service, and plenty of activities (kayaking, horseback riding, golf, zip lining, hiking, cooking, painting, yoga, etc...) that are included in your room rate. The staff gets to know you by name and are extremely friendly. I consider it a beachfront hotel but there is a steep walk, down the mountain, to the beach. It is 10 minutes tops but you never leave the resort grounds, and it has beautiful views. Or they'll arrange a 2 minute shuttle ride. The only negative, I found, is that the food and spa services are a bit pricey. That being said we're already planning our next trip.

Room Tip: Because the rooms are built on the side of the mountain ask for a room near the adult pool. You'll be in the middle of everything.
  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank jeff c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2016

Greetings Jeff! Sharing Costa Rica's signature eco-thrills, culture, and fun activities by including them in our guests' stay has been a huge success. It lets visitors fully embrace the destination to create outstanding experiences and memories. We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed 8 February 2016

I had very high expectations for this property given the amazing tripadvisor reviews, but unfortunately ended up disappointed with most aspects of the stay. I'd rate it 2.5 stars, but rounding up to 3 since the staff generally meant well but often fell short. However, this property is definitely NOT a luxury resort despite the room rates charged. First, the good:

- Great, remote location with amazing views from the main building and the restaurant
- Service in the restaurant was generally good
- Very good wine selection for such a remote location
- Beach was beautiful and great for swimming. Food and drinks on the beach were good and reasonably priced

Now, the issues:
- Room location: as a Marriott Platinum, received the worst room on the property, next to the parking lot. Was woken up daily by the hotel shuttle arriving and departing, and had zero view at all. We asked to move after the first night and were told the hotel was at capacity, though there were rooms for sale on the Marriott website.

- Room condition: Rooms are somewhat dated with dirty / stained tile floors and bathrooms right out of the 1980s. Realize that the hotel is in the jungle, but having hundreds of ants crawling on literally every flat surface was frankly disgusting. Water temperature was inconsistent, going from cold to scalding hot and back.

- Hotel restaurant food: Food was generally OK in the restaurant, though one night I was served severely undercooked chicken which is inexcusable. Preferred the food at the "local" restaurant in town. Breakfast, although included in the rate, was very limited and disappointing for a luxury property.

- Staff communication and service: Aside from the servers in the restaurant and on the beach (which were great), the staff were mostly friendly but completely disorganized. For example, our flight was delayed and we ended up missing an activity scheduled for the afternoon of our arrival. At check in, we asked to reschedule this to the next day, but the message never made it to the activities manager which resulted in us being shut out.(There generally aren't enough slots in the popular activities to accommodate demand.) We relayed our disappointment to the activities manager, who told us to "fill out the survey" when we checked out. Sorry, but filling out a survey does not fix the fact that we traveled 3000+ miles to get to the resort and ended up shut out of every activity we wanted to participate in (including trying to book some a week prior to arrival).

I can't recommend this property given the numerous shortfalls, all of which are unacceptable for a property charging luxury resort prices.

Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
2  Thank NYTraveler2071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Thank you for your feedback. Our Limitless Costa Rica program, where we include a full menu of tours and activities in the stay has been very successful, letting visitors fully immerse in our country's thrilling eco-adventures and welcoming culture. Please do reach out, we would appreciate an opportunity to address the shortcomings you detail in hopes of ever improving the experience for all guests.

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