We had a really good time. It was a little hotter than I thought it would be but not too humid. The late afternoons and evenings were really nice. The two rooms were perfect for us and the location on the resort was perfect too. It was so nice being close to the pools and walking distance to the beach. I know some of the rooms a little higher probably had a better view but it was nice to be able to walk to our room from the pool. Also, the star service made it so much nicer. We had Omar handle everything and he was amazing. That made it worth it.
We had a few hiccups on arrival. It took them a while to check us in and it took them most of the evening to get our bedroom TV’s working so that we could order room service. That was a little inconvenient. Omar was very helpful but this was on the resort. We finally got it fixed before we went to bed that evening. I will say that it was a little bit longer day of travel but still good. The other thing we should have investigated was this was dry season on this side so everything was brown. We were thinking it would be like a jungle, but it wasn’t. Positive it we didn’t have to worry about rain messing up the day.
The food was pretty good at most of the restaurants. The fruit was amazing and the breakfast buffet was easy and good for everyone. The golf cart shuttles were really great too. We did a couple of the special night buffets and the grilled foods were really good. The service at the restaurants was just OK. Our service at the Steak House was probably the worst and the food was not great. The steaks were pretty good but everything else was not ideal. The Mexican, Italian, and Japanese were all good. I think we might have liked the Japanese and Italian places the best.
We left the resort twice. We did the river taxi to Coco beach, probably wouldn’t recommend that unless someone just wants to go to markets to shop. It was really hot and I thought it would be like and activity beach. Not an activity beach. Actually nothing on the beach. But we ate at a local restaurant and played cards until we could go back.
Then we did a private boat for 6 hours on Thursday and really liked that. The activities were customizable and we booked this through the resort. They picked us up. We did fishing (caught nothing), and then snorkeled (this was the highlight). We saw a lot of fish, held a starfish, and just missed seeing some sting rays. After this we went to a private beach had a snack table set up for us and the kids played on the beach, looked for shells and loved paddle boarding off the beach area. We also had snack and drinks on the boat. This wasn’t a luxury catamaran or anything, but it was the size of the river taxi boat. We could have skied, wake boarded, or tubed off the boat as well. We all liked this.
The last day we rented a pool cabana the last day and loved that! We should have done this more during the week. It was only $120 after coupon and included a private service attendant and a plunge pool. You also got a 20 minute chair massage in your cabana. Also, the frozen Pina coladas on the resort were amazing and the burger joint was a pretty good burger. I wish there had been more snack options around the pool like there is at Hyatt Ziva. But with Star class they did bring around some late afternoon frozen fruit or coconut water.
I also loved the star class pool. It was very calm and the kids liked it as well in the later afternoon. The weather was really nice in the shade. The days were like 92-95 but like I said less humid. We decided against some of the full day excursions because we had some friends at the resort that gave a little feedback and I am not sure they were good fits for my kiddos. Also most of them took like 1-1.5 hours to get to and that long to come back. So we chose to just do the couple of things from the resort.
I hope this helps give you feedback. It was very cool to see the Pacific Ocean and we really liked the beach by the hotel. The black sand was cool and made it easy to find shells. When it was low tide you could walk way out on the beach. The staff was also very friendly and helpful. We loved Omar! We also loved our rooms. Tons of space for me and Matt.
I’ve been wanting to reach out to you to let you know just how fabulous our trip was, just got busy being back to work this week!
Planet Hollywood was the perfect fit for us!! Fun music by the pool, a young but not too young vibe that I really enjoyed. We took your advice and hired a private driver thru CAT tours to take us to Arenal Volcano, to hike thru the rainforest and zipline with SkyTrek. The hike was at the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park and we had a driver, but also had a tour guide, Jose, who walked us thru the forest and pointed out a toucan, tarantula, birds, owls, and we heard howler monkeys. The zipline was more for the kids but it was over the top—awesome. Very safe and lots of instruction. My husband googled “top places to zipline in the world” and Arenal Volcano was top three!
While at the resort, we signed up for the water taxi excursion to Coco Beach. It was $30/person, left around 1:00 pm, and we were back by 5:30 pm. We boated back at sunset which was beautiful. Coco Beach was lots of fun. The kids went jet skiing and had a massage at the spa and they loved it. It was awesome to treat them both to special activities as we celebrated their college successes.
We chilled at the pool a couple of the days and the monkeys were definitely one of the highlights! We fed them pineapple and banana from our hands! They’re very entertaining. The beach is much prettier than online, as it’s black sand. Our first sunset down on the beach are some of the prettiest pics I’ve ever taken.
The rooms were gorgeous and with the balcony view of the bay, it was perfect. The food was really good! The sushi was among the best we’ve had and we know our sushi. Haha! There wasn’t a meal we didn’t like, some were better than others, our least favorite was the Tex-Mex place and favorite was the sushi/Japanese restaurant and sports bar. We had a fun pool night/karaoke in the sports bar. The breakfast buffet each morning was SO good, we all had made to order omelets and crepes each morning. The hotel staff were wonderful and very accommodating.
I have nothing bad to say! The airport transfers were great, and Maurice was our guide from the airport, who helped us plan the Arenal trip. We emailed and texted him and he made it so easy for us.
Thank you so much!!