of TripAdvisor Travelers recommend this hotel
No real complaints about our stay out Punta Islita -- the resort itself is secluded, has a private beach (sort of a far walk), a wonderful pool, private rooms, and lots of activities on site. Only reason for the 4 star is just the price compared to the lack of little things that make a place extra special / worth the cost. Rooms were a little outdated, activities were OK, service was in line with expectations at a Marriott property. The town of Punta Islita seemingly survives on the resort, so its sleepy and small but charming nonetheless. Drive to get out there is a little tough -- we stayed 4 nights in the Arenal area before driving to Punta Islita, and if we were to do it again, we would have stayed put. Otherwise, a pleasant stay.
"Beautiful hotel property with lots of nature based activities and nicest staff"
I spent three nights at Punta Islita with my two daughters in August. The restaurant and main bar with infinity pool overlook the pacific ocean. We had amazing fresh fruit drinks hanging out in the pool enjoying the views. We loved all the included activities - zip lining, cocktail class, nature walks to see birds (McCaws) and nesting turtles. I highly recommend the yoga class - which was top notch. This is a great place for people who want to see nature and kick back. Most of the activities are included in the hotel price which is great and unique. The employees here are the nicest and you get a chance to get to know them. The beach is a bit rustic with rocks on the beach and in the water so you have to be careful to swim in the designated area. You can do beginning surfing with I highly recommend an instructor which my daughter did. At this resort you have to walk alot to get to different places like the beach, exercise class, etc since it is a large piece of property. We like walking so this was not an issue. They do offer free shuttle service anywhere on the property or rental of golf carts are reasonable rates. This is a great place to do a family event since they have large casitas with multiple bedrooms. There are only 2 restaurants on property and a small town outside the property with another restaurant which we did not try. If I were staying longer I would have taken a taxi to Playa Samara for drinks and dinner as this town has a lot of restaurants and a cute beach town. It takes about 2 hours to get here from Liberia airport but they will provide transportation.
"If looking for remote"
My husband and I were told about this hotel via our travel agent and warned it's very remote but did not understand what we were signing up for. My husband described it best when he called it a grown up camp. We were supposed to stay 4 nights and only stayed 1. It's 15 ish miles up a dirt road to get to the hotel which is not located directly on a beach- you must walk down a slippery path or be driven by the hotel shuttle. Everyday there is a list of activities you must sign up for (no more than 4 per person) in order to keep your sanity. Activities include sand art, bread making classes, key chain making, and crafty things that my husband says he did in preschool. There are some more interesting activities like sea turtle egg laying observing (it rained the night we signed up for this and it was cancelled), yoga, horse back riding. But really it's a very crunchy granola zen kind of place that wasn't what we were looking for. The hotel rooms are dated at best, the bathrooms are incredibly small and have a sewage smell. The hardest part and reason we ended up leaving early was the food! It was absolutely average to below average at best! Everyone raves about the food in Costa Rica- this is not the place to go if you like to eat well. The staff is lovely and accommodating- cannot say enough good things about them- they make you feel like family. But If you like luxury I would only recommend this place for 2 nights maximum.
"We can't wait to come back to Punta Islita!"
This is such a special, magical place! With the views, plants, animals, activities...it's like no where else I've ever been. It's a small place with a staff that all knew our names within the first 12 hours we were here and took care of us as though we were good friends. This isn't a "pretty princess" resort (even though my spa treatment was one of the most relaxing experiences of my life) so if you have a big issue with bugs, rain, and humidity, it's probably not the spot for you. For us, even things that might have been viewed as negative in a different spot, just felt like part of a marvelous adventure here. Our favorite activities were just wandering the beach (much bigger than it seems and I could have explored the tide pools for hours), zip line, sea turtle watching, monkey hike, and just relaxing in the hammocks and cabanas on our patio and at the beach club. It's a haul to get here from either of the airports but it feels remote yet safe. We loved that almost all the activities took place on the property so we didn't have to leave for long periods of time (and waste valuable beach/pool time)to do them. We can't wait to come back with our sons when they are older.
"It was like a dream..."
Hotel Punta Islita is a magical place, we were greeted by Luis, who speaks the most beautiful English, better than many Americans. The all around service was impeccable, Luis told us that they were there to serve us and that's what they did and not in a "buttoned up" way. We really felt like family after 4 days we just didn't want to leave. The rooms all have an amazing view of the valley and the Pacific ocean, private plunge pool and hammock. We saw many Scarlet Macaws flying in and were enlightened to learn that the hotel supports the Ara project to protect this endangered species ( also Great Green macaws) It was great to see such an upscale hotel really observing the sustainability of the natual environment. The food was excellent, the breakfast was a real treat every morning, fresh fruit, costa rican cafe' and many wonderful tica offerings amid the most beautiful setting. The staff was so friendly and professional many are from the local area, Julio, Antonio, Errol and Mauricio, we will hopefully return someday. If you go to Punta Islita make sure you visit the Ara Project it was an amazing experience! p.s. We could tell most of the other guests fell in love with Punta Islita and the awesome hospitality. If you are driving, be sure you know that it is defiantly "off the beaten path" ,we have had experience with Costa Rican roads and it was a bit challenging but worth every minute!
Credit cards accepted by the hotel: Visa - MasterCard
Check-in: 2:00 PM , Check-out: 12:00 PM