of TripAdvisor Travelers recommend this hotel
"30th Anniversary Celebration"
What a wonderful resort! We had a fantastic time. The Ocean view Junior Suite with private plunge pool was amazing. The staff were so friendly and accommodated our every request with a smile. We celebrated our special day with a private, torch lit oceanfront dinner. The service and food were both exceptional. The on site activities were great and the guides were superb! We highly recommend this resort.
After a bumpy ride on unnamed roads we drove into the property and were amazed at the beautiful resort in the middle of the tropical forest. You could hear the monkeys. The resort is beautiful but the people that worked there were very welcoming and charming. They were there to make sure that we had a fabulous experience. Beyond our expectations. We will return.
"We felt like family"
Bottom line; great experience. The hotel was in great shape, the pools were very well kept, and the amenities were top notch. The spa, though small, was well appointed and the massage therapists were very good at their craft. The wait staff was very attentive. the menu, though small, was well prepared and reasonably priced. The included activities were well run and on schedule. The view was stunning. The best part was the attention paid to us by Christina at guest relations. She was always available and had whatever we needed right away. This was the most relaxing and trouble free vacation stay I've had in many years. I would go again in a heart beat.
"Perfect Costa Rican Getaway"
Punta Islita is heaven on earth. To begin, the photos online don't even begin to do justice to the amazing beauty of the gorgeous resort. When you first set foot on the property and walk through the open air reception, the views will take your breath away. You will then be equally blown away by the hospitality of Luis, Christina and Marco who are your primary contacts with guest relations. Within the first 24 hours of our arrival, the entire staff knew our names, and always greeted us warmly and treated us like family. We especially enjoyed getting to know Joe, Randy, Antonio, and Luis. They made our visit there extra special. We were sad to bid them farewell and intend to stay in touch. My husband and I are Marriott junkies, so we love the idea of earning/using points for our vacations, but you often do so at the expense of immersing yourself in the local culture. Not here. Apart from the small "Autograph Hotels" placard at the entrance, you would never know you're at a Marriott. Don't get me wrong, the services and amenities are absolutely top notch. It's just that everything is 100% local, including all of the decor around the resort made by residents in the nearby town (which can also be purchased at the local gallery, to which the hotel provides a free shuttle). I could go on and on about the activities and amenities, but a lot of the reviews have covered that. Instead, I'd like to offer some tips and suggestions: 1. Unless you are extremely adventurous and enjoy living on the edge, do not rent a car. Use either the hotel's private transfer or the shuttle. We have visited Punta Islita twice and have used both. The only difference is that with the latter, you may have other people in the van, which for us was a plus, and it's much cheaper (with two people). You get to know people well on a 2.5 hour drive and we remain friends with our fellow shuttle riders to this day. The driver was waiting for us as soon as we landed, so we didn't have to wait. (We did pick up a 12-pack of Imperial for the ride to share with our fellow passengers, but a word of warning ... I purchased from the gift shop at the front of the airport and later realized they charged me $50. In hindsight, I should have hit the duty free store outside of baggage claim.) But we found that the hotel transfer is definitely the way to go. The roads can be treacherous at times. Especially in the rainy season, when torrential downpours can start on a moment's notice, you do not want to be caught on a dirt road with a 100 foot drop off. And for anyone who easily gets carsick like me, as a precaution I would suggest taking a Dramamine or ginger chews for the last 1/2 hour of the trip. Also a couple of Imperials help :) 2. Another note about car rentals ... inquire as to the cost of the mandatory insurance. Another couple that we met on our trip rented a car, and when they reserved it the rate was $11/day, with no mention of insurance. When they arrived in Costa Rica and went to pick up the car, they were told they had to purchase mandatory insurance at $500 for the week. In retrospect, they wished they had taken the shuttle. 3. One of the added charms of this location is the local town, especially the Don Ramiro restaurant. As other reviews have noted, Miguel used to work at Punta Islita and bought this restaurant about two years ago. During our week-long stay, we ate dinner there 3 times. Looking back, I wish we had gone more often. Miguel is an absolute delight, and loves to entertain. We also ate at the other restaurant, Kambute. The food was good, but lacked the personal touch and charm of Don Ramiro's. The hotel provides shuttle service to both, but note that service stops at 10pm. After that, you have to walk back (as some our friends learned the hard way!) 4. Punta Islita has a sister property in the rain forest, El Silencio, and a lot of people split their time in Costa Rica between the two properties (which is what my husband and I did on our first trip to Costa Rica.) I won't give a full review of that property here, but suffice it to say it is a five-star property in my book, and I would highly recommend it. The important thing to note here is that it is a much smaller property with a more tranquil vibe. For us, we started at El Silencio then took the hotel transfer to Punta Islita. We were happy we went in that order. We have met other couples at Punta Islita who had to depart for El Silencio (or even another resort in La Fortuna, near the Arenal volcano), and they didn't want to leave Punta Islita. Punta Islita allows for more social interaction with your fellow guests (if you prefer), and on both of our visits here, a highlight for us was getting to know our fellow guests over drinks at the swim-up bar, over dinner, etc. El Silencio is gorgeous, nestled in the cloud forest, and definitely worth a visit. Just know that it's going to be a bit quieter and more subdued. Some people may want to end their trip on this note. However, for us, and numerous people that we've talked to, the preference was to save Punta Islita for the second half. 5. Visiting in the rainy season is a lot like visiting Florida in the summer. I've been to Costa Rica four times, each during rainy season, and I never experienced a day that was ruined due to rain. Just like Florida, it's not uncommon for a storm to pop up in the afternoon, but the mornings are typically beautiful. On our last trip, we had two afternoons where the excursions were cancelled due to rain. One of those cancellations was for kayaking, and it was cancelled not because of rain the day of, but from the day before making the river too high. On that note, I would suggest booking weather-dependent excursions early in your visit so you have time to reschedule should rain cause any cancellations. I've never experienced Costa Rica outside of rainy season, and I'm sure it's absolutely gorgeous. For us, we enjoy the resorts when they're a little less crowded and the rates are much lower, so we don't mind the trade off. On the few occasions where rain popped up, it was just a great excuse to retake the cocktail making class. :) 6. Lastly, a few comments about the beach itself. It has dark brown sand and lots of rocks. Definitely not what you would see in the Caribbean or even in Florida. I'm not stating this as a deterrent from visiting Punta Islita by any means, more to set expectations. From the vantage point of the main restaurant and infinity pool, it is a beautiful beach, and the sound of the waves crashing are great no matter what the beach looks like. On the flip side, a lot of people like walking around the rocks in the cove and checking out a nearby cave. The beach is not bad, it's just different. To me, the real beauty of this resort is the lush, tropical landscaping that is home to scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, and other Costa Rican wildlife. At the beach, there is a guy that offers surfing lessons, and there are fishing charters where we saw guests who caught some pretty big fish. Apparently you can even have the hotel restaurant or Don Ramiro's cook it up for you. The beach definitely adds to the ambiance of the resort, just don't expect the clear, turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Overall, this is an amazing place. My husband and I are not ones to repeat vacations; we like visiting new places and view "repeats" as a wasted opportunity to see someplace new. Punta Islita is our exception to this rule, and we intend to have many return visits. Definitely stay at Punta Islita. You will not be disappointed!!!
"Sun, Fun, Drinks, Golf and Yoga"
One of the most amazing places on earth. The sunny beach alone was worth the trip. Add to that swim-up bars, golfing, yoga, spa/massage treatments, and many ocean and jungle adventures and you cannot ask for more. The food and service were epic, and the wildlife so beautiful and varied. This is a place to return to whenever you can to recharge your batteries.
Credit cards accepted by the hotel: Visa - MasterCard
Check-in: 2:00 PM , Check-out: 12:00 PM