More about Flamingo All Suites
Flamingo Beach Resort
The resort is very nice and the facilities are pretty good. We booked through hotels.com but the resort did not have our reservation in their system. What's worse, they were willing to give us a $57/night rate when hotels.com booked us at $76/night. May be best to call them and book directly in the future.
Another sticking point was that the staff didn't seem all that helpful. They get a ton of business even during this rainy season so it didn't seem liked they cared at all about guest satisfaction.
Finally, the town is definitely very quiet and short on good places to eat. Maria's Restaraunt down the street was adequate and Mary Sol charged Morton's prices for Olive Garden food.
Overall, though, Flamingo Beach is beautiful and the resort is nice with a clean, modern room with moderate prices.
Ecotrans bus San Jose to anywhere in Costa Rica
Take the Ecotrans minibus from San Jose to the west coast of Costa Rica. The minibus is $25US per person to go basically anywhere in Costa Rica. Most hotels should be able to call them for you. We took the bus to Flamingo, Costa Rica. The ride took approximately 6 hours.
Nice Resort on a Beautiful Beach... Do you Really Need Anything More?
The Flamingo Beach Resort is one of the larger resorts in the area. Situated on a peninsula with other condos, restaurants, a small market and a pharmacy, the area has everything you'll need for a nice stay.
All beaches in Costa Rica are open to the public and you'll have to cross a small dirt road from the hotel to gain access to playa flamingo. The beach is beautiful.
Service, by Costa Rican standards, is very good. Our room was clean and the staff was friendly. Most of our meals were eaten in the outdoor restaurant between the pool and the ocean and the food was good, but not great. We had one desert in the 2nd floor restaurant (the fancier of the two) which was also good.
The hotel website promotes a casino, which, technically, they do have. We peeked inside and saw a few slot machines and a few tables in a spartan room -- we're glad we didn't travel to Costa Rica to gamble!
It seems that the resort is favored by Europeans as most of the other visitors we met were "on holiday" from England and Germany.
All in all, a nice hotel with good service in a beautiful location.
Me (in my 20's) and my husband (in his 30's) wanted to get away for a couple of days and decided we'd try Costa Rica. We'd heard a lot about it from one of my husbands co-workers.
We read all the reviews about the Flamingo Beach Resort on both Expedia and on Tripadvisor and decided it was probably our best option.
The hotel is not a huge resort like the ones you might find in Cancun or somewhere else overexploited. It's probably one of the nicer hotels in the area and its right on the beach which is great.
Yes, they are still doing remodeling on the pool (the pool is opened, but the swim-up-bar is closed). But we spent all our time at the beach anyways (free sun-chairs) so it did not bother us.
If you go you should consider a couple of things:
1.) Get a 4-wheel drive car. The roads are bumpy and its kinda hard to get a round in a 'regular' car (we had a Toyota Corolla and we really thought it would get stuck on some of the roads we were on). The 4-wheel drive cars are more expensive, but totally worth it. (economycars have good deals and great service).
2.) Don't get all-inclusive. The restaurant at the hotel isn't nice at all (we didn't eat there.. just walked by, and it didnt look very inviting).
3.) It's very beachy.. meaning.. you spend most of the time in a bikini on the beach. Don't pack your high heels and nice dresses (I did), you will NOT wear them.
Good things: Beautiful beach and surroundings. Helpful staff. Family friendly. Rooms OK.
Bad things: Hard to get around. Alot of construction going on around the hotel (condominiums, hotels.etc.etc). Very few restaurants (maybe 3-4 in walking distance). Not alot to do, except from being at the beach.
Bad Service! Much room for improvement!
Well...this is the only beachfront property in Flamingo Beach , so that is it's main attraction. However, there is much room for improvement, and the staff doesn't do much to ensure your enjoyment. However, it is a decent place to stay...just don't expect much.
When we first arrived (an hour or so late as we drove in from Arenal area), we were told that our reservation had "just came through their system" yet I had booked with their website weeks ago. We were asked to wait 20 minutes to get the room ready, which was fine. By then it was early evening, so we asked to be charged only half day since the room wasn't ready. They told us no because we had arrived late since check in time started at 3pm (does not make any sense). YET they had said that our reservation just showed up on their system when we arrived. We noticed a man waiting at the front desk that was complaining he had booked a pool view room but wasn't checked into one...I believe they did not correct their mistake.We were very confused but just eager to start our vacation. The rooms are nice and larger than expected. One bathtub was a bit leaky, but nothing too serious.
The beach here is decent...the waves can get very rough (you can hear them crashing at night in your room), and there are some random rocks hidden in the surf to the middle right (when entering from hotel) that can be dangerous - so be careful!
The worse part of the hotel was the restaurant! It is set up a set of stairs to a dingy office space, mall setting. Do not waste your time and money here - take a taxi to the Golden Shrimp or another restaurant. They do not have enough menus to go around if they are at full capacity. We waited 30 minutes for our appetizer only to be served our entrees. Turns out our appetizer orders weren't ever sent to the kitchen. Our waiter let out an "oh no" distress signal, then walked away. We were never asked if we wanted to get them still or to cancel them. The staff is not trained to deal with many diners. The food is not good, and the lunch restaurant by the pool food is nothing to see either.
Finally, we were recommended by the front desk to try the Golden Shrimp, and we were VERY skeptical. The transportation never showed up, but they got the restaurant owner to pick us up. The Golden Shrimp is a great restaurant! You literaly dine right on the beach, toes in the sand, and the waiters are well trained and versed. Another good local restaurant is Playamar (sp??), and it is very cheap. Take a cab, repeat, take a cab - do not attempt to walk AND put on the bug spray (they supply a bottle at the table also, use it!!!)
The pool at the hotel is large, but there are not enough chairs here or on the beach for everyone. There are pool tables in the lobby which were a popular hang out. There is some construction going on across from the hotel. While we did not notice it, there were some loud noises in the morning. Ask for a room on the left side of the complex if you are concerned. Good luck if you decide to stay here.
Probably can do better
I visited mid-May and yes, the site did offer an advanced warning, although very tiny, that the main pool is under construction. So I knew that ahead of time. What I did not know is that the pool is all the resort has to offer. I also did not know about the construction from across the street (condominiums) nor did I know about the "main street" that curves around the resort (thus the traffic on 3 of the 4 sides of the resort). I think other reviews talk about it being noisy. And they are correct. I was traveling solo. But it looks like there isn't much for kids. I think the resort claims there is a casino. But I must ask, "umm, where??" But, overall, I got what I wanted. I wanted to get away, far away, including far from the tourists. And given the much nicer, newer options, this resort was definitely under-populated. There were more good things than bad. I liked my room (spacious, big tub, nice t.v. with lots of channels, private balcony). The staff was very friendly. The food was okay but I am happy I didn't pay for all-inclusive. The drive is 1-1.5 hours from Liberia Int'l Airport and please do pay in advance for transport shuttle. The airport does not offer much in terms of finding stuff or reserving stuff when you arrive. Or, arrange for a rental car. I believe there are probably better options in the Guanacaste area. I can't say my stay was miserable but I don't recommend it.
Fabulous, fuss free vacation
My husband, two teenage daughters and I traveled to Flamingo Beach for Spring Break. Probably one of the best vacations we've taken. Lots to do or nothing to do...your choice. We did the Congo Trail Canopy tour..zip lines through the trees, went horseback riding down the beach and up to a mountain lookout and went on a snorkeling tour. All activities went smoothly and are suitable for families. My husband and 15 yr. old daughter studied PADI diving before our trip, then did their testing in the pool and ocean with the on-site dive center...(arranged ahead of our trip). They were able to take 3 other dives and saw sharks, killer whales, and huge devil rays. The dive instructor took underwater photos and put them on a disk for us to take home. The rest of our time was divided between the pool and the beach. We had a great time walking the beach, picking up shells, playing in the sand, body surfing and watching the incredible sunsets. Other reviews are correct in their comments about the restaurants, although we did take the breakfast at the oceanside patio. It was fun sitting there watching the few vendors set up for the day. The food there was adequate and convenient... but we were glad we did not take the all-inclusive..small local restaurants had better food, lower prices and gave my daughters a chance to practice speaking Spanish. Marie's, the Mariner, Mar y Sol and the Pizzeria are all within a short walk. The Golden Shrimp, located up the coast will send a car to pick you up (arrange through the front desk) and is a fun experience as your table literally is sitting in the sand just feet away from the surf. My favorite thing about this vacation was that you felt you were in a remote tropical paradise. No glitz or glam anywhere. We could wear wet hair and beach cover-ups over our bathing suits to lunch and didn't spend much more time getting ready for dinner. (Enjoyed not waiting 2 hours for 2 teenagers to shower, dry and straighten hair). We really overpacked since we wore our bathing suits most of the time. This truly was a beach vacation and I honestly don't think you could find a better value or a more beautiful beach!
6 Weeks in Costa Rica
"Outline of our Entire Costa Rica Adventure"
To read my daily journal of life in this Costa Rican village go to this link:
Overall I enjoyed the beaches of Costa Rica and the relaxed lifestyle however I found it to be lacking in culture and quite expensive (almost as much as living in Canada). Below are the details of our experiences.
We flew to Costa Rica on Continental Airlines. Nothing significant re: the flight.
Immigration was fairly quick and simple at the San Jose, Costa Rica airport.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Took taxi to downtown San Jose. Taxi cost $10US.
Stayed two nights in the Hotel Caribe ($35US for two) on Paseo Colon. Nice, clean, small hotel with hot water shower. Had the hotel manager call Ecotrans minibus to pick us up the next morning to take us to the west coast of Costa Rica. The minibus is $25US per person to go basically anywhere in Costa Rica. Most hotels should be able to call them for you. We took the bus to Flamingo, Costa Rica. The ride took approximately 6 hours.
Flamingo, Costa Rica
Is a small village with mostly Americans living in it. There are a few hotels, a marina and a Spanish Language School, CPI. The school is excellent although expensive when compared to other Spanish schools in Central America.
The beach in Flamingo is beautiful and not too busy. There are a couple of scuba diving shops, a hair salon, a couple of restaurants and a few other stores. Everything in Flamingo is quite expensive.
Potrero, Costa Rica
Six kilometers away from Flamingo is the village of Potrero. This is the village we lived in for six weeks. It is an absolutely perfect place to get away from it all. The only store in the village is a grocery store called Super Ceymi. It is owned by two wonderful friendly men, Miguel and Orlando. Because this is the only store for miles you can pretty much buy anything there. We even bought our bicycles from the store. Saying that we did head to the city of Santa Cruz and LIberia to buy some items that we couldn't find in Potrero, ie. towels, bath mat, etc.
We rented a little house just down the road from the store from a man named Gato. He owns a number of houses and will rent them out at reasonable prices for all lengths of time.
There are two beaches in this area--Playa Penca and Playa Potrero. Playa Penca is the prettiest and while we lived in Potrero we went to this beach every day and only a couple of times did we ever see anyone else on this beach.
There isn't a lot to do in Potrero. We spent our time going for walks, going to the beach, riding our bikes and a lot of reading. Originally we had planned to spend 6 months here but after 4 weeks I was bored out of my mind. That is when we decided to travel the rest of Central America.
Overall Potrero was a wonderful place to relax and enjoy village beach living. The people were wonderful, the animals plentiful (howler monkeys everywhere!) and the weather perfect. If you are looking for culture and activity this isn't the place to go though.
After 6 weeks we decided to head for Nicaragua.
Our Life in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel Journal
Michaels's Costa Rica Adventure Stories
We headed to the city of Liberia to catch a bus to Nicaragua. The bus we took was the Nica Bus. The Nica Bus terminal is 2 blocks south of the main intercity bus terminal. The bus ticket to Grenada, Nicaraga cost approx $15US each. Nica Bus was fabulous. They are a first-class bus service and they provided excellent service.
To Costa Rica for Christmas and New Year's
I will be in Costa Rica from December 20 to January 3rd. I would like to go to the beach or somewhere fun and affordable from the day after christmas and before new year's day (If it's still time reserve a hotel)with my husband, and 2 kids (7 and 1 year old). Does anyone have any suggestions on where should we go? and which Hotels around the area? Preferably Pacif coast, we love the beach, pools, bars (will bring a babysitter)and nightlife...
Re: To Costa Rica for Christmas and New Year's
Beach and affordable are not words that go together at that time of year. The price of everything goes way up. Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, Playa Coco, Playa Flamingo (Flamingo Beach Resort). Perhaps because you are a Tica you can get a better rate at some of the smaller Tico run places. The Fiesta on the Gulf of Nicoya is a popular Tico vacation spot. You would have easy access to places like Arenal, Jaco, and even trips over to the Nicoya to Montezuma for the day.
So many people travel at that time of year, Ticos included, that it might be hard to find a place on the beach now. I would have some of your family that is down there call around for you as soon as possible.
Last Minute Trip to Costa Rica - Help!
I'm a very lucky daughter whose father just received an inheritance. I've been given a vacation and we've chosen Costa Rica. However, we have to leave this weekend due to work and school constraints.
I need tips on what to do, where to stay, and what to see. I'm doing research as well, but I only have until tomorrow morning/early afternoon to buy air tickets and pick a hotel.
We are pretty active and will likely want to hike, do a zip line tour, see the jungles. We'd also like to have some time relaxing on a nice beach and snorkeling. Thanks for the help!
Re: Last Minute Trip to Costa Rica - Help!
Did you read thre Travel Guide on VT about Costa Rica with '1000' of ideas ??
Re: Last Minute Trip to Costa Rica - Help!
well sounds like you havea couple weeks at the most. If that's the case, head Northwest. Make your way to Volcan Arenal. There are lots of zip line tours in Monteverde and Santa Elena. and for the beaches just head west from there to the Peninsula Nicoya, there you'll find great beaches and snorkeling. Tamarindo is a very popular tourist spot, but Montezuma is always a good laidback town with great surfing, beaches and nice hiking trails to some great waterfalls. Hope that helps a bit.
Re: Last Minute Trip to Costa Rica - Help!
You are very lucky. Arenal would be a good choice for starters and I agree that you should head north to Playa Conchal, Flamingo, Playa Coco and if you want surfing Tamarindo. There are some nice hotels in Tamarindo as well.
How big a budget? Paradisus Playa Conchal is an all inclusive. Flamingo Beach Resort is less expensive and you buy your meals. Don't expect much from the snorkeling in Costa Rica. I would do other things instead. How about a day at one of the hotels near Rincon de la Vieja from either Conchal or FBR. You can get a mud bath, go horseback riding, do a zip line, go tubing, hang upside down over a river. Plenty of things. I would stick to the northern area because things are getting wet now in CR and that area tends to be a bit drier.