Punta Islita Hotel

4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 Stars

Plaza Mayor, Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 107% more than similarly rated 4.5 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families93
  • Couples91
  • Solo100
  • Business80

More about Punta Islita Hotel

Punta Islita

by Brian_Aubol about Punta Islita

$130-300 - see link to web page Straight from their brochure:
Perched over a secluded beach in a corner of Guanacaste, Punta Islita is the perfect destination for anyone who desires luxury, tranquillity and spectacular scenery. The charming colonial decor, complete with thatched palm and tile roofs, gives a Costa Rican touch to our exclusive boutique hotel. The use of earth tones, bare wood, palm fronds, and antiques makes this resort particularly enticing for the romantic hideaway of your life.
All rooms are built upon a gentle knoll nestled up against the mountains, with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. At our main building you will find a cascade style swimming pool with Jacuzzi, that appears to flow into the ocean beyond, a swim-up bar, restaurant, boutique and a conference room for 35 people.

Loved everything about Punta Islita!

by TripAdvisor Member JennD

The entire experience was much more than I could have hoped for. My husband and I came for our 10th anniversary. I couldn't beleive the place when we first pulled up. Everything was great from the moment we landed at the airstrip and drove through town (of about 100) arriving at the hotel to the moment we headed home 5 days later.

A little bit about the location - you really feel like you are in the middle of nowhere (which is exactly where I wanted to be to get away from it all). The town is small and consists of a church, hotel, grocery, school and daycare. It is about a 15 minute walk, downhill, from the hotel. While reading through reviews prior to booking we found out that you could take a small plane to Punta Islita from San Jose for about $150.00. This was wonderful, the drive from San Jose is, supposedly, around 4 1/2 hours and we wanted to get there and relax. This is exactly what we did.

The beach and beach area were both great. We spent most of our time down there. The sand was of volcanic type and therefore black but very nice and clean. The volcanic rocks out in the water to the south you had to watch out for but made for an interesting walk during low tide. The beach restaurant and bar were great for an afternoon snack and drink. The main restaurant was a little more fancy but had great evening music. Since we were there during the rainy season, we saw some spectacular lightning shows over the water from the restaurant at night.

The hotel did offer several activities during the day, usually in the morning. They had kayaking, ATV and horseback riding excursions, surfing lessons, and the famous Canopy Tour. I am fairly scared of heights but this was amazing. The views were estonishing, though bring your non-aeresol bug spray. The only time we were bothered my mesquitos was during this trek into the woods and the airline staff confiscated by aeresol can.

The view from all of the rooms is wonderful. We stayed in one of the jacuzzi rooms. I thought it was one of the nicest places I have stayed in. Be advised that there are lizards everywhere, along the sidewalks and on the roofs of the bungelows, including one tiny one on our bathroom wall. Our room had a huge bed and sitting area but my favorite feature was the glass walled shower. It was lined with bamboo and looked out onto a tiny little area with all kinds of plants. It felt like you were taking a shower in the forest. Beautiful!!

If you are looking to get away with no room phones and very little cell phone service, this is the place to be. They do have an internet room with connections available, though I would suggest you check out the spa instead. It is AWESOME and well worth the money. Had I tried the spa the first day I probably would have been there everyday while it rained. I got an avocado body wrap and had to wash off outside in my own little tub!! Make sure to check it out.

Heaven on Earth

by A TripAdvisor Member

We started our honeymoon at Punta Islita and instantly fell in love with it. The people are so nice, its so romantic and secluded, and we had plenty of things to do...including laying in the hammock. The food was great too, Chef Morales was so great and actually gave me the recipe for his lemon pie-so yummy! We had the romantic package so we had the best massages ever, got to hang out in the spa where we saw an armadillo. We had a honeymooon suite complete with a glass shower, one morning I saw a white-faced monkey while I was in the shower! We went to see the turtles, horseback riding, and ATVs. We had Bosantos as our guide and he was so friendly and nice. While we were there they celebrated their Independence Day and the hotel really got involved in the community celebration and so we had a very unique cultural exprience we will never forget. What we didn't realize was how good we had it at Punta Islita until we left and went to other areas of the country, Manuel Antonio & Arenal. If you are looking for something really special Punta Islita is it...I can't wait to go back!

Absolutely Perfect!

by A TripAdvisor Member

My husband and I began our 10 day honeymoon trip here. We stayed at a total of 4 hotels and wow, was this place hard to live up to. Everywhere we went afterwards our saying to eachother was, "It's no Punta Islita." We took a small 30 minute plane ride there from San Jose which was my least favorite part since I get motion sickness. The place was breathe taking and they make you feel as if they really cherish your stay there. We spent much time at the upstairs pool bar with Delmis and her husband, Frank. Such wonderful people. Talk about top of the line service and some of the most friendliest people. The food was SPECTACULAR and my husband raved about the chef over and over again. I would definitely not recommmend bringing small children. There were several there when we were and it just isn't the type of place. I found many couples making sure they were not at the same pool or near their dinner table because of the constant disruption. We enjoyed a canopy zip line tour while we were there. We also got a massage right on the beach. It was wonderful!! Definitely a great relaxing and indulging place.

Wonderful Retreat

by A TripAdvisor Member

Punta Islita is beautiful. We stayed in one of the suites with a jacuzzi - perfect! It is a little difficult getting here if you drive...we weren't prepared for crossing two rivers, but pay close attention to the tides (we did not) and rent a 4-wheel drive and it will be fine. The service is excellent, the property is 5-star. The main infiniti pool is the best place to be, much quieter than down at the beach club pool. You can reserve a romantic beach dinner, but make sure to do so in advance. If you can, upgrade! - the jacuzzi and pool suites are worth it. Our only complaint was the food....perhaps par for a resort, but the property itself was so wonderful we would have expected more. They did offer fresh fish (that you picked out from the catch of the day) down at the beach club and that was great, but the other things.... left a little bit to be desired! Once we got here we did not see the need to leave the resort. We stayed for 4 days before venturing off to other places in Costa Rica - a perfect place to unwind at the beginning of a vacation. I would be content coming here for a full week as well.

Have fun!

Absolutely Perfect for our Honeymoon

by TripAdvisor Member esprague

We started our honeymoon at Punta Islita and were transfixed from the 1st minute we were there. An absolutely jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, magical place...beautiful casitas dotted on a hillside, every single one with a gorgeous view of the valley below, secluded cove and ocean. Many activities to choose from; nature hikes, atv tours (must do), canopy zip-line tour (another must do)...or simply relaxing on the beach or your hammock. The accomodations are superb with very comfortable bedding (w/AC), outdoor table and plunge pool. Very, very private. The restaurant has an atmosphere with unparalleled divinity and the food was excellent (bring your own wine...that's the only drawback, $78 for La Crema Pinot Noir). I brought a whole suitcase full of wine (bubble-wrapped) and I had no problems through customs. The chef is wonderful and the menu has a lot of variety for how remote it is. I surf, so the surfing isn't really much to speak of right infront but Playa Camoranal is a 20 minute drive ($30 round trip if you use hotel transport) and is considered "Costa Rica's version of Puerto Escondido". Heavy wave w/good shape, nobody out...which was actually kinda scary but epic for those who like no crowds. The bellman told me that Slater stayed there specifically to surf Camaronal. Those of you who are birders/naturalists will have a hayday if you visit here...a cornucopia of bird species and other wildlife surrounding the resort at all times (we saw a long tailed manakin...apparently extremely rare) ...all you have to do is walk outside your casita and observe (they will bring you a telescope upon your request)...like your own personal discovery channel. Lastly, the service is impeccable. I've been to several luxury hotels all aver the world (Relais & Chateux's, Ritz, 4 seasons) and used ot work at one and I can say that the staff at Punta Islita provided world class service..as good as any mentioned above. They all deserve a round of applause (and big tips). In conclusion, this place is like a dream come true...sooo worth the rates.

PS - Bugs are present but not bad...very few bites and no stings

Simply fabulous...!

by TripAdvisor Member RoxxyGirl

I just returned from a one week vacation from Punta Islita and all I can say is FIERCE! We travel every x-mas and as it’s nice to have been somewhere that wasn’t crowded and crawling with little children. The place was truly heaven…

GETTING THERE: If it was easy to get to, everyone would go! We opted NOT to fly in the little plane and hire a driver instead. The driver met us at the airport and drove us in an air conditioned van for $180 total (5 people). Initially I had asked the hotel to recommend a van service and the person they referred charged $600! Use Costa Rica Shuttle (find it on line). Our driver drove very well and was professional, we got lucky. The ride wasn’t bad at all- took about 4 hours but it was very scenic and beautiful. I spoke to several people at the hotel who had taken the flight from San Jose and they told me the plane was scary because it’s so small. The van is a great alternative! The last 10 miles to the hotel are the hardest because you have to cross a river (no joke) and it’s very windy on unpaved roads. But like I said, if it was easy to get to, everyone and their mother would be there…

ROOMS: I went with my family and we stayed in a three bedroom Villa (Villa Cedros). It was brand new, huge, full kitchen, 4 baths, had a private pool and amazing views. It wasn’t really walking distance to the main area so they gave us a golf cart to use for the week. I would highly recommend that as everything at the resort is up hills and it’s so hot you don’t want to walk. Everything in the villa was great- the maid left fresh flowers daily. The only thing I didn’t like was the mattresses- they were too hard!

BEACH/POOL: The views from the main pool and the rooms were spectacular. I felt like I had stepped into a postcard. The pool was clean, had a swim up bar and was VERY relaxing. The beach was so private, there were never more that 10 people in the water. The water was clear and warm, I swam so much I grew gills.

FOOD: There are two restaurants at the hotel, one in the main area and one down by the beach. Food was good, they served a lot of seafood. The restaurant by the beach serves the BEST pizza- we had it for lunch almost every day. There is also Monkey Bar (up near the top of the mountain, go there and see the sunsets) and also Cambuto, a local place. Food at Cambuto was good but beware it takes FOREVER. It took us over an hour to get our food and we were the only people there!

SPA/GYM: The spa was so amazing, I had two massages. Melissa did my Swedish and it was the best massage I ever had. The gym left a lot to be desired. It was small and very hot inside but hey, your on vacation, right?

ACTIVITIES: We did NONE. Just relaxed and stayed in the sun all week but from what I heard from the other guests, they were great.

OVERALL: Everyone there is so incredibly NICE and the service is impeccable. It’s the most beautiful place I have ever been to and I vacation out of the country 2-3 times a year. People, don’t bring your kids and if you do, bring a nanny. There was a group staying there with about 6 kids and they were rowdy & obnoxious and the parents didn’t do much to keep them quiet. I would HIGHLY recommend Punta Islita as it’s truly first class!

Perfect place for a honeymoon

by TripAdvisor Member TexasTraveler24

We absolutely loved Hotel Punta Islita. The only drawback was that we were in a room/casita (#28) with a jacuzzi and hammock but we were way at the top of the hill (higher on the hill than the main restaurant and office). We had lots of privacy but the main road ran right by our room and we heard every vehicle. We woke up every morning to construction and the ATVs going up and down the road.

The tours were great. We went river kayaking to the ocean, and the guide showed us a lot of different types of plants and birds. He showed us turtle tracks on the beach. We also went on the horseback ride at sunset, which I highly recommend if you enjoy horses. The ride was the best I have ever been on -- you can gallop and run up and down the beach. They take you to the top of the bluff to watch the sunset. The (steep) ride down in the (near) dark is a little scary though!

Two other parts of our package were the romantic dinner for two down at the beach, which was very nice. Also, we got the massage for two. It wasn't the best massage ever, but it was nice.

One thing to note -- perhaps everyone in the world knows this but me -- but jacuzzi does not mean hot tub (which makes sense since it is so hot there anyway). There was no water controlling device on our jacuzzi, which meant that it was more like a little pool (no bubbles).

The staff here was amazing. They booked our flights on Nature Air and Sansa to get in and out of here (which I highly recommend). They make a real effort to learn your names. They noticed it was my birthday and surprised us with a birthday cake and sang to me. I have to say that the food was amazing. We met the new chef who is a Costa Rican who went to Johnson and Wales in the US. We did get room service one night, and the food was just as good. They have a nice wine list that spans the inexpensive ($16 bottle)to the very expensive.

We never even made it down to the pool by the beach -- I don't know where all the time went! The pool by the restaurant and main office is lovely.

They do nickel-and-dime you a bit here as you are a captive audience. The laundry charge was a bit outrageous.

All in all, an absolutely perfect start to our honeymoon. I would certainly stay here again.

Fantastic Place

by A TripAdvisor Member

An adventure getting there (especially in the rainy season), but not only was it worth it, the 'getting there' was part of the fun!

Great place, great staff, great food, clean rooms -- all a bargain at the price.

Costa Rica....

by twwakefield

"San Jose???"

On ly fly into San Jose to get around the rest of the country... the city is your typical central/south american city. I was disgusted with the middle to older aged american men soliciting prostitution from under age Costa Rican girls.

I only stayed one night because of the time I arrived there.

"Punta Islita"

This was a wonderful contrast to San Jose, this place is a secluded resort on the pacific coast with a private beach and wonderful accomadations. Definitely a 4 to 5 start resort in costa rica that keeps all the nature and wildlife at your fingertips that Costa Rica has to offer. I really can't say much just for some of my pics to show you and for you to take a look at their website. The staff was wonderful and they still reach out to me to let me know of specials and information that is going on in this little resort village.


here is the view from our room!

Forum Posts



We are considering Hotel Punta Islita for the "beach" part of our trip to Costa Rica. The photos are lovely, etc. Is the beach there nice? It seems to be a bit of a walk yet the website says there are ocean front rooms.How can that be? Please let me know if you have stayed there, what you recommend and if you would suggest a particular room.

Punta Islita Hotel Samara Beach Costa Rica

by vacationvinnie

Punta Islita Hotel
Samara Beach
Planning on going the end of
January 2005
Pros and cons ?
weather day ?
weather night ?
water temperature ?
turtles or rays ?
howler monkey sightings ?
any other exotic animal sightings ?
mosquitos ?
how far from the beach ?
how far from most of the tours ?
how far from the town ?
water safe to drink ?
are any shots necessary for this part of Costa Rica?
malaria ?
thyphoid ?
places not to miss ?
thanks for the information in advance

honeymoon destination

by kingmiley

Looking into traveling to Costa Rica for our honeymoon. I have been searching the internet, looking into hotels, different areas of CR...still I would really appreciate an insiders suggestion or expertise. Money isn't too much of a concern for this trip, we want luxury - yet we also want to see more than a plush hotel. We are very active (water sports, hiking, etc.) but, we would also love to spend a few lazy days on a beautiful beach. Has anyone heard of the Paradisus Playa Conchal in the area of Guanacaste? Seems pretty nice.. I'm sure someone out there knows how to "do it right" in CR. Any suggestions? *Think romantic* Thanks so much!

Re: honeymoon destination

by northsea

< we want luxury ->

Have a look at the "Four seasons"


Re: honeymoon destination

by Suzie3

Start out at Peace Lodge about an hour from the airport. 3 nights there would give you a chance to see some of the interior of the country by doing some day trips. Rent a deluxe room and have your choice of an outside jacuzzi on the deck or a private one in the huge bathroom with a waterfall behind you or both as we did. Aromatherapy machine, fireplace, a stereo system, dinner brought to you are all part of the romance here. You also have the choice of one of two showers. One regular one and one that looks like a waterfall. There is also a pool and jacuzzi if you want company to talk to. All this and some of the most spectacular grounds in Costa Rica that you can enjoy early in the day before all of the day trippers get there. You will be out enjoying the sights of places like Poas volcano, Doka Coffee plantation, and much more by then.

From there I would get a ride back to the airport and take a short flight up to a very romantic place.....

When I think of romance and beach I think of Punta Islita. A small, very romantic place. If your idea of romance is going to the largest hotel in the country (Paradisus) and sharing the smallish beach with day tourists and hotel guests then that would be a good option for you.

Another option would be Bosque del Cabo on the most southern part of the country. It is about 500 ft above the coast with views of the Gulfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean. You can get a ride down to the beach or hike down and get a ride back. This is where you will see the most wildlife. There are lots of trails to wander around on and the Pacific side during low tide has a few hidden tidal pools that are almost like a hot tub. Pretty cabinas with outdoor showers. The Mariposa cabin also has an tub for two and is the most private as it is on the end. I will never forget taking a shower on my last night (of many trips there) and seeing spider monkeys going by overhead. I have several pictures on this web site.

Congratulations and happy planning.


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 Punta Islita Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Hotel Punta Islita
Resort Punta Islita

Address: Plaza Mayor, Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica