Good location, good rooms, but...
The Best Western Vista Villas has a decent location at the northern end of Tamarindo's main "beach strip" (which is about a kilometer long, easy to walk in 15 minutes). The rooms are spacious and well-kept, with large bathrooms, and excellent free Wi-Fi. The staff was nice and helpful. While the breakfast buffet was the same every morning, the fruit was amazing and super fresh, very good. The built-in couches in the living room of the suites are large enough and comfortable enough to serve as extra beds. It is an easy 2-minute walk across the street and through the trees to the beach. The front desk staff was very prompt about responding to requests and very helpful in getting tours booked. The breakfast staff was great. Overall, it was a good place to stay, and I probably would opt to stay there again.
That being said, here's a few things to know:
- We had booked our room via the Best Western Int'l site, but the room descriptions on that site didn't match up against BWVV's own site room descriptions. When we contacted the property to find out what room our reservation (1Q + 1 single) translated to, we were told we'd booked the Pilsen suite (stand alone cottage w/1Q + bunks). Upon arrival, we were given a 1Q room and told we had mistakenly been told that we had the Pilsen, that the Pilsen was only rented on a "long-term" basis (whatever that meant? monthly? don't know). After going back and forth with the check-in desk a few times, they ended up upgrading us into a Tropical Suite (300 level room with best views).
- The hotel is on 5 levels, built into a hillside. If you are physically challenged/limited/out of shape, you may find this difficult. The first level is street level, where you will find the hotel's office at the north (left) end of the property, the message lady, and the (free) equipment rentals (surf boards, beach chairs, etc). The 100 level of rooms are 'partial' views and you can reach them either by walking up the slope of the parking lot/driveway, the stairs at that same end of the property, or 36 steps of the main (south) staircase entry. (see photos) The 200 level rooms (better views), pool area, and bar/restaurant are reached by walking up the driveway to the 2nd level of parking, or taking the full 59 steps of the main staircase. The 300 level rooms are the 2nd story of the 200 level rooms (15 stairs). To reach the gym and the 400 level rooms, you need to climb another set of stairs (not sure how many) from behind the pool; not sure if you can reach those rooms via the driveway. Additionally, to reach the breakfast area behind the bar, you have to go up and down several stairs from the pool area, although I think you can possibly take a path around behind the pool as well.
- The Friday night party is LOUD. Take the earplugs they offer, or bring your own; I don't think there's a room on the property where you won't hear it. It really cranks up around 9pm and runs til about 2am. We weren't told that there would be a DJ at the pool on Sunday afternoon for a few hours; that event was equally loud.
- The hotel's pool is "open to the public" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (so long as people spend at least $10 at the bar/restaurant). This means the pool is very busy during the weekend.
- Our housekeeper was very nice; however, we had to keep asking for things. When we first arrived, we had only 2 large towels and 1 hand towel. We did not receive any room cleaning on our second day, and when we called down to the office to inquire around 4pm, they sent up fresh towels immediately. We asked our housekeeper on day 3 for more small towels, and she gave us 2 hand towels and 1 facecloth; on the rest of our days, it was erratic about how many hand towels we'd get and we never got another facecloth. We also had to specifically request her to fill up the shampoo/conditioner in the shower once it was empty. Not sure if this is a "normal" level of service, as we thought all the staff were generally very helpful and nice.
The cost is good, the location is decent, and overall, it was a good experience, with a few minor drawbacks. less