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All reviewshiking trailscentral valleyorchid houseinfinity poolsan joseprivate jacuzzicosta ricabotanical gardensoverlooking the valleycoffee plantationour honeymoontwinkling lightslarge balconybeautiful groundsrooms are hugemain buildingbefore flying home
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Reviewed 15 September 2012

After reading about barking dogs (yep) and stale tortilla chips (!), I had to jump onto TripAdvisor to offer my thoughts on Xandari. I will make them brief but succinct. Xandari is the BEST place I have ever stayed ... when seeking the type of vacation that brought me to Costa Rica. If you're expecting a Ritz-Carlton pampering with super-posh bath products and deluxe accommodations, go to Hawaii or the Westin St. John. That's not why you are here.
The rooms are very unique and artsy. Memory foam mattress are great. Blinds that do not block out the 5am sunrise are somewhat of a drag. No AC? No worries. It's pretty nice at night. The noise? That was an issue on my first two of four nights with random barking dogs from outside the property. Costa Rica has many random roaming dogs ... not strays, I was told. The shower has no curtain but no worries ... it's private. The room we had was close enough to the main building where we got somewhat spotty but adequate WiFi; there is a hard-wired computer in the main building that is superfast and a media room with Sky satellite TV. No TV in the guest rooms ... but did you really come here so you could see Watchmen in Spanish from your bed when you could enjoy wine and fine food at very affordable prices from the Xandari restaurant with a priceless view of monkeys in trees, birds eating papaya from a tableside feeder and the entire Central Valley off in the distance?
The room we had (18) is one of two in a split villa. The wall is a bit thin but a buddy had the adjoining room. If we had loud neighbors that would have been an issue. The patio overlooks the Central Valley and there are plenty of birds and animals at sunrise to hear!
Our room was also across from a nice pool and jacuzzi -- a bonus. I didn't get to the affinity pool near the more private and more distant villas, and did not use the spa but it looks very nice. Why? Because there are about 4km of serious hiking trails on the property that include waterfalls, a garden where I planted a tree in honor of my girlfriend and I, a working chicken coop, a citrus orchard and an art studio.
The staff at the restaurant is not "stiff." They are trained to wine and dine Americans. Once I started speaking to them in colloquial Spanish they loosened up and we got great service.
Do I have "complaints"? Not really. There was a miscommunication regarding our arrival at the airport because of a flight delay out of our control and we had to take our chances with a local livery driver who ripped us off, we later learned. We had prepaid to Xandari our airport ride and I had to haggle a little bit to apply the prepaid fee to an excursion cost.
On one night we used the Xandari driver to take us three into Alajuela, a somewhat sleepy but very clean and friendly town five minutes down the hill from Xandari, for dinner. He charged us $20 USD. The cab ride back from the one bar we could locate (Bulevar) was a whopping $8 USD. The taxis are totally fine and I took one to the airport for $11.50.
Lastly, the excursion packages that Xandari is able to arrange through preffered providers were excellent and we were treated royally. We recommend Colinas del Poas ziplining, and Rios Tropicales for Pacuare River whitewater rafting (spend the $$ on a private van and guide -- they'll buy you breakfast, lunch and prepare a nice surprise at the end of the 18 mile trek and you need not deal with hotel drops in San Jose). Hike at Poas Volcano, and be sure to go to La Paz Waterfall Gardens for in-your-face birds, big cats, monkeys and more waterfall-filled hiking. All can be done from Xandari, making my busy four-day stay truly exceptional.
I will return. I do not care that I had to bring my own Aveda bath products taken from a recent stay at a hotel in the US as the homemade oatmeal soap and crummy shampoo/conditioner they offer is worse than a Ramada Inn. That's not why I was there.
Just get rid of the barking dogs, neighbors of Xandari. That's my only complaint.
Otherwise I can't wait to return to see my tree and enjoy more eco-minded experiences.

Room Tip: If you see privacy ask for a high-numbered villa but prepared for a long and somewhat dark nighttime trek to your room. A tad inconvenient but you will have access to the affinity pool. If you want in-room WiFi and a short walk to the pool and main building, ask for rooms 18 or 17.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank JakeAdams72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2012

My husband and I came here 3 years ago our favorite was the nachos they served and they had really good all around food. Although this time we found the chips to be stale, which I am guessing is because they don't make them fresh so that was a bummer. Last time they were fresh out of the oil and so good with gaucamole/salsa. So that was a bit of a disappointment. The corn soup was good the first night we had it and lacked flavor the last 2 nights, I just had to see if it would be good again:). I always enjoyed the rice and beans my favorite:)
The rooms are nice still, we had room 23 its a bit of a hike to the restaurant which we don't mind, it's a gorgeous hike. We just weren't impressed with the room itself. Kind of small compared to the last time we stayed which was to the right of the entrance to the restaurant I wanna say three rooms before the end. This time the room was not very honeymoon suit like. The ones we stayed in before were much more impressive.We were wondering if they put us in this that because we brought our 11 month old with us this time. But it was nice enough a view of the valley. All around great place to experience.
The staff is awesome, very helpful and make you feel like family. They loved our baby and played with him and were very kind. They will arrange anything you need, they are great with people we loved them.

Room Tip: Choose the rooms on the same level as the restaurant. I know there is a room they try and keep vacant only because of complaints of a dog barking.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank JAL L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
XGerente, Manager at Xandari Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Dear JAL L,Thank you for letting us know what we are and are not doing right at Xandari.
We now bake, not fry, the tortilla chips, that's why they are different. They are a bit less crispy, but shouldn´t have been stale at all.
We have reviewed the soup recipe with the cooks so it should always be consistent in the future. We apologize and will keep an eye on these.
Villa#23 is a Prima Plus, you may have stayed in a larger Ultra or Ultra Plus villa during your previous stay (it coincides with the described location).
Thanks for commenting on our staff, we really enjoy our guests and we´re glad it shows.
We hope to have an opportunity to host you in the future, hopefully in an Ultra Plus villa!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2012

We just love coming here to get away from the city and enjoy a nice lunch in the mountains. The view is fantastic. The servers are a little stiff and reserved yet attentive but the food and atmosphere definitely make up for it. Their fresh fruit plate and salads are amazing. Comfortable seating area to spend a leisurely lunch. Everything is well prepared and presented nicely. I highly recommend this place for a great view and food. I have never stayed nor received a spa service but perhaps sometime soon.

Room Tip: Sit outside and take your time to enjoy it all
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Katma_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

We stayed in a spacious ultra villa and really appreciated all of the personal touches that the owners provided as well as the well cared for and beautiful grounds. The views from the room and restaurant were incredible, the food was good, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The only downside was the barking from the local dogs, which the resort certainy had no control of, however I was glad that I had brought along some earplugs so that it did not disturb my sleep too much. I hope to return someday!

Stayed: September 2012
1  Thank jilln5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

In one word, Xandari is heaven! I stayed here for 3 nights thanks to an amazing Groupon deal in April. At the time, I needed a getaway that would help me to completely relax, refocus and rejuvenate and I was treated to all three at Xandari. My villa was comfortable, beautiful and quiet. I had a view of the valley and pineapples grew in my backyard. I was situated close to the main building and not far from the spa, which was perfect for me. And the spa...you HAVE TO book a spa treatment while at Xandari. Both of my treatments were wonderful. The homemade chocolate body treatment was like being immersed in a vat of delicious cocoa. The full body massage was incredible. I followed it up with an hour in one of the private jacuzzis that are in each treatment room. And I have I mentioned the staff? They were all so nice and welcoming, especially the guides who will provide transportation to any and all of the attractions in the area. I am totally sold on Xandari and can't wait to come back very soon!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank be973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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