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All reviewsshipping containerssteep hillgolf cartcontainer hotelnational parksea containerscool conceptinteresting hotelmanuel antonio parkinfinity poolthe hotel receptionliterally next doorperfect locationcomfy bedcosta ricawalking distance to the beachyour luggage
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Reviewed 29 April 2018

I spent a lot of time researching hotels in the Manuel Antonio area for our first trip to this beautiful area in Costa Rica. After much consternation over where to stay (even what room in the hotel itself), we finally settled on an ocean view Deluxe room at the El Faro and were happy with our choice. Yes - as many reviewers said, the hotel rooms built with cargo containers are small but very manageable. There are two sizes of rooms and we opted for the 30 square meters as opposed to 15 square meters room. We are here for 8 days so wanted to be comfortable and to take advantage of the wonderful ocean view from the room - very nice to wake up to!

There are two pools and we opted to use the upper building pool since the view from this pool was magnificent and if there were any children, they use the lower building's pool as it is more shallow. Our room was in the lower building (room 315) but it was very convenient to the upper pool as you just have to climb only one set of stairs to the restaurant and walk a few feet through the restaurant to this pool. The pool was quite busy (long holiday weekend in Costa Rica) and under these circumstances you may have to wait to use a lounge chair. Don't bother bringing beach or pool towels as the El Faro supplies these for you.

Regarding if you stay in the lower or higher building, one word of caution is that if you are a late sleeper, don't stay in 315 (or in any room on the third floor of the lower building) since this 3rd floor is right below the restaurant and noisy from people moving their chairs. We are early risers so it didn't matter that the staff would arrive about 5:30 am in the restaurant to start the day so therefore some noise early in the day. Ask for a quiet room if this would disturb your sleep.

The staff are so friendly and accommodating and take pride in their work - this was obvious! From the front desk to the gentlemen who drive the golf carts to get you up and down the hotel hill and the incredible staff in the dining room or cleaning the rooms - nothing disappoints! For example, we had booked one night and then had another reservation for the 7 remaining nights because we decided to come straight from the airport rather than stay around there the airport and then take a private shuttle. They managed to get us into a room for the whole time rather than having to check in again and move!

It's about a 5 minute walk to the public beach and even less to Manual Antonio park so very conveniently located. We did the park the first day because it was before the long weekend so not as busy. There are 3 beaches in the park but no where to sit chair wise so decided instead to use the public beach which was a great choice. You can rent two lounge chairs and an umbrella at the public beach for 5 colones or $10 US dollars for the day and it is worth it. It is a great walking beach too!

The breakfast at the El Faro was included and although somewhat of a limited menu, the nice thing is that you are served every efficiently and with lots of smiles from the restaurant staff. We also ate dinner here a couple of evenings and the food was fine but there are so many options such as the Hostel Costa Linda, a 5-6 minutes walk away with very reasonable well cooked meals. Interesting because walking there, we saw more monkeys up on the electrical wires in the area by the park, rather than in the park! What a treat to see their antics on the wires!

Frankly for us, the location was superb with lots of other restaurants, a small grocery store, etc. and going up and down the hill was not an issue thanks to the golf carts.

If we were to return, we would certainly book this hotel again since dollar for dollar, I think it provided great value and was perfectly located.

Stayed: April 2018
3  Thank cubafriendMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2018

The hotel is very well located, next to the park entrance and walking distance to restaurants and the public beach.
The pool is nice and the service is good.
However, the rooms and bathrooms are a little bit tight. Also, the hotel is on a hill and I didn´t see any elevators. So... if you have any trouble walking or going up stairs, this is definitely not the place for you.
However, the bed was really comfortable and it´s a good price. There is also a great view.

Room Tip: There are no elevators, so ask for a room on the 1st or 2nd floor.
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank taniakiamowitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2018 via mobile

Most of the staff is very nice and the guys driving the golf carts are a delight. Unfortunately there is also a receptionist working almost every day who made my stay very unpleasant - hence the two stars. My story: We travelled to Costa Rica to celebrate the 30th birthday of my partner. In advance I contacted the hotel and they agreed gladly to decorate the room upon our arrival and oraganise a birthday cake. As we arrived just one day prior to the actual birthday I was relieved to get help. Arriving there the receptionist was not very friendly and the room lacked of any decoration. Asking him about the cake he told me that there were no mails from me stating my wishes. When I showed him the mails, he did not apologise and told me he would try to get it and call me in the room. I waited 2 hours, no call. In the morning his colleagues knew nothing about the cake he promised me later they would then take care of. Gladly these guys were very friendly and helped immediately. After further very unpleasant encounters with the unfriendly receptionist the cake finally arrived in our room. It was no longer a surprise due to my many calls and visits at the reception. I was enormously disappointed with the treatment and the enorm amount of stress he caused me.
Furthermore, the bed was far too small - a 1,85 metres tall guy had to have his feet hang out. The noise level was sometimes too loud - you could hear the music from the pool in the rooms, 3 levels higher.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Knute88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

This hotel is located perfectly: right in the Samuel Magnolo Reserve! You don't even have to pay parking because you are right next to the entrance of the park! It was all fun and games until the space between the wall and the bed is too narrow to allow you getting to the other side. Sounds good, doesn't work.

The hotel doesn't have a gym, but you don't even need one with the steep hill that you have to walk to get to the hotel. We gladly took the golf car every time.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bertanny_and_Ronaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018

We picked this hotel because we wanted to be really close to the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park.
And that is is.
We debated between this place and another one farther from the entrance and finally settled on this because of an online deal and we wanted to get something off our checklist.
Spending a night in a shipping container - CHECK!
Check in was a breeze. The gentleman working at reception was hilarious, cracking jokes, being that right level of sarcastic when you are checking in new guests.
We got assigned a room at the highest level. It included a near vertical ride up a golf cart (i exaggerate, but it was steep), and their staff carrying both our suitcases two flights of steps and dropping us off at our door.
I forget our room number, but there were only 4 rooms on this level (two that flanked the N and S edge of the building seemed like bigger suites). We got one of the two that face the ocean.
The really nice and helpful golf cart driver (TODO: add pic) is always available to take you up and down the hill.
The infinity pool is great. (TODO : Add pic)
Restaurant is basic and a little slow at bringing us our check after dinner.
Breakfast is early so you can make it to the entrance of MANP by 7. The food choices for breakfast are decent and tasty.
All in all, for the price, the pool, the breakfast and the proximity to the NP entrance, the hotel is a very good value!
The only negative, if I have to dig up one, is the humidity in the bathrooms. I didn’t see an exhaust fan, and if you keep your “shipping container” closed, the only way to get cool is to blast the AC.

Room Tip: Get a suite on the higher level. The views are unbeatable
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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