Alma Del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa
What We Love
- Daily continental breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Private villas with terraces, gardens and some with plunge pools
- Open-air thatch-roofed restaurant using garden ingredients and a seaside spa with organic treatments
- Art is a big theme here: Rooms are filled with original paintings, mosaics and tapestries
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
What To Know
- Villas have WiFi and TVs; cell phone service is spotty, but you're here to relax and take things down a notch
- There can be riptides on Playa Esterillos, but you can take a dip in the two back-to-back swimming pools or work on your tan at the beach
- Located halfway between Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park
- If you're renting a car, we recommend reserving one with a GPS
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Less than two hours from San Jose, Alma del Pacifico sits on four landscaped acres flanked by jungle and the Pacific Ocean. A top-to-toe revamp in 2011 added a slew of modern amenities, including TVs, WiFi and a beach bar, but the signature multicolored buildings, eclectic artwork, organic cuisine and blissfully chill vibe remain undisturbed.
Bed and Bath
The open-plan Garden Villas are a spacious 455 square feet, with large terraces, private walled gardens, arching wood plank ceilings, huge windows and sitting areas. Art is a big theme here, and each room is filled with original paintings, mosaics and tapestries; even indoor/outdoor bathrooms are done up with colorful mosaic tiles. Villas have King beds, though families or groups can request the handful of rooms with two Full beds, and all have built in daybeds for lounging away from the two pools or beach.
Open-air Mosaic Restaurant serves up a seafood-heavy menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with many dishes using ingredients grown in the hotel’s own organic gardens and orchard. Or go for lighter bites and cocktails at the Beach Bar — perfectly positioned to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. For activities away from the chocolate and gray sands of Playa Esterillos, book a treatment in the four-room spa, take a dip in the two back-to-back swimming pools or explore the acres of wildlife-filled rainforest that surrounds the resort.
In the Area
Manuel Antonio National Park is worth a visit, but you should also check out Carara National Park, about 15 miles north of Jacó. Dense and wet, the park is home to plenty of animals, including one of the largest populations of wild scarlet macaws in the region. Alternatively, Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls is a privately owned 50-acre botanical refuge with nearly 600-foot waterfalls (said to be the tallest in the country). For less active pursuits, head about 30 minutes up the coast to Jacó — a fun (if somewhat seedy) surfer town with a bevy of bars, clubs and discos to get your ears ringing again. For a memorable meal on the hillside of Manuel Antonio, check out El Avión, built inside an old airplane that was shot down by the Sandinista army in Nicaragua. Meals can be hit-or-miss, but the drinks are excellent.
How to Get There
Service is excellent, rooms are large and well equipped - we had a sea view one, which we loved. Breakfast is OK, other food also. Decor is nice, there's a large parking lot... well, we spent two very pleasant days!
We loved our time at this hotel and wish we could have stayed longer. I loved the privacy each bungalow afforded, the creativity of the architecture, the lovely pools, good WiFi, proximity to nature and a pretty good restaurant.
Hotels are generally a means to enjoy an area, rather than being the attraction in of themselves. Beach hotels can of course be an exception, and Alma del Pacifico is one such example. We stayed here 2 nights (nearly 48 hours), with the aim of spending the entire time relaxing in the hotel, as we had been traveling for a long time by this point and were looking forward to some relaxation.
Alma del Pacifico did not disappoint. From the moment we were shown to the amazing room we could tell it was going to be good. In the absolutely stifling heat the air conditioning was the most effective (but quiet) system I've ever experienced. We were in a garden suite (cheaper ones with no sea view) but it was actually more private than the beachfront ones.
The hotel seemed virtually empty. They told us it was half full, but we rarely encountered anyone in the wonderful pools. Only issue with the pools is that they were just so hot - like jacuzzis - because the air temperature is so high, even at night.
They provided useful information on the tides and we enjoyed swimming in the ocean on the deserted but enormous beach. What an experience. Yes, the sand is perhaps not the idyllic colour, but having so few people here on an otherwise beautiful beach was amazing. Waves are somewhat large, but manageable for adults at least.
A la carte breakfast was not bad. Dinner was pretty good - a bit expensive for Costa Rica, but not bad by international standards. But what do you expect, really? One related disappointment was that I did think the drinks were very expensive, and needlessly so. This actually put us off consuming anything much ($5 or $6 for a (happy hour?) beer as I recall). Price these reasonably and we would have consumed much more, especially with dinner.
Overall though a wonderful stay and so much better than crowded beach resort. It's nice when you decide to spend more than you normally do on a hotel and it turns out to be well worth it (which is not always the case by any means).