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July 28, 2005
When you arrive at the gates to the hotel, it's a bit surprising. Here is a world-class resort hotel tucked away at the end of this tiny, local dirt road. I explained to the guard desk that I was not staying at Hotel Parador but wished to look around. They sent a hotel staff member to greet me and give me the tour. The staffer was very friendly and happy to welcome me. You could sense the pride the staff has in this fine hotel.
The hotel is spread out over 12 acres. The lobby imitates a Spanish villa, and the main building is loaded with Spanish antiques and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish oil paintings. In the main building, there is also one of the area's best restaurants, serving not only guests but visitors to the area.
There are a number of pools on the grounds, from family pools to adult-only pools. All the pools were large and very luxurious. The adult pool was one of my favorites! The hotel also has a wonderful, posh spa and a private beach 500m from the grounds. They even have a monkey path, where in the morning you can take a walk down the trail to view monkeys.
I was less impressed by the rooms than I was by the main building and grounds. The rooms were small and very average. The standard rooms I saw had small balconies and looked like any mid-level hotel room you would find in the United States.
Overall, I was very impressed by the Hotel Parador. The grounds are stunning, and it seems like a good choice for families, as there is so much to do here. The staff was very helpful and very friendly, and from my brief encounter, they gave me the impression they work hard at making a stay here comfortable. The rooms were a bit plain and small but by no means offensive or uncomfortable-looking. This seems like a wonderful pick for the Manuel Antonio area and one I would choose to stay with my family on future visits. The summer deals started at $130 per night, and the price can be compared to other area hotels that have far less to offer. In season, the rates start at $175 per night and include breakfast.
From journal Nature's Gift - Costa Rica
January 21, 2002
From journal A week in lush Costa Rica