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Ocotal Hotel Beach Resort Costa Rica - Review and Photos

Updated on March 31, 2010

Ocotal Hotel Pictures

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Ocotal Hotel Resort

The Ocotal Beach Resort is a great vacation place for singles, couples and families. It is located on a private beach and the local town is pretty quiet. If you are seeking a vacation with exciting nightlife and surfing I would recommend traveling forty five minutes south to Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Whether you plan a week stay or only a few nights while passing though to another destination, the location is great. The local town is Coco, Costa Rica and has a public beach.

The rooms were well-sized and so are the restrooms and showers. The smaller rooms could easily fit 4 people with the queen beds. Travelers have the option of renting rooms or even small condos. The condos are great for families and groups and come with a private swimming pool in the back which overlooks the beach. There is not a room with a bad view even the single rooms overlook the beach.

The rates of the hotel were very reasonable for the size of the rooms and the service. The staff was very friendly and spoke English. The rooms were extremely clean and so were the linens. I have stayed in many hotels here in the States and have never seen a hotel as clean as this one. Some of the linens were slightly worn but in a part of the world where recycling and preservation are valued, I could see how it would be wasteful to dispose of perfectly functional linens if they have a small hole.

The private beach at the resort is very quiet and only occasionally frequented by locals. I sat with a friend on the beach for 9 hours a day under the trees and at some parts of the day we were the only ones on the beach. Loungers and towels are available for hotel guests.

The resort consists of 2 area, the area on the top of the hill with single rooms and the dining area, workout room, front desk and a pool. There is a large hill with the resort's main road and condos line the hill. If you do not want to walk up the hill a shuttle will take you. At the bottom of the hill is an area of more condos which overlook the beach and the main pool and dive center. The main pool has a swim-up bar and the dive shop arranged the dive lessons and tours. The pool looks out on the beach into a cove.

You will encounter local wildlife like birds and several iguanas. A family of monkeys also lives in the trees and you may see or hear them at times.

Ocotal Hotel Private Beach

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Dining

Breakfast is included in the price of the stay and it is an excellent breakfast! The dining room overlooks the water and you can sit indoors or outdoors. Breakfast is served buffet style with fresh fruit, local dishes, French Toast or pancakes, cereal, coffee, juice and made-to-order eggs. For Lunch or Dinner you can eat at the dining room, the pool bar or walk a few minutes down the back to the local Father Rooster Restaurant.

If you plan on eating in the local town of Coco or at Coco Beach, there are several restaurants and a couple grocery stores. Expect to pay about $9-15 total per person and drinks can run $4.50-$9 each. There exists a variety of food including local seafood, Italian, Chinese and American.

Transportation

 The trip from the Liberia airport is about 19 miles and you can schedule in advance for the hotel’s contracted tour service to pick you up or take a taxi from the airport. The waiting areas of the airport are outdoors and several taxi drivers will be awaiting the arrival of guests. The best rate you can hope for is to find some other travelers going to the same area to split a cab. The hotel may have higher prices than the local cabs. If you rent a car from the airport, be prepared to already know where you are going. The roads are marked with signs but not very well and also the local drivers are very erratic. It is likely most rental cars may have stick shifts also. The local bus does not pick up or drop off at the airport, but rather a hotel some distance away. If you are flying into San Juan you may want to arrange other transportation as it is not the close airport for this region of the country.

From the hotel you can take the contracted shuttle service to the local town of Coco which is 3km away for $6. From the town you take a local red cab back to the resort for about $6 or less. Only take the marked red taxis. The taxi drivers will know where the Ocotal Beach Resort is and take cash only.

Tour and Excursions in Liberia

Excursions like zip lines and tours of the volcanoes can be scheduled at the front office. A local tour company has a mini-office and offers several types of trips and packages. Transportation from the hotel and back are included and some packages include lunch. You can schedule excursions in the local town of Coco with separate tour companies as well. I did not find that the prices were very different but if you have a large group it can be worth asking for a deal or discount.

The local town of Coco has many shops you can buy souvenirs and things for friends. The shops are open earlier in the day but the vendors on the sides of the street set up around noon and you can get a lot of fun jewelry and cheap gifts.

Currency in Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Colon is the local currency but the US dollar is widely accepted. You can reasonably expect not to have to exchange money if you do not want to.  Local ATMs also dispense US dollars. There is also an exit visa tax of $26. You can pay for this tax at local banks and bring your voucher to the airport or arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your  flight to pay it upon exiting the country. It may be worth checking out the lines at the airport banks when you arrive to pay it.

Comments

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    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 

      6 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thank you for the information on Ocatal Beach Resort. It is good to know what the different resorts have to offer. I like the fact that you included the information about the exit visa tax. It would be easy for someone to be caught off-guard.

    • profile image

      Jen 

      8 years ago

      Wow! Great tips! Thanks.

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