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Reviewed 21 March 2021 via mobile

Although we had a rough start - El Castillo did a great job making us happy. I’ll preface my review to say that my husband and I are not resort people; so this kind of stay, although beautiful, was not our cup of tea. If you are also not a resort type, this place may not be for you.

Our room (initially) was ocean-facing and was very small. There is a bed and a small closet, but that’s about it. The view is nice but slightly obstructed (we were in the middle of the house). There was a large AC unit out on our deck that was quite noisy and pushed out a ton of hot air.

We wanted to go explore, but it seemed like the only options we had were local beaches, so we went to Playa Ventanas which is down the street and said to be “iconic”. It was very small and sort of dirty. We only stayed there for a few minutes and went back to the hotel for some lunch. The lunch was underwhelming: we had fish tacos and the octopus appetizer. We had been eating some amazing seafood while in Costa Rica so were expecting the same here...not exactly the case. The octopus was chewy and the fish tacos were soggy and had very little flavor. The other reviews said the food was incredible here - so maybe we just caught them on an off time? We didn’t eat much at the resort again, besides breakfast, which was VERY good.

At this point we were slightly disappointed. We were hoping for a comfortable room and good food, but ended up feeling very underwhelmed instead. We spoke to the manager and asked if we could cancel our reservation. Normally we wouldn’t do this - but El Castillo is pricey and I felt we were just not getting what we paid for. She was very nice and tried to tell us the surrounding area was just “quiet” and if we wanted a “party” we should go to Jaco. My husband and I don’t drink or party - we were just hoping to understand the area a bit more from our hosts and were left feeling very confused and disappointed.

I’ve worked in hospitality in the past and my next move would have been a room upgrade. That usually can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one, regardless of the pain points. They did not offer this nor were they willing to refund us. I finally noticed that one of the villas seemed unoccupied and asked if it was available (I felt like that should have been offered instead of initiated by me). They were willing to move us but we had to pay for the upgrade. The room was MUCH bigger, but not a whole lot better. There were what appeared to be rodent feces and the smell of the septic or sewer was very strong right outside our room. Some of the lights didn’t work and the water in the shower didn’t exactly get as hot as we would like.

The pros were definitely some of the staff. Eisman was our breakfast server and was so lovely. He always made sure we had coffee and went above and beyond to make us comfortable. He was part of the redemption of this place for us. Rebecca and Vanessa are the managers and both did a good job making sure we stayed happy. I do wish they were a bit more clear about the area; as once we started exploring we realized there were lots of restaurants and things to do close by. Maybe I was confusing as to what I was looking for, so I don’t want to completely blame it on them.

The location is great and the view is spectacular. Can’t beat that. Definitely go eat at Citrus, Sud and Exotica. Great great food and even dancing at Sud! Staff at all three places were so incredible and the food will blow your mind. Hermosa Beach was our favorite in the area.

I wanted to adjust my review objectively as possible to be fair. Based on the reviews I think most people love this place and think it is basically heaven. They did a good job of making you feel in an Oasis and all alone up on the hill. I don’t think we would return but again, most of that is based on personal preference. Our 4/5 is mostly derived from not feeling the value of this “luxury” hotel.

Date of stay: March 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank newells0707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2021

My Husband and I have travelled all over the world and Ojochal, specifically El Castillo, is our favorite place to visit. We have stayed at the hotel twice since 2018. The views from all of the rooms are stunning. The pool area is very quiet and it is a great space to read a book and relax.

My husband and I are both vegan and the staff was so kind and willing to accommodate us. The food was amazing and they are even developing a vegan menu for future guests.

Room tip: The Ocean View Suite is worth the extra expense!
Date of stay: February 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sydneyv564
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2021

We opted not to do a planned couple of days in the mountains in San Gerardo De Dota so that we could spend a few more days on the southern coast after staying near Uvita. We found El Castillo on Booking.com and visited the day before we ultimately checked in. Love at first site. The staff was fantastic, the suite overlooking the pool and the ocean was amazing, and the breakfast was superb. The view from the room and the pool is second to none. We have been many places in Costa Rica on our 4 trips there, and we look forward to staying at El Castillo again next February.

Date of stay: February 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Jsbjeff12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2021

We had a really enjoyable stay at El Castillo. The view was amazing; seeing the sunset on the ocean from the infinity pool is a real treat. The accommodations were very clean and comfortable. The staff was friendly, helpful and great to deal with. The food was very good too. I truly would recommend this boutique hotel to anyone that is looking for a great getaway. It's perfect for couples!

Date of stay: February 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank kmG5875CY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2021

One of the loveliest places with the most gorgeous views I’ve ever stayed at. The place is small so feels intimate and the staff are delightful making sure that you’re well taken care of. Perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views. Being in the Infiniti pool while looking out on the stunning vista is simply amazing.

Date of stay: February 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank sebastian0212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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