The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal Review
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24-hour All-Inclusive Resort
The first thing that jumped out to us about the Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal All-In-Inclusive Resort is the 24-hours room service.
It was one of the best things for us during our stay from June 30 – July 2016. We arrived very late. Our plane was scheduled to land at 10:30 pm local time, but it got delayed. We didn’t get to the resort until 12:30 am. Tired and hungry, but thanks to the hotel 24-hour room service, we had a warm meal, completed with a bottle of wine to celebrate our visit.
Also, we were able to order breakfast for 5:00 am on the day we departed. We have been traveled and stay in many hotels around the world, but this is by far the only hotel that provides us with room service around the o’clock. Don’t let the word “inclusive” fools you. The service is classy, and the food is excellent.
Royal Beach Club Suite
We stayed in the Tower II of the Royal Beach Club. It is an exclusive area for adult and with private check-in at the Royal Beach Club Lounge.
However, it had closed by the time we arrived and we check-in at the resort lobby.
The resort is very family-friendly but also cater to couples. Our suite is huge, over 900 square feet and comes with many upgraded amenities. The name of our room is Royal Beach Club Suite, but it is more like an apartment with a bedroom, separate living room, and two bathrooms with full showers.
The suite includes a private balcony with an outdoor bathtub and lounge furniture.
The regular internet can be blotchy, and it took us forever to share it with our Facebook friends. Luckily, we got complimentary premium internet access, a perk of SPG Elite Gold, which we were only aware of a day or two later. It requires a different login credential, and not the generic last name and room number. If you have elite status, remember to ask for the login and password.
Personal Concierge Service
(a service for Royal Beach Club Room or Suite)
We have different concierge each day, however, they all know us by names, our room number and the duration of our stay. All of them are very attentive and genuinely cared for our happiness during our stay at the resort. They helped to make restaurant reservations, suggested activities and things to do in and out of the resort, shuttled us around the resort, and delivered us on any personal requests. One of the concierges, Errol, went out of his way to get Irena mamones, a fruit native to Costa Rica.
He then made sure to deliver the fruit to us, even on his day off, because he knew we would depart the next day.
One other concierge, we forgot his name but starts with the letter B, Bernan I think, was our concierge the last two nights, was also very attentive. He brought us a good bottle of Merlot and strawberries covered chocolate and took great pictures for us upon requested on the beautiful golf course.
Personal concierge services at Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal are one of the best, unique and consistent, comparing to many other great resorts and hotels we have traveled around the world.
There are also other amenities we didn’t use, such as daily newspaper and laundry services. I think 1 or 2 items are complimentary. With the tropical climate and many activities in and out of the resort, we are sure other guests would find the laundry services tremendously convenient.
Playa Conchal and Nothing Like A Costa Rica Sunset
The resort is huge with beautiful forest like surrounding and direct access to Playa Conchal beach. It’s not a private beach, though. Upon exiting the boundary line, vendors selling souvenirs and young girls offer 1-hour massage for $20. We heard many positive feedbacks from reviewers regarding the beach massage, but we didn’t have time to use their services. The vendors and massagers were mostly young ladies; they were persistent but not aggressive. The beach has a lot of seashells; beautiful clear blue water, the landscape is lined with bushes of trees.
Sunset was simply amazing; Irena captured stunning photos of the Costa Rica sunset.
The hue colors of sun rays were mesmerizing; perhaps one could never see elsewhere beyond the equator.
We soaked it all in our last day, relaxing and watching a beautiful sunset, as people slowly walking way back to the resort or going home, leaving us alone enjoying the peaceful sky as the red and purple sun rays slowing fading beyond the Pacific Ocean.
During the day it was very pleasant to walk around, but at night, even with the lights, the resort is still very dark and difficult to navigate. The best thing is shutters are always available 24/7 and very fast once requested. Costa Rica is near the equator; the sun always set around 6:30 pm. Once the sun is down the place is getting dark very fast. Our eyes may not have enough time to familiarize with darkness as there was no lingering twilight we customarily have seen in the northern atmosphere. So the shuttle comes in handy.
Dining at the Resort
Days before our visit, a Westin Experience Specialist reached out to Irena to offer their services, another perk of SPG Elite Gold, and help prepare for our stay, including making dinner reservations (see Full List). Reviews of the property are abundance while the restaurants are very limited because people don’t write individual reviews for them. After checking TripAdvisor, we decided not to make reservations until we get there. There are eight restaurants and six bars in the resort. I wish we could try them all, but we only stayed here for five nights. Minus the first late night arrival, we only dined in four restaurants. Below is the list of a variety of restaurants we tried, hopefully, enough to help you make a choice.
Mitra International Buffet
The place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves International food. We only went here for breakfast one morning to compare to Faiselena. The atmosphere is very relaxed and festive, and open to all guest, so you can imagine the long line in the morning during peak time. It has a variety of stations.
This restaurant has many positive reviews, and we love Italian food, so naturally we selected this restaurant on our first full night here. As Royal Beach Club guests of the resort, we also had breakfast here in the morning, so we were familiar with the restaurant layout. The restaurant is only a few distant from our tower. With the lighting, chandeliers, the high vaulted ceiling, large windows with the pool views, and modern setting making Faisallena one of the most romantic restaurants in the resort.
The restaurant serves classic Northern Italian cuisine, which was less to our liking. We favor Central and Southern Italian food, where Mediterranean taste are what we know about Italian cuisine. But it was Italian food nevertheless so we must try. The food was not that bad. The presentation was on par. Since we didn’t like gnocchi nor risotto, our selection is a little limited. One of its signature dishes was risotto with sautéed shrimp, but Irena is allergic to shrimp, so we kind of miss out. We ended up choosing the familiar dishes. Had we pay attention a little more, we could have made better food selection and tasting some of the unique northern Italian cuisines. Oh well, there is always next time.
Bamboo Asian Fusion Restaurant
As the name indicates, this restaurant served Asian fusion cuisines. However, reviews upon reviews giving an impression that sushi and dessert are the two best items of this restaurant. Undeterred, we ordered Pad Thai noodles and sushi. The Pad Thai noodles didn’t seem to have eggs nor tofu. It was light, a little bit too sweet. There was no hint of fish sauce or even soy sauce, and the portion was rather small. I ended up having to order another meal. The sushi was just okay.
Catalinas – Signature Restaurant
While in the lobby making dinner reservations with our host, our host pointed out a person in chef uniform is a renowned French Chef Laurent Van Geyt’s whose signatures dishes are created daily and freshly prepared. The food presentation is spectacular, the same as the food served at high-end restaurants.
The restaurant is big, has a roof over your head but wide open to nature. The tables are scattered and not close together, but the noise of kids playing and adults voice echoing throughout the night.
Manglar Mediterranean Restaurant
The restaurant is our most favorite. The restaurant atmosphere, service, and food are the best we experienced here. Next to Italian, Mediterranean’s is our favorite food. We had delicious Mediterranean food when we traveled to Cote d’Azur a month earlier, so we looking forward to dining here.
It was the best meals we had at the Westin resort. Irena will love to come back here every night if we stay here longer.
Spirula Pizza Bar
Located near the Main Pool is Spirula Pizza Bar. This restaurant only opens between 12:00-4:00 pm and serve very tasty pasta and pizzas. We ate pizza here almost every day.
Each pool has a bar and closes at 6:00 pm. Other bars open until 10:00 pm and only Abalone Bar opens until 2:00 am. We drank a lot of cocktails when we were on our way to the beach or when using the pools.
We recommend you to swing by the restaurants during the day and study the menu to select the best dishes. Don’t hesitate to ask around. For most of us, we only have time to dine at each restaurant only once, so try to make the most of it.
Besides dining, swimming, and visiting the beach, we also booked a combo tour to Rincon de La Vieja National Park with Swiss Costa Rica Day Tour. The company is on site and we booked it a few days before. The tour includes ten zip lines, horseback riding, river tubing, volcanic mud bath and a local lunch. The zip line and mud bath were our most favorite activities here.
When we traveled to in Central or South America, staying at all-inclusive resorts is usually an ideal choice due to the abundant resorts of this kind. Another factor is their isolated locations. Nevertheless, choosing all-inclusive does not mean you are stuck on the property. Worrying less about a daily schedule would help us to focus on having a relaxing and fun getaway, as concierges and specialists at the resorts are always happy to assist you with any excursions or tours both in and outside of the resort.
Last but not least, make sure to bring plenty of bug spray and repellent. Since the resort located within the Natural Reserve Conchal, there are many bugs, mosquitoes, and insects. On the last day at the resort, forgetting to put on repellant, I got bugs or mosquitoes bitten pretty bad. So itchy I had to visit my ER doctor immediately after landed in the U.S.