Barcelo Tambor Beach Reviews

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Barcelo Tambor Beach  

Playa Tambor, Puntarenas 771-1150, Costa Rica

"Returning after Christmas Illness Christmas 2010 - follow on Report"
Posted by: Stu  on Nov 13, 2011
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Barcelo Tambor Beach Reviews
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Barcelo Tambor Beach Costa Rica Costa Rica

of 28 Hotels in Costa Rica

User rating 4.2

Based on 9 reviews

Barcelo Tambor Beach Information

The all-inclusive Barceló Tambor Beach, a five-star resort located on Playa Tambor - Puntarenas , is a jewel on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.

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Barcelo Tambor Beach Reviews

Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 4.2 of 5 9 reviews
Very good
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"Returning after Christmas Illness Christmas 2010 - follow on Report"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Stu  on Nov 13, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
928 people found this review helpful

You will note my review from Christmas when so many guest caught the Norwalk Virus. I said that my wife and I would return. Well we did in March and then again in June. The Manager told us that we were the first none Costa Ricans (Canadians) from Christmas 2010 to return to Barcelo Tambor Beach. As I presumed, the management and staff have really gone out of their way to get the hotel back on its feet and started the long road to modernization and revitalization. It will take time, but what I have seen so far and what is planned will definitely impress the future guests. The doctor that treated me at Christmas was glad to see me standing once again. The last time that I had seen her was at the end of a needle. She gave my wife and I both a big hug and told us that she had suffer the sickness like so many of the guest. Life's a beach and you just got to get back in the saddle and enjoy what mother nature hands you.
By the way we had another great holiday!!!

Room Number:
428 ocean front

Room Block:

11:00 AM into San Jose with Air Transat. Connected onto Sansa Air at 12 noon for the 25 minute hop to Tambor. Had a cold one and were on the beach by 1 PM.

No change to my previous report. But they have started a revitalization program that should be evident at Christmas 2011 when we go down for Christmas. Will advise in the new year.

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent as always. I told the Food Services Manager that somebody reported that they couldn't find much fresh fish on the menu..... When he pick himself up off the floor in disbelief, he quite quietly asked if I meant breakfast---))) and even then there is Smoked Salmon, cold Red Snapper, Conga, fresh Sardines, etc Basically, if it isn't on the menu or buffet ask the staff and they will get it for you.

Grounds are the first place that the modernization is in full swing. Resurfacing of the pathways and common areas was first up.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Full slate as usual for all ages.

Other Comments:
The Costa Ricans are every so friendly and natural. They personally do not have much but never let that interfere with being courteous, helpful and cheerful. But remember this is Latin America and everything is on Tico Time.

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"Christmas New Year 2010-2011 - Life's a Beach..."

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Stu  on Feb 25, 2011  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1022 people found this review helpful

Like another guest who stayed at Barcelo Tambor Beach, the Norwalk Virus hit my family the day before Christmas at arcelo Playa Tambor and quickly ruind our holiday. I am a retired Cdn Force member who has travel the world in my career, stay relatively healthy no matter what hole I worked in and never been so violently sick in my life. I lost 25 lbs in a week of recovery.
To set the stage, we have been regular visitors to Tambor for 5 years. We love the area, the people and even the Barcelo hotel. The resident doctor always seem almost a waist, they had so little to do until this last Christmas.
We arrived on 21 Dec 10. There were already many reported cases of the Virus, but like all good hotels they try to work through their difficulties especially at the busiest time of the year. They have 402 rooms and everyone was full. You must know that we go to the Barcelo because it is a mix of Ticos (Costa Ricians) and international visitors, all part of the charm.
Unknown to most guests was the fact that somebody had shown up ill and in a pack of guests and in the heat the Virus got hold and spread like wild fire.
After numerous corrective actions were put into place, the Dept of Health had to close the hotel and and sanitize everything and everybody. My family was the last to leave the hotel as we were resting under the trees by the beach and could not be found as everybody else were evacuated out. Strange place when it is empty.
The staff were no better off and came down ill as well. My last report from a friend who used to work at Barcelo told me that more than 250 guests and employees were affected.
We were booked for a 2 week stay so we were moved to the Hotel Tambor Tropical, a small hotel on the beach in Tambor village not back to San Jose. The alternate hotel was covered by our tour operator. We recovered and eventually flew home on 04 Jan 11.
I have been told that the hotel has gone through a revitalization (term for a blood war on management) and immediate face lift and been reopenned.
Now for the good news - Our tour operator re-imbersed us to the penny for our holiday (flight and all inclusive stay).
My wife and I are going back to Barcelo Tambor Beach next week for 2 weeks. I will report my findings upon return.

Room Number:

Room Block:

Out of Toronto to San Jose by Ait Transat. Great trip, but starts a tad early in the moring. Would almost prefer a red eye but that will not happen. Connected to Tambor by Sansa Air who fly a very new fleet of Cesna Carvans.
We have done the road ferry enough times before. Heavy bags go by road and catch up with you in time for supper. We were on the beach at noon although the rooms were not ready until approx 3 PM. Remember to take you swim suit in your carry-on with Sansa.
The staff are alway helpfull but could do with some more regimentation and expanded English skills. I have alway managed to get my points across "eventually"::))

Rooms a reasonable, clean, comfortable and always have a stocked fridge. Cleaning staff are good and willing to help. Servicing staff quick and knowedgeable.
And remember rooms are for sleeping, washing, securing your stuff and changing. You do not need a spa in the centre of your room....its a beach holiday !

Restaurants and Bars:
Main buffet restaurant is alway well attended and food is plentaful and fresh.
I do not know why the one report stated that they could not find fish. There is at least 2 types of hot and cold fish at every meal I've had more than my fare share of great fresh fish.
Then there is the fish specialty and beef resturants. What to choose from???? especialy the fish and seafood.
Our only complaint is that the beef is not Alberta grass feed, good god life's a beach.

Great gound, well cared for even before you are out of bed each day.
The pool is large and the only detraction is the swim-up becomes a hang-put for the piss-heads who cannot hold their drink.
What can I say about a 10 km beach with one hotel... it has its busy days when I have had to use both hands to count the people walking before breakfast but nornmal you can go O-natural for a good third of the beach without having to compare tan lines. When the tide goes out you can land a C130 Hercules transport aircraft on it. When the spring tide comes in you have to sit under the tree because the water is laping at your feet. The Pacific in Tambor bay is warmer than the swimming pool. Need I say more.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Great effort to keep guest involved and entertained. There are activities for all ages groups. The kids program is TOO good. They don't want to go home at night. There are tours, deep sea fishing, golf close by, programs during the day and always an evening show for kid and adults alike. And if you still have energy to burn off there ia a great Latin Disco every night.
And my favorit, just sitting and reading under a tree with a nice cold one.

Other Comments:
Looking forward to our next visit.

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"Not so bad"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  ernie  on Jan 28, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1062 people found this review helpful

All the main areas are nice.The rooms look tired need renovating.the staff is friendly ,language not much of a problem.People need to make a little effort and learn some basic words.A tip of a few dollars also goes a long way

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"Family Christmas from Hell"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  David  on Jan 2, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1050 people found this review helpful

We booked the Barcelo Playa Tambor for a family Christmas Vacation. We checked in on December 21, 2010 and became violently ill on December 23. The hotel grounds were very dirty and the swimming pool was so cloudy you could not see the bottom. We could not swim in the pool. The hotel was over crowded and there was garbage everywhere. We passed the same dirty diaper on the walkway all week. We tryed to go to the hotel medical clinic but the line up was too long. There were ambulances taking hotel guest away to local hospitals. The pool was closed for a day so maintenance could try to clean it. Finally the Costa Rican Ministry of Health closed the hotel and all guests were evacuated to San Jose. We were taken to a hospital in San Jose for blood tests and stool samples. Spent 5 hours at hospital then were sent back to the Barcelo Hotel in San Jose. We were not given a room key until the Barcelo staff took photocopies of our personal hospital medical reports. We were then quarentined on one floor and not allowed to eat in any hotel restaurants. Spent rest of vacation in quarentine eating off styrofoam plates with plastic forks. Tambor is very beautiful, just don't stay at any Barcelo Hotel.

Room Number:

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"We had a great time, met some nice people."

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Cathy  on Mar 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1062 people found this review helpful

My husband and I stayed at Barcello Playa Tambor resort the first week of March. The resort is beautiful and the grounds are always neat and tidy. There is a wide variety of food at the buffet and everything was really good. Vegetables are cooked al dente, which is awesome. They serve a lot of pork, chicken, and beef – not a lot of fish. They have theme nights like Italian, sushi etc.,– but you can still get traditional food as well. I enjoyed an omelette made by the loving hands of Nidia every morning during my stay. The chicken at the snack bar is amazing. We were quite surprised that they ran out of Cerveza a couple of times while we were there when there was an influx of locals. Other than that, we had no complaints about the drinks.

The staff for the most part were very friendly, although a lot of them do not know any English, especially at the Seafood restaurant. The shows were also mostly in Spanish, so we retired early.

We booked a couple of side trips through Omar of Free Willy Tours (Combo ATV’s/canopy tour/shopping in Montezuma), and (horseback riding on the beach). Their tour guides are very friendly and eager to please and can be found on the beach of the resort. Omar’s office is under a tree by the Steak restaurant.

Be prepared during this season to get extremely dirty during the ATV tour. We were a fine sight by the time we went Zip lining – little brown faced monkeys – especially the way the dirt stuck to the sunscreen. Good thing there were no mirrors. The horseback riding was a lot of fun with our guides Juan and Edwardo who were most accommodating. We rode down the beach from the resort, through some farmland and into a little town, where we stopped for some Cerveza and back on the horses. Beware of Blanco unless you know how to ride – Ouch!

Make sure to check out the beautiful sunrises, and one thing that I wish I had of done was the Curro Wildlife reserve – I missed seeing the little white faced monkeys – guess I have to go back. Costa Rica I have to say is the hottest place that my husband and I have ever been too, so take lots of sunscreen, and stay hydrated. Enjoy.

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"Tambor Beach Wedding"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Rob  on Feb 25, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Business | With Group
1071 people found this review helpful

21 of us travelled from Toronto on Feb 9th and stayed until the 16th. Debbie and I were married on Valentines day at the resort. The staff was excellent. Everything they did to make our day so beautiful was done to perfection. Tulio, is a great person. He always met with us at a moments notice and did everything he could to make my lovely wife happy...So then I was happy too. The resort in whole was perfect. The food was plentyfull with something for everyone. We travel every year and this is the first time that everyone made it through a whole week enjoying the food at every meal. The weather was perfect being over 30 degrees C every day with no rain at all.....we'll be back

Your Arrival:
We also travelled from San Jose by bus and ferry. We left Toronto at 6:25am and arrived at the resort at 5 pm. Very beautiful sight seeing trip....but too long of a day. We all upgraded and flew back. I would recomend flying both ways from San Jose.

The rooms were very nice with a stocked fridge everyday with a couple of beers and a couple of pops.

Restaurants and Bars:
There is one main buffet resaurant and a snack bar. There is 2 alacart one seafood and one steak. We ate at all the resaurants and as I said before....we all enjoyed every meal.
Be aware that they open the resort to the general public on the it becomes very busy, Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning.

The pool was the most popular place to hang out. The girls at the pool bar kept us all well stocked with drinks. We did spend a bit of time in the surf and it was wonderfull. Everyone said that if there was a beach bar we would have spent alot more time at the beach....

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on a snorkel trip and zip lining.....both trips were excellent.

Other Comments:
The extra cost for our wedding was $2000USD plus $200USD for the video.....It was worth every penny. The pictures showing the mountains and the surf in the background are amazing....this was a dream come true.....and we all can't wait to go back.......

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"Every afternoon a duck came for a swim and bath"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Becky from St Catharines  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Jan, 2009
1017 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan.27
we arrive at 12pm costa rica time. and travelled by bus, ferry and bus to the resort. our group looked at this as a free sight seeing tour.

we were in rooms 262 and 261. we overlooked the garden area and could see and hear the beach. we had macaws outside our rooms every evening and even monkeys. lots of iguanas

Restaurants and Bars
the food was excellent and so was the service. never too much of a line at any bar.

the pool clean and very warm by mid day. every afternoon a duck came for a swim and bath. no one seemed to mind except for one group the say before we left.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we were on an atv. tour, zip line(or canopy) tour and a boat tour to tortuga island. we booked our trips with DNA on the beach except for the zip line. the other two tours were private just the 5 of us.

Other Comments
this was my second trip to costa rica and the first time to this area. i wounld not hesitate to recommend this resort and would love to go back some day. the resort also offers you the option of fying back the san jose for 75$ US. this means you leave at 7:15 or 8:15 instead of 4:00 am. this was a great deal.

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"The birds and wildlife on the resort are beautiful to watch"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Gerry from Toronto, Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
1050 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 27 to February 10:
We chose to go from San Jose Airport CR to Tambor, by bus and ferry.It was a beautiful trip,but a long day. Coming home,we flew from Tambor to San Jose, and that too was a beautiful trip and a whole lot shorter. (It is possible to fly both ways.)

We had 2 rooms, and 2 full bathrooms for 4 adults and one child.
The rooms were very clean, and well kept and the maid service was excellent.Hot water was plentiful.
The room bar was kept well stocked.
Towels and bedding were changed daily.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet restaurant had numerous selections every day. All was food cooked to perfection and very tasty. The fresh vegetables and fresh fruits were always fresh. The desserts were delicious and plentiful !!
The a la carte restaurant was another wonderful place to eat with very obliging and patient staff, even with their very limited English.The presentation at the a la carte restaurant was indeed a special art.
The snackbar was a great place to grab a snack. Lots of variety and wonderful staff.
Allan who was the bartender in the evenings was very friendly, helpful and efficient, even with an almost total lack of English - but he had an amazing memory and our drinks were on the bar before we even spoke !!
All other bartenders too were very efficient and friendly.The swim-up bar was a very busy place, and the bartenders excellent.

The beach was gorgeous even with the darker sand. It was very clean at all times, and the beach chairs were always plentiful.The palms and trees on the beach afforded lots of shade when needed.
The towel service was excellent.
The sunrise over the ocean every morning was breathtaking.The pool was huge, clean, and never crowded.The chairs around the pool were also always plentiful.
We were not accosted on the beach by locals selling their wares.There were only 3 brokers on the beach, and they were the same people all the time. They got to know the guests, and did not bother the guests, unless the guests approached them.
The grounds were immaculately kept at all times.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The activities on the resort were the best - especially the aquarobics class every day. Jose, who was a member of the animacion team, and the aquarobics lead was fantastic !! He is personable, friendly and excellent at his job. He certainly is an asset to the resort, and to the animacion team.
In the evening when Jose MCs the evening show, he gets participation from all of the audience, and they all love him !!
We did go on tours,organized by the brokers on the beach.
We went on the seadoos, ATVs(twice),to Tortuga Island and horseback riding.
All activities such as pool volleyball, beach volleyball, and dancing were very well organized and a lot of fun.
The disquotheque each night, was also a lot of fun.
The mini-golf course was another fun place.
The Kids Club was wonderful for the kids, and they could go every day from 8-5 if they wished.
The kids also performed on stage every night from 8-9 and they had a ball !!

Other Comments:
The location of this resort is peaceful,serene,tranquil & picturesque. The birds and wildlife on the resort are beautiful to watch.
The macaw and butterfly farms are truly interesting.
Another fabulous point of interest is the Natural Park on the premises.
The mountains surrounding the resort are breathtaking, and an ATV trip up to the top of the Tambor Hills is an unbelievable experience.
Although we took loads of insect repellant, we did not need it at any time.
We did not see a mosquito or bug.The only things we encountered were little red ants, if you stood too long in one spot on the grass, or in the jungle.The ants do bite, but the itch does not last long.The key is to keep moving !!
I would recommend this resort to anyone.
We hope to return next yesr - if not sooner.

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"We would definitely reccommend getting married at this resort"

Barcelo Tambor Beach
User Rating:  Barcelo Tambor Beach Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Denise from Peterborough, Ontario,  on Dec 1, 2008  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2008
994 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 2008/Jan 2009:
We arrived in San Jose on Dec. 30,08. Customs was very quick. There were 11 people in our party, including a 9 month old baby. We decided to take the short flight from San Jose to Tambor ( remember to take your bathing suit with you as your luggage will go on the ferry and arrive later at the resort). Great trip, amazing scenary. Check in was fast.and friendly

We were in the green building (600's) right beside the Nature Park and the ocean. It was only a short walk to everything, but far enough away not to be disturbed. The Howler Monkeys would come and visit the fruit trees infront of our rooms everyday, and there were iguanas everywhere :). Rooms were really clean, Mini bar in some the rooms was stocked daily with pop, water and beer, other rooms did have to ask for it to be refilled but this was no problem. Lots of Hot water, A/C was awesome. Rooms on the corners of the building had hamocks on their balconies and they all had tables and chairs.

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