logo Old Reviews - Barcelo Langosta Beach
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Gudi 
Jarvis, Ontario
February 2008
Great flight from Toronto, arrived on time..quickly through customs and on our way on the bus provided by Sunquest..they stopped about 1/2 way at a store if you wanted to get a pop or beer to go..all coaches are brand new and the road to the resort is now completely newly paved and the only bumpy parts are in the town of Tamarindo where they are working on the dirty, dusty roads but it's only for a short time...lets you check out the little shops in town..we are a young at heart couple in our early 60's and really enjoyed the hippy beach scene that hangs out in Tamarindo
Rooms -
Our room in building #6000 was totally renovated, they just were finished installing a brand new security safe that has the code system..no key.the old safe was still in there and they gave us the key to that too..it was all included in our price..the bedspreads, draperies, flat screen tv, shower curtain, toilet etc were all brand new and a nice security system on the brand new patio door..A/C worked great as did the fan..no hot water problems whatsoever..
Restaurants -
Since this is a smaller resort, there is only one buffet restaurant..the food was excellent, many choices of meats, rice potatoes, pastries, cakes, ice cream, salads and breads and juices..clean and efficient..no complaints..you can go to the a la carte restaurant, which is the tables right beside the buffet outside, once during your stay without paying extra..we had wine, filet mignon and a lobster tail..best steak we have ever had.
Bars -
Only two bars..one opens at 10am at the grill by the beach and pool..your basic island drinks..very nice..fried chicken there was excellent and plentiful, lots of pizzas, chips and hot cheese, salads, fruit, hamburgs to die for, hot dogs and fries..always there until about 7pm..Lobby bar opens at 5pm till midnight..drinks there are better and in real glasses.
Beach and Pools -
Only one large pool there with 2 whirlpools..same temperature than the pool..plenty big enough for all..clean and warm.

Beach is quite unique..mouth of river comes out beside hotel so you can cross over during low tide and walk on a basically deserted beach for miles..if you go right at the beach, there is volcanic rock in places and more when the tide is out..very interesting stuff..you can walk in that direction to Tamarindo the little beach town..gorgeous beach there..Dayton type of large beach..maybe not the best beach at this resort for little kids but you have to watch them..great surfing right at the hotel beach, which is a public beach.
Grounds -
The grounds are lovely..even though we were there in the dry season, Jan 28th, the vegetation if lush, grounds are very clean, lovely flowers, ec
Activities -
there were activities going on here and there but we didn't do them..always, exercise, dance lessions, pool and beach volleyball etc..we enjoyed the band that plays there in the afternoons and evenings..great sax player and the young girl singer wasn't hard on the eyes either..the evening shows are much the same as most all inclusives..lovely young people who try hard to entertain you.
Tours -
There were many..from what I heard they were all good..a long drive to most of them..we took the Palo Verde tour to the river and saw the crocs, birds and monkeys..nice trip, they serve a nice lunch when it's over but it's 3 hours in the bus each way to get there..we don't do many tours and prefer to stay around the resort and relax but we did walk to town several times, once by the beach and twice on the road way..very safe..lots of tourists walking around..take small US bills because they give you colones back and you end up having to get rid of them somewhere else ..

Conclusion - Only complaint was that we had emailed ahead of time to ask if there was wireless internet there or in the rooms and they said it was in the rooms but didn't tell us that they charge $10 a day for using it..all we wanted to do was send home an email several times duriing our stay so we just bought the $10 for 60 min card to use at the lobby computer, which was never busy and worked fine but since I just got my little laptop, I was looking forward to using it in my room a bit..but anyway, not a big deal but I think it should have been free.

All in all it was a lovely vacation at a very nice resort..not the biggest or fanciest we've been to but clean and good food and friendly service..

This hotel has gotten same bad reviews and perhaps it deserved it a few years ago but it sure doesn't deserve them now..and you must remember that this is Costa Rica not north american and you should enjoy the different foods, drinks and people..if you want the same as at home, then stay at home or go to Florida where everything is just like home.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Nancy 
USA
July 2006
Ourextended family of 11 just spent 10 days at the Barcelo Playa Langosta. We had a good time and I think it is a very good place to stay for a shorter stay as it is small and not central to anything other than the surfing area. We loved the beach, lots of beautiful shells, great waves for playing in, surf lessons close by were a hit with the teens.

The food was very good, lots of variety no complaints from any of us. The wait staff is very efficient. The rooms were fine, one had a bit of mildew problem which goes with the climate but it still could have been cleaned more aggressively. Another of our rooms had a leaky toilet that didn't get fixed til the 3rd day. We had 4 rooms next to each other which was very convenient, in the 700 series which are the furthest back in the complex and very quiet. If you want to be upfront you should request the 200 or 300 series. You can email them directly (I think) at langosta@barcelo.com Lots of cute land crabs run around the rooms and in the rooms. My daughter was freaked by the spiders, she was in a corner room and they seemed to get more than anyone else, 6-7 a day. Beware if you step on a female, 100 babies will go scattering out...very weird...

Tamarindo is just a 20 min. walk or $5 taxi ride. Everything else is far away and if you are doing a tour it takes 1 1/2 hours to get to Liberia and then another couple hours depending on which tour you are doing. We did 4 tours thru CAT at the lobby and you will find Jairo very helpful for tours and general recommendations about everything in the area--very nice guy. Our favorite driver was Sergio, his English is great, his knowledge is amazing, we came away with so much local history and eco education.

I urge everyone to take the Nicarauga tour which is a 12+ hour day but it is amazing--its like going back in time 50 years. It is so sad to see a country so destitute but they also could use the tourist dollars. At the markets (where everything is cheap) you will find yourself inundated with children begging for food or money. Our guide Rodigo was very kind and patient. We did give the kids money, I don't see how anyone could not, but we had also brought lots of little toys. At first I only saw one little boy and as soon as I handed him a toy we were inundated by big and little kids and a bit of a shoving match insued. So bring lots, these kids are so sad looking and they really don''t have much, if I was going back I would bring less clothes and do a whole suitcase full of things like colored markers and stickers, coloring books anything you can get at the dollar store.

Back to the Barcelo, the pool is nice, the landscaping is pretty, the entertainment staff is friendly and they put a lot of effort in their shows. The bar was a disappointment--no blended drinks and the included liquours were pretty limited. I wish the Barcelo had bicycles because the road to town is rough and you can walk it as fast as a taxi can take you. Also I was nervous about going during the rainy season but the weather was perfect. Very warm all day and maybe some rain around 6pm that last just an hour or so. We had lightning storms just about every night, and we loved it. Sergio kept telling us that the lush vegetation we saw everywhere disapears in the dry season so I say go in the rainy season it still stays around 85 degrees during the day and the ocean and pool are very warm. And of course, Costa Rica is beautiful and ecologically amazing!
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Simone 
Canada
April 2005
We stayed at Barcelo from March 22nd through the 29th. I must admit that I had a few concerns after reading some of the reviews. There was no need for concern!

I understand people have different expectations of all inclusives and that's fair. Here goes..............
Staff:
They're great..........always friendly...........always accommodating! We were a little disappointed with our room when we arrived. We had asked for third floor with ocean view and ended up on a ground floor. There was nothing wrong with the room but we wanted to see the ocean. They moved us the next morning and although we didn't get third floor............it was a huge room with our own private little yard out back.........and a view of the ocean. (and the sound of crashing waves) I read complaints about lack of amenities. My suggestion is to ignore them. The rooms are clean, comfortable and made up every day.
Food:
It's fine!!! Remember, this is Central America! The fruit is wonderful. The coffee is amazing! As in any all inclusive.............by day 5 you get tired of the food. There's absolutely nothing to complain about here. There are lots of choices.
Tours:
We booked a couple before we left but it wasn't necessary. There are 3 tour companies that operate out of the hotel. (2 in the lobby and 1 by the pool) We booked the Paolo Verde through Tam Tours and it was amazing.........well worth the money. The company is prompt and well organized. The guides were wonderful.
We booked the Arenal Volcano Tour through Lapas Tours and did it online. We ended up with our own personal guide from 6:30 am until 11:30 pm. A long day..........but worth it! This also included the visit to the hot springs. Our guide was amazing and so knowledgeable. We felt very lucky to have this guy as our personal tour guide. We booked a canope tour through Swiss Travel...........also at the hotel. It was one of the shorter ones. I must admit I was a bit nervous but if I go again, I'd go on the longest canope tour I could find. It's amazing!
Entertainment at Barcelo:
You don't really go to Costa Rica to be entertained, do you? They have stuff going on every evening. They try hard. We were pretty busy all day.............so tired by the time they started and happy to stay in our comfortable rooms:
Location:
It is amazing. The beach is very close and the tide is breath taking. (literally!) We had great fun being knocked about by the waves. When the waves get to be a bit much............there's a lovely pool. The day before we left there was actually a thunder storm and it poured rain. We kept warm in the pool:) Tamarindo is close by. It's a funky little town with lots of very friendly people.
Roads:
I read lots of complaints about the roads, ride in from the airport in Liberia etc. It takes a little over an hour to get to the resort. Vehicles are air conditioned so no big deal. Yes..........the roads are bumpy but not so bumpy you need to take gravol. It's Central America and yes the roads are bumpy. The drivers are fine! (a little speedy perhaps...........but they're used to that) We spent a lot of time on the roads with an assortment of drivers and never worried about a thing.

We had a great trip! Costa Rica is an amazing country.
I'd be happy to answer any questions.
simonel@nb.aibn.com
Barcelo Playa Langosta
DT 

March 2005
Hi - I just got back from a week long vacation in Costa Rica at the Barcelo Playa Langosta Resort in Tamarindo and wanted to leave a solid, honest recap of my stay. The reason I wanted to do this is because I had read review after review before I left and has so many mixed concerns beforehand, that it drove me crazy. So, everything I was concerned about, I paid close attention, and have some new information that I would have liked to have known before booking my trip:
HOTEL LOOK/FEEL IN GENERAL:
Okay. The rooms were very clean, I'll give them that. But I do not think this is a 4-star hotel by any means. The bathrooms are very small and need to be updated. There were no face cloths left for us until mid-week for some reason, either. The furniture, overall, was dated and kind of worn. FYI
- the "mini bar" is not a mini bar. They should change the plate with the engraved "mini bar" to read "mini fridge." There was nothing in it but a coke, a water, and a fresca. I'm used to Mexico where they stocked our mini bar with Modelo beer every day! Where is the cerveza?? Also, in most of the buildings I could see, there were no great ocean views. They need to landscape a bit better.
HOTEL EMPLOYEES:
Great! Very nice - especially some of the waiters (Willy!) and waitresses (Hannah!) as well as the reception desk staff. They were very friendly and knowledgeable. I read a review before I left that mentioned the staff was not too friendly and I have no idea who could think that. They were very attentive, funny and helpful.
HEALTH CONCERNS:
None - other than the fact that someone I know got sick after getting food poisoning at the Barcelo's special PAY restaurant. So my advice is, don't go there. Just eat at the all-inclusive buffet. The food was good - some days great, some days okay. My advice to Barcelo management is - YOUR ICE CREAM FLAVORS ARE HORRIBLE. Most days they had vanilla with FIG. UGH. And the other choice was a mixture of green and orange ice cream. Gross. Stick with chocolate and vanilla and everyone will be happy. And good job offering the Hershey's Chocolate Sauce. Nice touch. The other desserts were okay, but same thing every day. I think they tried too hard. One of the cakes had gummy bears all over it. As for the diseases that I read about before I left - malaria, hepatitis
- don't worry! I was fine. I got one mosquito bite and as far as I know, I do not have malaria. Just bring bug spray and use it at night. No pills are necessary. The drinking water seems to be fine, too. Oh - and the other thing I would have liked to have known before going - it's HOT as hell. At least, in March, in the Tamarindo area, it's hot. You do not need any long sleeved clothing and you need to wear 30 sunblock at all times...unless it's dark. I don't care how Italian you are. Trust me.
SURFING:
Great surf at this hotel's beach, but BE CAREFUL. There are huge rocks that some surfers just decided to surf AROUND... but other than that, you can surf across from the river mouth, but I heard there are crocodiles in there... but my husband went surfing every day and was fine.
SAFETY:
In Tamarindo and surrounding towns, we felt very safe. We traveled by rent-a-car, all over the place and had no problems. The biggest concern we had was petty theft, but did not experience anything. So just don't bring valuables with you when you drive...but I really wouldn't even worry about that. I don't think anyone would carjack you. Costa Ricans are SO NICE. We went into the little town a few times and, although we were bugged by a few people wanting to sell us weed, it was very cool. Lots of surfers, lots of college kids (we went during March - spring break).
ENTERTAINMENT:
Although I feel badly about saying this, because they tried very hard - I hated the entertainment at the hotel. I thought it was horrible. It may not have been the staff 100%, though. I think the stage set-up was horrible. It was situated beside the pool, with not much room and from where you were seated, you had to look around poles and other objects. There was no clear view of the stage. After staying at the Iberostar hotel in Playa Del Carmen Mexico, I was hoping for the same type of entertainment. We did not get it. The shows were boring, the talent was alright... But the most annoying part about the entertainment at the Barcelo was the time of night and the vacinity of the rooms to the stage. The music started at all different times, and went too late into the night for how close the sound was to the rooms. We had to turn our TV up all the way to stop ourselves from going slowly insane. If the entertainment was good, we would have been down there watching. But because it was so...blah...and there were probably 5 people at most, watching the shows each night, so there was not much motivation there, we went to the room about 10pm every night and had to listen to ear blistering shrieking by one of the entertainers until midnight (she kept screaming "wooo hooo!!!" to the 5 people in the audience). Also - note to hotel management: DO NOT HAVE 2 TYPES OF MUSIC PLAYING - one in the lobby (Enya) and one by the pool (Queen). You can hear them at the same time from wherever you are, and the two clashing songs drive your guests crazy!
RECOMMENDATIONS:
Rent a car and drive everywhere. The landscape in Costa Rica is unbelievably breathtaking. AT one point we drove up a mountainside and came out at the top, overlooking a ravene with the most beautiful view I have ever seen in my life. It's worth it to rent a car and see what you can find... It's also very interesting to look at the houses and see how Costa Ricans live.

Well - I hope this helps.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Tom 
Georgia
February 2005
We have also recently returned from the Barcelo Playa Langosta and would highly recommend to any and all. Although the beginning of the trip was more than anticipated (a very small van with 8 people and A/C that was cool at best on a very hot day, followed by the resort trying to put 2 couples in the same room which was quickly resolved by Jami of Swiss Travel).
RESORT OVERALL-
Very nice, huge pool, attentive staff, great beach and the entertainment, although somewhat corny at times really tried to do something for all the guests. There were monkeys in the trees the day we got there and feeding the iguanas flowers poolside was cool.
ROOMS-
Were clean and well appointed, mattresses a little long in service. Rooms were typically cleaned LATE in the day.
FOOD-
I was somewhat concerned regarding the quality after reading previous postings, but we had absolutely EXCELLENT food each and every day. I travel for business 75 nights per year and am in the foodservice industry (tending to be a harsh critic) and could not have been happier. Great selection of meats/fish/chicken and pork at every meal with many nationalities represented. Other than the occasional meal that we ate off-property (Camaron Dorado-literally eating right on the beach- in Brasilito was excellent and they will send a car for groups of 4 or more for free), we were impressed. The bar food of a hamburger at the end of the week was great.
TOURS-
We did the Mega Combo and it was a great day. Zip-lining, horseback riding, waterfalls and spa were all excellent. I am fairly adventurous, but 2 in our group may have had concerns over safety which were completely dispelled by Roberto and his team as they took great care of all. They also have a 400 yard water slide that I would not do again, love them, but this one is concrete (versus fiberglass) and it beats you up…and they could remove the 2 “drops” (about 2/3 of the way down) that will pretty much send you completely out of control and it actually hurts like hell. Swiss Travel’s Joanna was absolutely fantastic about delivering facts about the country, the people/climate/industry/agriculture/education in each area of the country, the facts of the volcanic chain, etc.
GOLF-
We played both Playa Conchal (beautiful, kind of easy) as well as Hacienda Pinellas (less to look at, but a fun track) where it was a little windy (alright, 35 MPH), but were treated very well at both. We lucked into a member tournament on Saturday and only paid $55/pp which also included breakfast and cart. At Playal Conchal, a family of 15-20 monkeys between the 12th-13th hole was an added bonus.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Andrea  
Ontario
February 2005
I've just returned from the Barcelo Playa Langosta in Beautiful Costa Rica! I went with my husband, and another couple. We love it! We all had a fabulous time and would recommend this resort to anyone!

We would also recommend going for 2 weeks, as we wish we had done (there is so much to do!).
The Resort:
Very pretty. Nicely landscaped and very clean. It is smaller than most resorts I have stayed at in the Caribbean and Mexico, I think about 120 rooms. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Especially the Fun Staff D.J. (we thought he looked a little like a Latin John Travolta). He always had lots of good music and always played our requests.

The rooms were nice and clean. We were on the 2nd Floor. Although we didn't have an ocean view room, we did face out onto a National Park, and it was very quiet and peaceful (we didn't spend very much time in our room anyway).
The Beach:
I was a little worried that I wouldn't be happy with the beach at this resort based on some of the reviews I had read (because I love the white sand and blue water), but much to my surprise, it was very beautiful! Very different from most beaches in the Caribbean, but still very beautiful! The sunsets were amazing! There was big waves, good for body boarding/surfing and splashing around in. The estuary beside the hotel was really cool! You can walk on the sand when the tide is out and when the tide is in you can swim there! Very cool (becareful the tide is very strong).
The Food:
We were all very happy with the buffet. Compared to other Resort Buffets we have tried we all agreed that this one was the best! The guys especially loved the BBQ (they had it twice the week we were there). For Lunch we always ate at the snack bar by the pool. It was good too (hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos, pizza).
Tours:
We only did two, but would love to go back and do more. We did the Buena Vista Mega Combo Tour and the Lazy Lizard Catamaran/snorkelling tour. Both were excellent and would recommend them to anyone! John on the Lazy Lizard took great care of us!

Also, the Barcelo is located just outside of Tamarindo (very neat little surf town, about a 5 minute cab ride, or a 25 minute walk). It was nice to go into town a few times for diner and ice cream! Lots of shopping in Tamarindo!

We had wonderful vacation and would definitely recommend this resort to anyone!
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Melanie 
Ontario, Canada
January 2005
I've just returned from Costa Rica staying at the Barcelo Playa Langosta for 1 week. I can not wait to go again someday! We, 2 couples in early 30's, had an amazing time in Costa Rica, especially staying at the Barcelo Langosta. I just read a review from someone who had stayed there in January as well and complained about the food and wouldn't stay there again. I don't think this person was at the same resort! I have been to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cayo Coco, Cuba and found my trip to Costa Rica a little better then either of above mentioned. A different holiday then laying around the pool or beach, but that was still done.

I don't know where to start as I have many fantasic things to say. We chose Costa Rica because friends of ours were getting married there and since we usually take a winter holiday thought that we may as well go to Costa Rica for the wedding. Most of the wedding party stayed at the Cala Luna resort, where the wedding took place but we wanted to stay at an all inclusive resort and very happy with our choice. I read many things about Costa Rica and the Langosta and was a little apprehensive on my choice of hotels from some of the reviews sent and it only being rated a 3- 3.5 star hotel.

All my doubts were gone once we arrived at the airport and resort. I'll start at the beginning.
Airport
no problems upon arrival, open air airport and moved quickly. Bus waiting to pick us up. The trip to our resort took 1 1/2 as we had to drop people off at the Paradisus Chonchal but on the way back to the airport it did take 1 hr to get there not 30 mins as some brochures stated. The roads were bumpy but have been on worse and they do drive very fast but very good/experienced drivers.
Barcelo Langosta
easy check in, we were the only ones checking in. We had a 3rd floor room facing the pool/ocean and were pleased with the accomadations. Very clean and looked like any regular hotel room. Ice cube tray in freezer, water and pop. There was also an ice machine on the 2nd floor, which I've never seen in the tropics. safe in the closet, coffee maker, even a robe to wear, rooms very comfortable, almost cold with the A/C. Never had any problmes with bugs in the room. Staff very friendly and easy to communicate. Waiters/ waitresses very hard working and are at the resort before you wake up and after you go to bed. Also the animation staff extremely hard working and friendly, always have a smile and Hola. Lots of large iguanas on the resort, they were fun to watch. One night a racoon startled us from the bushes. Wild cats, like house cats wandering around.
Food
excellent! I don't know what people are complaining about. I have a sensitive stomach and not too adventurous with different foods and I found I had many choices and all good ones and nothing bothered my stomach. All meals were good with many choices and not to many repeats throughout the week. There rice and bean dish was good, and I don't normally eat beans! Fruit excellent, esp. watermelon and pineapple!!! Different fish choices, meats that didn't look mysterious, pasta dishes, tons of desserts to choose from and the ice cream always a nice treat on a hot day! Drinks were good too but slushy drinks melted too fast as it was very hot, not complaining.
Beach
not a swimming beach but we were told that prior to going. Interesting to watch all the surfers, the waves were pretty big. You can take surfing lessons, which we didn't get to do -ran out of time. But we still went in the water and fun trying not to get pushed around by the waves. Lots of sea shells, crabs in the water too. There is a 9 foot difference between low and high tide which was very interseting to see. Sunsets were amazing and different each night. Weather- all I can say is HOT HOT HOT!!!!!!- no complaints it was -40's at home!
Tours- we did 2
1) Palo Verde National Park Tour- very nice tour, going down a river in a river boat to spot crocodiles, many iguanas, birds, and monkeys!!! we saw howler and white faced monkeys. Had a great lunch, little gift shop. It is a 2 1/2 hr trip to get there from the Langosta but it is nice to see some of the countryside and how the people live.
2) Megacombo Tour- a must!!! again about 2 1/2 hrs to get there but well worth it. Swinging in the trees on the canopy part, speechless, I wanted to go again!! The waterside is crazy but fun, horseback riding to the spa and relaxing in the thermal springs after your mud bath!! I didn't find it too long of a day. You don't really need runners but wear shoes that won't fall off your feet, ie:slip on flip flops. Didn't get bite by one bug on this tour or any where else. I would have liked to go on more tours but ran out of time. There is a refugee center for animals near by $20 per person and it is about 2 hrs, you can go at 830am or 1230pm, it can be booked by the representive you meet. we did not do this but wanted to. I also went on the sunset cruise with all the girls from the wedding and it was excellent. The crew was great, never left you with an empty drink and had food for you as well. We saw bat rays jumping out the water and a whale in the distance, amazing.

Tamarindo is a little street where you can go, 20min walk, interseting little shops from souvineer type shops to higher end shops with art, jewellery, pottery. also many places to eat or just grab a drink. People very friendly and do not hassel you. You can also barter with the vendors on the street.

A great place to get married if anyone is looking into this route. getting married on the beach as the waves roll in and the sun is setting! Just beatuiful!!

A long review but wanted to tell it all, esp. with many not so great reviews. This is a great place to stay and we will be back to see more of Costa Rica and will be staying at the Langosta. hope this helps you with any decisions and that you decide to visit this great country!!!
Barcelo Playa Langosta
 

January 2005
First the good part - the beach is close, but rocky. Sunsets are wonderful from the Barcelo as well as in Tamarindo.

The pool snack bar staff is friendly and the food is relatively good. We survived 1 week on it.

The TAM representative - Juicy is wonderful and helpful as was Jose the nicely dressed bell person.

Otherwise we were disappointed in this property. The food was aweful. Eat breakfast because that is as good as it gets and that is not anything to write home about. Breakfast is supposed to be at 7:00 but if you (as an American walk in there, you are told to go out and wait for 5-10 minute) but they serve the many locals that are registered at the hotel. They cater to the locals from what we could see.

The front desk personnel was horrible - not friendly and not helpful at all. We originally had a ground floor room w/2 double beds assigned to us (even tho we had requested a king ocean view months ahead of time). The patio door locks DO NOT lock - they have a flimsy little brass lock to secure the door which a 2 year old could break into. People that we met did have their room broken into and the management basically said "oops". We expressed our concern and Jose took it upon himself to move us to a 3rd floor room, king bed w/view. Only Building 5 and part of Building 6 have views on the 3rd floor.

I could go on and anyone reading this is welcome to e-mail me with questions. This was our 4th year in Costa Rica, but our first experience at Barcelo. Tamarindo is interesting, but dirty and just a surf town, but does have a couple wonderful restaurants. We had to eat out because the food was so horrible at the Barcelo.

Plus... pack a lunch and take some medication for the ride from the Liberia Airport. Drivers are nuts. We were delayed getting to the airport for our departure because 2 people were killed on the road and it was closed for a time. That about says it all.

We enjoy the Costa Rica weather, safe water and usually friendly locals. Barcelo needs some management changes to keep competitive with needed changes that should be accomplished sooner than later....
chublake@charter.net
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Kar 
CT USA
November 2004
Staff:
People were very friendly, and always willing to help.They spoke pretty good English, and we had no problems.
Room:
very nice sizable rooms, they had everything you needed, like a hair dryer, refrigerator, shampoo, soap, and even a coffee maker for those who don't get up in enough time to eat breakfast.
Food:
the other reviews were totally wrong, and had me worried before we went, but we found the food to be really good, but remember you are in a diff country, and if you only like McDonalds, then don't go. We thought there was a wide variety of diff meats , salads, and desserts. My favorite was the variety of pork they made, the fried plantains, the stews, shrimp in garlic sauce, and the trece leche cake.
Tours:
we only went horseback riding, but the guide there named Dany was very nice, and cheaper then the other people there selling tours. Dany greeted us right away, and even remembered our names throughout the remaining time, impressive! He was funny, and very trust worthy, we hope he comes to visit us in the summer like he said.He speaks very good English, and is very knowledgeable of anything you need to know.
Beach:
It is situated right on a beautiful beach, but if you walk towards town, the sand is like silk on your feet, and many things to see while walking. You can go over the rocks and see crabs galore, walk in the water and see many fish, or walk along and see diff birds, lizards, and turkey vultures.You can take surf lessons also, if ya want.
Pool:
nice big pool, with a kids pool attached, and a Jacuzzi, but its not heated. Many chairs to lay on, but not very comfortable. Water in pool was nice, like bath water. I hate pool water that is too cold.
Bars:
there was a variety of drinks to pick from, not your typical drinks, but good. The beer on tap was Imperial, and sweet. The people there are very proud of their beers. In town they sell another called ice rock, even sweeter for women. I like trying diff mixed drinks though. If you wanted, you could buy drinks with the top brands.
Weather:
very hot and humid, little rain. I was told from Dany, that from Dec - mar it is even hotter, like 100 degrees, and even more humid. Nov 20th - 26th was good then.
Tamarindo
was a real old town, not too much there, but unbelievable poor. Streets were cobble stone, but not straight from all the rain. Alot of new construction though. Alot of private vendors along the street selling mostly jewelry, and pipes. I bought alot from town for gifts, better priced then the hotel shop. T-shirts are cheaper at the big shop 1 hour from town, and many other things there, ask the bus tour guide to stop there on the way, they usually do.

I highly recommend this place to anyone, but go there now before it is too commercialized. In 2 years I think it will not be as nice. You will really enjoy the views of the area now, looking at the jungles, sugar cane fields, and the houses the poor live in is facinating.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Ted 
Canada
November 2004
Staff:
The front desk was very helpful and accommodating when we asked to change rooms after the first night. [We were very near the pool where the late-night entertainment went on long after we normally go to bed.] The change was approved in about 90 seconds and we had been moved to a much quieter place within 15 minutes. Our maid service was pretty good, though the bathroom was left a little dirty one day. The waiters and waitresses in the buffet restaurant were very attentive and helpful.
Room:
Comparable in size, configuration, and furnishings to a typical Best Western anywhere in the U.S. The bed was comfortable, the TV picked up a decent number of stations, the shower was adequate, and the patio was wonderful. Sitting right outside the room and taking in the view and the landscaping was a real treat.
Food:
I have seen a lot of complaints about the food at this place. I can only conclude that some people are engaging in a very unfair comparison. True, a fine dining place in a major American city is far better but that is an apples/oranges comparison. A more accurate and fair comparison would be to the casino buffets in Las Vegas, Reno, or Atlantic City. On that basis, this buffet comes off quite well. Not as much variety, perhaps, but as good or better in quality.
Tours:
There are three different tour desks at the hotel. So far as I could tell, they offer essentially the same tours and much the same prices. The only reason for shopping amongst them is timing. One might not offer a certain tour on Sunday while the competitor does. Getting the tours in town does save a few bucks but getting into town is enough of a hassle that doing so just to save money on tours is counter-productive.

We took the Tamarindo Canopy Tour and loved it. Very convenient and a lot of fun. We also took a boat trip up into the larger estuary and saw crocodiles and howler monkeys as well as lots of birds. Our guide was great at identifying species not only by sight but by sound as well.
Beach:
Beautiful beach, especially on the other side of the estuary entrance. The body surfing is not bad as long as you get a hundred yards away from the surfboards. We crossed over at both high and low tide. At low tide, the water is knee deep and the only problem is keeping your balance in the rushing water. At high tide, it is an easy two minute swim for anyone of moderate skill. I would not suggest it for a weak or timid swimmer. Down the beach one finds trails going into the forest where others told us the encountered howler monkeys. We didn’t see any.
Pool:
Nice, fairly big, relatively unused. The jacuzzi is not heated. Pool lounge chairs are not very comfortable.
Sunsets:
Bring a camera. Every day is a different treat.
Setting: Five stars
Accommodations: Three stars.
Food: Three stars.
Staff: Four stars.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
John 

August 2004
Let me begin by saying the resort is situated very nicely on a beautiful beach. It is a rocky beach, primarily used by surfers, but, if you're careful, you can also wander out into the water. Just be sure to be careful of rocks, and tides. It is reportedly a rather dangerous beach. We were told that there had been 4 deaths on that beach already in 2004. I believe all were attributed to surfing accidents, but an unpredictable beach, nonetheless.
APPLE VACATIONS:
We had booked the trip thru Apple. I have no complaints. Our Delta flights were all on time, and our airport transfers were taken care of, as promised.
LIBERIA INT'L AIRPORT:
We flew into Liberia. Needless to say, this is not a typical airport that we are used to in the states. Mostly open air, and upon arrival you are shuffled into an open "hanger" to claim your luggage, and go thru customs. Overall, it seemed to go pretty quick. I think it took us about an hour from the time we got off the plane, until we were onto our transfer bus to the hotel.
ROADS:
We then left the airport, and began the interesting "ride" to the hotel. We had been warned of the road conditions, and they certainly were not exaggerating. Throughout our week in Costa Rica any road travel was bumpy, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright scary. The roads are riddled with terrible potholes. Drivers there drive all over the road, doing their best to avoid them, but you get tired of constantly swerving about the road. We seemed to have so many "near misses" with oncoming traffic that it's a wonder we weren't involved in accidents. Poor roads, poor driving, cattle and livestock on the roads, slow vehicles, people walking, bicycles, etc all lead to treachorous driving conditions. But hey, all considered, we survived. How? I'm not quite sure. If you tend to get carsick, be sure to take dramamine! Bus rides will be like a roller coaster.
BARCELO PLAYA LANGOSTA:
Let me begin by saying that our stay there was not "bad". However, there were enough "irritants" that could have been avoided to make our stay more enjoyable. In looking back, we enjoyed our vacation. I just wish some things could have been better at the resort. A lot of our poor experiences related to the unpreparadness, or poor organization of the hotel staff. I don't want to say Costa Ricans are "lazy", let's just say most don't wear a watch, are VERY LAID BACK, and by no means "prompt" about anyting.

Some of our poor experiences I will list below;

1. Power went out at resort on probably 6 occasions that I'm aware of while we were there. It would be for short periods of time, however, concerning. It seemed we were always re-setting our clock in the room.

2. The front desk "had no money" while we were there to exchange currency, or even break larger american bills. "NO MONEY"??? Irritating.

3. We went a whole day while the resort was "out of" bottled water. We had to wait over 24 hrs to get some. Other times when they did have it available, it was not kept cold. Mmmmmm.....nothing like luke warm water when it's 90 degrees. NO REFRIGERATION?? Irritating.

4. I got into line for lunch one day right when the buffet had opened. All the food was in the warmers, it appeared they were all set. I started to fill my plate, and was told to put it down and wait. Apparently I was 3 min early by their clock. I waited 3 mins, and more people came, and everybody ate. You tell your guests to put their plate down while they are filling it? Irritating.

5. We could never find our remote control in our room after it was cleaned. In fact, we had to ask for a new one when we got their, as ours was not working. It was like "Where's Waldo?" with the remote each day after housekeeping had been there. In different drawers, behind the TV, under the bed, etc. And this was not just our room. Another couple we travelled with actually locked their remote in their safe each day to keep track of it!!!!! Irritating.

6. The shower head would never stay up. It was one of those nice removeable ones. However, you were constantly readjusting it because it wouldn't stay tight up in the holder. I asked for it to be fixed the 2nd day we were there. They never came. Irritating.

7. My last night there I had ordered a drink that was not included in our all inclusive package. I had done this 2 other nights during our week, and signed a slip, charging it to my room......no problem, right? Well, the last night I'm there I order my after dinner drink, sit down to enjoy the music, and a few minutes later the bartender comes over to me, telling me I had to get my credit card to the front desk immediately to charge the drink. I informed him that I had been charging it to my room all week, and there had not been a problem. Well, apparently the rules had changed, and I now needed to walk all the way back to my room, get the card, put it on file with the front desk, and then sit back down for the music. Irritating.

Like I say, these are all fairly minor things. But just enough of them during our week to stick in our mind.

Would I go back to Costa Rica? Probably. Would I go back to this resort? No.
RECCOMENDATIONS:
Tours to take....
One day trip to Nicaragua. What a beautiful country and great experinece! Do not miss out. Nicaragua has a bad reputation after their civil war, however, they are 15 years removed from it. They are very open to tourism, and we enjoyed our day there.

There was a Mega-Tour offered thru our hotel. It included a canopy tour on cables, a water slide, horseback riding to a waterfall, and some hot springs, and a mud bath. It was a long day, very active, but very fun too. I reccomend it.

OVERALL:
The food at the resort was "ok". I can't complain. Some things were "good". Other things, "very bad". But overall, there was always something you could tolerate to eat, especially the fresh fruit. I tend to be spoiled, as we have been on several cruises, and love that food. This does not begin to compare, but was just enough to get by.

It's a beautiful country, albeit impoverished, poorly maintained, and not very well developed yet. But again, very beautiful!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
conger4@ticon.net

Overall, I would give the resort a "6" on a 10 scale, and the entire vacation an "8".
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Pamela 

August 2004
We just returned from the Barcelo this week.(Stayed there for first week of August). The reviews about the food being bad are very true. The food was so bad that although it is inclusive, we ate in town for lunch and dinner for the remainder of our stay. Not only was the food bad, but the service in the resturant was horrible. Their only responsibility was to provide us with drinks and clear our table. We were often left waiting for juice or milk for our cereal.

The staff at the casino was a different story. The casino is very small, and disappointing at first, but the staff was so friendly and professional that they really made our stay, and the others in our group much more pleasureable. In addition, the gardens were beautiful, the pool was immaculate, and the front desk staff was very helpful.

However the food, is the reason we will never stay there again. I was in the military for many years, and would rather have that food any day over the food at the Barcelo.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Lauri 
Providencea
March 2004
We spent 2 nights at the Barceló before heading to the Paradisus Playa Conchal for another 8 nights. The Paradisus didn't have availability or we would have spent all 10 days there. It seems you truly get what you pay for. The Barceló was 100 dollars cheaper per night, and it should have been. I'll also write a review for the Paradisus as well.

The resort is very clean, the rooms clean although we did have ants and a huge unidentifiable bug, but no big deal, we're in Costa Rica. We had a very curious iguana that was on our patio both mornings looking into our room.

There is really only one dining area. It is divided in half by a staircase. If you want to dine on the ala carte "side" it is available at a 50% discount. We thought this strange being at an all inclusive. Also the beverages...you'll be fine if you want domestic beer or wine or the "house brand liquor", but if you want say....Tanqueray gin, or Heineken beer you must get a manager fill out a slip and you get billed for it! If you want to use a boogie board, snorkel equipment or really anything else you have to pay for it. This to me is not all inclusive.

The breakfast was very good, you could get fresh eggs and omelets and fruit cereal... the lunch and dinner was a different story. We had a salad for lunch every day and lots of bread. The meats for sandwiches and the hot entrees were unidentifiable. Flies on everything, lukewarm at best. The dinner buffet food was always swimming in some sort of sauce. We chose to go into Tamarindo both nights we were there to have dinner. Here is a challenge for you as well... Go to the poolside grill and order a hamburger. Try to identify what exactly you are eating because it sure isn't beef.

Tamarindo is a neat little town. The people are friendly, the street vendors are not pushy at all and you can get some interesting things there. If you venture into town for Dinner you have got to try the Lazy Wave, Outdoor restaurant that is very affordable and sooooo good.

The beach at the resort is very beautiful, especially at sunset. Loaded with shells, but you can't take any home because it is a national park. They have the big leatherback turtles that are coming ashore to lay their eggs at night. Be careful of the waves, they knocked our 200 pound friend to the ground in a second.

We had a great time our first two nights despite the quality of the resort, we would definitely come back to Tamarindo, but never to the Barceló. I think alot of people would be fine with the resort, and are very happy with the food and liquor and everything. We've been to quite a few all-inclusives and this one is just not up to what we expected.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
 
Massachusetts
March 2004
We came back to the cloudy, dank Northeast from the Barcelo Playa Langosta on Saturday. Can't help but wish we were still there...........

The resort is very comfortable, looks just like the pictures, high-ceilinged rooms with fan and AC, balconies, bathrooms with the works, soap and shampoo dispensers, hairdriers, ironing boards, etc. We had a 3rd floor ocean view in the back, wouldn't have traded it, even after the initial trek with the luggage! Just sitting on the balcony in the early A.M. was a pleasure. The pool was clean and spacious, but all the little tiki huts were "reserved" by breakfast, even if you didn't see the reservees for hours! The dry season, which is now, was a little disappointing; we were hoping to see more tropical color and animals, but the trip from the airport brought to mind an African savannah rather than a rain forest.....it probably won't rain for another month. BUT, the weather was spectacular, and relatively bug-free.

The beach was rocky in front of the resort, but just across the estuary there's a long stretch of sandy beach; none of it is for the faint hearted...it's wild in the water! Be prepared to be tossed around in the surf! You can walk across the estuary at low tide, but when the tide comes in, you may have to be rescued by the kayak tour........we were! The food is always a big deal, we all had different opinions; what we agreed on were great breakfasts,(eggs SO fresh) the best coffee, delicious desserts, (how many is too many?) fresh fruit and vegetables galore, the well loved (by us) rice, beans, and plantains. I had such a selection of fish in one week......dorado, mahi-mahi, red snapper, chilean sea bass, octopus, conger eel, all good!

Meat lovers from the states might not be as happy...a lot of the meat dishes seemed overcooked and inferior by comparison. The snack bar at the pool serves burgers, dogs, nachos and fries, all good, if you don't mind your burger 'stretched' a bit! Lots of fixins' to cover up that fact!

The pool bar is open at 10 am, the lobby bar at 5pm; the lobby bar far superior, drinkwise! The "free" ala carte meal is a mystery we haven't figured out; just remember we told you, "fuggeddaboutit"; you won't be sorry! We went on the "Mega tour"---- canopy tour, waterslide in the middle of nowhere, horseback ride, and spa/waterfall experience. The ride thru the treetops was exhilarating, the waterslide terrifying, (minor injuries abounded) the horses well behaved, and the spa a welcome relief. Think about the bus ride beforehand, it's a long one. We also did a sunset trip with Captain Andre from "Mandingo Sailing".....lovely trip, great host, homemade snacks.

His wife also saved us some $$ by apprising us of the lousy snorkeling conditions, even though we were eager to go! Tamarindo is a funky break, if you want souvenirs, or a buffet interruption; the early evening is the best time to walk there....cab ride $2000 colones one way, or $5.

All in all, we thought it was a great vacation, but the pushpin's in the map, and there's so many places to see! By the way, the Costa Rican people were VERY nice, and if nothing else, our "muy poquito" Spanish gave them a chuckle.

4 middle-aged previously pale people from Massachusetts. Pura Vida!!!!
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Tess and Penny 
Toronto
March 2004
My friend and I just returned from a week's vacation in Costa Rica where we stayed at the lovely Barcelo Playa Langosta. Our trip was very last minute, we were actually suppose to go to Cuba but ended up getting bumped a couple of days prior to leaving...our only alternate option was Costa Rica so it was off to Costa Rica! We had no expectations as we both were very unfamiliar with this country...the only thing we new was that it was HOT HOT HOT!!! 36C in the shade!!! LOVED IT!!!!

We ended up having an absolutely amazing time! The people of that country are just super friendly; travelled to many many other islands and countries and they were by far some of the nicest people we've encountered!! If you are looking for just a beach type vacation...nothing but sand, sun and salt water....well..there is plenty of that but there is just so much to see and do!!! I love just lounging around in the sun and baking but I was too tempted with all the fantastic tours they had going on! We went on the Buena Vista Canopy Tour, which also included horseback riding, mud baths (with volcanic mud!!), hot springs, 1400 foot water slide through the jungle (in 40 seconds I might add!!), flying from tree top to tree top across a cable wire with only a harness!!! What a rush!! ...and i'm terrified of heights!!! Just an amazing tour to take if you don't plan on doing anything else .. this tour incorporates a lot for one day!! Highly recommend it! My friend and I also decided to go to the active volcano (Arenal)...unfortunately we couldn't really see much as it was way to cloudy on this Caribbean side, but let me just say that the hot springs were worth every red cent!!!! Surreal ! Couldn't believe I was actually in this lush jungle wading in hot springs sipping on a pina colada as the sun went down! Like a perfect dream... This is by far a very different type of vacation down south..not typical in any way, shape or form...

The Hotel was great, friendly, courteous staff ..always smiling and greeting you with a Buenos Dias! Clean, front desk efficient and accommodating in every way. We had some issues with our air conditioning but that was fixed the very minute we arrived in the room and settled. Awesome view of the pool and the ocean.....WHAT SUNSETS!!! Comparable only to sunsets in Corfu!!! Simply beautiful! Everyone gathered on the beach at around 5 - 5:30 to watch this gorgeous spectacle....but blink and you've missed it...sun sets really fast in Costa Rica! Playa Langosta is in an area called Tamarindo and it is apparently one of the nicest places in terms of activity...Close to a small town with plenty of restaurants, antique shops, street vendors, cafe's, internet accessibility, beauty parlors, surf schools, massage therapists, doctors...and horseback riding schools..etc... All within walking distance, about 15 minute walk (dirt road unfortunately...but will be paved within the year they say). The roads in Costa Rica in general are not very good/safe...a LOT of pot holes..so beware if renting a car! We met many people that were staying at different hotels with different star ratings and all of them said while their hotel was first rate....they wouldn't stay there again b/c it was SO isolated...nowhere to go and nothing to do except hang on the resort (which are not very large when comparing to other hotels on other islands ie: Punta Cana Dominican Rep.). They would pay a cab driver (not cheap!) to take them around and they all said that they loved Tamarindo and would stay at the Playa Langosta next time around...this was the consensus amongst the many that we met on our day trips so we felt very fortunate to have picked this 4 star rated hotel.

The Food was not bad...buffet all day, but they do have a snack bar with fast food...burgers, hot dogs, fries, ham and cheese sandwiched etc... Fruit...in abundance and scrumptious!!! Try the Tamarindos!!! The lunches and dinners were always different, not many repeats... the fish was great...most meat a little too dry for our tastes but oh well plenty of other stuff to eat...so no biggie.... The desserts! YUM YUM YUM..... try the tres leches cake (3 milk cake!!)... Food is very subjective so I must admit I am not a big eater and nor am I very picky so it was good enough for me. Didn't get sick so it was definitely good enough....Plus they also have Papa John's, Burger King, Pizza Hut etc...about 25 minute drive away if you are feeling homesick....

The Beach, is not what you would expect for down south..at least not at this hotel....Cannot swim in the ocean right infront of the hotel on most days...too rough and rocky but awesome if you are a strong swimmer and like to surf. Fortunately, the unique part of this hotel is that the ocean meets a river and the mouth of that river is just to the left of the resort, (once on the beach that is). My friend and I love the salt water so we hung out to the left of the front beach portion of the resort... lots of soft "sand"...crushed...tiny tiny tiny shells..felt like soft sand...quite nice...If you like collecting sea shells prepare to be amazed!!!!!!! Lots of awesome shells...look for the ever elusive pink transparent shell...hard to find a whole one completely in tact...I managed to find three and they are just gorgeous! It is fun to swim (or walk) across the narrow river to the other side of the beach b/c there are no rocks there and the swimming is not as challenging! Prepare to also be freaked out by the sound of the howler monkeys!! P.S. TAKE THE CAB RIDE TO PLAYA CONCHAL AND HERMOSA!!! White sand and turquoise waters....Breathtaking!!!!

All in all a great vacation, my friend and I are in our late 20's and early 30's and we had a great time...This place had a good representation of people of all ages...Best place for people who enjoy a little more liveliness and action...lots of little bars in the town to hang out at and dance and party...we went to "the big bazzar"...it was a beach bonfire rave and that was a little crazy! But if you crave quietness and serenity this place has this also! It is a small resort so you will get to know the people who work there pretty well and also the other guests...hard not to mingle b/c there aren't that many people.

Many thanks to the staff at the Playa Langosta! Yonder, you're a sweetheart! Luis, don't forget to look us up when you are in Toronto! Cesar, thanks for the morning smiles! Carlos..nobody can drive a bus like you can buddy!!!! thanks for getting us there and back safe! Luis#2 nobody mixes a meaner sexo en la playa thanks for keeping us happy by the pool!!! And to the many people we met at the resort and along the way! Ola! It was a blast!

Thanks for this awesome web site...never go anywhere without first researching on this site...!!!
Barcelo Playa Langosta
Susan 
Wallingford, CT
February 2004
Just arrived back from Tamarindo Beach area of Costa Rica, Northwest province of this beautiful country. Seven of us went together.

Playa Longosta is an all inclusive resort, but if I had to do it again, I would do it differently. We took a ride from Tamarindo Beach to San Jose ( a 5 1/2 hour ride), but had we not gone on this trip, we wouldn't have known how beautiful this country actually is. The landscape is much different on the way to San Jose, than in the Guanacosta area.

If I go back to Costa Rica, I'll break up my visit and stay at 2 or 3 hotels, to see different areas of the country. Also, the Playa Longosta became somewhat boring after a few days. I'm not one to just sit on a lawn chair by the pool or at the beach every day. I like to have fun in the sun.

Also, I think we paid too much money. All inclusive did not include top shelf liquor, there was no snorkeling equipment, boogy boards or kayaks unless you wanted to pay for them. The all inclusive included beach towels and lawn chairs. The hotel has 6 or 7 entertainers who perform and teach the salsa atleast 4 times a day, they have excersize classes in the water, water volleyball, water polo daily.
Food:
I was satisfied with the food. It is a buffet 3 times a day and breakfast was always good. Breakfast buffet included scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hot cakes, cereal, sometimes homefries or hashbrowns, and rice and beans. Fried cheese was a side during breakfast, too. There is also someone ready to make you a freash omelet or eggs over easy if you want it.There is bound to be something there you will like. I got to experiment with many different types of foods. Dinner and lunch buffets typically include a choice of fish, beef, chicken, and things I never heard of. Dinner also includes a special entree, like turkey, rabbit, crayfish and mussels, octopus, eel, etc. . And fresh fruit galore at every meal. Some people get tired of this buffet style, but I didn't. The service was exceptional.
Tours:
For tours we did the Wildlife Safari tour ($99 US per person). This was an excellent trip in a Land Rover. Our guide told us about Costa Rica, took us on back roads to the river, where another guide brought us up river on a boat. He stopped along the way so we could feed the white faced monkeys, film crocodiles, parrets, Great Blue heron, and he egged on the hollar monkeys. The guide has a cooler, so you can bring your "cervesa". And, although the tour said we'd do shopping and look at pottery (boring), we had him bring us along the shore to several beaches instead.

The other tour was the Lazy Lizard Cattamaran Boat Ride ($65 US per person)- Sort of a booze cruise with snorkeling. The boat is only 1 - 2 years old, holds 25 people and is a beautiful sailboat. I feel sorry for the boat captain for some of the tourists he had to deal with. Real jerks. The captain deserves respect.

My last tour was hiring a private driver to take us to San Jose. We wanted to see the country and the city and do some shopping. We made our own tour basically. It cost $240 US (for the day). It was a minibus (very comfortable) and again we had a cooler. This is not a bad price when you are in a group and want to make your own tour. The guides are great. I was disappointed to find out our money went to the company he worked for instead of him. He was paid salary and we had him from 7 am to 9:30 pm. These type of guides I tipped the best.

Our friends went on the Arenal Volcano Tour - This was 7 am - midnight. Long day. They were expecting to do the canopy tour and mud bath and volcano on this trip, but all they got was hot springs, a long drive to the volcano and a botanical garden tour in the rainforest. It was not what they were told and were disappointed, although it was beautiful, they said.
Safety:
The area is very safe to travel at night off your resort. There is a quaint town (about a ten minute drive by taxi) nearby, with bars, restaurants, and shopping. You should watch your bags at the airport though. There is much confusion when you get off the plane, with drivers and bag carriers looking for you. We found our driver and as he was loading our bags, someone made off with one of our friend's carryon (including camera). We noticed it when we got to the hotel and the hotel didn;t do anything about it. The driver made a call immediately...to whom...I don't know. He seemed to care but the hotel management didn't. Airport security was upset that the hotel didn't even report it to them because it so happens that 3 other bags were stolen that same week.
Overall:
The people are very friendly. People are always waving to you. It is a very well kept resort...very clean with tile floors and the grounds are well maintained. I expected alot more bug bites, but because we went in dry season, it was not that bad. Even when we went on the river tour, not one bite. Will I go back? Maybe someday. There are alot of other places I want to go. If I did, as I said, I'd do it differently.
Barcelo Playa Langosta
George 
Shreveport, LA.
July 2003
We just returned from a week's stay at Barcelo Playa Langosto, Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We traveled with a group of 54, the Crawgators Dive Club from Shreveport, LA. Here's a few thoughts:
Rooms
As good, as clean, as nice as any we've had on these Caribbean,Central American trips. Cleaned to spotless each day. Bathroom clean. Hot water. Good A/C. Excellent!
Food
Good. But as every other all inclusive, we got a little tired of it by the end of the week. The french fries at the pool were real good - hamburgers, not so good. The a la carte meal (we got one as a freebie) wasn't worth the effort. Mostly the same food from the buffet. Several of our group went to the buffet after that meal. Beer was Imperial, and mixed drinks were good.
Staff/reception/pool/grounds
All get high marks. Staff very friendly. Most spoke English. Grounds were spotless. Great help from our tour guide in booking trips. Some folks had problem making international phone calls. I bought a card for $8.00 (approx. 15 minutes) and had no problems. Excellent marks here.
Beach
This is a surfing beach. No swimming. But beautiful, wild, jungle, mountains, lava rocks, high surf almost deserted beach. We waded the river next door to the resort (you can only do this at low tide, and don't want to get caught by the rising tide) and walked a couple of miles. Almost no people. A troop of monkeys screamed at us from the jungle. There are lots of lava flows (black rocks), and the sand is a mixed brown/black. There were lots of surfers between the resort and town (seems like lots of American surf bums leading the good life). All in all, very pretty, but not for swimming (or snorkeling).
Side trips
I did: (1) half day canopy tour. You wear mountain climbing gear and slide across the tree tops on cables. Lots of fun and kinda scary. Do it. Jungle, monkeys, Iguanas. Guides were safety conscious and friendly. (2) Arenal volcano night trip. This was all day 9:00am-11:00pm. Worth the price of the whole trip. Beautiful country around Arenal Lake, where we had lunch at a German style restaurant. The hot springs and jungle setting are beautiful. The water is HOT. You can't stay in there too long. After dinner there, we drove around the other side of the volcano (after dark). It rumbles and spits our the red hot rocks/lava junks that proceed to crash down the mountain side. It glows in the dark. An amazing view of Mother Nature. And, (3) Sunset cruise - We went on a two masted sail boat. German captain. Very nice, with lots of info. about the local area. They served us beer, wine, chips, and fruit. Very relaxing on our last day.

Others in our party did: (1) Pottery village - half day, Indian artisans. They recommend it. (2) All day canopy tour, horseback ride, mud bath, rain forest. They said good, but long day. (3) River tour - crocs, etc. and good (4) Horseback rides - good (5) Dives - They loved it. Saw sharks, eels, rays. Lots of fish. Visibility is not as good as Caribbean due to plankton, but the amount of fish made up for it. Several went on night dives, and returned for additional days diving.
Other general stuff
The people are great. Very friendly, with most speaking some English. There is no bartering - prices are as marked. The town of Tamarindo is about a mile and a half down a terrible dirt road. It is walkable - suggest walking there and catching a cab back. You can also walk down the beach at low tide. Several of our group ate in town, and all said it was good. The restaurants aren't much to look at, mostly, just covered areas on the beach. Again, the beach is not for swimming. It's too rough, but the surfing is good. I'd categorize our stay as more of a jungle adventure, than a beach stay. There are troops of monkeys around. We saw toucans, and three toed sloths. Some saw vampire bats.

All in all, great vacation. Good place to stay. Rumor has it that the road will be paved in the next year. I'd say go. I'll be glad to answer specific questions via e-mail at gmckellar@bwor.com.