Last year, when we planned our trip to Costa Rica, the idea was that we would begin our trip at La Carolina Lodge, a rustic working farm deep in the rainforest, and end it at the very luxurious Bahia del Sol Resort at Playa Potrero, stopping at Azul Ocean Club Hotel in-between.
So when we arrived at Bahia del Sol, we were looking forward to settling into their 2-bedroom luxury suite and then relaxing amid the beautiful grounds of the resort.
It didn’t quite go that way.
After a quick stop for lunch in crowded, touristy Tamarindo (thank goodness we didn’t decide to stay there!)…
…we arrived at Bahia del Sol. Elisabeth arrived at the front desk before me and was immediately greeted by, “You must be Carol…”
Hmmmm – that’s either great, or a bit foreboding!
Within a few minutes, the manager, Maik, had been called to talk with us, though we didn’t know why.
“I am so sorry…” Maik began.
Oh shit. Really? What are we in for?
“We don’t have a room for you at the resort today.”
Seriously? I had a confirmed reservation for a two-bedroom suite, made back in October, in my hand. Needless to say, we were NOT happy – and had no problem saying so. We were so looking forward to staying at the Bahia del Sol, especially after seeing photos like this on their website:
Maik mentioned that he had secured an oceanfront condo for us just a few hundred meters away and that we could use all the amenities of the resort – AND that he would personally see to it that we were happy with every aspect of our stay.
Needless to say, we remained dubious, and pissed, but agreed to follow Mike to the condo, called House of the Summer Sand.
It was, as promised, true oceanfront…
…unlike, it turns out, the suites at Bahia del Sol, which are very nice, but not actually waterfront.
Once we saw the condo and realized that Maik wasn’t full of hot air and really was committed to complete customer service, we softened and thanked him.
He remained absolutely true to his word and we did have in him what felt to be our own personal consierge service! He even visited us on his day off to see if we needed anything and to make sure our experience continued to be a good one! In fact, Maik became a trusted friend in our two days at – and near – the Bahia del Sol resort!
We really did get the best of both worlds. Sometimes a dismal situation really can turn into a positive one!
Maik secured for us a beautiful oceanfront table for dinner, but before dinner we enjoyed the grounds and the amazing sunset.
The food at the resort’s restaurant, Nasu, was phenomenal – especially the fresh spring rolls and the tuna (ahi!) tartar. And the accompnying live music was wonderful too.
The next day we spent some time at Playa Flamingo which, like Tamarindo, felt too crowded and touristy for us, but it did boast a beautiful beach.
On the way back, we stopped at a beachfront, “neighborhoody” restaurant for lunch which included, as always, rice and beans.
Back at the resort, we enjoyed watching a Costa Rican wedding on the beach. (Costa Rica, it turns out, is also huge for American “destination weddings.”)
The next day, our last full day in Costa Rica, we just relaxed and soaked up the sunshine, knowing that it would be months before we’d feel the warmth of the sun in Seattle again.
Knowing that we had a flight to catch later in the afternoon and that we’d already checked out of the condo, Maik, remaining ever true to his word, offered us a key to the suite we had originally reserved so we could shower before heading to the airport. It was very nice.
But we all decided that we were just fine with how things turned out.
We got to the airport a few hours early and returned the car – for which we were charged a late fee (grrrrrrrr – full story here). In spite of some annoying glitches, scams, and snafus (National Car Rental, I am talking to YOU!), the trip was a resounding success.
Now if I could just sleep on planes. Sigh.