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Hotel Arco Iris 3.0

Tamarindo, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • On-site owner is attentive the needs of guests
  • Meticulously landscaped grounds with flowering shrubs and vines
  • Made-to-order breakfast included in the room rate
  • Attractive, rectangular pool with ample umbrellas and lounge chairs
  • Spacious rooms with local influences; all have terraces, some with hammocks
  • Easy walk to Tamarindo and the beach
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Noise from the restaurant can be bothersome during dinner hours
  • Iguanas crossing the paths may startle some guests
  • Not right on the beach, and no ocean views
  • The pool is very close to the restaurant, meaning diners may watch you swim
  • The Deluxe Rooms are close together with no privacy on the terraces
  • No spa or gym

Bottom Line

Hotel Arco Iris is an immaculate, mid-range, 13-room boutique hotel with a sparkling pool, a restaurant run by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and perfectly manicured gardens. Located just outside the noise of Tamarindo, yet still within walking distance to the nightlife and beach, Hotel Arco Iris offers rustic-chic private bungalows with hammocks and Deluxe Rooms with terraces that overlook the gardens. If ocean views are a must, The Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas has ocean views and lower rates, but its pool gets noisy and its rooms are drab. 

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Scene

An intimate boutique hotel with a top-rated restaurant and a sparkling pool that's just out of ear shot of Tamarindo's buzz 

Perched on Tamarindo's periphery, Hotel Arco Iris caters to guests, mostly couples and friends traveling together, who want to be close to the town's buzz without having to deal with the noise and congestion. The hotel is set neatly into a gentle hillside, sheltered by palms and flowering greenery and bordered by stone retaining walls, giving guests the feeling of being tucked away. Narrow stone paths, often dotted with lounging iguanas, meander through the property, leading guests to their bungalows and to a gate that opens to a gravel path that rambles to Tamarindo. 

The hotel's owner (or another staff member) is a constant fixture, available to assist guests and answer questions. Guests begin their mornings with made-to-order breakfasts by the pool before heading out for adventures to the national parks or the beach. Afternoons are ideal for climbing into hammocks with a book or lounging poolside where a tidy row of lounge chairs and umbrellas are aligned beneath a wall of cascading blue-flowering vines. In the evenings the restaurant comes to life with guests and visitors lingering over chef Schlomy's artfully presented Mediterranean fare which includes a gorgeous lobster and leek terrine and seared tuna in a honey-chili marinade.

Location

On a small, infrequently traveled gravel road, in a neighborhood just outside of Tamarindo that holds several other small hotels, about a seven-minute walk to downtown Tamarindo and the beach

Hotel Arco Iris is set into a slope below a little-trafficked gravel road, across the street from The Beach Bungalows, a small eco-minded hotel. From the parking lot and street, guests walk through swinging gates and follow the stairs down to enter the property and the small open-air lobby. A similar gate at the backside of the property leads to a maintained gravel path that heads to Tamarindo.

  • Seven-minute walk to Tamarindo
  • 10-minute walk to Tamarindo Beach
  • 30-minute drive to Playa Grande
  • 70-minute drive to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, Liberia
  • 2-hour drive to Rincón de la Vieja National Park
  • 4-hour drive to Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose

Rooms

A collection of 13 rustically chic rooms and bungalows with clean-lined style and breezy terraces, some with hammocks

The hotel has five bungalow-style rooms set in rustically stylish one-story buildings with thick tree-trunk columns and terra cotta tile roofs, and eight Deluxe Rooms set in a similar two-story building. The smaller (225 to 275 square feet) Bungalows come equipped with double beds and have vaulted ceilings, and colorful rope hammocks off their private stone terraces covered by bamboo-lined roofs. The Deluxe Rooms (375 square feet) feature either two double beds or one double and two twin beds. The rooms on the second floor have tree-house appeal, with breezy honey-colored wood terraces with matching wood chairs and benches.

All of the rooms follow the same clean-lined style with cream-colored tile floors, dark wood furniture, bamboo and dark wood entry doors, and arched doorways that lead from the bedrooms to small hallways with double-door shuttered closets stocked with fluffy white towels, toiletries, extra blankets, and safes. Also accessible from the small hallways are the bathrooms. Small, but spotless, they feature earth-toned tile work, glass-walled showers, and single vanities with raised bowl sinks.

Beds are finished with bamboo and dark wood headboards, white linens, and cream-colored coverlets. Costa Rican art, pottery, and colorful paintings complete the look of the rooms. Other particulars include mini-refrigerators stocked with beer and soda, Cuisinart coffeemakers with packages of Britt (Costa Rica's most popular brand) coffee, flat-screen TVs, and minibar selections that include small bottles of Chilean wine and snacks.

Features

A private pool, personal service, and a touted restaurant 

Israeli-born and Le Cordon Bleu-trained owner/chef of Season's restaurant delivers beautifully presented dishes at the rustic, poolside setting. Guests can choose to sit under the billowy canopy next to the pool or under the more sturdy structure that serves as part of the hotel's lobby. The menu is heavy with locally caught fish infused with Mediterranean flavor such as the Mahi Mahi with a ginger-raisin crust and a pan-seared snapper with grilled eggplant and red pepper coulis. The chef also makes his own ice creams and sorbets.

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Address

Tamarindo, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica

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