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Paradisus (Melia) Playa Conchal Costa Rica

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Paradisus (Melia) Playa Conchal 04/21-04/28/2003

Boy where to start? Well, first thing, sorry for the length of this report, but the resort and surrounding area were so amazing, that I am sure I will ramble on.

Liberia airport: As soon as you deplane and walk into the airport, which is very small, you go through customs and get your bags. Super quick, fifteen minutes total! From there we walked a few yards to where our Paradisus rep. and bus were waiting. Enormous, air-conditioned bus, very clean and comfy. The ride to the resort is about 50 minutes. On the ride they have you do all your registration and have your room and resort packages ready. Once we arrived at the resort, a trolley took our bags and we were off to our bungalow. So great not to have to sit around and go through a whole check-in process.

Bungalows: Wonderful. Get 2nd floor if possible; more private and has vaulted ceilings. You walk in from your balcony into a sitting room with couch, table, chair & ottoman. To the right are the mini-bar/refrigerator, sink, coffee maker and a table & chairs set. To the left is your massive bathroom. Large vanity, mirrored closets and shelves. Next room is bathroom with shower/tub, toilet & bidet. All large and well lit. Off the living room, a couple steps up, is your bedroom area. Beautiful, comfortable beds, a couple dressers and also TV on a stand that can be turned into the bedroom or into the sitting room. All the furnishing is in great condition, clean, and comfortable. The housekeeping was amazing throughout our stay. If you look at the Melia website, the rooms really do look like that, no touch ups.
** The bungalows are kept quite cool so I would suggest bringing along a terry cloth robe. I had a silk robe and it just didn?t do it. And you can?t turn down the air because then you get condensation everywhere, and with all the floors being tiles, makes for a very slippery room.

Restaurants:
Dinners/No reservations needed, always got a table.
** The air in the restaurants is very cold. So ladies, if you are wearing sleeveless outfits I would suggest a light shawl. It was quite chilly on the shoulders/arms in most of the restaurants.

Mitra International Buffet. Nice selection, very fresh, made to order pasta bars. Plus large range of meats & seafood. Very nice for a more casual evening.

Spices features Asian fusion by menu. Wide selection and everything was very flavorful and fresh. Spring rolls are a must. Ate there twice and loved it each time.

Faisanela features Italian. Another great meal. They go the whole Italian way, 4-5 courses. Only problem was that they gave you so much, each course could have been a meal in itself. But everything was so good; you had to eat it all anyways! The Porchini Risotto was exceptional!

Boucanier Caribbean Restaurant: Another great choice. Ate there twice, both times exceptional. You like spicy, try the Tortilla Soup. That will warm you inners!! Lobster was exceptional.

Lunch
Nineteenth Hole (El Hoyo 19): Great for after-golf munchies. Wings, quesadillas, burgers. Great view & breeze up there.

Caracola: Great lunch buffet with various salads, pastas, rice, cold cuts & soups.

Spirula: Burgers, hots dogs, roasted chicken and THE BEST personal pizzas ever! Whatever you want on it, they have it. But watch out for the hot peppers, hot is putting lightly!

Breakfast
Mitras: Large buffet with made to order eggs, pancakes & waffles. Also yogurt, cereal, fruit, blended smoothies (made to order), pastries and all the usual sides (bacon, sausage?)

Pool: What more can be said besides the largest in Central America. It was large, clean and had many little alcoves for floating and relaxing. Always enough chairs and palm umbrellas for everyone. Pool bar is both upper (out of pool) and lower (in pool) and those guys hustle.

Beach:
Long, clean and beautiful. To the left is the sand beach and to the right is the shell beach, but not the rough kind of shell that you can?t walk on. More like getting a great pumous job on your feet! The resort offers snorkel gear that you can take out to the shell beach area. Bring along a couple rolls from breakfast and you will have dozens of fish swimming with you. Water is very clean and calm and swimming along the rocks offers great opportunities to see various fish.

Golf: Robert Trent Jones Jr. course. Need I say more?

Tours:
Tamarindo shopping: $20 cab ride, about 30 minutes max to get there. Great surfing village. Found tons to souvenirs, pottery, and clothes. Stopped for lunch and couple drinks at Zullymar (?) on the beach. Great fried shrimp and wonderful breeze from the beach. Made arrangements for the cab to pick us up at a certain time, and there he was. Great day.

? day Canopy tour. You MUST do this!! Wear loose clothing that?s goes to about your knees. They really strap you in those harnesses so you want something that moves with you. Bug spray, sunscreen and camera are about all you need. Don?t bother with hats or sunglasses; they suggest you leave them in the bus. Someone in our party wore her sunglasses and they are now somewhere in the rainforest floor. Also, anyone with long hair, make sure you bring something to tie it up.

Overall view:
Probably THE BEST vacation we have ever had. Have traveled to Jamaica, Antigua & St Lucia and none compare to the beauty of the land or the genuineness of the Costa Rican people. Every person we met, on and off the resort, was kind, helpful, and just basically fun to talk with. The staffs at the Paradisus do everything in their power to accommodate and go beyond the regular limits of customer service. We are already planning our next trip to Paradisus and can hardly wait.

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