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travel agent screwed up

Old Feb 21st, 2004, 11:50 AM
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travel agent screwed up

We are leaving for Costa Rica in about 2 weeks and just found out that the hotels that we thought had been reservered for a month were not and they released our rooms!! Our travel agent (who we were told "was a Costa Rica expert") really has never been there and was using a third party to book our tour.

So now, instead of staying at the Tabacon Resort, they have put us at the Arenal Paraiso--which is not listed in either Fodors or Frommers. Any feedback on this hotel?? Also, how long is the drive between Arenal and Manuel Antonio? They have us at Monteverde, then Manuel Antonio, then back to Arenal. Isn't the trip to Manuel Antonio about 7 hrs!!

Help!!
Thanks,
Linda
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Old Feb 21st, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Dear Linda,
I just wrote you an email. I will be waiting to hear from you.
Pura vida,
Neta Talmor
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 05:33 AM
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Don't worry about Arenal Paraiso. If you do a search on this site you will find that everyone who stays there has good things to say about it. Many people who have stayed at Tabacon did not cared for the food at all. I'd say the ONLY advantage of Tabacon is the free admission to the springs.
The drive from Arenal to Manuel Antonio should only be about 5 hours, not 7.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 06:54 AM
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If you kept the same agent for the bookings, I would demand a rebate of half his/her commission unless the new resort is a significant upgrade at the same price.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:23 AM
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I agree with Ally. Arenal Paraiso is fine and you will most likely have a better view of the volcano from there than from Tabacon. The difference in price should be more than enough to cover the hot springs admission. I didn't care for the food at Tabacon, breakfast was actually better at Arenal Paraiso.

As to dinner, try to venture out. We liked El Novillo and La Vaca Muca (or something like that - it means "one horned cow").
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:53 AM
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I stayed at Arenal Paraiso the other week. it was nice- nothing overly fancy, but they have a nice pool with a bar in it and good service and the cabins are nice. we had an amazing view of lava flow at night from our terrace. We had a really good dinner there too, if you don't feel like going out. I have to disagree about vaca muca though- we thought it was pretty basic and uninteresting, but very well priced.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their replies and help. Have not yet heard from our travel agent--one unanswered email and one unanswered phone call so far.
I am reassured about the Arenal Paraiso-now just want ot re-arrange the order of our trip to avoid the zig zag itinerary, which I assume was done because of hotel availablility. By the way, any feedback on the Hotel Casitas Eclipse in Manuel Antonio. The put us there instead of el Parador.
Thanks, Linda
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 05:32 AM
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This last move is a tough one. Personally, I didn't like the looks of El Parador when I went by to look at the property. It is beautiful, especially the views from the pool area, but it just felt too 'American' to me. I have not seen Casitas Eclipse, but have heard good things about it. I don't know if you'd have the fabulous views you would of had at El Parador though. What would bother me most about this move is that El Parador is certainly a more upscale and more expensive place, so if they put you at Eclipse instead, they better put you in the most expensive suites, or come down on your package price! For that matter Tabacon is also a more expensive property than Arenal Paraiso.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 08:13 PM
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Update on our travel plans or lack there of...Just heard from the travel agent who is still waiting to hear from the tour company...who is still waiting to hear from "Costa Rica" We leave in 13 days!!
I told her if I don't hear by tomorrow, I will cancel my credit card payment and find my own hotels. Am I crazy?? Any suggestions for last minute reservations at Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio??

I have already emailed some hotels to inquires as to vacancy.
Wish me luck!!
Linda
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 03:35 AM
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Dear Linda,
I just emailed you directly.
And, by the way, you are not crazy ;-)
Pura Vida,
Neta Talmor
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