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New offer from April till the end of May

Special Offer: Stay in Tamarindo.

Best Western Vista Villas has a new offer: stay 3 nights and pay only 2.

– Valid for stays from April 1st to May 31st.
– Not valid from April 09 to 17 (black out dates).
– Rooms in promotion: Tropical Suite and Superior Ocean View.
– Max: 4 people per room.
– Book directly with us or with a travel agency,
– Not valid for booking through websites, open vouchers nor other companies
– Requirements: 3 night stay.
– It can not be combined with other promotions.
– Subject to availability.
reservas@tamarindovistavillas.com
1-800-536-3241
+506.2653-0114

go fish cr

Tamarindo Fishing Tours

Tamarindo fishing tours are a great activity because they combine nature, sport and adrenaline.   We talked to  sport fishing tour owners and here is what they  have to say when we asked the following questions:

  1. What do you like most about taking tourists on fishing tours?
  2. What was the weirdest thing/animal that you found fishing?
  3. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a boat?
  4. What sets you apart from other fishing tours?
  5. What are your services and rates?

Go Fish Costa Rica http://www.gofishcr.com/  +506 8884347491

Steve Quinn is the owner of Go Fish Costa Rica.

  1. I like the fact that we can meet people from all over the world and in a lot of cases fulfill something off their bucket list. People change when they are on the water, it brings the kid out in them.
  2. One day while fishing we found a girl’s jewelry box floating in a large area of floating debris that we assumed was from the recent tsunami in Japan as some of the debris had indicated that.
  3. Watching a client getting his head slapped by the tail of a big sailfish while posing for a photo prior to getting released back into the water. It was funny because it was my 81- year- old uncle. Followed by a client that got too close to the edge taking a photo and after returning to the boat he realized he had lost his shorts.
  4. We offer a personal touch, always making sure our guest’s are taken care of and we meet each and every one of them personally when we can.
  5. We offer a full concierge service to all our clients and guest’s and our rates are all based on the service they require. We will be sure to take of any needs you can throw at us.
Big Mahi Mahi (Dorado) on a half day fishing from Go Fish.

 

Tamarindo Fishing http://www.tamarindofishing.net  +506 8474 5456

Pedro and Jason are in charge of another Tamarindo Fishing Tour.

  1. I like to show the prospective of the land from the ocean as well as the view of all the sea life.
  2. Thousands of Manta Rays jumping in the air doing back flips migrating south.
  3. The funniest was watching 4 people fighting fish at the same time.
  4. Knowledge of where we are fishing.
  5. Half day $325. Full day $625 (4 people max.)  Our service is fishing we include bait rods reels cooler ice Water and fruit.

 

pedros fishing tour
Tamarindo Fishing Tour is a family business company.

 

Blue Fishing CR http://www.bluefishingcr.com/  +506-8355-3770

The company was established in 2003. They offer many years of experience in specialized shore fishing, private snorkeling tours, surfing trips and unique beach tours. Blue Fishing Tours offers differentiated sea tours and fishing trips every day of the week targeting a multitude of various fish including Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Sailfish, Red Snapper, Rooster fish and a many more species.

blue fishing tours
One of the Blue Fishing boats

 

Coyote Sports fishing http://coyotesportfishingtamarindo.com  +506 2653 0068

Since 1993 Coyote Sportf ishing offers fishing experience for people of all ages that enjoy the art of fishing.  Coyote Sports Fishing combine  many years of experience and local knowledge of these water.  The Captain Frank Berrocal is a real fish fan.

  1. Fishing is my livelihood and taking tourists to fish is something I really like to do because I like the sport and I want my clients to have a good time.
  2. Nothing weird has come to me while fishing on my boat!
  3. I’m always busy so nothing funny happens.
  4. My passion for fishing sets me apart from others
  5. Coyote offers ½, ¾ and full day trips on any one of three boats, with prices from $475 to $1600 depending on vessel and length of fishing time.
coyote sport fishing
Coyote Sports Fishing´s catch
Tamarindo Beach Community

Tamarindo Beach Community

Do you remember your last visit to Tamarindo? Did you notice that beach was clean? Did you see the lifeguards monitoring people in the sea? Did you visit our Oneida Park for kids? Have you seen the Farmer´s Market? None of those things are the result of pure magic. Behind them is a Tamarindo Beach community that works in order to offer you an excellent vacation.

Our hotel is part of the Tamarindo beach community. For several years now, our Manager, Trevor Bernard, has been actively involved in the Tamarindo Integral Association of Development. He works alongside with other entrepreneurs is taking actions that ensure the well being of our community. Its main pillars are: lifeguards, cleaning and recycling, security and the Oneida Park for children. The Board of Directors works for free and meets every 15 days. They coordinate committee tasks and analyze projects from other committed neighbors.

ADI is in constant communication with the Municipality of Santa Cruz, the Ministry of Health and other governmental entities. They also organize the Farmers’ Market that takes place on Saturday mornings. Residents of our community and nearby areas sell their products and services at the Farmers’Market. You will find handicrafts, clothes, homemade food, fruits and vegetables.

Every visitor can collaborate with the ADI. All our guests at Tamarindo Vista Villas may help by making a 50 cents per room per night donation. Last December with these kinds of donations, we had our best fundraising month. We thank you for your generosity and we hope that more people will join us.

We would also like other hotels, shops, tours, restaurants and business owner to join the ADI in their help to our community.

tamarindo community
ADI´s Board Members
Lifeguard Team
One of our many artists at Farmer´s Market

 

reciclaje
Recycling Program
Meeting about security with neighbors
Salty Sols Surf School

Great surf lessons in Costa Rica

Salty Sols is the best place for surf lessons in Costa Rica

Eric Atkinson grew up in Missouri, USA, with no waves nearby but he traveled around the world looking for surf spots. He finally found his home here in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Now, he owns Salty Sols Surf School, surf lessons in Costa Rica. Eric loves surfing and teaching so he created Salty Sols to share his love for the ocean with all his students. You will enjoy his class because he speaks perfect English and almost perfect Spanish.  Mr. Atkinson also has three important “P” attributes: patience, perception and persuasion, really important for a good teacher.

We interviewed Eric and he told us some interesting stories about surf lessons in Costa Rica.

Tamarindo Vista Villas (TVV) : What is it that you like most about teaching how to surf?

Eric: Seeing people feel that “stoke” for the first time and enjoying the connection with the ocean. I can still remember my first wave/waves and the awesome feeling of riding for the first time. This brings me back to those days.

TVV: What is it that you like least about teaching how to surf?

Eric: If the waves are pumping and perfect and I’m pushing someone instead of being able to pull into a barrel myself !!!! That would be the only bad thing, and that’s not really bad. We get plenty of awesome days to surf. If the students happen to have one of “those” sessions in their lesson then that’s great for them.  Also, they usually are witnessing some amazing surfing from the experienced surfers at the same time.

There are days when the current can be strong and the water can be cold. But if you are coming from a cold water place, the water always feels like bath water here in Costa Rica. Sometimes it can be frustrating if there’s a ton of people in the water. Or if the conditions aren’t the best. But the number 1 thing I don’t like about being a surf instructor is when you step on a really gnarly thorn right before going in the water for the next 2 hours!!!

TVV: What are the main feelings your students get during the lessons?

Eric: I think first of all surprise. Most are surprised that within a short amount of time they are actually getting up and riding waves. So many have these feelings that they are going to be horrible or they aren’t skilled enough. Maybe a fear of the water. But after some party in the sand with the “pop up”, technique practice, and the instructor´s help in the water, before you know it, they are up and riding and smiling from ear to ear. So I think feelings are changing several times in the lesson. They go from fear or nervousness, to surprise and emotion, to stoked and super pumped that they are now getting wave after wave and ending with a feeling of self satisfaction.

TVV: What is the main thing somebody needs to know before taking  surf lessons in Costa Rica?

Eric: Nothing! Really, no need to know much, just know how to relax and have fun. Maybe that it could be something that changes their life forever…If they live in landlocked Missouri, they might end up moving to Costa Rica!

TVV: Is there any advice you want to give for someone who wants to learn to surf?

Eric: Be confident that with some patience and practice you WILL be surfing! And never take it too seriously, surfing is all about having fun, it is about being a kid again!

surf lessons in Costa Rica
Eric Atkinson surfs with one of his dogs.
Surf lessons in Costa Rica
One of Salty Sols´ students riding a wave.

Typical Food In Tamarindo Costa Rica

Some of the type of restaurants in Tamarindo vary from Typical Costa Rican food to downright genius combinations of peanut butter hamburgers.
There are some great restaurants in Tamarindo. From casados to Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, you will be able to find a fantastic variety of flavors to choose from.

What Is Some Typical Food In Tamarindo?

Ever sit down to some typical food in Tamarindo, Costa Rica? Well, if so, chances are it was a casado. But did you ever stop to wonder just why the there’s a piece of meat with the rice and beans, salad and other accruements? After all, who could have thought to put together beef, chicken, fish, or pork with some rice, beans, and a salad, generally made with cabbage? Consequently, in its simplest form—before adding optional cheese, plantains or even French fries—the Casado is a well-balanced mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates and vegetables.

In Costa Rica, we eat this meal so much that we take its origin for granted, assuming that it’s always been served like this.

Yet, there is indeed a tale to be told about this typical dish. The word Casado means married man. So one could look at this delicious plate of food and think, “Hmm, all these various components are married to each other.”

Yet, the story behind the Casado is a little deeper than that. Looking back on Costa Rica’s history in the last century, men worked in the fields, banana plantations, or as cowboys and fisherman. Those who were married would show up for the job with a full complement of food, while the single men’s lunches were skimpier.

In the ‘60s, those who were employed in the capital of San Jose would stop for lunch at sodas (small Costa Rican restaurants) and ask for a big plate of food, such as that they would get at home.

Both these concepts took off, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find any town in Costa Rica that does not have at least one restaurant serving a Casado.

 

A Great Hotel Experience

 

Some hotels have great installations, others have great hospitality. Make sure you know which is more important to you when reserving a hotel.
Great experiences are made when a great hotel offers great hospitality. Check out some of Tamarindo’s great review sites to find out which hotels are the best before reserving.

What Makes A Great Hotel Experience?

So, having been working in a hotel in Tamarindo for some time now, I have often found myself trying to figure out just why many great hotels receive only mediocre reviews, while small dinky hotels seems to get outstanding ratings. I find that the phenomenon can be attributed to the major difference between a great hotel and great hospitality. To me, a great hotel means that the cement, steel, and paint installations are tastefully assembled into a great physical location. While this is a wonderful, and quite expensive, installation, it serves absolutely no purpose unless you staff it with passionate, and friendly individuals. This is great hospitality! Beautiful hotels are actually not too difficult to find in today’s booming travel market, however, truly spectacular hospitality is rare.

For example, here in Tamarindo we have several large hotels that actually have a lot of great characteristics, coupled with stunning buildings, and just steps away from the surf in Tamarindo, however the actual the hotels’ service levels are outright terrible. If you go onto trip advisor and read their reviews, you can find some truly horrific stories about managerial negligence and employees who simply are not passionate about what they do. Quite obviously, if you were to walk into a hotel bar and ask for a Margarita, then pay and not have your change offered to you, you are experiencing some terrible hospitality. This experience will most certainly change your opinion and your overall feeling in the hotel. Now, the hotel might be beautifully laid out, with exquisite architecture, but what does it all mean if you cannot get over the terrible service?

Contrary to the previous example there are a couple of small and simple hotels in Tamarindo, which have much less of a beautiful campus, but boast a spectacular level of hospitality. A level of hospitality in which each team-member do their absolute best to try and make a guest’s stay unbelievable. This is the difference between a mediocre guest experience and a life-long friendship. The hospitality is actually a factor of managerial philosophy. You see, many hotels do not have a passionate leader in place and focus all too often on the bottom line. In doing so, they overlook the most important asset of any business: its employees. Without a doubt, a hotel with a properly motivated team will always provide a higher quality experience for guests than a hotel with “meat-grinder” human resources strategy in which employees are contracted and liquidated every three months just in order to reinforce the busy season.

So, where does this take us? Well, some of the best operations are ones that establish a clean goal of offering a great guest experience, with equal compromise from the owners down to the housekeeper. When making a decision as to where to stay in Tamarindo, remember to always try and gauge whether you are looking for a great hotel or simply great hospitality.

Free Beach Equipment in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Free Beach Equipment At the Best Western Tamarindo Hotel Vista Villas

Learn to surf using our free board rentals and beach equipment!
Its time to smile! We are the only hotel in Tamarindo offering free beach equipment such as surfboards, boogie boards, stand up paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, volleyballs, and kayaks.

I would like to share with you a story about how our free beach equipment program was born in our little Tamarindo hotel. It was february. A time for the dreadded Best Western annual sales seminar – a week filled of horror stories shared between hotel sales managers and their former bosses, now known as lecturers. The most notorious of which was a tall, bald headed french man with a rather peculiar accent formed by having been raised on tacos, croissants, and bagels. Although his knowledge of the material to be presented was unbelievably robust, his attitude was always one of apathy. It was obvious he had not been to the beach since the Reagan administration and was simply biding his time waiting for a desk job in the Best Western corporate headquarters. I’m pretty sure that if I ever ended up like that fellow I would hope someone would put me out of my misery and hit me over the head with a surfboard. In Tamarindo, Costa Rica you wont find too many of the suit and tie every day profile.

Anyways, the lecture began with an introduction in this man’s frenchamerimex accent. Culminating with a few words that would forever change the face of this hotel in Tamarindo.

“Zee blu waateer strataugy” roughly translated as “the blue water strategy”. He exclaimed this it is a strategy in which business chooses a strategy to set itself apart from other competitors. The reason they call it the blue water strategy is to liken businesses to sailboats in a race. Of course the winning sailboat always has open blue water ahead of it, hence the name. Its not a bad metaphor and most certainly has its merits, however, the problem about listening to 8 hours of ocean metaphors is that a someone with sand in their blood tends to start day-dreaming.

Surfing a small roller, diving into the sea while snorkeling with thousands of little fish darting around me, paddle boarding around in the blue waters. Ohhh, those warm, pacific, rolling waves, hot white sand and palm trees. Hey! I think I need to buy some sunscreen tomorrow. I’m actually a little hungry, how great would a fresh ceviche……

“Tamarindo Vista Villas, are you here with us?” Screeched Mr. Shiny head, his breath smelling like a tarragon smoked salmon, wrapped in a tortilla.

“Huh? What? Yea, yea I’m here. You just had me thinking about the beach. How I really wanna go to the beach right now. I mean, don’t you?”

Mr. Potato Head looked disgusted.

“C’mon, I bet every single person here would rather be at the beach right now. I mean, that’s what we live for, right? Those unforgettable days playing around in the sand? Maybe snorkeling around aimlessly, or walking for hours in the warm sand.”

At this point, I could see sparkles in the eyes of everyone at the conference, well with the exception of Mr. Carnitas’ droopy gumdrop ocular cavities.

Inspired by the crowds reaction the idea hit me like a salty white water breaker, “I want to share this beach with everyone. What if we gave away free beach equipment like surfboards, boogie boards, snorkeling equipment, ice chests, beach towels, kayaks, volleyballs, frisbees, and footballs to our guests. What if every person who came could enjoy the beach to its most excellent potential?”

The epiphany now rising like a high tide, filling the cracks and crevasses of mangroves, filling estuaries, covering the reef breaks, producing hollow barrels. An unstoppable force of nature that overcomes anything in its path!

The crowd cheered, laptops were thrown into the air, one hotel manager bit right through his pencil in a bout of joy.

The ground shaking, impacting, insightful, well balanced, it was perfect.

Of course, having seen it all, Mr. “wine, cheese, and sopá” took a deep breath dismissing the celebration as an overreaction of the frivolous managers not ever having been exposed to real world of the central office, “veeerrry waaal. Okeeee.”

“Whuuu can telllla maaee, enowa strataugy?”

What? Is he not here? Did he not just witness the madness? The emotion? The excitement? Or did he worry that we were running behind schedule?  Anyways, it didn’t matter… I get to go home to the beach in 12 hours and get the free beach equipment program off the ground! Here is a list of the free equipment.

We most certainly hope you enjoy!

Win a Free All-Inclusive Weekend With Us

Just a quick note about a competition we are hosting. At breakfast one morning, while sipping a cup of delicious Costa Rican Coffee overlooking the beautiful waters of Tamarindo Bay, a pair of our guests began to speak about paradise. Well, of course we know a little about this, with our warm waters, genuine people, white sand, and the best darn coffee in the world, but we figured we would like to know what other people consider paradise. So, the “Paradise Is” competition was born!

We want to know what people around the world consider paradise, and we aren’t just talking about beaches… We really want to delve deep into the mindset of the world. Feelings, emotions, activities, everything! We want to know about the greatest and the finest pleasures. The winning quote should inspire the rest of the world to take a vacation to find their own paradise.

Please feel free to check out our facebook post below in order to participate. Cheers and thank you!

Tell us what your paradise is in the comments and win a free all-inclusive weekend!Diganos que seria su paraiso y gana un fin de semana todo incluido gratis!

Posted by Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas on Friday, February 5, 2016

Which Tamarindo Restaurants Should I Choose?

A great lunch at the Crazy Monkey Bar in Tamarindo Costa Rica.
This is what $6 at one of local Tamarindo restaurants, called a “Soda”, can buy you. Fresh steak, rice, beans, a salad and a natural fruit beverage.

The selection of Tamarindo restaurants is astounding. As a matter of fact, there are about 40 of ‘em, making it one of the most gastronomically diverse coastal towns in Costa Rica! Within walking distance of Best Western Tamarindo Hotel Vista Villas you will find Italian, sushi, Asian, Fusion, Argentine, American, French, Chinese,  seafood, pizza, BBQ, just too many different types to name.  Sampling any of these will certainly add enjoyment to your Costa Rica vacation.

However, one of the most frequent questions a visitor who travels to Tamarindo will ask is: “Where can I get a good Costa Rican meal?”

To answer that question, it’s important first to understand just what kind of food might make up a Costa Rican meal. Let’s start with the fact that nearly every breakfast you eat, is typical in and of itself, because of that rice and beans mixture call Gallo Pinto that comes with every morning egg plate. The addition of a little white cheese or sweet plantains is authentically Tico as well.

As to a full typical meal, you are probably going to want to eat a casado, which is the primary dish in this country. Literally, the word means “married” which explains the complementary mix of foods that go together here on one plate: rice, beans, salad (usually made with cabbage instead of lettuce), and an entrée of either chicken, fish, beef, pork or some other type of meat. Some Costa Ricans prepare the casado with the addition of a fried egg, and some plantains, but that is a delicious added bonus.

Not to be unexpected, but out of all the Tamarindo restaurants, the one with the best casado is actually in the nearby local town of Villareal. Go out of Tamarindo and when you get to the end of the main road go right, then make the third left turn just after the soccer field. Then the first right. You will see Las Palmas soda on your left. What is a soda? Just a Costa Rican restaurant, usually a small rustic, family own spot serving up meals of a local flavor.

At Las Palmas, you get a choice of your salad—including potato, veggie and the typical cabbage. Aside your rice and beans enjoy any of the daily entrees: my favorite is pork with potatoes, but I can be happy with fried fish or bbq chicken. Compliments include fried yucca or sweet plantains. All for around $5 or 6 bucks with your drink.

In Tamarindo itself, you won’t be disappointed with the amazing casado served up at Buen Comer, located just across the street from Witch’s Rock Surf camp. The owners guard their secret recipe of spices that are added to their meat (which includes a delightful option of chicharrones, or deep fried pork). For about $5, you get the casado (with egg, tortilla chips and plantains) and a fruit drink.

Down in the Tamarindo circle is one of the oldest family restaurants in town called Fiesta Del Mar. Founded in the ‘70s, this was one of the first Tamarindo Restaurants, and is open 24-hours a day. $6 gets you their typical casado, tasty and served either inside the place or sit on the stools or tables outside and watch the life of the town go by.

Of course, many other Tamarindo restaurants will include a casado on their menu as well as fare more familiar to those who travel to Costa Rica from other countries. As a matter of fact, here at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas, you can order a casado if you opt out of a Panini, salad, pizza, or wrap. Of course, we do our nachos up with Costa Rican flair—only at Crazy Monkey will you be served nachos with traditional banana chips!

Now, if you are looking for a little bit more of a fine dining experience you can always head to Pangas Beach Club, which is just down the street from the Tamarindo Vista Villas. The beautiful restaurant has a ocean-front setting and a great selection of seafood. The hostess, Elizabeth will always be there with a smile to greet you.

For a quick bite to eat, you can always try El Chilito which has burritos reminiscent of a costa rican “Chipotle” restaurant. Also, at the end of the evening, try tasting one of Nogui’s famous pies!