Even the name sounds exotic. As the Westin’s first all-inclusive resort, I didn’t know what to expect when we booked this vacation through United Vacations. I’m always comfortable with SPG properties and knew that this newly renovated resort would likely live up to the rave reviews.
And, I can handle anything for 72 hours… well, almost anything.
An easy 3 hour flight from Houston’s Bush Airport, Liberia’s International Airport was clean and efficient– although slightly warm and reminiscent of Cancun’s airport in the summer months.
Receiving our luggage took almost no time, as did customs. We were quickly whisked away into the darkness of the jungle by our tour guide, Freddy. While Freddy spoke little English (which only showed when he referenced his name to being “Freddy– like Freddy Krueger“) he was amiable and quick to tell us about his native country and all that it had to offer.
One rainy 50 minute private van ride later, we arrived at the Westin Playa Conchal and were quickly elated with out decision.
The property is very large and has multiple restaurants, bars, a gigantic pool and spectacular golf course. While the beach is certainly beautiful, do not expect to find Caribbean blue water. Situated on the Pacific coast, The Westin Playa Conchal has over a mile long stretch of beach with calm, warm waters.
D and I found our “bungalow” to be well appointed, spacious and always clean. Located in building 14, we were centrally located to the lobby, french restaurant and golf and only a five minute walk to the beach, large pool and other restaurants. It was always easy to get a shuttle should an unexpected rain storm pop up.
I can remember always thinking that the food in Mexico tasted “different” and was similarly prepared for the cuisine in Costa Rica. We found the food to be delicious, well prepared and incredibly fresh at all of the restaurants. Even the breakfast buffet items changed each morning and always included a large selection of “local” items, which were my favorite!
The Westin delivered the feel of “sleeping in the jungle” without waking up with mysterious bug bites. We felt secluded on the property, like we were truly immersed in the rain forests, but without treacherous drives up mountain roads and with all the modern luxury amenities. Every day you should expect to see colorful birds, iguanas (which I’m told like to eat people’s lunch by the pool!), herds of coati and monkeys swinging from the trees.
All in all, it was a great, easy and fun trip. I really loved using United Vacations because not only did I get my beloved frequent flier miles, they also made the travel incredibly easy by including the flight, transfers and hotel stay, all in one reservation.
- United’s 1 flight a day in and out of Liberia airport. The 6:50am departure time made for a 2am wakeup call… a rough ending to a great trip.
- When you check out at 3am for your flight, I begged the front desk for a glass or bottle of water. They told me multiple times, nope, sorry. Bar is closed.
- The wine list. While the wine they serve is good, for a special occasion you may want something even better. The list was ok but didn’t offer a lot of options.
- I was not allowed to have breakfast because I had a “bathing suit cover-up on.” Make no mistake, it wasn’t sheer or short. I’m not scandalous like that. It was long and from Chico’s for godsake. After a 20 minute walk round trip to change clothes to something “more appropriate” I sat to have my coffee. Not 5 minutes later, the same hostess seated a woman with “booty shorts” that literally showed her ass cheeks. Umm, she can eat here but I had to change? I promptly called the manager over, who told me if the wind blew, you would be able to see my lady parts and she would not. YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME. I WASN’T NAKED!! Unacceptable.
- If you would like a vacation mimosa in the morning, you cannot have any liquor until 10am when the pool bar opens.
- The “rainy season” is during the summer months, so be prepared for some showers. However, these are usually only in the afternoon and last about an hour or 2– nothing debilitating.
If you’re looking for a peaceful, high-quality stay, definitely book the Westin Playa Conchal!
(some pictures from Westinplayaconchal.com)