Located in Playa Langosta, one mile from the hustle and bustle of downtown Tamarindo. Formerly known as Barceló Langosta Beach, Occidental Tamarindo was last renovated in 2010. Occidental Tamarindo is a smaller resort featuring only 198 rooms.
Our first experience in Costa Rica was a rocky one. Our luggage arrived in Miami instead of Libera. It would be the next day before our bags would arrive. Lesson learned, always put a change of clothes and a swimsuit in your backpack. Luckily with the help of the Google Translate app on our phone we able to communicate with our driver. He was very helpful and found a local supermarket so we could stock up on the essentials. Maxi Pali is a cheap place to grab anything you forgot at home. You can find all the essentials like sunscreen, swimsuits, toothbrushes, and more at a very good price. One thing we have learned during our travels is the gift shop at any resort is more expensive than buying local.
Being at a smaller resort was a new experience for us. Occidental Tamarindo has one pool with a separate kids section and a hot tub. While there was a special section for smaller children we rarely saw anyone use it. We visited during March which is the peak of the dry season. It gets extremely hot, and sunscreen is a must unless you want to look like a lobster. The pool never seemed overcrowded despite being peak travel season in Costa Rica.
One thing we would change is the lack of a swim-up bar. This is the first resort we have been to that did not have one. I must say I felt a little lost. We usually spend a good amount of the afternoon mingling with travelers at the swim-up bar at other resorts. Imperial is the beer offered in the all-inclusive package. If you want top shelf liquor or other beer you will have to buy a VIP package for $30 per person per day. Being a short 3-night trip we opted not to buy the premium package and stuck with beer and well drinks. The poolside bar can get crowded and the line can get long at times. We really missed the pool and beach wait service on this trip since it is not offered.
If you're looking for crystal clear calm waters you'll be sadly disappointed. But if water sports are your thing you'll be pleasantly surprised, the surf here is excellent. The beach is very clean and during low tide, you can walk for miles. At high tide, the water will come all the way up to sand volleyball court on the beach. The tide change is very drastic. With the large surf, the currents are strong so be careful. I would recommend some water shoes, the ocean floor is rocky in certain areas.
When it comes to dining the resort only has two options. The Langosta Main Restaurant, a buffet style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the El Océano Resturant, which is only open for dinner. El Océno requires a minimum 3-night stay and you'll need to make reservations. We found it odd that you are only allowed to eat at El Océno once every three nights. For a quick snack, the Las Baulas Snack Bar is open from 10am - 7pm. Options changed daily featuring pizza, chicken wings, nachos, burgers, fresh fruit, and more.
The resort grounds were very well groomed and the rooms were nice. We stayed in a Superior room on the fifth floor. The elevator only goes to the fourth floor, and upon opening our door it led directly to a staircase up to our room. Not a big deal for us, but if mobility is an issue, you will want to stay on the lower floors that do not require a stair climb. The images below are 360-degree panoramic photos which allow you to see the entire room in one shot.
If you're looking to venture into Tamarindo you can grab a taxi from the hotel to downtown for only $5. Very affordable in our opinion. With many local restaurants and bars, there's something for everyone. Tamarindo is a great place to explore. Tip, if you go into Tamarindo to shop, make sure you shop around. All the shops and locals walking around sell very similar items, but prices can vary quite a bit. After buying a stuffed animal for our children we walked down a few shops and found it $8 cheaper. So if you like shopping take the time to check multiple shops for the same item.
Even with the lost luggage debacle, a failure on the airlines part, we still enjoyed our stay. This resort was smaller than we prefer, and will not probably be one that we return to in the future. We prefer a resort with more dining options than Occidental Tamarindo offered. We will definitely return to Costa Rica in the future, but will look for a larger all-inclusive resort next time.
If you have been to Costa Rica let us know your favorite all-inclusive, maybe we will add it to our list for the next time. We would love to know what features and amenities you look for when choosing a resort.