We stayed at Boutique Hotel Marlins from June 14 to June 16 during the World Cup. First, I think it’s helpful to understand the kind of reviewer I think that I am. I don’t go for the cheapest places, but also don’t stay at the Ritz or Four Seasons either. I don’t mind minor inconveniences, but won’t hesitate to point something out if the staff is not helpful in resolving a problem. So, in many ways, I consider myself an average traveler.
We were a party of four (two adult couples) from the USA. It is exactly as described…a boutique hotel. We were greeted by a wonderful scent as soon as we stepped in the lobby. It was present just about everywhere we went. It seemed as if we were receiving aromatherapy in a spa the entire time. We were in two of the ten standard rooms that all have great views of the beach. The rooms are small (by American standards), but I like it that way. It was simple, clean, well decorated and temperature was easily adjusted by the AC unit. (We used it a bit since the first day was a constant downpour and very humid.)
All of the areas of this hotel (like most of Pipa) are built on a steep slope leading to the water. That means the rooms, bar, reception are on one level. Winding stairs descend to the breakfast area, with a nice open view to the ocean on the next level. More steps descend to the pool and sunbathing area. A small, but nicely done infinity pool is the centerpiece of this area. Additional steps wind down to the beach access. Everything is tied together by the staircase and everything was decorated very nicely. A unique pattern was incorporated into iron fences, gates, and borders throughout the property. Someone had really taken some time to do it right when this place was renovated.
The beach access puts you right into the heart of Pipa’s waterfront. The beach is steps away (it is a bit rocky, but beautiful). There are several restaurant options off to the right.
We had a little trouble finding the hotel at first. Pipa is small and quaint and signs are not plastered all over the place (thank goodness). This hotel is at the end of a small cobblestone side street and it was strange that there were no signs at the front entrance of the hotel or on the glass doors at the entrance. This caused us to drive past it and wind up at a side garage door (which was apparently the supply entrance). It doesn't sound like much of a problem, but when the streets are so narrow that you're worried about scraping the sides of your car, you don't want to have to try to turn around! A small discrete sign would have been helpful. That, thankfully, is about the only negative thing I have to say about this place.