Rated 5 out of 5 by SarahM a wonderful vacation spot!
From the start, we did everything we could to mess up this vacation. We booked original airline tickets to San Jose (which is 4 hours away from the resort, FYI), messed up the reservation (put in just one person for an all inclusive rate instead of two), and emailed them the wrong information for an airline pickup (from Liberia, which is a mere 45 minutes away).
However, the wonderful staff at the Westin Playa Conchal took all of this in stride. Someone was at the airport for us within 20 minutes and they easily handled our reservation mishap. The staff throughout our trip were incredibly kind, thoughtful, and friendly. The guys handling activities were particularly energetic and fun - they could get anyone excited about a round of pool volleyball!
The rooms were beautiful. We were in a regular suite and it was plenty of space and very clean. The pillows were a little too squishy, but that was the only complaint that we had. They restocked the mini bar every day diligently.
The food was fantastic. We were very nervous about trying an all-inclusive, but the food was top notch. The best recommendation we can give is that we would pay to eat like this at home. The Italian restaurant in particular is very, very good and a beautiful restaurant. Even the buffet is delicious.
The pool was beautifully maintained and the perfect temperature. It's huge and wasn't crowded at all while we were there. The swim up bar was one of our favorite attractions :) the bartenders are friendly and prompt. Every day you see people spending hours maintaining the grounds. It's very impressive.
Right by the pool is the entrance to the beautiful beach. It's not a private beach but it may as well be. We got up early most mornings and were some of the only people on the beach. The water is gorgeous and clear. Yes, there are some people trying to sell you things when you first go out, but they weren't bad at all.
The photographers at the resort are another huge plus. They are truly professionals and take great pictures - if you see them roaming, let them take your picture! We ended up purchasing pictures to take home.
We didn't leave the resort at all during our 5 day stay. It was relaxing, beautiful, easy, and fun. I would love to go back!!
September 3, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by AKUM Must experience this resort
Other than restaurant reservation which is a pain given all-inclusive status, this resort is a gem and exceeds all expectations
June 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by JDog Westin Conchal - a true gem
Our first time in Costa Rica was perfect because of the the Westin Conchal and their staff. Our room was spacious and comfortable. One of the reasons we chose this resort was the amenities, as our stay was over two weeks. The restaurants were great, no problems with reservations where necessary, the food was excellent and the staff was awesome. A number of bars, some commercial sales (pricey but good value), weight room, wellness centre, etc. The pool side staff and activity centre staff were very accommodating. Definitely enough to keep you occupied. We took advantage of some day adventures, some through the Hotel and others in the immediate area. We were fortunate to take advantage of both services. All of this was made possible by the work and planning of the staff at My Costa Rica - a local travel agent that we have to mention because of their hard work to make this happen. Thanks to all for making this a memorable vacation.
February 26, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Lopper04 Be very careful
If you like Coati's running all over the pool deck stealing your bags and scavenging anything and everything, if you like small uncomfortable rooms, if you like to be welcomed on the beaches by locals scamming your $$ and gas powered jet ski's disturbing the beautiful beach waters, if you children like to be confined after 6:00pm because the pools, beaches, game centers are all closed than this is the place to be. I have never been so dissatisfied with an all-inclusive resort in my life. My family and I have been to all-exclusive in Turks, Mexico, Aruba, Puerto Rico, St, Lucia, and have never been disappointed until arriving at the Westin. My wife and I tried to go for a cocktail in the early evening near the buffet restaurant but were surprised that there was no seating available. You know the saying happy wife happy life; didn't happen until the day we checked out. Dining was average, room service was a joke. David from the Family club area was the only Westin employee that really took care of us. THANK YOU DAVID, for making sure the coati’s didn't steal our stuff, you made our stay tolerable.
BE VERY CARFUL FUTURE GUESTS!!!! The pictures on the web site are for the adult area and look amazing, you will be disappointed.
August 30, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by chicago34342 10 year anniversary trip - couldn't have been better
We decided on this hotel for our 10yr anniversary trip and could not have been happier with our choice. Once you get used to some of the quirks of traveling to central or South America you realize how great this hotel is.
Hotel - the hotel is really well done. Very large grounds, gold course, shops, six restaurants, swim up pool bars, wildlife on the grounds, great landscape, local tours set up by the hotel, onsite travel services, modern rooms and workout facilities. Two large pools (you have to be a royal beach club to use the second.
Service - overall really good. Can be inconsistent at times but I think that is just part of the more laid back culture and general slower pace of things. Overall the people at the hotel and outside are very friendly.
Food - here is where we were most surprised. We were not to keen on the all inclusive aspect figuring the service and quality of the food would be average at best. This was not the case at all. The restaurants were all very good and we are used to good food with all the quality options that Chicago has to offer. We couldn't have been happier with the options and quality. The reservation system in the restaurants is a little odd. You have to book in advance but most nights the restaurants we're only 60% full. But the food and service were very good. The only only complaint would be that the wine could have been colder so that's pretty nitpicky.
Rooms - very nice and what you would expect. We booked on points and them upgraded to a double wide room in the royal beach club. For us this was perfect. The royal beach club is adults only and for us this was important as if we have seen loads of other kids we would have spent the whole trip being miserable missing ours. This area also has a private area for breakfast and lunch. A nice restaurant overlooking the pool. So even though we didn't plan it this was it worked perfectly.
Adventure - onsite travel agency is top notch. Arenal (must see), scuba, jetski, canopy tours, white water rafting. It has it all. Only downside is most activities are a few hour car ride away so consider that and if you want to stay in a place more interior in the country
Beach - probably the only downside. It's nice but the current is really strong so we didn't spend as much time there as we thought we would based on the pictures. Nice but under used.
Overall though one of the best Starwood hotels we've stayed at and we've stayed at a lot. Costa Rica as a country is great and worth the visit. Lots to do, clear skies everyday and great people. Hotel is top notch.
January 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by ajgk Vacation in Paradise
My husband and I spent 3 nights at the Westin Playa Conchal in April. We could not have been more pleased with the resort, and are already trying to book another trip back this fall!
Throughout our entire stay, we tried to figure out how anyone could not enjoy themselves at this spectacular property.
From our luxurious, spacious room, to the phenomenal breakfast buffet and gorgeous beach and pool areas, we were in heaven.
The staff was extremely friendly and helpful as well. I even had to visit the medic and was treated promptly onsite.
This resort also has every activity imaginable except for surfing - which is only a short drive away. The resort even has a fun nightlife for those interested. We enjoyed drinks and dancing at the nightclub on property.
The spa facility is absolutely gorgeous, and I highly recommend indulging in a treatment during your stay as you have access to the spa the entire day of your service.
All in all - this was one of the best vacations of our lives and I truly don't think you'll go wrong staying at this resort.
May 11, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by LV2TRVL2012 CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK
We absolutely LOVED this resort. The room was comfortable and clean, the staff was friendly and even though English is their second language, they communicated very well with us. EVERYWHERE we went, the staff greeted us with a smile and made us feel very welcome. The hotel was 100% occupancy, and yet there was always a comfortable chair by the pool, and room at the bar. The food was far better than we expected it to be, the drinks were great - be sure to have a Mimosa! Brand name liquor at every bar, 24 hour room service, and reliable wireless. What more could you need?
February 21, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by carol452 Awesome Hotel
I stayed at this resort for 5 nights. This resort was awesome.
First my disappointments - When I first checked in I had to wait for ½ hour at the main reception to check in only to be told you are royal beach club you don’t check in here. That was frustrating especially as a platinum member. So I finally getting to my room it took over 2 hours for a pair of slippers to be delivered. I traveled in low season so not all the restaurants were opened in the evening. Only on the last day was a paper attached to my door as to which restaurants were closed and open.
I traveled in low season. I had a rainy day on my last day, it rained all day. Otherwise the weather was sunny about 85 each day. Sometimes it would rain but only for a bit then it would get sunny again. It is very humid in Costa Rica.
I took a lot of activities through the activities desk. You could be as busy as you want to be. I took Spanish lessons, learnt how to make sushi(I got to take the leftovers home), watched how Costa Rican cuisine was made and walked on the beach with Evelyn. Evelyn works at the activities center. This girl is amazing. She was very patient with me when I took the Spanish lessons. The beach walk was an organized activity to a small town. The activities center even has books to lend out if you forgot a book. There was a guy working at the activities center I think his name was Daniel he was also very friendly. I liked the fact that all the staff at the activities center got to know me by name. In the evening there was entertainment at the theatre.
Royal Beach club
This is offered to royal beach club members. I was able to check out here instead of the main desk. At breakfast there is a continental breakfast offered. I ate at the main dining room. In the evening there were snacks such as chips, salsa and guacamole. I did not eat there for lunch.
The beach is not crowded. If you walk on the beach be careful of the stones but once you get over that the beach is sand to walk on. Beware of the vendors once you walk out on the beach. Once you say no they will leave you alone. On the beach there is a lady who sells red snapper and lobster. She will cook it on the BBQ for you.
The breakfast buffet was filling every morning. The options were super foods to omelettes, cold cuts, cheese and fruit, fresh bread and oatmeal.
During the day there was a lunch restaurant called Caracola which had a fixed menu. I only tried one speciality restaurant Bamboo which has Japanese food. Bamboo has a speciality of the Costa Rican roll. Our group had 2 of them a bit spicy but delicious.
There are 2 pools one at the royal beach club and the main pool. The Royal Beach Club is for adults only. This pool has a swim up bar.
The main pool was very big. This also has a swim up bar. There is an aqua size class and volleyball offered at the pool. I think I read somewhere it is 100 meters long.
All the equipment is new and modern. The fitness center was never crowded and opened 24/7.
I had the chance to use the spa. The spa offered many treatments. You had a choice of a 50 minute of 80 minute massage. Very relaxing! Once the massage was over you were allowed to use the facilities at the spa, the steam room, whirlpool inside and outside and the sauna.
The rooms are clean. I found the royal beach clubs room to be smaller than a bungalow. I would stay in a bungalow when I come back.
I took the golf cart around the property. This cost $15USD. Well worth the money. The views were spectacular.
Getting around the property
There are little vans/trucks that take you around the property but everything is within walking distance.
Better communication when you check i.e. maybe someone should ask when you drop off your luggage, are you royal beach club? Or maybe it should be noted when you arrive.
How about posting at the activities center what restaurants are open for lunch/dinner. I did not know what was open or not.
I would recommend this hotel. The staff are very friendly and helpful. One night I locked myself out of the room not speaking Spanish the guard and I were able to figure it out. Someone left me into my room and even delivered me new keys.
I want to thank Jaime as well for the tour of the hotel. This is big property and it does not seem crowded because the buildings are spread out.
October 20, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Rick1859 Resort OK but not great
Was somewhat disappointed in our two-week stay. Beach, while beautiful and in a beautiful setting, was dirty and unkept - should have been raked regularly to remove trash, cigarette butts, leaves, etc. Also bothersome beach vendors. Resort had fairly limited daily activities - if you're not interested in golf - and was very hot after 10 am or so making activity difficult other than beach use. Phone service in our room was sketchy and intermittant. Staff friendly and responsive so no complaint there, although service could certainly be improved in the eating facilities. Resort fairly remote - difficult to get out and see the countryside other than in organized tours. All in all - not a great experience. Wouldn't go again or recommend to others.
May 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Leela49 Excellent All-Inclusive Resort
Having been at several all-inclusive resorts The Westin has been the best by far. All the restaurants offered a variety of selections and had beautiful presentation. Took a few excursions and relaxed by the pool. Everyone was very friendly and extremely helpful.
August 6, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by rylee77 Big Waste of Money
Website mentioned light remodeling going on. 1/4 of the Hotel was torn apart
Noise constantly, dust. Only two restaurants were open. I tried to pay for an upgraded room, and was told that I could not. The rooms were not full. Only positive was the hotels Food and Beverage manager. This gentlemans superior talents are being wasted working in such an inferior hotel
December 21, 2011
Rated 1 out of 5 by AshleySD The hotel should not be considered an SPG property
This hotel was very bland and almost awkward at times. Our personal room had a leak in the air conditioner and it took more then 24 hours to have it fixed. The food was quite bland and in some cases (the Thai restaurant bamboo) was terrible. The hot tub was broken and the pool was cold so if it wasn't sunny there was nothing you could do poolside without being uncomfortable. There is a noticeable class-ism between the "green" bracelets and "gold" bracelets. Its unfortunate that one would be made to feel like a second class citizen when they paid full price for the room and have SPG gold status. It was a bad experience and we were happy to leave. Additionally, I took time to fill out the survey the hotel sent after our stay and received a generic response which is unfortunate.
January 3, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by thesilvas Honeymoon paradise
My husband and I spent 10 days in Playa Conchal on our honeymoon and it was the best vacation of our lives! The food and customer service exceeded our expectations.
September 19, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Lakers Returning for a third year!
My husband and I cannot wait to return to the Westin for our 3rd annual Christmas-New Year's trip. The staff is what sets this resort apart from the others. They are the friendliest people we've ever encountered! Our check-in process is a breeze, as we are handed a mojito and recognized by name as soon as our vehicle pulls up to the resort. The food at Fasinella is fabulous from the elegantly displayed buffet breakfast to to the authentic Italian dinners. We were fortunate to have David as our concierge for both trips and hope to see him again this year. We are Platinum SPG members and this resort truly makes us feel valued and appreciates our business. We cannot wait to return again in a month and are literally counting the days!
November 29, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by K2P2 Great Location
Thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. Staff was friendly and great with our baby. Only down fall was ++ animal excrement on the pathways. Loved this resort, have been twice and would come again if the opportunity presented itself.
July 31, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by LeoTiger99 We had a great time
We were total 17 family members. Except we were disappointed we were not served Premium liquor drinks, even though our travel agent confirmed us that our package includes such package, for other services, we were very happy.
Everything was great and enjoyable.
July 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by MrWiz Great A/I hotel...booked to go back.
Staff were attentive, we had family concierge, great on site restaurants( once you manage to get a reservation), not huge portions in evenings but quality and more than enough. Evenings were quiet but can always go to Locals towns if you like. Golf course was great, free golf for u12's and not busy. Beach is great, admittedly local traders assemble there and aren't intimidating..great people in Costa Rica, not long trip from airport..going back in a few months..
February 24, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Deanna305 Beautiful resort but staff needs help
We called room service a few times over our stay where some requests were just flat out ignored and/or took hours to complete. I thought staying in the Royal Beach Club towers was suppose to be an upgrade, especially since I paid for attention I never received. The staff was unresponsive and acted like they could care less about service. When we checked out they tried to make us pay for services that were already paid?
August 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by starrose1856 Anniversary Trip
My husband and I visited Playa Conchal for our second and absolutely LOVED IT! We upgraded to the Royal Club and the staff was beyond amazing. They ALWAYS greeted us by our first names, everyone remembered us, even the hostess at the restaurants. The staff could not have been more friendly. They went above and beyond at every turn. One night my husband wasn't feeling so well and could not make it to one of our dinner reservations, and I went alone. The staff asked if I wanted to take a plate to my husband and wrapped it up for me. He enjoyed it, even though he didn't get to go. It was little things like this that make the staff at the Playa Conchal the BEST!! It honestly felt like home. We loved it so much, we looked into buying one of the condos located at their property, but didn't quite like anything, because if we had found something, we would have stayed. Everything was within walking distance at the hotel, we were offered rides, but we are a young couple, so we didn't need them. Honestly the BEST resort we have stayed at, and we travel quite often. I have recommended this place to everyone we know. It has been about a month since we visited, and sometimes we wake up thinking we are still there! We cannot wait to visit again. Everyone is amazing and it was a once in a lifetime experience.
July 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Antonio 5 glorious days at the Westin Playa Conchal
We checked in for a 5-night stay in the Royal Beach Club section for March Break, 2014. As a Platinum guest, we were accorded 1st class treatment - including an upgrade to a corner suite in Tower 1. The suite included a king size bed, two Jacuzzi baths (one indoor, one outdoor), an enormous rain shower, and a huge balcony. There is an onsite concierge to arrange shuttles, refresh the in room mini bar and make tour arrangements. John (our concierge) was the best, as was Maureen, the chief concierge. Daily activities at the resort, including early am exercises, were available, and we found the trainers to be excellent. There are 8 restaurants on site, and we tried them all! The best (for dinner) were Les Candelas & Faisenellas. Our daughter loved the mojitos in the swim up bar, and the Costa Rican beer was not to shabby! All in all, a great place to sit back and relax for spring break. We were sad when it was time to go home!
March 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by BRfromAR The resort is much better than it looked on the website.
I’ve traveled to 18 countries, but this was my first trip to Costa Rica. As we planned our vacation, we researched many resorts in the country. We mainly picked the Westin because we’ve had good experiences at other Westin resorts, and we read mainly positive reviews from other travelers. The resort is represented on several travel sites, and they have a website, but none of these really do the place justice. It was even better than we had expected.
The resort is fairly large, but they will pick you up and drive you anywhere you want to go if you don’t want to walk. You need only ask. All the grounds are landscaped and well maintained. Our room was clean and was stocked with amenities and a full mini-fridge. Everything was in working order.
The service from the staff was nothing short of spectacular. Everyone was extraordinarily friendly, and it felt genuine and sincere, not like they were just being nice because it’s their job to be nice. At one point I was standing on a resort walkway looking at a map trying to determine which way to go, and a woman on the housekeeping staff stopped what she was doing to come over to me and ask if she could give me directions. Everyone on the resort greets you with a smile and “hola” or “buenos días” as you pass by. I asked for something slightly odd from the room service and the response I received was “no problem sir, you’re the boss here; we will take care of that.” Everyone that you will interact with speaks both English and Spanish. I tipped many resort employees during the week, but I was never asked for a tip, and never made to feel like it was obligatory. I’ve stayed in about a dozen resorts, many with very good service, and I think this resort had the best service I’ve experienced.
There is something that everyone will like. In addition to the buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they have several nice restaurants for evening dining. At least three options are open at all times during the day. You can also order room service. We tried all the specialty restaurants and loved all of them. The buffet food was average to above average… nothing I tried was bad. The specialty restaurant food was all above average to excellent. A few of the dishes that I had would rival some of the best restaurants I’ve ever visited… and yes, I eat in nice restaurants with some frequency. If you don’t find some food you like at this resort, you’re a food snob on a level I’ve not yet encountered.
Costa Rica is BEAUTIFUL! It’s a good blend of upscale resorts and modern conveniences, and unspoiled nature. The people are very kind and welcoming. We never felt unsafe in any of the areas we visited. When venturing off the resort, there are several vendors selling items and services, but you will not be attacked with a wave of high pressure selling like some places I’ve visited. When you say no, they will leave you alone. Also, I felt like the locals were not trying to scam me. They will bargain and haggle with you on pricing, but I never felt like I was being taken advantage of. It wasn’t a shell game or three-card hustle buying experience. One of the vendors at the artisan tent on the resort property jumped up from her table and ran after a woman because she had forgotten to take her change from the transaction. It’s rare to see such a display of honesty, and this really impressed me. I can’t say enough about the good nature of the people here.
Don’t hesitate! Book your trip now.
June 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Love2travelSA Really Fun Vacation
Hotel was lovely. Beach and pools were great.
Fun excursion to Zip line and Mud Baths.
Food was OK sometimes very good.
Drinks were so-so - not very strong at all.
All in all a wonderful place to visit and very romantic.
February 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Silvio1 Very good
Been all over the Caribean and this resort is as good as it gets. The food was better than average, the location was spectacular and the entire vacation was a pleasure.
August 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Nikki02 Excellent Vacation!!
We had the best vacation ever!! We will be returning next year with our children.
August 18, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by TrinaS Had a great time
We enjoyed our week on vacation with rest and great food. We were disappointed with the inconsistency of the shuttle service. We loved the atmosphere, including the wildlife that roam the premises. We never got the drinks we ordered when we went to the buffet, but loved all the other restaurants.
July 17, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Lakers Third visit as refreshing as the first
We visited the Westin Playa Conchal for a third time for a couples retreat and continue to be impressed with this resort. Prior to our arrival we received a very pleasant, welcoming email from guest services and were thrilled upon arrival that our dinner reservations were made in advance. The attentiveness of the staff is second to none, and they truly went above and beyond with every interaction. Our butler sought us out every morning to inquire about our stay and any needs. The bartenders remembered our drink orders and anticipated our every need. The wait staff in the restaurants were professional and polished.
The Westin made some nice enhancements to the dinner menus at their restaurants and though improvement was not needed, we found the new items and presentation refreshing and inspired. We particularly noticed the addition of many more vegetable options at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was easy to eat healthy on our vacation. Fasinella added a lunch buffet in lieu of menu format, and we were very pleased with the variety and quality of options available. The Latin restaurant was fantastic and truly authentic. The fresh seafood at Bamboo was impressive - excellent cuts of fresh fish.
The grounds were well maintained and a gorgeous departure from the snow and ice of NY. We were greeted by dozens of monkey's in the trees outside our suite on the first and second night.
The fireworks on July 4th were nothing short of spectacular! Westin spared no expense.
Thank you Westin for providing a relaxing and rewarding experience!
February 25, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Korakijd Amazing Experience
We just returned from Costa Rica and had an amazing stay at The Westin in Playa Conchal. Our butler, Erik, was amazing and met all of our needs. The beverage and food was great and they had a great assortment of restaurants to try out. We are not big buffet people, but the Mitra Buffet exceeded our expectations. We definitely recommend using the travel company inside of the resort (Swiss Travel). They are friendly and VERY reliable. We booked an excursion through a company not associated with the hotel and were cancelled on the day of. Our only complaint is that when you call for a ride (the resort is HUGE and requires a ride to avoid long walks in the heat), you usually have to wait a long time for the ride to come (after calling multiple times for a ride). All in all, we had a wonderful experience and would highly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Costa Rica.
August 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by duke11 Great Hotel
We loved it. The resort is lovely and all the staff are very prompt, helpful and wonderful. I can't think of one bad moment.
August 16, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by BJL2014 We had a wonderful time and would recommend!!
Overall we had a fabulous time and all staff were accommodating and wanted to see everyone happy. Beach and pool are great. Activity center staff were great. I especially loved the swim up bar. The bar service staff throughout the resort is wonderful. The cleaning staff could do a slightly better job. (clearing room service trays-left for 2 days until we called; it happened 2 times, prior guest's bobby pins found, did not leave new activity newsletter each night in room, and did not refill the frig with new soda each day). Wished dinner reservations times were easler to get other than 6 and 9 if we did not make them early enough. Food was great. I would recommend this resort and would want to come back again.
August 3, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by HCT24 Good but not great
We stayed at the Westin end of August to celebrate our 10 year anniversary with our small children. The staff was nice enough to place chocolate strawberries and wine in our room, nice touch! However since we were traveling with very small children, I was disappointed how far our room was from the pool, especially considering this was the low season and we are Gold members. I would have expected Westin to be aware of this after our check in, seeing that we had an infant as well. Another issue we had was that we opted for the Green Choice thinking that at least our bed would be made each day, but only after calling the front desk, did someone come. The telephone not working for our entire stay was yet another problem. It would have been great customer service if our room had been changed instead of telecom coming everyday to try and fix the phones. The activities offered each day were great, unfortunately when my husband tried to meet up for the Westin Run, he was told to go to the wrong place and it didn't end up happening. Westin needs to be very clear about the schedule of activities as my husband woke up early to try and do the run. I also suggest that Westin rethink it's kids policy. Charging for kids 3, 4, 5, etc. is unnecessary as how much can they eat? Plus it really adds to the price of the hotel. That being said we were blessed with great weather, the beach was one of the nicest (amazing sunset!) and food spectacular. Of special note, Andreas always had a smile for us when picking us up in the shuttle and Laura was awesome at the kid's club. We hope to be back for longer again!
September 1, 2013