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“Outstanding.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sugar Beach Hotel

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Sugar Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Outstanding.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2013

Here is the one negative thing I have to say about the hotel: the beds are rock hard. Other than that and a lackluster pool (but who needs a pool when the gorgeous ocean is right at your feet?), this hotel was incredible. We arrived from the Liberia airport at Sugar Beach around 11pm (our flight landed at 9pm, and with customs and travel to Potrero, we got in very late). The hotel restaurant closed at 9:30 and the night time hotel manager, Pablo, informed us that nothing in the area would be open at this time either. He apologized, gave us a bag of pretzels he had on hand, and offered to bring some water bottles to our room. We were wondering what was taking him so long with the water, and when he finally came back, it was with fresh guacamole and salsa from the kitchen. He made it seem like it was no big deal at all for him to do this- I thought it was incredible service.
The staff went out of their way another time to make our stay at Sugar beach wonderful. We scheduled a trip to Arenal Volcano with a tour company (we really didn't want to do one with a zip line, so we selected one that had other options), and while we were out on a sailing tour, the company we booked cancelled our tour to the volcano because other people who had scheduled to do the tour got sick and the company would not take out a group without a minimum of four people. The hotel staff, in the meanwhile, made lots of phone calls in an attempt to book us on a similar tour. When we got back from our sailing trip, the staff was extremely apologetic about the cancellation (which was in no way their fault) and explained to us all that they had been trying to sort out while we were gone. They managed to arrange a private tour for my husband and me for the same cost as the group tour we were suppose to go on by the time we got back from sailing! (A private tour would have cost a few hundred $ more normally). I can't state how impressed I am by how they went above and beyond.
Other things about the hotel: rooms are a good size, and aside from the mattress, comfortable. The balconies are spacious and the views of the beach and jungle are amazing. There are lots of iguanas and lizards roaming the property, supposedly some monkeys too, but we never saw any. The beach is beautiful. During low tide when there aren't waves you can see through the clear waters. There are pretty rock formations with lots of small trickling waterfalls and hermit crabs on either side of the private cove. The water was completely swimmable away from the rocky areas.
The restaurant: Victor, one of the waiters, was one of our favorite people we encountered on our trip. He noted that I didn't eat the red onions on my salad and asked me why and I told him I liked onions, just not the bad breath they give me when they are raw. Every other time we ate there he remembered to leave off the onions. Victor was always ready to give us honest advice and opinions on things to do, how it was to drive (we were planning on driving down the coast, but apparently the roads are terrible, so we took the main roads instead based on his advice). The food at the restaurant is decent. We ate there several times and I think the food varied on how good it was based on who was cooking it. You could order the same dish two days in a row (we took advantage of the free breakfast) and it would taste and look very different each time.
My only warning would be to avoid Maik the cab driver. We made the mistake of not renting a car until three days in, which left us dependent on Maik to take us to dinner a few times. He would charge anywhere between $30-50 US to go somewhere five minutes or less away. We asked his opinion on driving down to Samara, the best routes, anything to be careful of, etc. and he told us the police would try to pull us over at every opportunity and we would have to bribe them with large amounts. He also there are secret cameras all over the country that record traffic violations and then add the bill to the rental charge, amongst other things. I don't know if he was trying to finagle us into hiring him to drive us around or just being a jerk and try to scare us. I saw right through most of his tactics and other Ticans refuted everything Maik told us. In other words, rent a car.
I digress... if you're looking for a hotel that is semi secluded but still is accessible to all of the best tours Costa Rica offers, has stunning views, AMAZING staff... then this is the place for you. I would come back here again and again.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the second level (rooms are arranged like a four flat), they have larger balcon...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MW427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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363 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
NH
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2013

This was a great vacation - the beach is wonderful with fun waves to bodysurf - The food was very authentic - we loved the beans and rice at breakfest - staff was great - many thanks to Gabby for everything she did. Whetther you take a tour and just hang - it is fun - We had three goals in mind - Wife catch first ever Sailfish, catch a big Mahi Mahi for dinner and have fun with monkeys - results 100% - already booked for hext year - may see you there

Room Tip: We had the suite with the best Ocean View - 2nd Floor - well worth it
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bencher319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dallas, texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013

We have loved this hotel and the staff and have been visiting once or twice a year for the past 14 years. It was only fitting that my daughter, who grew up with this as her favorite vacation spot, chose to have her wedding here. No one was more surprised than we were when the hotel took advantage of us by trying to 'forget' about our $3k deposit we paid a year before the wedding. We tried many times to settle our bill before the actual ceremony and there was always an excuse for not having it ready for us. Then, in the mayhem of saying goodbye to our guests and checking out....we were given a credit card receipt for our payment instead of and itemized statement of account showing our deposit. We had to return to the office to ask for an itemized accounting and we were given a cryptic printout of charges with coding that only the hotel could decipher and monetary references mixed up in colones as well as dollars with no reference to the exchange rate they were using that day. When we returned home and compared invoices with pre-paid amounts and the deposit amount we found we had been severly overcharged. They refuse to give an accounting for the deposit and ignored our many requests to do so or return the money. Our private event also included our photographer having to chase away bikini clad strangers who decided to crash the ceremony. The hotel had no security at the event and when we complained about uninvited guests crashing a luncheon in the restaurant they did nothing and even continued to serve them at a nearby table and made money off our event time!
The establishment is nothing like it used to be and has over the years fallen into disrepair. The pool was even out of order upon our arrival and for our first day. Sad to see how greed has ruined what used to be a lovely spot.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank spj00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2013 via mobile

The price is great the rooms are nice and clean, the staff is very nice and the beach is right in front of the hotel! This hotel is just Amazing!The food is also great and the prices are very good! The pool is very nice but a bit small! The hotel is close to other nice beaches you can visit which makes it even better, the views are just amazing, this hotel saved my vacation! Thanks sugar beach! :)

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nelamm91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2013

We could not be more pleased with our stay at Hotel Sugar Beach. My husband and I stayed five days there for my sisters wedding in the middle of July. The hotel is far off the beaten path and our driver from the airport had to stop many times for directions from locals. Be wary, GPS can be spotty and unreliable! The hotel has 24 hour security guards which was a nice surprise.

We had a deluxe "garden view" room that was incredibly spacious with a view of the pool and partial ocean view. Tons of wildlife! There were a few monkeys living in the trees outside of our balcony and plenty of large iguanas, squirrels, crabs, and birds roaming around as well. The staff was incredibly attentive, helpful, and always willing to offer up advice for our next travel spot. We stayed 10 days in Costa Rica, only 5 of which were booked ahead of time at Hotel Sugar Beach.

We did not have a car so we usually opted to eat at the hotel restaurant. (Budget did deliver a car on our last day to the hotel for the rest of our trip). Breakfast is included and was delicious every day. Lunch and dinner were fairly priced and never disappointing. There is a 1/2 price drink happy hour every day, which we took full advantage of! The beach is private and very secluded. It's quite rocky though and not best for swimming. The infinity pool was the perfect temperature and overlooked a little swampy area connected to the ocean.

My sisters wedding was gorgeous with delicious food, drinks, and decor! Their honeymoon suite was gorgeous and overlooked the ocean. If you're looking for a destination wedding or honeymoon spot, this is a great place!

Overall, we felt the safest, most relaxed, and most comfortable here than anywhere else our entire trip! Bonus perk: everyone spoke english! For what you get in amenities, this place is the best value. As others mentioned, you can walk over to the resort at the next beach for adventure type activities (kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain bike rentals, ect) or the hotel will set up zip lining and other tours for you.

Our only complaint is with their towels. They did not replace them daily (and here, you need them replaced daily!). You had to really beg someone to bring you a fresh towel and had to provide the dirty one to swap for a clean one. It was very humid and the towels did not dry overnight. Also, BRING BUG SPRAY! There have been reports of dengue fever and the mosquitos were out and biting.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sdvicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

This is a lovely gem of a property tucked away down a short driveway from the road north of Playa Portrero. We didn't actually stay here, only stopped by to eat lunch twice, and toured the grounds, as we own a condo in Tamarindo. The hotel grounds are well laid-out, with views of the ocean and well tended pathways through the jungle. The restaurant was excellent and reasonably priced, with a beautiful view of the bay. The property is quiet and secluded. You will need a vehicle, however.

Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank McDocEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Branson, Missouri, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2013

We actually stayed in Playa Brasilito, but went exploring one day and found this paradise. The road to the hotel was dirt and gravel most of the way and pretty rough even in our small SUV, but if you can get to the hotel and just stay there, it is worth the drive. We just stopped to explore and had a fabulous snack of Chicken Nachos and coffee in the awesome open air restaurant. The server was very friendly and attentive and was happy to let us explore the beach a bit after our meal.

The grounds were immaculate and the rooms / houses / bungalows were amazing from the outside. If our budget would allow, we would love to stay there. The houses were most reasonable if you were able to split the cost with several couples. If you are looking for luxury, seclusion, peace and quite, this seems to be it. We were very impressed by the few hours we spent there.

It will be something to save up for in the future!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marietta H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar Beach Hotel

Property: Sugar Beach Hotel
Address: Playa Pan de Azucar, Playa Potrero, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Potrero
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sugar Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are one of the few small hotels in Guanacaste, with a pristine secluded beach, surrounded by nature. Enjoy breathtaking views and experience the Pura Vida lifestyle. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travel Republic (UK), Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Sugar Beach Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sugar Beach Hotel Costa Rica/Playa Potrero, Guanacaste

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