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“Service, Location and Scenery.”

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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Service, Location and Scenery.”
Reviewed 5 September 2011

The Villas Sol is an interesting place; a bit of contrast, they excel in some areas and others, well maybe not so much. The lowdown:

*LOCATION: Personally I think Playa Hermosa is one of the best locations in Guantacaste. You have a sleepy laid back feel yet in just about 15 mins can be in a more action packed area (Playa Coco) or explore several other nice beaches in the area.

*SERVICE: Wow everyone was pretty amazing and nice. Have to make a couple special shout outs to Fabio and Carlos at the front desk, Jose one of the entertainment leaders at the main pool (the big one, he is awesome), the other Jose who also sometimes works the pool bar and cooks, and pretty much everyone who worked the bar area at the main pool (I think Wilmer was a bar manager if name is correct, very professional).

*ROOMS: Clean and decent size (don’t agree with other reviewers that they were small, I think they are fairly average by American standards). You have a walk in shower that easily fits two, lots of closet space, plenty of drawer space, flat screen tv with lots of channels. Plus the decks have amazing views. What is different is sometimes you may not always have really hot water, you get some bugs in your room , they don’t often replace toiletries and towels and sheets are so/so quality. To me, however, this was not a big deal, we are in Costa Rica, it is part of the adventure but if you expect 100% American 4 or 5 star hotel quality, you will be disappointed.

*GROUNDS: Beautiful , manicured, lots of wild life hanging around. On a hill overlooking the beach (takes about 10 mins to walk down). There are other hotels in the immediate area on the beach but they are more what I would call “boutique” and all levels so depends on what you want.

*FOOD: Mediocre. If you do not have a car, I would recommend the all inclusive as your options are limited without transport. If you choose the all inclusive, the food was so/so all the way around but the drinks were good (alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

*ENTERTAINMENT: Ok maybe it’s cheesy for some, but I liked the Zumba lessons, water aerobics, music and fun at the main pool. The staff does a great job of making it fun and playing a variety of music styles and engaging everyone. . If you don’t like all the ruckus, head to the quiet/smaller pool near the hotel and don't get a room or unit near the big pool or you will content with the nightly party functions.

*SPA: I had a 90 min massage, it cost me $80 plus tip. I was pretty happy with it, it’s a small space but serene and they did a good job.

*GYM: Definitely do not bother. One old universal that creaks, a broken bike and a few free weights (odd assortment). But you will get great exercise run/walking in the area (serious hills) and if you want to cycle, you have great hills and valleys to explore.

Recommendations:

*If desire to see the area, try various restaurants, get a car. Roads while in fairly good conditions are a little windy and steep but really that makes driving fun and I loved being able to jump in my car and go to other beaches, towns, etc. at will. Things are very spread out so a car comes in handy if you are a self-directed traveler.

*Don’t be scared to try some local roadside or beach restaurants. These are often hidden gems with amazing food and great Tico hospitality.

*This place tends to attract Costa Rican tourists on the weekends while the week days seemed to have more Americans and Canadians. I like the diversity myself, the more international the better to me. It’s probably a notch or so below what most American’s expect from a hotel labeled “resort” but I liked it and it worked for us.

*The beach can have a good current so be careful. You will also see dogs and families as well as beach combers cleaning up the beach every day. A few “merchants” selling you their goods or services but not over the top.

*I booked our zip line tour with Tico Tours (great driver/ tour guide Marcos) and Bernal is great to deal with (the owner).

So read this and decide for you if it works. I liked it, would go back but also recognize it may not be for everyone and the area has lots of options.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
15 Thank flygalaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Boston, MA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2011

Beware - this resort is NOT on the beach! It's a 10 minue walk down/up a hill or a shuttle ride that you have to wait for. We had been in CR for 8 days at the beginning of August and did all the adventure things (Arenal, Monteverde, etc). We were very much looking forward to ending the trip in relaxation on the beach and stayed here because my boyfriend had gotten a discount coupon to use for a 4 night stay. The price was right - $400 for 4 nights with an all inclusive package for 2. But upon booking, what they leave out is that their staff will call you EVERY DAY for the two weeks leading up to the stay to try to convince you to take a time share tour and book excursions with them. We did not do the tour - we met people who did though and they said it was MUCH longer than the 90 minutes that they tell you it will be. We did do an excursion. We did a trip to Nicaragua for the day, which really was nice.
The hotel itself is no way the 4 star property that it is listed as! I would put this at a 2.5 - 3 star. It was ok. But we were given a handicap room upon check in, I swear to this day it was because we refused to take their tour! Everything in the room was very low, which made it uncomfortable for my boyfriend who is 6' tall. We didn't even have a clock in the room! When we asked to have a new room, we were told "We can change you tomorrow. Today the resort is full but tomorrow there are many more rooms available". We heard this EVERY DAY and the 'tomorrow' never came. So - we stayed away from the room as much as possible (not entirely bad - the pool was a lot of fun to spend time at) and...to make up for it, they brought us a clock the last night of our stay. Of course - to assure we had the alarm there to wake us up and not sleep through check out time! -HA
Down at the pool area on our last day there, my boyfriend stepped on broken glass and sliced his foot open. It was bleeding a lot and really gros but the staff was very helpful. But it's something that should have never happened.
The food was pretty good for an all inclusive and the ala carte restaurant was REALLY good. So if you are going as a family and need a fun getaway with ok food, this might be for you. But I would not say this is for a couple looking to be on the beach with relaxation.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Beantown1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Playa Hermosa hotels

los angeles, California, USA
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2011

We were touring the Guanacaste coast of Costa Rica and we stayed at half a dozen different hotels, at this place was the worst, we stayed one night and rented a house for 6 people, all inclusive, it was not cheap… and for what we got, ridiculously over-priced. To start, the front desk had one person in training that could not answer a single question while the second one had attitude. 20 minutes later we get room keys and after parking and moving our luggage we enter the house to realize they had given us the wrong place, we were in a two bedroom when we had paid for a three bedroom. They have little trucks/cars to move people around since it is a big property, so a car came to pick us up and got stuck going uphill, we had to transfer cars and eventually, over an hour after having arrived, we made it into our two bedroom house with a third detached bedroom, weird. We then walked over to have dinner and drinks and even though we didn’t expect it, it became evident this place was a “budget-friendly” all-inclusive destination. The service was mediocre at best; the main restaurant smelled like a sanitized public bathroom, the buffet layout was in a small dark room that made everything look unappetizing, it didn’t help that certain trays looked like they had been sitting out for hours, breakfast was much better and lunch was just okay, but the smell was a challenge during every meal. It’s sad because you can tell they are really trying, they decorate the restaurant and had bread buns shaped as turtles which was cute. The rooms were decent, our living room and kitchen were really nice and the view was beautiful but between the food and the terrible service, the whole trip was a letdown. We were told the pool bar closed at a certain time and 20 minutes before closing time it was completely abandoned, also we had been told the little cars run until 2am (which we confirmed again the next day with the manager) but when we requested a pick up at 1:35am they rejected our request and we had a long walk back to the room. The following day we went to the beach via the little cars, the beach was okay, overly crowded though. One of our guests went back to the room, only to find the key did not open the door. He contacted hotel staff and 30 minutes later no one had come to help open the door yet. It wasn’t until a maintenance staff member working nearby (not concierge, not housekeeping, not management) took pity on the guy waiting that he personally went to look for housekeeping who said she may not have the key since the locks were recently changed, SERIOUSLY?! Our stay there was chaotic at best and truly unfortunate; in the hotel’s defense they did try to “fix” things, the manager apologized and even sent us a fruit and desert plate with champagne, but when you are travelling and expecting a nice resort, the last thing you want is continual disappointment and apologies.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TravelAround24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edgewood, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2011

Bed was hard and caved in the center. LOUD LOUD LOUD. I stayed in the hotel and it over looks the beautiful ocean, pool and the all-inclusive eating area. People/kids are always screaming at the pool and it carries directly into your room. The corridor is outdoors and you can hear everything that goes on out there as well. Overall a very loud "resort" and wasn't what I would call relaxing. Simple things would make the room better for example just wiping down furniture and baseboards. Staff is OK. They nickel and dime you and nothing is complimentary. Don't drink the water or you will get sick. All-inclusive deal is best way to go and food is good. I won't go back to this hotel or recommend.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank D23019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

Advertised as a 4 star. We reserved a 3 bedroom villa and found the accomodations more on the side of a 2 star. Kitchen was falling apart, the couch and chairs were stained with dirt.
Gorgeous view of the ocean though. Requested a change and they gave us a 2 bedroom, very updated villa - not as good of a view though.
All inclusive food was fine, not great but okay. Swim up bar and pools were wonderful. Activities great.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

We stayed 4 nights at the Villas Sol in the hotel using the all-inclusive package. My primary review of the resort is that it is an acceptable and affordable all-inclusive option for young travelers - especially college students who were the majority of the guests there during our stay.

The room at the hotel was very nice. It was very clean and large. The patio was very nice with a great view - perfect for reading and relaxing in the afternoons. The bed was comfortable and the TV had a great selection of English and Spanish channels - including Miami news stations.

The bartenders were great, but the rest of the staff wasn't as helpful. Our vacation package was supposed to come with a complimentary bottle of wine. The staff at check-in promised to get it to us, but after 4 days and several requests, we never received it. When our room keys were demagnetized and we requested new ones, we had to wait 10 minutes and when we asked about the hold-up, the person had forgotten we even asked (despite the fact that we were sitting right in front of the desk the whole time).

The food was OK, but had very little variety and by the end of 4 days we were sick of it. We did meet the new director of food and beverages while we were there who told us about lots of upcoming changes to the menu which were happening after our stay - so for future travelers, it may be improved. There is only one restaurant included in the all inclusive package.

When we were at the resort, we tended to hang out at the pool near the hotel rather than the pool with the swim up bar. The bar pool always had loud music playing and tended to be pretty popular with the college-aged crowd. The other pool was very quiet and the view was great! They gave us a schedule of "activities" (i.e. water polo, yoga, etc.) but we heard from other folks staying at the hotel that most of those activities never happened. We didn't see for ourselves though, so take it for what it's worth.

My only other advice would be to avoid booking tours through the agencies represented at the resort. Those tours go in huge buses with tons of people. We'd recommend booking through a smaller company (Tico Tours was great!) and enjoying a more private tour experience.

Overall, our stay was pleasant with no real problems. The all-inclusive option was nice as it kept us from having to find restaurants for every meal and eliminated the stress of tracking what we spent at each meal. The lack of good customer service and the missing "wow" factor would cause us to look elsewhere on our next trip.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Patricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Chef David Smith, Guest Services Mger, Byron Hurtado, and Hotel & Beach Resort Mger Rick Stepp is the right team for the Job. I will always remenber "Pure Vida. We had a wonderful time touring the Hacienda Pinilla, sailing on the Marlin del Rey in the Pacific, all day touring the El Viejo Wetland where the food was the best. Our stay at the Villas Sol will be at the top of the traveling list until we return. The variety of spainish foods completed the day with tasty and healthy selections. Thanks to all of you for your kindness and taking care of us. You will be our extended family and a popular place to always come back to. "Pure Vida"
God Bless you and stay in the people pleasing business!
Pictures will be sent later. Pam Grear And Willa Jackson

Room Tip: The Hotel has the best accomodations and view all the way round!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Promotora La Costa, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a development of 100% Costa Rican capital located on Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste on the northern Pacific Coast and managed by Promotora La Costa, a pioneer company in tourism development in Guanacaste. We are a 4-star resort, and have a Tourism Sustainability Certification (CST) of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and we are affiliated with Resort Condominium International RCI, being the only resort in Central America included in the Gold Crown category granted by this company. We work under an all-inclusive service in 54 deluxe hotel rooms and 109 fully equipped villas of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. With unbeatable view of Papagayo Gulf. Among many alternatives for entertainment and sports offered by Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, you’ll find a wide variety of activities for all ages - water sports (motorized & non motorized), sport fishing, diving, kayak & jet ski as well as many one day tours that will take you to the many national parks and hide-away beaches in the area surrounding our resort. Our great location makes not only our resort a great destination but also offers a convenient closeness to all major tours and activities taking place in the Guanacaste area and surroundings. Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a place for all ages and types of vacationer. A great choice for families traveling with children, single travelers, honeymooners, people looking for a relaxing vacation or those looking for fun and excitement. Our friendly, helpful staff welcome all guests with a “PURA VIDA” and a smile & the best service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Sol Hotel And Beach Resort
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Playa Hermosa
Hotel Sol Beach
Sol Hotel Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa Sol Hotel
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

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