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“Nice hotel and a spectacular view but...”

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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Just got back from a 4 day stay, all inclusive at Villas Sol and to be quite honest they really need to step up their service and food to be rated as a 4 star hotel. We arrived almost at pm, the from desk girl, Juliana, needs to be more friendly, actually the whole front desk staff needs to improve their service, barely a warm greeting you can get from any of them; we had purchased the all inclusive package but be aware fellow travelers the all inclusive package cannot be used until pm which is the check in time, no food, no drinks. I thought that was ridiculous since I paid a good amount of money for an all inclusive package, most resorts allow you to take advantage of the food and drinks and installations and once the room is ready like all hotels at pm they give you the room so you can settle in. The front desk girl said we could eat at the snack bar by the pool since at that hour that all that is available..FYI.. snacks were terrible, all there is to offer is plain burgers, stale nacho chips and cheese sauce or hot dogs. Another thing you need to be aware of are the birds, the Blue Jays, they'll snatch your food if you aren't careful.
The room was nice, small but cozy, just enough for what is expected; food is not good, out of all the all inclusive's in Costa Rica, this one is not good. The food is the same, repetitive, breakfast has the same stuff everyday, no variation whatsoever, lunch and dinner the same story (chicken wings, beans, rice, fish,vegetables, potatoes, nachos, salads, soup); such a shame because the hotel is beautiful and the view is priceless, the amount of guests at the hotel and villas compared to other resorts is small which could be a benefit for a place like this to have amazing food. Then there is the "bonus" for those of us that book a stay of 3 nights and up, you are given a ticket to dine at their other restaurant "Las Heliconias"; we were real excited to have a change in food, what a disappointment that was, food was ok, not great. Too bad they haven't realized that their service and food needs to improve, big time!
Few things I can salvage from this trip, great cocktails (thanks to Michael the bartender from the Bar next to The Bahia Restaurant), clean, some of the staff was real nice, the sunsets beautiful, and the beach is ok, just be careful with all the jellyfish. The villas looked nice, they are fully equipped with kitchen and some even have their own pool (jacuzzi).
All in all it was ok but definitely it is not worth the money paid.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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6  Thank Hannah_051002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

First let me start by apologizing for the feeling that was caused to you in during your experience with us. We do thank you for providing a detailed account of your experience with us. We take all of our guests' feedback very seriously, and appreciate it as a valuable teaching tool. The problems you mentioned have been brought to the attention of some our departments.
We are glad to hear that our staff helps you to make better your stay.

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

just back from a week all incusive at Villa Sol.
It was a blast! Good Costa Rica food, beautiful weather, and fine employees.

The front desk Jenny was missing her smile, upon arrival and throughout my week there.
Presuming she is due for a holiday. :-) impatience was her most notable presence.. We were a whole check in of 4-5 rooms at once and i guess it was too much for her. Throughout the week, we purposely stopped by the desk to smile and received nothing other than her sad looking face. oof ... get that girl a holiday or maybe send her to work cleaning rooms for a while.

Other than Jenny, all others were terrific.
The restaurant manager was a charm. Our only plaint about the dining room was the horrible music. We asked to hear some CR tunes and the amazing mgr brought cd from home for us. So , management, please, vacationers like to hear your local music vs instrumental US tunes.

Our hotel room was clean and had all we needed. The mattress was not the greatest but for a week it was ok.

All in all, we had a great time, ate well, enjoyed excursions, and would go back.

thanks Villa Sol employees for your kind helpful service.

Room Tip: take a 3rd floor room to have the best view.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 987Deb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort for your vacations. Let me start by apologizing for the feeling that was caused. We do thank you for providing a detailed account of your experience with us .
We look forward to welcoming you again; we enjoyed taking care of you.

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed 16 April 2014

~ we arrived April 7th and left the 14th, all things considered, it was a great vacation, but that was primarily our own doing... our arrival was not what I'd expected, they were not welcoming or helpful, my first impression was not a good one...

~ only after meeting Gilberth on the beach the first evening did it all turn around... such a great guy, cheaper rates than the resort for the excursions, so informative and a genuine sweetheart...

~ we stayed in the 'hotel'... clean, sufficient, but certainly not worth the money paid.. and we had 4 "free" nights with the timeshare... yeah, don't get sucked into that scenario!!! 7 nights for 2 from Canada, cost us $2,600 {only $600 each for flights}... whereas online, no timeshare pressure crap, we could've booked it for $968 per person, all inclusive... lesson learned!
~ a couple we'd met were 'stuck' in a studio room... beware of that as well... comparable to half of an average hotel room... they were so disappointed with their stay
~ the food was great, the service wasn't so great... lol
~ watch for the boys on the beach that want to take you to a neighbouring beach... for free... NOT... it's a timeshare setup... not cool to be deceived... !!!
~ book a few excursions!!! worth every penny!

~ big thanks, big hugs to Gilberth for his part in making our vacae a great one ~

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 358Julie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

First let me start by apologizing for the feeling that was caused to you in during your experience with us. We take all of our guests' feedback very seriously, and appreciate it as a valuable teaching tool. The problems you mentioned have been brought to the attention of our Receptions Department.
Thanks again for your feedback. We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Stayed only one night as we were leaving the next day from the Liberia Airport. Very convenient as the hotel was only about 35 min away. Lovely bay setting but you are far from the beach., However, free shuttle runs often. Our room was in hotel 3rd floor on end. Nice view of small pool and the bay. Easy stroll to the restaurant. Staff are friendly and food was ok. Nothing out of the ordinary but fine. Good fresh fruit and veggies. Enjoyed the swim up bar.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ctalan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2014

Greetings from Villas Sol Thanks you so much for your feedback, we are glad to hear you had a great experience at the resort. We will be awaiting your next visit next year.
Thanks for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort

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Reviewed 9 April 2014

This was our second time to the Villas Sol and we stilled loved it just as much. The first time we stayed in the Hotel area and it was very nice and comfortable. This time we stayed in one of the one bedroom villas and it was also very nice and comfortable. The beds were extremely nice and comfortable and the bathroom was spacious and clean. The air conditions worked very nice especially if you closed the curtains. The check in process was extremely easy and they made us feel welcome and would answer any questions we had. The cleaning staff were also super and friendly and we got swan towels on our bed. The restaurant was very nice and spacious and the waiters always made sure your food was good and your drinks were always full. The food was good and they had something different to eat each day for dinner. Some people complained about the food being the same but your not in Las Vegas your in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The swimming pools are nice and we mostly stayed at the swim up pool by the bar. The bartenders (Rafael especially!) are very efficient and friendly and the drinks were good. They have little shuttles that take you from the hotel/villas to the beach everyday all day long. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the beach. You could walk but it would be down hill to the beach and back up hill to your room. Lots of hills! The beach is black sand but quite nice. We went swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking and also got a massage on the beach. We also did The Congo Trail Canopy Tour zip line, which was a blast! There is plenty to do scuba, fishing, sailing, jet ski, etc. Ask for Gilbert at the front desk and he can help you set up whatever excursion you would like to take and if you don't have any ideas he'll be able to offer some exciting ones to you. Don't forget to see the sun set from the bar area by the restaurant and take your camera. Also don't forget to go down to the beach and see the sun set from there as well and don't forget your camera as it is beautiful to see. The hotel has a gift shop but its a little pricy. Go to Playa Del Coco to do some shopping for gifts and things. You men that don't want to go shopping go to Coconuts have a drink or two and get something to eat while your waiting. Live a little! Eat before you go to the airport because it is expensive and the gift shops are also expensive. Don't forget you have to pay $39.00 a person to leave the country.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jade370
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2014

Greetings from Villas Sol

Thanks for your feedback, we are glad to hear that you had a great experience at the resort.

Thanks for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

4 of us visited for a week this last week in March. I traveled to Villas Sol having read online some of the reviews prior, so was prepared for anything. We had a 2 bedroom condo (villa #63) which has a nice balcony view of the bay. Tip- Be prepared to walk (lots of hills), however the shuttle/trucks do come around enough & can be called for when needed. Our room was clean, the décor was sparse but adequate. Air conditioning worked great, towels & bedding just ok. Main pool was nice & swim up bar and its staff were great. We brought our own cups with lids (which I recommend) to not waste using all the small plastic cups, and have drinks to go. Fruit drinks, beer on tab and wine available. snack bar by the pool needs major improvement, nacho fixings are not good, hotdogs/hamburgers are lowest quality. They should put out fruit at snack bar to help make it better too. Meals were sufficient, fruit plentiful on buffet. Nothing to brag about but you won't leave hungry. The restaurant w/ all inclusive you can book twice during visit is lame. They didn't have anything special & same menu both times. Other then it's quieter & a small more intimate setting, food could be more original then what buffet serves. We would tip staff a couple dollars, who we had help us regularly. Even though not required, it is not a great wage they make.Tours the hotel lined up were on time & lots of fun. Snorkeling from there sail boat was a nice outing. We also had a good spa experience. Plan your days in advance & I think you can have a great time here. US dollars accepted, so don't switch your $ out. My biggest shock was the food price at the airport. Eat before you go, or on the plane. 2 beers/2 small personal pizzas $44 and Quiznos no better. Next time I would rent a car and go to nearby spots on my own too. FYI-2 day minimum rental at hotels rental car option. Gift shop on site ok but pricey, better to shop in Coco beach and barter for prices. Also, go to local grocery store there to buy some items like coffee to take home and local salsas.

Room Tip: I liked our two bedroom villa. It was one bedroom with a full bed & TV/table and closet shelves...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Tina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2014

Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort for your vacations, we are glad to hear it was a success!
We look forward to welcoming you again; we enjoyed taking care of you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

Just spend 4 nights/5 days at Villas Sol. It is a c+ location. They just miss the boat. The staff is very nice. Many are bi-lingual. The maintenance staff are not which makes trying to communicate to them in my broken Spanish very difficult. Tried multiple times with speaking with the front desk staff and them sending the maintenance staff back out. The maintenance staff of a cool room varied greatly from ours (We are from Oregon so at this time of year anything over 70 degrees is too warm). The mayonnaise based salad dressings, and the salads themselves were at room temperature (which is the same temp as outside) in the buffet restaurant. They are not sitting on a chilled plate or on ice. Great way to make your guest sick, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Each day at the buffet restaurant has a theme (international, Spanish, Mexican, Costa Rican, etc). You could not tell the difference between each of those theses. The food was basically the same. Your options usually were rice, black beans, mixed vegetables, and chicken and pork in some form. Heaven help you if you were a vegetarian.

At one of the pools while we were there one of the guest had too much to drink and proceeded to puck on the pool deck. She got up and left, going to a second lounger. Multiple staff members walked by this pile of puck and did not acknowledge it was there. I finally caught one of the managers and showed it to him. This lady also urinated on the second lounge and was escorted back to her room by security. This second lounge was not cleaned in any manner nor put aside so that someone else did not utilize that lounge until it was cleaned.

At the restaurant in the evening the family of cats showed up to be fed by the guest and staff. Their also was a family of raccoons, a hooded skunk and a Coti that came to visit. The raccoons were getting pretty bold while we were there. They were attempting to climb up the shrubs and into the restaurant.

The sales staff who are trying to sell you a timeshare at this location even will tell you that the place is a dump.

However, the tour offered through them with the Pagaguya Plus tour company was very good. We did the Beauty of Guanacaste. Visited a local wild life sanctuary, the rain forest in the town where the tour guide was raised and the really neat water fall (can't remember exact location). The water fall was great with a pool to swim in at its base and a nice sandy beach.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Suzanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Villas_Sol, Asistente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2014

Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback about your stay with us. We appreciate hearing from our customers, as their comments are vital for us to continue improving our accommodations.
We apologize for the inconvenience and embarrassment this incident caused.

Thanks again for your feedback.
We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £112 - £233 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 & Beach Playa Hermosa
Villas Sol Hotel And Beach Resort
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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