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Reviewed 28 May 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed in this hotel in April of 2014 on a vacation with our friends. This was our second trip to Costa Rica. Previously we stayed at the riu. Please let my start with the basics of the hotel. This is NOT a resort, it's a hotel. It's located in the middle of a community. It is not on the beach! It's not even walking distance to a beach. The hotel does offer shuttles to the beach but they run every 15 mins. The pools are very small. The room very well designed however upon check in the sheets had hair on them and the door to the balcony was broken. We had asked for a different room but was rudely denied. Then we were told that someone would fix the door but no one ever came. The food selection is extremely limited. There is however I lovely view from the dining area. The front desk were rude but the wait staff was extremely friendly. This hotel is not 24hr all inclusive. Service of food and drinks stops in the evening. tHERE are Zero activities at night and absolutely no night life. It was so bad we had to check out and relocate to the riu.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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10  Thank always2nice
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 4 June 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Would just like to briefly comment on my first trip to Costa Rica, which was during NYE 2014. My girlfriend and I were very happy with the accommodations provided at Villas Sol. The room was quiet and clean and well-updated. The hotel is walking distance to the beach and the 2 pools are clean with bars at each. The service was attentive and friendly. The buffet area has an excellent view of the bay. My only complaint is there was never any change available to tip. And I have to give credit to Daniel, one of the waiters/bartenders, who provided exceptionally friendly service and advice for all things local. Thanks Daniel! -"Nick" and Leslie

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Nicholas F
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 20 May 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 14 May 2014

Looking for a place off the beaten path? This hotel is the place. 10-20 minutes from Playa Coca or Liberia, yet a short walk to a nice beach and with lots of tours to state parks, volcanoes, or Nicaragua. It's no wonder the hills are studded with celebrity homes. The buffet style meals were healthy, wholesome, and filling. The staff was great, going so far as to let Dannie teach a water Zumba class. We made a ton of friends from all over the world.

Room Tip: The higher up, the better the views if you stay in the hotel. If you're using the time share villas, stay downhill if you don't want to have to use the shuttle buses.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Kim T
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 4 June 2014

Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort for your vacations. 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
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We stayed here in February 2014 and had a nice relaxing time here. Wish we could have stayed longer. Our room was clean and everything was in good order. The view from our balcony was really nice - looked right out to the bay & we were situated over the small pool. The resort was quiet at night and lively during the day. The pools were nice but they really should have umbrellas by the pools for shade. I burn very easily and found it hard to stay out of the sun without any type of umbrella over my lounge chair. The resort is located on a hill but the shuttle to the beach came often so there were no worries there. The buffet food was good but not exceptional - met our needs. The drinks were good also. The entire staff was friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand if needed. We took a shuttle to Coco beach, nice town. Took the river tour and had an excellent time - saw lots of wildlife and the tour guides were fun. We did not spend much time in our room, we mostly just slept & showered there. We kind of wish the bars stayed open later at night but who needs to drink that much ? We will go back as we were not there long enough to do all we wanted. The restaurant staff and bartenders were all very friendly and attentive.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank D-Klickitat
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 20 May 2014

D-Klickitat, Thank you for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort for your vacations.
we are glad to hear you had a great experience at the resort.
We will be awaiting your next visit next year.

We look forward to welcoming you again; we enjoyed taking care of you.

Thanks for stay at Villas Sol Hotel & Villas Beach Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

I booked this trip without reading the reviews, and when I finally read them I was frightened to come here, but I braced myself for what to expect. Well let me tell you, I was in for a very pleasant surprise!

Anyone who complained about the food, staff, and rooms at this hotel are just picky and should stay at the 4 Seasons or the Hilton. You are in a country that may not be as wealthy as your own, so you have to prepare for the fact that things will be different. I had some complaints here, but mostly everything was positive, so let me start with the positives.

My sister and I arrived at the hotel around 1130am, which was hours before check-in time, but they checked us in anyway. They told us to grab lunch, then change and hang out at the pool or by the beach until our room was ready, so that is what we did. They watched our luggage for us the whole time, and everyone was extremely friendly! (not one person at the front desk was rude or did not smile). Everyone spoke great English, and there was no language barrier. Our room wasn't ready until about 3:15, but that was fine because we were already enjoying the scenery. We stayed in a Villa (68-2 to be exact) which was very small but just enough for two people. It was very clean, modern, and there was a shower curtain! The housekeepers cleaned it every single day we were there, just varying times each day. Their English was minimal so asking for things was a little harder, but we always got what we asked for.

The food was delicious! Yes they have similar things for lunch and dinner every night, but this is Costa Rica, and you are eating what they eat! They try to have theme nights, so they incorporate their take on international dishes, which is also good. The chicken always falls off the bone, the steak and pork is always cooked perfectly, and the fish is never over or under cooked. The sauces on them are flavorful! Rice and beans with every meal as well. Soups are homemade and delicious, as well as the salad dressings and the juices (which are usually watered down but still good). The fruit is fresh and delicious as well. Not once did we have any issue getting refills on drinks or coffee, and if they weren't coming fast enough we just asked and they rushed over. The stories about the birds stealing your food are true, so if you eat on the balcony, make sure one person stays seated with the food to swat them away when they come. Otherwise, just get up and get another plate, not a big deal, animals have to eat too. We only ate at Heliconias once, which is the a la carte restaurant, and although there was a minimal menu, it was delicious!

I don't drink, but everyone else at the resort was drinking and said the drinks could be a little stiffer, but just order another, and then another, and then another if you want to get drunk. I think its best to keep them less strong, because I hardly saw anyone who was out of control drunk while I was there. The passion fruit frozen drink is amazing by the way, definitely give it a try. All the bartenders are friendly!

There are many activities going on all day whether it be at the larger pool, the beach, or in the activities tent. Things for children and adults. The activities directors are full of energy and always trying to make everyone have a good time. All activities including snorkeling and kayaking are free!

The views at this resort at unbelievable! It is set on a mountainside overlooking the bay. Our room didn't have an ocean view, but that didn't bother us at all, because we just took all our pictures from outside the room, and we still had a beautiful view of the rest of the mountainside. Invest in a nice camera, you will be glad you did!

Now for the negatives (which aren't really too bad at all), or just things to look out for...

Like I said, this resort is built into the mountainside, so it is all steep hills! We never walked all the way down to the beach, it was just too far, we always took a shuttle there, which came every 10-15 minutes, and was a 2-3 minute drive to the bottom of the hill. We did walk back and forth from the hotel to our villa which did burn the legs, but it was nice to be working off your lunch and dinner, and it wasn't necessary to walk because the shuttles came around so often. Some villas are just too high up or too far down, so you would be required to take the shuttle unless you want to climb steep hills. But all these hills make this place gorgeous! Oh also, it can be kinda scary on those shuttles, so you may want to hold onto your small children, as well as the sides of the cart as to not fall, but it just made the experience that much more interesting.

Down at the beach I didn't see anyone from the hotel with drinks, but then again I didn't even bother to ask, so that was my own fault. There are hotel chairs down there and no they are not all falling apart, but yes they are chained together. It only makes sense. They can't have people stealing their chairs, and they also can't have the wind taking them away. They are located under the trees that the monkeys hang out in, so you need to be careful because you will get pooped or peed on if you are directly underneath them, but they are SO CUTE to look at!

The excursions you book through the hotel are more expensive than if you book it with the agency itself. If you are 30 years of age or older you will get asked to take the time share tour, which will give you discounts on all the excursions. I am 29 so I dodged that bullet, luckily, but its not that big of a deal. If you really don't want to, say no. But remember these people get paid just to have you sit in and listen. Their minimum wage is $400 a month, so just be nice and get the coupon book! You will be helping them feed their families. The concierge at the hotel will tell you a horror story of someone who booked an excursion from someone on the beach and got ripped out, which may be true, but there are reputable people down there. Just get a receipt and don't pay more than a $20 deposit. If they rip you off and you have a receipt, you can go to the police who will pay you back, then put out a warrant for their arrest. It's that simple. I suggest doing the Great Tour Excursion which includes 6 different activities in one day. $140 if booked through the hotel, $115 if booked at the beach, $70 if you have a car and can drive yourself to the place yourself.

Heliconias (the a la carte restaurant) was a pain in the butt to get a reservation like people said. One day we had no problem, two days they told us we were too late (even though we tried at 730am). It is annoying because every night you walk by and there are only 3 or 4 table taken so you know they have the space, but they still tell you they are full. Whatever, though, it was aggravating but not the end of the world.

Although my villa was up to date, not sure if the hotel has been completely renovated yet, but didn't bother checking. The pool had a lot of tiles missing inside it, and there were some other things that needed updating, but you can tell they are working toward all these things, and even though some things aren't the best, I wouldn't complain at all. Oh and I had no A/C problems at all, room was always a cool retreat after a long hot walk. Water wasn't hot, wasn't cold either, it was just warm. But that didn't bother me at all. Why would I want to take a hot shower after I just came in from 99 degree weather?!

Wifi you had to pay for and could only get in the lobby, so we just walked down the beach a little and sat at the restaurants that had free wifi. They didn't mind us just ordering a drink or two and hanging out. They just enjoyed having us there.

All in all, this was a great place to stay and I would definitely stay again if I came back to this area. I would try to get a larger group of people and rent a larger villa, because they have full kitchens, better views, and some even have two floors and their own private pools. Definitely recommend this for travelers of 4 or more. You really can't beat the views here. If you are picky or stuck up, or think you are traveling to American rather than Costa Rica, I suggest you stay home or stay somewhere expensive because you will hate it. Better off, just don't come to this country at all because it won't meet your standards.

One last thing, weather report before I left said it would rain every day so I was bummed! It was 97-99 F every day, rained maybe 5-10 minutes at night on some nights and that was it!

Room Tip: If you have 4 or more travelers try to get a large villa. It will be worth it and you won't be disappointed!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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16  Thank Amanda M
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 20 May 2014

Greetings from Costa Rica!!
Thank you for choosing Villas Sol Hotel & Resort for your vacations. 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
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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