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“Heaven - off the beaten track for people looking for something a little different.”

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Hotel Flying Crocodile
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Heaven - off the beaten track for people looking for something a little different.”
Reviewed 28 December 2009

Hotel Flying Crocodile was a great experience for us. I think we hit it at a good time of year though, just after the rainy season, it sounds like others have had to negotiate nasty river crossings (we had fun splashing through a shallow river in our 4x4) and there were, surprise surprise, complaints of crocodiles - which I found strange, what were people expecting??! Although during our visit we saw none. A ten minute walk down a pretty track leads to a deserted beach. Having read about 'natural and human waste' I feel compelled to write that the beach is deserted, in a good way. It's windswept, not maintained by a resort and amazingly beautiful - will post a photo of it. There was no sewage if that was what 'human waste' meant and sunbleached logs are a stunning addition to a beach as is other natural debris. In fact it's so untouched (no one will come and try to sell you anything on this beach and, wait for it, you may need to bring your own food and drink) that the only thing on this beach is a turtle sanctuary. To watch turtles in their hundreds lay their eggs. I can't think of a better reason to visit a beach! The amount of wildlife we saw was amazing. On our way down to the beach to see the turtles we saw Howler Monkeys swinging from the trees above us, coatis and iguanas roaming the hotel grounds , tiny bats hanging around and did we mention the turtles??? I can feel that my review so far is reactionary so to move on to my own review...

The hotel complex is beautiful, laid out in a landscaped garden with apartments and rooms imaginitively built (ours was built around a tree trunk) and all completely different, as far as I could see, the apartment for I think 5 people looks very ornate and unique. The gardens were kept to an amazing standard with paths swept every morning. The pool is super clean, there is plenty of shade and hammocks to lounge in as well as an outdoor bar in the evenings. Our floor was swept , our bathroom cleaned and our bed made every day. There were no insects in our room. The staff were friendly but hands off, unless you need them which is what we like. The hotel offered a meal every night, usually a crowd pleaser, nothing too fancy but competitively priced compared to other restaurants in nearby Samara. The inclusive breakfast was great. The unpaved road to get there was an adventure, we knew we were in for something a bit different when we turned off the tarmaced road. The ultra-light planes that could land and fly from here were an added pleasure, we never heard them at odd times and were few and far between. An amazing little pocket of Costa Rica, we're glad we found it. But beware - you need a 4x4 to get here! No public transport and very few taxis will take you here. It's a rough road but a lot of fun in a rental jeep!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank mawkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2009

The road to the hotel is not for the faint of heart. We had to cross a river twice and could only do it after some locals told us how (that is NOT going straight to the other side). There supposed to be a road with a bridge but this means a major detour.

After arrival the owner told us a price that was higher then we agreed on the phone just days before. It supposed to be an error, but still in my opinion this is the error of the hotel. After lots of talking and threatening that we will search another hotel they offered us the price agreed through the phone, but for the rest of our stay they couldn't even smiled at us anymore.

The room of the hotel was very nice. Good furniture (Ikea) and the layout was perfect too. There was satellite TV at our disposal. The shower was hot and worked without a problem. The room was build with a lot of creativity and didn't look like any standard hotel room. For this it's worth it.

The closest beach is not so close as the owners want you to believe. Maybe in distance it is, but a lagoon seperates the hotel from the beach and you need a fair walk. The beach was dirty, with both natural as well as human waste. The sand was not nice too. A huge disappointment. I recommend going to Playa Carrillo instead for a great beach.

Because the level of service was absent after our complaint, the difficult to reach location and the horrible beach I do not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank w00t-sjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2009

The uncared beach is full of wooden trunks, appr. 1 km away from the hotel. Sometimes brown foam on the water due to a near river. Isolated hotel location, 15 km away from food or drink providers. Well-kept plant, clean spectacular and very tasteful cabins. Unfortunately, we received within 3 days no fresh towels, no fresh linen. Only 1 dish available in the evening. Dinner must be ordered latest at 1 pm. Restaurant staff is inflexible, thus monotonous canteen atmosphere. The plant seemed to be deserted after sunset. So we went to bed early, thinking about departure. What we have lacked: a good rich cuisine with reasonable prices, as they are found everywhere else in the CR.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mercedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
munich
Level Contributor
42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2009

We stayed for here for a couple of nights during our tour through Costa Rica. Our huge room was incredibly nice. Never saw such a beautifully decorated place before. It's a paradise if you travel with kids. The pool is ok and the flying with the Ultralights is incredible. Breakfast was good. It's a pity they charged for the chocolate for kids. Since we travelled in the rain season the short way from Samara to the hotel was impossible to pass so we had to take the long way which made it a bit time intensive to have food in Samara at night. The main beach nearby is very pretty but can only be visited before the flood comes because later the way back is impossible so we mainly went to Samara. We heard there is also a very nice beach near Mel Gibsons house but we got stuck even with the 4wheel drive and did not manage to visit that one. You can pre-book dinner at the hotel as well but we prefered to try different places. Sure, you can drive to Samara but we also had good Pizza at the strange place of Eric close to the beach and excellent local food the small bar/restaurant that looks like a jail, located about 1-2 km away when you come the long way from Samara. Overall we were very happy we stayed at this place!

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank keklenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Billerica, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2009

The Flying Crocodile was such a neat experience overall. Our room had a little tree going through the center of it, and it was cozy and unique. All the rooms were unique and their own piece of art. Food at the restaurant was good but basic, and on the medium side of the price scale. It was a 15 minute walk to get to a very secluded beach. For food and drink (dinner only), I recommend stopping by Conrads on the way to the beach.

We were woken up in the morning by howler monkeys, it was disturbing at first, but also very cool. They have a flying center onsite. We each did a flight in the gyro helicopter. It was pricey, but we did it anyways. $120 for a 20 minute flight.

The pool is neat and has a slide. There are many games on the grounds, pool table, ping pong, trampoline, darts.

The area is isolated, but only a 15 minute (rough roads) drive to Playa Samara, where there's more to do.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank dalew75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2009

This had to be the longest 18 hours I have ever spent in a hotel,
after traveling a long day on the dusty roads in Costa Rico, you would hope for a warm shower. Not at the flying crap Hole, No hot water and when you inform the manager nothing but attitude. So off to the pool to clean up. The room was dirty the bathroom dark and dingy, and worst of all the bed. No mattress pad just a thin sheet,no blanket just a sheet to cover, and the smell of urine. Then when I informed the owner via e-mail about my stay, he responds" well you must not enjoy nature, maybe you should stay at the Hilton or go to McDonald's". Well sir at least McDonald's bathrooms would be cleaner!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — dirty
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
My Place
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2008

We really enjoyed our stay in Samara at the Flying Crocodile. It is a charming place and the owners are always helpful.
Each room is decorated in a different style, wonderful.

We spent some of the days at the beach and on others we didn't even leave the property.

At dinner we met the other guests and a lot of travel experiences were exchanged.

  • Liked — The unique design!
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JoeyMyPlace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Flying Crocodile

Property: Hotel Flying Crocodile
Address: Codico 5235, Apdo. 99, Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Flying Crocodile 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Flying Crocodile Lodge is nestled in a nature reserve and surrounded by mangroves. Not far away is situated the untouched beach of Playa Buena Vista (about 10 min. by foot) located on the Nicoya Peninsula, 6 km north of Samara. Our Lodge offers ten individually designed rooms, each equipped with a bathroom, air conditioning, fan and fridge. The bungalows are colorful and attractive with attention to special details (inspired by the architecture of the Mexican "Casa del Pacifico" and the art of Antonio Gaudi). We are surrounded by approximately 2 acres of tropical gardens with a swimming pool, where many animals have found their home. The garden invites you to stay, relax and enjoy. Additionally, there are table tennis, table football, pool table and a trampoline. For our younger guests a playground and a children's pool with water slide is available. You will find yourselves well taken care of by our chef, who serves complete breakfasts, luncheons and specially prepared dinners, every day. We offer a complete program of excursions and other adventures you might like, as well as laundry service. Also for group travelers, we offer our full services. We are happy to cater to special procedures and requirements, and also rent out the entire hotel, in order to preserve the calm and friendly group dynamics. Similarly, we support you in seminars, conferences, workshops, presentations, antistress training and much more. It is our intent that we will provide participants and speakers a pleasant atmosphere. Our hotel is connected with an Ultra-Light Flying Center. The experienced pilots offer you a flight adventure of a life time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Flying Crocodile Hotel
Hotel Flying Crocodile Costa Rica/Playa Samara

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