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“A true gem!”

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A true gem!”
Reviewed 27 April 2012

My husband and I spent a week on an all inclusive package at Villas Playa Samara at the beginning of April. The beach really is the most beautiful we have ever seen and we are seasoned travelers. This hotel is ideal if you are looking for a low key relaxing break. If you are looking for a party atmosphere or 5 star service, look elsewhere. This is a 3 star hotel and we felt that it was good value. With a few minor repairs and a little tlc, this hotel would be outstanding as the location is unparalleled.

The villa we were first put in we didn't like as it was one of the non renovated ones even though our package stipulated that we were to have a renovated villa. We went back to reception and without any fuss were quickly given keys to a villa two doors down that was a massive improvement. The villas are large in size, with comfortable beds and great outdoor patios with a hammock. Ours had a great view of the ocean and we felt very at home. The cleaning was a bit patchy, some days the bins were not emptied and other days the cleaning lady did not come until 3 pm.

There were never any problems with sun loungers by the pool or at the beach and the most fantastic thing was that there were no hawkers trying to sell us anything which was very refreshing.
The beach is clean and safe, with security guards discreetly patrolling, the sand is soft and the water in the ocean is very warm. There are a few stones on approach into the water but overall it's mostly a sandy bottom. Definitely take the kayaks out to the island, it's a quick 10 minutes and you will feel like Robinson Crusoe.
We walked into Samara town along the beach which takes roughly 20-30 mins but go at low tide, otherwise the currents can be quite dangerous and it will take much longer.

The hotel was not very busy when we arrived and we found ordering from the menu very easy. The service wasn't quick but Alfredo, who we got to know quite well by the end of our trip, was great. There were plenty of food options, all well prepared and fresh. The red snapper is amazing! Towards the end of our trip a large group arrived and then we had the buffet for one night which, as discussed in previous reviews, wasn't as good.
The drinks at the bar are fantastic, you have got to try the strawberry daiquiri, it's phenomenal!
My advice is, manage your expectations and you will have a great time!

Room Tip: Insist on a renovated villa, the closer to the beach the better.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank InterExplore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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842 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

We have not visited property just yet. But so far the staff has gone out of their way to help plan our trip and accommodate our needs. I travel often and believe 1st impressions can set the tone for the vacation. So far I am highly impressed. Some other reviews have not been so great but I understand the property is being renovated and making positive changes. I am looking forward to my visit this week and will update my review with what I am sure will be positive impressions.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gypsyjuls
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 1 April 2012

For the people writing not so nice reviews... Please ignore! Yes they are going under construction and I have no doubt that it will be more beautiful than it already is when it is complete! The location of this villa is probably one of the best in Costa Rica. If you want a vacation to forget your worries of your busy life, then this is the place. It feels like a small tight knit community while you are there and we felt as if we had known some of the People we met for all our lives, including staff. Yes there is a language barrier at times but lets be honest... You're in Costa Rica , so try to appreciate their style of living. As for the wild horses.. Are people really complaining about them being on the property?!?! If you're a true nature lover and have appreciation for other cultures than this is your place!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Caitgil22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

We had a lovely time in Samara and we enjoyed staying at this property. It's a great location - right on a nice beach, and close enough to Samara proper that it's easy to go into town for lunch/dinner. Parts of the hotel are still under construction, but what is finished is nice. Keep in mind - this is a place where you're meant to unplug. Don't expect to go here, and then sit in front of the TV...
I would expect that in another year when they've had more time to finish the remodel, this will be an even better place to go. But with that said, I'd still go back right now if I had the chance! The staff was very accommodating, and any issues we had were taken care of quickly.

Room Tip: ask for a room that's near the beach! you'll have a great view, and a hammock on your porch...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Novato, Ca
Level Contributor
73 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Lets start with the good stuff. The resort is located right on the beach at the north end of Samara and about 1/4 mile from Carillo Beach, one of the nicest in Costa Rica. The villas are spacious and the property is nicely landscaped although more trees around the pool area would have been helpful and lounge chairs that had cushions and were at least cleaned once in awhile would have been nice. What was not so good was the room itself. The interiors are incredibly run down. The bathroom was moldy, buggy (cockroach in shower) and always felt dirty. The tiles were cracked and the fixtures were the cheapest one could buy in about 1970. The hot water in the shower lasted about 2 minutes and one morning we had sand coming out of all bathroom faucets. There was no kleenex, safe, phone, radio, and AC only in the bedroom. That would have been OK had the AC worked consistently. One night we had to move the bed from under the AC because water continuously dripped on us from above. The lighting was so bad it was difficult to read and we had to re-hang the hammock in order to use it. The room decoration was really bad with no taste in decor exhibited at all. I had to ask for pillows for the sofa so we could actually sit on it and use it because it was really just a raised mattress up against a stucco wall. They brought me bedroom pillows. OK. Kind of funny.
The food was comparable to what one might expect at a high school or college cafeteria. Eat in Samara! The hotel caters to large groups, mainly Canadians, who are there on an all inclusive packages so the food is mass produced and quite bad. The mini market on the property was poorly stocked with no actual food, fresh or canned. It was great if you were a junk food nut! All the chips and soda you could possibly want. We couldn't even get cheese or cold cuts and certainly no fresh fruit even though this would have been easy to stock. The rooms come with nothing...not even salt and pepper so if you want to cook, you really have to stock up on the basics at a market in Samara.
The staff doesn't seem to understand service and we were met with attitudes that ranged from vaguely pleasant to downright surly (the bartender at the pool of all people!) Mostly we felt the staff to be indifferent. Our room was close to a villa where workers gathered in the mornings to get their daily assignments or something. In any case, we were awakened every morning at 6:45 to the sounds of loud laughing and carrying on. I went out one morning to ask them to please be quiet, but nobody seemed to understand or care.
In the middle of the night one night, our bedside table collapsed with a loud bang and it took a whole day to get someone to replace it. Without that table that held the only lamp, night reading or even dressing would have been impossible.
Several of the reviews of this place speak highly of it. Perhaps all the rooms aren't created equal. But mostly, I think, people are talking about the location and Samara itself. The hotel is not worth the price.

Room Tip: Ask for renovated room, preferably not on the perimeter near the workers house
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mosinay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this review, 26 March 2012
Hello Mosinay,

First and foremost we would like to apologize for the bad experience that you experienced with our resort. We are undergoing renovations on the entire location from reception, gym and every single room. Unfortunately due to availability we only had that room available for your reservation. As you mentioned we do hold large groups of travelers however make the very out most effort to provide the very best possible service to all of our clients, Your valuable feedback is being taken into consideration to rate our staff and keep growing on the level of service we provide. overall we are a three star hotel not a five star hotel nor do we pretend to be to our travelers. Our goal is to allow our travelers a great experience of Costa Rica and allow them to Detox from their day to day routine.

Thank you for the time you took to make sure we know your thoughts and help us become a better hotel!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Playa Samara hotels

Atlanta
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2012

It is hard to know where to begin to describe such a perfect trip so I'll start with what I was completely not expecting. I didn't expect to see wild horses running down the beach just yards from the front steps or our beautiful villa. I didn't expect a gorgeous bonfire under a full moon with hotel guests gathered around making S'mores and singing along to guitar. I didn't expect a full head on view of the Pacific ocean from my living room and master bedroom. I didn't expect to see 3 whales and dozens of playful dolphins on a single fishing trip. I didn't expect for the hotel guests to treat each other practically like old friends and family. I expected the staff to be attentive but didn't expect them to treat us like absolute royalty. I expected to love Costa Rica but didn't expect to now be planning my retirement there! Absolutely loved Hotel Villas Playa Samara...the staff, the restaurant, the pool, the swim up bar, the location, and most of all, the owners and their beautiful family!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank AtlantaTraveler51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

We loved our stay on the beach. Everything there makes you happy in your villa. It was very pretty, if a little time worn. There were fresh flowers, plenty of space ...and we never saw a bug or lizard inside! The staff overall is a bit spotty, but then we speak very limited Spanish and the help speaks very little English. It's really not a problem. The food was often exceptional; and always good. The pool and the little swim up bar was just the right touch. Nighttime entertainment, bonfire on the beach, marimba, music, etc.: lovely! The only glitch we encountered was on the Monkey tour; it was extraordinarily crowded and somewhat frightening when 9 or so people crowded the very small, high above the canyon zip line platforms at one time. I recommend taking about $100 in dollar bills for tips and for shopping in Samara. Oh, and the surfing school there was reasonable and good. We were there on the full moon, the tides were amazing and the stars unimaginably immense! We will go back again, we will encourage friends and family as well.

Room Tip: Although we were told that there were prettier, smaller villas; we loved the 3 bedroom on the beach...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 000Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villas Playa Samara

Property: Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Address: South From the Center of Samara Going Towards Playa Carrillo 3km, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Villas Playa Samara 3.5*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a hotel with fully equipped villas and deluxe rooms. We are located in front of the beach very close yo downtown Samara. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Villas Playa Samara Costa Rica

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