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“Literally a Dream Come True !”

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Where do I even begin ? I arrived as it was the last stop on the Monkey Tour ( Which I would STRONGLY suggest to anyone wanting to explore Costa Rica - Zip lining,River Rafting,Live Volcano complete with Hot Springs- I'll save that for another review but HEAVILY recommended ) I arrived at the Hotel worn out from a long drive to Cocktail glasses WAITING for me at the check in desk full of a freshly squeezed beverage....it was small welcoming gestures like this that truly set this hotel apart. The Pool was beautiful , lit up with colorful lights and a bar located IN the water......the restaurant and bar poolside were very eloquent, and the staff was very friendly....I was most impressed with Walter the Bartender......The rooms were very nice and literally minutes away from an Incredible Beach. One of the first things I noticed was that al the landscape was constantly being manicured and it seemed almost like a scene right out of a movie....we stayed at 5 different hotels on my tour of Costa Rica and Villa Playa Samara was my favorite by far.....The food was Great ( I suggest the Red Snapper ) and the Bar offers an incredble selection of Island style Drinks , I suggest the Strawberry Margarita, or the Mango Daquiri......Me and all my friends that came with on this trip were VERY impressed, and I look forward to coming back next year with a few Co-Workers , 5/5 Stars.....You HAVE to expierience this beautiful Resort, you will never want to leave !

Room Tip: I would suggest a room by the beach, or a room by the bar ; )
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Marcus A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CustomerSVPS, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2014

It is wonderful to hear from our guests and we truly appreciate your kind words.

We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for the feedback!

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Guest Services HVPS

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406 - 412 of 916 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

Our group stayed here for 4 nights as part of the monkey tours Costa Rica adventure guided tour. Came here with mid level expectations based on past reviews… and want to share our experience

Check in: was slow because only one staff member (not his fault); offered a welcome drink, which was nice

Room: we did not upgrade to a villa, and received a regular room with two beds on the main floor (room 494). The room was okay- seemed clean enough, and A/C worked; had some dead bugs (and live ones) but that’s probably because the doors didn’t seal properly; fridge was a nice to have; beds were decent and wifi worked in the room which was a bonus!

Housekeeping: Room was cleaned daily; new soap left after second day; hand towel was taken, not replaced but no big deal.

Maintenance: We had a problem with our toilet; spoke to front desk and the issue was fixed within a few hours

Pool: Pool was nice, clean but very warm- again not fault of hotel; ample pool chairs

Beach: The beach was nice, although Samara had a severe storm a few days before we arrived and were still in the process of cleaning up; nice huts and not too busy. Watershoes were helpful for navigating some of the rocky areas

Food: We ate at the restaurant several times and found the food very good; breakfast had good selection of hot and cold items and good coffee; dinners were pricy but good portions (we especially enjoyed the pizza and the fajitas); most of our group was satisfied with the food (although the service was slow at times). Shout outs to Eduardo, who was our wonderful server and greeted us with a smile!

Where things really fall apart with this hotel is with respect to the organization and staffing. Our first night, we were advised by hotel staff to meet the monkey tours rep at 8am to book excursions and our shuttle back to the hotel. Long story short, we received conflicting stories and waited over four hours to no avail. No one bothered to show up on the first day and we kept getting told to “come back later” which was unfair. This was extremely frustrating as we all felt our time was wasted and we were missing out on additional excursions. We ended up using the tourism center in town to book other things, and the monkey tours rep did eventually schedule our shuttles (the day before our return trip).

Overall, we found the hotel had a lot of potential, but failed to live up to it.... We heard the same story from many people in town who complain of the same things- mostly that the resort doesn’t seem to care and at times, it seemed like no one knew what was going on. I’m relieved that the resort was not busy while we were there (seemed like only monkey tours groups) as I can’t imagine that the hotel would be able to function at full capacity. I’d caution travellers who stay here to not be expecting any 5* resort, this place is a 3* at best.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank kimc1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Faride C, Director de Recepción at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Kym,


Thank you for taking your time and writing down your opinions on our Resort. We are very glad you enjoyed our restaurant and will certainly tell Eduardo about your beautiful comments on him. Regarding the Tour Desk of Costa Rica Monkey Tours located onsite, the staff was changed during the period of time you where staying with us. Its important to note that this was only temporary and there si always 2-3 staff members in charge. We are truly sorry this happened while your stay in Villas Playa Samara and happy to know you still found some activities downtown. Costa Rica Monkey Tours is a separate company that has many great reviews on trip advisors which I truly suggest reading. We thank you again for choosing Villas Playa Samara and hope to hear back from you in the near future

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Reviewed 10 August 2014

I will start by saying the grounds of Villas Playa Samara are lovely and the food is very good. The staff at the front desk are helpful and doing their best under sometimes difficult conditions (they get lots of complaints). But, the wait staff was excellent. Keep in mind it is not customary to tip in Costa Rica so they serve out of a willingness to do so.

The pool was kept very nice and there was a water volleyball and net. Also a ping pong table next to the pool with newer paddles and plenty of balls. Two of the three fountains pouring into the pool were not working.

I'm afraid the positive comments must end there. The bungalows are woefully inadequate. The kitchen is stocked with pots and pans that have seen better days, but there is not a drop of dishwashing liquid, so if you use them, they just sit in the sink dirty. There is a coffee maker, but no coffee, not even salt and pepper or a knife other than a kitchen knife.

The furniture is very uncomfortable and not conducive to lounging around. There is a table and four chairs which are fine, but the wicker chair and love seat were very small for the size of the room and had old, worn and faded cushions.

There were French doors that can be opened if you want to let the bugs in, but even when they are closed, the bugs come in because of the gaps in the doors. I know it's a tropical country, but to some extent some of this can be avoided very easily.

Our bed was badly broken! Now I can understand how the wooden board under the bed might break, but I can't understand how a maid could make the bed and think it was okay. They did come and fix it the next day, but my husband had a very bad first night and his back still hurts because the bed was so hard more than a week later!

The same with the drain in the bathroom. It didn't drain at all and after two days we showered in water up past our ankles. Did the maid not go in the bathroom?

Our next to last day, we went back to the bungalow to change our clothes for dinner. This was around 4:30 or 5:00 pm. Our bed had not been made. While my husband was changing the maid walked into the bedroom without knocking (I'm sure she knocked on the outer door, but they are so thick we couldn't hear it). I screamed, she left, but she never came back and our bed did not get made that day.

Speaking of bathrooms, there was not a hook nor a bar or anyplace at all to hang our towels. We just hung them on door knobs and over the half wall of the shower. We had to ask for another bar of soap because we used up the first one. Our towels were never changed out (except for pool/beach towels when we took them to the desk) and our bed linens were washed, but stained.
We had to ask for hangers, there wasn't a single one in the closet. No clock, no phone.

I know the workers must start work early in the day because it gets hot later, but they were using heavy equipment and started around 6:00 am.

All-in-all I will remember the good things. To be fair it really is the only beach resort in Samara that has all of the amenities it has. I would go back, but I would go back with my eyes open, knowing what to expect. This is not a four-star hotel! Because of the pool and kayaks and it's location I would give it a three, without those definitely a two-star rating.

All Villas Playa Samara really needs is a little attention to detail to be a fairly nice place.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Faride C, Director de Recepción at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Thank you for your sincere comments on our Resort.

We truly acknowledge some comments you state and we constantly try to ensure our maids follow the best principles always. Our maids are also in charge of cleaning the dishes while they are visiting your room therefore we have been in touch with them about this to make sure the kitchens in the Villas are always properly maintained.Unfortunately the beach is not cleaned by the municipality so we have to do it and this is something pretty hard especially after rainy days.

Thanks again for visiting us and I truly hope we see you in the near future again.
Kind Regards!

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Reviewed 8 August 2014

After having read some pretty bad reviews we went in with the bar set very low. We were surprised when we got to the property - beautiful lobby/restaurant/pool. Check-in was a hassle for some in our Monkey Tour group that had upgraded - be sure to get your towel cards when you check in. They never gave us ours and it was a hassle. Also, the pool closed at 6:00 p.m.

We did not upgrade and we received the worst room of the non-upgrades in our group. We faced the maintenance area and had no patio like the others, and only one plastic chair. Also, our room had one small window high up in the room like a prison. The room was small, but nicely furnished. The shower was beautiful. The cleaning service was ok. There were lots of bugs and no coffee in the room, even if you asked. No phones in the room = less complaints for the hotel. They only give you two pillows, and roll their eyes if you ask for more.

Breakfast gets a B+. Pizza gets an A-. Drinks get a C.

The ocean kayaking is wonderful, but be advised that you will be in choppy, shallow water near rocks and coral. The guide we had was great - he actually was subbing in from a local surf shop. The view from the island is very nice - bring a Go Pro if you've got one.

Most importantly, regardless of what they tell you, DO NOT WALK ON THE BEACH TO TOWN. We were MUGGED AT GUNPOINT in broad daylight. The hotel and Monkey Tours had both said that it was a nice walk. It was nice until we (group of four, two men) crossed a little river about 15 minutes from the hotel on the beach and two men came (one with a gun and one with what appeared to be a box cutter) and stole wallet, cash, phone, purse, professional camera, etc... It was truly terrifying. The hotel staff was completely callous and rude after we lost so much and were shaken up. I had to beg to get them to call police and get us a shuttle to the police station - the lady (with braces) told us this wasn't their fault or problem. While we were waiting for the shuttle to the police station, they told another couple they could get to town by taxi or walking on the beach!!! We could not believe that they were still telling people this, and in earshot of us. When confronted the lady told us that not everyone gets mugged every time.... Also, sadly Monkey Tours relied on the hotel to help us through this issue. We heard from several people in town that people get robbed in that same spot often. (Side note: the police are a joke)

If you are here through Monkey Tours, just avoid that beach walk and expect poor service. Enjoy the grounds and kayaking. Avoid carrying cash and keep your passports/cash/electronics in the safe. Try Coco's Mexican restaurant in town or Casa Esmeralda, or for a fancier meal El Lagarto.Yum!

Room Tip: If you get a room with no patio area/chairs with a small window, try to switch. They are not compara...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AshleyHudgens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CustomerSVPS, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, and thank you for your review.

We are sincerely sorry to hear that you had a less than favorable experience with us and even more horrible that you had gotten mugged. We have taken that into consideration to avoid future similar problems.

We truly believe in providing a great service, and I really hope to invite you back in the near future to make your experience much better and get the right impression about us.

Guest Services Hotel Villas Playa Samara

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Reviewed 30 July 2014

We had a great vacation here. I have two boys 8 and 13, and my husband. We were a little bit concerned after reading the past reviews. They were wonderful. Our room was nice. We had great service. The kids loved the food. My husband and I did want to try eating in town, but the kids did not want to. We ended up eating every meal there except for ice cream in town. The villas could not be any more convenient for go to the beach. The beach was beautiful. We spent most of the time there. We went during the first week of June. The beach was empty, we had it mostly to ourselves. We also went to the cove next door, which also was wonderful. The kids also loved the pool. My older son and husband did the zipline, which they liked. We also took the nature hike. This was excellent (although the kids got hot and tired) we loved it. Our guide was very knowledgeable. For the kids, the best thing was we saw Howler Monkeys with their babies.

If you are looking for true luxury, this is not. But great for a family.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank FamilyVacation6-14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Worst hotel of my life! They sell you on an all inclusive drinks and food that's not at all all inclusive staff service is terrible but beyond this their management is seriously lacking here!!! What a rip off!! No towels in the room, bar ran out of rum, all inclusive is expensive and yet you have to beg the bartender for a drink, my tv didn't even work, bathroom is a potential lawsuit as it is missing a door in the shower, dinner literally ends at 930 even if you are eating they turn off the lights and kick you out!! I hates this hotel experience buffet was always empty, no drinks available ?? I mean what's the point if all inclusive and the arrogance and annoyance of the atmosphere! Seriously a horrible establishment lacking management insight into this! Oh yea and let's not forget no phones in the room! I guess the lobby receptionist can't be bothered though by the time you check out there's so many things that have gone wrong and they don't care!!!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Leidy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Boyfriend and I spent a week here and loved it. The location is perfect with pretty views. Everyone we meet on the property and in town was very nice. Loved the pool and it was always clean. Our room was nice and big but only got clean towels once. No TV in the room but had so much fun hanging out by the pool/beach it didnt matter. If you walk into town make sure to go at low tide since the water comes up to the rocks. The surfing is amazing, tried surfing for the first time with teacher from the resort and he was wonderful on teaching and stood up the first try. Also did the waterfall tour booked though the resort and it was amazing it included lunch. It was a short nature walk to the waterfall where you then get to jump off it. The food was great and the drinks were always nice. Only one person working at the bar so it takes about 30 mintues to wait on a drink. Since town is a 30 mintue walk and the bar at the resort closing at 10 it does get boring at night. There is free wifi everywhere even laying out on the beach you pick up the resorts signal.

Room Tip: Ocean View
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Kirstin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CustomerSVPS, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2014

Thank you very much for the feedback!

We have taken into consideration our guests experiences to offer you a better experience each time you come back.

We truly appreciate your opinion and hope to have you visiting us soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £175 - £445 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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