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“A slice of paradise in Samara”

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A slice of paradise in Samara”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2011

Looking back at some of the previous reviews, lets be clear.. this place is not the Hilton and doesn't try to be. Its a simple, clean place to stay right on the beach in Samara. I don't think there is another hotel in Samara where you can walk from your room straight onto the beach. Owners Bill and Phyllis were friendly and helpful. All the units face the pool, we prepped most of our meals while watching the kids in the pool. There is a small grocery store about a block away, which had everything you need to make simple meals. We had a rental SUV and drove into town to eat and shop and do surf lessons.... it is about a 15-20 minute walk down the beach.
To me it has a B&B vibe (it has but you make your own breakfast :) , most of the guests sat outside their units and chatted a bit in the evening and mealtimes. We met a lot of friendly people.
So I definately reco this place, it met all my expectations based on my pre-trip research. We wanted a place to wind down on the beach after our previous town hopping (La Fortuna and Monteverde), somewhere that was away from It always takes a few days to adjust a new place..I'm not sure its possible to wind down and if you only stayed one night. We stayed 5 nights and I really didn't want to leave. If we ever get the chance to return to Samara, this will be the place to stay.
The only Con I noted was the roosters, dogs and Howler monkeys that start their serenade at 3am... but that is CR, early to bed, early to rise.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank zombieda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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494 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The owners Phyllis and Bill were very welcoming. We had been on the road all day so were very tired when we arrived. They visited with us and made us feel very at home. We stayed in the Deluxe room which had everything we needed and more. The kitchenette is very modern, everything was clean, the curtains were beautiful and the sheets, bed and pillows were high quality (this is very important to me, as I've stayed in some real dumps). They also have a "bodega," room with cold beverages (beer, soda, water, etc) and laundry. The hotel is situated right ON the beach with hammocks, lounge chairs and it is very secluded.

Phyllis and Bill's son Derek was also very helpful and polite. He even went and got us fresh lobsters from the local fisherman. Their daughter Jessica was also very pleasant and did a great job with everything.

The only thing I would recommend to anyone going to this beach (or any in Costa Rica for that matter), is find some sort of repellent for the sand fleas. They were awful and more irritating than any other insect bite I've ever had. I had over 70 bites on my legs... so if I could warn anyone before having this happen... bring repellent!!

Room Tip: We did have the opportunity to see all of the other rooms. They were all very nice... but the delu...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank annemarie41574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2011

The hotel was exactly what I look for - laid back. If you are a high maintenance person, then perhaps this isn't the place for you, but then again, why would you be in Costa Rica anyway? I loved having a kitchen and separate room that my kids could sleep in. It is right on the beach and I enjoyed just being able to grab soda and beer from the bodega whenever I wanted.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank JakeFu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2011

Though the hotel was undergoing some renos when we arrived, the owner was quick to accommodate us with a very spacious room that included a separate bedroom, kitchen space, and private bathroom. Though some of the fixtures and furnishings were a bit dated, overall the room was fairly clean and well taken care of. The owner had some great advice about tidal pools, good beaches, and restaurants to go to. She also set out cushions on the beach-front loungers, and told us to help ourselves to the boogie boards and hammocks when we were spending time near the hotel. The only negative thing I would say about our experience here was that someone entered our room and stole our belongings at night when we were sleeping. To be fair, we had not closed the door properly and checked that it was locked. The owner said that there was an on-site security guard, however, this did not prevent someone from entering our room and taking a camera, wallet, and a few other valuables during the night. Overall a great location and experience - next time, we'll just be sure to close (and lock) the door!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Travel_Tricks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fenix_Samara, Manager at Fenix Hotel - On The Beach, responded to this review, 28 November 2011
Thank you for your nice compliments. It was nice being able to help you mark off a couple of “must do” items while staying with us. We also like when someone comes for a night and stays longer. Makes us feel like we are doing things right.

We are very sorry to hear about your belongings along with being surprised that you did not mention your loss to us. It makes it difficult for us to identify any problems when we read about it two weeks later.

Security is very important to us, which is why we have a night guard seven nights a week. We have large laptop safes in all the rooms along with secured windows. Many of our guests feel very comfortable and leave their belongings outside of their rooms at night, forgetting it is a hotel. Before locking up for the night, we bring any of the shoes, swimsuits and towels into our bodega and lock them up for the night. The door to your room locks when closed, with the option to double lock the deadbolt once inside.

Again, we appreciate your visit with us and look forward to your return trip.

Sincerely,

Phyllis & Bill
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new york
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2011

We stayed four nights in the deluxe room-clean, modern furnishings, including oven, microwave, fridge, flat screen TV, a/c, and full kitchenette. The semi-circle arrangement facing the pool and beach gave us not only the feeling of seclusion we wanted but also enabled quick access to downtown Samara via a 5 minute walk down the beach--the best commute ever! Bill and Phyllis have made it as convenient as possible with Boogie boards, laundry services and access to beer, water, etc on the honor system. During our stay we saw both families and single couples come and go and all seemed to appreciate both the layout and facilities. We really appreciated Bill + Phyllis' availability for advice and pointers on where to go; thanks to their advice two of our nights we ended up buying fresh snapper and shrimp from a local fisherman only a few houses away and grilling in the room! Not only saved some money but two of our best meals of the week! Not over the top fancy, but in sync with the local vibe and good bang for the buck!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cshwnsley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wexford, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2011

Our room had no windows, just screens and bars. We thought we would get coffee & da nish, we received nothing. We were told there is a grocery store so we can cook, but make sure we do the dishes. I opened the fridge & wanted to throw up. Our bedroom faced the familys house with sheer curatins on the screens. Imagine the view when the light was on in your room. Absolutely no hot water. None. Taking my ice cold shower, that makes for a wonderful shave. I stood in water from a clogged drain.. Phyllis was very friendly... every time you pulled in she was there. These people are from the states...I expected more. I traveled all over Costa Rica . San Ramon,Grecia, Sarchi, Puert Villejo, Punta Uva, La Fortuna, Aernal, Playa Uvita, Playa Ballena, Quepos, Tambor in NIcoya Penninsula and then here to Samara.Needless to say we ended our stay here after one night. Left and stayed in Guanacaste from there we ended up going to Playa Flamingo and Playa del Cocoa and back to San Jose. Not one hotel or Bed and Breakfast charged this high of a rate and I would only recommend this place as a last resort. I had hot water everywhere I stayed but here. The food was excellent everywhere I stayed but here. The rates everywhere was $25 cheaper and this is during their rainy slow season. Go figure. For a hotel, I felt like I was camping at the beach.
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Room Tip: Call around and do web research before you choose a place to stay, This place had high ratings, I w...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roseanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fenix_Samara, Manager at Fenix Hotel - On The Beach, responded to this review, 1 November 2011
We are a small, family owned hotel, and have been in business for almost 14 years. We work very hard to make our guests feel comfortable, safe and have a wonderful time. Our place is not for everyone, and obviously, you were looking for an all-inclusive, hand-holding hotel. We are not a bed and breakfast or condo-type hotel. Each of our rooms have kitchens along with a nice grocery store a block away. Most of our guests are adventurous and enjoy our little piece of paradise, return and recommend us to their friends. We do have someone who come by on most day with pastries for purchase. We do not misrepresent our hotel. Nothing was ever said about breakfast being provided.

You were not feeling well and crying when you were here, and maybe that is why you are so negative. I would like to correct your criticisms. Our rooms have large windows, bug screens and security bars, as most places in Costa Rica. Since we are “on the beach”, our guests are able to enjoy the fresh air coming into the rooms along with the sound of the waves. If you would have looked closer, we have two panels of fabric for our curtains, one is sheer and the other panel provides privacy. You should have closed the second curtain.

The shower has hot water, and there is nothing wrong with the drain. We had guests come in the same day, in the same room as yours, and they never had any complaints or problems. They were very complimentary and commented that we had a nice niche, a one-of-a-kind hotel. As you mentioned in your critique, we were always around. I am surprised with so many problems, you did not mention any of them to us.

As you may know, beach front property is more expensive than the next street back. Our rate is consistent with the location. We are beach front. Not a block away or a short stroll. You walk out your door and you are “on the beach”. As most places in the world, lakefront, beachfront and riverfront properties are more expensive. Your reservation was booked on-line with our rates quoted. You had the option to book elsewhere if the cost is what mattered to you. We have not raised our rates for three years.

When you left in the morning, you told us that you were heading back to San Jose and the big city. You did not like the small towns, Samara, or the restaurants. Costa Rica was not where you wanted to retire, and you were anxious to go back home to the Pennsylvania. Surprised that you went further north to more small towns.

Phyllis & Bill
Fenix Hotel - On the Beach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san diego
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2011

We had read a review of the Fenix hotel on Trip Advisor and so searched it out when we arrived in Playa Samara. Following the signs around town we made it easily. We were very pleased with the rooms - clean and nicely furnished with a nice kitchenette and right in front of the beach!! The beach in samara is nice and we had a great time there as well as at Playa Carrillo which is the next beach south and is completely undeveloped and beautiful. The Fenix hotel owners, Phyliss and Bill, were very accomodating. Thank you again for being so nice with us! I would recommend this hotel to anyone planning a stay in Samara.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maltman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

Property: Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
Address: Mts Sur de Pulperia Stephanie 100 | Samara de Nicoya, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Samara
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Six time winner of the Traveller's Choice Award for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2009! Thank you to all of our wonderful guests. We are a small (6 rooms), beach-front hotel just footsteps from the ocean. Our rooms are clean, colorful and comfortable. We are NOT an all-inclusive, luxury resort. More like your place at the beach, but with someone else doing the daily cleaning, changing the linens and yard work. The rooms are in a semi-circle and face the pool, gardens and the ocean. (see photos) Great way to meet new people and exchange information and stories. We have been here 17 years managing our "little piece of paradise". Our front yard is sand with ranchos and palm trees for plenty of shade. Hammocks, sunbeds, small pool, gardens and BBQ complete our front yard. All of our rooms have fully equipped kitchens with separate bedroom. The deluxe room has AC & widescreen TV. Standard rooms have upper and lower screened windows and two ceiling fans. Our neighborhood has a small grocery store & fish market, along with local deliveries of fruits and fresh ceviche. An enjoyable 15 minute walk to Samara Central. Most of our guests return or have been recommend by friends. Thank you for considering our special place by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fenix Hotel Playa Samara
Fenix Hotel - On The Beach Costa Rica/Playa Samara

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