We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Impressive Property But.....” 4 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Save
You added JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica to your Saves list
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas, Tamarindo, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel packages
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Guanacaste Experience
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Avellanas
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Toronto, Ontario
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Impressive Property But.....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

First of all, I'm not super picky and I'm quite well travelled, so please enjoy my comments.

Yes, this is a gorgeous resort.

No question about it.

My wife and I stayed here for 1 week.

Being a AAA Member,we were upgraded to an Oceanview Room.

The room was very nice.

I know that this a classy hotel but I was surprised to find that there were no ice machines for hotel guests.

You had to call room service to get ice.

The maids would also leave you some ice during turndown service.

Still, I've stayed at 5 Diamond Hotels where there were ice machines for the guests.

The hotel charged a lot of money for Internet, I believe that it was $13.95 per day per device.

I could live with that, except that the reception was lousy, both Ethernet and WiFi.

I tested it with www.speedtest.net and the needle hardly moved.

The hotel twice sent a technician to our room.

Each time, the technician was supposed to get back to us and never did.

We complained to the hotel but we were nonetheless charged the full amount.

The hotel had a number of restaurants, we tried each of them.

The meals were pricey but nothing special.

No, I'm not a picky eater!

This is a gorgeous resort but it's in the middle of nowhere.

I did rent a large SUV with a GPS to get around.

We asked the hotel about nearby towns and they indicated that nothing was nearby.

That's not completely true.

The resort is near Tamarindo Beach.

Tamarindo Beach has some decent, reasonably priced restaurants.

They have a great sushi place called Wok and Roll.

I highly recommend it.

Yes, you have to navigate the potholes but it's worth the drive.

Also, along the way to Tamarindo Beach there is an amazing supermarket that is comparible to supermarkets in the U.S.

We stocked up on drinks and snacks there.

They even carry Diet Dr. Pepper!

Back to the hotel.

The grounds of the hotel are both attractive and well kept.

Now to the best part of the story.

When we were checking out, we were asked how enjoyed our complimentary breakfast.

I said, what complementary breakfast!

Hotel Staffer said, as an AAA Member you are entitled to a free breakfast.

I said, we were never told that.

Believe me, if we were told that we were entitled to a free breakfast, we would have taken advantage of it.

Trust me, none of my paperwork mentioned any free breakfast.

It would have been nice if they told us about it when we checked in.

The Hotel's attitude was, tough luck!

Also, we had a number of uninvited guests come into our room.

The guests included some gecko's and a frog.

I realize that Costa Rica is in a rainforest but I do not care to have creatures of the rainforest in my room.

They got in when the maids cleaned the room and left the door open.

Based on all of this, we were neither offered an apology or a discount.

Well, at least now you know what to expect at this upscale resort.

Room Tip: Choose an Oceanview room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear Guest;

Thank you very much for your valuable comments and feedback since it help us to improve our services.

It’s not common to read about inconveniences with Internet Access since this service is really good.

I apologize for the inconvenience with the little visitors in your room since like you said we are in Costa Rica in Guanacaste which is more Nature and not in the city. These kinds of animals are very common to find.

We are located inside the Hacienda Pinilla in front of Mansita Beach. This area is very quite and tranquil. Tamarindo Beach is 20 minutes away from the Hotel and you can find night clubs to have fun if you are looking for party. There are also really good restaurants like you mentioned and a lot of stores to shopping.


When you rent a car is really good since is more easy to explore the area and you are able to see the more beautiful beaches nearby like Avellanas, Tamarindo, Flamingo or Potrero.

Kind regards;


Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,564 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    842
    410
    170
    92
    50
See reviews for
496
655
29
92
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (465)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Albany, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Very beautiful resort! Room view was amazing: the sunsets from our balcony were incomparable. We were upgraded to an oceanfront room upon arrival, since it was our anniversary. Management also sent truffles and a card - very nice! And I loved the tub.
The pool is awesome! The ocean was a bit rough for me (great for walking along the shore), but we didn't want to leave the pool anyway!
Food is excellent, and enjoyed strolling the grounds. Great resort!

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Guest;

THANK YOU very much for your fantastic review.

We are glad to know that you had a great time during your stay.

Definitely I share your comment about the pool at our Hotel: Is beautiful.

Congratulations for your past anniversary. We wish you the best.


Kind regards;


Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

I really do not get the complaints for this resort. Set your expectations and you will not be disappointed! The issues about the bumpy road – it’s there, it’s a public road that Marriott has nothing to do with and it isn’t nearly as bad as other public roads in CR. Just don’t worry about it – you will be in CR. Drive around the potholes! There is nothing else there – sit back and enjoy! If you want more then book a tour and they will pick you up, plenty of choices. Last – I agree the concept of a hot tub is lost in CR (really a hot tub in CR when it is 80 degrees??). Swim in the tub in your room instead!! The one thing that is correct and again you should expect is, that it is expensive at the hotel. You have limited choices so they raise the price on everything. We budgeted about $100 a day for the two of us to eat on and we hit it without a problem. Okay now finally - if you plan to swim in the ocean, I would suggest you wait the first time until the tide is out. That way you can see where the rocks are and adjust to swim accordingly.

We went during rainy season 19-23 Oct and had an amazing time celebrating our 24th anniversary. They upgraded us to an oceanfront – we were 120 yards from the beach - and it was the perfect room. Great sunsets (at 5:30pm). The best part for us – although there were probably 50 other couples there, we felt like we were the only ones at the hotel. It was quiet, restful, and plenty of workers that were very attentive to our needs. It is such a beautiful place and well kept. The weather was perfect and we sat by the pool or the ocean and had drinks. All of the food was great, fresh ingredients and just full of flavor. The best deal is to order room service and sit outside on the balcony and watch the ocean. I cannot say enough about the people working at the hotel. In all of our interactions with them, there it was nothing short of a great experience. They impressed us at every opportunity. They seem to be joyful, happy, proud CRs who wanted to ensure our experience was the best they could provide. They freely shared information about their culture, nearby attractions, and anything at the resort. For our anniversary dinner, we wanted a special, memorable occasion. We chose the Asian fusion place and it more than hit the mark. The sushi was awesome, the food was well seasoned, and we just enjoyed our time. We were looking for the bill because we had our fill and they surprised us with a magnificent desert. Two small cakes with fresh fruit and a lot of chocolate – it was such a great surprise. The chef even wrote best wishes in chocolate on the plate. I assume it started when we asked the manager if he would take our picture to remember our anniversary dinner with and at the end, this beautiful plate was delivered to our table.

So ensure your expectations are set before you go. If you want to sit back and take it easy and just rest – this is the perfect place to do just that! If you want to use this as a launching pad to adventure or tours do some research, make the plans and someone will come get you. Or you can work with the staff and they can help you decide on a tour. This is a perfect place to do this. We had an amazing time, exceeded our expectations and look forward to celebrating future anniversaries here!

Room Tip: Oceanfront rooms are amazing for sunsets!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Guest;

First of all Congratulations for your recent anniversary.

We wish you the best and we truly appreciate that you had choose us to celebrate such a special occasion.

It’s gratifying for us to know that you had a memorable stay and that you are expecting to return for your next anniversary.

Kind regards;


Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We had a lovely, week long stay at this beautiful hotel. The staff is outstanding. All the meals were delicious and the housekeeping was top notch. We were upgraded to an ocean view and enjoyed our veranda very much. Our only negatives were paying for wi-fi (?! C'mon Marriott!!!! It's 2012!) and being quiet isolated. The people working here are great--shout out to margarita and Jose at breakfast and the wonderful server with name starting with z at dinner the past few evenings.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear Guest;


Thank you for your wonderful review about your recent stay.

We also appreciate the feedback.

We will let know Margarita, Jose and Zuleidy about your great comments about them.

We truly hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in a near future.

Kind regards;

Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, Connecticut
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Stayed here for 5 nights and would have loved to stay more. This location offers everything you can imagine all within the comfort of the resort. Just a few steps from your room to the ocean or the pool. Both offer beautiful crystal clear water that is warmer than your bath. The rooms are spacious and very relaxing. The staff is top notch and very attentive. Forget about everything the moment you arrive - it's that relaxing.

Room Tip: Go with the lower level - so you can step out onto the beach!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Dear Guest;


Thank you so much for your wonderful review.

We are pleased that you have enjoyed your stay at our Hotel.

We will be waiting for your next visit, hopefully in a near future.


Kind regards;


Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

The good:
The JW Marriott is a great place to enjoy the Costa Rican sun and completely relax. The staff is amazingly attentive, the maze-like pool and grounds are unique and well-manicured and the rooms are top-notch. From the extremely comfortable beds to the lovely patio views to the peek-a-boo window from the oversized bathtubs, the JW Marriott is the ultimate place to feel like you are truly on vacation. If this is the only location in which you stay in Costa Rica, the Swiss travel staff on sight helps you plan some unforgettable excursions that are reasonably priced and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Also, the breakfast buffet in the morning had an assortment of fruits, omelet station, waffles, local foods and really held us for most of the day.

The bad:
The location is very isolated from most of the activities of Costa Rica. If your goal is to "see" Costa Rica, I would stay here a few days at the end of the trip for relaxation and sun, but stay somewhere else for sight-seeing/activities. It is a resort - not really a true glimpse of Costa Rica. The beach is rocky, so we would walk it for a bit (picking up shells in the tide pools), but spent most of the time swimming in the infinity pool (which was gorgeous).

The outdoor hot-tubs were very cold (which was a bit disappointing at night). Also, drinks and food are pricey (and since the Marriott is so isolated, you are stuck paying the price of them). I recommend purchasing drinks at the duty free shop at the airport or stopping at a convenience store on your way to the resort for snacks/mixers/the local Imperial beer, etc. to enjoy on your patio. There is a mini-fridge in the room that the staff is more than happy to clean out (a first - I've never heard a hotel offer to do this - nice!) so you can put your own items in it.

Summary:
If your goal is to relax, get some sun, experience luxury with a highly attentive and very kind/lovely staff -- this is the resort for you. If your goal is to truly see Costa Rica, you can do it here with the help of Swiss travel, but it will take quite a bit of travel time on bumpy roads (then you can always come back and relax/have a spa treatment). I think the best of both worlds would be to stay somewhere closer to the attractions for much of your trip and then spend the end of it relaxing here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Dear Guest;

Thank you for sharing your comments about your recent stay at our Hotel.

We are glad you like it and had a great time with us.

I would like to inform you that for the middle of November the Jacuzzis would be working perfectly.

We expect welcome you back in a near future.

Kind regards;

Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
parisf
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

We stayed here as part of a tour package for two days after visiting San Jose, Tortuguero, and the Arenal area. This is definitely a resort by itself. If you just want to get away from it all in Costa Rica, come here. You will not be disappointed as you are treated well from the moment you arrive at the entrance. We were guided in the Registration Room and promptly given instructions to which wing and floor of the resort we were assigned. The rooms were very well decorated and everything in the room was fancy. The shower and tub were separate. Our oceanfront rooms were great with views of the sunrise and sunset right at our face. Unbelievable swimming pool with 4 ft. water level. Hanging around in the pool and surrounding area just feels like the perfect thing to do to relax and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. This was a vacation day to remember- did not have to do much to appreciate it. How often does one get to enjoy such an opportunity. Busy days of work and non-stop routines are forgotten and one can really soak up some time to relax here. The food selection at the Mansita Restaurant was nice with plenty to choose from during the three meals of the day.

The walk along the beach was nice with lots of sandpipers wandering around the water's edge, hermit crabs peeking in/out their holes, land crabs wandering around, and shells all over the beach. The water temperature is just right and comfortable for walking along. Don't worry if there is a thunderstorm or two as the weather changes so quickly. The sun just pops right out within a 1/2 hour or so after a storm.
Would definitely recommend this place for anyone needing a quiet vacation. The only problem is that you will probably need to eat at this resort for all your meals as there are no other close by restaurants or hotels that are that accessible.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Dear Guest;

We appreciate such a wonderful comments about our Hotel.

Its gratifying to know that your experience here was memorable since that is the most important for us and is our goal too.

We will be waiting for your next visit.

Kind regards;


Grace Calvo
Executive Assistant to the General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

Address: Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo > Playa Avellanas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Playa Avellanas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica 4.5*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live an authentic Costa Rican experience in a luxury hacienda style resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This resort & spa sits oceanfront on a secluded stretch of coastline minutes from the Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course and Tamarindo village. The JW Marriott Guanacaste is surrounded by the splendors of Costa Rican rich biodiversity; with a choice of 5 beaches, adjacent to an equestrian center, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course with a coastal layout. Off-site activities like canopy tours, horseback riding, white water rafting, kayaking, and ATV tours can be arranged on site. You can also arrange tours to nearby locations such as Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and National Park or Guachipelin thermal hot springs. Enjoy surf beaches with excellent year-round waves and warm water, visit turtle nesting beaches or observe a great variety of wildlife. The property features the largest infinity pool in Central America, outdoor hot tubs, a fully equipped fitness center, biking and jogging trails and a Kids Club with professional care. You can also relax in our spa, ranked one of the top five Spas in Latin America by Spa Magazine. This resort offers 5 restaurants and two bars. Among these options enjoy a romantic dinner right on the beach at Azul Grill our beach front restaurant or visit Tamarine where you can enjoy Asian fusion cuisine. Indulge yourself with a genuine Guanacastecan style meal at Sabanero Steakhouse or relax and admire a spectacular sunset at Nau Lounge and Bar, while you enjoy hand crafted cocktails and a variety of Sushi. All rooms have balconies with garden, pool or ocean views. In-room amenities include LCD TVs, sound proof windows, iPod docks and streaming speed Wi-Fi Internet access, blackout curtains, plush pillow-top mattresses and fine linens, rich woods, and marble bathtubs. The village of Tamarindo is just 5 miles away, where you will find restaurants, bars, and souvenirs in a "Pura Vida" laid back atmosphere. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, BookIt.com, Expedia, Marriott, Hotels.com, Priceline and Jetsetter so you can book your JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica Hotel Santa Cruz
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort And Spa Costa Rica
Jw Marriott Santa Cruz
Marriott Santa Cruz
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica Playa Avellanas

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.