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.

“Food needs serious improvement” 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 9 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 3 Hotels in Playa Avellanas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Food needs serious improvement”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful resort where everyone tries hard. this is easy to correct-fix the food! The talk at pool Dec 24-27 has been how awful the Christmas buffet, the steakhouse and fusion restaurants were and how we'd gladly pay their top prices if food worth it. Love the resort but eat only in Tamarindo which means u must have car. Coconuts is terrific as is Lola's on beach (lunch only). Marriott management:please fix this - it's not hard and you"ll have a winner!!!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy our food. I will pass your comments to our F&B Director and our Executive Chef to review our menus , also we are in a process to refresh our menus. On the other hand I am glad to know that you liked the Hotel.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,427 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    760
    369
    165
    88
    45
See reviews for
459
596
28
84
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 (410)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbus
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I was lucky enough to accompany my brother on an incentive trip through his place of employment, and I was part of a group of around 30 people. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. The room was very nice, and the beds extremely comfortable. The bathroom was large and had a soaking tub that looked nice, but I never tried it out.

The property is huge and sprawling, and the pool is probably the largest I've ever seen - it just keeps going and going! There were plenty of comfortable lounge chairs, and it was never a problem finding an open chair. The service at the pool was fantastic; the servers were very attentive and friendly (especially Roberto!).

While the resort was enormous and clearly not empty, it was very quiet and tranquil. There were lots of hammocks, which I loved! Not that I set foot into it, but I hear the gym was nice. I did get a massage at the spa and it was good (though I wouldn't call it great).

All of the food we had was great, though we didn't sample all of the restaurants. The breakfast buffet at Mansita was outstanding - omelette station, crepe station, all kinds of pastries and hot dishes, extensive cheese and fruit displays. Most lunches, we ended up eating at the pool, and the food and drinks from the Azul pool bar was great. I loved the house salad (I forget its full name), and I heard rave reviews of the ceviche. I am not a rum drinker in general, but the raspberry mojitos were very tasty. Our group had buffet dinners on the beach and on one of the verandas, and the food at both was varied and excellent. Most evenings we ended up in the lobby bar, where the drinks were delicious and the service was good - they even set up karaoke for our group one of the nights. Try the drink called the "cai-pinilla" - it's vodka with muddled strawberries, and it is delicious!

A couple of tips: Bring bug spray! And yes, the road leading to the hotel is bumpy but it's not nearly as bad as a lot of these reviews make it sound. Just know that going into it, and sit back and enjoy the "car massage," as our tour guides called it. And finally, just know that the location is a bit remote - there isn't anywhere in walking distance, so just plan accordingly. The town of Tamarindo is about 25 minutes away and there are lots of fun shopping and eating options, and even a (tiny) casino, so that's definitely worth a trip. All in all, I had a fantastic stay at this beautiful property and would not hesitate to return if I should find myself in Costa Rica again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Guest;

We appreciate your valuable time sharing with all of us this fantastic review about your stay at our hotel.

I am glad that you had enjoyed our delicious drinks at the pool bar (raspberry mojitos and caipiriñas) and our Breakfast Buffet at Mansita Restaurant.

The only walking distance beach is Abellanas which is 30 minutes approximately from the Hotel but you can also take the complementary shuttle if you don’t want to walk.

I hope that you can come to visit us again and keep enjoying our pool and drinks while you are watching the sunsets.

Happy New Year!


Kind regards;


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

This hotel is spectacular! spotless, friendly, great gym, amazing pool and gorgeous private beach....and the restaurants are fabulous too! If you are honeymooning or looking for a relaxing vacation this is the place. We layed at the pool and on the beach and ordered fresh mojitos all day and it was fabulous. This hotel is also wonderful if you have a children..there is an activity center and daily activities for children!
A few things that I would change is how expensive the gift shop is...a small tube of sunblock is $25 and a bag of chips is $8......a bit over priced ...even for a resort gift shop! Also, the manicures are too expensive ($45). Manicures should be $30 or less....

all in all this resort was fantastic..the rooms are wonderful and the staff was super friendly!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

We really appreciate your time to write this magnificent review.

I am pleased to know that you really enjoyed your stay and what we offer to our guests.

Regarding manicure prices we can check them with our SPA manager but the gift shop prices since they just rent the place to us we can not do anything about it; except addressing your comments to their manager.

We truly hope that you can come to visit us again in a near future.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

My husband and I stayed at this amazing resort for 2 nights as part of our Costa Rica Caravan tour. This resort on the Pacific side of Costa Rica is quite remote and about a one hour drive from Liberia airport. After spending a few nights in the rainforest (with lots of rain!), it was amazing to stay in a warm, dry area for a couple of nights. Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset the first night.

Our room was on the 3rd level and had a private patio to sit on. Although we faced out to the ocean side, we did not have an ocean view. Large beautiful bathroom with both a large tub and a separate shower. We walked on the beach and also spent time poolside. Very large beautiful pool. Although sunscreen was applied, we got sunburned - so remember you are close to the equator and can burn easily...

Meals in the restaurant were incredible. Although there was an extra charge, I recommend the smoothies at breakfast.

We really enjoyed this amazing resort and would go back in a minute.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so glad to hear that your husband and you enjoyed your stay with us.

Is good that part of your trip to Costa Rica you are able to see both sides of our country.

I am sorry to hear that you got sunburned. At this time of the year the sun is very strong. You have to take care.

Happy New Year!


Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastpointe, Michigan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

I have to say that the grounds of the resort are immaculate but 2 things were quite disappointing. First the 2 outdoor jaccuzis were not working and I heard from the staff that it's been couple of weeks like that! One of the highly yearned activity for me is to use the jaccuuzi a LOT and of course this was a bad news for me to hear I will not!
The other more serious event was that the second day of my stay comes nap time when I have my 2 little kids take their siesta and we started hearing a terrible drill sound on the roof above our heard (5th floor which was the highest in that wing) so I called the reception staff (I spoke with a Jose on 3 or 4 occasions) and sadly, nothing was done xdespite the promises so I went down with my pygama shirt to the main building and into the reception and ballistically exploded in the face of one of the staff, even though he is not really responsible for this inconvenience- but it is rather management which took the inconsiderate decision to have workers blast drills over our heads at a time when many people are trying to have a siesta! The fact that the hotel is in need of roof repairs is totally understandable and legitimate but my sole complaint is that when they have families with small kids in house, many of them need to nap in the afternoon to be able to survive the activities of the day and that SHOULD have been taken into consideration. Then comes the issue that the receptionist offered to move us to another room but I also understandibly see that after being on the move with 2 kids for 4 days travelling around C Rica, we finally settled for an anticipated 3 nights of REST and calm. Hence, being there already 1 night and having unpacked 4 suitcases all over the room, it was impossible to imagine moving again to another room as 2 days later we were headed to San Jose for anotther 1 night stand at Hilton!. This may have sounded and felt like a reasonable way to make up for the aggravation caused to us BUT, it was frankly another inconvenience, despite the allure of giving us an ocean front suite! In all honesty I would have rather appreciated an immediate handling by the senior management! However, as my day was so ruined and I was so charged, I sat that nighht and wrote a long letter to the GM explaining what has taken place.
Frankly I was waiting to see what sort of feedback I get to show genuine care by removing such bad taste from our mounths.. but surprisingly all that was done was when we came back form a zip lining tour was finding a small plate with 4 or 5 tiny chocolates as a "sorry" gesture!! In all honesty this was so trifle and meaningless that I was taken aback and I did not even open the subject with the hotel again! I work in the Travel industry and I own a travel agency that handles luxury small group customized tours in the USA that sends travelers to exotic parts of the world and I sometimes face grumpy clients, but I have a much more personable way of erasing any bad feelings that they may have, very dipolomatically and rather swiftly! I would have expected a more lavish reaction such as a bottle of wine, a special treatment at dinner time, or a spa treatment to destress or any action that shows true care and elegance responding!
BUT... I was of course over-estimating the client-relation management that this hotel has! The 3 nights in this GORGEOUS resort were the highlight of our family vacation in Costa Rica and I particularly saved all my Marriott points to offer my family a luxury ending and this aggravation has just ruined one of my very valuable days of rest.

Room Tip: ASK before you check in for a QUIET side/corner/floor so you don't ruin your vacation like we di...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Guest,


I want to thank you again for your feedback on this review, as you did last time we spoke.

I’m really sorry to hear that even our last conversation, you still having this feeling, The small plate wasn’t our way to solve the issue, it was just a way to say sorry to your kids, and we were focused to change all our working hours to don’t disturb any other family at the resort, for a nap time.

Please accept again our apologies and we will be sending you a directly response on your e-mail, thanks again for your comments

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kind regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

This hotel is a bit of a drive from Tamarindo but its worth it. Drive into town for the shops and restaurants then go back and relax. As others have said the sunsets were fantastic. There is a stable close by for horseback riding and you can walk down the beach to a small restaurant and learn to surf. Or at least try...

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Guest;

Thank you very much for your wonderful comments.

I am glad to know that your stay with us was relaxing and fun at the same time.

I hope you had learned to surf since it is a nice sport.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Kind regards;


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cream Ridge, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

First comment would be to thank Isabel the Fron Office Manager for her gracious hospitality and doing the best to accomodate us. We had reserved a ocean view room. Needless to say they gave us a partial ocean view room #529 which was located a very far walk to the beach. This room should never advertise this room as ocean view. We were not offered another room since there were no other rooms. They were booked at the time with a large conference. We moverd the following day to an ocean view room. It should be mentioned that we are Gold Members and should automatically be upgraded which never happened. She did the best she could do at the time but I do think they could of made better accomodations initially for us. The property is beautiful from the pool to all of the grounds. The staff is very friendly. We ate breakfast daily at the Azul which was a buffet and was very good. The first night we ate at Azul - dinner buffet which was very good. We were tired the first day from travelling and did not want to drive into town. We drove into Tamarindo for dinner. The El Coconut Restaruant in Tamarinfo was excellent. This was our second trip there. We ate at Sabernero Steakhouse which was really nice. My husband had gone out fishing that day and they were kind enough to prepare our Mahi Mahi and Wahoo he caught. If you visit you really need a car since they are isolated from everything. The sunsets were amazing everynight so take lots of pics. I would highly recommend this propert for anyone who wants to kick back and chill:)

Room Tip: Ocean view is key. The sunsets are beautiful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Guest;

Thank you for your great review about your recent stay at our Hotel.

I am glad to know that you got a good assistance by Isabel our Front Desk Manager. Also any time we had a Marriott Rewards members we do our best to give them an up grade if we have the abailability, fortunatelly we have many marriott guest visiting us, more than the rooms we had available some times

Azul Grill Restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants. I am glad you like it.

We appreciate your tips about the restaurants for visit in Tamarindo for our guests, its a good way to visit Tamarindo town, and discver more from Costa Rica.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Kind regards;

Jesus Gonzalez
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 3 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 Expedia, Booking.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Marriott, BookIt.com, Orbitz, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Odigeo and Tingo 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.