I find it tricky business to give rankings as I am forced to compare to other experiences elsewhere. As this was our first trip to Costa Rica, I have nothing to compare it to locally, only to other places we've been.
Room - we had a ocean view, literally (room 232). There are plenty of rooms at this resort which are exposed to this amazing view, but plenty more which are not. So if it's important to you, you'll need to pay up for it. We shared our room with our two grown children and is decent sized with a large bathroom (tub, shower, separate toilet, etc.) and a balcony. Nightly tun down service was spotty, free bottles of water (never enough), mini-bar. Overall, very nice.
Food - we don't favor spending our dining time on campus so only had a few experiences. Pool food was mediocre for what we like to nibble on. We had breakfast buffet included with our room and it was quite good, very large selection but even this get's old after a few days. Had one dinner (Asian) and was quite good. The waitstaff are very sweet and proper. Overall - average.
Pool - HUGE pool, not sure if that's good or bad. We never had a problem finding a spot although did have a problem finding shade as it was VERY windy while we were there thus no umbrellas up. Other posts refer to the "bus tour people" which there where but we didn't find it a problem at all. The pool staff aren't as good as you'd expect (pointing "that way" for towels rather than helping you...) As a result, we chose to spend our pool time at the beach club down the way - much smaller, more to our liking.
Beach - the beach proper isn't much of a beach as you can't swim due to the surf and rocks. However - head to the beach club (a 10 minute walk or 5 minute care ride) and one of the best beaches I've been to (a couple of mile long and very wide with great body surfing, boogie board waves). From there, it is a 15 minute walk to Lola's - a FANTASTIC lunch place a million miles form nowhere. A highlight for us.
Location - 25 minutes from Tamarindo, hour and half from the airport. Remote by some standards. We drove into Tamarindo for dinner most nights - fun to do. Other posters have complained about "the roads". Get over it. There is about 3km's of bumpy dirt roads. The resort itself is deep into a development that obviously got stuck in the 2008 financial crisis but what didn't! Overall - a great experience traveling here and there.
- 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
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- 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