OK, but disappointing for the price... We have 'gold status' in the frequent stay plan and have been very successful in all our global stays with Marriott, but this one missed the mark. Even more disappointing because it's a JW, which is their high-end brand.
On the plus side; The grounds and pool area are undeniably gorgeous and well maintained. We were 'upgraded' to a room with a pool view. Room was somewhat larger than a typical studio with a very large bathroom & dressing area, very nice. The hotel's private beach area was spectacular. Bed was very comfortable (would have made for a great night sleep, if not for the noise...)
On the negative side; Many minor complaints, that taken individually would hardly be worth mentioning, but together distracted from the overall stay. These include;
1) No complimentary bottled water. This is after the hotel made a point of telling us not to drink the tap water. The problem I have with this is that as a 'gold member' we are accustomed to having access to the Executive Lounge at almost all the Marriotts we stay at. This being a JW and a resort, they do not have an Ex Lounge, which is fine, BUT then I would expect to at least get complimentary water in the room, without push-back from the front desk, instead of attempting to charge $3 a bottle for 12 ounces of water. It was just a naked cash grab, and not indicative of our usual Marriott experiences.
2) My wife finding a hair in her dinner (OK, it ain't the end of the world, and the restaurant waived the charge for that meal, but it is one of those life experiences you'd rather not have...)
3) A $7 charge, one way, on their hourly timetable, to take their shuttle into the local town of Tamarindo. Didn't impact us because we had a rental car, but I sympathize for those relying on Marriott for transport, as this was another naked cash-grab. Really? Over $400 a night for a room and a $7 eye-gouge...
4) The noise level was completely over the top. Architecturally, the building design has long enclosed hallways and tile floors that contribute to it being one massive echo chamber. There is a small entryway with doors, acting as a foray to block off 2 rooms (you & your neighbor), but the pins at the top and bottom of the doors would not fully retract, meaning the doors could not be closed. Without being able to close the doors, it was like trying to sleep in a bowling alley until things settled down, usually by 1am.
5) At checkout, I verified all charges on the statement, everything was fully accounted for and correct. Then, two days after checkout a mystery charge of $5 hits my credit card, with no explanation. Sure, I rejected it, but I expect them to do better.
Add in some mismatched furniture in the room (one with broken knobs) and it kind of looked like it had been decorated via flea market.
Overall, a somewhat disappointing stay, particularly for the money. I expect more from JWM.
- 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