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“Beautiful” 4 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

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JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Hacienda Pinilla, Playa Avellanas, Tamarindo, Costa Rica   |  
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5th nt free in Costa Rica
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Playa Avellanas
East Hanover, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

Grounds are beautiful and staff is super nice. Only a 4 out of 5 because of the beach. I was hoping for much bigger and better. Lots of rocks and their needs to be chairs by the water :( also very far from the airport.About 1hr and 15 mins.$125 plus tip. A bit steep :(

Room Tip: Totally empty in June ask for an upgrade it cant hurt :)
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, June 27, 2014
Dear Denise H,

We appreciate your 4 stars.

The beach is rocky but Avellanas which is 5 minutes driving is more friendly and nice. Tamarindo beach is beautiful with no rocks and is 20 minutes away in a car. We also offer transportation shuttle to go to Tamarindo for $7 per person per way and to Avellanas is free.

Thank you for have visited us and we hope to welcome you back soon.

Regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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1,373 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (393)
Date | Rating
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English first
NYC
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

The first impression of this hotel was " this is so cool," it had the feel of a Mexican village. Low tiled roofs ,white washed walls, hammocks everything relaxed and small. Until you moved to the terrace and laid out before you was a panorama of guest rooms spread out around the largest swimming pool I ever seen. When we arrived the staff were helpful and informative . Our rooms faced the ocean which is a definite plus,I think if we had faced the swimming pool,which is open 24/7 it could have been a problem. We had arrived at the end of the season so the hotel was pretty empty, which I thank God for, if it had been full the experience may have been totally different. The breakfast buffet was copious and the selection varied, I loved the rice dish ,very satisfying, and there was a great selection of fruits. The steak restaurant and the other two eating places were fine,nothing special , a little expensive but ,as always, served by friendly waiters. A special mention has to go to David the concierge who was stella ,a star in a rather tired universe. We took the botanical tour offered by the hotel.Our guide told us she was substituting for the real guide.Yikes! "This a tree, these are flowers." I have to say she at least was there unlike the pool guys. I know it was the world cup in football and I know the hotel was pretty empty but I did pay full price so ..where were you????

Room Tip: Ocean view room .if you can.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, June 26, 2014
Dear Acalicocat,

First of all I apologize for the delay in my response. I want to thank you for take the time to share these comments with all of us.

We appreciate your feedback in regards to the service at the pool. I have addressed your comment to our Supervisor in this area to avoid this situation with our guests.

I am pleased you have liked our breakfast buffet as the experience with the rest of the staff. David is a great person and he is very professional and friendly.

You are a very valuable customer and it would be an honor to welcome you back.

Sincerely,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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Wisconsin
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

I stayed at JW Marriott in fall 2013. I rarely stay at large resorts and usually prefer smaller, B&B or vacation rental homes, so I wasn't overly excited to stay here as the work portion of a combination work/play vacation. I have to admit that this facility is top-notch. The grounds are stunning, the pool is out-of-this-world, the beds uber-comfortable, and the service was superb. We had a decent room with some ocean view, so we were extremely pleased. The restaurant was also fantastic, with a fairly reasonable buffet served that allowed a nice sampling of local (and American) cuisine. The only drawback is that I felt slightly disconnected from the local Costa Rican scene, as the JW is located in its own secluded world (the seclusion is also a positive...very quiet, and you have a large section of prime beach surrounding the resort to your own). But you know that going into your stay if you've read previous TripAdvisor reviews. It's a fairly easy 40-50 minute drive from the Liberia Airport. We rented a car and felt comfortable driving on the local roads. There are plenty of shuttle options available, too. My only warning: if you are carrying photocopies of your passport while you're out and about, make sure to also photocopy the entry stamp page of your passport booklet. There was a police checkpoint set up a few kilometers from the hotel on the main road to town when we were driving to pick up some supplies. I handed over my passport photocopy confidently and with a smile to the police officer at the checkpoint, but it quickly became apparent that he desired more information. After a very nervous 20 minutes of apologies, broken Spanish, and many things lost in translation, we discovered that he wanted to see when we arrived in country, how long we were going to stay, etc. He let us off with a stern warning. Lesson learned.

Bottom line: stay at the JW Marriott if you want a classy, pampered beachside resort experience. Don't stay there if you desire to be fully immersed in Costa Rican culture 24/7.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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 5
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, June 26, 2014
Dear Drakken,

WOW your comments are fantastic!

Thank you so much for such a great review.

We are glad you have enjoyed everything at the resort. Although I regret what happened with the police officer.

The resort was design as a typical old Guanacaste Hacienda to transmit this to our guest. It would be very helpful if you can let us know what kind of things you would expect to find at the resort to feel more about the culture of this country.

Please feel free to contact us at grace.calvo@r-hr.com. Your comments are very important.

Kindest regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

This is the first resort I've ever been to, so I'm very impressed. The staff is super friendly and the view is spectacular - it's right next to a beach and their outdoor pool is simply amazing. My boyfriend and I went to Guanacaste on our own and the concierge there were more than happy to help us with directions and booking activities. Rooms are clean, beach and pool is NOT CROWDED, and it's just a great place to relax. The location of the hotel is not great simply because it is so far away from other restaurants (I'm a city slicker); food at the resort can be pretty expensive! Otherwise, it's a great resort.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
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, June 16, 2014
Dear Porkbelly831,

I am pleased to know that you and your boyfriend had a relax time at our resort and have enjoyed your room and pool.

We are 20 minutes away but we offer transportation $7 per person per way to our guests if they want to try a different restaurant or if they want to go shopping.

We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future. And remember: for us is always a pleasure to help and assist with anything our guest needs.

Sincerely,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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Coto de Caza, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

Probably the nicest Marriott we've stayed in. Sprawling oceanfront property, with a very private feel. Impeccable grounds, great personalized service. Amazing family vacation with lots of activities to please all ages. Pablo at the reception desk has been so helpful and gone out of his way to help us, as has David the concierge (who was very responsive via email prior to arrival, too). We booked the Borinquen adventure day (a must) and ATV tours through Miguel at Wahoos water sports/ MOPS adventures and he was very knowledgable and helpful! Jonathan at Azul (pool area) restaurant is great! We can't wait to come back to this resort!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, June 16, 2014
And we cannot wait either to welcome you back.

Thank you so much for such a wonderful review Charlene P.

We are glad that you and your family have had a great vacation with us. I let know Pablo, David, Miguel and Jonathan about your fantastic comments about them and they were very happy and thankful.

Kindest regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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Martinsburg, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Beautiful resort I traveled with Caravan tours after a long ride was very surprised to see such a fabulous resort tucked away in a private location. Pools are the largest I have ever seen,infinity pool was spectacular. Beach was just easily accessed, Cabanas located on beach for sun protection. Very hot and warm in this area of Costa Rica. Service and staff was excellent, everyone was so friendly and eager to please. The Marriott beds are some of the most comfortable beds. Our room had a patio to sit on which was nice. I def recommend this resort.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 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 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, June 11, 2014
Dear Vitagrl,

Thank you for taking your valuable time to share your experience at our resort. All our guest are very special and we always try to give the best of us to make you feel like at home.

I am pleased to know that you really spend a great time at the pool and room.

The Cabanas at the beach are also used for private romantic dinners and they look very nice at night. Next time you should try it.

Warmest regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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Lakewood, Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

My husband and I travel as much as possible, and have been to several very high-end resorts. This one is impeccable. The rooms are lovely, the grounds gorgeous and the beach is spectacular! No crowds! Nicer that a Ritz Carleton which is higher up the Marriott chain. One note about some of the negative reviews: there are always complainers and haters. We were part of a group, and there were a couple of people in it that could not be made happy. Ironically, these were the less experienced travelers who complained if things were not exactly as they imagined them to be at home. We have every intention of returning to this lovely resort. P.S. -- the spa is wonderful!

  • Stayed March 2014, 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 2
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, June 11, 2014
Dear Chris12700,

I am glad to read that you are thinking in coming back. This means a lot for us since demonstrate that your experience was satisfactory.

We really appreciate your wonderful comments about the Spa and the resort in general. We are pleased you have enjoyed your stay with us and we will be waiting for your return.

Kindest regards,

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

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