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“Friendly hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Esperanza

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Hotel Esperanza
APDO 65-5235, Playa Carrillo 5235, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Friendly hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here. It is a small informal hotel, and Dennis, the owner, is very friendly and helpful, without being intrusive. Together with his fiancé they provided great customer care, the breakfast was cooked to order, and Dennis booked us a horse riding trip, and made a telephone call on our behalf to rearrange one of our transfers. He was very easy going and full of advice regarding where to eat etc. Sure, Carillo is in a quiet setting, and there isn't much going on out of season, but isn't that what a relaxing holiday needs? Our room was fairly basic, but clean, and we felt very relaxed setting up a small camp outside our room, to drink wine, watch a lonesome howler monkey, and chat with the friendly people next door. The pool was small, but relaxing and for the price we paid, with the breakfast included, our stay was good value. Thanks for making our stay enjoyable. By the way. La Tucan, opposite provided great food.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
long island
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

i'm here right now in room 5 at hotel esperanza. it's clean, comfortable, has a spectacular air conditioner, lots of pillows, a dvd player (to watch one of 800 videos!!), a lovely ceiling fan, a safe and a really good mattress. breakfast is included in the room rate and you can choose from eggs, panckes or french toast....you might even get your pancakes in the shape of mickey mouse or a turtle:). i'm not reporting anything that other reviewers have already written....so here's the important piece. if you read all the comments praising the owner....dennis alvin clifton and then multiply by ten, you might get close to what this man and his hotel have to offer. it's not fancy or pretentious....not big and shiny....but it's a reflection of how gifted he his and how much he loves his work and his life. his beautiful fiance, katia, works beside him and she is delightful.
you could spend alot more money in playa carrillo, but it won't buy what is freely given away at hotel esperanza. care, concern, love and pride....hard to find, but in abundance here. don't hesitate...just come.

Room Tip: there are seven....all along the same corridor facing the pool.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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.
Overland Park, KS
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Dennis was a very good host. He extended himself in many ways to make us comfortable - the hanging rack for our clothes, a cooler to bring to the beach, the use of the fridge for our leftovers. He also makes excellent french toast! We truly appreciate his hospitality. My kids loved the small but fun pool.

I can't give it a higher rating, however, because we found the cost was way too high for the quality of the amenities. We paid around $145 per night. Other hotels we stayed at throughout CR were more spacious and more comfortable for 30-40% less cost. Our room was very tight (one had to walk sideways between the bed and the closet/ very little room between foot of the beds and the wall), the stuffing was coming out of a torn pillow, there were several oil stains on the bedding, the sheets were scratchy, the room was very stuffy (and the fan wobbly and noisy, so it kept us up at night), brochures and menus in the lobby were mildewy, and there were unfilled cracks in the bathroom wall. We're really not that picky - we stayed at many simple but wonderful places in CR with fewer amenities but that were a better value. This hotel has great potential, but needs upgrades in bedding quality, room layout, and ventilation for the price point.

Other tips: Playa Carrillo is a gorgeous beach worth visiting. We had to drive to Samara (10-15 minute drive) for meals because Carrillo had very few restaurants open while we were there.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dennis C, Owner at Hotel Esperanza, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
In the hospitality business from time to time you will have clients that totally surprise you with undeserved comments such as in this review. As the owner and manager of Hotel Esperanza I find this review to be offensive and lacking in all the true facts. I take great pride in our product; attention to service we provide for every guest of Hotel Esperanza. We provide a thoroughly clean and sanitary room and hotel in all areas. I personally inspect every room before a guest’s arrival to insure it is ready for the client by testing all remotes and room amenities such as fans, lights, etc. It is our standard routine to change and launder the bed comforters every time a client leaves. If a bed comforter has stains it is usually caused by the clients eating in the room or more often by children of the clients. If the comforter cannot be cleaned of stains it is discarded. I can assure you that the bed comforters do not have oil or food stains before a client arrives. Bed linen is changed every 3 days or more often if the client desires. It is my personal guarantee that you will not find a cleaner hotel room in all of Costa Rica.
In my response to this review it is not my objective to belittle or bash this client, only to tell all the true facts in defense of my hotel and staff, concerning our standard practices and policies. I do greatly appreciate valid and true comments that will assist us in doing a better job for future clients, but I do not appreciate or accept exaggerated untruths. I stand very proudly on the vast majority of our previous reviews posted that dispute these comments with the praise of how clean our hotel is, the comfort of our beds, and the attention we give to all our clients requests.
In addressing the issues of this review concerning the cost per night: Our rates are clearly posted on our (Rooms & Rates) page of our website and photos of our rooms and sizes are also posted. All photos and information posted on our website is current. As in this booking, every client that books with Hotel Esperanza receives a confirmation email of arrival and departure dates, total room costs including taxes and complimentary American breakfast, and any discounted or special rate offers. There are no surprises or changes when you arrive at Hotel Esperanza. As posted on our website and in this case, the rate for a family of 4 with children over the ages of 5 years is $141.25 not $145.00. As In all our bookings and in this booking, the client was offered a discounted price of $125.00 upon arrival if paid in Cash of which they accepted. This family also booked 3 nights, but after a very hearty breakfast on the third day informed me that they were leaving and stated that there was nothing wrong with their room, the hotel, with me or my staff, only that they just wanted to explore other parts of Costa Rica. There was no charge applied for the third day that was booked. In the majority of times in Costa Rica the client will be required to pay for every day they have booked. This client was charged the normal rate of $141.25 because they did not have the cash to pay the $125.00 room charges in cash that they had previously accepted upon arrival. As with this client, it is my and my staffs’ policy to ask the client at various times during their stay if there is anything they need or if we can do anything to make their stay more pleasant or comfortable. Absolutely none of these issues were ever brought to our attention when asked. Here at Esperanza, we have an unconditional guarantee that if you arrive here and find our hotel different from our website or different from your confirmed reservation, we will release you of any financial obligation and assist you in finding another location that will suit your needs.
If our bed linen is worn or torn it is discarded and replaced with new. Our mattresses are double pillow top Posturepedic mattresses that offer a good night’s sleep. As for the room being stuffy, all our rooms are equipped with air conditioning for the clients comfort. At the end of July and the first part of August we are in Green Season and this is Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a very humid country and the humidity is at its highest level in Green season which starts the first of August. As for the menus in the lobby, when you have the high humidity as we do in Costa Rica, plastic covered pages will absorb water from the air. I find this true in all countries when it comes to high humidity, open air areas and paper. All menus are provided to us from the restaurants around us. Upon receipt of this review, I immediately previewed the room and found truth in that the pillow did have a very small tear. I totally find this review untruthful and absolutely unjustified and encourage all who are inclined to have a swift pen to give your host a fair chance in resolving your issues. How can you expect a host to correct a problem if you do not give them the opportunity or at the least the notice of a problem? I also encourage all who write reviews to include all the true facts not just the ones you want to tell. In most cases readers can usually determine where the true problem lies by the majority of the reviews posted and your comments. It is and will always be our goal to provide our clients with a premium product and the best of services that can possibly be given. Unfortunately I cannot justify remodeling my hotel to satisfy a certain type of client when our reviews state otherwise.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Carlos, Costa Rica
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

The hotel is clean, affordable and the owner, Dennis, is vey helpful. My wife and I had a great time and if we come back to Carrillo, we will stay here. Dennis arranged our horeback riding adventure.Reasonably priced! The views were amazing. Playa Carrillo was incredibly hot and we were glad the AC was working at the hotel. The pool was small but that was perfect for us. Thanks for the warm hospitality!

Room Tip: Ask about the unadvertised specials!
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We loved staying at this hotel! Dennis (the owner and ex-pat) is so friendly and helpful. The hotel itself has 7 rooms, all along one corridor. The rooms are small, but very functional and have air conditioning, electricity, and hot water. The pool is small, but perfect to cool off in the mid afternoon heat. The televisions are not hooked up to any satellite or cable, but Dennis has hundreds of movies, if you can find the time to watch one. You are about a 2 minute drive, or 8 minute walk to playa carrillo. Playa Carrillo is one of our favorite beaches in the world. It is clean, lots of natural shade from palm trees, and there's no one there! One of the neat things about this hotel was the clientele. Each day we would go to the beach, hang out at the pool, go to dinner, then sit outside at night with other guests and chat. This truly made the hotel unique and fun. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Dennis, the owner of Hotel Esperanza, was the single friendliest host of a hotel on our entire trip (we stayed in 12 different places – all of them good!) in Costa Rica. He really made his home our home –we were able to use his refrigerator to store a few items, he engaged our 5-year-old son playing in his multiple pools, let our son “help” him sweeping and cleaning around the property, he served us wonderful breakfasts, made sure our room was comfortable, dug up a soft-sided cooler that we used when we went to the beach (Playa Carrillo); he even gave us a ride back to Samara – to a hotel there – since he needed to run errands. It should be said that the hotel wasn’t busy when we were there and he would potentially have had lots of time to devote to us, but we think that Dennis would be just as personable and helpful with a full house (about 8 rooms) as with 2 rooms full. Dennis recommended two great places to eat – a super close pizza & pasta place called El Tucan (really good, run by an Italian-born owner) and a small resort – the Hotel Leyenda, about 2 km down the road. We expected that we might be “gouged” a bit at Leyenda– just the opposite. The prices were very reasonable, the food was delicious and there was a trampoline and a swing set/slide that our son greatly enjoyed. Thank you so much, Dennis, for a wonderful 3 days at the Hotel Esperanza! (J.B. and his proud new owner send you a big “hello!”)

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

My Husband and I had a wonderful stay at Hotel Esperanza. Our room was very clean with a rich, Bombay type decor. The showers were hot and had plenty of pressure. A delicious complimentary breakfast consisting of fresh fruit, eggs, French toast, and the best gallo pinto around was also offered with our stay. The pool at the hotel was great for cooling off and relaxing. A short 5 minute walk from the hotel is Playa Carrillo - a pristine, beautiful beach perfect for swimming. Above all, the hospitality is what will keep us returning to this little hotel. Dennis (Owner) and Annie (Hotel Keeper) were beyond warm and welcoming and were always willing to do whatever they could to make our trip as special as possible. I would highly recommend staying here.
Wendy & Kevin Jones

  • Stayed January 2013, 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Esperanza

Address: APDO 65-5235, Playa Carrillo 5235, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Carrillo
Bar / Lounge Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family oriented hotel, welcoming singles, couples, wedding parties, families, children, and handicap guests. Being a small hotel of 7 rooms we offer a warm family atmosphere with the added bonus of having the amenities of the larger hotels. In 2007 we accomplished a total remodel including all guestrooms with European tiles and exotic Mahogany and Cedar woods throughout. The hotel also features the addition of a new custom pool and spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esperanza Hotel Playa Samara
Hotel Esperanza Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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