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“Don't be fooled- this resort is not on the beach!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort

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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Promotora La Costa, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 13 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
Lake Mary, Florida
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Don't be fooled- this resort is not on the beach!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We were called from a company offering 4 nights at the Villa Sol, including all food and beverages and transfers to and from the airport at an unbelievable price and so we jumped at the opportunity. We were greeted promptly at the airport by a man carrying a sign with our name. Our luggage was loaded onto the van and we were at the hotel in 25 minutes. As our room wasn't ready, we went to eat lunch in the main dining room, after which our luggage was transported with us up the mountainside to our room. There are two options at this hotel, a condo type accommodation or a hotel room- we were staying in the hotel room. Our room was small, but adequate. It was very clean, had two beds, a closet with shelves and a safe, a small cooler chest, desk and chair, a tv set ( which had some English speaking channels) and a bathroom with a shower. Internet is available for a fee. The room also had a postage stamp size balcony that could only fit two very small chairs and had to be one of the few balconies with a very limited view. The beds were not really queen size and seemed small for two people; they were hard, but eventually we were able to get comfortable. The bathroom shower had adequate hot water, but no water pressure. The towels looked like towels I would have given away-they were a good size but very rough and frayed. While most days the towels were replaced, on one day the maids took all of the towels and wash cloths and it took 4 phone calls the last close to 9 pm to get towels brought up to us. The first two times we were told that the housekeeping staff went home. It is very hot in this part of Costa Rica and having to stand in the hot sun for up to 30 minutes waiting for a shuttle down the mountain is ridiculous. The claim is that the shuttles run every 15 minutes, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that it is impossible to get anyplace without the shuttle makes you feel like a prisoner- the slopes are way too steep for walking up or down and every place is down. My husband and I are in good health but 64 and 75 and found this extremely difficult and frustrating, The food is served buffet style for every meal and is woefully average. There are plenty of choices for salads and vegetables, two choices of meat, poultry or fish, in the morning there are eggs, pancakes and waffles, and desert is somewhat tasteless but for the fabulous pineapple. The hotel runs a shuttle to the beach which not in walking distance of the hotel. A trip to the beach was a bit disappointing- nice black volcanic sand, but no comfortable places to sit but for the bit of shade under some trees on plastic chairs with no cushions on the chairs. There is a main pool where there is a wet bar and a lot of activities, to which we did not go and there is also a small pool outside the dining room. There are a few chairs and shade under a pergola. The nice thing about this pool is the lack of crowds and there is a bar right next to the pool. One thing I found odd is that we were told it was not necessary to change our US dollars, but no one in the hotel was able to give change in US dollars or break a bill so that we had tip money, so be sure to carry small bills with you for tipping as necessary. We were told that the water was safe to drink, but it evidently was not and I became quite ill. After spending 12 hours with constant vomiting and diarrhea, I called the front desk and after explaining the situation asked if someone could bring a few cokes and some toast up to the room as my husband was afraid to leave me alone. I was told they would call back, which they didn't, and an hour later when I called to inquire I was told it was impossible and they then hung up. You can get to Playa Coco and the small beach town with a 15 minute shuttle for $5. We had an interesting time there as there are a lot of very good restaurants, bars and shops. The beach area is really quite nice and there is a nice boardwalk to stroll on. We also took a nice trip to the Palo Verde National Park where we took a boat ride to look at the local wildlife. Additionally we took a full day tour to Nicaragua- pick up at 5:30 am and return at 10 pm. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip as well. There are several tour operators in the hotel-we booked using the tour desks opposite registration and would recommend using these folks. The prices were fair, the meals provided were excellent on both tours and the guides were perfect. While we enjoyed our Costa Rica experience and definitely will return, there is no way we would return to Villa Sol. The hotel staff is unaccommodating and unconcerned with the comfort and the needs of the guests and it is a generally inconvenient place to stay. There are other hotels that are right on the beach and a lot nicer-- You get what you pay for!!

Room Tip: If you are going to stay in a hotel room, ask to be assigned to the main building so you don't h...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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773 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (182)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Villas Sol was a delightful experience for our first visit to Costa Rica. We were there in mid March to celebrate my sons wedding with 30 family and friends and found the hotel met or exceeded everyones expectations. The buffet was average and I heard a few different people had problems with their AC units. Good thing I didn't fly 10 hours from Vancouver just for an unforgettable buffet. For me it was hard to complain about the lack of variety in the food when it was being served in such an incredible restaurant. The view of the bay all day long was so nice from this beautiful open air dining room which usually had a gentle breeze blowing through at meal time.


We stayed in a private Villa (26) which was so nice and such good value with a private pool and 3 generous bedrooms including a master ensuite and well supplied full kitchen. The staff in the resort are very helpful and will try to accommodate any request you make. Most of our guests stayed in the hotel. The rooms I saw were all recently renovated and beautifully done. The hotel is built on the side of a hill. Good thing is the views are spectacular from just about anywhere in the resort. The bad part is there are a lot of hills. But...my 83 year old mother-in-law had no problems during the week as the shuttles are frequent enough and would always let her ride in the front seat with them and drop her right at her door. All of the staff we met went out of their way to be helpful particularly if there were seniors or little ones involved.

We spent a lot of time at the beach enjoying the surf, the sunsets, the bonfires and a different beach bar/restaurant every day we were free for lunch. For dinner we tried a few different restaurants we found along the beach and had lovely moonlit walks in the sand back to the resort. There were a couple of busy beach bars with live entertainment at night for the younger crowd.

We took 2 day excursions plus rented a 10 seat van for one day to go to a neighbouring surfers beach. All 3 experiences were great fun. Sunny and 34 degrees every day. What is not to like?? If you are looking for a great value resort in an incredible country, Villa Sol is a safe bet.

Room Tip: The private villas rented from the individual owner are a great value!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Asistente D, Gerente Residente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear Peter R,

Was a pleasure for us be part of this special moment for you, your family and your guest. I sent this message to all managers and they have been read it to their staff. Thank you for your comment! We will continue working in give our best service.

Best regards,
Bryan Hurtado
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We were called from a company offering low rates at numerous resorts throughout the Caribbean,Mexico and a few other places including Costa Rica but we had to listen to a time share presentation. We chose Costa Rica and stayed at Villas Sol. The facility is 3 stories and sits on a hill like most all of the resorts in CR, so all the rooms have a beautiful view of water and sunsets. The room was very basic 2 double beds and a bathroom. It was very clean but the beds were very firm and the bathroom had no tub just a shower which was fine. Flat screen TV which offered several English speaking stations. WiFi was offered at a rate daily rate of $12.50, which we declined. We had a small refrigerator which was nice to keep drinks cold. Our only complaint was it was VERY hot, around 95 to 97 degrees and the air conditioning was not very good. We even had a difficult time sleeping because of the heat.

As far as the resort it had 2 pools and 2 bars. One buffet restaurant and one fine dining restaurant but you needed to pay extra for that restaurant and make reservations daily around 6:30 am as it is small and fills quickly. The food was good. Every night they had a differ theme..Caribbean, italian and Puerto Rican. They usually had least 2 meats to chose and lots of vegetables, rice and beans.

The activities all took place during the day, they included kayaking, snorkeling, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, bingo and several others. I never saw any night time entertainment. We went to a snorkeling trip and were most disappointed. The water was so cloudy in the area we went to that you couldn't see any marine life.

The resort offers free shuttles to everywhere on the property and they come every few minutes. The had a mini-mart on site as well as a gym and spa which we did not use.

The last night of our stay was a Friday and it was by far the most crowded day of the week. The bartender was working alone and really struggled to keep up with the orders. We had to wait to be seated at the buffet for about 40 minutes and after we were seated no one came to give us drinks or take away plates. The hostess gave us utensils and that was last we saw of any staff... They were significantly understaffed for the crowd. All other nights were great, no waiting and the service was excellent!!

Room Tip: All the rooms would have a great view, but higher would be best.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
L'Escala, Spain
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

On arrival the staff was helpful finding us a local doctor but very reluctant to give us a smile! We stayed in the hotel.
Our room had a beautiful view over the bay and the sunset from our balcony was amazing. The cleaning of the room wasn't up to our expectations: glasses and mugs never washed, nor the top of bedside tables. As for the towels, we had to leave a bank note in order to have clean towels. No money : no towels, as simple as that.
We went fishing and ask the cook if he could cook our catch. No problems, said the chef. We brought 3 big jack fishes but managed to eat only 2 of them, being told that we only brought two fishes, despite photos to prove the contrary. Same thing at the bar, we would have to wait for the barman to serve the local guests who were loud and rude before acknowledging us but if a tip was left, we would be served with extras.
Be careful if you want to hire a boat. We decided on a day, time and price with someone on the hotel premises by the beach entrance. As the boat was late arriving and early ending the half day the captain agreed for less money. Having forgotten a sun hat on the boat, we were asked to pay $30 to have it back. The hotel manager told us that it was nothing to do with the hotel! Wanting to involve the police, the captain returned the hat.
The souvenir shop was expensive and not very pleasant assistant.
Overall not a good experience.
The food was very average. We ate basic salads as the rest was fried or in sauce. Very little meat was served. The desserts were very colorful but tasted all the same with lots of 'plastic' icing. The rice pudding was good.As for the internet, we bought a week worth of it, and it only work a day! no connection from anywhere but the lobby!

Room Tip: Ask for a top floor room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beamsville, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I just came back from a one week stay at Villas Sol I was a little concerned as the reviews I read beforehand were not the best.I used my RCI points to book and was very pleasantly surprised.We had a beautiful updated one bedroom villa with kitchen and full length windows across the entire balcony wall with gorgeous views of Playa Hermosa and the surrounding hills .
Because the resort is set up on a hillside almost every possible unit has a beautiful view .The resort supplies shuttle service within the property running every 15 minutes so you don't have to hike hills every time you want to go somwhere.
The unit was spacious, furnished beautifully with updated decore.
The all inclusive option was excellent ,with only one restaurant they offset possible repetition by varying the cuisine daily with Italian nite,Mexican Night,Carribean nite ect. There was also a lovely al a Carte restaurant on site where we experienced fine dining in a beautiful atmosphere overlooking the pool and bay.There were a limited number of tables which required you to prebook but it kept the service at the highest level.
Excellent food,wines and service.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asistente D, Gerente Residente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear Jusy57,

We are very pleaced to have met your expectations and have changed the image that you had of the hotel. We hope you will take into account for a future visit. If you like you can be part of our Facebook page where you can know about our improvements and rates.

Best regards,
Bryan Hurtado
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario's Highlands, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We just came back from a beautiful March break holiday at the Villas Sol Hotel and Beach Resort. We booked our condo using our RCI points. I was quite nervous as previous reviews were not favourable. We had a beautiful clean, well equiped 2 bedroom condo with a fabulous view. The location is not for anyone with mobility issues or "weak" knees, however shuttles were around quite frequently. Considering it was March break, the hotel was very quiet with no line-ups for drinks or food. I would not reccommend this hotel for those with teenagers as there isn't a night life. Staff were always polite, helpful and friendly with small issues being rectified very quickly through the expert hands of Madeline & Jose at the front desk. Although the beach is beautiful and clean, work needs to be done to make it more user friendly ( more chairs, umbrellas and bar service would be great). Yes, the sand is dark in colour but beautiful to walk on.... More umbrellas at the pool would also be helpful BUT, there was never a lack of chairs. Costa Rica is a beautiful safe place, with friendly people and lots to see and do. We had an awesome guide called Marco! Food is reasonably priced and delicious. The all-inclusive special offered at the resort was great "bang for your buck". We would definitely go back there again.

Room Tip: It seems like you can either have a unit with your own private pool or one with a view! If you have...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asistente D, Gerente Residente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear Kim B,

Thank you so much for your comment! For Villas Sol is very important to know about how our guest feel during stay, that make us reflect about our work. We hope that you take us in count for a next visit. If you want, you can be part of our Facebook page where you can be in touch with us and know about new rates.

Best regards,
Bryan Hurtado
Resident Manager
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Oshawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a beautiful week at the Villas Sol Hotel. The location is fabulous with a great view. We were in room 2303. The room was clean and we were quite surprised how much storage area they had to put away our things. However, after the first day, the maid cleaned the room and took the used towels and never replaced them. I went to the front desk twice and they said they would have someone bring some up. Nothing. The next day, we used the one towel that was left and the facecloth (which had been used the day before) and when they cleaned the room they took our one towel (left the facecloth). I reported it again, now we had none and it took a fourth trip down before they finally brought some towels. They were replaced everyday after that (except the facecloth which remained in the shower area the whole time and was never replaced.) In addition, they only replenished the coffee once in the entire week. I usually bring my own coffee as I like coffee and baileys in the morning and we usually end up making more than one pot a day. The coffee maker or cups were never cleaned while we were there.

The buffet food was good. There wasn't a huge selection but the main courses changed everyday and they were good and hot. Salads and desserts were pretty standard for lunch and dinner. The omelete bar at breakfast was very good. The a la carte food was good. We were entitled to 2 a la carte dinners and on the Tuesday (we arrived Monday) we went down to make our reservations when we went for breakfast. We were told that they were full that day and to ensure you get a reservation be there by 6:30 the day you want to eat, you could not make the reservations in advance (despite what we had been told) which is what we did on Wednesday. We decided to go to the second one on Sunday as we were on a tour on Thursday and there were weddings on Friday and Saturday, however, when I went on Sunday at 6:30, I was told the restaurant was closed for the day, so we did not get our second dinner.

The beach was beautiful and there were non-alcoholic drinks available. It is quite a hike to the beach and it is all uphill from there, so best take the shuttle which runs quite frequently. The pools were nice and the bar staff at both very friendly, however, there is not much shade available.

There is not much in the way of entertainment so I was pretty quiet.

Definately would not recommend this to anyone who cannot walk up stairs. The ramps were pretty scary and bumpy and I could not even imagine going in a wheelchair up them.

I think that the hotel is trying to cater to the time share people and as a result there is not much attention paid to the people at the hotel. I know I would go to Costa Rica again, but would not stay here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Asistente D, Gerente Residente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 26, 2013
Dear ladykf1,

We regret that your experience was not what you expected. Currently we have improved some points and continue to improve. All comments are important to us and is taken into account. I invite you to be part of our friends on Facebook, so you can see our change and perhaps be motivated to return someday.

Best regards,
Bryan Hurtado
Resident 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 Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort

Address: Promotora La Costa, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a development of 100% Costa Rican capital located on Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste on the northern Pacific Coast and managed by Promotora La Costa, a pioneer company in tourism development in Guanacaste. We are a 4-star Resort, and have a Tourism Sustainability Certification (CST) of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and we are affiliated to Resort Condominium International RCI, being the only Resort in Central America included in the Gold Crown category granted by this company.We work under an All-Inclusive service in 54 Deluxe Hotel Rooms and 109 fully equipped Villas of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms.with unbeatable view of Papagayo Gulf.Among many alternatives for entertainment and sports offered by Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, you’ll find a wide variety of activities for all ages, water sports (motorized & non motorized), sport fishing, diving, kayak & jet ski. As well as many one day tours that will take you to the many National parks and hide away beaches in the area surrounding our resort.Our great location makes not only our resort a great destination but also offers a convenient closeness to all major tours and activities taking place in the Guanacaste area and surroundings.Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a place for all ages and types of vacationer. A great choice for families traveling with children, single travelers, honeymooners, people looking for a relaxing vacation or those looking for fun and excitement.Our friendly, helpful staff welcome all guests with a “PURA VIDA” and a smile.& the best service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Playa Hermosa
Villas Sol Hotel And Beach Resort
Hotel Sol Beach
Sol Hotel Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa Sol Hotel
Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

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