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“Overall, good vacation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Villas Playa Samara

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3km South From the Center of Samara Going Towards Playa Carrillo, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Playa Samara
Altona, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Overall, good vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

We stayed at the Hotel Villas Playa Samara for 3 weeks. The villas were alright. There were definitely some glitches, but the town of Samara got hit by a large earthquake just over a year prior, and they are still recovering.

Our first villa's AC quit two days in a row, but within an hour each time it was fixed. It also had a smell problem coming from the sink, which is not all that uncommon outside Canada or the States. This was easily temporarily remedied by leaving a trickle of cold water going in the bathroom sink, but should be fixed permanently as I believe it would be a very simple fix.

Our second villa was beachfront, and we have no complaints about that one.

The food was excellent, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: Beachfront is best. Would definitely stay again.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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413 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Nelson, Canada
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

My family and I went to this resort and had a wonderful time. After researching several different vacation spots, we were excited to go to Costa Rica. We were hesitant to take our older children because of the previous reviews we read on the internet about Hotel Villas Playa Samara, and we even considered cancelling the trip. After we arrived at this resort, my husband and I didn't understand why people had such negative experiences. The resort was beautiful, our villa was nice, the beach amazing, and the staff incredible. We went horseback riding on the beach, We walked along the beach to Samara a couple of times, had dinner while we were there, bought a few local artist's creations. We even rented kayaks and kayaked to Chora Island, where we all snorkeled. Our family is very active, and we had a fantastic time at this resort, the location is perfect. We went on a one day excursion to the Arenal Volcano, although if you are susceptible to motion sickness, bring Gravol (the road to the volcano is very winding). On this day excursion, we also went to The Baldi Hot Springs, and to La Fortuna Waterfalls, which was so beautiful and quite unexpected. The resort itself was very clean, well-kept, and overall beautiful. The sunsets on the beach were gorgeous. The maid kept up with our villa, even though our family is a family of five, with three active older children. The food was quite good, the service fantastic. We read reviews about the service being slow, but we didn't have any problems with the servers, or service. They were even accommodating to our youngest son's picky palate. The language barrier at times was a little difficult, but is to be expected traveling to a foreign country. The staff were absolutely lovely to us, especially with our children, and made us feel very welcome in their country. Although we could understand their frustration, with some other guests being quite rude, and unhappy no matter what the staff did to please them (some people just seemed to have forgotten their manners entirely and made us feel uncomfortable, being tourists ourselves). Our family loved the entire experience and loved the resort. We felt very safe, which as parents, we were worried about traveling to a smaller resort. A huge thank you to Diego, Stephanie, John, and Warren. These staff went above and beyond for our family! We went on vacation to give our children an opportunity to experience another country, culture, language, people, and to have memories. We did go to Costa Rica to sit in the villa for the duration of our trip. We read people had issues with the villas not having televisions. If this is an issue for you, maybe save yourself some money and watch travel shows on the television! Our family absolutely loved this vacation, this resort, and we all had such a wonderful time.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Garden Villa, a minute walk to the beach. The villa was not far from the Main Area e...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Eastern Norway, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

We got flats close to the beach and hammocks on the patio was great. The view was beautful. But when you book and pay rooms for 4 single people you expect to get a bed for everybody. We didn't. We got 2 flats in two different villas with only one bed in each flat and a kitchen without any glasses, cups and so on. One of the flats didn't have any towels when we arrived and when we went to the frontdesk we were promised to get towels immidiately, which didn't happen at all. We was also promised that they would open up the extra bedroom in connection to the flats we already got, which didn't happen either. We went to the frontdesk to get towels and keys, but they just told us to relax, someone will come, don't come back here and complain anymoore! The result was that two of us had to sleep on a sofa! The next day we went to the frontdesk again to complain with the result of angry replay from the staff, but after a couple of hours they came an unlocked one of the extra bedrooms. When we got back from beach, we didn't have any towels at all. Again we went to front desk to ask for better service and again we was told with angry voice not to come to frontdesk to complain anymoore. The answer about towels was that they had to wash and dry them before we could get them back. We got them after several hours, after we was at the front desk once moore complaining. We never got the last bed we were promised. Breakfast was good With a lot of fruits, eggs, bread, coffee and so on. The restaurant service at dinner was an catastrofy. It looked like the waiters was brand new and didn't know anything about service which also was very slow. We observed several guests leaving their tables because they didn't get any service. We wanted both starters and dinner. We got dinner for 2 people at the table first(we were 4 people). When we asked for our starters the waiter didn't understand what the problem was but he took the dinnerplates out again, and we waited over 40 minutes for our starters. Then it was time for dinner and 2 of us got their dinner, cold cause it was the same food we got earlier and was send out with message to make new food. Dinners for the rest of us wasn't coming and when we asked for it they hadn't started to make it yet. Everything was a disaster and we just wanted to go. Samara beach is a great place, the cabins located right on the beach and has a wonderful view. It is a pity that the place will be destroyed by lack of equipment, poor service and unskillful waiters. Recommend no rent at this location with the current owners

Room Tip: If you go here we recomend cabins close to the beach
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Kensington, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

We stayed at the Hotel Villas Playa Samara for the last 3 days of our Monkey Tour. We upgraded to a villa and were glad that we did. We were the closest villa to the beach and our room was beautiful. The patio with hammock was great. The kitchen didn't have much but we didn't need to use it. The breakfast buffet every morning was delicious. Lunch and dinner were mediocre but we knew this from other reviews so we weren't surprised. The pool with swim up bar was great - sometimes the bartender was MIA and that should never happen. The front desk staff and the Monkey Tour staff (Genevieve and Marcello) were very responsive and customer friendly. In general, the wait staff were inexperienced, couldn't speak any English and had no idea what was going on. They were also understaffed. I blame this on the management which I was surprised to find out that the resort is owned by the owner of the Monkey Tours. This is shocking because you would think this resort would be the finest of all resorts that we stayed at during our trip. I do want to commend the dining staff because on our last night, they really stepped up to the plate when the guys in our group went deep sea fishing and the resort grilled all the fish and made great side dishes that looked beautiful. This made our last night with our new friends one to remember. Overall, we were very happy but I think we were one of the lucky ones…...

Room Tip: Definitely upgrade to a villa.
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apalachicola, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

Was not impressed with this resort at all. Basic 2BR unit, good for 4 adults, definitely not for 6. Old furniture, hard beds. Kitchen not well equipped with dishes, utensils or anything extra. Building next door was practically falling down...hole in ceiling, broken glass. Hard to believe they haven't done any reconstructing. Bar was understaffed. Breakfast buffet was okay but ran out of items as we were eating. Not enough beach chairs for everyone who wanted one. Not a place I would stay again.

Room Tip: Beware: Oceanfront lawn houses the septic system.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We had a great time and experience for most of our trip at other resorts but experienced problems upon our arrival to Villas Playa Samara resort. During our entire vacation we were accommodated in two rooms for our family. At Villa Playa Samara we were given keys to a 1 bedroom villa and 1 king size bed room on the second floor of a separate unit. The room for our teenaged sons had a king size bed, was in good condition and had the following: safe, bar fridge, microwave, coffee maker and air conditioning. My husband’s and my own room was not up to par. There was no safe (no safe place for our passports, identification, travel papers or money), no fridge, and no microwave. There were spaces for these items but all were empty. In the bathroom, the shower door was rusty and falling off it’s hinges. The door would not close and appeared broken. The room door would not lock. The windows were all open and would not close or lock. Some of the windows did not have screens. Those that did have screens had big holes in them. This was a problem since we saw many signs warning of dengue fever due to mosquito bites. Finally, there was no air conditioning in 33 degree Celsius weather. It took a long time and much discussion with the front desk to get a second room. They told us it would be ready by 7 pm. At 7pm, they gave us the keys for the second room and we went to look at it. When we entered and turned on the lights, many cockroaches scattered. The front desk told us that cockroaches were normal for staying in Costa Rica. We knew this to be false as this was our fourth destination and had no problems with bugs before this resort. That night we were told that no rooms were available so we ended up staying in the king sized bed room with our sons. The next day we were given a two bedroom villa that was just okay. It appears that it is a time share since they were trying to sell time shares each afternoon of our stay. It is not in a suitable condition. Many of the accommodations are dilapidated and appear to be occupied by workers, who by the way did not mind standing on your front porch and smoking. We were worried about safety and theft since the workers would come right up on the property and relax. The beach was a nice setting but really not suitable for swimming since the water was so murky and the coral cut into your feet when you went into the water. I would not recommend this resort again. While we waited in line the many times to speak to the management, almost every person in front of us was there to lodge a complaint. The staff was rude, which I believe was due to the high volume of complaints and looked as if their management had given directions not to offer anything above and beyond to anyone. Most people were unhappy. Again, I want to reiterate, I would not recommend this vacation destination to anyone.

Room Tip: Do not stay here. If you must, ask to see the room before committing to it.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Advance, North Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

We stayed at Hotel Villas Playa Samara for 3 days as part of the Monkey Tours. It is a good thing the week ended with this hotel instead of started.
My room was OK but we faced the back fence that was the entrance to the "workers area". This was enhanced by the fact that there was a plumbing tube very close to our door that entered a drain by our door. This tube also had a leak that obviously corresponded to the flushes from the other side of the fence.
The customer service was terrible. There were coffee cups in the room but no coffee maker. When I inquired about a coffee maker (because I was waking up at 4:30AM ) I was told they would "look for one on the property". After one morning of no coffee until the 7AM breakfast I once again inquired about the coffee maker and was told the same thing. Later that day I borrowed one out of another room. I had to supply my own coffee and filters. The air conditioning unit in our room died on the last night.
After the first night my two sisters returned to their room to discover water pouring out of the light fixture (that did not have a globe cover). The front desk moved them to a different room int he same building with one bed and told them the roof workers would be done by 10PM. After much complaining my sisters were moved to a Villa that contained 2 bedrooms. They were told the 2nd room contained another customer but that the person was not allowed to enter the Villa and had a separate entrance. This did end up being the case but it is a little weird to sleep somewhere with a stranger, especially since the hotel/villas were obviously not full. Almost every request was met with a negative response.
The breakfast was great but all other food purchases were bad. The first night we were told we could not order any food except the buffet. After much discussion they told us we would be allowed to order something other than the buffet but the food was not hot.
The daiquiris were made from a powder mix. When my sister ordered a banana daiquiri she was told they could not be made on the property even though there were plenty of bananas around. We wanted to stay put for a while and decided to try the food one more time. Unfortunately, it was terrible. We ordered an appetizer plate that was supposed to be for four people. They delivered the food without any plates or napkins and these items were never delivered despite asking for them. Glasses of water were also requested but not delivered. The language barrier could not be the problem as one of our group spoke Spanish.
Monkey Tours should end their week at another location starting immediately.
Do not stay at this Hotel unless you want poor customer service, smelly entrances to your room, and no coffee until breakfast.

Room Tip: Request a Villa. If you do get a room request one that faces the walkway. Also ask for a recently r...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Villas Playa Samara

Address: 3km South From the Center of Samara Going Towards Playa Carrillo, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villas Playa Samara 3*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a hotel with fully equipped villas and deluxe rooms. We are located in front of the beach very close yo downtown Samara. ... more   less 
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