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“Not Recommended - Stay Elsewhere” 1 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
Arlington, Virginia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not Recommended - Stay Elsewhere”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

My husband and I stayed here during our Monkey Tours Costa Rica & Nicaragua tour. We arrived around 8pm and were greeted with delicious fruit juice and friendly staff. We paid for an upgrade of our room to have a view of the ocean. When we got inside our villa we were incredibly disappointed. There was sticky pink stuff on the inside and outside of the fridge which had attracted a bunch of aunts. Even though this was uncomfortable, we wouldn't be spending much of our time in the main living area anyway. The blinds on the bedroom were filthy with black marks, and some with pieces torn out of them. We set our stuff down, left for dinner in town, came back and realized there was a trail of ants all over the bedroom floor. I could literally see pieces of food and other objects moving across the floor as the ants carried things in and out. Took a shower, and the drain clogged so the water was to the very top of the ledge, about to spill over onto the entire bathroom floor. I had it at this point, but we were so exhausted we figured we'd just wait until the morning. We had asked for a spare pillow, that had been delivered while we were out at dinner, tossed onto a stained throw at the end of the bed. When I went to turn the pillowcase inside out a huge black bug flew out onto the floor. Then I started inspecting the other pillows on the bed and there were ANTS IN THE PILLOWCASES! We went to the front desk asking for a room change, but there was no one at the front desk to assist us, they were gone for the night. We saw a security guard by the pool and asked him, since he didn't speak English he called a manager who talked to my husband over the phone. They advised the security guard to let us into another room that was right behind the pool. This villa didn't have a king bed, but at this point we just wanted a clean room to sleep in. After we inspected the bedding - no bugs - very clean, we unpacked a bit and realized there was no working AC...luckily there was a ceiling fan and another stand up fan that we blew on us all night. High 90s in April in Costa Rica + no AC = sticky night with not much sleep.

The next morning after breakfast, we tell a concierge about our night. Her response was "I was expecting you. Everyone knows that room has no working AC, except for the security guard". She proceeded to show us 2 other villas...one right on the beach with a beautiful view that looked like it hadn't been cleaned in (I kid you not) weeks. There was a pull out bed with dirty sheets in the living room, a ton of dead bugs along the perimeter of the main living area, and at least 6 dead flying ants in the shower. As our goal was finding a clean place, we declined this villa regardless of the view. The next place we viewed had 2 bedrooms, one with a king and bathroom attached...the other with a double and a single bed with a bathroom outside of the room. She told us we could have the villa but she'd have to lock the bedroom with a king because we didn't pay for a villa with 2 bedrooms. We stated we also didn't pay to move rooms around midnight or sleep without AC, so she said she would talk with someone to see what she could do. Besides this villa with the ocean view, there were no other villas with an ocean view available with a king size bed. About 20 mins later, her answer was no because a family of 7 was coming in that very night to have the villa. I asked how a family of 7 would sleep in there and said "I hope you're not lying to me just because you don't want us to have this villa". Upon saying that she said "It's just too big for 2 people, you didn't pay for it". I asked who was in charge of making the decisions since the manager and owner were not on site. She said she was and eventually after a few more adamant expressions, we were given the villa with the 2 bedrooms. Everything seemed to finally be in place so that we could relax. We set some of our souvenir purchases on the counter and a wooden shelf and realized they became covered with what looked like baby termites. The rest of the place was clean from what we could see. That evening, coming back before we went out to dinner, we were greeted with a dead bat on the doorstep and a live bat flying around our villa. We went to the front desk asking if someone could take care of that while we were gone and immediately the one concierge became upset that we were in the entire villa and said "that wasn't supposed to happen. you can't have the whole place". In which I said "I'm not here to talk to you about this...I would just like the dead and live bats removed". We came back to every single light on in our villa, the dead bat still on the door step, and the concierge saying there was no live bat in the place. The next night, same thing, bat flying at our heads any time we walked into the main area of the villa - thank goodness it wasn't in our bedroom! Instead of asking for someone to get rid of it, since that hadn't done anything the prior night, we would just crouch down and run for the door every time we left or got back at night. For the last 2 nights there (we were only there for 3), we were either outside, away from the resort, or in our bedroom/bathroom because of our terrible experiences in the rest of the villa.

In addition, I got diarrhea from the water at the resort, even though 3 different staff told me it was potable. I drank bottled water and avoided ice everywhere else, so I know it was from this place. - take caution.

The beach was NOT something to visit. There was debris, including logs, rocks, stones, junk on the beach - we didn't even want to swim in the water because you couldn't see your feet when you went in up to your knees. The lounge chairs by the beach are dirty and in the grass with high grass growing around them. We walked to the town of Samara during high tide and at some places were were treading across almost waist deep water that connected to a swamp like area - I literally thought there could be crocodiles floating back there. Another member from our group saw a dead porcupine and someone else saw a syringe laying on the beach. After that we took a cab which is $6 each way into town to avoid the 45 minute walk through rocks to get to a place to eat outside of our resort.

We thought this would be the most relaxing part of our trip as every other day was packed full of activities, but instead we couldn't wait to go home and it really but a bad ending to our time in Costa Rica.

The pool was the only nice thing about this place - my husband and I pretty much spent 2 days hanging out by the pool, the one place we could relax.

There are plenty of other beaches to go to in Costa Rica - Samara is not one of them.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
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366 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 (105)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Quebec City, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

We rented a beachfront villa in Hotel Villas Playa Samara. It was really awesome. It is beautiful villas in the nature, kind of a beautiful jungle well maintained with luxury villas. We had a good time and we were 2 steps ahead of the beach, kayak tours, and snorkling. It was possible to book volcano tours from the hotel, which we did and was great.

We also did some surf lessons. I was bad but I had good time.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

Don't be scared away by the negative reviews! My boyfriend and I stayed here as our last hotel in our Monkey Tours package and quite enjoyed this gorgeous resort, its location, breakfast and friendly staff. When we got to our room, there were some ants on the floor, but once we killed them and turned the A/C on, we never had any more insects inside the room over the next 3 days. Our room was simple and modest, but was clean and comfortable. There was no phone in any of the rooms, but it was kind of fun having to walk to our friends rooms to communicate the old fashioned way. The bathroom looked newly renovated and was quite spacious. It would have been nice to have a curtain for the bathroom window or a shower curtain for the open concept/glass shower for some modesty, but we never noticed anyone peeking in haha. Most of the time the shower and tap water was luke warm, on the cooler side.. but it was refreshing and invigorating after being out in the humidity. The resort grounds were BEAUTIFUL and it was fun to walk around the resort and look around. It really felt like a tropical paradise. Adorable squirrels and iguanas were everywhere too! And we saw large toads, tree frogs and bats at night. The pool was quite large and the water was warm. It was great being so close to the beach, and one day we walked 2 miles (around 45 mins each way at a slow pace) along the beach into the town of Samara for lunch and dinner. Taxi ride to/from town is usually $6. We actually swam to the nearby island as well (without guides), just be careful of the shoreline rocks and be sure to go at low tide around 10am if you do this. The hotel staff were all very friendly and polite, and the manager Oscar was always very helpful. The Monkey Tours staff were also available in the reception area to book additional tours.

Overall great experience with this hotel.

Room Tip: Our friend's beach view villa was gorgeous inside, but the A/C unit is in the bedroom which leav...
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  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hazelton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

I was a bit worried about booking here from reading past reviews, but was pleasantly surprised!
It's definitely a good drive from the Gaunacaste Airport, but most definitely worth it. If you arrive at night, plan to stay close to the airport so you can see everything on the drive down during the day. Also a good idea to stop in one of the bigger towns to get your main grocery needs before getting to Samara.
13 of my family members went…all different types of travellers and all of us loved it! The villas were EXTREMELY spacious with little patios that we spent a lot of our evenings on. The kitchen was equipped well for us and we cooked a lot of meals there. The housekeepers were good…definitely clean…they forgot toilet paper once in 2 weeks…definitely not a big deal. We called the front desk and they were there immediately.
They have kayaks and bikes to use when you want. There is a sweet little island just out from the beach that is awesome to kayak over to and hang out.
The BEACH… wow. We were there at the end of November and the beginning of December, the weather was gorgeous, and we literally had the beach to ourselves and a few locals. Unbelievable.
We ate at the hotel restaurant once… Wasn't anything special… but we preferred to find cute little local places around, which was great.
You definitely need to rent a car if you stay here. Don't take the shuttle and then rely on other means. Definitely worth it to rent a vehicle!
Really easy to ask the locals to take you out fishing, it was amazing, and cheap…
There is an awesome zip line company close by… Just a great place, great location, and we loved the villas!

Off the beaten path, but definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed November 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yonkers, New York
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Unfortunately this was the worst hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica! We were a part of the Monkey Tour group, so this was the last hotel of the trip. We were severely disappointed from the minute we walked into our villa. The hotel looked beautiful, and would be a great place, if only it was actually maintained. The door was wide open when we arrived at night, letting all the bugs and creatures inside. There were piles of dead bugs all over, inside every room. All we wanted to do was shower, but that was impossible since I couldn't manage to wash my hair out before the shower overflowed into the bathroom. Not to mention we had the only villa without a working hot water pump!! Since there was no phone, we had to walk in the pouring rain back and forth to try to get the problems solved. Staff tried to fix it, then told us it wouldn't be working until the next day. When we asked for any other room that had hot water, we were not given that option at first, until they tried to fix it again. It ended up being a two hour ordeal, where they took a pump from another villa, which did fix the problem...for the night. By the next morning we were showering with cold water again. The staff was not helpful and rude at times. We sadly paid an extra $50 a night for the beach front view. We would have traded the view for a working shower and a clean bedroom. Very disappointed.

Room Tip: from what we heard, all the rooms were dirty!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Atlanta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

I have travelled to so many places around the world and generally like to go somewhere new each time we venture out. Villas Playa Samara, a boutique resort in Samara, Costa Rica, has completely my traveling world view forever! I have been back there time and time again because it is just, well, it is just incredible. So, where does one start...with the horses running up and down the beach each morning,with the full moon beach parties at night, with the sunset walk to the quaint little town of Samara and all its artisans and great dining, with the zip lining, volcano tours, and "fording" of shallow rivers to get across the road on your exploration to the next little beach town...where does one start? I love this place and I love the family who owns it! I really can't believe that we found it and I will always and forever be returning as often as I possibly can!

Room Tip: If you are in a larger party (6 to 8) there is a 3 bedroom villa at the end of the property that is...
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  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

Recently spent a week at this resort. The accommodations were wonderful (2 room villa). The locale was beautiful...right on the beach. Staff was courteous, accommodating and professional. The restaurant breakfast was very good. Dinner buffet was lacking but there are many restaurants to visit in town.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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