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“Beautiful beach, lovely owners” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
100 mts sur de Arbol Matapalo, Playa Samara 5235, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 hotels in Playa Samara
Grecia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Beautiful beach, lovely owners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

My adult daughter and I just spent five days at the Fenix Hotel on the Beach. We love Playa Samara for it's calm, safe waters and soft sand. We stayed in the deluxe apartment, which has amazing kitchen amenities and air conditioning...a very comfortable room, indeed. There was enough ocean breeze that we would guess the non-air conditioned apartments stayed quite comfortable as well. The pool is small, but you are right ON the beach. The units all face each other in a u-shape around the pool, but still feel private. Guests can choose to visit with one another around the pool at tables in front of their rooms. Alternately, there are LOTS of comfortable loungers, tables, and benches scattered through the palms in front of the beach. We loved spending entire days right on the beach, choosing sun or shade at will. Guests may choose to socialize around the pool or on the beach, or to hide away among the palms at the ocean's edge. The owners, Phyllis and Bill, are friendly, fun and helpful. It's an easy walk to town, and, if you are lucky, Phyllis and Bill's daughter will be baking some scrumptious pastries. We also bought fresh fish, ceviche and other goodies from recommended sellers without ever leaving the beach. We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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299 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ipswich
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We absolutely love staying @ the Fenix when we go to Samara! As a matter of fact, we now make it a point to go to Samara whenever we come to Costa Rica just so that we can go to the Fenix. This small hotel is right on the beach. It is the perfect mix of a rustic, "Tico" feel with enough modern conveniences to keep you comfortable. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the owners, who, along with a staff member, helped us to our room with our luggage and a few groceries. Each morning we enjoyed our coffee while sitting on cushioned lounge chairs with the ocean waves just steps away. During the days we often took advantage of Jessica's fresh pastries, or spinach quiche delivered right to our door. And if you like ceviche, you can get the best right here, also offered right on the premises almost daily. We keep cooking to a minimum (we're on vacation, right?), but did take advantage of using the charcoal grill one evening. Walking the beach is always enjoyable. But it is also wonderful to just sit in the shade, or gently swing in a hammock and watch the people, or occasional horses + bike-riders go by. Most evenings we again found ourselves by the shore watching beautiful sunsets over the water. I don't know how many times we asked ourselves, " Does it get any better than this?" We are already counting the days until we can return next year!

Room Tip: Rooms 1-5 are more rustic, with no A/C, but with screened windows + ceiling fans, very comfortable f...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Fenix Hotel in October of 2012. We absolutely loved every minute of it. We stayed for 4 nights while we were in Playa Samara. The hotel is the perfect distance away from the town to get away and have some peace and quiet. The hotel was totally affordable and since we went during the off-season, they offered to even move a little on the price. Such a great experience!

The hotel is beachfront with it's own little cabanas that you can sit underneath and soak in the sun. We were able to enjoy the beach and really unplug. I really recommend staying at this hotel if you just want relaxation and getting away from a city.

The couple running the place are super nice and are from the States. They moved out there in the 90s and love it. They were able to point us in the right direction to see some of the local monkeys. Also, they have a pet squirrel who is super cute to take pictures of.

The beds were comfortable and the shower has a good amount of pressure. They live on a legit Costa Rican street which was cool to get emerged in the culture of things.

If you are going to Playa Samara, stay here!

  • Stayed October 2012, 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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Victoria, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed at the Fenix Hotel on the recommendation of friends. They did not do it justice! Yes, the rooms are modest and the kitchen amenities are quite basic, but the place is clean, cool, friendly, and most importantly, right on the beach. We loved strolling down the beach for meals - we absolutely could have cooked more in our room, but the ease and enjoyment we got from exploring Samara gave us a great excuse not to! We body surfed a few times each day, recovered by reading in hammocks, took surf lessons, went horseback riding on the beach and went for jogs in the morning along the beach. We planned to do far more, but the atmosphere was just so relaxing that our motivation sort of vanished! Phyllis was a great host - ready for a quick chat, informative, but also very respectful of our privacy. If you are planning on going just to Samara, you don't need a car, but we travelled all through the province, so we had one, but didn't really use it there. I was happily surprised with the daily cleaning service, and the honour bar is a nice touch. This was by far the best part of our trip, and I highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: We stayed in the "deluxe" room which has AC, and is renovated tastefully. I would stay i...
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  • Stayed January 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
    • 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.
Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

My wife and I spend a lot of time travelling for pleasure. For beach vacations we usually rent a villa, but for our first trip to Costa Rica we opted for the convenience of a hotel. From reviews here we almost thought that the Fenix was too good to be true. It is TRUE and wow, is it good.

It really is right on the beautiful beach. We visited many bars and restaurants in Samara that were on the beach; all were fun and busy, but we were always glad to return to the peace and quiet of the Fenix just a wander down the beach from the "action" of Samara. It is truly peaceful here, with beautifully kept grounds, beach lounges, hammocks. Always a cold beer or soda are available in the utility room. They also have adequate Wi-Fi as surprisingly so does most of Samara. Lovely shade in the palms from the HOT sun. The grounds keepers do a great job keeping debris from the vegetation and surf under control. And then there is the small pool which is great for a refreshing dip just to cool off.

The owners are great; helpful and fun to talk with. It really feels like family here.

We stayed in the "deluxe" room, which means that it had a television (we watched part of a football game on Thanksgiving Day and watched half of an episode of NCIS - there are better things to do here than watch TV,) air-conditioning (which was nice, though probably not critical to have,) and some upgraded touches compared to the really nice standard, other 5 rooms. The bed was comfortable, the linens were always clean, housekeeping was perfect.

The ocean is right there, protected by a reef way out there and an island, so the water was always suitable for calm swimming and play. From the water the hotel disappears into the jungle. I was always thinking Jurassic Park when looking back at the landscape.

It took me awhile to write this. I really don't want any competition for a room reservation! But this place is heaven on earth to me. This is definitely not a place for those who want the noise of the all inclusives or the glitz of a pampering, big name resort. This is just simply a quiet, beautiful retreat in paradise.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We only stayed 2 nights because it was booked and I made reservations in August, so book early. The bed in our room was huge, and we had a fully-equipped kitchen. There is no AC but ceiling fans kept us cool. All rooms surround a lovely pool, and there's an honor bar with cold beverages. Best of all, it's just a few short steps to the beach, where you can lie in a hammock or lounge chair under palm trees. It's near the end of the beach so it's very quiet, but it's just a short walk to restaurants and shops. This is a great little hotel and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great place on the beach.

Room Tip: There are only 6 rooms(I think) and all seem equally good.
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
Kansas City
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

This was our third trip to Costa Rica but our first to Playa Samara.
Our first choice of hotels to stay at was The Fenix. It’s located right on the beach about a half mile down from the main part of town and all the beach restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, since we only booked four months in advance we were only able to reserve two nights (Christmas week).
The hotel consists of six very nice rooms set up in a little semicircle facing the small pool and the beach beyond. Our room, #5, came complete with stove and refrigerator and even a malitia for making our morning coffee (available from their little “bodega” along with pop, beer and water) The room was very clean with a huge, larger than king sized bed, hot water shower and a couple of ceiling fans (which were just fine for keeping us cool). It was very clean. All in all it was quite nice.
Just outside our door were small tables and chairs set up. Several of the guests were having their morning breakfast there. Twenty more steps and you’re past the pool and patio and walking barefoot in the sand through a grove of palm trees. The Fenix has beach recliners and hammocks set up here in the shade. It’s a great way to relax and listen to the surf without getting fried by the intense C.R. sun. Just beyond, the trees open up to a large expanse of beach (kind of rocky in places). At this end it’s pretty secluded and quiet.
There are dozens of nice restaurants down the beach a ways. It’s a dark walk after sundown but we felt very safe. Several of these restaurants accept credit cards. Expect to pay a bit more to eat on the beach here. You can rent surfboards and take lessons as well.
The town of Samara itself is quite small. A lot of the restaurants, bars and handmade jewelry shops are set up on the three or so block road running down to the beach. The other main road running perpendicular to the main street can be very busy with no sidewalks. Here you can find a bank, laundry and the local Pali grocery store.

Room Tip: Book early as this hotel fills up quickly
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

Also Known As:
Fenix Hotel Playa Samara
Fenix Boutique Hotel
Address: 100 mts sur de Arbol Matapalo, Playa Samara 5235, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Samara
#1 Best Value Hotel in Playa Samara
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
#8 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winner of the Traveler's Choice Award in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014! Beachfront hotel just footsteps from the ocean. Comfortable tropical rooms with full kitchens and separate bedroom. Lush gardens and a small pool. Movable wood sunbeds with thick cushions. Hammocks and BBQ. Ranchos and palm trees provide plenty of shade. Our deluxe room has AC and 42¨ widescreen TV. Our hotel has a comfort level that our guests enjoy, making it one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica. We have an honor system for beverages, boogie boards and pool. Over half of our guests are either referred or return for another stay. Ten minute walk to Samara central, on the beach. There is a small store and fish market in our neighborhood of Matapalo, along with fresh pastries and ceviche. ... more   less 

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