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“Another winner holiday” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
100 Mts Sur de Pulperia Stephanie | Samara de Nicoya, Playa Samara 5235, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #2 of 15 Hotels in Playa Samara
Toronto
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Another winner holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

In November 2012, there was a 7.6 level earthquake whose epicenter was a few miles off the coast of Playa Sámara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The damage to the area, fortunately, was minimal and there were no casualties that we heard of. But the earthquake had profound effects on the topography of the beach: apparently the beach and the reef that lay around the bay has risen about two feet higher than previously. Now low tide, which had already been impressively far from the beachfront, is about 50 meters further and one can walk out to the reef without getting one’s bathing suit wet. On especially low tides you can get there without getting your feet wet.

This strange phenomenon was the most startling new feature of our eighth visit to the Fénix Hotel in Sámara. Happily, in all other respects, the hotel remains as comfortable as it has always been and its owners, Phyllis and Bill Root, as relaxed, accommodating and welcoming as ever. The sand was soft and the sea was warm. Our four-week stay was as stress-free and relaxing as possible—the only thing required was an enormous supply of books and/or Kindle to take to the lounge or hammock.

This year, the fishing off the beach was excellent and the supply of dorado or sea bass or tuna or corvina was inexhaustible. The fish, for two or three dollars apiece, were almost on the BBQ before they stopped flopping around. Now that’s fresh!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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335 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (72)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oregon, USA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We are currently staying at Hotel Fenix and loving it! It is much nicer than I thought it would be after reading the reviews. My husband and I are in the deluxe room and that has a queen-sized bed, AC in the bedroom, 2 night stands with reading lights, a big kitchen and an outside eating area with table and chairs. Our son and his family are staying in the room next to us and it has a king-size bed (2 twins pushed together), a bed big enough for the 2 young children, a kitchen, but no AC. The beach is a short walk away through the palm trees and we can always hear the ocean. The palm tree area has lots of hammocks, comfortable lounge chairs with cushions, a BBQ and table, benches and is a great place for young children to play in the shade. The owners provide sand toys for the children, boogie boards, a refrigerator with beer & soft drinks, a washer & dryer (there's a charge to use them), and lots of useful information. If you need them to call out for a pizza, haircut, snorkel reservation, etc, they will do this for you. The pool is small but was perfect for us as the children are 2.5 and 5.5 years old so could play in it easily as we sat at the tables using the excellent internet connection. The rooms and grounds are cleaned daily and the staff does an excellent job. Every day we receive clean towels, and every 2 days we have clean sheets put on the beds. Every morning the grandson of the owners comes by with fresh-baked pastries that his mom has baked that morning and they are out of this world! Everything is delicious but we especially like the cinnamon rolls, quiche, and carrot muffins. I highly recommend a stay at Hotel Fenix!

Room Tip: I like the deluxe room, #6, as we have AC in our bedroom and a wonderful kitchen. It is also the end...
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  • Stayed February 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashland, Missouri
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Spent a relaxing two weeks at what is becoming our favorite spot in Playa Samara. After years of staying "downtown" in Samara we have discovered the perfect spot up the beach. Nestled in the Matapalo neighborhood you go to sleep to the sound of the surf and awaken to the sound of the local chickens and howlers. We love the Guanacaste area for its guaranteed hot dry weather in February but there is no cooler spot than Fenix on the Beach. The ocean breezes and palm shade make relaxing the order of the day. Phyllis and Bill see to it that all needs are met without hassle. Their friendliness seems to instantly rub off on the guests as folks readily comingle and you soon find yourself sharing dinner on the patio, planning sightseeing excursions, and exchanging email addresses. Our favorite experience this year was laying on the recliners watching the sunset in to the ocean and wishing we had some music in the background when lo and behold a band of young musicians from Argentina suddenly set up on the log in front of us and began to seranade the sunset. Perfect end to the day. Phyllis claimed she wasn't responsible but I wonder.

  • Stayed February 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.
Greenwich, Connecticut
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We have just returned from the most wonderful 8-day stay at Hotel Fenix on Playa Samara. We gathered for a family reunion and Hotel Fenix offered something for all the kids, parents, and grandparents: hammocks and easy chairs under the shade of the palm trees, small pool right outside the doors of our rooms, boogie boards for the Pacific waves, and all just an easy stroll down the beach from the town of Samara. Phyllis was a gracious host, and gave us great tips on local attractions and activities (where to go snorkeling and fishing, and where to see crocodiles by the side of the road). The casual and intimate atmosphere of the Hotel Fenix helped us all relax and enjoy our vacation.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Ashland, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

My husband and I are recently retired and are enjoying retirement in Costa Rica! We have just returned from spending 7 days in the Tortuguero area and 14 days at the Fenix Hotel in Samara. We spent our days walking on the beach, fishing, swimming, shelling and going on day trips up and down the coast. Samara Bay als offers wind surfacing, surfboarding, sunset cruising, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. The Fenix is a very central location on the best beach in Costa Rica--no sharks and no dangerous currents. We were able to walk for meals, groceries, banking, entertainment or solitude with ease; Phyllis and Bill are available to provide information, advice, directions, trip planning, etc. any hour of the day. We love the open air ventilation and ceiling fan which provides a pleasant temperature throughout the day and night. The Fenix is tucked away among the coconut and mango trees for constant cooling shade with a wide beach in front for sun worshipping, meditation, yogo, massage, etc. The outdoor shower and swimming pool offer an oasis for exiting the beach and leaving the sand and salt out of the living quarters. We like to catch and eat fish when we are at the beach; the kitchen at the Fenix is well equipped for preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is always hot water on demand for a shower and the staff makes up the rooms every day. My husband and I were very comfortable at the Fenix and can recommend this hotel for anyone who might like to stay in paradise. All is well in Costa Rica.

Room Tip: There are 6 rooms to choose from; all are equally nice. I like the one on the end because I have na...
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We had a relaxing, wonderful stay at the Fenix. Phyllis could not have been more friendly and helpful with lots of "local" advice. The design of the place with the 6 units facing the pool with the beach beyond lent itself to friendly interactions among the other guests. As mentioned by others, the rooms are spotless and cooler than we anticipated at night. We really appreciated having the kitchenette and feasting every morning on homemade pastries from Phyllis' daughter. Hopefully we will make it back to Samara and the Fenix for another winter respite!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
nebraska
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Just home from our stay and wanted to post before we got too busy. I'm going to do 5stars because of the whole experience. The accommodations were Average. While it was "older", everything was very clean. The bedding was comfortable. We had plenty of hot water. There are only 6 rooms so it is pretty intimate. The grounds & beach are very well taken care of. I know beach locations are hard to maintain because of the elements but we were impressed with the way they cared for everything.
We were surprised that so many of the guests did use the kitchenettes for meals. We just walked 15 minutes up the beach. If It were me, I'd make all the rooms Deluxe and only have a fridge & microwave. BUT, if I were Phyllis & Bill, I'd leave it just the way it is and keep welcoming back all the happy, satisfied guests that are return visitors.
What raised our opinion is simply the owners & staff. Phyllis & Bill make this hotel. Very welcoming, good people. The staff always greeted us with a smile and "Hola".
I will do a forum post about this but thought it should be in my review also:
We left a camera & lens in our room :-(. By the time we were in Nicoya our phone was ringing and ringing. Phyllis had been trying to reach us (there are dead spots in cell coverage)
The housekeeper had found the camera & lens and promptly brought them to Phyllis. Talk about the notorious "crime of opportunity" The camera could have just gone missing--who would know? We would not have missed this until we were home & long gone. This just shows what good people they have working for them!
When we go back, we hope they have a room available. Now if they could just do something about the roosters...;o)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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

Address: 100 Mts Sur de Pulperia Stephanie | Samara de Nicoya, 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:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
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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Also Known As:
Fenix Hotel Playa Samara

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