We found the Fenix to be an ideal place for a family on a budget. When driving through the neighborhood during your arrival, you will have doubts about your decision to stay here. Have no worries, it is great. It is directly on a beautiful beach and the grounds are nicely shaded by palm trees. No, it is not high end hotel and whether or not it is right for you depends on what you want. The six rooms form a semi-circle and you will get to know the other guests pretty quickly. We ended up having a spontaneous potluck dinner and a small bonfire on the beach with the other guests. Our kids liked meeting the other kids and playing with them in the pool. We liked the "laundry room" with reasonably priced drinks and free beach toys and boogey boards. A couple without kids or wanting a more private vacation might not be attracted to this set-up, but for us it was ideal.
The place is entirely run by Phyllis and a couple of very nice towns people that she has hired (who work very hard). Phyllis is always around and I found her to be very business like and helpful. She arranged a fishing tour for us as well as the samara trails tour (which I highly recommend). We enjoyed her company as we got to know her a bit better toward the end of our week when there were fewer guests at the hotel.
What could have been better? I heard a very faint bass from club music in Samara in the middle of the night on one of our nights. The rest were silent. I can only imagine that other places closer to town would have the problem as well. (The Fenix is on the other end of the beach) Samara itself has gotten a little bit touristy on weekends. The rest of the time it was deserted.
Any other improvements in amenties (air conditioning), large pool, etc. would have taken away from the charm of this place. We wanted to meet other people and the set-up of the hotel encourages that. Would we go back? Yes. Our kids loved boogey boarding and shell hunting. We found good local food. (You have to go into town -away from the beach restaurants to find a true "soda". Check out "Cocochos" - Ask the locals otherwise you will never find it. Have the cerviche.
- 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