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“Another perfect trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

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JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Hacienda Pinilla, Santa Cruz, Costa Rica   |  
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Free Night & $25 Credit
Ranked #1 of 9 hotels in Santa Cruz
western US
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Another perfect trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

The staff makes this sprawling ocean front resort the perfect spot to relax! The staff- Vladamir, Christian, Adolfo, Everio, Anthony, Antonio , Karla all made sure everything was not just great, but perfect! From our beach experience, to every restaurant, they made sure we were well taken care! The staff remembered us, by name from our prior visit & Vladamir even had a Christmas present for me! That is amazing & wonderful to experience- so far from home!

The only negative thing I can say about our stay, were the other U.S. guests. Sorry, but my entire family found them to be exceedingly rude, condescending and lacking any desire to TRY to speak in spanish or show any kindness. I have NEVER experienced such gracious, kind staff members and to hear the way they were treated by the EXCEPTIONALLY rude Americans was embarrassing and heart breaking. Even my teenager was horrified. Not only did the staff deal with these awful guests with smiles on their faces, they treated them warmly, in return.

The food is great, healthy and the resort offers many choices- especially for kids. Even the Four Seasons does not offer such choices. Fish, grilled chicken, fresh veggies and fruit with each meal is a major plus. If you are looking for a holiday filled with fried kid food and huge plates of fries- stay in the US. You can get that here, but why? The Azul grill has the best lunch. We loved the lettuce wraps, and the grilled fish for kids.

We will be going back to this resort & if anyone has anything negative to say about this place they either never travel out of the US, or are never pleased unless something is free. I actually heard a diner flip out because the rolls were not warmed?! Really? By the looks of it, his favorite restaurant is subway. The other East Coasters that were there taught my daughter first hand how ugly Americans can appear when having toddler- like fits over things that are beyond anyone's control. Like blowing sand.

No, you are not in the states & yes, you should TRY speaking spanish out of RESPECT. Yes, you should tip the staff in CASH! They work 12 hour days, spend on average 2 hours getting to work & on their one day off per week most of them attend college. The tips that you put on the bill get split amongst ALL of the staff and they don't get it for weeks. Your kindness goes a very long way in this country & Costa Ricans are the nicest people I have ever met. If you don't love it here, you are a tightly wound traveller that should go to somewhere that has tacky T- shirt shops, cheap greasy pizza and a sports bar.

I would rate this hotel higher than the Four Seasons in Maui, or Lanai.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Guest,


First of all thank you for such a wonderful review. I personally will let know Vladimir, Christian, Adolfo, Everio, Anthony, Antonio and Karla about your great comments about them.

I am pleased to know that your stay was enjoyed by you and your family. Your comments are very important to us and we appreciate your understanding about some situations happened during your stay. Our staff is professional and they provide wonderful service to all of our guests as you had mentioned.

We truly hope to have the opportunity to be your host again in a near future and have the pleasure to meet you.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (343)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

GREAT staff. The people at this hotel make you fell like you are home. They are friendly, professional, hard working and really want to make your stay there great. THe food at the restaurants was outstanding. THe pool is beautiful and is very large so there is always a nice quiet place to sit if you want some quiet time. The grounds are immaculate. The beach is interesting because during low tide you can walk soooo far out and you can see the large rocks that are not visible during the afternoon under the water. THe hotel has a very nice fitness facility and the staff there is friendly. THe internet is great and available all over the hotel except in the reception area. Do not miss the steakhouse, great meal! BEST BEDS and linens, we all slept great there for 9 nights.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for you wonderful comments about your recent stay at our Hotel.

I am pleased to know that your stay was great and you were happy with our service.

I hope that during your time in Costa Rica you were able to see more beaches and nature that our country offer to all of us and if no, try to do it next time.

Happy New Year!


Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Il.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

This is an amazing resort spread out on many acres they call a Hacienda (we call a Ranch). The property is beautiful with Monkeys hanging from trees & coyotes pooping in the middle of the road! Yes, we saw this one night returning from dinner, it was hilarious! The pool is also spread out & is to die for, you could spend your whole day there. Going from ocean to pool. The Beach directly in front of the Resort is a bit rocky but if you move down a little it is less so. The waves are just enough to relax in. We were fortunate to have a pretty much ocean view and it was gorgeous, to say the least, with beautiful sunsets every night. Our buffet breakfast was included in the price and that was very good. The Steak Restaurant was 'Outstanding', one of the best steaks I have eaten. Only problem with this Resort is that it's very far from all Excursions: Volcanoes, Rain Forests, etc. at least a 4hr. drive. So if you're into that, stay more inland unless you don't mind the drive. I only gave this Resort a 4 as i wasn't as grand as the J.W.Marriott we stayed in in Oahu but it was a very beautiful place to just chill & relax & dream away your days!

Room Tip: Ask for a room close to the Beach as some of the rooms, altho they say Ocean Front, were a little bi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,


Thank you for your great comments about us.

Is rewarding and valuable for us when we read such a great comments like yours and is also important when we receive opinions about something our guests think we need to improve.

To come to CR you need at least 4 days to see a little what our country offers and believe me , stay with us and relax by the pool with a really good drink and then take a tour to a Volcano or some place else the next day it worth it. One day for relax other for adventure.

A recommendation is to rent a car if you want to see more around the area. There is a lot of beautiful beaches nearby.

Once again thanks for sharing your experience at our Hotel and for us will be a pleasure to welcome you back.


Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful resort where everyone tries hard. this is easy to correct-fix the food! The talk at pool Dec 24-27 has been how awful the Christmas buffet, the steakhouse and fusion restaurants were and how we'd gladly pay their top prices if food worth it. Love the resort but eat only in Tamarindo which means u must have car. Coconuts is terrific as is Lola's on beach (lunch only). Marriott management:please fix this - it's not hard and you"ll have a winner!!!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy our food. I will pass your comments to our F&B Director and our Executive Chef to review our menus , also we are in a process to refresh our menus. On the other hand I am glad to know that you liked the Hotel.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I was lucky enough to accompany my brother on an incentive trip through his place of employment, and I was part of a group of around 30 people. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. The room was very nice, and the beds extremely comfortable. The bathroom was large and had a soaking tub that looked nice, but I never tried it out.

The property is huge and sprawling, and the pool is probably the largest I've ever seen - it just keeps going and going! There were plenty of comfortable lounge chairs, and it was never a problem finding an open chair. The service at the pool was fantastic; the servers were very attentive and friendly (especially Roberto!).

While the resort was enormous and clearly not empty, it was very quiet and tranquil. There were lots of hammocks, which I loved! Not that I set foot into it, but I hear the gym was nice. I did get a massage at the spa and it was good (though I wouldn't call it great).

All of the food we had was great, though we didn't sample all of the restaurants. The breakfast buffet at Mansita was outstanding - omelette station, crepe station, all kinds of pastries and hot dishes, extensive cheese and fruit displays. Most lunches, we ended up eating at the pool, and the food and drinks from the Azul pool bar was great. I loved the house salad (I forget its full name), and I heard rave reviews of the ceviche. I am not a rum drinker in general, but the raspberry mojitos were very tasty. Our group had buffet dinners on the beach and on one of the verandas, and the food at both was varied and excellent. Most evenings we ended up in the lobby bar, where the drinks were delicious and the service was good - they even set up karaoke for our group one of the nights. Try the drink called the "cai-pinilla" - it's vodka with muddled strawberries, and it is delicious!

A couple of tips: Bring bug spray! And yes, the road leading to the hotel is bumpy but it's not nearly as bad as a lot of these reviews make it sound. Just know that going into it, and sit back and enjoy the "car massage," as our tour guides called it. And finally, just know that the location is a bit remote - there isn't anywhere in walking distance, so just plan accordingly. The town of Tamarindo is about 25 minutes away and there are lots of fun shopping and eating options, and even a (tiny) casino, so that's definitely worth a trip. All in all, I had a fantastic stay at this beautiful property and would not hesitate to return if I should find myself in Costa Rica again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Guest;

We appreciate your valuable time sharing with all of us this fantastic review about your stay at our hotel.

I am glad that you had enjoyed our delicious drinks at the pool bar (raspberry mojitos and caipiriñas) and our Breakfast Buffet at Mansita Restaurant.

The only walking distance beach is Abellanas which is 30 minutes approximately from the Hotel but you can also take the complementary shuttle if you don’t want to walk.

I hope that you can come to visit us again and keep enjoying our pool and drinks while you are watching the sunsets.

Happy New Year!


Kind regards;


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

This hotel is spectacular! spotless, friendly, great gym, amazing pool and gorgeous private beach....and the restaurants are fabulous too! If you are honeymooning or looking for a relaxing vacation this is the place. We layed at the pool and on the beach and ordered fresh mojitos all day and it was fabulous. This hotel is also wonderful if you have a children..there is an activity center and daily activities for children!
A few things that I would change is how expensive the gift shop is...a small tube of sunblock is $25 and a bag of chips is $8......a bit over priced ...even for a resort gift shop! Also, the manicures are too expensive ($45). Manicures should be $30 or less....

all in all this resort was fantastic..the rooms are wonderful and the staff was super friendly!

  • 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.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

We really appreciate your time to write this magnificent review.

I am pleased to know that you really enjoyed your stay and what we offer to our guests.

Regarding manicure prices we can check them with our SPA manager but the gift shop prices since they just rent the place to us we can not do anything about it; except addressing your comments to their manager.

We truly hope that you can come to visit us again in a near future.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

My husband and I stayed at this amazing resort for 2 nights as part of our Costa Rica Caravan tour. This resort on the Pacific side of Costa Rica is quite remote and about a one hour drive from Liberia airport. After spending a few nights in the rainforest (with lots of rain!), it was amazing to stay in a warm, dry area for a couple of nights. Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset the first night.

Our room was on the 3rd level and had a private patio to sit on. Although we faced out to the ocean side, we did not have an ocean view. Large beautiful bathroom with both a large tub and a separate shower. We walked on the beach and also spent time poolside. Very large beautiful pool. Although sunscreen was applied, we got sunburned - so remember you are close to the equator and can burn easily...

Meals in the restaurant were incredible. Although there was an extra charge, I recommend the smoothies at breakfast.

We really enjoyed this amazing resort and would go back in a minute.

  • 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.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so glad to hear that your husband and you enjoyed your stay with us.

Is good that part of your trip to Costa Rica you are able to see both sides of our country.

I am sorry to hear that you got sunburned. At this time of the year the sun is very strong. You have to take care.

Happy New Year!


Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica Hotel Santa Cruz
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica Hotel
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort And Spa Costa Rica
Jw Marriott Santa Cruz
Marriott Santa Cruz
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica
Address: Hacienda Pinilla, Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live a Costa Rican hacienda style resort experience, in a rustic luxury beach front property in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This resort & Spa sits oceanfront on a secluded stretch of coastline near the Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course, south of Tamarindo. The property features the largest infinity pool in Central America, outdoor hot tubs, a fully equipped fitness center, biking and jogging trails, a Kids Club where children will be entertained with various activities while you relax in our Spa, ranked one of the top five Spas in Latin America by Spa Magazine. This Costa Rica resort offers 5 restaurants and two bars, enjoy a dinner right on the beach under the stars at Azul Grill, Asian Fusion cuisine in Tamarine, a genuine Guanacastecan style Steakhouse in Sabanero or relax at Nau Lounge and Bar while admiring a spectacular sunset. All rooms have balconies with garden, pool or ocean views. In-room amenities include LCD TVs with premium channels, soundproof windows, iPod docks and streaming speed Wi-Fi Internet access, blackout curtains, plush pillow-top mattresses, and fine linens, rich woods and marble bathtubs. The resort is surrounded by the splendors of Costa Rican nature; with a choice of 3 beaches, adjacent to an equestrian center, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course with a coastal layout designed by Mike Young, be sure to pause at the 15th hole overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Off-site activities like canopy tours, horseback riding and scuba diving can be arranged on site. The town of Tamarindo is just 5 miles away, where you will find restaurants, bars, and souvenirs in a "Pura Vida" laid back atmosphere. ... more   less 
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