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“Heaven in Costa Rica” 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 8 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Heaven in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

I really can't say enough about this hotel. The staff is top notch. From checking in, baggage, maid service, everything. This place is really great. The property is still fairly new, only a few years old and is very, very clean. Everyone there works really hard to maintain the property and the sense of pride really shows. There was always some one sweeping, cleaning, dusting, etc. The staff really make the property a wonderful place to visit. Our bellhop, Carlos, was quite charming. We flew Copa Air and they lost 7 people's luggage. We waited for 3-4 days for our luggage and every time he saw us, he gave us an update on the the status. He really truly made us feel like he cared about our trip. We rented a car and each and every time we pulled in, they would race to open the doors. You get what you pay for at this property. The beach was gorgeous. There is an area to swim and the sandy beach is clean. Not to mention, a very short walk away is a very beautiful beach with less rocks. I was concerned about the other reviews of the beach, but it's nothing to worry about. The pool was so clean, the towels easy to get to. Roberto was our pool guy. Very friendly. We travel a lot and most often find, if its not on the menu then you can't get it. But Roberto knows customer service. If we asked for something, he got it for us. I mean, after all, that's what you are paying for. It's not an inexpensive resort and they run this place the way it should be run. I never met the manager but kudos to him for hiring the right people and putting customer service first. I did not waste one moment chasing luggage, towels, food or anything. They do it all for you. The staff always was smiling, helpful and really made our family feel like we were on a vacation. I don't remember all of the names of the people who work there, but I can say, they were all wonderful to us. Kudos, JW. Kudos. Now, head on down to Los Suenos Marriott and teach them a little about customer service, honesty, and how to keep the property maintained.

We split our time in Costa Rica bw the JW and Marriott Los Suenos. I wish I wouldn't have burned my money or time in the latter of the 2. Los Suenos, you have a looong way to go before you can compete with the JW.

Room Tip: I had a perfect room. View of the pool and the ocean. Choose the tower farthest away from the rece...
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  • 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 4
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,

I am so glad that your time spends at our Hotel was enjoyed and reading your review we exceed your expectations and that is very valuable.

I will let know Roberto and Carlos that their names were mentioned in Trip Advisor by you, who express they made the difference and their stay.

We regret that your experience at Los Suenos wasn’t pleasing.

I hope to have the pleasure to meet you for your next visit.


Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,324 reviews from our community

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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 (384)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, NY
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Spent two nights here on a tour. When we arrived at the hotel, I was impressed by the beautiful grounds and the hammocks just waiting for you to lay down on - an inviting indication that you are meant to relax at this lovely hotel. My room was on the 1st level (reception is on level 3). When I walked into the room I realized that this was probably the nicest room I had ever stayed in (and I have stayed in a lot of hotels!). The bathroom was very large. It had a shower with a separate marble tub. Above the tub was a "window" with sliding wood doors so you could open the doors and even watch television while soaking in the tub. The toilet was behind a wooden door. Furniture was all high end, beautiful and in excellent condition. There was a flat screen television, a mini-fridge, a safe and even a dvd player. The room was extremely clean, Each room has a nice sized terrace or patio.
The property boasts one of the largest swimming pools that I have ever seen. If you stay here, you can enjoy watching the sun set into the Pacific - a magnificent sight. I had five meals at the hotel and the food was very good. Dinners were at the Mansita restaurant buffet and I there was an extensive salad bar, carving station, hot dishes, a dessert bar and a station that changed every night. One night it was a paella station and another night it was a pasta station. The food was included as part of our tour price but food was quite expensive at the hotel if you were staying on your own.
The staff was very polite and friendly. The Costa Rican people are amongst the friendliest and nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
The negatives? It was impossible to get a beach chair. Yes, it was Christmas week but there should be some sort of system to prevent guests from dropping a shoe and a towel on a beach chair and then leaving for hours at a time. It was frustrating not to be able to enjoy the pool because I had no chair. There seemed to be a problem with napkins. Tables were reset after guests had used them but minus napkins. Seems if you weren't the first guest to use the table for a meal, then you had better eat neatly and keep your hands very clean! There weren't enough workers manning the stations. One night the poor chef at the pasta station did his best but there was no way he alone could serve all the guests expediently and the line was very, very long. Also, my room was not cleaned until after three. I was gone from the room for a lot of hours and wanted to take a siesta in the afternoon but I had to wait until the room was cleaned as I didn't want to be interrupted by housekeeping. Also, like most of Costa Rican hotels, be prepared to deal with a few bugs. I even had a little lizard in my room. It was very cute but I was petrified that it would find its way into my bed! Luckily, my husband caught it in a glass and we set it free outside.
The positives more than outweighed the negatives and I would have no hesitation about staying at the JW Marriot in the future.
The hotel is pretty isolated so if you want to go to town, you need to take a taxi

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

Thank you so much for your positive comments sharing in this review.

We are glad to know that you enjoyed your stay and you liked your room. At the same time we regret about not find a sit by the pool. At this time of the year is very difficult even when we set up more chairs for our guests.

In this kind of situations is a little complicated have a control since you know in any Hotel in the world exist a system to avoid it, but any suggestion is welcome.

Thanks again for your feedback and we hope to have you again at out Hotel soon.

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.
Montana
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I could easily live here every day . . . if I were a millionaire. Pura Vida! Nothing to dislike about it (except for the dirt road for some of the way in to it). That dirt road is trivial in my part of the U.S. The beach, pools, rooms, and food are all awesome.
Located on a Pacific beach, this excellent resort has just about everything you'd want: Excellent food, pools (with an infinity pool to die for), warm sunshine, and dry forest (with howler monkeys to ring your alarm in the morning if you listen for them). Although we had wanted an ocean view room, we appreciated the monkey howls and bird calls in the trees away from the ocean.
Rooms are spacious and excellent. Bring your own goods if you want to save money. Everything is pricey here--no surprise. You can buy just about anything at the stores in the mall in town--about a 30-60 minutes drive. Nothing else is near this hotel, but that makes it special and ideal. There is an international airport somewhat nearby.
Beware of the sand-colored, low rocks disguised as sand on the beach. They hurt feet and eat cameras.

Room Tip: Choose ocean view or tree view, up higher and nearer to the main lobby and pool is best.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Guest,


Thank you for sharing with all of us your recent experience at our Hotel. Which I am glad to know was great.

For been located inside the Hacienda Pinilla we are able to see a lot of wildlife and that is something a lot of people like to see.

The International Airport at Liberia is 1 ½ hour away from the Hotel and if you take a local flight from San Jose to Tamarindo is just 20 minutes away.

We appreciate your tips for our readers.

Kind regards,


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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western US
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Chicago, Il.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 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...
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  • 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
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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.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica

Address: Hacienda Pinilla, Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica 4.5*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Live an authentic Costa Rican experience in a luxury hacienda style resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This resort & spa sits oceanfront on a secluded stretch of coastline minutes from the Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course and Tamarindo village. The JW Marriott Guanacaste is surrounded by the splendors of Costa Rican rich biodiversity; with a choice of 5 beaches, adjacent to an equestrian center, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course with a coastal layout. Off-site activities like canopy tours, horseback riding, white water rafting, kayaking, and ATV tours can be arranged on site. You can also arrange tours to nearby locations such as Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and National Park or Guachipelin thermal hot springs. Enjoy surf beaches with excellent year-round waves and warm water, visit turtle nesting beaches or observe a great variety of wildlife. The property features the largest infinity pool in Central America, outdoor hot tubs, a fully equipped fitness center, biking and jogging trails and a Kids Club with professional care. You can also relax in our spa, ranked one of the top five Spas in Latin America by Spa Magazine. This resort offers 5 restaurants and two bars. Among these options enjoy a romantic dinner right on the beach at Azul Grill our beach front restaurant or visit Tamarine where you can enjoy Asian fusion cuisine. Indulge yourself with a genuine Guanacastecan style meal at Sabanero Steakhouse or relax and admire a spectacular sunset at Nau Lounge and Bar, while you enjoy hand crafted cocktails and a variety of Sushi. All rooms have balconies with garden, pool or ocean views. In-room amenities include LCD TVs, sound proof 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 village 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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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa Costa Rica Hotel Santa Cruz
Jw Marriott Guanacaste Resort And Spa Costa Rica
Jw Marriott Santa Cruz
Marriott Santa Cruz

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