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“Nice Stay but could have been better!” 4 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
El Dorado Hills, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Nice Stay but could have been better!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed 6 nights in an ocean view room that was really on the border of being an ocean view! Not worth the money! Secondly, we tried to upgrade to a suite which was 1300sq.ft. and they said they could not accommodate 2adults and 2 children in that suite, but they could accommodate us in a 500sq.ft. room. Don't understand that one!!! Very frustrating that they would not let us pay for the suite, when it was more then twice as large as the room we were staying in. For that reason alone, we will not be back to this resort! On top of this they were painting everyday outside our room all the way down the hall. The food was ok, but nothing to write home about. Very expensive like most of the reviews have said. The best food we had was in Tamarindo at an Argentine restaurant, also a restaurant that was at another hotel about 5 min. from the hotel in the same complex. The best restaurant we thought was the Sushi at the resort. The breakfast buffet was good, had a lot to choose from. Couldn't believe we had to pay $15 a day for internet, we are Marriott rewards and have never had to pay. Stayed at a Hilton Garden in the night before we flew out for $100 and we got free internet. The best beach is over at their beach club, so make sure you take advantage of the shuttle that goes over there. We spent a couple of days over there and the boogie boarding is much better and very nice pool and lunch. After staying here, we headed to Arenal and stayed at the Springs Resort and Spa, what an awesome place to stay! I think the Marriott needs to take some pointers from the owner of that resort. Had a wonderful 2 bd suite for not much more then we payed for a 1 bd. at the Marriott. The views were amazing and the amount of things they had for the kids was awesome. They also have a swim up pool bar where the drinks were cheaper then the Marriott. The service at the Springs Resort was top notch! Wish we would have stayed longer at that resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, February 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments with all of us.

I would like to explain what our receptionist wants to say about the Junior Suite Accommodations. Even when our Junior Suites are bigger then our Deluxe Ocean View rooms we recommend our Deluxe Ocean View rooms doubles since our Suites has only one King size bed and in the leaving room is very uncomfortable includes two rollaway for your children.

We are glad to know that you had a great time in Arenal. This part of our country is beautiful.

Thank you for your feedback.

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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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 (366)
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English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

JW Marriott Guanacaste is a paradise, for people who like to rest and relax!! in located in the most beautiful province of Costa Rica,,, the breeze from the Pacific hit the resort and let you relax in the amazing pool they have or the little tiny private beach!! so if you like to party and get noisy please look for a another place and let the people enjoy this quite place!

Room Tip: try to reach a ocean view! because the garden view are a little far from everything!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 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, February 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your wonderful comments about your recent stay at our Resort.

It is easy to perceive that you really enjoy the peaceful environment that you can fin here.

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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Here right now.. Second day. Not a great sign when you are so disappointed that you take the time out of your vacation to give a bad review. Only staff with helpful and welcoming approach are the valets.
Hotel is getting rundown, prices are exorbitant, they start piping music from the pool at 8 am that wakes you up. You hear people constantly echoing through the halls and at the pool. They put us in the crappiest room in the hotel even though we have been to this property many times, they are saving the good rooms for "tour groups" I spend all year staying in lower end Marriott properties for work and would appreciate my platinum elite member upgrade when I am using points, or at least a little effort on their part to accommodate us. Not coming back for sure and considering a switch in my hotel points to somewhere that appreciates the business that I will bring to them as a loyal customer.
Rewards points members beware.. They don't seem to want your business here. Or maybe this scene just isn't my cup of tea anymore.. Either way. Ugh.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your time to write these comments about your stay at our resort.

I regret that you have that feeling about our services. I would like to reconfirm you that we do care about all our Marriott Rewards members and when it’s possible we do gave upgrades to our higher categories of rooms but when is not possible is because we don’t have availability.

When we do have tour groups they booked their trip 6 months or even more time in advance in Ocean View and Ocean Front rooms normally and sometimes we have until three different groups in house at the same time.

Please feel free to contact Isabel Hernandez our Front Desk Manager at ext 5613.

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.
Bronx, NY
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

This hotel is amazing... it is nested on the pacific side on the beach of Guanacaste. The check in process is a little different because they have desk where they have you sit down and do your check in process rather than the regular check in front desk but i guest it goes with the resort upscale feel they were trying to create. The agents were all very nice and efficient and explained the layout and restaurants and the property to you and they direct you to the bell men who are all charming and nice and helpful to take you to your room. the place is open and airy and wonderful the pool and restaurants and beach is awesome. the pools and hot tubs are 24 hour accessible and also the fitness center that was amply equipped. The restaurant staff especially Luis Diego was excellent and has a great knowledge of the menu and can sell any thing on that menu. Luis Diego was awesome!! The rooms are breathe taking and huge and wonderful with balcony's for a wonderful relaxation and views of the wonderful property and mesh covering from creepy crawlers and and uninvited guests. My family and i have noting but praises and enjoyed our stay immensely. Thank you.. the Gate keepers are all very pleasant and the bell men and house keepers are awesome.

Thank you for a great stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 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 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

It’s pleasant to know that your experience at our Hotel was wonderful.

Guanacaste is one of the most beautiful areas in this country. You did a good choice and for your next trip I would recommend you to rent a car and explore the beaches around here; all are fantastic.

I let know Luis Diego about your comments and how great he is doing his job.

You don’t have to thank us; for us was a pleasure to host your family and you.

We will be waiting for your next visit.

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.
Chatham, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed 5 nights at the resort. The weather was perfect, and we were looking to just relax anyway. Reason I would not go back are.... We got an ocean front room, there was construction going on, on the roof, and since we were on the top floor we were enjoying our sunsets with construction noise and the workers. Wifi was not free, you can goto the bestwestern and its free i dont get that one. Food and drinks very expensive. 11$ for a rum and coke (not very strong either) or a glass of wine. Had food by the pool. My chicken sandwhich was cold very dried out and tasted like fish so we did not eat by the pool again. My husband had the burger he said it was ok but still very expensive. Dinner buffet similar to a buffet you get an 4 star all inclusive resort not very good and it was 28$ I don't mind paying that but it's got to be worth it. The mini bar was dirty in our room. We didn't have robes in our room. Our bathroom door would keep locking my husband had to use our key card to somehow unlock the door. The lobby bar played really loud club music, so we didn't get a chance to go there. Not much entertainment going on there.

The good.... Sunsets are beautiful, if you walked to your left there was a beautiful beach. Also after our gross over priced lunch by the pool the first day we would walk to Lola's for an amazing lunch and great drinks that aren't water down and half the price. It was about a 25 min walk. The beds are super comfortable. We enjoyed the room service food especially the chicken qusiedillas (sp?). The steak restaurant was excellent, pricey but it tasted great and the service was good. My husband and I both had the local steak. The Italian restaurant was tastey as well. The pool was nice but nothing special, Just long and swirly. Pool chairs were comfy. Breakfast buffet was really good too.

We also went to the springs resort and spa in arenal it was absolutely beautiful with top class service and the resort isn't a money grab, it's worth it to check them out.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comments. We appreciate your feedback about food and price at the pool bar and restaurant.

We will review our cost and quality of our pool menu.

It’s glad to hear that you like a lot of our services. The Chicken Quesadillas are my favorite. They are really good.

Regarding night entertainment; we are working on it.

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.
Dublin, California
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I travel a lot and am VERY picky. Many others on our Caravan tour thought this hotel was paradise. We had a good time, but there were some glitches (most of which were promptly addressed).

1. Our group of 42 arrived at 4:25 PM. The hotel computer had been down since around 11 AM, so the check-in guy was not sure all the rooms were ready. Our tour guide had to persuade him to let us to to our rooms to check them out.
2. The regular daily maintenance of our room had been done, but there was an omission. The room safe was missing. We called and within about 30 minutes they had located one. It took about another 15 minutes to get it installed.
3. The shower controls are strange. You only get hot water when the control is set in the middle. If you peg it one way, it is cold, but pushed to the other exteme it is only tepid while water from the sink or bathtub is scalding.
4. The heavy duvet on the bed would be more appropriate in a cold climate.
5. Our garden view room had a view of a fence, "scrub" plants, ad was far from the pool and restaurants.
6. There is no where in the room convenient to hand wet swimsuits.
7. We did not get a requested 5:45 AM wake-up call.
8. We stayed 2 nights, but the shampoo and conditioner were not replenished. When we asked for more, the maid pulled them out of what had been set aside for another room. -- Perhaps that is why ours were not replenished.
9. The toiletries are very nice and there are a lot of face clothes, but the first night there was no shower cap.
10. Others in our group loved the pool and spent the day in it. It is large with a well marked, very shallow children's area. The maximum depth is about 4 feet. There is a very nice "infinity" effect overlooking the ocean. Only one side of the pool (the south side -- on the left as your face the ocean) has steps. There are also shallow entry steps at the main lobby end. I was able enter from the north side by using one of the two bridges as a hand hold. The only shade of the pool comes from two narrow bridges.
11. Our room had two beds. My husband was convinced that the one he slept in was tilted.
12. There is a nice gym with a view of the garden. The attendant will bring youa headset and you can get English language programs on the TV.
13. We enjoyed watching sunset at the beach. The pelicans put on quite a show diving vertically into the shallow water.

Room Tip: Ask for one near the pool.
See more room tips
  • 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
    • 4 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 25, 2013
Dear Guest,

We understand that not all persons are or think equal. And we respect your opinion and we appreciate for sharing your comments with all of us.

We apologize for our mistake waking you up at 5:45am.

We will consider all your comments point it in this review to improve our services. Feedback from our guests are always welcome.

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
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013 via mobile

Loved the property..stayed 7 nights in a deluxe ocean view room. Appreciated the free bottled water as it was hot. The staff was very responsive to requests (repair guy even gave us directions to a locals only style rodeo in Tempate..awesome!). We had a rental and ate all meals at the local sodas..Las Palmas was the closest and best menu. Surfing was great at Avellanas just a 5 min drive or 15 min walk down the beach. Saw numerous turtles out in the water. The only improvement is in the checkout process...it took 20 minutes. Normally 2 minutes in any other hotel. Contrary to other reviews, the menu prices were close in price to other touristy restaurants in Tamarindo. Bottom line..great base camp for tours and surfing or a day at the pool relaxing. See you again soon.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

I like to hear that you spend a wonderful time here.

You really experienced Costa Rican style eating at local sodas.

I hope to see you soon too. Bring some friends to Avellanas for surfing. They would love it.

Thank you for your feedback about our Check out process we will work on that.

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
Phone Number:
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 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 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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