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“Great facility, poor service” 3 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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Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great facility, poor service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

The JW is a very nice hotel - physically. It is well maintained, beautiful pool area, and nice clean rooms. Only downside is the beach which is pretty poor compared to Playa Avallanos just up the coast a few hundred feet.
The service on the other hand is lacking. During our stay we were delayed in checking in, didn't have our room cleaned one day, and had numerous incidents of not having the correct items brought to our room, or cleaned sufficiently.
The hotel looks like a JW, but is run worse than a courtyard.
I would also avoid eating at the restaurants at the hotel - overpriced (including a fee if you don't order wine/cocktails) and only average quality. There are a number of better places (Lola's for lunch, Deveena for dinner, Bamboo Sushi Club in Tamarindo) very close by.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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,

Thank you very much for your feedback about our service. We are working hard to improve and avoid this kind of situations with our present and future guests; I regret you have perceived that service during your stay.

Our customers are very important to us and we expect to have a new opportunity in the future to demonstrate the high quality in our service.

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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1,319 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (383)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bel Air, Maryland
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

This JW Marriott is wonderful. The pool is the largest in Central America. The restaurants and bars are very nice as well. During our stay a Boa COnstrictor was found while we were at the pool. Very Exciting! The two issues i had with the resort was the bumpy roads getting there, (Costa Rica needs some infrastructure improvements) and the beach which had rocks jutting out of the sand. Until they get better roads i will not be going back to this resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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 comments about your recent stay at our Hotel. It’s pleasant to know that you liked the property and that you spend a nice time during your vacations.

Last year the Government sends a note to all the people in Costa Rica about the road been fix at the end last year and beginning this one. We are still waiting. Hopefully they are going to start this year.

I hope that you can come to visit us again.

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.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We stayed here for five days and loved every minute of it! Our room had a perfect ocean view, I loved taking a bubble bath while watching the waves break on the beach. Food was outstanding, spa was heavenly, service couldn't have been better. It's not exactly near town but not a bad taxi ride either or arrange tours through the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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 8, 2013
Dear Guest;

Thank you for share with all of us your wonderful experience at our Resort.

We are glad to know that you had enjoy every single time during your stay.

I hope that you have had the oportunity to see more about Costa Rica and this Guanacaste area since is very beautiful.

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.
Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

This hotel is lovely. It is very expensive. The food was very good as was the service. The rooms were very well appointed with JWMarriott standards, but felt we could have been anywhere in the world. If you are looking for '5 star American conveniences' this hotel has it. You could be in Hawaii or the mainland with the exception of the architecture. If you are looking for a cultural experience - look for a local hotel close in to a town. The beach at this hotel was not really swimmable as there were many rocks to navigate and the ocean is not as nice as Hawaii. So if you are looking to just sit in the sun; do nothing else and get waited on this could be a good get away for you. If you are looking to do something at night or absorb culture - look further.

Room Tip: Get a room in an upper floor for a view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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, February 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your time to write this wonderful review.

We are glad you like it and I know all our readers appreciate your tips about what to do. But I want to add something; we are 20 minutes from Tamarindo which is the perfect spot i if you are a party person since you can find a lot of Bars and Night Clubs to have fun.

You can enjoy and relax with us during the day and have fun at night in Tamarindo. That is why we recommend to rent a car if you like to explore.

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.
Orange County
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Our friends have a Villa next door at the Hacienda Pinella property and we decided to end our 10 day stay with two nights at this resort. Beautiful property. Rooms, especially the beds and bathrooms, are 5 star. Food was fantastic. I know some people have not been complimentary of the service but you have to remember this is Costa Rica and what they lack in "American" efficiency and execution they more than make up for in charm and warm smiles. That's the "Costa Rican" way! Also, we were greeted seveal times by a roving employee who said he was a "Service Quality Assurance Manager" and said that if we had any issues with service he would make sure it was corrected. This is a rather remote location that is accessed by some rough roads but do not hesitate to try it for a relaxing, romantic and luxurious vacation.

Room Tip: If you want to be right on the ocean be sure to say Ocean Front. Also, the suites are exceptional an...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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, February 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience at our Resort with all of us.

We really appreciate your time to write this review.

I am pleased to know that your stay was complete enjoyed.

Hopefully your next trip would be 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.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Wonderful location, nice setting, lovely resort layout, food ok at most of the restaurants (exclude the Grill) and the spa is very nice. The reception works well, although the staff there is trained to only quack, not fly like eagles. When requesting an upgrade at registration, we were told there was no possibility of such. As I'm reading the recent reviews, i see this isn't unusual for this place. Those other reviews ring true. Listen to them carefully as you choose a resort! We were here only two full days and three nights, not a part of a tour but a family getaway. Our room was actually nice, though billed as ocean view. We were far enough away from the piped in music around the pool that we didn't hear that. But: The reason I'm writing my first ever review: We awoke to construction below our room on Sat, our first full day. Loud, penetrating jack hammer type noise and wall hammering and continual noise all day Saturday. A message pushed under the door early that morning suggested speaking to the manager if this construction posed a problem. Good luck, Jesus Gonzales is a hard man to find! After asking to speak with the manager, the concierge called someone she led me to believe was he. This young man offered no help, No followup. No thought of customer service. I wasn't demanding, only appalled. And lo and behold i discovered this so-called "manager" sitting at reception the next day as a receptionist, Sunday! When i approached him, he said his "manager on duty" on Saturday tried to call us but couldn't reach us. But this person didn't leave a message at 8 pm when she called. Strange. I was at reception because, amazingly, the construction started again on Sunday morning. I felt the integrity of Marriott was at its lowest. No chance to move (although Reception offered moving us on Sunday at noon...we checked out at 9 on Monday...not reasonable to consider at that point.). The dishonest approach (posing as the manager) was startling to me. This resort didn't show any redeeming characteristics in managerial excellence or customer consideration (service!). The only redeeming factor is that this location is breathtaking and beautiful when you walk the beach. Isolated and beautiful. Marriott local management seems to be trying to take advantage of tourists here though. Word spreads quickly. I would not return.

Room Tip: Rooms on the north side are removed from the pool and soft pool music (#412, 411, and down). Nice vi...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 31, 2013
Dear Guest,


We appreciate your feedback and I regret to hear about the inconvenience experienced at our Resort during your stay.

I am sorry I couldnt be there to help you and have the pleasure to meet you, sometimes I am not at the property but if this is the case there is always a Manager on duty who can help our guest. I regret he couldn’t give you a solution.

Please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of our staff for the entire situation and I will appreciate if you can provide me your email address to contact you directly.

I hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back at our 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.
Saskatoon, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is a beautiful resort on the Pacific Ocean. If you want to hang by the pool (they have a fabulous infinity pool) and not do much else, this is the place for you. The grounds are beautiful, the staff very friendly and the rooms eloquent. You can arrange some local tours - like snorkeling, at the hotel. You can book a shuttle to Tamarindo however it's $14 return. I would think this is something they would offer as complimentary but it's not. Tamarindo is a surfer town and has a lot of beach bars/restaurants and souvenir stores. You can definitely find something to do there for an afternoon. Ere is a fee for internet. Again, this is something that should be complimentary. Unfortunately they are using people's addiction to electronic communication as a money grab. It is, overall, a fabulous place to spend time at.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
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 are glad to know that you had a fabulous stay at our resort.

We do are locate 20 minutes away from Tamarindo. But we also recommend to rent a car while you are here so you can have the opportunity to see more about our the wonderful beaches that you can find in this area since are the most beautiful.

We hope to be your host 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.
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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 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*
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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