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“Pura Vida Paradise” 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
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Pura Vida Paradise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Beautiful... relaxing and nice room service. Restaurant and kitchen slow, slow, slow in specialty restaurants and would only recommend the pool restaurant & bar... good food and service. We were there in off season so they rotate which of their restaurants will be open each night so you would think they could step it up a notch with the food service staff. The pool is a fantastic design... infinity edge into the beach, bridges, lagoons and a great mojito station. Don't miss the private pool to the south of the hotel... you can take a shuttle bus but better to walk the beach then keep going to Lolita's. Do not miss the best beach restaurant and bar in the world... fantastic service, very friendly staff and great food. Beach is laid back, low key surfer dude vibe... can even learn to surf. Flew into Liberia... new, clean, nice airport with a quick nonstop flight out of MIA. This is a very friendly and affordable country and we would return with our family.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a great view of the beach.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

I am pleased to know that you had a great time during your visit.

Lolas is a very small popular place visited for a lot of people. Avellanas Beach is great for surfing and I am glad you liked. We will review the timing of the service in the restaurants, thank you for your observations.

It would be a privilege for us to welcome you and your family back.

Thank you for your fantastic review.

Sincerely;

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 (365)
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Had a great stay at the resort. Pretty expensive and really don't get the Costa Rican culture and pura vida vibe on the compound. If you're looking to be pampered and relax it is a great place to go.

Had mold on my bagel at breakfast. The manager told me "I don't think so". Like I don't know what mold looks like. But whatever, if that's my only complaint I guess I shouldn't complain

Stayed October 2013
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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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

I appreciate your comments about your recent stay at our Resort.

I regret the incident with your bagel and thank you for letting us know.

I recommend you visit local towns that are close such as Santa Cruz to get a better feel of the local culture.

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.
Ventura, CA
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

What a setting. I had driven past on earlier trips to Tamarindo but hadn't had the pleasure of staying there. It was a surfer's paradise to travel to spots by vehicle inside the compound when we would otherwise had to walk for miles to get to some good surf. Rooms were incredibly well furnished & appropriate for the area. Food was of course excellent especially buffet breakfasts. Night time brought a wonderful setting each evening. The resort has several levels which were each tastefully lighted (not too much just enough). Pools was wonderful & even had a private beach to add to the ambiance. We got an incredible deal with our room cost & hope to return again on our next surf trip.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

I am glad you liked the Resort and the beaches around this area.

Playa Negra, Avellanas and Tamarindo are great beaches for surfing. For your next trip you can also visit Playa Guiones and find perfect waves.

We will be waiting for your next visit.

Regards;


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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Elkridge, Maryland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

My wife and I and some friends arrived at the JW as part of a package tour through Costa Rica. The resort grounds are beautiful. The winding pool through the resort is great and doesnt get much deeper than 4 ft ending in an infinity pool overlooking the beach and ocean. The beach is not the best for more than just sun bathing and looking at it...during high tide they dont recommend swimming due to strong currents...during low tide you will see all the rocks that would rip into you if you got caught in the strong current of high tide. Go over to the surf town of Tamarindo for a beach to swim and surf in. The room was nice, but starting to show its age in some places, but while we were there they were renovating one section of the resort, so maybe they are in process of upgrading all the rooms? The breakfast buffett is very good, plenty to choose from, both local dishes and traditional US breakfast items (pasteries, eggs cooked to order, fruit, etc). The meals at the restaurants were also good, we ended up enjoying eating on the bar balcony on two occasions, great view and good food (including the new sushi bar).

JW Marriott: if you are reading this, please play some more upbeat music throughout the resort! While we were there, everywhere was playing "spa" music...serene flute music that tried to put you to sleep...great if you are getting a massage, not if you are eating lunch or enjoying the pool (and dont want to fall asleep).

Room Tip: Ocean view does not mean Ocean front...Ocean view overlooks the pool area with the ocean in the back...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

Thank you very much for your wonderful review and feedback about the music that we played at the Resort.

I am glad that you enjoyed the pool, restaurants, and room. The beach in front of the Resort is rocky but if you walk a little bit north you will find a nice spot for swimming.

Kind regards;

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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SANTA CRUZ
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

I booked a four night stay using my frequent flyer miles starting on 9/6/2013. We arrived late (8:00pm) on a Monday night and only saw 12 soles on the whole property. We were informed that only one restaurant would be open during our stay. We were the only people in a big giant bar, the only bar that night. We went to take a shower before bed and discovered the knob that switches between the shower head and the hand nozzle was laying on the bottom of the shower. It was stuck in hand nozzle, but we survived. We also found out that our toilet flushed every hour by its self.

It was at 7:00 AM the next morning when pounding and scraping started in the room next
door. I peaked around the balcony divider and saw workmen hauling the furniture out to the balcony. I yelled at them to stop as we were sleeping and the just kept working. We dressed and went to the front desk, but the manager was not available. We tried three other times that day and the manager was never available.

They never apologized or explained why they put us in a room next to construction. They
only offered to move us to a different room.

We checked out and I abandoned my miles. We checked into the RIU where we had stayed before and had a great stay. .

Room Tip: Stay at the RIU
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

I truly apologize for the inconvenience suffered during your stay at our Resort and I regret I couldn’t assist you myself since I was away from the property, but there is always a Manager so I will check why you were not given any further assistance.

During this time we try to do all the maintenance work necessary to keep the hotel in pristine conditions. We do take the precautions to not place our guest in rooms beside the areas in maintenance, I will follow up why your room was assigned in that area.

Hopefully we will be able to have you stay once again with us.

Sincerely;

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

Stayed for a week here after a week in the town of Tamarindo. This was definitely more relaxing but far away from anything else besides a walk down the beach to the Beach Club (perfect waves right out front for our two surfer boys) or a bit farther to Lola's (a must for lunch!) however, we weren't looking for activities after a busy week in town, just perfect relaxation which we had plenty. The staff was very attentive and professional and FRIENDLY! The grounds were beautiful, and the suites were clean, well-appointed and roomy. We had great food and cocktails in three of the restaurants and out by the pool. This is a great value for a TOP hotel!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 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, October 10, 2013
Dear Guest;

Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.

It is gratifying for me to know that you really enjoy your stay with us during your visit.

Tamarindo is a great beach perfect for surfing. Next time you can try also Guiones Beach since you can find great waves.

We will be waiting for your next visit.

Regards;

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northborough, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

My sister and I decided to take a trip, just the two of us to get away and relax. I have a very stressful job and my sister is a teacher, so having a little downtime in the summer was needed.

We arrived at the hotel following the directions provided by the hotel. The directions were very good and there were ample signs. We rented a car based on what we read on TA, but looking back, we probably would just hire a shuttle to take us to and from the airport. The drive itself was easy, but the two excursions we took had transportation provided and we only went into the local town once using the shuttle since we weren't sure where it was. If you're planning on exploring on your own, a car might be worth it though.

When we arrived, it was right at 3:00, check-in time. We were informed that our room was not ready because they had issues with the water. We left our luggage with the bellman and wandered around, grabbing a very late lunch by the pool. We returned around 4:15/4:30 and our room was finally ready. We booked a oceanview room, but when we got to our room, we couldn't see the ocean at all. When the bellman finally delivered our luggage, I asked if it was an oceanview room and he agreed that you could not see the ocean. I went up to the front of the hotel and reminded them that we had an oceanview room. The woman who helped us was rather combative, insisting that the room was an oceanview room, but had a colleague look and see if another one was available. Finally, he took us to another room at 5:30 which actually was an oceanview room. Our luggage was another story - arriving at our new room at 6:15 when we had 6:30 dinner reservations. Basically, our initial impression was not exactly the best.

The room itself was decent although nothing special. Our room had two double beds with a decent size bathroom. The balcony was a decent size and had one lounge chair and a small table. There was also a screen that could be pulled down to protect against bugs or the sun. The bathroom was a good size with a large tub, double sinks, separate shower and toilet.

The grounds were nice, although because they were in the low period, they were doing construction in several areas. The pool was huge and a wonderful temperature that was inviting. Get there early if you want prime spots. Those go fast! The beach was beautiful and you could walk forever during low tide. We saw the most amazing sunsets while we were here. They were absolutely amazing.

The food at the resort was average. For lunch expect to pay about $20pp for a sandwich and fries and tap water. The nice thing is that you can get lunch delivered to your pool or beach chair. I fell in love with the margarita there, which had muddled strawberries in it. Yum! For dinner, we ate at the steakhouse and the Japanese restaurant. Both were decent, but nothing special. I wish we could have gotten more local cuisine at the resort. To me, that was what was really missing here.

I did spend some time at the Spa, purchasing one of their packages. It was a nice spa, but again, nothing really made it stood out as outstanding.

We found that there were a TON of families here and very few couples, which I found surprising. The hotel is also pretty far away from a lot of stuff, which is either a plus or a negative depending on how you look at it.

Would I recommend or return to the JW Marriott Guanacaste? Maybe. I'd probably explore other areas of the country before returning. Would I tell someone to avoid this hotel - no, just know what to expect.

Room Tip: 2nd Floor rooms are not ocean view. Make sure you get a high floor room if you book an oceanview roo...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, September 19, 2013
Dear Guest;

I truly apologize for the inconveniences suffered during your check in. I will address your comments to our Front Desk Manager to improve in this kind of situation.

Hopefully we will have the opportunity to be your host again during your next trip to Costa Rica. I do recommend explore more areas of this beautiful place since there is a lot to see.

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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