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JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa
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Reviews (2,714)
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Reviewed February 11, 2013

To start with the good, the property and rooms are very nice, as are the service staff.
But from there, a lot to be desired. No sense that management has any focus on the guest experience.
Start with first impression: $400 a night room and charge $15/day extra for internet?
Food is generally mediocre and over-priced. Hotel is isolated from any other options. Unless you want to spend $14/person and 30 minutes for shuttle ride to Tamarindo, you are captive to $18 sandwiches, and $12 soups. Breakfast and lunch are dominated by $25 buffets; ordering from menu is very slow and frustrating experience. No place within miles to just buy a yogurt or piece of fruit.
Property seems to have piped music everywhere – by the pool, in the restaurants. Try to hear the ocean waves, good luck. Unless you are a fan of 1970’s disco music – of which there is very good selection. Very strangely, main bar at sunset has DJ with music videos playing just when you are looking for a nice quiet drink. Have you seen Madona’s “Like a Virgin” recently?
Smaller point, two bars on property have no atmosphere – as Mark Twain would of put it “a great location, spoiled.”
Would not come back. Great facility but once there you are at mercy of poor management.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Steven D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for take your time to write this review about your recent stay at our Resort and share with all of us about your experience. I regret it wasn’t enjoyed.

Our prices for food are similar to some of the good restaurants in Tamarindo. The difference is that you have to pay additional $14 per person to go into town.

I also respect that you don’t like to music at the bar but there is some people who really enjoy 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.
Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

This time we enjoyed a magical view from our room. We had a great family time at the pool and beach. The drinks called "Moritos" were delicious. Looking forward to our next visit. The service and food at Mansita was great.

  • Stayed: February 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Thank rsanliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments.

It is gratifying for me to know that one more time you had great stay.

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.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Very beautiful hotel. Had a relaxing stay and a great time. The hotel is isolated, but it is close enough for a shuttle ride into Tamarindo. There was a little bit of a language problem with some of the staff, but it wasn't a show stopper. Be careful of the sun, we used a lot of sunblock but still got sunburned. Also went Zip Lining and did the ATV tour, we booked it thru the hotel. Down the beach(45 min walk)we went to Lolas, a great place to eat and its right on the beach. Overall had a GREAT time at the hotel.

Room Tip: They are reroofing portions of the hotel.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Gregsco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Great time! I like to read this in all the reviews that I read everyday.

Thank you for your positive comments. For what I read you really took the time to have fun doing some activities and that is healthy.

We hope to be your host again in a near future.

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.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Stayed here as part of a large tour group (Caravan Tours) and was immediately impressed by the luxurious atmosphere, but quickly started finding fault. Rooms were assigned to our group at random: some got spectacular ocean and pool views while others (like us) got a room in the back overlooking wasteland. Not entirely the hotel's fault that we were assigned this awful view, but, I would have expected that in such a high end hotel that the gardens would have been finished and more lush so that even our view would have at least looked finished and manicured. The room was very nice and probably one of the nicest I have had the chance to stay in, but little things were flawed: there was no soap dish in the bathroom and the room's thermostat was located directly under the room's air conditioner, so it was nearly impossible to keep the room at a comfortable temperature while sleeping. Also, there didn't seem to be a way to keep the fan going continuously, so all night it came on and went off. Because of where our room was located we had to take an elevator to the Lobby floor then walk around the court yard to another hallway to take a different elevator down to the pool level. To get to the beach we had to walk around the contours of the pool (no direct route). The grounds were nice but not mature, i.e. the palm trees where still very small and provided little shade. All in all there was not sufficient shade on the grounds around the pool or on the beach given the intensity of the sun- there were only a few umbrellas and the palm trees didn't really provide any shade. The Hacienda Pinilla development on which the hotel is located is an interesting prospect, but as yet is undeveloped and still undergoing construction. We took a 3km walk along the trails and it seemed very odd to be walking on paved trails around an undeveloped subdivision and past gated communities that had no houses in them. But the beach is nice and not busy. We did take a trail ride from the on-site stables which was very nice and from which we had exceptional views.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank nvwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,


I am glad to know that you liked your room even with not an Ocean View. I regret we couldn’t give you a different room to satisfy your expectations. I hope next time we can assign a better view room for you. I would recommend you to come around July since is not so high occupancy and the weather is much better (no so hot).

I appreciate your comments about our gardens; I would work on that to get better gardens views.

I would be waiting for your next visit.


Sincerely;


Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

There are some plusses and some big minuses to this resort. Read carefully and determine if it's right for you.

THE GOOD:
- Amazing beach. The hotel is at the end of a mile long beach that is completely undeveloped.
- At the other end of the beach is Lola's restaurant. Great food and lots of shade. Perfect for lunch.
- It's 20 minutes from Tamarindo, a fun surfing town with some good restaurants (try the fish tacos at Nougies) and a great, laid-back surfer vibe.
- Surfing along the beach is great for beginners (take lessons at the surf school at Lola's).
- The pool is great.
- Rooms are pretty good and have nice balconies.
- Nice Spa

THE BAD:
Aside from the picturesque beauty the resort struggled on many fronts, most of them service related.

BAD FOOD; WORSE PRICES
- Mansitas was awful. Marriott may not be the most luxurious of hotel chains but it is a respected company. If a Marriott executive ate at Mansitas he would fire every single person and start over. I'd rather eat the buffet at a cheap all inclusive resort than eat at Mansitas.
- Mansitas tried to be too fancy. At breakfast we were offered the choice between sparkling water or bottled water (for breakfast, tap water will do, thank you).
- You could easily run up a $40-$50 per person tab at a hour and a half long breakfast. There's no place to get a quick bagel before maximizing pool and beach time.
-The steakhouse was good by comparison. Think a bit better than Outback quality (the costa rican cuts are probably best) and Peter Luger price. Service was weak -- they were out of menus and wouldn't let us sit at an empty outside table (eventually they relented).
- The poolside restaurant was best for dinner. We had a decent Italian meal. It was not good for lunch ($25 for a soggy fish sandwich).
Get around the food problem by (1) pick up some fruit and bagels at a store before you arrive; (2) walk down to Lola's for lunch everyday and (3) drive 20 minutes into Tammarindo for dinner.

BAD SERVICE:
- The first answer to most questions was no. I did not feel like a valued guest.
- The concierge wasn't very helpful. Plus some activities are handled by one concierge and some by another in another location.
- There was a corporate event during our stay. That meant a loud outdoor DJ party one night (of course, the DJ tested the sound system to see how loud it could go during a beautiful sunset) and a loud band another night. I wish we had one of the few rooms that overlooked the beach and not the pool.

While we were there we discussed the resorts shortcomings with the management (I don't think its fair to anonymously review them on trip advisor without giving them the feedback in person first). They earnestly tried to make our stay more enjoyable. I give them the credit they deserve for this. If they made every guest feel that special then this would be a decent resort.

TIPS (if you want to brave staying at this resort):
- get a rental car so you can go into Tammarindo (hotel shuttle is $14pp)
- combine this with staying in the Arenal Volcano region (a 3 hr drive away). The rain forest is one of the best and most unique parts of Costa Rica, we were glad we spent time there.
- get a room overlooking the beach, not the loud pool.
- BYOB (booze and breakfast)

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank BEonVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

We regret you didn’t enjoy your stay with us. But we appreciate your feedback.

Thank you for have pointed which specific areas wasn’t to your liking and I am sure our readers appreciate your tips about restaurants, rooms preference and locations to visit in Costa Rica.

All your comments regarding Food & Beverage have been address to our F&B Director to avoid this kind of comments from other guests. And about music; unfortunately it takes part from some events that our group visitors planned and we understand that for some people can be fun and actually like it and for other persons like you don’t and we respect that.

Thanks again and you can be sure we take serious all the comments that I receive through this page to follow up and improve.

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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