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“Nice Boutique Hotel, with Excellent Staff”
Review of Sugar Beach Hotel

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Sugar Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 17, 2014

Just got back from a wonderful 6 day trip with my entire family where we stayed for the first time at Hotel Sugar Beach. We stayed in the 5 bedroom beach house, with an impressive master bedroom and large kitchen/living room. The hotel is located in a tropical wooded setting, so Iguanas and monkeys (heard but never saw) are around the property which to us was part of the charm. The food was very good, and the waiter named Victor was one of the best I have ever met.
To me what makes this a wonderful property is the quiet and beautiful beach. You can find nicer beaches in Costa Rica, but they are crowded with tourists. My family stayed on the beach for 4 hours one day and we hardly saw another person. Located 30-60 minutes away from all the popular attractions, like Flamingo Beach and Tamarindo.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank SoderTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosePablo, Guest Relations Manager at Sugar Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to review Hotel Sugar Beach. Victor has been with us for more than 15 years and inspires us all to be authentic, hospitable and, as you say, memorable! We are also blessed with a beautiful beach. So great that you were able to enjoy the beach and then share that experience. All the best!

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196 - 202 of 409 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

The Good: Fantastic location on a beautiful and private cove. Nice gardens with surrounding dry forest. Pleasant little swimming pool. The Bad: Booked most expensive rooms, but they were shabby: rings on tables from glasses, broken tiles, wood beams eaten by termites, cracks in walls. The Ugly: Food was overpriced for what you got and not very interesting (warm french fries, warm breaded calamari, seafood rice with perhaps 7 actual pieces of seafood). Had an issue with breakfast where one of us wanted to substitute eggs and plantains for a bit of fruit. Impossible, apparently. After that, surly waiter. Complaints and suggestions were met with a blank stare by the "head of operations" who refused to give me the contact information of the owners. At check out there were so many people complaining about irregularities on their bill that we had to leave or miss our flight (and hope they were honest with our voucher). Overall: Beautiful spot with poor management. Note: Rather than fix any problem, Operations Manager just gave me his e-mail. I told him not to apologize on TripAdvisor later -- better to fix the problem now! Blank stare.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Monteverdeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JosePablo, Guest Relations Manager at Sugar Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014

Thank you for sharing your experience as we do have moments or lapses in service that need to be addressed. I wish we could go back to the day you had breakfast and allow you the substitutions. Since your visit we have changed how breakfast is presented and ordered in order to allow some flexibility and also larger appeal for tastes and dietary needs. I regret that your stay had several bumps, and not just a difficult morning. If you can travel again from Monteverde, Costa Rica, please give us another chance to deliver top notch service. To contact the owner please use sales@sugar-beach.com

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Reviewed January 3, 2014

The hotel is a calm and romantic place directly on the beautiful beach "Playa Pan de Azucar". We have been there in early december and stayed in one of the garden rooms (which were almost as close to the sea as the seafront rooms). The rooms had a fan and an AC, were light and broad, the beds were the most comfortable we have slept in in Costa Rica!
The restaurant was open the whole day and offered basic, but tasty food. For breakfast (which is included in the room) you can choose between 3 styles of breakfast (Costa Rican rice and beans, pancakes, fruit with toast). The staff was very friendly! Try the hot chocolat cake with vanilla ice for dessert! Awesome!!! :)

The hotel provides some sun beds on the beach and the beach itself was great! Almost private to the guests of the hotel and with an amazing sunset!

The hotel itself does not organize any tours, but can refer to other providers.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ina9181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My husband, 14 year old daughter and I stayed at Hotel Sugar Beach 12/22-12/25. The grounds and the beach are great. We had howler monkeys right outside our door one day, and a scorpian right inside our door as well (but its the tropics) We stayed in a standard garden view room (#18). I did not see the other rooms, but this room was great for us. It had a decent size bath room, with a sink and mirror outside the bathroom as well so you could get ready if someone was in the bathroom. 2 fairly comfortable queen size beds. A nice porch to sit on with a partial ocean view. The included breakfast was a choice of typical costa rican breakfast (2 eggs, rice and beans), pancakes or fresh fruit, coffee was included but juice was extra. The lunch/dinner menu was decent and the food was pretty good, I really enjoyed the Carribean Chicken. The average for dinner for the 3 of us was around $75.00. Drinks were about $5.00 each which is cheap for a hotel. A special shout out to Gabby, she is wonderful. She answered all my questions about tours ahead of our arrival and booked everything for us including our transportation from the airport and to our next hotel on our vacation.

Room Tip: It's a small resort, I would not spend extra money on a more expensive room. The garden view sta...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lcameron75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

This is a terrific place to stay on a beautiful secluded beach in Costa Rica. We stayed in a family suite, which was perfect for our group of 6. Gabriella was outstanding in arranging activities and providing recommendations. The restaurant has great food with a nice view of the beach. It's a relaxed atmosphere away from the crowds. The restaurant staff were very attentive and provided excellent service. The beach has perfect waves for boogey boarding and body surfing, really nice at sunset. A rental car is highly recommended, walking to nearby beaches or towns would be difficult. We stayed off the beach, it was clean and comfortable.

The hotel is about 11/2 hours from Liberia. It's an easy 40 min. drive to the beaches near Tamarindo for surfing. The next beach north (5 min.) has kayak, snorkeling, bike, and board rentals.

Highly recommended as a home base for a Costa Rican adventure.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

Here is the one negative thing I have to say about the hotel: the beds are rock hard. Other than that and a lackluster pool (but who needs a pool when the gorgeous ocean is right at your feet?), this hotel was incredible. We arrived from the Liberia airport at Sugar Beach around 11pm (our flight landed at 9pm, and with customs and travel to Potrero, we got in very late). The hotel restaurant closed at 9:30 and the night time hotel manager, Pablo, informed us that nothing in the area would be open at this time either. He apologized, gave us a bag of pretzels he had on hand, and offered to bring some water bottles to our room. We were wondering what was taking him so long with the water, and when he finally came back, it was with fresh guacamole and salsa from the kitchen. He made it seem like it was no big deal at all for him to do this- I thought it was incredible service.
The staff went out of their way another time to make our stay at Sugar beach wonderful. We scheduled a trip to Arenal Volcano with a tour company (we really didn't want to do one with a zip line, so we selected one that had other options), and while we were out on a sailing tour, the company we booked cancelled our tour to the volcano because other people who had scheduled to do the tour got sick and the company would not take out a group without a minimum of four people. The hotel staff, in the meanwhile, made lots of phone calls in an attempt to book us on a similar tour. When we got back from our sailing trip, the staff was extremely apologetic about the cancellation (which was in no way their fault) and explained to us all that they had been trying to sort out while we were gone. They managed to arrange a private tour for my husband and me for the same cost as the group tour we were suppose to go on by the time we got back from sailing! (A private tour would have cost a few hundred $ more normally). I can't state how impressed I am by how they went above and beyond.
Other things about the hotel: rooms are a good size, and aside from the mattress, comfortable. The balconies are spacious and the views of the beach and jungle are amazing. There are lots of iguanas and lizards roaming the property, supposedly some monkeys too, but we never saw any. The beach is beautiful. During low tide when there aren't waves you can see through the clear waters. There are pretty rock formations with lots of small trickling waterfalls and hermit crabs on either side of the private cove. The water was completely swimmable away from the rocky areas.
The restaurant: Victor, one of the waiters, was one of our favorite people we encountered on our trip. He noted that I didn't eat the red onions on my salad and asked me why and I told him I liked onions, just not the bad breath they give me when they are raw. Every other time we ate there he remembered to leave off the onions. Victor was always ready to give us honest advice and opinions on things to do, how it was to drive (we were planning on driving down the coast, but apparently the roads are terrible, so we took the main roads instead based on his advice). The food at the restaurant is decent. We ate there several times and I think the food varied on how good it was based on who was cooking it. You could order the same dish two days in a row (we took advantage of the free breakfast) and it would taste and look very different each time.
My only warning would be to avoid Maik the cab driver. We made the mistake of not renting a car until three days in, which left us dependent on Maik to take us to dinner a few times. He would charge anywhere between $30-50 US to go somewhere five minutes or less away. We asked his opinion on driving down to Samara, the best routes, anything to be careful of, etc. and he told us the police would try to pull us over at every opportunity and we would have to bribe them with large amounts. He also there are secret cameras all over the country that record traffic violations and then add the bill to the rental charge, amongst other things. I don't know if he was trying to finagle us into hiring him to drive us around or just being a jerk and try to scare us. I saw right through most of his tactics and other Ticans refuted everything Maik told us. In other words, rent a car.
I digress... if you're looking for a hotel that is semi secluded but still is accessible to all of the best tours Costa Rica offers, has stunning views, AMAZING staff... then this is the place for you. I would come back here again and again.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the second level (rooms are arranged like a four flat), they have larger balcon...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MW427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

This was a great vacation - the beach is wonderful with fun waves to bodysurf - The food was very authentic - we loved the beans and rice at breakfest - staff was great - many thanks to Gabby for everything she did. Whetther you take a tour and just hang - it is fun - We had three goals in mind - Wife catch first ever Sailfish, catch a big Mahi Mahi for dinner and have fun with monkeys - results 100% - already booked for hext year - may see you there

Room Tip: We had the suite with the best Ocean View - 2nd Floor - well worth it
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bencher319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Beach Hotel

Address: Playa Pan de Azucar, Playa Potrero, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Potrero
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Potrero
Price Range: $124 - $201 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sugar Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are one of the few small hotels in Guanacaste, with a pristine secluded beach, surrounded by nature. Enjoy breathtaking views and experience the Pura Vida lifestyle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sugar Beach Hotel Costa Rica/Playa Potrero

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