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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
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Reviewed September 8, 2013

Let me start by saying that we travel often and have stayed in some "interesting" accommodations over the years. My wife is a Travel industry and our group of friends has stayed in everything from a boutique hotel room to All Inclusives. We've been across the Caribbean and have experienced all kinds of Cultures and service, however, Villas Sol has set a new "Low". We refer to it as "The Trip from Hell". Now don't get me wrong, we knew it was the start of the Rainy Season and were prepared for that weather. We also booked several Eco Tours(outside company) and had a blast, but its the amount of money wasted on staying at Villas Sol that taints this trip.
My wife and I stayed in a great one bedroom condo and our friends shared a large condo with a plunge pool. I say great, until the rains began to flood our lanai and then spill into our unit, 2" deep! This was at 2am and a call to the front desk prompted a visit by "Security" on a motor bike. I speak just enough Spanish that I figured out that he was verifying to the front desk, that I was not lying about the room's condition. He was then directed to check out the unit below us to see if we could move there. I followed down and saw that the ceiling was already leaking in that unit. When I refused to move under the growing lake the front Desk said that was all they could do for the night and that a Manager would be in the Morning. Wow! Thanks for not moving us to anywhere else on this deserted property. We called our friends and at 4am bugged out of our condo and to the safety of their dry Futon. It took 2 days to get a new condo and during that period we revisited the old place where the water remained uncleaned. It wasn't the flooding that bothered me, but the shear lack of concern for us by any of the staff!
Stupidly, we bought into the "All Inclusive package". This had nothing to do with any other All Inclusive package offered by other Resorts. For the money, the food choices were very limited. The running joke was which sauce the chicken or beef dish was in tonight, red or white! I hope you love rice and beans too! Its not the Costa Rican diet I'm disappointed in, but rather the misrepresentation of a changing menu "Theme Nights" and the illusion of multiple restaurants on any given night. The service was extremely poor and they seemed to be bothered to have to wait on you. I felt very unwelcome and out of place. As for the bar tenders, at any hour they were the same demeanor. They went out of their way to ignore you and assure that no drinks were flowing. Refills??? Try again later! Pool bar, I'm invisible. Beach bar??? Why yes, I would love a flat, warm beer poured from a strange bottle. I would have bought my own beverages from the small on site store, but oh wait, it's closed yet again for" inventory".
I consider myself pretty easy going and NOT the typical "American on Holiday" that is so famously frowned upon. Even in the middle of this craziness, all we ever wanted was decent service for the money. By all means, go to Costa Rica but, DO NOT waste your hard earned monies at Villas Sol. Please pick somewhere else!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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13  Thank Raul410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I actually started my vacation the week of September and ended in October. I was looking around for a place to call my new second home. I was there for the earthquake ...my first and only one. What an experience! Costa Rica suffered very little damage...they build well for that type of thing. Our two bedroom two bath with living room and kitchen opened from both bedrooms and the living room onto a huge patio deck with a fantastic view of the ocean. Lots of steep inclines so you can get exercise or call for their intra resort rides. I loved this resort and all of Costa Rica. No wonder I want to move there. Massages on the beach are good as well. I loved waking up to see the howler monkeys being noisy in the trees.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Patricia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viviana C, Asistente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Hi Patricia W:

Thank you for tell us about your trip. We want you to come back soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

If you need any help planning excursions, Gilbert is your guy! On a recent trip, Gilbert was extremely helpful when planning excursions. He gave us great advice and was incredibly friendly. After renting a vehicle, he even drew us a map for several beach destinations we were looking for. Thank you, Gilbert!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Angela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We arrived at the hotel, nobody helping us with the luggage. During the check in process they requested a credit card guarantee although our rooms were already prepaid. The installations are good, the service from the employees in the restaurants and the beach are good. At the fitness area there was nobody, I had to find the switchboard myself to turn on the light and the airco. In the evening we wanted a bottle of water, at the check in counter the employees were rude and not helpful at all, their solution was to leave the hotel premises and buy and the next hotel A BOTTLE OF WATER!!. The credit card could not be charged for this. Also after leaving the gym there was no way to buy extra water. In conclusion service from the assistance at check inn counter extremely disappointed. A 4 star hotel should have a bottle of water.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Duchmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viviana C, asistente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2013
Google Translation

Buenas.
Te pedimos las disculpas por lo sucedido en tu estadía. Te contamos que se irán a hacer unos cambios en el hotel para que la próxima vez que te registres nos cuentes cómo fue esa experiencia.
Saludos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

I'm currently staying in the resort with my family of 6. We have traveled a lot through Europe, and Asia. You have to understand that you are going to a 3rd world country, and look at your experience with that in mind. I'm glad to report we were not hammered with requests to see a time share presentation, but I suspect we are one of the lucky ones who fell through the cracks, even though we are here for 2 weeks. I read the reviews before we came and noticed they were under construction as far back as 2007. I wonder when it will stop because they start every morning at 7am. I see a HUGE waste of money when they are replacing neutral colored tile flooring with neutral colored tile flooring. If we were approached, the first question i would ask is why are they wasting all of this money? if I were an owner, I would be outraged at the waste I see. it just gives me a perspective of how they spend their money. With all of the construction since 2007, we seem to be the only family with a unit that has not been updated. Here's a marketing question, if you have a family of 6 staying for 2 weeks, don't you think they would be a prime target to sell a time share unit to? Don't get me wrong, Im VERY happy we were not approached (yet), but again it shows how poorly managed this place is. Another example is that it took 8 days, yes 8, to fix the air conditioning in the main living and kitchen area. The units in the bedrooms worked fine, and we spent little time in the unit so it was not a big deal. At first they thought it didn't work because the batteries in the remote were dead, really?? Then it was probably because the unit was out of freon. When I pointed out the unit did not have any power (hello is there anybody here) and told the the breaker trips every 5 minutes, they had something new to discuss. I finally demanded they change the breaker, and guess what, it worked!!!!!! I keep telling my wife I'm a genius but she doesn't believe me. By the way, there is a big hole in the ceiling too......... Again since we do not spend much time in the villa, it's not a big deal. Remember, 3rd world country.

Overall the food at the resort is very good. If you are expecting food like home, good luck. We are pleasantly surprised with the consistency of the food, and the incredibly friendly wait staff. They work very hard, and are under staffed. We are here during the rainy season (it rains 20 minutes every afternoon), and my guess is that the resort is 20% full. I hope they increase the staff before the busy season starts. As I said, the staff works VERY hard, but if you have poor management, then they are limited and overworked. The service staff (with the exception of Michael the bar tender) are AMAZING, and I cannot say enough great things about them. Michael is just a jerk and jerks are in every crowd. I'm not the only guest with this opinion of Michael.

There are only 2 restaurants here, and the "premium" one is only open 4 days a week. You only get 2 "passes" a week to eat here, and you have to make your reservations by 8 am to get a table in a restaurant that is NEVER full. In addition, we have been here for 10 days, and the ala carte menu has not changed. What's going on with that? Oh, and by the way, there are only 3 choices for appetizer and dinner, and 2 for desert. We also were served only 1 glass of wine. Maybe it was because of all of the great staff working here, Michael the jerk was our waiter.

Overall our experience was acceptable because we are here to spend time together, and a vacation is what you make of it, not the accommodations. Being experienced travelers (our youngest is 7 and an amazing poker player, won 2 of the 6 tournaments we played) we are able to look past the totally crappy management, appreciate the wonderful staff, and ignore Michael the jerk. What I am saying here is if you get a good deal, you have to understand you always pay for it somewhere. Here it is bad management, and a 2 out of 5 for accommodations. You make your own holiday, don't let Michael the jerk, or poor management spoil it for you.

One last note, all of the beaches in Costa Rica are public. You will find plenty of sharks circling you trying to sell you a time share. The best trick I've seen so far is what we the customers call "the coconut." They will approach you with scratch off cards (one for each adult). Amazingly, one of those 2 cards (usually the lady) will get 3 coconuts! WOW your a winner!!!! Then they say that only 1 of 1200 cards has 3 coconuts, and if you come with them they will treat you to lunch, if you listen to a presentation................sounds good right? We must have had the best luck because every couple we met got 3 coconuts!!!! This is so amazing I should go buy a lottery ticket and spend the night at the casino!!!!!! They work the ladies by telling them that the young lady or young man who gave you the card gets an extra $50 in their paycheck that week if you come for lunch. I know the ladies just want to help the poor girl get her extra $50. Knowing the scam we played along. We negotiated that the 90 minutes of our time started with lunch. As soon as we sat down, I took out my phone, put the timer on 90 minutes, made sure the young lady trying to sell us saw the timer and announced that the clock was ticking!! We leisurely ate lunch (we were 6), which left about 50 minutes of presentation time. Every 10 minutes during the presentation I pointed to my timer to show them how much time was left. We spent a lot of time agreeing that there is money to be made here, (we were being sarcastic of course) and decided that it just wasn't for us. I must say though the lunch was very good, and during the presentation I let my kids ask as many questions as they wanted. In the end they were very happy to take us back to our "resort." It was nice to see another beach and get a free lunch. I'm also the guy by the way when I'm called on the phone by some marketing dimwit will tell them I'm in the other room and if they can hold on for a minute that Mr. C will be right with them. Then I return to whatever I was doing asking them to hold on please..... I figure the longer I can keep a telemarketer on the line, the less time he or she has to bother someone else.

I hope this was helpful, remember that vacations are only as fun as you make them. So come on down, have some fun, and torture a timeshare rep!!

Room Tip: On a good day this is a 3 star resort AT BEST. The villas are up very steep hills and the shuttle runs about every 15 minutes. If this were the busy season I would expect to drop 40 pounds from having to walk up the hill every time.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank F1-Fan-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viviana C, asistente at Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2013
Google Translation

Hola.
Estamos pendientes de estas críticas para crecer mundialmente como hotel. Mejoraremos esos aspectos que no estuvieron correctos en tu estadía y esperamos que cuando vuelvas a visitarnos te encuentres con una experiencia asombrosa.
Saludos.

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