The Villa Sol resort is a nice, inexpensive way to have a relaxing vacation while immersed in nature. The views from just about everywhere are spectacular. We stayed in the hotel room (not a villa), which is very close to the main buffet restaurant, bar, and simple swimming pool. The swim-up bar and snack center and other restaurant are a short walk away. The location can be important if you stay from June through August because it's the beginning of the "green season" and you can expect showers (sometimes intense). If you stay in the Hotel and have an umbrella it shouldn't impact you. From what I've heard, do not go to this region in the fall as you can expect monsoon-type rains. You will most likely take the shuttle service to/from the beach to avoid some very steep hills. Unlike most resorts we've been to, the shuttle service here is wonderful. I don't think I ever waited more than 5 minutes for a shuttle.
If possible, try to get a hotel room facing the pool - the view is better and because the place isn't crowded it is also quiet. The rooms are a little smaller than normal but are adequate. You have a nice balcony, fridge, keyless mini-safe, and shelves, but no table (at least not in our double-bed room). They advertised a mini-bar service (for a fee), but our fridge was empty. Note, they have water jugs on each floor to refill water bottles. However, the water is safe at the resort.
The buffet has pretty good food and they try to mix up the variety. However, don't expect the selections like you would at a large all-inclusive resort. There just aren't enough people to justify large selections of food. By the way, due to the size of the dining area, on a few occasions we had to wait 5 - 10 minutes to be seated. Fortunately, the bar is adjacent to the restaurant so you can start with a drink and enjoy the view. Recommended tropical drink: Mai Tai.
One minus for an "all-inclusive" resort is the beach area. For some reason, the resort can no longer offer food or drinks at the beach. There is a vendor there if you want to purchase something. As for us, we brought a few drinks down with us and we're ready to return by lunch-time. There are some lounge chairs, both in the sun and the shade. There aren't many, but we didn't have any problem getting them. Regarding the quality of the beach, if you like lying out in the sun on white-sand beaches you will not be happy. Overall, the sand is darker. On the two far sides of the sand beach, the cove is bordered by volcanic rocks. My favorite morning activity was walking along these (in my highly recommended water-shoes) and enjoying the solitude and beauty of the cove. The water is mostly very calm and warm. The snorking is pretty good for not having to take a boat. You will see snake-fish, black sea urchins, unique "flexible" starfish, and a variety of fish. Also, take the $10 sail boat ride (even though they don't open the sail) to go to a beach that's part of the Four Season resort.
Recommendation: Get up early and enjoy the day. The daylight hours are from 6am- 6pm and it rarely rains before 2pm. (The local time is MST) By the way, if you're a light sleeper, the howler monkeys may wake you any way. I didn't see them there, but the sounds were amazing.
Most people at the resort take a few tours. Some are a little bit expensive but it's a great opportunity to see different aspects of Costa Rica. The Congo Canopy Tour is great for the whole family. My wife (whose afraid of heights) and our 9 year old daughter both loved it. ($49 adults) There is a trip to Nicaragua for about $130 to see the inside of a volcano and experience the Nicaraguan culture. The shopping is also cheap. They also have "mega trips" to sample lots of things (horse back riding, hot springs, etc) in a single day.
By the way, there is a lesser-known resort next to Villas Sol that seems comparable and is most likely even cheaper. Their "green season" rates (June - Nov) are $40/person/night - all-inclusive. The resort is "Condovac La Costa" and there are Trip Advisor reviews. The best time to go may be in January, the rain stops and there should still be lots of green foliage before the dry(brown) season.
When we return, we'll probably stay at one of these resorts and do more tours to see the rest of Costa Rica.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a development of 100% Costa Rican capital located on Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste on the northern Pacific Coast and managed by Promotora La Costa, a pioneer company in tourism development in Guanacaste. We are a 4-star resort, and have a Tourism Sustainability Certification (CST) of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and we are affiliated with Resort Condominium International RCI, being the only resort in Central America included in the Gold Crown category granted by this company. We work under an all-inclusive service in 54 deluxe hotel rooms and 109 fully equipped villas of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. With unbeatable view of Papagayo Gulf. Among many alternatives for entertainment and sports offered by Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, you’ll find a wide variety of activities for all ages - water sports (motorized & non motorized), sport fishing, diving, kayak & jet ski as well as many one day tours that will take you to the many national parks and hide-away beaches in the area surrounding our resort. Our great location makes not only our resort a great destination but also offers a convenient closeness to all major tours and activities taking place in the Guanacaste area and surroundings. Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a place for all ages and types of vacationer. A great choice for families traveling with children, single travelers, honeymooners, people looking for a relaxing vacation or those looking for fun and excitement. Our friendly, helpful staff welcome all guests with a “PURA VIDA” and a smile & the best service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas Sol Hotel And Beach Resort
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Playa Hermosa
- Hotel Sol Beach
- Sol Hotel Playa Hermosa
- Playa Hermosa Sol Hotel
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste