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“A nice, simple, inexpensive place to stay in Costa Rica.”

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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A nice, simple, inexpensive place to stay in Costa Rica.”
Reviewed June 16, 2009

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.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank LoveTheAI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2009

My friend & I stayed for 5 nights, 6 days at the hotel. We absolutely loved Villas Sol! The location is beautiful with breath taking views. We had no problems with the food, there was a different theme every night. We got the all inclusive band. We plan to come back & stay in the Villas. The beach has many different activities that you can do and we loved it- I don't know why there were so many complaints about the beach?! It's just a black sand beach because it's volcanic sand. The water was clean. Housekeeping left our room spotless. The staff was friendly- if you greet them with a smile and are courteous they will return the same gesture. Some guests at the hotel were snobby & complaining almost all the time- they just seemed like miserable individuals. Our stay was fabulous and I have nothing negative to say.

Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank adventureseeker3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2009

My friends and I stayed at Villa Sol in the Hotel portion of the resort for a week. The room was very nice and clean, much better than we had anticipated. The view from the room looking over the cove is amazing. The only problem with the room is that the you can hear a lot of things through the door so light sleepers might find it annoying.

The food was average, about what we expected. It got pretty repetitive but because it was all inclusive we really didn't mind. The value from the package was definitely made up in the alcohol and the Costa Rican beer, Imperial, is quite good and on tap at all of the bars.

If you are one who wants to walk right out of the hotel and down to the beach this is not for you. You need to take a shuttle down to the beach and it runs about every 5 minutes. The beach is ok but if you rent a kayak or dirve a bit you can find some pristine white beaches in the Playa Hermosa area.

Renting a car is a great idea as it allowed us to go visit the Arenal volcano area, white water rafting, and other beachs such as Playa Grande near Tamarindo. The tours at the hotel are probably overpriced but if you don't have a car they all provide transportation to the different events. There is FREE WIRELESS in the lobby area so bring a computer and you can find your own tour prices. Plus, the business center charges to use the computer so you will save yourself some time and money if you bring a laptop.

Service was mixed. I found some of the bartenders to be outstanding and would refill beer before asking while at dinner some waiters would only bring one drink and then forget about our table or be slow to reach us at all.

Overall, for the price we had a good time and the rental car helped, but if you want more beach or more volcano/jungle then you can probably find a better location.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ScottieWP09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LilarbVT
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2009

Villas Sol was wonderful! We booked a room in the hotel and ended up getting upgraded to a one bedroom villa upon our arrival. The villa was beautiful, spacious, and clean. Words cannot explain how wonderful the view was!

When it comes to food, I am a rather picky eater. I had NO PROBLEMS at Villas Sol. The buffet was delicious for all meals, and there was always tons of food to choose from. There is also a mini-market next to the Reception area where you can purchase snacks and drinks all day. Even the wet bar food was great!

We did the all inclusive package and it was well worth it. You don't have to tip the bartenders or servers so there really were no expenses at all during our stay! The service was great (especially at the wet bar) and we had an absolutely wonderful time! I highly recommend staying here and I definitely look forward to going back!

A little FYI, this resort is on a hillside so if you don't take the shuttles it can be rather tiring to get from once place to another. Luckily the shuttles are always coming around, so it's rare that you'll have to walk very far. And if you do end up walking, you'll have nice calf muscles by the end of the trip ;)

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LilarbVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2009

I stayed here for 7 night with my partner and extended family, we had a beautiful and spacious 3 bedroom villa. The place was clean, well maintained and service was great. Every corner of the place was in tip top shape and I am picky. We all enjoyed ourselves and never got in each others way. There was plenty to do for all. Getting from one place to another was fast and easy.
Only problem we encountered was that we could not call home from the hotel, international calling cards were not functionable, its a drawback when you want to call home to check up on kids and pets. We had to go outside the resort to make calls. We managed.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank planas54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 11, 2009

Villas Sol has beautiful coastline views from everywhere -- and yet .-- the beach is black sand and quite unattractive. Other than that - very clean, lovely restaurant with excellent food despite the fact its a buffet they really do a fabulous job at the restaurant. Staff very friendly.. lots of local families come for weekends as well as Americans ... 2 pools are nice. Must enjoy walking up hills or waiting for the little cart to take you around... they were frequent enough. Gym is in sore shape. Had a good time nonethelss as the price was right!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank PamelaFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2009

We chose this hotel due to the short distance from Liberia airport. We started our trip in Playa Hermosa and then moved on to La Fortuna. Overall the resort is very well maintained and I was very pleased with the room. The hotel is nestled in the hill and is only a short shuttle ride away from the beach. Now on the negatives. We did the all inclusive package so we ate every meal at the resort and we are so sorry we did. There were a few dishes that were okay and breakfast was good but the hot dishes for lunch and dinner were pretty bad. Thank goodness for the salad bar. The desert bar was such a disappointment - especially since I love sweets. The drinks were fair and the one white wine option tasted like turpentine. With the exception of a few of the staff I found most employees to be very unfriendly. Half the time I felt as if I was being an inconvenience when I asked for a drink or anything else for that matter. My husband and I are always courteous to service employees since we too have been in the industry, in fact we always warm up to the employees and end up chatting it up with them. Except for one person in the restaurant most of the employees were unapproachable. If I could do it over again I would have spent a little more and gone to a nicer resort. I would classify this resort as a low end - grade C operation.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank I_do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Promotora La Costa, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Hermosa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Hermosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 160
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

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