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“The Worst Ever - Do Not Go!”

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Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Playa Hermosa
boston, ma
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Worst Ever - Do Not Go!”
Reviewed December 4, 2009

We were on our honeymoon. Our friends gave us a week here as it was supposedly an RCI Gold Crown property - far from it. This place is a GIANT SCAM. So basically, our week was free to us, but we left after two miserable nights. The service was horrible, the beach was filthy and full of people hustling you to sell tours, the pool was LOUD with a DJ yelling and directing pool volleyball to little or no participants. The place is run down and in poor condition and the service is terrible. The food is even worse, and buffet style. It's very difficult to get around as the resort is built into a steep hillside - we are a very active couple, we don't mind walking, but everything is very spread out and reception is at the bottom of the hill- and you have to go to reception for anything you need - drink tickets, snack tickets, meal bracelets - and you don't want any of it anyway. The all-inclusive is a rip-off. We cannot say enough bad things about this place - so, suffice it to say we left after 2 days of a free week, to go spend $1000 elsewhere. In other words: YOU COULD NOT PAY US TO STAY HERE! It is a total scam, the service is terrible (you can't even get towels in your room!) and when we left early, no even cared or inquired - other than to collect over $60 dollars for phone charges (we made a couple of 10 minute calls to chase lost luggage). This place is a nightmare. Costa Rica is amazing, I have visited 3 times - so don't ruin your visit by staying here! Also, there is NOTING nearby, and taxis to "nearby" Playa del Coco and Papagayo are over $60. Don't do it!!! There are so many great places in Costa Rica - this place was hell on earth.

Feel free to contact us for more details. And read the other poor reviews - they are all exactly the same as our experience and completely true.

We will be following up with RCI to be sure they are aware of the poor condition and service on this property.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank slb1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Guelph, Ontario
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2009

We had been to another resort in Costa Rica for a week before we got to Villa Sol. If we knew then what we know now we would have never went to Villa Sol. The food was awful. The service was terrible in the buffet restaurant to the point that we had to get up and go and get our own drinks one morning as the staff was pretty much ignoring us. The drinks were very plain - no blender useage with fresh fruit etc that we had at the other resort and would expect from an apparent 5 star resort. We stayed there for 5 days and included was a sailing tour and a snorkling tour that had to be booked for a specific day. We were unable to do this as we had to do it on Sunday and the person who was to do it was sick - they didn't offer it on a different day when the person returned at all which we thought was a little unacceptable.
Now to the food. The buffet restaurant had food that was okay but it looked as if it had been sitting there for a few days, they had a terrible selection of desserts and if I'm on holidays I need my deserts as I wait all this time to get them and then to not have any or to have such a poor selection that I didn't eat dessert once that is not acceptable either! The salads were okay but they didn't have a great selection of dressings for them - we ended up eating vinegar and oil on ours most of the time until the dreaded day that my husband picked up the vinegar and a cockroach was scurrying up and down and all around in the little holder that they had it in. Nothing was done about this either. We pretty much stuck to fruit after this. Please beware of the food at the buffet.
The a la carte restaurant was really good, but they didn't have good availability to it - we were only able to eat there once so pretty much the rest of the time was very slim pickings. We also were disappointed in the bar fridge in our room - for being all inclusive it was not stocked with anything at all.
The room was clean and appeared to have just been redecorated and renovated.
The beach was way too far away - you had to either walk down and then up REALLY STEEP hills or wait for the shuttle which took way too long so we did a lot of walking, we are fairly fit so we could handle this but it got to the point where it was way too hot to do this and still no shuttles for about 35 minutes one day.
Also beware of the vultures on the beach giving away free bottle of wine or a free week at a hotel or a car rental for the week to take you to Coco Beach for the morning or afternoon to listen to a presentation - they are trying to sell you a fractional ownership condo and it is a waste of your time!
All in all we were pretty disappointed in this hotel - not a 5 star at all we would say more of a 2 to a 3 maximum.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JSTSRT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Playa Hermosa hotels

Anglesey, North Wales
Level Contributor
72 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2009

We stayed at this resort on an RCI timeshare exchange week with a view to using it as a base to explore the area and not for the resort facilities, about which I cannot comment as we did not use.

We had a two bedroom, one bath, apartment although there was a further one bed/one bath lock off unit attached (but not available to us). The apartment was split level and steps led down to the large living/kitchen area which had sliding doors to a balcony, but no balcony furniture. The apartment, although newly painted, was tired and dated and badly in need of a refurb. The kitchen area was equipped with newish appliances but the units needed ripping out and the worktops replacing. On the first morning we used the toaster which promptly burst into flames - over 24 hours, one phone call and one visit to reception later we eventually got a replacement. There was no sink plug in either sink which made washing up tricky.

Upstairs there were two very small bedrooms, one with a small double bed with poor quality bedding and the bottom sheet too small for the mattress. The other bedroom was dark, furnished with twin beds, no bedside table or lamp and a central light fitting of three spotlights of which only one worked. In addition the air conditioning fan was housed in a cupboard in this room and was very noisy.

The bathroom was dire. The bath was stained and rust marked with taps which sprayed water to the side rather than into the bath. The sink taps were the same and there was no basin plug. Any laundry needed to be done in the bathtub as this was the only thing with a plug. It needed a complete refit.

There was a largish terrace leading from the upstairs landing which had a table and four chairs and an excellent view over the hotel to the bay and the surrounding countryside. When we were at the apartment we spent every minute outside - it was infinitely preferable to the indoors.

The apartment was serviced every day and the towels were replenished....sometimes. One day we came back, hot and sticky after a morning exploring the area, to find no towels at all. I rang reception and the towel centre and was told they would be sent up - this was lunch time. By 3.00 p.m. the towels had still not arrived so I went down to reception to ask why. I was told they would be sent up but time passed and eventually I went down to the pool to get two pool towels so that we could shower. Each day there was a varied selection of towels, some reasonable, some threadbare, nearly always fraying and always different sizes. Sometimes there was a bathmat, sometimes a hand towel but usually just bath towels.

We did not take the all inclusive package but, having a rental car, we drove to Playa Coco to the supermarket there and lived on salads for the week.

Our check out was confused and inefficient. As we were leaving before dawn on Saturday morning my husband went to check out on Friday afternoon. He was informed that an inventory check was needed. He pointed out that there was no inventory posted in the apartment, we had not been asked to check an inventory and we had not signed one so how could they check it? He was told to call in to the (supposed 24 hour) reception centre before we left to hand in our keys and collect our signed unused credit card slip which would be waiting for us. On Saturday morning there was only one member of staff in reception and he did not speak English and did not have access to our credit card slip. After a phone call to an English speaking member of staff we were told that someone would come down in 'about 5 minutes' to try and find it. We had a plane to catch and couldn't hang around. So much for being told that everything would be available on the morning of our departure.

From other reviews it would seem that there are different standards in some other villas but, had I been paying $300+ for this accommodation instead of a timeshare swap, I would have been very unhappy indeed. If you choose to stay here, I hope you are luckier with your accommodation allocation than we were.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Cilgwyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2009

I always have fun on my vacations!!! Until now. I am currently at the resort in an attempt to find another nearby to where we will move. The setting is beautiful, the pool are inviting, the staff is friendly... so what could I be unhappy about. Our villa #22 is directly behind the reception area. It is at a major intersection for all the cars trucks, and shuttles that move people around the resort.(You need to be shuttled to the pools and the beach since they are not readily accesible on foot) We have a quaint little plunge pool (well maintained) that I like to go into but the smell of the diesel exhaust tends to ruin the atmoshphere. My 3 bedroom villa is plenty of room for just the 2 couples in our group but it is worn and tired looking.We did not have towels to shower with until 5 hours and a second call. We reported a broken chair which they came and removed but did not replace. They spent 3 hours attempting to fix our front door lock. The beds are very firm (if not downright hard), all the chairs are not comfortable for sitting in including the awkward futon that doubles for a couch in the living room. The kitchen facility is spacious and well equipped with a full size fridge and all cooking esentials. Our view.... Costa Rica is a beautiful country. One could not guess that from our villa. The resort photos show lovely villas on the hill overlooking the bay with stunning panoramic sunset views. Not ours! We see the back of the parking lot and the reception building on one side. We see the resort road and main intersection with a shuttle stop on the other. The other side windows are villa # 21 only 3 feet away.
I have have politely requested for 3 days to be moved to another unit where I will not hear the traffic, smell the fumes and have some semblance of a view, They have not been at all accomodating. They claim that they are booked but others say they are not and I can go on-line and book at this moment. Oh well. I am as I said currently looking for another resort that I can go to and leave this place behind in hopes of ressurecting what should be a memorable vaction to Costa Rica. I recommend that you travel to this beautiful country but please stay at a different resort!!! Sincerely, Rob

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank GuyfromtheBurg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birmingham, AL
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2009

We just got back from our honeymoon at the Villas Sol and couldn't be more pleased. We were upgraded to a villa on arrival, which had an amazing view of the Gulf of Papagayo. Everything was clean, new appliances in the kitchen, and a spacious balcony. The staff is amazing and friendly, and will never let your drinks get low. I personally recommend the mai tai and the Caipirinha. Food is good, and they switch dinner up every night with a different theme. The only thing I will say, is we are both vegetarian and lunch could sometimes get repetitive. But they have a snack bar open from 11am-4pm with pizza and nachos, so we never went hungry.Views from the restaurant bar are amazing, you won't want to leave. Not overcrowded, never had to wait to be seated at the restaurant or to get drinks. The beach is also beautiful, yes it has dark sand but it is clean and we really enjoyed it. If it looks like it may rain, you may want to go ahead and wait for the hotel truck to pick you up since it comes around about every 15 minutes. We booked three tours with Vargas Tours, and they hands down the BEST tour company in Costa Rica. Josta set everything up for us and we had no problems when we arrived. We made new friends with Manny and Ricardo, they went out of their way to make sure we got the complete Costa Rican experience. Our first tour was to the arenal volcano and hot springs, it is definitely a must see when visiting Costa Rica. Second, we went ziplining on the Witch's Rock Canopy tour and that was unbelievable! Flying through the jungle, even over waterfalls. Again, everyone extremely nice and helpful. By this point in our trip, we still had not seen monkeys, so Ricardo took us down a different road on the way back and found a family of them hanging out in the trees. He stopped so we could take pictures, so incredibly nice of him to take time out of his day to look for them! We were told that the best way to see wildlife would be the Palo Verde River tour, so we booked it at the last minute and they were right! Howler monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, and best of all, the white faced capuchin monkeys. We passed another tour boat that said they hadn't seen the white faced monkeys, and maybe a few minutes later Manny spotted them in the trees. About 6-7 of them got on the boat and it was the experience of a lifetime to see them that close. If we had gone with another tour company we probably wouldn't have seen near as much wildlife, but with Vargas they were always on the lookout! I am a travel agent, and will definitely recommend Vargas to anyone visiting the area. Our stay at the hotel was amazing in itself, but our trip would have been incomplete without the help of Vargas. hope this helps some who were skeptical about choosing this hotel. Don't base your opinions solely on negative reviews, some people are just hard to please. We are easygoing people, but had an amazing time and couldn't have picked a better spot for our honeymoon.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank courtneyalyson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2009

The hotel was clean with beautiful scenery. The only complaint was the maintenance crews had a work facility on one side of our villa which could stand to be cleaned up. I do want to thank David for the help he gave us with transportation back and forth to the airport, and also we had left our camera in a shop in Cocoa and he helped locate it and it was returned to us - thank you so much David. We used the all inclusive for 4 days of our stay and the other 3 days went to Cocoa and enjoyed restaurants there. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and we will return again.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Blonde10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2009

THank God I did not pay attention on bad reviews and did not cancel our reservation.
FIrst of all resort and hotel location is exellent! ( Food was very good. Room was always very clean. And service was very good. People very warm and happy. Beautiful nature, mountains, volcanos, waterfalls, monkeys on the trees, big colorfull buterflyes.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank dianasandro
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:
#8 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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