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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Stay somewhere else”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Samara is great, this hotel is not.

We stayed here for four nights at the end of a tour and were extremely disappointed with the hotel and its service. First, there is constant construction. They are rebuilding parts of the main, common areas meaning you are always in a deluge of sawing, hammering and yelling. The construction is right next to the outdoor dining and pool. Not very relaxing.

The staff was rude, unfriendly and unhelpful. Luis was the one guy who seemed to care and know how a hotel is supposed to be run. Other than him, our requests or inquiries were often met with an annoyed response. The staff was inattentive to your needs and seemed bothered by your existence. There was not always someone at the desk so that was a pain if you needed toilet paper or a towel that the maid forgot to put in your room.

The room we stayed in had several issues including blinds that didn't close, a shower head that sprayed water all over the bathroom and outdated furniture. Also, it's your responsibility to wash the dishes but no soap is provided. They definitely weren't paying attention to the details.

The WiFi is a joke. It only sporadically works near the pool.

The location of the hotel is great and the town of Samara is awesome. I definitely recommend visiting the area but staying somewhere else.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the newly remodeled rooms near the beach.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vicksburg, MS
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013

We had been to Costa Rica several times before and had really great experiences so I was glad that we were able to trade our timeshare with Interval International for a week here. We had emailed in advance and asked for a room near the beach. When we arrived we again asked for a room near the beach and had to wait around 30-40 minutes before we were shown to our room. it turned out to be about as far away from the beach as physically possible, although we later found out that they had several rooms much closer to the beach that were unoccupied that they might have offered. Although the rooms near the beach usually have a good breeze blowing that makes it tolerable to lay outside in the hammock, the ones farther back are blocked from the wind and it was stifling hot and humid, except in the bedroom where the AC unit kept the bedroom cool at least. There wasn't a comfortable chair in the place for reading during the day. The unit was roomy enough, but suffered from a lack of maintenance and repair. No hot water when we first arrived, and when the water did get warm it came out as barely a trickle. There was a good sized refrigerator to keep food and drinks, no oven, and a small cooktop that wouldn't get hot enough to fry fish we caught. The front desk staff seemed uninterested in helping with anything, unless it was to sell you one of their tours. I agree completely with the other reviewer who said "the hotel could be fantastic given its beachfront location, but is let down by poor service, lack of facilities, and general untidiness". If you want a nice beach hotel in Costa Rica, this isn't it.

We did not eat in the restaurant at all, but cooked in the room and went out for dinner in Samara town, so I can't vouch for the meals.

Room Tip: beach view rooms would be nicer, if you can get one. We asked twice and were basically ignored.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Saildeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Playa Samara hotels

Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Stayed here with a group of friends, the pool was amazing and the beach front villa was a great value. Found a surf spot and turtle nesting ground 20 min away. The town is close enough to walk to and grab a bite. The restaurant was hit and miss. I had a great steak, and decent lasagna.

Room Tip: Get a villa with a group and save some cash!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jordan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Preston, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed here for four days at the end of our Costa Rica tour. The hotel could be fantastic given its beach-front location, but is let down by the poor service, lack of facilities and general untidiness. The staff seemed indifferent to any requests unless it was to enquire about buying something, and the facilities rep (Steven) was a loud-mouthed oaf of a salesman who was later found to be lying to guests when he told a group of Americans that a fishing trip that day had landed a 500lb Marlin when they caught nothing - one of our group was on that boat!

Many facilities were unavailable, including the restaurant, shop, gym and Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi did seem to be available at various spots around the hotel but the connection dropped out very quickly, rendering it useless. The staff blamed the issues on an earthquake in September 2012, but it seemed odd that the rooms were structurally unaffected, and it seemed as though they were using that as an excuse to get on with some much needed maintenance.

The covered restaurant was being (re-)built when we arrived and, although we were promised that work would not go on during meals, they did start during breakfast one morning (held outdoors in the sunshine) but they stopped as soon as I complained to reception.

Breakfast was acceptable, with a reasonable choice of fruit (strangely though for Costa Rica, no bananas on two days), and cooked options as well. The bread was OK on one day, but otherwise cheap white-sliced rubbish. We never ate lunch or evening meals at the hotel, preferring to use restaurants in Samara town.

The rooms were spacious, with a large A/C bedroom (one massive double and one single), a separate bathroom with shower (no bath, but not needed), a large living room/kitchen area, and verandah with hammock (much used by my wife) and chairs. Safe and fridge were provided, along with cooker and microwave if you want to go self catering. Everything looked as though it was in urgent need of a coat of paint and the grout around the tiles in the bathroom was very dirty - that couldn't have been due to the earthquake!

The pool seemed nice and clean, and was used by some of our group, although there was a marked shortage of parasols, but we preferred the nature of the beach to the concrete anyway.

The grounds were full of lizards, up to a metre long which was very entertaining, as were the birds which included hummingbirds at one end of the scale and a vulture at the other! We were surprised to see horses roaming freely through the grounds when we arrived and assumed them to belong to the hotel, but later realised that they are (semi-)wild. Whilst great to watch, there was the inevitable issue of their deposits left everywhere which we felt ought to have been cleaned up by the staff, so be careful where you tread!

The small town of Samara is about 3km or 30 minutes walk north-west along the beach (a right turn from the hotel), and we found it safe to walk there both day and night. We walked there after breakfast each day (don’t leave it too late if you are not good in the heat), back again in late afternoon to change, and then went back into the town for evening meals. We can thoroughly recommend the Gusto Beach, and it is well worth paying $8pp for the all-day sun loungers.

Samara beach is very safe, with a very gently sloping beach. I am not very confident in the water but felt happy to wade out 60-70 metres (up to my armpit level) to mess around in the surf. The water looks a bit mirky due to the volcanic nature of some of the sand, but was otherwise very clean.

In summary: could do better!

Room Tip: Look for a room facing the garden and the ocean. We had 6a, which is 50 metres from the beach, and a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Elnombre_lulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

A six day stay at this hotel was part of a tour of Costa Rica, and all 16 tour members thoroughly enjoyed the resort. The staff was great - Jose took care of us, Jorge did a great job of serving at the bar, and Stephen kept us laughing! We loved it. No problem at all with any of the rooms. Enjoyed having horses wandering around and seeing the iguanas. The resort sits right on the beach and we looked forward to the beautiful sunsets, every night, right on schedule. It's a good beach walk into town with plenty of pelicans diving into the ocean to entertain you. The resort is on the smaller side, quiet and peaceful, and the pool is a perfect temperature. The renovations were still underway but we certainly were not inconvenienced by it. I would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Denise3553
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I checked in here for one night to meet a friend who had stayed here three nights prior. Upon arriving, there was loud construction in front of the one big pool with swim up bar (one of the only perks).

Check in was ridiculous.

I arrived at 10:30am and waited in line behind a tourbus of people who had come in right before me. After waiting on line for at least a half an hour (without anyone checking on me) finally I got to the front of the line. One tall guy told me to print my confirmation on the computer and that it would print in the office. I said ok and I pressed print. I go back to the line. There are people there. I wait another 15-20 minutes. Finally I see the receptionist. He says he needs my paper ticket. I told him I printed it per his associate's request. He says no, the printer is broken. He looks at me with a blank stare. Then he tells me to email it to him. I do. He gets it five minutes later. He prints out the paper and gives it to me. He tells me, no you need two vouchers. Then he sees that he just handed me the two vouchers. I am literally thinking he must be on some sort of drug. I am dumbfounded. It gets worse. He then tells me that the room will be a few minutes. I say ok and wait. He looks at me funny. I say to him, so it will be a few minutes right? He confirms. Then after waiting a few minutes he says come back in an hour check in is at 2:00. Why didn't you tell me that before, I'm thinking. Well I wait an hour. Luckily my friend was there to give me a respite from the heat in her room. I go back. The room isn't ready. He tells me check in is at 3:00 and acts as though I shouldn't be checking in. I understand I am early, just communicate! Finally they have a room and I give him my passport. He asks why I am giving it to him. I say to check in. He says, you're checking in? Ok, that's my rant. I wish I was exaggerating but it was that bad!

The redeeming factors, it is on a beach and the ocean view sweets are nice. There is a hammock outside. The pool is very warm (which I personally like). Otherwise, everything else was very disappointing.

A big group of French tourists came and they seemed to roll out the red carpet for them. They got coconut drinks and things were more organized. I felt this was disconcerting.

There was a buffet breakfast this morning and the eggs were awful, they seemed to be made from powder or something. There was some sort of mystery meat next to it I didn't dare to try.

Every single staff member, maybe with one exception was not meant to be in the hospitality industry. There was a tall skinny guy who acted slimy and kept making inappropriate comments and jokes. I didn't feel comfortable here and couldn't wait to leave.

My friend and her friends who stayed for four days had tons of similar stories to mine.

This hotel might be ok after the renovation is done IF they replace most of the staff and train everyone on what hospitality should look like. You couldn't pay me to stay there one day longer.

I do not recommend this place, as is.

Room Tip: Definitely Beachfront Suite
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MelisaSingh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We spent a wonderful week at the Hotel. The villas are really nice and clean. We appreciated having a bathroom per room. Service was great. Thanks to all of you working on the resort. We have been told that the hotel suffered damage in the earthquake last September and that it was shut down for 3 months. We saw no trace of damage. Villas looked great and the swimming pool is running fine.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villas Playa Samara

Property: Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Address: South From the Center of Samara Going Towards Playa Carrillo 3km, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Villas Playa Samara 3.5*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a hotel with fully equipped villas and deluxe rooms. We are located in front of the beach very close yo downtown Samara. ... more   less 
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