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“No customer service”

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Advance, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“No customer service”
Reviewed April 5, 2014

We stayed at Hotel Villas Playa Samara for 3 days as part of the Monkey Tours. It is a good thing the week ended with this hotel instead of started.
My room was OK but we faced the back fence that was the entrance to the "workers area". This was enhanced by the fact that there was a plumbing tube very close to our door that entered a drain by our door. This tube also had a leak that obviously corresponded to the flushes from the other side of the fence.
The customer service was terrible. There were coffee cups in the room but no coffee maker. When I inquired about a coffee maker (because I was waking up at 4:30AM ) I was told they would "look for one on the property". After one morning of no coffee until the 7AM breakfast I once again inquired about the coffee maker and was told the same thing. Later that day I borrowed one out of another room. I had to supply my own coffee and filters. The air conditioning unit in our room died on the last night.
After the first night my two sisters returned to their room to discover water pouring out of the light fixture (that did not have a globe cover). The front desk moved them to a different room int he same building with one bed and told them the roof workers would be done by 10PM. After much complaining my sisters were moved to a Villa that contained 2 bedrooms. They were told the 2nd room contained another customer but that the person was not allowed to enter the Villa and had a separate entrance. This did end up being the case but it is a little weird to sleep somewhere with a stranger, especially since the hotel/villas were obviously not full. Almost every request was met with a negative response.
The breakfast was great but all other food purchases were bad. The first night we were told we could not order any food except the buffet. After much discussion they told us we would be allowed to order something other than the buffet but the food was not hot.
The daiquiris were made from a powder mix. When my sister ordered a banana daiquiri she was told they could not be made on the property even though there were plenty of bananas around. We wanted to stay put for a while and decided to try the food one more time. Unfortunately, it was terrible. We ordered an appetizer plate that was supposed to be for four people. They delivered the food without any plates or napkins and these items were never delivered despite asking for them. Glasses of water were also requested but not delivered. The language barrier could not be the problem as one of our group spoke Spanish.
Monkey Tours should end their week at another location starting immediately.
Do not stay at this Hotel unless you want poor customer service, smelly entrances to your room, and no coffee until breakfast.

Room Tip: Request a Villa. If you do get a room request one that faces the walkway. Also ask for a recently r...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank mominadvance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Calgary, Canada
1 review
Reviewed April 4, 2014

Like others have said, Hotel Villas Playa Samara was mediocre, not a bad location, quite clean, okay breakfast, nice beach but when I used their laundry service some of my clothes got stolen! Two t-shirts and one sweater weren't returned with our clean laundry. I told the desk staff about my missing clothes and they were told that they couldn't be found. I emailed twice when I got home and didn't even get a response from management. Nobody seemed to care at all about this awful level of service.

Room Tip: Upgrade to one of the beach view villas, the extra $50 per night is well worth it.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Carolyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Playa Samara hotels

Cleveland, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2014

I went into our stay skeptical of some of the bad reviews, having found from previous experiences that travelers are often picky and high-maintenance with unrealistic expectations of hospitality in other countries. Yet, I concede that many of the reviews of this place are on-the-mark.

Allow me to begin by saying we still had a great time during our three days. We were relaxed, enjoyed several great meals in the town, and took advantage of nearby activities. Every member of the staff I encountered was friendly and eager to please. Our ocean-view villa had an amazing view and a great breeze on the patio for shady hammock naps. I enjoyed the service and drinks at the pool-side bar, was sufficiently appeased by the breakfast buffet, and easily found a palapa overlooking the beach each morning. Our room had hot water, decent water pressure, a reasonably comfortable bed, and working AC (in the bedroom). I even appreciated the peace of not having a TV. The place is laid out very nicely and the grounds are pretty well-kept.

Now for the not-so-great. Housekeeping seems understaffed and under-equipped to maintain the rooms as needed. I can live with the fact that sheets were never changed since it matches up with Costa Rica's eco-friendly vibe, but we received washcloths and hand towels only on the first day. And our bath mat, visibly soiled with muddy sand from our feet, was not replaced. While we did receive 2 fresh towels each day, many others we were traveling with did not. The soap, shampoo, and conditioner were also never replaced. The tiny bar had run out after the first day, leaving us with no hand soap for the remainder of our stay. Our room was not swept, either, rendering it quite sandy by the day we left. Additionally, a guest before us had spilled something on one of the tables; the sticky residue was clearly visible and covered with ants, yet it was not cleaned. Finally, we enjoyed having the full kitchen though did not enjoy doing the dishes with one dishcloth (which was also never replaced), no dish towel, and no dish soap. Management should consider adding more housekeeping staff and allotting more funds to providing the little things that make a guest's stay more comfortable.

The absolute worst part of our stay was the bathroom. It had an overwhelming smell that took our breath away despite keeping the windows open and spraying numerous times a day with both air fresheners and essential oils (that I luckily had packed). This seemed to be a plumbing issue. We went in there as little as possible--getting ready in the bedroom instead, which was difficult with no mirror-- and kept the door closed so the smell didn't leak into the bedroom. Having read other reviews, we decided to live with it the three days we were there rather than switching rooms and risking getting one with more severe problems (hot water, AC, etc.), though housekeeping clearly had to smell it each day and did not report it or address it.

The hotel's amenities are quite poor. The store is rarely open and terribly under-stocked. The pool bar opens late and closes early. There is no shuttle service, causing guests to pay $12 round-trip into town--sometimes more than once a day. (The walk is doable but hot and along a dirty section of beach.) Some of the paths are poorly lit, and there is no emergency lighting in case of power outages (which seems fairly common--though brief), so I'd suggest packing a small flashlight.

This all said, this placed seemed like one of the nicer options in the area. The staff on-hand is good--there just aren't enough of them or their time is being poorly dispersed by management. With just minor changes and some better decision-making on the part of management or ownership, this place could be really great.

Room Tip: We were glad to have upgraded to an ocean-view villa. Corner villas are closest to the beach...cente...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank srs22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chassahowitzka
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2014

Arrived in the dark and worried our oceanview villa would not have much of a view, but it was steps from the pool & bar and we felt the space and comfort was well worth the upgrade. The beach access was perfect, uncrowded and I LOVED the beach front palapas! Landscaping, pool and swim up bar were postcard perfect, including a mariachi group one evening! Having read poor reviews on food, we did not get all inclusive and were really glad we didn't. We ordered poolside on first night and food took a very long time. We got an apology, but other guests stated their food took extremely long too ( hour to hour & half). We found several excellent restaurants in town with great food & amazing atmosphere, so we enjoyed exploring the quaint small village, and if I returned I would do it the same way. (Ask folks by the pool where to go and they will tell you about the good places!) Suggestions: wear water shoes to kayak tour and to walk the beach (great sand but some coral), take your morning coffee to the palapas by the beach and bring your own flavored coffee creamer if you like it in your coffee--my friend could not find any in the Samara groceries, which had most other goodies. I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a villa if you will be there more than a night or two.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Laura N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
karibarles, General Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Dear Laura,

We are glad you enjoyed our hotel, thank you for this detailed review. It is always our pleasure to have fun activities for our customers such as the mariachi night you were able to encounter.

We would like to apologize on the wait you had to experience in the restaurant. We are making sure we have the right amount of staff to make things quicker.

We are very happy you had a nice time here in Costa Rica.

It would be our pleasure to have you here with us once again!

Have a great day!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tucson, az
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Subject: Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Location: Playa Samara, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Central America
Title: Disappointment in Costa Rica
ID#: 197212345

We arrived after 11:00 PM but the front desk was closed and we were escorted to our room by the security guard. The room was clean, but stark with white walls, a king size bed, and a small fridge. No wall art made the room seem like a dormitory. This was advertised as a garden view room, however, the view out our window overlooked the maintenance yard, and lots of junk. We asked to have our room changed, but were told that was impossible because there were no rooms available. This was found to be untrue. The service at this resort bordered on substandard with a touch of could care less. The food was very average, and the buffet was bland and repetitive. The pool is the highlight of the resort, but could use more chairs to accommodate guests. The beach was fair, but hardly pristine. We experienced an earthquake during our stay. I mention this as a previous earthquake damaged the resort two years ago and they are still repairing some of the damage. I would not go back to this resort, but would return to Costa Rica as the country is wonderful. The management needs to be changed or trained because their incompetence is not nearly up to the standards of even a 2 star resort. The owner's son runs Monkey Tours and that was the only real positive experience in our 7 night stay. This was a Groupon Deal, and I will never avail myself of their getaways again.

Room Tip: Under no circumstances accept a room in either of their two story buildings.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank spooker44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Francis
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

On arrival this looks very nice - beautiful pool/bar area right on the beach. We were originally booked here but they were overbooked so they sent us next door to Sol Samara. After two days they moved us back. Because of the inconvenience/mix-up, the manager treated us very well; to compensate us for the inconvenience he upgraded us to the all inclusive meal package. But if I was to buy it on my own, it would not - it is not worth it. It only includes the buffet, which at this place is not very good - very limited selection. They had a regular menu, but whenever we asked we were told that it was just for the 'snacks' and that because they were so busy, only the buffet was available. We were put into a very nice room in one of the 'hotel' like buildings. It was newly redone and had two comfortable queen beds, a flat screen TV and very nice large bathroom. Others in our group did not have TVs in their rooms. Overall it appears that this place is very under-staffed and poorly trained. While the employees were very nice, they generally could not really answer questions or help you. People staying there seemed frustrated with the mis-communication that was occurring.

Room Tip: Ask for a recently upgraded room,
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie49St_Francis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

A very nice place to stay, great staff, and easy to get around. Has a nice pool, and restaurant, and is about a 30 min walk on the beach to town. A very safe beach to swim in with children.
Hotel is well run and monkey tours is right there so you can book tours with ease.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelledwithkids
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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