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Reviewed December 3, 2017 via mobile



We stayed here for four nights as part of a seven night Essence of Costa Rica Monkey Tours. We purchased the all inclusive package for this part of the trip.

Accommodations: We had the standard suite. Our room had been newly renovated and had a king size bed, walk in shower, 48 inch flat screen tv, small fridge, safe’ and separate toilet. There was minimal furniture, good lighting, no phone. The room was very nice.

Service: Housekeeping service is bed made and does not mean trash taken out of room. I could not find garbage cans on the property, and we had one small can in the bathroom only. I made my own with a gallon size ziplock garbage can and left it in the bathroom but it stayed there and was not thrown out. My coffee pot was never cleaned nor was my coffee replaced. I had to ask for the coffee pot as our room’s was missing. Bar service was good but they did not have enough bar tenders. same with waitstaff. Would have been good to have self serve coffee in the a.m. On day three we had our bed made and dirty towels taken but no new towels. I am waiting as I write this review to see if we get towels. We kinda need them.

All Inclusive: Because the town was more than a mile from hotel and was a $15 round trip by taxi or a 40 minute walk on beach (day only) and the menu prices were high, we chose the AI for convenience and price. The hotel has a lot of work to do in my opinion in this area. They need to offer choices other than buffet only. They need to put water and soft drinks in your fridge—at least water. They need to have a snack menu. They need to work on their overall service and have more waitstaff.

Food: Food was ok. The first night they had a snack and dinner menu. The pizza on the snack menu was good. The surf and turf (beef filet maybe 5 oz and three grilled shrimp and small serving of mashed potatoes and no veggies) was good. Pricy if not AI at $25 especially for the size of the plate. The second day they had a lunch menu which was standard sandwiches and fast food type dishes. I got the club and it was grilled chicken (good), ham ( yucky) and fried egg on a nice bread. Husband got the chicken fingers. They were fried pieces of boneless chicken served with fries. Mine also came with fries. We also ordered the guacamole which was served with fried plantains which was good but only had three plantains. The dish needed more. All of this disappeared after lunch the second day to be replaced with buffet only. Breakfast buffet had standard fare of scrambled eggs, black beans and rice, plantains, hasbrowns and pan dulce. You could also get eggs made to order at the egg station. Lunch buffet had two proteins usually chicken and pork and rice or pasta. Salad bar had a pasta salad of some sort and some veggies. There was a daily soup. Dinner was about the same layout as lunch with a choice one night of grilled hot dogs and one night chicken and pork tacos. The chicken tacos were good. Husband said chicken was better than the pork.

Drinks: Expensive if not on the AI plan. Specialty drinks were $10. Well drinks were $7. Beer was at least $5.

Amenities: There were no ice machines anywhere on the property and no bottled water. In our four night stay we never had our shampoo/conditioner/lotion replaced. I am glad I brought my own as the bottles were very small. We had two towels per day. Several times we lost power for a half an hour to an hour. Beach/pool towels are only given out from 8 a.m. until noon and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. we went to the front desk at four minutes past noon and were told no we could not have towels. However, as we walked off, one of the staff brought us two towels. Thank goodness as we had no towels in our room after the room was “cleaned.”

Beach: Pretty but not really swimmable. It’s the Pacific so not good snorkeling either. The tides are interesting and vary widely. Low tide and the water is far out from the beach. High tide and the water comes way close.

Town: there is a very small beach town that is walkable (1.4 miles) by the beach during low tide. There is a cool river about half way that runs out to the beach. At low tide it is inches high across and at high about four feet deep. The town has restaurants and small grocery and souvenir stores.

Things to do: There are kayaking tours, horseback riding, boats all on the beach as well as at the hotel. We had done three days of tours prior to our stay so chose to not do any more.

Bottom line: I would come back to Costa Rica as there is a lot more country to see. We did these seven days in the Guanacaste providence and although we experienced beach, mountains, rain forest and cloud forests there are more places I would like to experience. As for this hotel I would look to another place to stay.

Date of stay: December 2017
3  Thank phall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo C, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 2017

Dear phall,

Thank you for taking the time to post this detailed review. We are sorry to read our property did not meet certain standards. We are always looking for ways to improve and will certainly keep an eye on these points to make sure we remain as the number one option in Samara Beach.

We are sorry to read you did not enjoy our buffet although we always advertise this is the option included.

Please revisit us again so we can showcase the improvements.

Pura Vida,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2017 via mobile

We returned this past Sunday from this quaint, quiet and relaxing spot. We greatly enjoyed our stay, the staff is excellent. Yes, there is only one main buffet, but we sure didn't go hungry! We looked forward to every meal. You can book the specialty restaurant should you wish to change it up. The beach offers a great place to go for a very long walk to enjoy the ocean, or for a dip. We walked into the town a few times to visit the market and had a meal and drinks. The people everywhere are very friendly and helpful. A taxi into town is only 6$ U.S., so a great deal.Sure there are a few things that aren't perfect at the resort, but we would go back for sure! The Wi-Fi is excellent, I even was able to use it at the beach! Bring a book and relax. The construction happening next door at the new resort is audible sometimes. The saxophone player at dinner was fantastic, as well as the other musicians that entertained us. The staff make the difference at this spot for sure! All top notch. We had a Jr. Villa close to beach.

Date of stay: November 2017
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
6  Thank scooterandfranky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo C, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded December 19, 2017

Hello scooterandfranky,

Thank you for your kind review! We appreciate you taking the time to post this thoughtful comment. You give a great description of our resort for our future travelers.

We always strive for improvement and invite you to revisit us again.

Kind Regards,

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Reviewed November 29, 2017 via mobile

We just went to the hotel villas playa samara and it was the best trip we ever had! We met two incredible people who made our trip memorable. Rémy welcome us with open arms. He brought us to fantastic places and made us discover a lot of new things. We felt safe and taking care of. And we also met Freddy! This guy show us how great is the Costa Rica. We had so much fun whit him. Every morning he was there to welcome us. Always with a smile. He help us plan our activities. He really is the man who makes our days fun and full of surprises. Every part of our trip was incredible and it would never have been the same without those two men. Food was good, waves was amasing and we also had the chance to swim into bioluminescent water! It definitly is the best place to go in Costa Rica!

Date of stay: November 2017
Trip type: Traveled with friends
6  Thank roxyrouki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo C, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded December 15, 2017

Hello roxyrouki,

Thank you for your kind words! We are so glad we were your first experience in Costa Rica. We are very proud of our staff members and we are sure they will enjoy reading your kind words.

Please re-visit us again soon!

Kind Regards,

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Reviewed November 28, 2017

Never done a review before but we had such a great time, I feel like I need to give a shout out.

We had booked the new Azura Beach resort next door for our honeymoon, however, it was not ready in time so we were sent to the Hotel Villas Playa Samara instead. I wasn't sure what to expect but we ended up having such a great time!

Can't say enough about the staff, they are absolutely amazing and the food is great!

Freddy - book your tours with this guy, he is very knowledgeable and will get you doing anything you want to, in Costa Rica!

Javier - This guy is the best, from the swim up bar to the buffet to the a la carte dinners, he served us everywhere, knew our names and was great to talk to. Javier made it possible for us to have a great final night by going out of his way to serve us a la carte off to the side of the buffet, when a large group had taken up the entire a la carte restaurant for a group dinner.

Danny Boy - Again, within one night he knew our names, he sang while he bartended, we did a few duets, he was extremely friendly and helpful, my husband and I looked forward to seeing him at the bar each night!

Lawrence and Manuel - Another couple of gems, these guys would find us at our table in the morning, lunch and/or dinner to say, "hello Elise and Jesse, how are you?" We talked to them lots and even had Lawrence at the swim up bar for his first ever shift there which he rocked.

Stephanie - Was a great as well. Another one who took the time to learn our names and go out of her way to chat with us and see that we were having a great time. One night there was a guest who had, had a few too many and was being quite harassing towards her, she remained calm and professional the entire time, Kudos to her because I would have lost it on him.

Allan at the swim up bar - This guy knows how to keep the party going! Allan served us some really cool shots that turned colour and kept the tunes pumping and the drinks coming every day at the bar, he was happy to get in pictures and make up any kind of drink one could dream of.

The Chef came out to ask us how we enjoyed supper at the a la carte, he was very personable and friendly, and his food was absolutely amazing. The pizza was some of the best we've tasted. The tenderloin and ceviche were on point. We had caught a mahi mahi fishing and brought it back to the resort and they cooked it up and served it to the group that caught it and it was amazing!

The only downfall if at all was the housekeeping, we were often left with no towels (ended up using pool towels or ones we had brought), our shower leaked all over the floor (space between glass and floor) so we had to use the towels to soak that up every day which is why we required the new towels every day but the housekeeper just kept taking the towels from the floor and not replacing them.

This place is the smallest resort we've stayed at out of Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba and Dominican Republic, but it didn't matter because the staff were so awesome, the town of Samara was fun and easy to get to, the ocean was right there, the food was great and the drinks were cold!

I'm sure I've forgotten a few names, but we'll never forget our honeymoon at hotel villas playa samara!

Date of stay: November 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Elise J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo C, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded December 15, 2017

Dear Elise J,

Thank you for your wonderful review! We are so glad to read your kind words and most importantly very happy see you enjoyed your honeymoon.

Thank you for the detailed review of our staff members, they all work very hard and we are very lucky to have them.

Once again, thank you!

Kind Regards,

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Reviewed November 27, 2017 via mobile

This place we visited on November 2017 and it was one of my best vacations. The people at the Hotel were excellent friendly and always willing to help.The room was clean and every day it was cleaned . The villas were steps away from the beach with beautiful sunsets and wild horses on beach.The last night they organized a bon fire on the beach with a sky full of stars.The village Samara is 10 min walk on beach were we did some wonderful trail rides on the horse. We saw the most beautiful places on the horse.I can’t wait to come back to this place and will recommend this Hotel to all my friends an d anybody who wants to explore Costa Rica

Date of stay: November 2017
Trip type: Traveled with family
4  Thank Antonia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo C, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2017

Dear Antonio B,

Thank you for your kind review, we appreciate your wonderful words and are very glad to see you enjoyed your stay with us.

We are proud of your little piece of paradise and are eager to share it with the world.

Please visit us again soon!

Kind Regards,

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