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Reviewed June 30, 2018

We had stayed at this hotel a few years ago. This time when we arrived it looked like there was a trash collection site because of current building of a separate hotel in the same gated area. Bad curb appeal! So we got there and did not have an all inclusive package. Our room was not ready so we had lunch. I had a salad and my husband had a hamburger. They were both average. I ordered a mai tai and oddly it arrived warm with no ice. I had to ask for ice. Restaurant Service was fine otherwise.
Our room was apparently not one of the updated rooms. The bedroom was of good size and comfortable with a king size bed and a wall mount air conditioning that worked well. The bathroom was good sized. The outer room was dated with old sofa coverings. The room had a kitchenette with working refrigerator and stove. The microwave worked but was old. There were no kitchen utensils except for a few spoons and forks. Housekeeping was fine and daily.
WiFi did not work very well in our room but worked in the common area near the pool. The pool was nice and also maintained.
There was an exercise room with air con and three exercise machines.. They did not work. I asked the front desk and about an hour later someone came but could not get them plugged in to start.
The beach is nice to walk on in front of the hotel. There are also lounge chairs near the beach. We stayed five days and it rained part of the tie so the ground was over saturated, thus not easy to walk on. There are monkey tour activities and someone mentioned they booked through Monkey tours and had an updated room. We did not. So maybe you should inquire to have a newer room or book through monkey tours if you plan to stay there. There are quaint villas on the property and also some hotel style buildings. Iguanas roam the grounds. In years past there were monkeys but some of the large trees have been trimmed to prevent them from making monkey trouble on the grounds.

Room tip: Try to get an updated room with air con
Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank Laurie48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2018 via mobile

I really do not understand when I read some comments about that hotel... it is very comb , extraordinary view , I went swimming in the sea 4 times per day , the food is very good , the chef very polite like all employees. There is squirrels and birds to see including parrots . If you walk , you will see Hurley monkey.
I travel twice per year and I can say it is a small paradise .
Yes there is construction, but we didn’t ear nothing because of the wind and the sound of the waves ; but at the Restaurant you can ear it ... but nothing harracing.

I recommend that place without question!!!
PURA VIDA

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank AlainCossette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2018

We stayed here for two nights as part of the Monkey Tours group.

This is an absolute beautiful hotel on a gorgeous beach in Samara. We received nothing but good service during our stay [keep in mind that if you want a drink then you have to go to the bar to order it, they don’t come to you asking]. The rooms were very modern, newly upgraded it seemed. The bathrooms were nice and had really nice shampoos/soaps/lotions that were orange ginger scented. The pool was nicely kept and the beach just so beautiful. The only downside was we visited during their off-season so the pool, restaurant, and beach were deserted and empty most of the time. It was hard to fid a bartender at times but we are patient folks so it wasn't a problem. We met the owner of the hotel and his wife and daughter. What a lovely family with a great story and beautiful love for each other. Their daughter performed in the nice, enclosed dining room one evening and the next evening they had a saxophone player at dinner in the open-air restaurant a- both were very entertaining. We opted for the all-inclusive option on the second day and well-exceeded the $50 per person that it cost in drinks alone. Beers are $6 and cocktails are $11 so if you have a few drinks you’ve more than made up for it in drinks alone and dinner is easily $30-$40 if you get an app, entree, dessert and drinks with dinner. Throw in a mid-day snack of onion rings or a chicken wrap and it’s an easy decision. If you don’t drink then I don’t recommend it. We didn’t opt for it on the first day since we knew we were going to explore the town and not eating much at the hotel. Would do this same thing if we came back. Only suggestion I would make would be for them to get a hot tub!

Date of stay: May 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Erin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2018 via mobile

We booked this as it was a good deal on Itravel2000 and we had been anxious to visit CR. We should have done some research prior to booking with this hotel. This was booked all inclusive.
On arrival we thought we were at the town dump, right smack dab in the middle of a messy, smelly construction zone, hard to believe. When I mentioned the stench to the manager at the reception desk he nodded and said “unfortunately, they broke a pipe..” Yeah, a sewage pipe, nasty....
The hotel is very small so the noise of jackhammers could be heard from most anywhere on the grounds, even the beach.

Now, being off season I do expect some cons, such as short staffed, however I did not expect there would be one bartender working between the lobby bar and pool bar. I did not expect to have to whistle and wave from the pool every time we wanted a refreshment. Tipping did help here.

W aren’t typically pool people, but the beach turned us off. The water was so murky my husband was stung by something but couldn’t see what, it was that murky. We swam past a maxi pad and that was enough for us. We did do the kyack to the small island and did really enjoy that, our guide, Raffi? Or Ralphie? Was awesome, a lot of current there but we did see a sea turtle and a sea snake, another couple saw a small hammerhead. The island is full of hermit crabs and iguanas.

Food, there was no buffet as it was down season, the menu food was good, but small selection every day. Fruit was fresh, ripe and delicious but only available at breakfast. It got repetitive quickly

Entertainment was extinct here, no activities staff. There was a couple nites they had musician during dinner meal, that’s it. Zip. The activities room was closed off our entire week, said for renos, but looked okay and never anyone working in there, so that was a bust.

We had the villa, nice and large but only AC in bedroom so we keep the bedroom door closed and did not use the other half of the villa. There were ALOT of bugs, and we took tons of repellent but it didn’t have much effect, I was chewed alive. We had no issues with the maid, towels or cleanliness.

We did walk the beach into town, had snacks and drinks at franks, took the taxi back for $6, that was fun. We did the atv and liked that as well, pricey though. We also did the excursion to the river, bah, hardly saw any wildlife, long and boring excursion, don’t recommend, all excursions are expensive as they are all hours away from Sámara, if we had known this we would have booked elsewhere in CR, nearer the rain and cloud forests. We did see howler monkeys near our hotel. We booked though chepe at the lobby rather than with our trip rep, as it was same excursions but cheaper through him, nice guy.

The worst was the state of the hotel at the entrance, terrible scene, the hotel would be better off to close until renos are finished than to have guests experiencing this, we will not return here. We may have had a different opinion otherwise, not sure. For a lot, not having the food selection or entertainment staff was a turn off during our stay, and the one bartender thing was very annoying to all. My guess is that this hotel just recently started all inclusive service and needs to get up to par. It probably is a decent B&B hotel for a night or two, but not a week. The airport is crazy expensive and we spent $53 US on two burgers and fries....wow. Live and learn

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2018

Our journey to Costa Rica was a bit of a last minute adventure. We found an all inclusive deal which we couldn't pass up. We were told that it was the rainy season, however after living in the Caribbean I was well versed in what to expect. The hotel was about 1.5 hours from Liberia airport. From the moment we stepped out of the airport the help was exceptional assisting us to the correct transportation to the resort.
When we arrived we were a little sceptical of what to expect, it looked as though we were driving into a construction site. There's a new resort being built next-door, but I didn't seem to take much notice of any noise during the day, and theres plenty of foliage to block the view of the constructions once on the resort.
Check in was a breeze, the staff struck me as extremely friendly, even making sure to know who we were by name. Our villa was STUNNING. We had an ocean view, each villa had a little covered patio with lounge chairs. The bed was comfy, the linens clean and the towels changed daily. An added bonus was the free wifi, not that it was used much cause there was so much to do but knowing that you didn't have to go buy internet cards and sit in a lobby was nice.
Because we went in the off season all of the food was al-a-carte. The food was incredible. The fruits were so fresh, and each meal was mouth watering. I have traveled a great deal, and have stayed at plenty of all inclusive resorts, the 5 stars didn't even come close to being this good. I am still raving about the food!
Samara was a short walk along the beautiful beach. It's a cute little town with some great dining options. Because the trip was so affordable we didn't mind boosting the local economy. The Flying Taco had awesome burritos, Bar Arriba had great chicken wings, and Gusto Beach had AMAZING tuna tartare.
The excursions in Costa Rica were incredible. We opted to go ATV'ing with Remy from the resort. He took us on a 3 hour adventure showing us some amazing scenery and local beaches. We also went on an Adrenaline Tour that we booked through Monkey Tours who have a desk right on the resort. Our tour included white water tubing, zip lining, horseback riding and hot springs...it was worth the extra $ and we did it on a rain day since we were going to be wet anyway.
I can't say enough about the staff at Hotel Villas Playa Samara. We were greeted with a smile and treated like royalty. Remy went out of his way even taking us into town one evening to Gusto Beach for some birthday celebrations with other guests from the hotel and making great recommendations on food choices. The staff here have every detail figured out right down the the umbrellas they handed out during the down pours.
I can't say enough about this place. It left me with stars in my eyes and longing to go back ASAP. We will most certainly be going back in the near future.

Room tip: beach front villas
Date of stay: May 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank hannahmhopkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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