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“Great Romantic Spot Right on the Beach!”

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 10, 2007

My wife and I just concluded our stay at the Hotel Fenix on the beach at playa samara.

We had a wonderful time our couple of days in Costa Rica. The hotel and it's owners were extremely accomodating and helped us with restaurant suggestions and even arranged for my wife and I to go for a couple of real adventurous activities.

The scenery from the hotel's beach was awe inspiring and there was nothing like spending some time on the beach under the crystal clear sky.

I will definetely be back to this spot and highly recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank rickcarguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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475 - 481 of 519 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2007

Upon arrival, we were met with a big excavation. With some effort, we managed to track down the owner, who looked like a street person. Cheerfully we tried to engage in conversation about the excavation since we are both engineers, but the owner grunted it was the septic field. We were treated with indifference as we were taken to our room. The door lock was difficult to open, and rather than show us how to use it, the man just said it was tricky and we would have to get used to it. We got directions to the store, and were told we were to leave our bottle empties in the very filthy laundry room.

We stay in budget accommodation all over the world and expected some simpicity and wear for the price. However, the curtains were shrunken and did not completely cover the windows. All the linens were worn and faded. The fridge door did not close as it was bent. There were bugs in the cupboards (although this is not unexpected in the tropics). The towels were paper thin and very worn out. The view out the back was of broken-down furniture and garbage. The view out the front was of the beach, through filthy screens.

But there were only 6 rooms, and it was right on the ocean. Playa Samara is beautiful. There was a small pool, and it was a perfect temperature.

Upon closer inspection of the beachfront, all the hotel's beach furniture was broken down (dirty hammocks, chipped wood chairs, cracked plastic chairs) and there was not enough for all 6 rooms. Plant pots were broken and plants were dying. It took some effort to track down someone for help with the door lock. The woman owner was condescending and made fun of us that we could not master it. It clearly was out of alignment and not just tricky.

We had an excellent burger next door and were told that the owners we met were the "new owners," for about one year. The burger guy loved the old owners but was evasive about the new owners. We walked into town to see if there were other options. Everything else in the same price range (e.g., Giada) was fully booked, but much nicer, not broken down, but also did not have beach front. We tentatively booked a pool view room in a huge beachfront hotel for $20 more a night, with kitchenette and no a/c, same as Fenix.

We went back and met some very nice other guests. In spite of being injured sitting on a broken chair poolside (it collapsed under me), we thought we might give the place a second chance because the other guests were really nice and we would feel guilty bailing on them.

The next morning at 7 am we were awakened to the sound of heavy eqipment and the overwhelming smell of raw sewage. We packed out bags and walked to the huge hotel, forfeiting about $40 of our deposit since we only stayed one night.

We had a wonderful vacation after that!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank wyshful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fenix_Samara, manager at Fenix Hotel - On The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2007

Yes, we remember you even though you chose not include your name or the time you stopped at our place. I believe it was in January 2007. We thought, along with our nice guests, that the two of you had a big fight and split up, each going separate ways. No one knew why you left without saying anything.

We are surprised by the malicious words about our beautiful hotel. It seems like you mixed us up with someplace else. We have been at the Fenix for almost nine years, not one year as you stated. Our gardens are beautiful, tropical, and one of the best kept in Samara. Our wood chairs were new and each room has a total of 6 chairs. Wood sunbeds are refurbished yearly and also look good. If you actually broke a chair, we never heard about it or saw the broken chair. Maybe you took it when you left without a comment, word or complaint. We wish you had told us about your complaints. If the work we were doing bothered you, we would have refunded the balance of your deposit. My question is, “if you were so upset, why didn’t you ask for a refund?”

Unfortunately, we had a septic drain field failure. The repairs took two days. The tank was pumped daily, and the new field was in a new area. If there was a smell, it was minimal.

You mentioned our curtains did not fit the window. They were made double wide, and extended past the bottom of the window by a foot. Difficult for the curtain to be smaller than the window. Each year, we purchase new linens and towels. Difficult to have threadbare towels when they were only used for a few weeks. New bed linens were also purchased in November 2006.

In regards to the personal attacks, my husband was working. He did look like a common worker or street person as you named him. Since you were feeling so badly, you may have taken my comments on our locks in a negative manner. For that I apologize.

This letter could continue on, rebutting you complaints, but we don’t feel it is necessary.

We are glad to hear that you had a wonderful vacation after you left. Most people have a wonderful vacation once they arrive. Our high number of repeat and referred guest proves that.

Phyllis & Bill Root
Fenix Hotel
Playa Samara



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2007

I recently had a wonderful experience at Hotel Fenix in Playa Samara in Guanacaste Costa Rica. Having traveled the Carribean and Central America for nearly 35 years I have become accostumed to a decline in convience, an increase in over crowding and a lack of geniune interest by hoteliers. I found at Hotel Fenix on playa Samara a wonderful small Hotel (6 rooms) which were wonderfully appointed and clean with a small swimming pool less than 20 feet from any of the rooms and a wonderful beach less than 300 feet from the rooms as well. The rooms had a large bedroom with a king sized bed and then 2 doubles in the great room which also had a nicely equiped kitchen with 2 blocks were a restuarant as well as a grocery store and the town of Samara was a 15 minute walk up the beach. I truley believed that such places , once common in Jamaica, Mexico, as well as Costa Rica were no more. My Wife and 3 children and I were all happy, and enjoyed the time and will go back. If a TV and High Speed internet is a must look elsewhere but if true relaxation, peace and quiet, a wonderful oncean and pool to play in is what you are looking for this is the spot WE WILL GO BACK

Patrick Mach
St Augustine Fl / La Urca Costa Rica ( I live in both places)

Thank machspeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Google Translation

  • Stayed: November 2017, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Rita M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2017
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
Thank inclem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2017
Google Translation

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Miriam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
Thank mosmu77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fenix Hotel - On The Beach

Address: Mts Sur de Pulperia Stephanie 100 | Samara de Nicoya, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Samara
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Samara
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Samara
Price Range: $107 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Six time winner of the Traveller's Choice Award for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2009! Thank you to all of our wonderful guests. We are a small (6 rooms), beach-front hotel just footsteps from the ocean. Our rooms are clean, colorful and comfortable. We are NOT an all-inclusive, luxury resort. More like your place at the beach, but with someone else doing the daily cleaning, changing the linens and yard work. The rooms are in a semi-circle and face the pool, gardens and the ocean. (see photos) Great way to meet new people and exchange information and stories. We have been here 17 years managing our "little piece of paradise". Our front yard is sand with ranchos and palm trees for plenty of shade. Hammocks, sunbeds, small pool, gardens and BBQ complete our front yard. All of our rooms have fully equipped kitchens with separate bedroom. The deluxe room has AC & widescreen TV. Standard rooms have upper and lower screened windows and two ceiling fans. Our neighborhood has a small grocery store & fish market, along with local deliveries of fruits and fresh ceviche. An enjoyable 15 minute walk to Samara Central. Most of our guests return or have been recommend by friends. Thank you for considering our special place by the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fenix Hotel Playa Samara

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