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“Best Family Holiday Ever!”

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Family Holiday Ever!”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We stayed at the Fenix Hotel on the recommendation of friends. They did not do it justice! Yes, the rooms are modest and the kitchen amenities are quite basic, but the place is clean, cool, friendly, and most importantly, right on the beach. We loved strolling down the beach for meals - we absolutely could have cooked more in our room, but the ease and enjoyment we got from exploring Samara gave us a great excuse not to! We body surfed a few times each day, recovered by reading in hammocks, took surf lessons, went horseback riding on the beach and went for jogs in the morning along the beach. We planned to do far more, but the atmosphere was just so relaxing that our motivation sort of vanished! Phyllis was a great host - ready for a quick chat, informative, but also very respectful of our privacy. If you are planning on going just to Samara, you don't need a car, but we travelled all through the province, so we had one, but didn't really use it there. I was happily surprised with the daily cleaning service, and the honour bar is a nice touch. This was by far the best part of our trip, and I highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: We stayed in the "deluxe" room which has AC, and is renovated tastefully. I would stay i...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank JenLSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
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English first
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
90 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

My wife and I spend a lot of time travelling for pleasure. For beach vacations we usually rent a villa, but for our first trip to Costa Rica we opted for the convenience of a hotel. From reviews here we almost thought that the Fenix was too good to be true. It is TRUE and wow, is it good.

It really is right on the beautiful beach. We visited many bars and restaurants in Samara that were on the beach; all were fun and busy, but we were always glad to return to the peace and quiet of the Fenix just a wander down the beach from the "action" of Samara. It is truly peaceful here, with beautifully kept grounds, beach lounges, hammocks. Always a cold beer or soda are available in the utility room. They also have adequate Wi-Fi as surprisingly so does most of Samara. Lovely shade in the palms from the HOT sun. The grounds keepers do a great job keeping debris from the vegetation and surf under control. And then there is the small pool which is great for a refreshing dip just to cool off.

The owners are great; helpful and fun to talk with. It really feels like family here.

We stayed in the "deluxe" room, which means that it had a television (we watched part of a football game on Thanksgiving Day and watched half of an episode of NCIS - there are better things to do here than watch TV,) air-conditioning (which was nice, though probably not critical to have,) and some upgraded touches compared to the really nice standard, other 5 rooms. The bed was comfortable, the linens were always clean, housekeeping was perfect.

The ocean is right there, protected by a reef way out there and an island, so the water was always suitable for calm swimming and play. From the water the hotel disappears into the jungle. I was always thinking Jurassic Park when looking back at the landscape.

It took me awhile to write this. I really don't want any competition for a room reservation! But this place is heaven on earth to me. This is definitely not a place for those who want the noise of the all inclusives or the glitz of a pampering, big name resort. This is just simply a quiet, beautiful retreat in paradise.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GLDawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We only stayed 2 nights because it was booked and I made reservations in August, so book early. The bed in our room was huge, and we had a fully-equipped kitchen. There is no AC but ceiling fans kept us cool. All rooms surround a lovely pool, and there's an honor bar with cold beverages. Best of all, it's just a few short steps to the beach, where you can lie in a hammock or lounge chair under palm trees. It's near the end of the beach so it's very quiet, but it's just a short walk to restaurants and shops. This is a great little hotel and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great place on the beach.

Room Tip: There are only 6 rooms(I think) and all seem equally good.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Annette010160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

This was our third trip to Costa Rica but our first to Playa Samara.
Our first choice of hotels to stay at was The Fenix. It’s located right on the beach about a half mile down from the main part of town and all the beach restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, since we only booked four months in advance we were only able to reserve two nights (Christmas week).
The hotel consists of six very nice rooms set up in a little semicircle facing the small pool and the beach beyond. Our room, #5, came complete with stove and refrigerator and even a malitia for making our morning coffee (available from their little “bodega” along with pop, beer and water) The room was very clean with a huge, larger than king sized bed, hot water shower and a couple of ceiling fans (which were just fine for keeping us cool). It was very clean. All in all it was quite nice.
Just outside our door were small tables and chairs set up. Several of the guests were having their morning breakfast there. Twenty more steps and you’re past the pool and patio and walking barefoot in the sand through a grove of palm trees. The Fenix has beach recliners and hammocks set up here in the shade. It’s a great way to relax and listen to the surf without getting fried by the intense C.R. sun. Just beyond, the trees open up to a large expanse of beach (kind of rocky in places). At this end it’s pretty secluded and quiet.
There are dozens of nice restaurants down the beach a ways. It’s a dark walk after sundown but we felt very safe. Several of these restaurants accept credit cards. Expect to pay a bit more to eat on the beach here. You can rent surfboards and take lessons as well.
The town of Samara itself is quite small. A lot of the restaurants, bars and handmade jewelry shops are set up on the three or so block road running down to the beach. The other main road running perpendicular to the main street can be very busy with no sidewalks. Here you can find a bank, laundry and the local Pali grocery store.

Room Tip: Book early as this hotel fills up quickly
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BruceSpates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

From the moment we arrived, we fell in love with Fenix! Over the course of 10 days (including Xmas) we took full advantage of the rooms, beach, pool, Phyllis' booking of tours, local restaurants, and more. Saying that the owners went above and beyond is an understatement- they even booked a sitter for us one night! The rooms are well equipped, the beds comfy, the service friendly. The beach is great for kids- tons of shells, hundreds of sand dollars to see, and a soft,easy surf for the little ones. The bodega has a tide chart, drinks for purchase, and lots of books to borrow. A small store at the end of the street rounds out the wonderful location. Thanks Phyllis and Bill for the terrific holiday.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank LeeSCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 27, 2012

We just returned from our vacation in Costa Rica. We stayed at the Hotel Felix for a week. The place is absolutely amazing – very clean, extremely well maintained. The location is perfect. It is right at the gorgeous beach. The owners Phyllis and Bill are absolutely wonderful people who do their best to make your stay enjoyable. They try to help with everything they possibly can. There is a small swimming pool – very clean and perfect for children. There is a 10 min walk to the nearest town Samara, but you can also take a two minute ride there by taxi – it is very cheap. You can rent a car if you want to drive around and see more, but you can easily survive without it – there is a grocery store one block away where you can find all the necessary stuff. Pescaderia (fish store) is within walking distance as well, and the quality of fish is superior.
Only one of 6 rooms has an AC, and initially I was concerned about staying at the room without it. But it turned out not to be a problem at all. You don’t stay much in the room during the day, and at night it is not hot, and ceiling fans are really helpful.
There age six people in our family aged 4 to 80, and all of us were happy there. We hope to return to this wonderful place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank LisaTart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

If you want to stay on the beach in Samara, you'll struggle to beat Fenix Hotel.

The location just can't be beaten - you can close your door, and have your feet in the sand of the fantastic Samara beach in about fifteen seconds! It's a ten minute walk along the beach from the centre of Samara (to the south end I think), so is away from any evening noise, with minimal effort to get to the majority of shops/restaurants etc. You can even walk to the next beach (Playa Carillho) in about 30-40 minutes from here if you want.

The rooms - I'm not sure how mine (I had room no. 1) compares to the others, but it had a reasonably large sized bedroom with double bed, with a decent sized kitchen/dining area with large window looking out to the beach through the palm trees. Be aware that these rooms (apart from room 6 I believe) have a combination of windows and net covers, so from a noise perspective its like having all your windows permenantly open. This wasn't really a problem for me, becuase it is in such a quiet area, but I'd imagine might bother some people. The rooms were pretty simple, but nicely decorated, and clean, with everything you'll need, including a large fridge. There were also fresh flowers, which was a nice touch. No a/c, but I was there in December, and you didn't even need the fan at night, so it was no problem. Wifi was reliable.

The place - just 6 rooms, around a small pool, separated from the beach by just a few palm trees. There is no bar or restaurant at the hotel, but you don't need to go far for anything. You can borrow a boogie board any time, and help yourself to cold drinks (just note down what you've taken to put it on your room tab), and there are washing machines if you need to do your laundry. The American owners (Phyllis and Bill) are happy to happy to help you with any trips or travel plans etc. (They mentioned I should try a "pipa" coconut water, and then had the cleaner leave one in my room for me later that day! (By the way, they also look after a couple of disabled squirrels!)) There is also a thorough information pack in the room when you arrive, with suggested tours, and lots of details about the local area - all very organised!

All in all, a simple but pleasant and well run place, with a perfect location. Fenix Hotel is difficult to beat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MT101
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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