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“A beautiful and tranquil get-away directly on the beach”

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Fenix Hotel - On The Beach
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2010

This was our fifth family vacation in Costa Rica and also the fifth time we stayed at the Fenix. It feels like it has become something like a second home and we always enjoy staying there with our two kids (6 and 11 years).

It is one of the very few places at the Pacific side in Costa Rica that is located directly on the beach. The perfect place to relax in one of the hammocks or comfortable beach chairs that are provided by the hotel. The hotel is very well maintained and nicely located a little outside of Samara's downtown area - therefore its beach is never crowded, yet the hotel is close enough for a leisurely walk along the beach to downtown restaurants for dinner.

Some of the rooms have been recently renovated and they are in stunning condition. Very creatively done with high quality materials. All new and state-of-the-art appliances in the kitchen area. The new air conditioning really helped to cut down on the humidity (we always visit Costa Rica in the 'green' season). All of the six suites face a small but very clean and well-maintained pool. Perfect to watch the kids splashing in the water while sitting in front of the room or while preparing lunch in the kitchen.

The owners take well care of their property and clean the rooms, swimming pool, the tropical garden and even a long stretch of the beach on a daily basis. There are boogie boards and some toys for the guests to use and the fridge in the bodega is always well stocked with beers, sodas, juices and other beverages. Anytime you need travel advice or some insider tips about where to go and what to do - ask Bill or Phyllis. They are very helpful.
And be sure not to miss out on Jessica's fantastic cinnamon rolls and other freshly baked goodies.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank harald27182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 20, 2010

My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica a few weeks ago for vacation. We spend the first few days in Arenal and Monte Verde enjoying both very much. From Monte Verde, we drove to Samara, which we've heard is absolutely a must if you're on the Pacific side.

My review is somewhat mixed because we actually enjoyed the owners Bill & Phillys and their daughter. Upon arrival, the daughter helped us get settled in our room and told us a little about the area. She gave us some GREAT recommendations for dinner (we ended up eating at Giada's) and told us to let them know if we had any questions or concerns.

We went to dinner and all in all had a lovely night. We woke up late the next morning trying to wait out the rain and found that our belongings in the front room of our unit had been rifled through. We walked outside and found my backpack along with my boyfriend's passport sitting on a chair. Concerned, we packed up and went to speak with Bill in the front office. Luckily, nothing of any value was taken. We had brought most of our valuables into the main bedroom the night before.

Bill informed us that his gardener noticed someone had cut a hole in the window next to the twin bed in our unit and gone through whatever was in close proximity to the window. What concerned us though was the fact that no one came to tell us in the morning or later that this had happened so we could inventory our belongings or file a police report right away. Bill simply told us he knew we were still sleeping and that there wasn't much we could have done anyway. I became even more upset when Bill told us that they had a night guard. Based on what I read in other posts, this guard would have been on duty when this happened to us (assuming he's on duty by 9:00 pm). Furthermore, there are only six units and we were the only guests that night, so it doesn't make a ton of sense to me that this event went completely unnoticed.

We spoke with Bill for a while and he tried to reassure us somewhat by telling us that we were lucky we didn't have anything stolen, and that robberies are an "epidemic" in Costa Rica. The more and more we spoke to Bill, however, the more and more I just didn't see how this all added up seeing as though there are six units, we were the only guests, there was supposedly a night guard, and we knew it couldn't have happened until he was on duty because we were up until 11:00 pm.

All in all, we left Samara very upset and went up to Playa Hermosa to finish out our trip. Unfortunately, we didn't really get a chance to see the beach or enjoy what we've heard is one of the best places in Costa Rica.

I will also add that everything in the room did seem to be in good shape including towels, linens, chairs, etc. There were a ton of ants though. No other bugs, but a TON of ants.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank UofM08
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 September 3, 2010

We wish to apologize again for your inconvenience. We work very hard to ensure our guests and their items are safe. All of our windows are barred. This is the first time in 10 years anyone has stuck their hand through the bars and screen to grab items laying in front of the window. We are upgrading our security.

As a suggestion to all travelers within Costa Rica or other parts of the world, keep your items out of view. As with a vehicle, items in plain sight are a temptation. Eliminate the risk by taking precautions. Again, we apologize and wish we could have prevented the actions of others. We took care of the ants.

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Reviewed August 20, 2010

We just learned that the Hotel Fenix is no longer being sold. We had a wonderful time last Easter at the Hotel Fenix. It was exactly what we were looking for quiet, comfortable and best of all you walk out your front door right on to a lovely stretch of beach. We would enjoy our breakfast and lunch at our own table on the beach, usually some of the fresh baked goodies baked that morning by the owner's daughter and then we would stroll up the beach for dinner right on the water at one of the many restaurants about 10 minutes away. During our two week stay we walked,snorkled,swam and rode the boogie boards supplied by the hotel. What could be better? Phyllis and Bill, the owners, treated us like family and we felt like we had known them forever. We will be back!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank jeanniToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2010

I stumbled upon the Fenix Hotel while visiting Playa Samara for the first time. I was traveling with my wife and two boys ages 11 and 9. I was not sure what to expect when we drove up, but upon taking a tour of the room and then walking out onto the beach, I was amazed at how cool this place was.

There are only a handful of rooms in the hotel, and each is arranged around the quaint swimming pool. From the rooms you can walk just 15 meters or so and be on the beach. Before the beach, there is a shady area with hammocks and chairs nestled in the palms. In the pool area, there is an "honor system" bodega with all sorts of beverages as well as boogie boards to use while playing in the surf.

The hotel is about a 10 minute walk down the beach from the main Samara downtown, and there is a surf school right next door that treated my kids like gold. The owners, Bill and Phylis, were fantastic and I can't imagine staying anywhere else on my next visit.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank ctippin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Fenix over 4th of July weekend and had a great time. Owners Phyllis and Bill are laid back, down to earth and took great care of us. The rooms are perfectly sized with a separate bedroom and full kitchen and the pool is just right for a refreshing dip after a long day of beach combing. The Fenix is literally steps from the beach amidst a stand of idyllic palms and coconut trees and is just far enough from the main drag to ensure a quiet stay. All we could hear from our room was the rhythmic crashing of the waves! We would definitely come back, but understand that the Fenix is being bought out going condo, so you better hurry!

Oh, almost forgot, Phyllis and Bill's daughter makes the best pastries we've ever had and you can order the night before, so they are ready fresh the next morning for breakfast on the beach!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank planetplayground
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 August 17, 2010

Thank you for such a nice review. We appreciate it very much.

We are not leaving the Fenix, and will continue to provide a wonderful place to stay. Our hotel will remain a quiet and quaint hotel, footsteps away from the beach.

Saludos,

Phyllis & Bill

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Reviewed June 4, 2010

We stayed during the third week of May, and felt that we picked the best hotel in Samara. It is right on the beach, and landscaped so that you can either sit in the shaded area of the grounds, or move the chairs about 3 feet to sit in the sun right on the beach. Samara is a beautiful beach, and the whole area was not very crowded since it is the "green season", but it really only rained at night. The service was excellent and the owners friendly and helpful in arranging transportation and pedicures. The rooms are well laid out, and have good showers, and the ocean breezes and fans keep it very comfortable. Our adult daughter was with us, and the two-rooms and whole outdoors were a perfect setup. We ate mangos that fell from the trees outside our door. It is an easy 10-15 minute walk on the beach to the town with all the restaurants, but there is a restaurant/bar 2 doors down, and a small but well stocked store just down the block. We did not need a car at all. We would definitely stay here again. FYI, there is a comfortable greyhound style bus that goes directly between Samara and San Jose for only about $8.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank mysfyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2010

Staying at the Fenix Hotel for a week was a great way to turn 50. My husband, 9 year old daughter and I enjoyed swimming in the clear, blue water pool. Although quite small, the water is warm and it is a great place to play and cool off. It's about 6 feet away from each of the 6 rooms. Wake up, put on your swim suit and jump in. Then walk for 30 seconds and jump in the ocean. The ocean water is warm. You can get right in, without that chill, and stay in forever without getting cold. The waves were big enough for boogie boarding, yet gentle enough to feel safe and there's no undertow.

The owners Phyllis and Bill are so helpful and really made us feel at home. Their kindness added to the enjoyment of our stay.

The hotel grounds are kept very clean by the friendly staff, and there is a lot of shade. There is a huge mango tree and when the mangos fall off you can eat them! There are hammocks and lounge chairs in a shady, tropical setting.

The rooms all have a bedroom in the back, and the front room has a kitchen, dining table, and extra bed. They're not fancy, but the rooms have a personal touch, are cleaned everyday, and it felt like home. We put the table outside our room and ate all our meals outside, listening to the birds and watching the iguanas. There are ceiling fans that kept us cool at night and you can hear the ocean as you go to sleep.

Trucks will come to the hotel and you can buy fruit and vegetables, dairy products, bread, etc. Jessica comes by on some mornings selling her yummy homemade pastries and quiche. and someone selling ceviche came a couple times in the afternoon.

It is about a 15 minute walk on the beach to town. You can rent horses to ride on the beach, rent surfboards and bikes(we couldn't find any that were small enough for our 9 year old), book tours, get groceries, souveniers and go out to eat. We went ziplining, horseback riding, surfing, and on a boat to see dolphins and snorkel. Or you can just hang out at the hotel and swim or use the boogie boards they have there.

Although it was a bit of a walk to get to town, the location of the hotel is great. There is a little grocery store a block away, and a good mexican/sushi restaurant up the hill. It feels like your own private beach when you are at the Fenix.

Bill and Phyllis really make the Fenix Hotel a very special place and we had a great week there.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Hellie1960
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: $100 - $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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Fenix Hotel Playa Samara

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