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Reviewed 9 February 2012

It is hard to explain why exactly after all this years (5) I keep on dreaming about Playa Samara as my paradise on earth... Probably because I didn't expect to find such a peaceful location, easy going and relaxing as Playa Samara!
I ended up there by chance, traveling by car with my mother and I read on a guide about this place so I decided to check it personally. I was scared, at first by its price but than charmed by the politeness of its owner as he saw us walking away and decided to offer us a special price... we planned to stay for a night and we ended up spending there almost all our holiday because the more we travelled the more we thought Playa Samara was just perfect for us: easy, peaceful, not crowded, unexpected and simply lovely.
I miss that beach and can't wait to be back.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank lyllidar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2012

Dear Lilly,

I'm so happy you decided to stay with us and that you enjoyed your stay, looking at your pictures only makes us work even harder to provide the very best level of service and we hope to hear from you soon for your next visit. Actually if you mention that I replied to your trip advisor review we can offer you a very special price! If theirs absolutely anything else please don't hesitate to email us to reserva@villasplayasamara.com

Best regards,

Brad Anderson

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Reviewed 31 January 2012

Not sure where to begin - to be concise I will list the problems in no particular order:
1. Check in at 4. - room wasn't ready for hours after being told it would be ready in twenty minutes
2. The room they finally offered us was filthy .. Housekeeping was airing out the mattresses on the terrace because they were vomited on or worse... They were planning on just putting on new sheets- bathrooms were covered in mold - we were preparing to leave but because we had paid upfront we agreed to be moved to a new room
3. The new space was only slightly better - bathrooms were filthy- still felt dirty after a shower- the shades were covered in dust from the 1980's - the seat cushions had spills and stains we had to line the sofa with towels
4. No tv- only tv was in a moldy game room - only Spanish tv playing
5. No working wifi
6. Housekeeping kept refolding dirtly towels and putting them back on our bed
7. No one spoke a word of English except some French surfer whose job was smile at the French guests
8. Shower only had warm water with such little water pressure felt like you were showering with a watering can
9. Beach was beautiful - only from afar- as there was so much horse poop it was unsanitary to walk without shoes and the water was packed with so much silt - it was a muddy froth
10 stray dogs roamed the grounds
Felt bad for the staff who seemed embarrassed to be working there as the problems were so obvious
So far from town needed a car to get to town or taxi

Room Tip: Spoke with other guests who were just as dissatisfied
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank Shira G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2012

Hello Shira,

Thank you for such an extensive feedback this can only help us improve. On super high peak seasons our check in is on some occasions at 4pm this is due to the amount of visitors we have at one time. Not a single one of our rooms as a TV this is because we believe Costa Rica and Specially Villas Playa Samara is a place to detox and relax, as you mention we do have an activities room that our clients can use to watch TV on local cable a Pool Table and a Air hockey Table, we also have our Gym and mini market area internet Service is free and overall very stable however we do depend on local services to be online, the beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the country and proven with their blue flag award, a certification issued by the Costa Rica’s government to guarantee cleanliness and safety to our visitors. We have taken the necessary steps to maintain a top of the industry level of service and have hired a new onsite manager and guest service manager. We hope in the near future to have great reviews from our guest.

1- Samara was voted for 2 years in a row 7 best traveler beach in Latin America
2- We believe you were able to enjoy this beach & ocean yourself since you enjoyed very much both fishing, dolphins, & snorkeling tour booked by us, we also cooked for you your catch we do want to believe that you reconsider our ocean to be healthy since you eat its “fruits”
3- To compensate the late check-out we offered you a complementary upgrade to a ocean view two bedroom villa to compensate this issue
4- The only reason were you found and unclean room is because you did not wanted to wait until the requested time 3:30 pm for check that we gently requested you and you went directly into your assigned room without letting the cleaning ladies finished their jobs.
5- You also requested a last minute cake for one of your child for its birthday which we delivered in an instant for free since this is our hotel policy when we received guest during their birthdays.
6- You also lost your cellphone upon check-in which we were able to retrieve for you in a glimpse.
7- You children were provided with 100 of free tokens in our games room during the entire stay to make sure you had the best vacations possible we are very sorry to read that you were not able to enjoy to the maximum your vacation and really experience the beautiful location & nature that Villas Playa Samara has to offer to its guest and in you case we wish that you could have stayed for a longer stay at our resort to really be able to detox which in reality our mission to our clients.

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Reviewed 30 January 2012

We stayed at this resort having no idea what to expect and were pleasantly surprised at the accomadations. Each little house has a fully equiped kitchen and ready for whatever you decided to do there. We stayed in a two bedroom two bath and had plenty of room for five adults. There is a wonderful pool with a swim up bar and the resort is right on the beach. Some villas do not have ocean views, but you can request it, but it is an easy walk. They do offer all exclusive deals, but the town of Samara is not too far and they have many beach side restaurants if you are willing to walk or drive. Otherwise, you can add your meals and eat there, the food was pretty good. The facility offers many excursions and they are a lot of fun and a great way to explore the area. We did the river excursion and saw lots of crocodiles and monkeys and also the day of adventure was a lot of fun, but kind of hard work too. You spent the day outdoors zip lining, rock climbing, horse back riding, tubing down a river and the end of the day was soaking in hot springs fed by the local volcano. A true adventure. We missed the tour of the coffee grown locally, but next time... Personally I think this is the best place to stay in this particular area. And give my reagrds to Alonzo and Phelep. They were great and made our experience there memorable.

Room Tip: I think the rooms closer to the ocean have the best views and rooms closer to the restaurant have better water pressure.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank ReneeK55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2012

Hello Reneek!

We thank you for your feedback and we are thrilled that you had the chance to experience the "real" Costa Rica adventures. We are sure you will visit us again and take that Coffee Tour. Alonso said Thank you! It was a pleasure having you among our guests!

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Reviewed 8 January 2012

We stayed here during the holidays and celebrated New Years at this resort. It was full as expected since it is peak season after all. The crowd was 50/50 (American /Canadian tourists and Costa Ricans) and the party, dinner and fireworks were awesome!

There seems to be several negative comments towards this resort and all I can say is that if you want a fairytale vacation with white-glove service then this may not be the place for you.

We have travelled all over the world and stayed in a variety of resorts/hotels and would simply catagorize this place as charming, friendly, rustic and off the beaten path. We enjoyed the fact that wi-fi was down and there was no tv in the rooms. Vacation should be about unplugging and doing fun activites, reading a book and simply enjoying this tropical paradise. When the last time you saw wild horses running down the beach? :)

The staff and and management were friendly and helpful and we met some really great people, something you don't find at mega-resorts. We never go to the same place twice but are already considering returning next year.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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8  Thank Julius L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 12 February 2012

Hi Julius!

We would like to extend our gratitude for your comments, you get it! This is what our hotel is all about! We had a great time in new years and hope to have even a bigger party next year! Hope to see you with us soon! Mention that I replied to your review and get a special discount on your next reservation!

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Reviewed 6 January 2012

This is the most disgusting place EVER. The pool was stagnant with a film of scum layering the top. While we were eating breakfast the workers were welding and sparks were hitting us! The rooms: When the air conditioner did work once, it leaked all over the floor. There were bugs. The "kitchen" was so sick you wouldn't dream of fixing even a sandwich! The bathroom was never clean and you definitely had to wear shower shoes because of the fungus. (The shower didn't drain either.) The beach had trash everywhere. Management didn't care. I just did a chargeback to my credit card. This place is a scam for sure. Oh, and it literally stinks!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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12  Thank suemono
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BradAnderson, Director of Sales at Hotel Villas Playa Samara, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2012

Hello Suemono,

We would like to extend our apologies if our service was not up to the task we have taken the necessary steps to prevent any of our future guests to encounter any issues with cleanliness. We thank you for your feedback as this will only help us get better. I noticed you claim to have initiated a charge back from your card, once initiated we will have to wait for notification if you prefer please email us to reserva@villasplayasamara.com so we may follow up on your transaction as we trust in the near future to have a second chance to make emends on your next visit. We have hired a new onsite manager and guest service manager. We would like to point out that our pool has always been one of our best and most clean features that we control daily also our beach has been awarded a blue flag award which is the biggest license issued by Costa Rica’s government only granted to the cleanest beaches of the country, our beach was also voted two years in a row as the seventh best beach of Latin America by trip advisor.

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