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“Paradise is Secluded”

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Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Reviewed 19 January 2011

The reviews for this hotel were mixed and rightfully so in some respects. Here's the good and the bad:

Bad: it's two hours away from Liberia Airport
Good: this drive allowed me to enjoy the scenery of the country and mountains and not just the tourist traps....btw, Jose with Troical Tours was WONDERFUL!!

Bad: the hotel is a one mile walk down the beach from the town and excursions (surfing, snorkeling, sightseeing, etc)
Good: I work in NYC and take the subway everyday!!! What better way to recharge your batteries than to walk on the beach and I was escaping NYC in December. I loved getting the exercise and walking on the water. The beach is clean and the townspeople were warm and welcoming. The water was pristine. Do be careful though: when the tide comes in around 2 p.m., the water cuts though part of the beach, separating the town from the hotel....but it's only waist high, so that's not so bad.

Bad: okay, so the room was not the cleanest and yes, I did wear my flip flops in the shower.
Good: I was there to enjoy the beach and relax and not analyze the cleanliness of every nook and cranny. I did bring a little bottle of bleach to wipe down the toilet, counters, and poured it in the bottom of the shower. Housekeeping was nice enough to change the sheets, blankets, and pillows whenever I asked, and they didnt charge me for the 3 loads of laundry they did for me. I would not use the work elegant to describe the rooms, but they were comfortable and rustic.

Bad: the staff didnt speak much English
Good: yes, some employees were not fluent, but they were kind professional and curious enough to try to use what little English they knew to engage in conversation. They let me practice my Spanish and I felt like I was improving. Everyone was polite. Jimmy at the front desk was a superstar! Any problem you had, he solved it with a smile! I loved the people there!!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ulostme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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613 - 617 of 916 reviews

Reviewed 18 January 2011

The first problem was with the owner Phillipe and his promise that we would be booked into Casita 11 B. When we got there, a mad shuffle ensued because it turned out that the room was already booked. The staff knew nothing about the promise, and thankfully we pulled up our emails to show them. MY CONCERN is if Phillipe does this all the time and when tourists get there---voila---you're stuck.
I had to fight to get comped breakfast for their mistake, which should have been theirs to offer in the first place. Switch-and-bait ensued. We were told "All the rooms are the same." LIE NUMBER TWO. These units appear to be privately owned and outfitted which leaves a gross divergence of quality. We were first booked into room 2 A, which was the second unit off the beach. AWFUL! sagging couch, icky linen, mouse droppings/or lizard every day. Cockroaches the size of my hand running in the unit. Not even a sponge to do the dishes in the kitchen. Toilet that never worked right. DISGUSTING! And that was at $190 a night! Then we were switched to until 11 B after two days and I felt like I died and went to heaven. Fully outfitted for our needs and modern, lovely decor right at the beach as we expected to pay for.
Several other problems: where to register isn't marked. We had to walk around and around the pool to try and find where to go. Of course, with our BOOKING PROBLEM, welcoming was out of the question and poorly handled. Nothing explained to us about the services, tours, or location.
I felt sorry for the reception staff. They were lovely, but caught between their boss and us.
If you decide to stay here, please be aware that the units are grossly different, and request to see several if you end up in a similar situation. If you can't get 11 A or 11 B? I wouldn't stay here. So do I give this a thumbs up or down? Perhaps in the middle.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dawnp53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2011

Our group of five friends spent New Year's Eve at Villas Playa Samara and couldn't have had a better time. The hotel grounds are beautiful with the perfect balance of natural beauty and human intervention. Each morning one in our group took a nature walk around the grounds and saw all kinds of birds and animals including parrots and iguanas. The beach is literally just outside your porch. We wiled away hours hanging out in the hammocks on our porch taking it easy.

The staff is super friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to make our visit comfortable.

If make a trip around the holidays, be sure to check out Torros a la Tica in Samara. It was unlike anything we had ever done. Also, the tours in Samara were great. The vibe of Wingnuts canopy tours was great: small scale, sustainable, a lot different than the somewhat assembly line tours we have been on in Monteverde.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Michael J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2010

This was my second trip to Playa Samara. Last year we stayed in town; this year we opted to stay at Villas Playa Samara, which is about 3km south of the actual town of Samara. It seems like there are quite a few reviews for Villas Playa Samara that either loved the resort or strongly disliked it. I would say that I fell right in the middle; the community could be very nice with some additional maintenance and improvements.

Our cabin had a separate bathroom, full kitchen, living area, and a small patio with a hammock and an ocean view. The design was spacious. However, immediately a few minor problems stood out. There seemed to be a slightly noxious odor coming up from the kitchen sink. The tile around the sink was broken and hadn't been repaired. The aerator in the bathroom's sink sprayed water all over the counter top when I washed my hands. And, as others have posted, the sheets and towels need to be replaced. I don't expect exotic Egyptian cotton linens or plush towels, but they were worse than I've ever had in any hostel. That's fine in an inexpensive hostel, but Villas Playa Samara is slightly more expensive than a dorm room in Guatemala.

If you decide to stay here, my biggest piece of advice is to rent a car. This gives you the freedom to drive into Samara for meals and to stock up on groceries in town. The resort's hotel was average albeit pricey for what you get. Most nights there were only a few couples dining, which leads me to wonder how a surprisingly large menu could feature so many types of *fresh* food.

The other benefit of having a car is being able to drive to Playa Carrillo. Villas Playa Samara has a nice beach, but it is not nearly as scenic as Carrillo, which is only a few minutes drive to the south.

The pool was great. I'd say that it was perhaps the best part of Villas Playa Samara. The staff were all friendly and helpful, as well.

In short, Villas Playa Samara has the pieces in place to be a very good resort. However, I couldn't get past the feeling that it had fallen into a bit of disrepair over the years. For what it costs to stay there, you could stay at much nicer places in Samara or Carrillo.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sbollig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2010

This place is isolated, but very romantic. Laura and her staff are extremely friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to make us feel special. The cabin was modest, but the maids had towel animals and fresh flowers everyday, and what do you really need when you can go to sleep listening to the waves and wake up to animal sounds. The restaurant has very good food. The pool and bar are also very good. The massages on the beach are fantastic! Town is an adventure to get to; via the beach during low tide and car or taxi at high tide. The town does have numerous trips and tours you can take. Do recommend you have books, as there is only a TV at the bar and no radios in the cabins.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Happybackpacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villas Playa Samara

Address: South From the Center of Samara Going Towards Playa Carrillo 3km, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Playa Samara
Price Range: €197 - €502 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Villas Playa Samara 3.5*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a hotel with fully equipped villas and deluxe rooms. We are located in front of the beach very close yo downtown Samara. ... more   less 
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