Costa Rica

Select one of the 9 destinations below that we have for Costa Rica to narrow your hotel review search further.
Best hotels in Costa Rica, based on:
#10 Hotel Villas Playa Samara
#10 Hotel Villas Playa Samara
Samara
Costa Rica
44 reviews
OK place with some limitations
The site is beside a long beautiful beach with hard sand. The hotel grounds are very attractive with flowering shrubbery, trees, paving stones and pathways. The cabins (villas) are also attractive. The restaurant (only one) was covered but "outdoors" which was very pleasant. The food (3 meals a day included in the price) was plentiful and I would rate 7.5/10. I would say the kitchen staff weren't always watchful for such things as missing plates or cutlery, but nothing that wasn't corrected when brought to their attention. I wouldn't though advise going there if you are a foody and that's part of the overall experience that makes you want to vist there. The drinks were included in the price and I enjoyed the pinacolada from the pool bar and the Imperial beer. The pool itself was great for swimming lenghts or just lounging as it was long. The staff was by and large reserved, but always helpful if asked. The reception area staff spoke English, French and Spanish. The other staff mostly spanish with a some having a smattering of English or French. The week we were there the place was tranquil except the weekend when my sense was Ticos came with their kids, which certainly livened the pool area up.Themusic playing in the restaurant and pool was not too intrusive so as to be bothersome. There was no entertainment except on a couple of occasions a guitarist singer at the restaurant at dinnertime. We had a significant problem with our spacious accomodations in that there was no blind on the front room window so early sun came in and as no a/c in that large room, got extrememly hot. Finally had a sun blocking curtain installed over the sheers that helped and a fan that could circulate cool air from the separate bedroom. Bed was kingsize and fairly comfortable.Refrigerator didn't work and that was replaced, faucet in bathroom needed to be fixed which it was. Cleaning happened 2 days out of the 7 we were there. We didn't ask for more, when needed fresh towels they were brought. Overall for the price we paid in this shoulder season I felt it was good value for the cost. Had it not been for the terriific heat during the day that kept us much less active than usual, I would have highly recommended the place for the price at that time of year (Dec). If you love hot hot weather, this is the place for you if you aren't looking for a higher end kind of resort. Oh yes, the trip from Liberia to the resort was awful because of the traffic and a driver who was constantly taking his foot on and off the gas. The trip back was very enjoyable with a great driver and daytime interesting scenery. Easy going through customs on arrival although long line up that moved relatively quickly. Exchange rate at the currency exchange in the airport was terrible 440c for 1US$. Usually can get 500-520c elsewhere. But if give $ get change in C. Leaving go through security when you get there as main level has little seating, has no a/c and no worthwhile shops. Duty Free shop on departure level was quite good. And many other shops. Overall, would encourage anyone who likes heat and tropical scenery etc go to CR. One last word, birdwatching not great here, best go elsewhere for that!
#11 Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica
#11 Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica
El Jobo
Costa Rica
23 reviews
Not recommended during high season
We met family at Las Mareas (a group of 10) to celebrate the holidays as well as some family milestones (birthdays and a 50th wedding anniversary). Overall, I would not recommend this hotel during high season. We paid a higher price for VIP assuming that would provide a higher quality of service recognizing the likely busy nature given the timing. It wasn't worth it. Below are specific issues we faced during our trip that will hopefully help others who are planning a trip to this resort. We learned quickly that if you didn't arrive to the pool early, chances of getting chairs were very slim. Every morning, one of us walked down to the pool to reserve chairs by the pool around 6am (the pool doesn't open until 8a). If we were not there before 6:30a, the chances of finding chairs by the pool for our group was minimal. We didn't look for 10 chairs together recognizing at most we would only need 6-8. Only one day did we get 8 chairs together. If you are traveling during high season, plan to account for this in your daily schedule or proactively reserve cabanas - I believe the price ranged b/t $50-75 USD. When we inquired, all cabanas were booked for where we wanted to be. While there is a preferred club space, it isn't large nor specific to preferred guests (or at least there isn't any verification about where folks are staying). Overall the food is mediocre and, for extended visits, limited in terms of options. We were only able to eat at the Mexican restaraunt and Oceana restaurant as a large group, the rest of the time we ended up at the buffet. The Italian restaurant is adults only and as we had two young kids, we did not eat there. The four people who were there and didn't have young kids ate there and said the food was great - just know if you are traveling with children it might not be an option. If you don't have children make sure you take pants (for men) as the dress code is enforced. The buffet was fine for breakfast but for dinner it wasn't quite the experience we had hoped for (or at least we were ready to not see another buffet by the time we left!). There are no reservations for the restaurants save the sushi and hibachi restaurant - unfortunately we were unable to secure reservations to those restaurants. The reservation system opens each Sunday at 8a. As we arrived on Monday evening, we found no reservations available. We returned the following Sunday morning at 8a to reserve the hibachi restaurant for our last day (Monday). There was a line when we arrived and by the time we were able to speak to someone, the only reservation time available was 9p. While not ideal (we had 2 young children) we made the reservation hoping for a nice meal as a group to close our vacation. Unfortunately, when we arrived in time for our 9p reservation, we learned the concierge had booked it for the following day, our departure day. Not a great way to end the trip. The spa is lovely and the staff are great. We booked several services in advance of the trip through the website. I needed to cancel one service which concierge assisted with. However when I arrived to the spa for the other services booked, I was told I would be charged for the canceled massage as it wasn't canceled through the website (and at that point, it was past the cancelation window). Ultimately, the issue was resolved and I was reimbursed the $225. This was after spending 2 hours between the spa, concierge, and central support (via phone and email) to resolve. Not exactly time I wanted to spend during my vacation. While the service we experienced was not great, the property is beautiful and the grounds crew/staff work clearly work hard to keep the property in great shape. The beach is clean and a great spot for swimming and sunset watching. There are a number of water activites (kayaking, snorkeling, paddelboarding) which we took advantage of and enjoyed. We also appreciated the wildlife we were able to see while there including howler monkeys and iguanas.

Are you a hotel owner?

Copyright © Monarc.ca 2008-2024