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“Clean... but little else.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Esperanza

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Hotel Esperanza
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Certificate of Excellence
Leavenworth, Washington
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Clean... but little else.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2011

The hotel desperately needs to hire someone with local knowledge.

Owned by someone in Florida and managed by a Canadian who just arrived in Costa Rica in October, the hotel offers little beyond a small clean room on the small landscaped lot.

While she is certainly enthusiastic and talkative, (read… “clingy”), the Canadian manager admitted that her knowledge of the area was limited to the few weeks she had been there and she was learning slowly since she did not speak Spanish. We could have used some local guidance (recommended restaurants, tours, directions, etc…) but she was unable to help or ended up providing incorrect information.

Small room? Two people will not be able to pass by the end of the bed at the same time.

They made the most of the small lot that the hotel is on. Nice tile walkways and a small, well-designed pool front a covered eating area. Unfortunately the covered eating area is just a few feet away from the road. We were joined for breakfast on one morning by a small car that sat and idled exhaust and noise into the area for quite some time. At a minimum there is a pretty constant stream of traffic buzzing by only a few feet away from the dining area.

There is no view from the hotel but it is conveniently located a short walk (down a steep hill) to the beach.

Breakfast is a choice of eggs or French toast along with fruit and bacon.

Of the three hotels we stayed at while in Costa Rica, Hotel Esperanza was the least value for the money. With similar price ranges at other hotels, we had large rooms with excellent views, and helpful bilingual staff with great local knowledge.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TravelingHindsights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dennis C, Owner at Hotel Esperanza, responded to this review, 2 January 2012
As the owner of Hotel Esperanza, I find the caption ‘’Clean…but little else” totally inaccurate, lacking of facts, and offensive. I am not JUST someone in Florida who owns the hotel and has little concern as to my clients’ needs or satisfaction. We offer our guests a premier service, extremely clean rooms, top rated bedding, a wide array of tours and excursions, a full complimentary American breakfast, and a full list of amenities. It is and will always be the ultimate goal of Hotel Esperanza to provide every client the absolute best of services and attention to all needs. Our goal has been proven many times over by the past 103 reviews written by our clients in praising our services, attention to details and client needs. I do appreciate constructive and valid comments, but do not have any appreciation of false statements, exaggerations, or attacks on my staff when it is not justified. We are always open to suggestions on how we can improve our services or amenities that will benefit our clients and are always open to honest criticism.
As for the statement addressing the size of the hotel and lot, I refer to our website. Our website is extremely accurate and current in describing our facilities and all of our amenities. If a client fails to read the website information provided, we also post up to date and very accurate photos of our grounds, pool, restaurant, and interior views of our rooms. Our rooms are not Suite size, but are very comfortable and offer all comfort amenities of the larger hotels. All this information is clearly depicted in our website photos. If a client is looking for a Suite size room, we will usually recommend they go to the $350.00 per night hotels. We fully understand our hotel is not for everyone, and offer the suggestion that travelers do homework before choosing a hotel. It is also our hotel policy and procedure that if a client has a concern, we will do everything possible to correct the situation within our means, if we are made aware of the problem. It is impossible for us to correct a problem if you do not know one exists. Communication is always the first resolve in correcting any problem.
As for the statement stating the hotel should hire someone else having better local knowledge, I stand firmly on my decision to hire my manager Joannie. Joannie comes to Hotel Esperanza with experience in the hospitality business having worked for Club Med and other major Hotel chains. I must admit though, this is a first for me to receive a complaint of a manager giving too much attention. When you first arrive at a new location, it does take a small amount of time to become acclimated to your area. On one occasion, the clients asked where a certain town was located. The manager replied that she did not know but would have an answer in about 10 minutes, but was told not to bother. Regarding the statement that no recommendations or false information was provided, I offer the following explanation. You are always greeted upon arrival at Hotel Esperanza. At check-in, you are given a lot of local information and always asked if you would be interested in any tours or excursions. In this situation, the clients declined and did not use any of our services offered. On another occasion, the clients did ask for a referral on surfing lessons. They were given the answer that we had not tried the surfing lessons but did recommend a company that we had heard did a good job on the beach. The clients accepted the referral, took the lesson and returned with a very positive review. We participate in a lot of the tours when time permits in order to give an accurate review for our clients, but we will not give a client a recommendation if we honestly do not know. Regarding the lack of Spanish, I fail to see how this would be a factor in communication with the clients taking in consideration that the clients did not speak Spanish as well. Joannie speaks English, fluent French and does a good job with Spanish.
Traffic noise in Restaurants and Hotels is pretty much a common situation for Costa Rica. Most hotels in Costa Rica are located on the road fronts and are usually open air. This is very typical and common of Latin countries. Unfortunately, sometimes travelers will have preconceived ideas of a country and fail to see the true values the country has to offer. I encourage all travelers to do their homework on the country you intend on visiting to insure that you understand exactly what the country has to offer, the challenges you might incur, and mostly if the country will suit your needs. This will help you in avoiding a disappointment that will usually follow you throughout your stay. I truly regret that this client could not see our hotel in its true value...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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212 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    185
    19
    5
    2
    1
See reviews for
77
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seal Beach, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2011

Spent nine nights at the Esperanza during mid November. Everyone at the hotel, Dennis, Joannie and Anna made our visit quite enjoyable. The hotel is a short walk from one of the most beautiful beaches, Playa Carrillo, which one could visit. Samara is a short drive from the hotel allowing you to enjoy a number of restaurants in town if you wish. Joannie however is quite the chef ! If you have a chance to stay at the hotel don't pass up the opportunity !

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SoCalBeachBum49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vineland, New Jersey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2011

my wife and I have stayed at the Hotel Esperanza twice in the last two years. Jonnie, the new hotel manager, couldn't have been nicer and it felt like we were staying with family more than in a hotel. The rooms are very clean, and the staff is very honest. The pool and gardens are also well kept. The hotel now has food on offer which was also good, esp. the black bean dip. The area is remote and this hotel is not a resort, but that's what makes it so great.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank crmesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2011

I rarely do these reviews but this place has been so good that the guilt of me not doing a review has finally caught up with me.

Located within walking distance of one of if not the most beautiful beaches in all of Costa Rica, this small boutique hotel pretty much delivers everything: good value, excellent service, cleanliness and good food. I have stayed here on at least five occasions for extended periods with my wife only and with my larger family and each instance has been consistently good.

It starts with the owner Dennis who's a guy that cannot do enough to make your stay welcoming and enjoyable. The staff are also well trained and provide excellent service even when Dennis may be absent.

While the hotel is small the grounds are lovely and are a great place to hang out when not on the beach.There is a small childrens pool adjoining a small adult pool and a great spa whirlpool system that is the perfect place to down una cerveza in the late afternoons.

Some of the features of this place that I am particularly fond of are: the ability to grab bottled drinks on the honor system; a vast DVD collection for late night viewing and, as already mentioned, its very close (walking distance) to the beach.

The hotel is also centrally located near a small super market and a couple of good restaurants (although there is really little reason not to just "eat at home")

Finally, the hotel can arrange car rentals and transportation if you need that and all the fun touristy activities that make CR so special.

So, give this place a shot. You wont regret it

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LarryfromNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2011

Charming is the one word that describes this 7 room boutique hotel, host & his staff. Playa Carillo is undeveloped as nature intended beaches to be. After a week of many activities and hiking in Arenal and Monteverde we wanted some down time for three nights. We rented two rooms; one for my wife and I and the other for our 12 year old twins. This proved to be the right choice. Lodging is up the hill and out of sight. It took us a 3 minute drive to the beach which is palm lined with a boulevard…no buildings, no crowds, not manicured…what we were looking for. The included breakfast fueled us for hours. Rooms are tastefully decorated with the furnishings and décor looking new. The AC worked well. Hotel has an enormous DVD collection so we wound down evenings with movies. Site pics are accurate. Spent most of the days at the beach. Blue cheese hamburgers next door are very good. El Lagarto is a grill in Playa Samara that is a must do for a dinner. This last leg of our adventure got a thumbs up from the whole family.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MSutti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2011

Almost by accident I found myself at the Hotel Esperanza in Playa Carrillo after working on a Habitat for Humanity building project in Nicoya. What a restful way to end a week of digging in the rain, mud and heat of June. I loved to just sit outside my room under the veranda and drink a morning cup of Costa Rican coffee near the pool. Dennis was extremely helpful in finding me transportation back to San Jose after my stay and help arrange excellent sight seeing tours around the area. Oh yes, by the way, Playa Carrillo is pretty spectacular also.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tic02011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2011

We just got back again from traveling around portions of Costa Rica, and this hotel was one of the places we stayed this time. I picked it because of several amenities I like a lot that not all Costa Rican hotels have: hot shower with good water pressure, cold A/C, good mattress, no mold and minimal bugs in the room, pretty safe-looking area, and a great owner. Dennis served us bananas that he cut off of his trees just a few minutes before breakfast each day. Excellent! He also served us star fruit from his tree one morning, but I do not like them as much as his great pineapple (they are ok with powdered sugar, but eating them with salt for breakfast was not my thing). Since it was raining part of the time, we borrowed several DVD’s from his huge library. I was also able to use his computer and free Wi-Fi. Playa Carrillo is only a 5 minute walk, or a 1 minute drive away. Playa Samara is only 5-10 minutes. Playa Samara is a busier, surfer town. Playa Carrillo has lots of palm trees along the long beach, where you can sit in the shade and have a picnic. It is probably the prettiest beach I have seen in Costa Rica. Dennis was always readily available for tips on where to eat, things to do, etc. He made us feel right at home, and gave us a lot of personal attention. Due to family reasons, I know he wants to sell the business and move back home, so this would be a place to consider if you wanted to open a hotel in Costa Rica. Otherwise, if you want to visit Playa Carrillo/Samara and are looking for a place that is clean and cozy, I would suggest you contact Dennis via their website form or his Skype number.

Room Tip: There are only 7 rooms, so they are all fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Floyd0214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Esperanza

Property: Hotel Esperanza
Address: APDO 65-5235, Playa Carrillo 5235, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Carrillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Playa Carrillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Esperanza 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family oriented hotel, welcoming singles, couples, wedding parties, families, children, and handicap guests. Being a small hotel of 7 rooms we offer a warm family atmosphere with the added bonus of having the amenities of the larger hotels. In 2007 we accomplished a total remodel including all guestrooms with European tiles and exotic Mahogany and Cedar woods throughout. The hotel also features the addition of a new custom pool and spa. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Esperanza Hotel Playa Samara
Hotel Esperanza Costa Rica/Guanacaste

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