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Reviewed July 21, 2012

Hotel Villas Playa Samara was OK. We went with three teenagers and rented an Oceanview Villa. They we're working to renovate a lot of the property when we were there, and hopefully the continued improvements make it a better resort. Some quick and easy fixes to help vacationers enjoy their time;

1. Fix the locks on the doors! Speaking with other patrons it seems that our doors were not the only ones that didn't lock. The main door did just fine, but the double wide garden doors only have pins that have worn over the years and you just have to pull the locked door a bit to open them. It made for some sleepless nights with two 15 year old girls in our villa. I actually tied the handles shut with a towel each night and jimmied up a make shift alarm with glasses on a stool that would fall off if the doors were opened. To my releif it wasn't needed, but it helped me as a father sleep.

2. Don't try to be an "All Inclusive" hotel. I paid for that option for 5, and was sadly dissapointed. The food was just ok, and the variety was simply not there. If you didn't like what was on the three table buffet you were going hungry. There are not enough rooms to justify a large variety, so just don't offer it as it is a bit deceiving. I spent about another $1000 eating out on top of the AI because it just wasn't that interesting.

3. The iguana that lives near the bar...well, his p*ss stinks! Sure it's cool to sit and have a beer right beside him, but after the novelty wears off his stench remains. Either hose is are down each night or move him.

4. Pick a time to start making coffee available in the morning and stick to it. My wife and I were always up early, sometimes coffee was ready at 6, something 6:15, sometimes 6:30....pick a time, post it and stick to it.

5. If you pay for an excursion when you book it, KEEP THE RECEIPT. They tried to charge me again for both the excursions we did when we checked out. Luckily I was anticipating this, so I had them at the ready.

6. Fix the equipment and the AC in the fitness center. It's just small to beging with, so when half the equipment is broken you quickly run out of options.

I think if we would have gone without the AI expectations it would have been better. The $1000 extra to eat other places wasn't something I counted on, but then again it did send us into the town of Samara and we found a few great places to eat.

I highly recomend the horseback riding/tubing/zipline excursion. It was a really long day, but so much fun zip lining through the jungle and repelling/climbing with my kids.

We also did the boat tour through the national park...I forget the name, but its the one with the white-faced monkeys. Lots of memories there too with them climbing right on the boat and onto your shoulders to get fresh mango.

Over all it was a great trip. HVPS need to keep moving along with the renos. The property has a lot of potential to be something great.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank JKnCollingwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 19, 2012

this once was a nice resort i imagine and could once be one again. it needs a big infusion of money and better trained staff.

my experience began with trying to enter the resort. since they could not find the reservation they did not want to let me into the resort. when they finally did i was treated like i would steal something. front desk treated me no better till they found my reservation. room was not ready yet which was fine. i just wanted to find the place then get some lunch. i headed to the city after that to grab lunch.

once i came back they said they had my room ready took me to the back of the resort for some room i did not rent since i booked a ocean view villa/bungalow. more time to find my reservation. once corrected they put me in a villa that was dirty worn out and dated in furniture and just needed to be renovated. the frig made some sort of strange sounds. some sort of dust insect leavings or what i don't know on top of the frig. the living room had no ac or fan. all the blinds were worn and missing slats. the sofa cushions were just cheap foam with worn out cloth on top. the lighting in all the rooms was poor. the front door had cracks in the wood that you could see through. the mattress was worn out and not very comfortable. the ac in the bed room was really to small for the room and took most of the night to cool the room. the bathroom had drains in the floor which is normal for places outside the USA but what was not normal was they did not have grates on the top but some sort of sponge thing jammed into them. i don't want to no why. calcium stains all over the place not very clean. everything kind of worn out.
no phone in the rooms, so if you want to contact the front desk you have to walk to the front desk. no front desk after 11pm. your on your own i assume.

outside the villa. great beach, very quite, nice pool area with a swim up bar. i dont know what the food is like since i hardly ever eat in hotels.

staff friendly once they found my reservation. till then they treat you like you will steal something.

having to wear bands on your wrist to let the staff know you are a guest in the hotel is a joke. there is no hotel anywhere close to this one with in walking distance. if you were walking from another hotel i wold guess it is at least 45 minutes along the beach.

i booked only one night thank god and would have stayed more if i thought it was a nice place.also i booked through one of the online places that always has commercials on tv. so my price was 1/3 of what the hotel website charges. still should have been less for this type of hotel.

when this place is renovated and the staff is better trained it should be a nice place. most likely if that happens the price will skyrocket. still not be worth what you pay. no ammenities besides the pool and nice beach. no water sports no nothing.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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7  Thank Troy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 15, 2012

The rooms were terrible. We stayed at an ocean view villa. We couldn't see the ocean from inside the villa, since there was another villa in the way or we saw the beach from a long angle. The rooms were terrible. There were cockroaches and bed bugs. There was no phone in the room so you have to walk to the front desk to complain. There were other bugs and frogs that somehow snuck in and made our bedroom their room too. One of the a/c units the LCD was broken so we could never tell if it worked. The kitchenette was nice but the hotel doesn't supply paper towels, kitchen towels, or dish soap. And the maid does not clean the dishes. So you are on your own there. Also the hotel is 5 hour drive away from San Jose Airport. So be prepared for the long drive. Expedia also was a terrible travel agent. We change our itinerary to shorten our stay by one day and the hotel was able to accommodate but Expedia didn't refund us the money for the 1 night stay. The food at the restaurant was okay, but it was better going into the town. We traveled during the off season so they were doing construction during our stay. Service was okay, and they were all friendly.

Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Bob A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 11, 2012

Very friendly staff like Louis and accommodating management like Philippe. Most likely the nicest resort in the entire region.
Would love to visit again.
Very beautiful and tranquil beach - an ideal wedding spot where you could have your entire wedding guest list stay!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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2  Thank TravelIndustryPro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 28, 2012

This was a very nice resort. The pool was excellent as was the restaurant. The staff were helpful and the grounds were magnificent. Horseback riding and massages on the beach. The beach was extremely scenic but not the type of Caribbean beach for sunbathing and swimming. The town was only a 30-60 minute walk on the beach, or an extremely inexpensive taxi ride. The town of Samara had some excellent restaurants, but not the place for a lot of shopping. The food at the restaurants in Samara was extremely reasonable. We would definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Caribbeandan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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