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Reviewed August 18, 2012

These are essentially cottages on the beach. You really will not have a beach view because even the ones close to the beach are not that close. The pool is nice but can be crowded. Make sure you stop in town for food if you intend to cook. They units are comfortable and we had no problems. Loved the hammock. YOU MUST HAVE A CAR TO STAY HERE! It is far from town and there are no shuttles or really dependable taxis to get back and forth to town. It is quite a walk from the units to sit on the beach. Units are individually owned so this is not a typical resort. I think the restaurant is a bit pricey and definately more than in Samara. Also, there are not alot of food choices as they typically have a buffet. I did get to watch parrots from the Hammock which was neat;) You do not walk from your car to the room. They will take you in golf cart. Also, they do not speak good english here in case you have a problem.

Room Tip: I would go with closer to the pool because no matter where the room you will have a walk to the beach. Pool is close to the restaurant.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank CostaRicaTravelGuru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Good for families as it is on beach and has a nice pool. Grab a villa close to the pool- they seem to be most updated. We were in villa #1 on beach and it was outdated and smelled of smoke in bedrooms. They did move us after complaining. Be careful of tour group operator at front desk. He will try to milk you for his tours and charges a ton. Bit of a charmer. Has a story for everything. You can do trips on your own or in town. Take some time to learn the area before booking with him. Must take a horeback ride with Walter on the beach. Kids went 3 times. Very reasonably priced. And must go to beach up the road, Playa Carillo. A paradise. This hotel needs a real upgrade, but suitable. Tons of potential for sure. Staff seem genuine. Food is pretty good, especially fried red snapper. Had we done a little bit more research, probably would have stayed next door at Hideaway Hotel (we went there for dinner one night, much more low key and intimate, friendly staff). However, we were with our kids, so being on the beach is a bonus if you have young kids.

Room Tip: Rooms close to pool seem upgraded, e.g. villa #8. Villa # 1 on beach needs serious upgrade
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank Garrett71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Stayed at Hotel Villas for my one year anniversary. It was a great time. The hotel service is friendly and immediate-all the employees are nice and always very helpful with any requests we had. The room was one of the remodeled versions and it was nice. New bathroom and comfortable king size bed. The AC was great and worked exceptionally. The hotel is located walking distance from the beach and that was lovely. The beach is quiet and secluded which is the way I like it. Overall, my husband and I loved it there. Would go back soon.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 4, 2012

First of all let me say this was the best vacation I have ever been on. I'm going to start my review with pros of the town, hotel, and general experience and end with the cons of the same.

Pros
The staff at the hotel was a major plus. Most of the employees spoke English well enough to facilitate normal day to day activities without any problem. Our staff included and was also not limited to Carlos, who was very helpful and polite at the front desk. Hans, our driver, who was great at his main job and also very professional and fun. Alfredo, a great bartender by the highest standards. Perfect English, super polite and professional, and also just a fun guy to be around. Steve, the main tour guide, who spoke great english as well, and provided us with so much fun and entertainment, we could not have had a better tour guide if we asked for one. Alex and Loius, our main servers at the restaurant, both super friendly and all around cool.

We went at a slower time of the year(mid july), so it was very nice that we did not have to compete for resort or town resources.

The Rooms were very clean and many props to the cleaning crew who did an amazing job making our room look great while not disturbing our belongings at all.

Wifi! although the signal was always 2 out of 3 wifi bars.

Access to the beach is unbeatable

Pool Bar!

We ran into many different types of native wildlife on the resort property! this included freak red colored squirrels as i refer to them, sooooo many iguanas, colorful birds and parakeets, and monkeys!

The food at the restaurant is not hotel food at all, every dish we had here was amazing.

The town and hotel were both very safe, no sketchy moments at all!

The tours that we chose were very fun including the kayak trip to isla chora, the waterfall hike, the gyroplane, and the deep sea fishing (beware the all day tourist trap at ricon, worth it for the whitewater tubing, but the horseback ride is basically a total bust. ziplining is what to be expected.)

The water in this part of the ocean is warm, very very warm.

The town of Samara is home to about 3000 if im correct. very nice to take a bike ride around and visit the different shops and impressive restaurants.

Temperature was about 85F every day. Also during the time of year that we went it also rained almost everyday for a very short period of time.

The locals are very friendly.

Taxi transportation was easy to access from the hotel to the town and vice versa.

Dollars are accepted everywhere, 1 dollar to 500 colones.

Prices for drinks and food menu items were very reasonable.

Hotel security is visible and on point

Plenty of bars right on the beach in town!

Now For The CONS!

Shower pressure is dismal. however the bathrooms are still very nice.

No phone in our room, would have been nice to be able to talk to the front desk without having to walk there.

The bar closes at 11!!! What! this is a resort with people having fun and ready to spend money on drinks! what are you thinking hotel villas playa samara?! Lost profits and a total bummer.

We didnt notice very many mosquitoes, but somehow ended up with a ton of bites even with ultrathon bug spray.

Costa Rica time, or maybe I should say hotel villas playa samara time. The restaurant and bar were very timely with everything, however, if you make a request for something that is not from the previously mentioned, expect to double or triple the time that you are told. (ex. we will have more pool towels in 10 minutes = 25-35 minutes)

Or maybe there was just a total lack of pool towels all the time???

The water directly off of the beach is very cloudy, do not expect crystal clear bright blue bahamas water, at least directly off of the hotels beach. snorkeling on isla chora was a bit better, our scuba diving tour was cancelled due to cloudy water.

What seemed like constant construction noises coming from all over.

There is not an ATM at the hotel, at least that i know of. And actually only two ATMs in the town that I have personally seen

The wrist bands that they make you wear as guest of the resort are seriously terrible. seriously.

Outside of the resort, in town, the bathrooms are dismal.

This is my biggest complaint, had it not been for what i'm about to tell you now i would have rated this resort Excellent instead of average. I could have easily dealt with all the other minor annoyances without a care at all. transportation to and from the resort from the Liberia airport was around 125 US dollars per trip, i do not recal the exact amount as it does not pertain. I had no problem paying this rate as i believed it to be reasonable for a private 2 hour transport in a nice van. Transport to the hotel went off without a hitch. Now, we were prepared to pay the same amount to get back to the airport. However we met another very nice couple who was also traveling back to the same airport at the same time, so logic would be that we offered to split the cost of the van ride, which they we happy to agree to. When we went to the front desk to arrange our joint transportation we were told that we would not be able to split the cost of the transport even if we were in the same van because we did not make the same original reservations together! the hotel demanded that both parties pay $125 dollars each! so what was once a $125 dollar ride for two people in a van that could hold up to eight became a $250 dollar ride for four. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I tried arguing this point from multiple different angles but steve told us that his supervisor would not allow him to let us share the price of the transport. In the end we both had to pay the $125 dollar transport fee because we had no other real option. SHAME ON YOU HOTEL VILLAS PLAYA SAMARA FOR TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOUR GUESTS' ABSOLUTE NEEDS.

Other than that we had a great time, and many thanks to the employees at the hotel who had nothing to do with our terrible departure experience.

I would definitely recommend this place to my closest friends, however i would suggest they set up their airport transportation well ahead of time.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank ShaneandLeslie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 26, 2012

When I arrived at Playa Samara villa I looked at the sheets and there was blood smeared on them. I thought it was odd and gross the house keeping did not change sheets. I was not aware of the signs of bed bugs. We took them home with us and after 6 hours of cleaning, vacuuming the luggage, and washing everything, I have them in our condo. I am still being attacked nightly and have over 50 bites on my body. This has been a nightmare that has affected my mental health and sleep. I stayed one day to watch the maid who told me she would not do the dishes in our dinette. She hardly cleaned anything and was out of the large space in 15 minutes.

The staff were friendly to our faces and told us we would be reimbursed for leaving early, which was never done. Regardless, I would never stay here again. Please check the bed for bed bugs before you sleep at this place. I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank LF1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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