The breakfast was great. The staff was very kind. We liked so much that we returned 2 days later for one more night.
First we stayed at a familiar suite. The shower wasn't working very well, because we did not have hot water sometimes.
In the second stay, it was a double room with an individual bed to our 9 years old son. Not as big as the suite, but comfortable enough.
We always eat in Playa Sámara, 3.5 km away. We recommend Mama Gui restaurant and Rosa's. Both nice and affordable.
2 km away from the hotel is Playa Carrillo, another paradise, specially in the week days. We'll have the beach for yourself. Magical.
Why we did not enjoy our stay and would never be back:
- very often, there was no hot water in the shower. Almost every day in the evening we had to go down to ask the stuff if they could switch on the boiler
- bugs and flees in mattress and blankets in a family room
- the breakfast is a joke - very small, old looking tiny pieces of fruits and bread, and a small portion beans with rice. We decided not to have the breakfast after 2 days
- the alley leading to the beach is a nightmare - locals calling at us and killing a lot of big fish every late afternoon just at the entrance to the beach.
- my daughter is over 30 (even if she was 16!) and nobody from the staff greeted her, only the nice cleaning lady
- they played loud music almost all days long
- in each room we stayed the safety box was broken
- there were no bulbs in the main chandelier in all rooms, which looked weird
What’s more - we needed to cover 4 days when the hotel was full. The Christmas are approaching, we were very busy with our work/projects in nearby Samara and Nosara and did not have much time for looking for another accommodation. The only reason we were staying there was a discount they gave us and we had already paid for. Brian and Leo said there were rooms on the third floor that needed to be competed and cleaned. Every single day they kept us waiting, telling us that they did not have the keys (?), the cleaner has the keys. The cleaner then was surprised to hear she should have the keys.. Anyway, after 4 days the cleaner showed us "the room" - they 'found" the keys at the reception - it was awful and small with almost no furniture, unfinished - no floor etc., and the bathroom unfinished, all the small 3rd floor looked like a building site.
We do not understand what they wanted to sell us such an awful place - nobody would stay there even for free.
We became really upset about all that was happening in the hotel.
One day we got stuck in Nosara that is 28 km away, taxis are just open tuck -tucks (the road are VERY dusty in the dry season) and needed help from the hotel. We were calling them 20 times, it was late afternoon, nobody picked up the phone.
When we got to the hotel we found out why nobody had answered the phone - the manager Brian (a dull local guy) and the owners (a local couple from San Jose) were completely drunk. It was 6 pm. We asked Brian if they cleaned the bugs in our family room and why they had not picked up the phone. He was rude to me.
I saw a drunk lady there but I did not know she was the owner. She could hear everything he was telling me but she was just staring at us. When I asked Brian when the other manager would come (later we fund out he was not a manager, he was a husband of the drunk owner, they are coming to swim in the pool and drink every weekend)
Brian said "the manager" would come later. I said I would need to talk to him about everything we did not like about the hotel and the staff. Brian answered - Good luck! Unbelievable.
My daughter and me later (at about 7 pm) came down again and found all of them - Brian and the couple - the owner and her husband, sitting by the table. They seemed to be drunk and when they both stood up when I asked them to talk to they almost could not walk. They were not tipsy, they were both completely drunk. She could talk at least, the husband could not. Even though, we tried to talk to them. She seemed to be very interested in what happened and what we did not like and said that the next morning she would come and we could think of anything that would make us happy and our stay comfortable.
She really came. She looked and behaved in a totally different way - she was strict (a hangover). We asked our money back for 4 nights for the family room with bugs and flees. She said she would not give us any money back, that the only thing is she could do for us was to give us a free dinner...
We decided to leave the hotel and asked the money for the last night we paid for and would not be using it. They paid us back the last night at least.
This hotel is run by uneducated unprofessional ignorants.
There are much nicer places with nice staff anywhere else in CR..
I liked this place! There was something about the lay-out or perhaps the laid back atmosphere that made for a pleasant stay. The room was relatively small but suited our needs with a double and a twin bed. The decor was light and cheerful. There was plenty of storage for luggage in a closet alongside the bathroom. The A/C and ceiling fan worked great and it was nice having a mini fridge and safe in the room. One night I didn't have hot water in the shower, the next day I did. The room was extremely clean. We ate at the restaurant a few times and my burger was very good. Breakfast is complimentary and there are 4 or 5 choices. The pancakes were tasty! The servings are small but it's enough to get you started for the day, along with good coffee. There are pretty sitting areas where you can watch the birds, or oddly, the random horses that roam freely around Samara (including the beach). I found the pool to be quite adequate, not a lap pool, but relaxing. That is, until a howler monkey in a nearby tree started protesting that perhaps we were invading his space! The only 'downside' to this hotel was the distance to town and the walk to the beach. While not far, the road was muddy and passed through a fairly dilapidated housing area. The walk to town via the beach takes about 30 minutes and was pleasant. However locals warned not to walk the beach at night, except in the well lit areas near town. Overall, I recommend Hotel Sol Samara as a pleasant place to stay at a reasonable price.
Hotel Sol Sámara Review
My wife and I had been on a Road Scholar bird trip for ten tough days when we arrived at the Sol Sámara. We were pooped and ready for some peace and quiet. We had already been in six different hotels and lodges that ranged from the posh to the poorly built. We had seen how different hotels catered to our large group and had seen a wide variety of countryside.
The Sol Sámara is a small two floor hotel with a penthouse suite being added on the third floor. We were on the second level in a spacious room with a very nice bath/shower/toilet/sink and dressing room. All rooms are theme named and we really lucked out with the room named Vida Pura. Being at the end of a long balcony allowed us to sit in great Adirondack chairs and take in the view. There is a sliver of a glimpse of Playa Sámara’s ocean but we more enjoyed scanning the trees for birds and animals which abounded.
We got to know most of the staff during our stay. Room maid, Ines, was thorough and pleasant. She also helped served a simple but enjoyable breakfast cooked up by Chef Alex. Alex is newly arrived there but on three occasions put out top-notch meals for us. He has extensive experience from cruise liners and other venues.
Leo and Danielle were the receptionists. She left for vacation after we arrived so Leo ran things. He’d arrange taxis as needed and would help serve meals, also. There were two mae, Roldo and Santos, who were building the penthouse and helped me with a gear problem needing tools. Both were very pleasant.
There is a sweet little pool on the far end below our room where the shade and comfortable chairs, lounges, and tables allowed us to cool off after hiking. The playa is a short two block gravel road walk away. You get to see some poorer homes as you go there but the hotel keeps the road raked. This end of Playa Sámara is lightly used compared to near town. The surf is safe unless the tide is coming in. Charo Island sits in the near distance beckoning kayakers to head over.
Walking the beach was a great pastime for us. Playa Corillo is 1.5 miles down the coast and half the walk there can be done on Playa Sámara. There is a mini-supermarket back the road to town which is about one half a mile. We bought doughnut shaped dilly bars there along with a 5-pound watermelon. The room’s refrigerator was conveniently tucked away in the big bedroom. There was a nice flat screen in the room, terrific new A.C., and two great ceiling fans.
More than anything, I loved how well built the Sol Sámara was. We saw some very poorly built hotels quickly thrown up to get tourist dollars. Not the Sol Sámara. This place is not only well built with steel and concrete, the detailed workmanship shines. The tile work is first rate as is the carpentry and millwork. The dressing area’s clothes cupboard and closet are a treat. The exterior walkways and balconies are neatly fitted and secured. Somebody was paying attention when this was built
One piece of advice: Bring lots of small bills, either US ones or have the equivalent in colones. They are handy for small tips for the maid and servers. A cab ride to town is only $6.00 US. The front reception rarely had any change on hand.
When we left, I asked Leo to sell me some nice shells we found decorating our room. He looked surprised and said to take what we wanted. I would definitely return here in the future.
We stayed 5 nights in this hotel, and we enjoyed it very much. The staff is very friendly and service oriented. The garden is beautiful, with lots of flowers, birds and at least one leguana. The hotel is small and quiet, which we liked a lot. If you stay here, you need a car to go to Samara Beach (5-10 minutes drive), because the beach near the hotel is too quiet (for us): nobody visits this part of the beach for unclear reasons. The pool is too small to be usefull. The room itself is fine, we had 2 rooms with a connecting door, which is nice when you travel with children. The breakfast is simple but very nice, 4-5 choices. It is possible to have lunch and dinner, comparable with other restaurants in Costa Rica. We would definitely come back here!