Sol Playa Hermosa Hotel
Reviews - Sol Playa Hermosa Hotel
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Sol Playa Hermosa Hotel
good value....great viewfrom A TripAdvisor Member
Upgrading in progressfrom n Sun
Villa Sol is remote and most people have to get a cab. A couple of days of using cab will be more expensive than renting a car. When I travel out of USA I like to use local transportation. Example of cost difference: Cab somewhere betweeen $40 and $80 R/T to Liberia (nearest big/small town and low cost shopping). Local bus (used by staff and Ticos) cost approx. 350 colones, or .75 cents American. Hence, R/T on local bus is $1.50 vs $40 to $80. You pick. (note: bus takes an hour, cab about 30 minutes). If you go by bus, get off the bus station at Liberia (you will know it when you get there). When exiting bus do a Hard Right and walk towards back of bus. You will see a flea mrkt looking place across street. Walk through, or around, and the next building will be a shopping martet (Maxi Bodega). Go in and shop for local coffee, towels, booze, etc. Pay with credit card then no confusion with exchange rate. When finished at Maxi, the main-street is approx 3 blocks from there. Ask someone for directions (The main street for tourist stuff is the same street you come into Liberia on. Bus makes a left at the light. Pay attention to bus turns and you will have no problem finding main-street.
Other thoughts: American dollar accepted most everywhere. Exchange rate was from 480 to 492. Take a stack of $1's (I had $80 in ones). Great for tips and small purchases. Use a big bill and you are going to have lots of colones to spend..
The Definition of Incompetencefrom A TripAdvisor Member
Reception: We actually checked into the resort two times; We spent our first four days at Villas Sol while most of our group scuba dived. Then we toured the Arenal Volcano region for two days and checked back into Villas Sol for our last night. On both check-ins, you would have thought we were the first guests ever to check-in. We were a group of 21. On both occasions the staff was notified by phone of our arrival. Nonetheless, the reception staff seemed to be completely baffled by our arrival. Despite the fact that the rooms were prepaid, check-in was a long arduous process.
As others have noted this hotel is under construction. Construction was not confined to one area of the hotel; it was through out the hotel. Getting to your room required tiptoeing around wet concrete and construction equipment. There is no excuse for the hotel continuing to rent rooms. Those who are planning trips in the future should not take any comfort in the renovations, because while creating quite a mess, and great deal of noise beginning at 7:30 in the morning, they are very superficial cosmetic improvements (painting rooms and revising façade of reception area).
Rooms: We were lucky the cooling system in our room worked. The hotel is not air-conditioned. It uses a water-cooling system. Air blows over pipes with cold water. The further you are from the source, to warmer your room. Several in our group complained of uncomfortably hot rooms. Since it isn't air-conditioned, the air remains humid. A cotton tee shirt hanging in the room did not fully dry in three days.
There was standing water on the floor of our bathroom upon arrival. It was there throughout our initial stay. The floor appeared dirty---you did not want to step in there barefoot. Many of our group complained of showers that did not work.
Reiterating my caution above not to put much hope in the renovations, during our last night we were in a "renovated room." The tile in the bathroom had rusts stains and was cracked. Half the lights in the room did not work; the next day people kept asking me why I only shaved half my face---the answer is I was shaving in the dark.
Food: The food is the only aspect of the hotel about which I can make positive comments. No, there were no lamb chops or filets, but I did not expect those. There was rice and beans, plantains, fried cheese, pasta, chicken or beef, and always a vegetable and fruit. The food met my expectations for a two star resort in a third world country. I am convinced that food and beverage must have been under different management than the rest of the hotel.
Now, that being said, several in our group did come down with...shall we say...lower intestinal distress. I cannot identify the source, but one differentiator seemed to be those who ate the fruit.
Staff: Unbelievably incompetent. I have already mentioned the chaotic situation at reception, but the one event that took the cake was my luggage. Delta had not gotten all of our bags on the plane. It happens. But Delta did deliver the luggage to the hotel the next day---that is all except my bag---or so it seemed. On the morning of our third day, I contacted Delta with hotel staff by my side. The hotel staff insisted Delta had not delivered it; Delta insisted that they had. With the language barrier, it took a bit to sort these irreconcilable positions out. Turns out Delta was able to identify the exact room the hotel had taken my bag---not my room. Did the hotel immediately apologize and dispatch a bellman to retrieve my bag---NO. That burden fell upon me. It turns out the gentleman in room 31 whose room because of the layout of the place was about half a mile from mine was very nice. He told me that he had notified the hotel staff of their error the night before, but they had ignored him and did nothing. He said if I had not come by to retrieve it, he was going to call Delta himself to come take it back to Atlanta. Total amount of my time devoted to solving this problem created by the hotel---3 hours. Maybe that is how you want to spend your vacation, but not me.
When we checked-in for our second one night stay, there was no soap or TV remote in the room. We called the front desk. The next morning someone came by with a bar of soap. Although at that point it no longer mattered I asked the woman bringing the soap about the remote. She gave me the classic response "That is not my job."
Amenities: The fellow from Tennessee down below gave a pretty good description of the amenity issues: closed, closed, and closed. But let me add this one additional observation. Meals were served at three designated times. In between those times you could not get a snack of any sort to have with your beer by the pool. Even with my dialed down expectations, that seemed a bit unreasonable.
Checkout: To be honest, I did not understand "check-out." The hotel knew when we were planning to leave. The rooms were prepaid. I do not usually checkout of hotels; when my stay is over, I just leave. But the hotel insisted that we checkout and like lemmings we complied---another opportunity for chaos. It took forever. Checkout I surmised was for the benefit of the hotel's auditors. There were lots of computer referencing and stapling of this to that. Personally, I feel no responsibility to aid an archaic accounting system.
In case you think I am just a complainer, I have also revied Couples Ocho Rios in Jamaica, Grand Lido Braco in Jamaica, and the Intercontinental in Paris. You will find much different reviews.
Under serious construction!from tennesseeoptimist
The staff were friendly and excellent, the trips we took were fun, and I enjoyed the food which offered many healthful options. However, I would wait a few months before visiting this resort to ensure that all services are available.
Green season - great seasonfrom MammaKat
As far as the food, the buffet was better than the "reservation only" restaurant. If you do go over there the beef was very good.
We found the room a little cramped for four people but clean and fine for 2 or 3. And wow the view! Construction going on in the parking lot, big pool, and one whole wing of the hotel. Did overhear someone saying they wish they would not have paid much more money for another place because ours looked great.
As far as the area it was neat getting light at 5:30 every morning with the same bird singing to us......at 5:30 and monkeys fighting in the parking lot! The water was very rough at this time. It sounded like a good idea to have the fishing boat pick us up on the beach! We survived a rowboat in 7 foot waves to get to the fishing boat. The best thing I did was get in contact with papagayo before going on our trip. Very helpful. Other tour companies have certain trips on certain days. One of his staff, Lupita, was great in guiding us on good days to see the Arenal volcano, Mega combo (Buena Vista), Paulo Verde, fishing and where to shop(playa del Coco). People we talked to didn't get to see the volcano because of cloudy weather and caught whimpy fish. She was great with setting us up with Vargas tours. And Carlos was an awsome guide. He is great with kids and very knowledgable. The bad part of the whole thing - the trip is over and I don't see how any other vacation on earth could be more spectacular.
Good value at Villas Solfrom georgiaed
Fantastic Holiday with kidsfrom A TripAdvisor Member
NOT for CHILDREN !!!from DadAbroad
The view is great, the beach is so-so, the food is acceptable but small selection, the rooms and villas are so-so (door locks were broken, and a visit bya repair person did not get them fixed), the shuttle comes when it comes and the hills are too steep to walk with small kids. The rooms were nicely equipped with fridge (in the villas, that is) and microwave but the beds and sheets were fairly low quality. Lovely setting, the kids did enjoy the pools, and -- the rates are reasonable. Very disorganized on activities, conflicting instructions on when/where/how to sign up, the boat ride was filled an hour before the posted signup time...then a group of drunken hotel guests (free bar all day, I guess) boarded our boat without reservation and put on a display in front of our kids that was VERY not appropriate. Other than that, we enjoyed the boat ride over to the Four Seasons and back. Generally the staff are nice, but not well trained and they don't want to hear about problems at all. The manager is simply not available to discuss problems, either. If you are ready for the inconvenience and can bring a babysitter, it's not a bad 2-star resort. For honeymooners, the setting is romantic but the place falls short. The people who really had a good time were the Ticos and Americans without kids, ages 40 - 60, who liked to drink. Mostly nice guests, a mix of CR and US. A few inebriated people. Our kids commented "They were happy, but they yelled a lot" . No kids activities here, by the way. Barcelo and Fiesta are better for children, in Costa Rica.
loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!from dddm101
I recommend the JD Tour Company verses the Buena Vista. They let use costomize our canopy, mud bath, and rain forst tour. His wife made us lunch and I actually zip corded upside down. What an adventure. This tour company operates out of a less commercial area. The rainforest is awesome and the group only had 2 other people. Marlene knows how to get ahold of either company. JD Tours (John D. Soto) phone number is --------- I could go on and on about Costa Rica, but the following sticks out the most-----
100 meters fron Villas Sol (out the gate, turn right, and located of the left side) is Ginger Resturant. A lady from Montreal opened this tree house type resturant. She serves Tapas (appetizer portions of food). Order about 6 for two people. Very inexpensive bottles of Spanish wine. The food is fantastic and moderately priced.
I never met one unkind person in Costa Rica. They love their country, welcome Americans and never once did a guy glare at you or act inappropriately.
The weather is very hot. Green season. 90 plus degrees with 100% humidity. Forget about your hair. I think I damn near killed my husband who thinks the colder the better.
US dollars are changed with colones. The rate exchange it not hard to firgure out. Closest ATM is Coco Beach (1/2 hour cab ride) certain hours.
Not speaking Spanish had its troubles. Best to get someone to help mediate for you.
Last but not least Nancy gives GREAT massages at a very good price.
I wanted to take her home with me!!!
Honeymoon package bait and switchfrom Sprsprt
We reserved everything in January and were all set. When we arrived they did not have any info about us having the package. They could not get us the villa that we expected. We tried several times to get this straightened out, to no avail. We kept getting the run a round. We gave up and stayed in the standard hotel room.
Upon our return I emailed them to find out that they only have 6 villas reserved for this type of package and they were allegedly full. That is why we did not get a villa. Mind you, this was the rainy season, the resort was no where near full. We didnt even see anyone on our half of the floor the whole week. But they were too full to use RCI, and they were too full to give us the package that we signed up for. They could have let us know when we booked that they were full. They could have given us another villa that might have been a little bigger, because there were plenty of those open. But again, no one knew anything, and no one cared.
So, we were very disapointed in the way our reservation was handled, and no one seemed to care that we were upset.
On to the rest of our stay.
The resort was clean and in good repair. The water wasnt very hot (shower or hot tub), but it was ok. We didnt feel that the all inclusive was a very good deal. The food was average. We dont like very fancy foods. So the more elaborate dishes dont really appeal to us. We found breakfast to be our favorite meal. Fresh fruits, waffles, cereal, etc. It was nice to not have to worry about where you were going to eat your next meal though.
I felt quite safe compared to the other places at this beach. There is a gate with guards at the entrance and a fence all the way around. Some of the other places there seemed to be quite accesable to anyone. We were able to set up tours and rent a car at the hotel. They even delivered the car to us.
The people were friendly, but as I said before they seemed to play dumb or pass you off (politely) to someone else in hopes of you getting tired and giving up, which we did.
Top Local Tips for Playa Hermosa
Great tour group I booked two tours with Vargas Tours and we had an excellent time. They are a smaller tour company so they give you a more personalized tour. Go on the combo tour to Borinquen!
Things to do in Hermosa Beach Hermosa Beach is more of a housing project more than anything. There are not a lot of places to go to like bars or restaurants. The options are really limited. Keep it in mind if you plan to visit :) There are some beaches really near of Hermosa (like El Coco) which have nicer nightlife so if you are driving it takes like 10 minutes to get there.
Getting around the hotel. Don't like to walk up hill? Wait for the shuttles! They run constanly and will come to get you! :)
Other names for Sol Playa Hermosa Hotel
- sol hotel playa hermosa
- playa hermosa sol hotel
- hotel sol beach
- Address: P.O. Box:12169-1000 - Playa Hermosa - Costa Rica
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