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JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa
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Reviews (2,738)
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Reviewed 28 January 2016

To save myself time writing and you some reading, I would like to refer you to my first review of this resort. It will provide you with a better understanding of what I write here.

First off, this time, did not rent a car. Used XPlore Costa Rica limousine service. VERY glad I did! They were very nice people to deal with and the drivers were outstanding and most professional. I would not hesitate to use them again for anything and highly recommend them.

The shuttle at the resort was sufficient to get to/from Tamarindo. especially if you have been there before. The price is reasonable considering gas prices have not gone down one cent since we have been enjoying the reduction. And, the schedule will allow you to spend as little as a few hours to just under ten hours.

Road to resort is still looking war-torn, so if you rent a car, beware!!! But to the resort's credit, the road inside the gated property has improved.

Now, to the resort itself.

Unlike last time, I spent six nights this stay, twice the length of my last visit and I can tell you, I loved it at LEAST twice as much!!!

Unfortunately, Jesus, the General Manager was not there and was told he was on vacation, as I would have loved to say Hola'. I believe that to be true because not once did I see him buzzing around the property, making sure things were running smoothly, like I witnessed during my last stay. Nevertheless, his assistant, Grace, was MOST amenable to making sure the stay was perfect. Although, I must say I did not see her buzzing around the resort as Jesus had.....

ROOM:
While I did not get the oceanview or oceanfront room, I can tell you that the rooms are spacious, clean, modern, with well maintained furniture/bedding. Got a garden view this time, which was quite nice, very quiet. In fact, the entire resort was very quiet, even though there had to be 3 to 4 times the number of guests this time around! Maid service was consistently great. I am sure the ocean view and ocean front rooms are much better for what they promote, the view, but you can get them on the beach too and after 6:30 PM it will be dark so you will see the same thing no matter where you are on the beach! They also have a number of rooms with private wading pools.

EATS:
I know I had said the breakfast buffet was not worth the $$, but I am saying you can make it work for you if you use your head.... Although the steakhouse had prices higher than was worth taking the chance on spending, I can tell you you can get a very good deal at Mansita. If you like tuna, the one on the menu is a very generous portion for the money. Get it rare. The beach BBQ art Azul was just OK. If you like your meat more on the rare side, just ask. Did not eat at the Japanese place.

POOL:
I can't say anymore than I have the last time, absolutely beautiful! Clean, well maintained, dare I say, spotless.

BEACH:
Surf is NOT forgiving! Be careful! Invest in a pair of those shoes that have traction and can be submerged. You won't regret it because the sand is very coarse and VERY hot! And they are invaluable if you dare to walk the beach during low tide, which I highly recommend. Go South (left) and hit a nice beach with a good place to eat (Lola's). Go North (right) and you can walk for hours! BUT, be mindful of the tide!!!! Venture out as the tide is nearly lowest and marvel at the sites you will see! Even a black sand beach!

GYM/SPA:
Unlike the last visit, I took FULL advantage of all the gym and spa had to offer for free and I cannot tell you how happy I did! Gym is more-than-equipped to suit the needs of most enthusiasts, with ellipticals, treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights, nautilus-style equipment. And, niceties like headsets, and chilled towels!!! And the spa! OMG! DO NOT pass it by! VERY relaxing place, unless you find yourself in the "tranquility area" with a woman who appeared to have just regained her ability to speak at the very moment you decided to take advantage of the peaceful area to try and relax. But, I digress.... Steam, sauna, relaxation pool, aromatherapy area, hot teas, cold water, fruits, trail mix, showers, hair/shaving products, showers. ALL for your pleasure at no additional charge! JUST what you want to have when you go away to relax. A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Austin!. He is a very conscientious worker who pays great attention to detail and who knows that the guests are his NUMBER ONE priority. Jesus! DO NOT let this man go! He has great potential and I would not be surprised he had his boss' job next time I visit. PLEASE be sure to give him my regards.

If I had anything negative to say, it would be the price of the soft drinks. While I understand the concept of a mark-up, I wish they would be a bit more amenable to free refills. Perhaps they can consider using kegs and carbonated water rather than individual cans. However, if you plan ahead you can avoid some of those costs. Also, while they slid a daily newsletter under the door each morning, which was greatly appreciated when trying to get a handle on the high and low tides and news around the world, the "Today's Activities" section could reflect what was really going on during the course of the day, which was next to nothing. Not a big deal if you do not enjoy any activities while lounging poolside though.

BOTTOM LINE:
Do not think twice about going to this resort. You will NOT be disappointed unless you are one of those who will never be happy. As any Marriott property I have stayed, if you have ANY problems all you have to do is tell someone and it will be fixed promptly and pleasantly. I will be back as soon as I can to enjoy all this resort has to offer and I hope you check it out too!

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank SNP1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear SPN1000;

Your review is absolutely wonderful, Thank you so much for taking the time to write it and sharing it with us.

I regret not having the opportunity to welcome you or even say Hello to you, I hope to do it next time.

I am pleased to know that you truly enjoyed our SPA and GYM besides of our other services of course, but it looks like this time you took advantage of our SPA area and service and I am glad. Of course I will let Austin know about your wonderful comments towards him, I know how great he is. I will also let know Grace about your comments.

Have a good day.

Kindest regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 January 2016

Here with a Caravan tour. Room was just fine. Meals were also good. There is a bit of a beach but most people seemed to hang around one of the many pools. There was often loud music in the evening for a while but not too late.

Hotel is isolated from any town so once you are there, you don't have many options for walking about off property unless you take a taxi.

Since we were with a tour, not sure about the cost for booking. Doubt if we'd come back here - just not our thing.

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank nhraven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2016

Dear nhraven,

As part of Caravan Tour you are always welcome to come and I hope you change your mind about not coming back. Our location allow to our guests to enjoy the serenity of the environment by being inside a private property and also you can take a shuttle to Tamarindo and walk around. There are several shops, restaurants and bars.

Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.

Sincerely,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 January 2016

My husband and I just returned on Monday after a 9 night stay. We went on Marriott points and were aware of previous posts on this forum. We stayed in an oceanfront room with 2 double beds(we had wanted a King but we loved the view and it is their busy season,so took the luck of the draw).
Forget about previous comments. This resort is immaculate and quite lovely. The staff from the poolside servers(Douglas and Luis) to David our waiter in the Steakhouse to the housekeeping staff were all fantastic and service oriented. We enjoyed breakfast on our balcony all but one of the mornings. For a resort the food prices seemed very reasonable. We did pick up some liquor at the duty free once we landed and then stopped at the grocery store for some beer,wine and water. We had pre-arranged with the transportation office for each direction. Walked to Lolas one day. Fantastic food! Best fish and Chips,frozen watermelon drink and Tuna Poke. Great local scene and vibe. You have to plan around the tide schedule. There was a swimming area that was best to do at high tide. The Pacific is quite beautiful here. We had turn down service in the evenings which was very nice.

Room Tip: Definitely splurge on Oceanfront. Wifi is not good out at the pool but was fine inside the hotel.
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2016

Dear SusanB thank you for your recently stay and you great comments.

I am pleased to know that you enjoyed your room and the service received during your stay.

We will be waiting for the next 9 nights next year.

Sincerely,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 January 2016 via mobile

Wonderful staff, Alfredo and Estefania their service was so professional and friendly! The sushi prepared by Eduardo was so delicate and delicious!!!!!
Guys you always make the difference and exceed my expectations!!! God bless you and thank you for such a wonderful bday evening!!!!!

Stayed: January 2016
Thank Jorge V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2016

Thank you Jorge V,

You are always more than welcome to come at any time and for us the most important is to have our guest and visitors happy and satisfy with our services.

We will let know Alfredo, Estefania and Eduardo about your great comments.

Regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 January 2016

Spent 2 night here in Jan 2016 and wish I could have stayed more!! Great help and great food-super clean and nice, nice rooms! Great staff!! Spa had great massage and facial at a reasonable price. Right on a nice beac with a GREAT poolarea!

  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank trillium1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_JWGuanacaste, General Manager at JW Marriott Hotel Guanacaste Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2016

Dear trillium1,

I am pleased to know that you really enjoyed your stay with us and since your wish is have stayed longer, we expected to have another visit from you.

It was a pleasure for us been your host.

Kindest regards,

Jesus Gonzalez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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