San Marino Hotel reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

3.0 Average

  • Cleanliness 3.5
  • Location 4.5
  • Rooms 3.0
  • Service 3.5
  • Value 3.5

907 TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor users rated this property 3 out of 5

The San Marino is transitioning into two separate Hotels......

Patrick H (Mission, Canada) on Jan 31, 2023

This was my sixth visit to the Hotel San Marino, and most likely my last. The hotel is breaking into two parts: the upmarket Areca tower(which encompasses the renovated rooms facing the ocean) and the rest of the hotel. You now pay a premium to use what was once the adults only pool , and also to dine in the new ala carte restaurant. Plebians dine in the buffet restaurant, as usual, but can only access drinks via the buffet restaurant bar. It was nice in the past to sit by the adults only pool and grab a drink, but this is no longer possible. Plebians swim in the family pool, which after a long session of family use, was floating a large slick of white sludge......Not the most appealing site. Food remains good in the buffet restaurant....though some of the dinner choices bordered on inedible due to an overabundance of salt. Breakfasts and lunches were generally good, however. It is clear that the quality of food depends on which chef is cooking on a certain evening. Staff and housekeeping remain friendly and professional, and still remain a draw for the San Marino. I dont see the new "exclusive" concept flying, and I can tell you some hotel staff are not happy about the changes, as those working in the "exclusive" zone do not earn the same kind of tips. Travel companies need to update their online information on the San Marino, as what is currently posted is greatly misleading. The location of the San Marino can't be beat, but for budget travelers, you probably will find better value elsewhere.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 1 out of 5

Not good

mikey337 (Winnipeg, Canada) on Jan 14, 2023

The check in process is unbelievable. The front desk comprises two small desks and the clerk had piles of paper with a tv remote on each pile. It turns out this was our registration papers. There was a huge line up for check in and it took forever as they had to search each pile to find your name from Amongst 40 piles.. they had a computer but do not use it fir check in purposes. I had my luggage in storage as we were too early to check in. When I went to get it the bell boy was rude and ignored me. He was busy with what was obviously his personal friends that he didn’t 15 min talking to. When I asked him about my luggage and said I had waited he rudely replied saying I hadn’t waited all day. It was later sent to the room by someone else. The pool and deck was cleaned as I saw this but during the day the guests with small Kids made it very dirty. There was never anyone around to purchase a drink or waiter. The pool chairs were claimed by patrons by throwing towels on it then leaving. There was sun in the pool for only a fraction of the day. The beach had 8 umbrellas snd of course nothing available. The room was work. Few plugs for phone etc but I didn’t mind the room except no wifi in the room. Hotel saw better days. I would not recommend it.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 2 out of 5

Stay Somewhere Else

A1756ZEvickieb on Jan 10, 2023

This hotel was probably a go to some 40 yrs ago but no longer. Its got an excellent location but when you get to your room the disappointment starts. Theres only 2 bath towels and a tiny bar of soap. No handtowels or facecloths. No kleenex and no glasses to aid in brushing teeth or soaking false teeth. The mattress is OLD with foam on top. So Uncomfortable. There were 2 sheets on the bed and no blanket or bedspread. It was like a Super 8 only worse. The tile in the bathroom has never been replaced and is in terrible shape. The bathroom and the shower look old and dirty. The balcony view of the ocean was great. The cost of the room compared to Jasper/Banff Alberta but without the amenities. We did not get our monies worth!!!

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

Just guess I'm getting old......but the San Marino still fits me like a comfortable old shoe....

Patrick H (Mission, Canada) on May 18, 2022

After a two year absence, I returned to the San Marino for my fifth visit, a two week all inclusive holiday April 7-April 21....I was greeted warmly by the Manager Luis and assistant manager Armando. Mauro the hotel porter was his usual friendly self. I found the hotel again, very clean, with ongoing physical improvements to the hotel itself, and the food overall had improved from the last visit.....The bathrooms in the cheaper rooms desperatey need to be updated...but then of course prices go up. I must say they have replaced the mattresses and while firm, they are unlike the concrete blocks of yore that required a call down to the front desk for a foamy....Perhaps I have a little extra padding now as well....Masking regulations had been relaxed somewhat, but after a few days Covid reared its ugly head again, and masks were worn full time by staff, and guests were required to wear them while choosing their food from the buffet, which was dished out by kitchen employees....I actually preferred this as you know only a couple of gloved hands were on the serving spoons, as opposed to possibly hundreds with a self serve buffet....Food waste was cut down as well.....The servers would dish up small to medium portions, but you could always go back for more if you wanted to....I rarely did as the portions served were generous enough for me. Unfortunately due to Covid regulations and the staffing needed to serve guests, the made to order omelettes in the morning were dispensed with....but there was always a good selection of Breakfast items. The servers and chambermaids were friendly and efficient as always and work so very hard.....please tip your servers and chambermaids well.....Samuel, Jesus, Antonio, and the other servers (whose names escape me at the moment) made our holiday that much more pleasant with their great service. We were there of course at a very busy time Semana Santa(Holy week) and the second week of school holidays...so the hotel was crowded....However, they are enforcing the adults only pool rule....so one could have a quiet drink by the adults pool if one desired. They have closed the upper bar permanently......as it is close to the childrens pool, but it may have been due to staff shortages/cost cutting as well. The bartender Edgar still pours a good drink, and still loves to tease gringos....The beachfront and all of Olde Towne were incredibly busy, and the San Marino being by the pier, is anything but quiet. Would I return to the hotel for another holiday?....Probably, its nice being greeted like an old friend when you return to a hotel, and the San Marino remains good value for travellers on a budget, and the hotel fits me like a comfortable old shoe...but I would definately choose a quieter time of the year to visit.....

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Beachfront hotel in old Vallarta

hansolo5000 (Martinez, California) on May 06, 2022

I was staying up the street at Los arcos suites and decided to stay a couple nights at this oceanfront hotel San Marino I saw on my hotels.com app they had a suite for about 150 us per night so I walked over and introduced myself at the front desk and they were able to beat the app price. I paid cash and got the best room possible top floor suite 804 overlooking the beach below the room was quite spacious and clean the bed was decent . I read tons of bad reviews and still took a chance and it paid off in spades !!! So if you can afford it get a suite on the top/8th floor . The staff were gracious and very gringo friendly tip them well. I can’t speak for the food there but You would be a fool to do a all inclusive package with literally hundreds of restaurants nearby.

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