We (a couple in our 30s/40s) stayed at Rancho Armadillo Estates in early Sept 2012, and discovered the real reason that this place is rated so highly.
It’s not the room we stayed in, which was very nice, with a king-sized bed, exposed wood ceiling, big flatscreen, huge shower, refrigerator, coffeemaker, good wifi access (rare to get such good bandwidth in CR).
It’s not the amazing view of Coco and the sea from the restaurant/pool terrace in the mornings, or the even better view from the chillout terrace at the highest point of the resort.
It’s not the excellent breakfast that was included in the room rate.
It’s not the nice, clean pool, nor is it even the excellent security and tranquility of the place.
Rancho Armadillo has all those things, but what makes it really special is the owner/manager, the American expat Rick Vogel, and the attention he gives to guests. We’ll just summarize by noting that Rick provided us with helpful information and assistance, to a degree that we don’t expect to find elsewhere, ever.
On the hotel website, Rick notes that: “We create an atmosphere so that our guests feel like they're coming to visit friends who have a really nice place to stay. From your first contact with us we will assist you in planning your entire stay in Costa Rica, not just your Rancho Armadillo Estate portion of your trip.” This is true. However, Rick seems to do this not because it’s a business strategy--he could make lots more money simply by expanding his resort--but because he genuinely enjoys helping people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rancho Armadillo Estate, a small private mountainside estate overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo. The estate is perfect for couples, families or groups. Our guests feel like they're coming to visit friends who have a really nice place to stay. Our knowledge of Costa Rica ensures our guests experience the best Costa Rica has to offer. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rancho Armadillo Estate Hotel Playas Del Coco