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Rancho Pacifico
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Reviewed 10 December 2008

If you have a limited time to see the wonders of this beautiful county, which is "one of the most biologically intense places on earth", we would highly recommend you visit Rancho Pacifico. The one thing that sets Rancho Pacifico apart from other luxury resorts is the way it embraces the environment surrounding it. We will recommend this peaceful paradise to our family and the best of friends. Our experience there was amazing, where we met so many nice people (whom we are keeping in touch with back in the U.S.) and we will absolutely return to the tranquility of this resort.

My husband and I booked a two week trip to Costa Rica...as our first introduction to the "Dreamland" we had heard so much about across the sea.

Our first priority with this trip was to visit the historical "Whales Tales" (where the whales gather) in Uvita-Domincal area and the second week in Manuel Antonio. We were there for two reasons; look for a place to retire and celebrate our anniversary. With executive careers, we both have traveled to many luxury hotels - resorts "four - five stars" and what we found at Rancho Pacifico - we had not experience at any other places we had visited.

We discovered Rancho Pacifico "RP" through Luxury Link for our first week (although you could contact them directly from their website). The funny thing is we did not read any reviews before our booking of Rancho Pacifico. Prior to our travel we received a welcome package with recommendations that was very helpful and of course we still over packed in spite of their suggestions. When we arrived at the airport in San Jose, Eric our private escort was waiting for us at the exit, nicely dressed with RP clothing (easy to identify), the vehicle was new and very clean. Eric was extremely humble in accommodating us along the way (3-1/2 hours) - so that we could take photos and stop for any reason, which made the trip very relaxing and enjoyable. Check in is with a very personalized concierge.

The RP location is nestled in the mountains (above the bug line) and the setting is stunningly awesome, very relaxing, with glorious panoramic ocean views (in your face) - "Whales Tale”, beautiful sunsets over dinner and fantastic tropical surroundings of the monkeys roaming in the jungle. The authentic Costa Rican experience of the dinning and bar area being all open to the jungle with breathtaking views is a must to experience. Waking up to the sounds of the jungle, where the breeze is constantly cool (night or day), especially after being down near the beach is very refreshing to return to a comfy private villa with supremely comfortable beds and good quality linens. The detached villas are set in the middle of the dense rain forest, where all you could see was lush foliage, complete with monkeys, birds and the wide ocean views. Our villa was very private, extremely clean, very stylishly decorated, roomy, with a fabulous giant walk-in shower (room for more than two) with views of the jungle, ocean and each evening a soft touch of fresh flowers were placed on our bed. We always had a full bag of Costa Rica coffee (not the pre-packaged as most places provide), a flashlight (if needed) and umbrella's hanging outside our villa (for a rainy day). We had spa options at our doorstep over looking the mountain and the sea. We loved all our treatments. You’re within a very short distance of the most beautiful water fall cascades.

The food at the resort is superb "cooked to perfection" and the signature drinks are simply divine ... always served with a smile. We loved the variety of music that was played and have actually purchased some of their selections upon our return to the U.S.

Each day the owners and staff made us feel like family with a tropical made drink of fresh fruit and a warm smile. More importantly, after a day of exploring the country side we were always greeted with a wave, a smile and inquiring of our day. We became very acquainted with mostly all the staff - they are fantastic, effortlessly taking pride in always willing to help and answer a millions questions. Rancho Pacifico will accommodate your tours (horseback riding, rafting, and fishing) rent-a-car and transportation just about anywhere you wish to visit in the area.

The "owners" Garrison and Silvia, along with their exceptional staff were always right there to help throughout our stay and we feel they have created a majestic paradise, perfect in everyway for a corporate retreat, honeymooners for the romantic lovers or simply a great resort for leisure time with friends, whereby, you feel safe, relaxed and welcomed. Each and every staff touched our hearts with their own world of friendship.

We were really sad in thinking our week had ended and we must move on to the pre-booked hotel accommodations in Manuel Antonio for the next seven days of our trip. However, the evening before our departure the owner offered us an additional three days stay in our villa with the resort at full capacity and to treat us with being a part of their family for a Thanksgiving Celebration...Costa Rican style. The turkey cuisine prepared was wonderful!!!

We can't think of anything we didn't enjoy about our stay at Rancho Pacifico.

Ken and Katherine
Athens, Texas

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank TexasCostaricalover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2008

A girlfriend and I stayed 5 nights at Rancho Pacifico hoping to "get away from it all". It was everything it promised to be and more. I expected spectacular views and the simple but elegant architechure. The website is truely reflective of what the the property looks like. What I could not have possibly anticipated was the service we received. From the drivers who transported us to and from San Jose and around Uvita, to the conceirge, bartendars and wait staff, all were focused on one thing...making our stay as comfortable and worry free as possible. No matter where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, Javier, the concierge, found a way to make it happen. At the end of our 5 days there, my friend and I were both sad to leave and we still miss the wonderful people who became like family.

I have had the good fortune to see many places in the world. None compare to Costa Rica. The warmth and friendliness of the locals was contagious and the entire experience has reminded me of what is truely important in life. Pura vida.

Susan - Missouri

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SusanMissouri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2008

My husband and I just returned from a 5 day honeymoon at Rancho Pacifico. I don't know how to begin to say how wonderful it was. Besides the loveliness of the location, perched in the mountains with views of the ocean, jungle, and mountains, the architecture of the site itself was gorgeous and peaceful and luxurious all at once. As lovely as the site is, the people were really what made the experience achieve such a level of perfection. Starting from Javier finding us as soon as we stepped off of the bus in Uvita and getting us up the mountain nearly in the middle of the night, everyone else's work on the RP team came together to make us feel as if we had arrived in paradise. Our needs were most often met before we even realized we wanted anything and if there was anything that we needed, they were always ready to oblige with smiling faces. RP has somehow created an experience that feels so private within an environment that feels like your staying with family.
The hot stone massages we both had were heavenly, the food was DELICIOUS, the views fantastic.
We will never forget what a perfect time we had.
We cannot express our thanks enough to Javier, Alex, Olman, Bienet, Marvin, David, Ronny, Jonathon, the sweet maids, and to Vivian and Marco- manos de angeles.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ykb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2008

This hotel that is not a hotel was marvelous. The villa was luxurious, the food superb, the spa package worth every penny, and the staff gracious, attentive, and always helpful. You can do as little or as much as you want. We chose to do as little as we could. We didi do the zip lines but otherwise spent our days lounging, eating, reading, and waiting for a our daily spa treatment. The Costa Ricans are delightful people and the staff speaks excellent English. Nevertheless, I spoke as much Spanish as I could and we had a blast. My wife and I rented a car one day to drive to the south but otherwise we didn't did to have our own vehicle. The prices of souvenirs in CR are very reasonable and the handicrafts well made. Rancho Pacifico is not the most expensive resort in CR but I cannot imagine getting more service for more money. The WIFI is good and we were able to stay in constant contact with our computer-- if that is important to you. The food was excellent and the spa and food package were well worth it. We are going back next year with some of our family and we may retire in Costa Rica. You will love this place, the people, and the price, while not cheap is not unreasonable for the luxury and the service.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank newyorker491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2008

We stayed at Rancho Pacific last month for 3 nights.

It is all that people say. When you first arrive, you are overwhelmed by how gorgeous it is. When we first got there, Xavier ran out to greet us and then proceeded to give us a tour of the grounds. Marvin fixed us tropical drinks while we registered.

The drive is a bit of an adventure; however, they will send you very detailed driving instructions (including when exactly to turn on your 4WD), if you keep to the directions – it will be fine.

Unlike most people reporting back – we were a family of 7 having a bit of a reunion – my family of four including 2 teenage boys (17 and 19), my brother, and my sister and son. Children are not encouraged, but I think they relax their requirements during certain months. We spoke with Silvia before we came to okay it. The kids were not bored at all. They have recently installed a movie room and a fitness room. The kids took advantage of the movie room one night.

We stayed in the three-bedroom villa, which was perfect for us. The views are magnificent. There are plenty of comfortable chairs outside where you can sit and relax and enjoy the views of the whale tale and jungle. The three bedrooms are stacked on top of each other. They all have king-sized beds; two bedrooms can convert to twins. There is also a futon-style couch bed in the living area. As everybody says – the design is beautiful – everything is stone, open spaces, clean lines. There are no glass windows – only screens. You will hear the howler monkeys waking you up every morning. It is awesome to lie in your bed at night in the midst of a tropical rain storm, listening to the jungle noises.

The central staircase which connects the upstairs bedroom to the main floor is open to the environment. Therefore, you can get bugs in your living space. A few of us are prone to mosquito bites, and we did have some mosquito issues; however, if you make sure to leave the bedroom doors closed and dim down the lights at night, you should be fine.

The breakfasts were fine. I didn’t think that they were anything to write home about. However, the dining room is beautiful – all open air and with the same wonderful views. We saw howler monkeys in the tree one morning and the next morning we saw a toucan. Since it is open air, you might be disturbed by flies. I think the atmosphere and setting more than make up for it, however.

The only thing that disappointed us was the dinner. However, we only ate there one night – so it could have been an off night. It is a set menu. The night we were there, the choice was steak or chicken dish. The steak was not a high quality steak. I know that we can’t expect the same level of meat in Costa Rica as we get in the US; however, we had better steaks in other areas we stayed. Also, that night the chicken (some kind of chicken and cheese dish) was too salty for our taste. The desert was fine – a brownie with ice cream. We thought the price was a bit high - $30 US not including drinks. This would be okay in the US but prices in Costa Rica are generally lower. To their credit, one of our party does not eat chicken or beef, and they cooked a fish for him. Because of our dinner experience, we opted to cook dinner in our villa the next 2 nights. They were VERY accommodating with supplying us the pots / pans that we needed. The market down in the town is very good. We found some nice red snapper there.

We did not take any of the tours offered while there because we had already traveled through other areas of Costa Rica and had already done many tours. We opted to spend the two days that we were there at the beach (Punta Uvita – the whale’s tail). You might read in other guide books that you are able to snorkel there; however, we didn’t see anything. It could have been due to the time of year – during rainy season, it’s supposed to be more murky. The beach was nice though – there is no worry for riptides, the water is a very comfortable temp, and best of all – it was deserted. It is a bit of a walk – 25 minutes from where you park your car. When you pay for your ticket ($6 per person), be sure to save it if you want to visit the other beaches on the same day. The ticket is good for all of them. If you decide to walk out to the actual whale’s tail (it’s very rocky), watch out for the tide. It comes in fast. We heard that someone about six months back drove out there and was caught – the person was saved, but the car disappeared. Also, before you go – have an idea when the low tide is. There is only about a four hour window to visit ANY of the beaches. They are all practically under water if it is anywhere near high tide.

All in all – this is an awesome place to stay. I am sorry that it is currently at #3 on the TA site. I suspect it really should be #1.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank isapeza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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