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“AMAZING. Best hotel I've ever stayed at, bar none!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Buena Onda

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Villa Buena Onda
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Main Street, Playas del Coco, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Playas del Coco
photongod
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“AMAZING. Best hotel I've ever stayed at, bar none!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

You will read some amazing reviews about this place and they are all accurate. I saw one person that gave it a poor review; didn't stay there! I'm telling you, STAY HERE. It is beyond compare...where to begin?

We started our vacation in Arenal in the central rain forest and were being taken by van to the Villa Buena Onda (VBO from now on). Being driven up we turned onto a dirt road and up a pretty steep incline with some holes; my wife gave me the "where did you book us?!" face and then we get to the gates of the VBO and I breath a sigh of relief. It's beautiful! As we exit the van the manager Shelly (you WILL get to know almost everyone's name, they treat you like family, no joke) greets my wife, BY NAME and welcomes her while I move to get the bags out. The barman/waiter/bellhop/generally amazingly nice guy Christian is right there with delicious drinks (pinapple & mint, tasty!) waiting for us. Stepping into the open, breezy foyer the dining/pool area frames the breathtaking view of the pacific beyond (see all the pictures) as Shelly takes us on our own tour of the VBO. Everything is immaculate. We are shown the pool, honor bar, grounds and taken upstairs to our huge, beautiful room with massive windows and balcony overlooking the forest and ocean.

Rooms: As I said, huge and beautiful. The view is exquisite, the beds are soft and the pillows/linens are perfect. Bathroom is tiled with a large shower and provided, local organic Costa Rican shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Each room has its own tv, thermostat, you can pipe in the hotel muzak if you wish and lots of closet space. WiFi throughout the hotel. What we didn't discover until our second-to-last day was the nifty subdued lighting scheme you can have for a more romantic, dim feel. Nice touch, but make sure Shelly or Isa shows it to you when you check in, you might miss it!

Food: Included and AMAZING! (I keep using that word). Most places with included meals are kinda "eh". Not at the VBO. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in particular are all first rate, prepared with CARE and look beautiful. Coffee/tea/soft drinks are included and available generally even outside the designated meal times. The staff was so nice that even if you got back from the beach or a day trip a little after those times, they would still feed you. They really do want you to be happy. Alcohol is of course extra, but reasonably priced and 5-6pm is happy hour at the pool bar! Either Javier or Christian will happily mix you a tasty drink while you sit in the pool or lounge in a recliner. If I had to be critical of the food, I'd say perhaps the breakfast or lunch portion can be a bit light for the bigger appetite, but dinner is beyond filling. Dining outside by the pool everyday was a dream.

Other guests: So i'm rating my fellow guests? Yes because in such a small place we got to know them all in talks over dinner, by the pool or on a van trip down to the beach for a sunset drink (hotel organized!) Everyone was so nice and friendships with such a small roster were easy to make. Always laughter and stories and at least once while i was there go down to Coco to hit some bars. With only 8 rooms, this matters and we got along great with everyone. This is a perfect hotel for couples (no kids under 12 allowed) but we did have 1 family (mom, dad, 3 adult children), 3 single ladies and 1 single man there while we stayed.

Location: Ok, so here it gets almost dicey. The VBO is on a hill overlooking the town. That makes the view amazing and hotel peaceful. The downside? You need to take a cab or van to get to the beaches or town. The hotel has free twice-daily vans to the three closest beaches but you are sorta tied to their schedule and have to tell the front desk the day prior you will be wanting a ride, otherwise you pay for a cab (not that pricey). Also, as I mentioned earlier, the dirt road up the hill needs serious work and has some <ahem> exciting potholes. I can't imagine vans have it easy if it rains and the road turns to mud. Still, you aren't far from town and you do have a choice of three beaches.
But the grounds are so well kept, there are birds of all kinds and virtually no bugs! Lots of cute geckos though; but they won't bother you. Pool area is fantastic and everything looks picture-perfect all the time!

Staff: The best for last. FANTASTIC. They really are the nicest, most warm people and make the VBO stand head-and-shoulders over any other hotel i've ever stayed at. They make every effort to treat you like family, smile, joke and are just a joy to be around. Casual, not stuffy, and fun. I can't say enough. Often times we'd find ourselves in long conversations with Shelly or Isa at the front desk for 20 or more minutes just talking and 'shooting the breeze'. They, more than anything, make you want to go back. The staff is small (maybe 10-12 total?) so you really can get to know everyone too. There is a reason I posted a picture of my wife and I and Shelly and Christian!

Other: I booked this hotel through costaricavactions.com as part of our package trip and got an amazing deal so i could actually afford it (essentially 2 free nights). This becomes relevant because we learned that the hotel is apparently owned, (or partially owned) by the people that run the website, which is fine. But I do recommend that you use that and try and book your "excursions" with the website beforehand to save some money because the price at the hotel for the day-trips was quite high (although all the guests we talked to did love the "Hidden Beaches" tour) and the travel agency can probably get you a better deal.

I could go on and on, but I hope i've conveyed how much we loved this hotel, and highly, highly recommend it!

Room Tip: 2nd Level Ocean view rooms (where we stayed) are quieter and have more privacy a nice balcony while...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

While this hotel isn't on the beach, it more than makes up for it in 4-star amenities and foodie-friendly cuisine. The pool is gorgeous, and the shuttle to the beach is great if you do need the beach. Personally, I just wanted to relax in the hammock or on the patio with a book, especially after the days of activities and driving prior to arriving. All the staff were beyond friendly and accommodating, especially significant since they all wear 3 hats. The chef Diego even gave me a bag of white rice when my iPhone got soaked by a stray water bottle in my beach bag. Guess what? It lived! The food was my favorite in our entire honeymoon, and the room was absolutely heavenly. I wish we'd had more time here.

If you are looking for nightlife or outside shopping and dining, this is probably not the spot for you. But if you want deep relaxation and gorgeous sun, it is perfect.

Only minor minus: The road here is a very bumpy one, and on it the neighbors have their little dogs chained outside in the heat all day. Broke my heart. I wanted to take them home with me!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Covina, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

My family stayed here for 4 days wish we had stayed here longer, we all had a blast we loved this private stay very intimate you get to know everybody and have fun while eating, lots of jokes and laughs time passed by so fast we did not want to leave. The staff is wonderful, friendly and hard working people as well as trustworthy. Food is excellent love their desserts at dinner time,we got to enjoy dinner while admiring the view of the pool and the forest. everything is so close by the rooms, pool, dinner tables, restroom. We want to thank Shelly, Eddie, Cristian, Javier, Gabriel excellent chef, cleaning lady and her sister, so sorry I forgot some staff names, thank you everyone for making our stay a great, pleasant stay.
the town is so cool, full of friendly people Coco beach is by the town amazing experience can't wait to go back. I'm sure if you pick Villa Buena Onda you will love it as much as we did.

Room Tip: we got to stay in the bottom,, each room is lightly different, A/C is on at all times, get free movi...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

The staff make this hotel so enjoyable. If you take the time to get to know them they will make your stay outstanding. If you don't take the time you’re stay will still be outstanding, but you will miss out on meeting some great people.

Food is excellent. Seriously, the entrees are first class.

The rooms are big, have AC, and the upstairs rooms have amazing views. Won’t be disappointed.

All in all the hotel property and staff make this place first class.

However, the only regret we had when staying there was going on the Hidden Beach Tour. Our experience certainly wasn't worth the $150/person. If you are 50/50 about doing it I wouldn't encourage it. Unless they lower the price you will finish the tour wishing you had stayed at the hotel, ate there food, and swam in the amazing pool instead. Only regret/disappointment about the trip. If you really want to go out on the water there are other options in town that are cheaper and probably nicer.

All in all, the hotel itself is amazing and if we go back to that part of Costa Rica we will stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

We had a marvelous time staying at this Villa. The staff treat you even better than royalty. They treat you like family and friends. One of the gems about this resort is the intimacy. There are only eight rooms available. Not only do you get to know all the staff by name (and vica versa), you also get to know all the other guests by name. Truly, you feel like you are staying at a friend's home.

If all of that is not enough, the personal attention and care is top notch. I have many dietary restrictions. They contacted me in advance to make sure they had food on hand that would fit my needs. They made special trips to the grocery charge on my behalf without additional charges. The food was spectacular in flavor and presentation.

I saved the piece de resistance for last. This whole trip centered around renewing our wedding vows. Jennifer, the General Manager, contacted me in advance. She created a perfect day. Every moment was beyond expectation. She went so far above and beyond that I cannot begin to describe her attention to detail and expended energy. She kept our budget in mind and made us a lavish day.

We began our day chauffeured from the Villa to the beach where we were met by Jennifer; Mariano Grane, our photographer; and Eddy the owner of Pacific Coast Tours and his boat Captain George. Jennifer greeted us with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers! She had asked me what type of flowers I like, and she created pure beauty from there.

With the wind in our hair (mine especially), our day was filled with boating to spectacular locations for photos. We felt like the rich and famous with our own personal paparazzi. We climbed to the very edge of a cliff to experience a magnificent backdrop. We got our feet wet for water cave shots. We meandered through tree root lined waterways, while indulging in fruits, wine, and beer.

We arrived at the location for our renewal. As we discussed as a possibility, if we decided to perform our vows on paddle boards, they were ready to go. The sea was a little too rough that day to go that route. Eddy picked a perfect beach for our ceremony, with the sunset framed by mountains as the finale. Jennifer surprised us with ceremonial champagne . She officiated our heartfelt ceremony.

While we were in the midst of our ceremony, Eddy was creating delectable food on a make-shift grill in the sand: lobster ceviche, tenderloin, roasted beets, crushed plantains, sautéed vegetables, and dark chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Everything was scrumptious!

Everything throughout the day was orchestrated perfectly, right down to the kissing swan towels and heart arranged on our bed when we returned to the villa. It was a day of love, laughter, beauty, and adventure!

We cannot say enough about Villa Buena Onda!! The personal attention you receive there far surpasses the money you spend!

Room Tip: We stayed in both an ocean view and pool view rooms. Both were nice rooms. We enjoyed the added priv...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

My husband and I honeymooned at Villa Buena Onda the first week in April 2014. As we are an older couple, we sought a romantic destination venue exclusive to adults, with privacy, and limited guests. We are foodies, and a bit fussy about our food, wine, and cocktails, thus our gastronomic expectations are high. I can't say enough about our experience. The staff is attentive to every detail and request. By the end of the week, we felt like old friends with them all. (did I mention the staff to guest ration is 2 to one?!) There was champagne waiting for us on arrival with rose petals spread on our bed, then a private patio dinner that was impeccable, a couples massage on the upstairs balcony, and the list goes on and on. We were greeted by Shelly, an ex-pat surfer girl with a heart of gold, who gave us cultural insight and suggestions for intown dining and shopping. Lamenting our departure, we are already planning our return.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms on either end.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parrish, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Excellent Resort to Relax. The staff was OUTSTANDING!!!! Jennifer, Shelly, Javier and Rosa were especially helpful an treated us like old friends. I would highly recommend Villa Buena Onda to anyone visiting Coast Rica's west coast. One recommendation would be to rent a car if you would like to see an travel to different areas. We rented from Adobe Rental. They will deliver the car to Villa an pick it up when your ready to leave. Great vacation spot. Highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms for best view
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Buena Onda

Address: Main Street, Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playas del Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playas del Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Buena Onda 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury, boutique hotel overlooking the Pacific ocean. Located just 20 mins from the Liberia International airport. Service includes three a la carte meals served daily. Nearby half a dozen beaches, fishing spots, surf breaks and under an hour from the Rincon de La Vieja (hot springs, mud pits) National Park. Fine decor, two-tier swimming pool with a swim-up bar and stunning ocean views make this a special place to visit. Fantastic food and exceptional service can be expected. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Buena Onda Hotel Playas Del Coco
Villa Buena Onda Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

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