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“A Retreat Like No Other” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho Armadillo Estate

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Rancho Armadillo Estate
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Playas del Coco, Playas del Coco 5019, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Portland, OR
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A Retreat Like No Other”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Rancho Armadillo deserves to be #1 here. We stayed for 5 nights in early July- our last five nights in Costa Rica in a three-week odyssey, and it was, by far. our favorite inn. Rick is the most gracious, interesting innkeeper you would ever want to meet, not to mention, the most accommodating. Our teenage son was treated to some extra space in what was already a very spacious family suite. Love the decor- beautiful wood everywhere, high ceilings, unique tile and stain glass accents. The view- breath-taking, especially from the most perfect pool and the large outdoor "living room" with hammocks, games, books and a handy computer for SKYPE phone calls. You can see the ocean and enjoy a cool evening breeze.The grounds are a natural wonder- birds, butterflies, tropical flora. We loved access to the chef's kitchen to make our evening snacks AND the fact that Rick did our dishes for us. His waffle breakfasts were a treat, and we needed the fuel for day excursions he arranged- a day trip to Nicaragua, a private waterfall and volcano mud bath spa experience, a wildlife rescue park visit where we can face to face with a toucan. All unforgettable. Rick was also kind enough to give us a lift into town for our restaurant meals. Truly, he thinks of everything- extra sunblock, aloe lotion, travel guides galore. Very impressive. It was hard to leave, and we would return in a heartbeat! Rancho Armadillo exceeded our expectations in every way.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

My husband and I went to Costa Rica to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We had experience staying at all inclusives but wanted to try something different. We could not have been happier with our choice of hotel and the town of Coco. Staying with Rick makes you feel like you are staying with a friend - he is helpful with everything from setting up a the best excursions for zip lining, float trips and directions to great beaches. His restaurant recommendations are spot on. His maps for our daily trips were so helpful we didn't use our gps.

If you are looking for a laid back place this is it.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

Up on a lush hillside with a very private setting that is a mere 3-4 minutes from downtown is Rancho Armadillo, with it's lovely plants and beautiful view out toward the ocean. We wanted to be away from the noise and activity of tourists and this was the perfect place. Rick is the most amazing host, extremely knowledgeable, very attentive to details and constantly does everything in his power to help you be comfortable and meet your vacation objectives. We stayed a week and enjoyed every minute. The pool area is lovely and there is a spacious lounge on an upper deck with beautiful views, multiple seating areas, hammocks, lending library and computer, which we used to Skype. There are several routers on the property to give good WiFi coverage. The two rooms we saw were rustic but more than adequate & very comfortable; rooms have AC which is nice because it can be warm & humid. There is a small refrigerator in the room, and drinks are easily accessible from Rick's refrigerator....you just write down what you use so you can settle the account at checkout.
Rick puts out a very nice breakfast (big fruit platter, huge bread basket with many varieties and toppings, delicious waffles, fruit juice, fruit smoothie, coffee, etc)....a lot of choices and plenty of everything . He knew I was interested in birds, so he pointed out several birds and identified their sounds for me, and invited me to take a closer view. We heard howler monkeys, saw hummingbirds, motmots, trogons, lizards, bats, & butterflies. Snorkeling the north end of Ocotal Beach was definitely worth the effort & I also went scuba diving. There are plenty of nice activities in the area and many lovely beaches. We will definitely return to Rancho Armadillo, and it's host, Rick, is a gem.

Room Tip: The rooms have AC. There are some stairs being that it's on a hillside but Rick will get your b...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We recently went to Costa Rica with friends. We stayed at Racho Armadillo and it was great, Rick the owner was very nice and accommodating. There is a beautiful pool, upper deck area with great ocean and mountain views. The waffle breakfast he had out for us was delicious! He even gave us and unexpected surprise at the end of the trip. I would recommed Rancho Armadillo to everyone.

The drive to the city was about 3 min and 5 minutes to the beach. Playas del Coco is a great place to scuba dive as well.

Room Tip: We had the shark room. Very spacious and open.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson, Wisconsin, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

Very fun place set on a mountain overlooking the ocean; amazing views from the private property and a short 5 minute drive to town. I think renting a car is a must because it really allows you to see and explore the area. With that being said, some of the "roads" in the area are very rough. Avoid the donkey trails! At Rick's suggestion, we rented a car through Adobe - good place. Rick is a great host and gave us many ideas of things to do including the best beaches, day trips and restaurants. One of our best meals was the 8 course meal that Rick made us - I would highly recommend that. Some of the highlights of the trip were whitewater rafting, extreme ziplining and sailing. We had lots of fantastic food and drink as well including some really amazing Italian food. We always felt very safe - especially at the hotel itself. The morning breakfast buffet is tasty with lots of fresh fruit. We would definitely stay again at Rancho Armadillo.

Room Tip: We stayed in the 2 bedroom Dolphin/Turtle suite - it is nothing fancy but functional and clean
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Make no mistake you're in the middle of a jungle when you stay at Rancho Armadillo, but you'll love it!! Exotic birds, troops of Howler monkeys, scorpions, snakes and other animals may be seen on the property. From the outdoor veranda, you have a clear view of the Gulf of Papagayo, and the sunsets from that vantage point are incredible. From the onset you arrive Rick makes you feel welcome and at home. You're allowed such a free reign on the estate, when the other patrons weren't around, I almost felt as I could own the place. While the property is located about 1.25 miles from Playa del Coco and well within walking distance, Rick is more than accommodating should you require a ride into town. He'll give you his honest opinions of where to eat, drink, visit, etc. He was so instrumental in helping us plan our various day excursions for SCUBA diving, tours, and lazy beach lounging days. The rooms are quaint, very clean and comforting. While I did not bring my kids on this trip, I intend on returning with them in tow the next time around and we'll stay at Rancho Armadillo. It's refreshing to know that places like this exist. You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: I don't think there's a bad bungalow on the property.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Clifton, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

I'll make this short and to the point, if you are going to the west coast of Costa Rica, this is the place to stay, a bit off the beaten path, you get a personal service from the owner Rick. He knows Playa de Coco like the back of his hand and gives an honest word on where to go and what to do....Listen to him he won't steer you wrong.

Rancho Armadillo itself is a warm inviting place, up in the jungle a bit..Howler monkeys, exotic birds and other wildlife are right around you, the rooms are quaint, clean, and comforting, You can't go wrong here

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Rancho Armadillo Estate

Address: Playas del Coco, Playas del Coco 5019, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playas del Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playas del Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
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
Rancho Armadillo Estate Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

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