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“Adventure, Relaxation, and Great People” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Vista de Olas

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Hotel Vista de Olas
Vista de Olas Dr. | Mal Pais de Cobano Apto.#93, Mal Pais 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Brookings
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Adventure, Relaxation, and Great People”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Vista de Olas back in the first week of December, and we absolutely loved it there! It had a stunning view of the ocean and we felt surrounded by the soothing sights and sounds of nature -- including watching the howler monkeys nearby! We truly missed it when we left. Not to mention that the owners and staff were amazing and friendly, always making us feel so at home and relaxed.

Our villa was beautiful and felt like our own personal retreat. It is so cool that it is unattached and private, and there were windows halfway around the room to enjoy the gorgeous view. It was a large space and large bed, with AC and a ceiling fan. We were very comfortable using only the ceiling fan. The woodwork and tiling throughout the villa and bathroom were beautiful. The outdoor shower was so wonderful .. I wish I could have one at home!

I also have to mention how fun the ATV tour to the waterfall was ... I highly recommend it! We got to take two different trails/roads, one with breathtaking ocean views and another really fun one through the mountains. Roger's son led the tour and he told us fun things about the trees and plants we would walk by on the short hike to the waterfall, which let us experience just a little bit what it might have been like growing up in Costa Rica, if even for just a moment. This again made us feel so welcome there. On vacations I think there is just no replacement for getting to learn from and share experiences with locals of the place you are visiting. The rope swing at the waterfall was a blast. What an experience!

I also recommend renting an ATV for a day, to explore town and surrounding beaches. It's an adventure that you don't get as easily at the more developed fully tourist destinations, to get off the beaten path and find secluded beaches ... plus the getting around is fun in itself! Not to mention, they are very practical with the roads there.

I could go on forever but this is too long already so just to sum it up, we loved this place and wish we had more time there. It is so much better than an impersonal huge resort. We cannot wait to visit again. Thank you Roger and Heidi and family, as well as all the staff!!

P.S. Try a piña colada at the swim-up bar .... mmmmm

  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thanks so much. Hope to see you again one day. Regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

My boyfriend and I just spent 6 nights at Vista de Olas, and loved every minute. The staff knew us by name, and felt like friends.

Staying here feels like staying at a friend's amazing beach resort. It's cozy, and has everything you need. If you like huge, all-inclusive resorts with room service and televisions, this place is not for you. Vista de Olas is casual and homey.

The owner, Roger is warm, honest, and hilarious, and his sons and wife complete the picture. Roger and staff will go out of their way to set up anything you need, from taxis to adventure tours. Just ask, and it shall be done. For example, I had a wonderful massage in our villa and enjoyed horseback riding on the beach.

The pinnacle of fun was the ATV tour led by Roger's son, Swen. Swen is hilarious, kind, and incredibly knowledgable. We had a blast looking for howler monkeys in the trees and eating a traditional Tico lunch in Montezuma. Make sure to jump off of the waterfall! It's worth it!

Although this place was perfect for us, here are a few things people might be turned off by:

WIFI is only available in one spot on the pool deck and is very slow. It's good for web browsing and email only. But, who cares?

The mattresses are thin and firm, but it didn't bother me! The towels are thin as well.

The salad bar left something to be desired, but the experience of grilling alongside Roger and his family was worth it. There are plenty of upscale restaurants in town that you can check out. I suggest grilling at Vista the first night, then venturing out the rest of the time.

Our trip was fabulous, and I recommend this place to everyone! If you're uptight and very detail oriented, you might look elsewhere. We're incredibly easy going, so everything was perfect for us!

Room Tip: Villa 3 is the most private, and has an incredible ocean view!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thank you so much for everything. It was great getting to know both you. Glad to hear that my boys did a good job on the tour. Regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My boyfriend and I got a living social deal for the Vista de Olas hotel in Mal Pais, Costa Rica. We flew in the day before and stayed the night in San Jose (at the airport). The hotel has a free shuttle to and from the airport. In the morning we had breakfast and we got a ride to the Sansa regional airport (3 min). The airport was small, it’s an open-air space and people were very nice. I was scared about flying in a small plane (safety concerns especially after seeing the airport). We took off on time, and it was a beautiful 25-30 min flight to Tambor. It was a great aerial tour of Costa Rica. Landing was fun too as the plane descends over the water, pass the beach and it lands on small asphalt strip.
Roger, the hotel owner picked us up and we drove for about 45 min from Tambor to Mal Pais. Initially the road was paved and less bumpy. The closer we got the road turned into a dirt path with lots of potholes culminating in very steep and bumpy ride up the hill, on top of which the hotel is situated.
The grounds are beautiful; the view from the pool/restaurant area is worth the bumpy ride. The hotel is open to the public starting 4 pm and many people make the pilgrimage up the hill to see the beautiful Mal Pais sunsets.
The villas are nice and private. They are built with lasting quality and craftsmanship. There are not a lot of amenities but we did not seem to mind or miss anything. A huge 4-post bed is right across from the entrance to the villa. The mattress is very firm. There are two bed-side tables with lamps that provide minimal light. In fact the whole villa is rather dark at night. But the sunlight makes up for it during the day time. There are glass windows all around the room with wooden blinds. There is also a futon, a bar area, with a mini-fridge, coffee machine, big flashlight; and a closet. The bathroom is behind a door that you can lock at night, the toilet and vanity are covered, the mosaic-tiled shower is open to the air. There are double doors that lead to the patio with chairs and a table. We enjoyed the sunset and saw many species of birds right from our patio.
The pool and the view are the best part of this hotel. The food was good but lacking in variety. Breakfast is included. Options are toast, butter, jam, coffee, watermelon, pineapple/banana. Four mornings we had 2 eggs and rice&beans, 1 morning-french toast, 1 morning-omelettes with mushroom and onion. You can purchase lunch (either fish or chicken with salad) and dinner (grill your own meat with salad bar). We ate twice at lunch and once at dinner at the hotel. The rest of the time we went to town. Food in town was good, we went to the Bakery and Pasta Basta. We usually walked to town on the beach and got cab back from $6-12 one way.
Our package included, a bottle of wine; either 4 local beers each or 2 cocktails (mojito or guaro sour) between 4-5 pm; either horseback riding or a surf lesson; and an ATV tour through the jungle, visit to the butterfly farm, waterfall and lunch. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the above. We chose the horseback riding. Neither of us had ever been on a horse, and we went down the steep hill to the beach and back up the hill. The horses were really nice and well taken care of. They accommodated us to our comfort level and by the end we galloped a bit!
The ATV tour was great, it was provided by Roger’s son Swen who is knowlegible in jungle wild life. We had an all-day adventure. I took lots of pictures! Be prepared to get dusty! But you can wash up by taking a dive into the waterfall! We had lunch at an amazing restaurant by the water in the quaint fishing village of Montezuma.
We did the zip line, canopy tour. It was exhilarating! We were initially afraid to do it but if was safe!
We also rented ATVs another day and explored on our own. We snorkeled and saw tons of beautiful fish. Wish I had an underwater camera!
Overall, we had an amazing time. Costa Rica is beautiful. People are very friendly. It’s safe. Mal Pais is not developed so if you are looking to wear high heels and go out for fancy nights on the town-this place is not for u! It is very low key and relaxing and you truly feel unplugged from all the craze in the Western world! We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thanks so much for everything. Was great meeting both of you. Regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Del Rio, Texas
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

My husband and I booked this as a kind of last minute getaway through Living Social and it was exactly what we wanted. The hotel itself is very nice and clean and the staff very friendly and accomodating. The view and the grounds are amazing but the atmosphere is very relaxed and low-key. Roger sat down with us the first night to plan out our week and arranged all of the activities we wanted to do. The costs just got added to the tab for our room which was especially convenient and then we didn't have to carry a lot of cash with us when were out. They were also helpful in calling to make dinner reservations and calling cabs for us. The hike up the hill is a little intense so sometimes we would walk to town or the beach and take a cab back, from the crossroads it was about $6. The nicest part about staying here was that Roger and his family and the rest of the staff really made sure that we were having fun; I really can't say enough about how amazing this place is!!! We will be back for sure!

Room Tip: Villas 4 and 5 you can hear people at the pool if they are being loud, but it was never late at nigh...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
Thank you guys for everything. We also had a great time meeting you. We wish you all the best regards Roger
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colorado springs
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

My husband and I had a great time here at Vista de Olas in Mal Pais. The hotel is far enough off the beach and away from the "town" so you have privacy. The views from the hotel are amazing as well. Be prepared to walk often and up the hills if you don't have an ATV. The staff was great as well, very friendly and personable- everyone knew our names by day 2. :) Not too much to do if you aren't big on surfing, but a great place to get away from the hussle and bussle and just relax.

Roger and Heidi and the rest of the staff were great. And breakfast was always nice, although I would have liked a bit more variety. Overall, we had an amazing time and would highly recommend a trip here to stay at Vista de Olas.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
Thank you for your nice review regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, Michigan, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This place is top notch! The views are incredible and so are the amenities and staff. We had a group that stayed a week here for a wedding, and we all had a fantastic time. The location is perfect for relaxing or being adventurous. We chose to find balance with both, and were not disappointed at all. We would love to return in the near future!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
I'am glad you guys had a good time. Thanks for everything nice meeting you.
Regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuart, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

My bf and I (31 and 39) went to Vista De Olas through a living social deal. I would've never known about this amazing place had it not been for the great deal that popped up in my inbox and looked rather interesting. After some research, I realized it was nowhere near the San Jose airport, so we took a Sansa (small jet) flight from San Jose to Tambor. I highly recommend this since driving will take 5-6 hrs and gas is about $6/gal, and you would spend alot renting a 4x4. The short flight from the international airport to Tambor was only 25 min, and cost about $200 roundtrip for 2. Roger (the owner), picked us up from there and we stopped to have one of the best lunches I've had in my life (and I LOVE food!). Included in our deal was an ATV ride through the jungle, with a visit to the butterfly garden and hiking through the mountains to amazing waterfalls. We also did horseback riding on the beach and walked all over the nearby towns and the beaches for hours on end. There is so much natural beauty to see there; and even though I am not at all an active person, trying new experiences was really fun. This was the first vacation where I actually LOST weight! lol. Being so active in Mal Pais brought me out of my shell a little bit, and while I was huffing and puffing the first day, by day 4 it was a breeze. We tried about 6 different restaurants and the food was amazing and incredibly fresh! We wanted to try surfing and fishing, so we will definitely be back for that.
The resort is gorgeous, the owner, his family and his staff are AMAZING! We felt like we left there making life-long friends. Overall, I feel that the whole trip was worth much more than we paid for it. Showering outside was so liberating that we purchased one for our backyard as soon as we got home. =)
One of the most important things for me was that this place feels and IS very safe! We were walking around in the middle of the night by the town and no one even seems to notice you. I didn't feel like I had to worry about being mugged or anything like that. The people are so sweet and genuine. I would recommend this place to anybody (especially new travelers).
For the best possible experience, heed these WARNINGS:
- DO NOT go to Mal Pais without sneakers/hiking boots/water shoes and long pants. Flip flops on the incredibly steep hills are not going to work. Dress very comfy. Forget about being cute with this rugged terrain.
- Bring enough cash! The food and drinks were pricier than I expected.
- Make sure you have $2.25 per person each way for taxes for the small jet to Tambor, AND leave enough money for taxes and cab fare at the resort (approx $200 total), AND $28 per person for taxes to exit Costa Rica. I didn't bring my bank card, because I was trying to carry as little as possible in case we got robbed. We almost got screwed, because I wasn't aware of all the taxes.
- Make sure you have sunscreen and bug spray (or purchase it when you get there). You WILL need it!
- If you are flying with Spirit airlines, they will charge you $50 per person for carry on, and MORE for baggage. Pack a few key things in a small (one personal item is allowed for free) bookbag (t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits), wear your jeans and sneakers on the plane and you will be set.
- One last thing... Don't forget your CAMERA!!! (and passports, of course).
All in all, I LOVE Costa Rica, I LOVE Vista De Olas, and we will definitely be back! Thank you Roger, Heidi, the boys, the staff - Randall and Rodrigo for making this the best vacation we've ever had.
P.S. I don't know what the people who wrote negative reviews are talking about. Roger is very personable and laid back. We never felt like we were being treated differently because we were there through Living Social, and we never felt pressured to eat at his restaurant (which, by the way, has AMAZING steak). Definitely visit this place!

Pura Vida!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DodgerMalPais, Owner at Hotel Vista de Olas, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
Thanks so much for everything. It was really nice talking to you guys and getting to know both of you. Don't forget don't ever give up. Regards Roger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Vista de Olas

Address: Vista de Olas Dr. | Mal Pais de Cobano Apto.#93, Mal Pais 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vista de Olas is a refined hotel in Mal Pais perched on top of a peaceful hill. From this vantage point our guests are treated to sweeping views of Mal Pais and watch the most memorable sunsets. The hotel offers 6 sumptuous, secluded deluxe villas with ocean view, AC, open-sky bathroom, and private porch. Hotel amenities include fast WLAN, a luxurious infinity pool and jacuzzi, pool lounge, and the best BBQ restaurant in Mal Pais. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vista De Olas Mal Pais
Hotel Vista De Olas Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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