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“Amazing Location” 4 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 #2 of 10 hotels in Mal Pais
Buffalo, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and I spent 8 nights here for our honeymoon and had a truly memorable experience. We wanted to pick a place where we would be able to relax and have an adventure at the same time, and this area of Costa Rica was perfect for that! The hotel arranged for airport pickup on the way there and back which made it stress free (just be aware you are charged). They also arranged for any activities you want to do, which makes it so easy. Our package included an ATV tour which was a ton of fun, and horseback riding on the beach, which I've always wanted to do. My husband also booked a surfing lesson and we did zip lining.

I highly recommend either renting a car or ATV since the area is hilly dirt roads, and the road to the hotel is the worst of all (which I heard they are looking into working with the government to fix). But if you have the right vehicle it's fine. Also, you'll want to get out and explore since the hotel is very quiet until it opens to the public at 4pm (which I also see as a bonus because if you want to do nothing by the pool you have the place mostly to yourself and then get to socialize wth others later). Also, the area is full of great restaurants and beaches. I was pleasantly surprised by the food quality at the local places, especially Koji, Habanero, and Al Chile Viola. We even went back to Montezuma on our own for a day trip.

The hotel room itself wasn't as nice as I expected, specifially the quality of the mattress and sheets, but I was so tired by the end of the day I slept fine. The outdoor shower is very cool (once it started working correctly - I thought it was just off/on cold and no pressure, but realized when another couple complained that it wasn't working right and is actually very nice once it does). Just know where are lots of insects in the bathroom area, but that is to be expected for this area outside and didn't bother me. Also, I thought we would have a better ocean view, but we spent most of the time at the ocean, so no biggie and you can still see it! The room was cleaned daily which was nice because we made it pretty sandy.

Another note - the wifi did not work once while we were at the hotel and we tried daily from different areas. So we had to update friends/family when we were in town at the restaurants/bars with wifi. So if you need to do work while there, it could be a problem.

I would say definitely look into this place as an option, just know the attitude is very laid back, you will need to ask for what you want, but they will accomodate whatever it may be with a smile. If we come back to the area I may look at other places. But for a first timer to this area you cannot beat the amazing view everyday and the ease of arranging activities this hotel provides.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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293 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (108)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Marcos, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This was one of the best vacations i've been on. Roger & family make you feel so comfortable! The views from the villas/ pool are breath taking. I highly recommend staying here!!! Thank you Roger! We will be back for sure!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in villa 3 & loved it!
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I stayed at Vista de Olas for four nights for a belated honeymoon recently. The first few nights were nice enough; if you want to feel like you are at a Southern California surf hotel whilst in Costa Rica, then this place will do the trick. The views are stunning, the location wonderful. My husband and I noticed early on, however, that during the mediocre BBQ dinners, Roger would drink heavily starting in the afternoon/evening, and would go on presumably until after we had vacated the pool area, usually around 8.
The last night of our stay, I knew that we would be leaving early the next morning and wanted to pay the bill for our meals and excursions (luckily I used Living Social, so I was not responsible at that point for paying for the stay itself). At around 8:00, I asked Roger's wife for our bill. About 20 minutes later, she came out with a surprisingly large tab. I made the horrible mistake of asking Roger to help me break down the costs, and at this point he got irate, dropping profanities every other word, and insisting that he had already given us a good deal by doing us the favor of redeeming our Living Social voucher. He implied that we were cheap and ungrateful to inquire about our bill charges. Roger seemed to be escalating severely on his own, without provocation from myself or my husband, and I tried to keep the situation calm by letting Roger yell and vent without interfering.
After my debit card declined (I had forgotten that I had already taken out a good portion of the day's allotment of cash from an ATM), I payed with cash, giving Roger 130,000 colones ($260). Because I didn't have smaller bills, I should have gotten about 4,000 colones in change. Roger said at this point he would go get change. He stayed away for about 20 minutes, and when he returned he told us he could not remember how much cash we had given him because he was, in more polite terms, too drunk, and thus did not know to how much change we were entitled. I reminded him what I had payed him, sort of laughing it off, but also getting concerned at this point that the night would get messy in regards to Roger dealing with this transaction. He repeated this three more times, saying each time that he couldn't remember how much cash we had given him. Finally, he threw the change at us, making a nasty comment about us not leaving a tip (for what? Having to BBQ our own meat and eat preserved veggies at the hotel RESTAURANT?).
Shaken up, my husband and I went back to our villa. A few minutes later, we heard a knock. I assumed it would be Roger or someone to apologize for Roger's behavior. How wrong I was. It was Roger, claiming that we had not payed him anything. At this point, having endured an hour of Roger's drunken escapades with patience, I could not believe what was happening. When Roger showed us his empty pockets and asked us where the money was, I shut the door in his face. I don't know if he was trying to extort more money from us, or if he was legitimately so drunk as to forget that we had already payed him. Either way, it was unbelievable and unacceptable.
At this point, Roger started yelling obscenities at me and a staff member, Randal, came down from the pool to see what was happening. He told Roger to go upstairs, which he did, whilst still yelling insults at me the whole way to the pool area. My husband and I then discussed our options; we felt that Roger had exhibited the kind of aggression, which appeared to be the result of excessive alcohol consumption, that could have escalated into him physically attacking us. The property is remote, and, not having a cell phone that worked, we actually considered walking the 25 minute steep downhill unlit trip to town because we felt so unsafe at Vista de Olas. In the end, we barricaded our door with luggage and furniture to at least make us feel that if Roger decided to enter our room for further confrontation, we would be able to hear it well enough in advance to flee out of the open-air bathroom.
Having traveled extensively, this is by far the worst situation in which I have found myself. I'm sure that a stay at this hotel could have, and has for most visitors, gone smoothly. The key is: DO NOT APPROACH THIS MAN FOR A BUSINESS TRANSACTION IF HE APPEARS AT ALL INTOXICATED. It would be slightly more acceptable for a business owner to do this if they were a sociable, happy drunk. Roger, however, is a mean and aggressive person when drunk. He is the exact opposite of the constructed image of a care-free, laid-back surfer that he tries to exude when he is sober.
Roger, if you want to reply to this, here's a hint: grammar and spelling are easier to tackle when sober. I've noticed you have had some problems with these base elements of sentence construction in past replies.

I would not wish this travel misadventure upon my worst enemy. This hotel is awful, despite its gorgeous physical setting. It is the overwhelming negativity, irresponsibility, and lack of professionalism of the owner that make this beautiful place, as another reviewer noted, a sad waste.

A final note: Roger charges 7% surcharge on all credit card transactions. As far as I know, this is not legal and seems to be a method of discouraging guests, for whatever reason, from paying with credit card. This man wants cash, and as inconvenient as it is, I'm glad I was able to give him what he wanted, rather than get suckered into paying an additional 7% for this nightmarish experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

First off I have to say this is one of the best vacations my girlfriend and I have ever been on. Roger ( the owner,manager) is the most accommodating person you will ever meet. He not only makes you feel comfortable but also make you feel like vista is home to you. Along with him, the entire staff is phenomenal. The views of the beach are litterally the best in mal pais and we would know because we had a car to drive everywhere. Rogers sons Miley and Swen are two of the coolest people you will meet. They taught us how to surf, swen took us on an atv tour to a beautiful water fall, and both showed us a great time. If you are reading this review and are considering this resort, drop what your doing and book it right away. You will have so much fun and will not want to leave. To all the crew at vista de olas, thank you for the best we have ever had and I wish you all the best and will never forget any of you thanks again!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Longmont
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Each large of the five well appointed villas is tucked into the lush, well maintained grounds and affords much privacy. The furnishings appear to be native woods and are simple and elegant. Enjoying the beautiful tile work in the open roofed, large bathroom area was a treat. The staff at Vista de Olas is very attentive and friendly. Incredible views from the pool area, Best sunsets in Mal Pais!

Room Tip: While all the villas have ocean views, I think Villa 3 has the very best.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Roger and the Crew were nothing short of amazing during this trip, Combine that with the beautiful views provided by the property and it was perfect. The small size of Vista de Olas really allows the staff to get to know you and help make your trip just right. It also allows you to be able to get to know the fellow guests as well. The tours and exursions were excellent. Well planned and organized, and alot of fun. The rooms were clean and in perfect order, the food was great and the service was first rate. Well worth a stay for any trip down to Mal Pais

Room Tip: Villa 3 probably has the best ocean view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
london
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Argh - I'll never want a Christmas at home again!! Great location, great views, great room and outrageously great company. Our whole experience was brilliant - making new friends that feel like old ones, unexpected gifts from Roger and Heidi on Christmas Eve, surfing lessons, long long sunsets over the pacific and all the while laughter and good times. I read the reviews, booked the room and was delighted. I've entered the photo competition in the vain attempt to have an inescapable reason to go back!

Room Tip: We were in room 4 and very happy. So was everyone else!
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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.

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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:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
#3 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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