Now, this review post-dates our visit by a few months so bear with me as I remember the trip! My girlfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica at the beginning of June for a 5-day vacation courtesy of a LivingSocial deal. At first, we were skeptical. It all felt too good to be true, but when it comes to Vista de Olas, believe what you read! Everything was nearly perfect. Neither of us have traveled too far outside of the US, but our adventure to Costa Rica left us not wanting to leave! Roger, family, and crew exceeded our expectations. They made you feel welcome to place they call home. By the end of the trip, it felt like our home away from home!
I would recommend spending the extra money to fly with Sansa once you land in San Juan. It couldn't even imagine making the trek by car to Mal Pais without any GPS. Once we landed at Tambor airport, which was essentially just one short runway, we arranged for the hotel to pick us up and it was smooth sailing from there. But be forewarned that the airport requires you to pay a $2.50 tax upon arrival which we were told is for grounds upkeep so travel with some pocket cash. The room was gorgeous (aside from some small bugs and a tiny lizard that appeared crawling on the wall our first five minutes spent in the room). Bring bug spray! We went through an entire bottle that I didn't initially think to bring. Much of the vacation is spent exploring the surrounding area and beaches. Zip lining was an incredible experience. The staff is wonderfully helpful and love helping the Vista de Olas guests. The ATV tour to the Montezuma Falls is a must. We saw so much along the way and you don't realize how much you've traveled until you're finished (we felt pretty accomplished afterwards). I would highly recommend renting ATVs for the entire stay. It's nice to freely explore the town and beaches as you please. We had one quad for the two of us and it was more than enough.
The breakfast every morning was our favorite part of the trip! Rice, eggs, plantains, fresh fruit, etc. You can't go wrong! We looked forward to mornings spent by the pool, taking in the incredible views, and enjoying a cup of coffee and the freshest orange juice I've had in ages. The Bakery has great food. We made quite a few stops there (even for Imperial beer which I'm still trying to find here in NYC). It's a bit of myth that you shouldn't travel far outside of resorts when you're in an unfamiliar country. I would suggest the exact opposite. We always felt safe and at ease even when traveling on the ATVs at night. Make every effort you can to go out and explore! The resort is a place to relax, but Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are too beautiful to not witness all of it in it's entirety.
Last but not least, ask around about Secret Beach. The guys from the ziplining canopy tour had told us about it and we figured out how to get there. It's captivating and crawling with sea life and, although we didn't get a chance to see any, plenty of monkeys. We absolutely cannot wait to venture back to Costa Rica. Our stay was short, but so sweet. Beware of the rum! We traveled home with some serious hangovers after too many shots and a great night spent poolside, but it was well worth it.
- 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