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“Very nice” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villas Alturas

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Villas Alturas
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Alturas de San Martin Norte, Dominical 8000, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Dominical
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Very nice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Wonderful location overlooking the water. Our villa (#4) had a tree in front where toucans would sit every morning around 6:30 which was so fun to watch. The staff was nice, especially the host's daughter, Victoria. She and the bartender (and do-it-all-er), Oscar, were exceptionally friendly and went out of their way to offer us anything we could need. We brought our 11 month old daughter and it was nice to have the second bedroom for her to nap in. The location is a short drive to many beaches and the town of Dominical. It was nice to not be in the center of town since we had our baby. VA had nice rooms and a big kitchen. We had planned to go grocery shopping and cook in but couldn't find much to work with in the local market. The grounds were quiet and although the pool is small I never felt it was crowded as most guests head out to the beaches during the day. Dinner is only offered once or twice a week and we happened to be there for a BBQ on our last night. It was nothing like an American style BBQ and was absolutely delicious, with various types of meats, tuna kabobs, salad, ceviche, etc.
A couple of minor negatives:
1.The driveway up to the villas is very long and is in horrendous repair. You absolutely need 4 wheel drive but even with that we ended up with a flat tire. It was not fun going up and down that road and we avoided any extra trips back to our villa if possible. I am surprised it is not maintained with how lovely the villas are.
2. Breakfast was just ok. Basic, not very filling, cheap white bread with eggs and fruit 2 mornings and huevos rancheros one morning. Would have liked some more variety and side dishes.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Because of your review we have added more meat to our breakfast ment, and some other choices such as oatmeal, breakfast burritoes, banana pancakes, etc. Thank you for the suggestions!
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192 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (50)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Upon arrival, we were met by a man who told us that he was the only caretaker of the whole property - from doing the gardens to cooking. He showed us to our cottage: a big kitchen, a tiny bedroom and a dark and humid bathroom. On the outside a large deck with a great view, partially facing the sea. The whole place looked as if it had seen better days. Furnitures and colourings in the rooms looked drab; the sofa in the kitchen area was so sagging that it was impossible to sit on it without falling off, lighting was gloomy. Yet, the place was really clean. Then we explored on our own what the rest of the hotel was like, as there was nobody around till evening: the whole place looked deserted, the main area was strewn with dead insects and all of the tables in the pool area were sticky with the remains of other nights. A sign in the lobby that the whole place was for sale with dropping rates did not heighten our feelings. Dinner is only available when there enough guests are interested. It is one fixed dish, cooked and served by the owners themselves and although edible, it is not more than standard home cooking. Breakfast is a fruit salad with rather mushy water melon and a few other fruits strewn in, and, changing each day, another dish: such as two pieces of French toast, banana pancakes or scrambled eggs - not intended for hungry or choosy people. Service throughout is friendly, but erratic: getting a cup of tea, or a knife is a major challenge. There were family and friends of the owners all over the place. While it gave an overall cheerful feeling, we always felt as if we were intruding upon some private party and had to apologise when we needed something. Altogether, Villas Alturas is an ok place to stay for a reasonable price, great views but a rather basic hotel service.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
I'm so sorry that you felt like an outsider. There was no family gathering or private party at Villas Alturas. That was the natural comraderie that springs up between individual travelers that stay at our hotel for extended periods. All the people, except for the managers mother who was visiting, were unrelated and had not known each other before coming to Villas Alturas. It is a very friendly place with friendly outgoing people. Our breakfast menu has now been beefed up with more meat, and some other menu items to give more choices. We listen to our guests comments and we strive to please!
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Atlanta,Ga
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

The driveway is straight up and rough but the ride is well worth it! The rooms were spotless and clean with very comfortable beds and a spectacular view. The gardener, Renaldo(spelling right?) is one of the warmest, kindest men I have met in a long time and takes great effort in keeping everything beautiful! We felt safe and welcome on our perch over the Pacific! Such a wonderful natural setting with beautiful birds everywhere and nature all around. We were greeted warmly at our arrival and told not to worry about business until the morning - we were tired and it meant a LOT to be immediately relieved of all stress and allowed to relax by the pool, have a cold drink, and settle in for a cozy night. The howler monkeys wake up early so bring earplugs if that's an issue - I personally LOVE it - I sleep like a baby in the sounds of nature. Thank you for making our 18th anniversary something special. I would like to thank everyone there for a wonderful time!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Thanks so much for your kind words! We appreciate all of our guests so much! Please come back to see us soon!
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kensington ca
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We were lucky to call Villas Alturas "home" for a week over the Christmas holiday this year. We had already traveled quite a bit throughout Costa Rica prior, so by the time we made it up their steep and rutted driveway (no joke, you need 4-wheel drive), we felt like we had discovered Mount Olympus. The view of the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking which everyone can enjoy from the pool, the bar, the open air dining area. The managers, Cindy and David, will help you settle in even before you arrive with lots of communication via email. The Villas Alturas staff is mostly tico and very friendly and attentive-- our son particularly liked Oscar who played soccer with him and threw him in the pool. We thank them all profusely for providing us such a great experience while we visited-- Oscar escorted a baby scorpion out of our kitchen, Cindy and David booked surfing lessons and boat tours for us, and we enjoyed having breakfast with all the other guests every morning. We also enjoyed having our own kitchen and the convenience of cooking for ourselves and our kids. Perks for us-Wifi worked well, they did laundry for us, they loaned us beach blankets, coolers, took us to a local waterfall hangout, etc.. If you have the time in your vacation schedule, we highly recommend using this as your home base as we did. Also, if you are a party of 2-4, we recommend requesting the room we had-- Room 3-- it is the furthest one away from the main social areas so if you like quiet, you have it, and the veranda has the best view of the ocean as well as the amazing array of birds that live there. We look forward to visiting again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Dominical, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

we stayed here our second week and realy enjoyed it. we had our own kicthen that was very well equiped and if we needed anything Cindy and Dave were happy to oblidge! we even hosted a dinner party for 6! the views are outstanding and having breakfast made for you each morning was a treat. the fruit was always fresh and if you are lucky, you will get to try Dave's banana pancakes!!! (Request them) maid service was excellent. this would be a great place too for older people to stay. one night there were 9 toucans in the tree right in front of our villa.
cindy made some great recommendations for us to see some hidden beaches and other tourist sights. thanks Cindy (and Dave and Victoria) for such a great experience!

Room Tip: if a couple, request the one bedroom villas below the pool. has the best view, but usually booked w...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
houston
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

Great views and comfortable rooms. Friendly and kind management and staff. Set up encourages interaction between guests and makes the stay more fun. Kitchens in each room are handy for snacks or meals. Great bird watching from the covered patios. Chestnut mandibled toucans every day for a week stay. Howler monkeys wake you every morning. Hard to beat for the price. Road is 4x4 required but if you want a view, you have to go up hill in this area.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Paris, France
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Let's start with the positive: beautiful views, nice villas, swimming pool, very much designed for catering western (US?) tourists.
But after the positive reviews didn't apply for us any more: into our opinion it is pretentious, but doesn't live up to it. We didn't feel welcome, and especially after we complained -in a very decent manner- about it, we were first denied being right and then secondly (and that killed it off for me) the staff was blamed.
We had a couple of hickups during our stay (including a "forgotten" restaurant reservation @the premises, although we had had an email confirmation before ), but you know what: we could have lived with it, anybody can make mistakes, as long as they a. acknowledge that they are responsible for it -even if they didn't do it themselves- and b. apologize for it. b, was done, have to admit that, but too little and too late.
All in all: yes, it's a great place, but it either needs to revise its tariffs or its management.
We had way better experiences in the rest of Costa Rica, but again, it's all about expectations.....

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 1 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.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We are so sorry we did not live up to your expectations. I sincerely apologize for your inconveniences. We have had many change overs in the restaurant lately, trying to hire a new chef in Costa Rica is the most difficult thing I have ever encountered. We were in the state of transition to a new chef when you were here, and that is the reason for the menu change. He was unable to prepare the menu that you had been sent when you made your reservation. Your reservation was here on our books, but the new chef was unaware of it. Because of his inadequacies (he is no longer here, because of them) the management was out having to get supplies for the restaurant that were unexpected because of the chef's inexperience. So were not able to fix the situation because of having to take care of the restaurant business. You were offered another menu, we were able to accomodate you, and you declined. We do try our best in every situation to rectify any misunderstanings or inadequacies related to our customer service. I assure you, by reading our other reviews, you will see that in every case we make a huge effort to make everyone here as comfortable and happy as possible and i apologize again for the minor inconveniences you exerienced.
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Additional Information about Villas Alturas

Address: Alturas de San Martin Norte, Dominical 8000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Dominical
#2 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas Alturas 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villas Alturas offers the perfect combination of peace and quiet, views, sun, beach and adventure. Situated in the Costa Ballena area, only 35 minutes south of Manuel Antonio, you can enjoy the cool beachy vibe of Dominical 15 min away, explore the Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita or sample the international cuisine offered in Ojochal. Villas Alturas offers a complimentary breakfast every morning and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day. We will plan and book all of your tours as well as help you to connect with all of the local free adventures. Barbque grill, free parking, a/c bedrooms, great pool area with an incredible views! Our road was improved in December, 2013 very easily accessible. We can accommodate 30+ people for your parties, destination wedding or any other event. Time to breathe . . . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Alturas Hotel Dominical
Villas Alturas Costa Rica/Dominical

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