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“Fabulous” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Dominical
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Villas Alturas
We stayed at Villas Alturas in February 2013 for three nights. We really enjoyed our stay. The managers Cindy and David and the staff were excellent and very helpful. The breakfasts were very good and varied from day to day. (We did not get to try Dave banana pancakes. The monkeys ate the bananas.) Having breakfast by the pool each day started the day off perfectly. The view was incredibile. The accommodations were exactly as advertised, and very clean. Each morning we had Toucans in a tree in front of our Villa and on several occasions we were able to watch white faced monkeys in the trees adjacent to the pool area. (The same ones that stole the bananas) We would return to stay at Villas Alturas in a heartbeat.

A word of advice. When they say that you should rent a four wheel drive vehicle they are not kidding. Without a four wheel drive vehicle you will not make it up the hill to Villas Alturas. Even with a four wheel drive vehicle you may wonder whether you will make it up the hill. You also will not be able to navigate many of what they loosely classify as road in the Southern Pacific Zone. When you see bare earth with rocks, massive erosion gulley’s, and enormous pot holes and you say to yourself “this cannot be a road”….. it likely is.

It is unfortunate that "aeternalis" did not spend enough time in planning their vacation to read previous trip advisor reviews or they would have known that the restaurant is is not exactly as discribed in trip advisor. That discription is also not on the hotels web site. To rank this property as a two as is simply a disservice to other readers.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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193 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
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Let me be to the point, I would of given 1* if the management had not let us leave early without penalty and with a very comprehensive attitude.

It's not that the place is not nice, but it's advertise as a "resort" with a restaurant and bar service when it really is a bed and breakfast with a great view (no bar, no restaurant).

For reference, this is an excerpt of the description of hotel amenities on Tripadvisor, of what one should expect when going there:
"Alturas feature Azul, restaurant and lounge. Named after the color of the Pacific ocean that graces its view, Azul is a Mediterranean restaurant. From the scrumptious complimentary breakfast, to the all day salads and wraps and on to a full dinner menu with ever changing specials. Your culinary needs will not go unsatisfied."

The Good:
It does boast a spectacular view and the Villas are quite spacious. The staff is also generally friendly and ready to help, although many seemed preoccupied which gave them a "distant/cold" feel.

The Bad:
The place is rather remote (up a steep, bumpy road) and there is NO RESTAURANT... So: 1. Plan to come with a car (a 4x4 really); 2. Don't plan on eating here; 3. Getting around can become annoying because of the trip up and down that road. There's no dedicated staff to one thing or another, you have to go out and ask for things when you need them and since the villas are lacking many items (we didn't have toilet paper, salt/pepper, scissors, a proper knife...) it can get annoying to always be asking for stuff to whomever you find. Finally, I do think this place as seen better days: the cleaning standards were questionable, the safe was not working properly when we arrived, doors were squeaking, one window had a ripped screen (the poster stating that you can buy your villa kind of makes you feel the owners want to get rid of the place and are barely maintaining it).

The bottom line:
One afternoon to enjoy the view from the pool is enough. We would not go back and would not recommend.

Room Tip: Villa 1 is right by the pool, so not recommended if you don't want any noise and extra privacy.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

The two owners, David and his wife are great, frindly and run the hotel very very well. Extremely peacefull place with extraordinary views and high standards for the rooms. Food atvdinner was excellent with a very nice Roman chef (portions a touch too big) and bfast was very good (portions a touch too small and variety a bit limited). Only clear improuvable was the cleanliness of the pool which was really an issue: we did not let our 3 kids swim in it which was a shame. Overall an excellent experience which I would reccomend to any familly with young kids such as purs but toyoung couples as well.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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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 11, 2013
Hello, we are glad you enjoyed your stay here at Villas Alturas! Thank you so much for your business. Around Christmas time we are so busy with so many people in the pool that it is hard to keep the algae out of it. The heat is so intense in December that the pool gets warm and we have to shock it to get the algae under control. I apologize for this inconvenience while you were here. We shocked the pool several times and have to close it when we do that because of high chlorine levels. It becomes clear within about 3-4 days and unfortunately you were here during this time. We maintain a high level of cleanliness here and the pool is a source of great frustration, but most of the time it is in very good shape.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I spent 4-5 days at Villa Alturas with my 17 year old son. The high ratings you find on TripAdvisor are richly deserved. The view is spectacular, the hotel lovely, and the staff friendly. We wanted to get a bit off the beaten track and have an authentic Costa Rican adventure, so the owner's daughter and the hotel's Tico adventure guide offered to go with us to San Isidro, a decidedly non-tourist destination, to visit a festival, which in U.S. terms could be likened to a county fair. We were the only Norte Americanos there, and enjoyed our glimpse of Costa Ricans having fun in a non-touristy venue. We bought our guides dinner, and they helped get us there and back safely. From our point of view, it was a huge plus that the hotel's operators -- Cindy and David -- were Americans. It was very easy to get the information and assistance we needed to thoroughly enjoy the area. Special thanks to Victoria and Oscar! Take them to dinner at Tortilla Flats in Domenical.

Room Tip: Room 1 was great.
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  • 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
    • 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.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Thank you for your kind words! We appreciate your business and hope you come back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Largo, Fl
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We met such warm and friendly people. Management and staff were top notch and extremely helpful. Nothing went unattended. Meals were absolutely delicious and we had a great time observing the wildlife. We loved every minute that we were at the Villas. Dominical is a great little town and the beaches are to die for! Oh, and the view is incredible!

  • Stayed February 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.
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
We appreciate all of our guests and take great pride in our reviews! Thanks for staying with us, please come again!
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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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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