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“Doing Everything Right” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hacienda Baru

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Hacienda Baru
Dominical, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Devizes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“Doing Everything Right”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Hacienda Baru for four nights over New Year's (2012) in a 'Superior Room' near the pool and took advantage during our three full days there of walking most of the trails available to all who stay there. We also took a birding walk, from about 5:30am until early afternoon, with one of the excellent guides, Juan, who took us up into the hills on rainforest trails that are available only with a guide.

We absolutely loved this place and look forward to going again some day. The trails are varied and informative, with well-written panels in English, Spanish and French, to explain various features of the forest, its plants, animals and other fauna; beautiful birds and monkeys are plentiful out in the forest and at times around the grounds near the rooms, too; the extra, guided outings are very reasonably priced and expertly led; the ambience is very friendly and relaxed both in the restaurant (which serves good food) and the pool, which is lovely; and our room was both huge and comfortable in every way. It seems to me to have something for everyone, really. A youngish mother whom we got to know with her daughter had a great time there, as did other families with kids. Couples would find it cosy and romantic. Groups with varied interests could probably find plenty to do, with individuals going their separate ways. And so on.

Shops and restaurants in (much over-rated) Dominical are very nearby, if you want to eat elsewhere, as we did one evening.

As the website for the place will explain in detail, the Hacienda Baru was once partly a farm and ranch, though it comprised a very large tract of untouched rainforest as well. The principal owner, Jack Ewing, became more interested in the natural world than in being a farmer and cattleman (since at least the mid-1970's, I believe) and over the years has very actively participated in the regeneration of that part of the property which was formerly farmland, and has made the pristine wilderness more accessible. There are beach walks, swamp walks, walks through former cocoa and teak plantations, and of course many forest walks. This is a delightful place to be, but also a great, thoroughly successful experiment. We were delighted to witness and in some small way support it.

Room Tip: Those rooms in a long line near the pool are (I think) the newer ones and are excellent. Some of th...
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  • Stayed January 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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153 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (24)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Marietta, GA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

We would have liked to stay here for more than one night. Next time. Beautiful trails. And we liked the butterfly garden. Great morning guided hike--saw toucans, sloths, and owls. No monkeys--too many homosapiens in high season, I think. We enjoyed hiking on the trail to the pristine, natural beach, and had a great time playing on the beach and swimming. The kids enjoyed the pool also. Food was excellent too--especially the smoothies. We stayed in one of the older cabins--next time we'd pay extra to stay in the new ones by the pool. The cabin was extremely hot. There were tons of centipede-like creatures in our cabin and we slightly worried about what else might find its way in during the night.

Room Tip: Recommend staying in the new rooms by the pool.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

We ended our Central American trip with a refreshingly low-stress and rewarding 3-night stay at Hacienda Baru. We were a group of five staying in two cabinas enjoying the low-impact lifestyle where most of the electricity and all of the hot water come from solar sources. Everyday we watched hummingbirds, toucans, monkeys and iguanas go about their business. One day we went whale watching at the nearby national park. We took early morning treks every day before breakfast to see the animals that make themselves scarce in the afternoon heat. Guided treks are also available. We spent time at the beach that is accessible to all, but frequented by few and lazed around the luxurious ozone pool. Yes, a well-designed pool is a necessity when you are on vacation. :-) The landscaping, structures and pathways are all extravagant in their simplicity and purpose. The older cabinas are simple, well constructed and maintained. The new cabins looked beautiful. Hacienda Baru is living proof that true ecotourism can be accessible and rewarding for those who seek it. The website can tell you more about the story of the place, the man who has devoted his life to it and the value of biological corridor. Thanks to Jack and staff for making this all possible. I will return to see how the forest changes.

Room Tip: All rooms have everything you need and nothing more.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Naples, Italy
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012 via mobile

Immersed in the Dominical rain forest close to the ocean Hacienda Baru is an oasis of peace and beauty on the southern pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The sounds of Nature accompany your day all along
Spacious rooms, drinkable tap water, great pool, good breakfast, beautiful trails in the forest, at the reasonable price of $85 all included for a superior room a bit more for a larger cabin.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Sheffield
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

We stayed for a few nights in November at a very quiet time so the resort was almost empty. Hacienda Baru is a great place for spotting wildlife, with marked trails through the forest that you can easily follow yourself, plus other guided walks. We did both and saw plenty of wildlife, including white faced capuchin monkeys, three toed sloths and many many birds and butterflies. In the afternoon, a pair of Toucans seemed to be regular visitors to the garden that edges the rainforest and we got superb sightings of them. The zipline they have here is very enjoyable; gentle rather than hardcore and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along the way.

Our cabin was one of the original rooms... it was very tired and really could do with an update, but that said, it was excellent value for money and we soon got over the aesthetics and started to value the space (three bedrooms!) and the fact that it had a full size fridge and a kitchen area. You'd be hard pressed to cook a full meal in it, but it was great for making tea and coffee.

The pool area is lovely, though there isn't a lot of shade if you want to relax with a book, but there is also a shady little hammock area which was nice. A short walk either down a rough road or through the rainforest gets you to a long sandy beach.

Food at the restaurant was actually very good in the main and when compared with prices we paid elsewhere, represented great value for money, as did the drinks.

If a chic and stylish room is ultra important to you, it's probably not for you, but if you can put up with jaded decor, it's a good value place for some excellent wildlife spotting and it's only a few minutes drive to Dominical where there is an ATM, shops, bars, restaurants and surfing.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Edinburgh
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

We stayed here for 4 nights during December. We were travelling by bus and it's a very easy place to find situated just of the main coastal road. Plenty of well signed walks, lots of wildlife too, we even saw a sloth in the carpark, on the ground! We were lucky enough to be there when they released the final batch of baby turtles from their hatchery into the sea. Plenty of birdlife too. It's possible to walk into Dominical along one of the trails for about 1.5km then about 1km along the main road, takes maybe 45-50 minutes if you're not wildlife watching. There are a number of cafes, shops and restaurants in Dominical, the best supermarket seems to be the one on the main highway on the left around 500m after the bridge.

There's also a garage (gas station) just outside the entrance which sells drinks (beer and a very small selection of wine), snacks, sweets, icecreams etc., although drinks in the restaurant aren't overpriced. The tap water at Hacienda Baru is drinkable and tasted fine to us.

The restaurant at Hacienda Baru is also pretty good food, very good service and some decent fans to keep the bugs at bay - not too expensive either about 4000 colones ($8) for pasta, more/less for other meals, $2 for a beer/wine that sort of price, so not bad.

The cabins themselves are a bit dated, although we stayed in one of the older, bigger ones, which were preferred since they are detached. The new ones might be better furnished not sure, but they aren't detached. Basic cooking facilities in the cabins, with a fridge which was handy. Cabins are quite cool at night, unlike some we've stayed in, in Costa Rica - the fan on low kept us pleasantly cool at night.

Apart from the walks, beach and wildlife, the other highlight was the pool - a very nice place to unwind at the end of the day, but you could hear the bugs decend at the end of the day so I doubt anyone would use it after hours - so no worries if you have one of the newer cabins next to the pools.

Really enjoyed our stay here, we'll be back if we're in the area.

Room Tip: Old cabins are detached, newer ones aren't. Both seem good value. Newer ones are next to the poo...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We stayed at the Baru for 2 nights, in one of the suites near the pool, a great spacious room, very clean and well designed. We went on the zip lining tour one day which was brilliant, not only fun but educational too, with Victor & Pedro, wildlife spotting for us. We were lucky enough to see both the 2 toed & 3 toed sloths, just magical. Jack, the owner was extremely helpful, booking taxi's to dominical and for our onward trip to Jaco. Overall, a great place to stay, right in amongst the flora & fauna, I've never seen so many humming birds!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Hacienda Baru

Address: Dominical, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 19 Specialty lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Also Known As:
Hacienda Baru Hotel Quepos
Hacienda Baru Costa Rica/Dominical

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