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“Clean place with great pool and good food. Just be sure to ask for a room with AC.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villas Rio Mar

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Villas Rio Mar
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   900 Meters Northeast of the Dominical Entrance | along the Baru river side, Dominical 185-8000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Clean place with great pool and good food. Just be sure to ask for a room with AC.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for a week at the end of Jan/beginning of February. The people that run it are very nice. The restaurant is quite good. Although the breakfast is of the bland American/English type.
Great pool and great location not far from the town and the beach.
I highly recommend asking for a room with AC because the standard room or whatever it's called does NOT have an AC.
Also a secret tip. When using the shower most people are used to cranking the handle all the way till the end to get to the hot water. But here if you merely turn it just a bit (1/2") on or maybe a little more you will have a very hot shower.

Also just a warning if you are not used to amphibians in your room you'll most likely have 1 or 2 geckos or similar species scurrying around your room.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Dave,

Thank you for your comments. We usually includes the tipycal costarrican breakfast but most of the time we offer buffet breakfast without extra charge like we offered you, this buffet includes gallo pinto (rice and beans) eggs, toast, bread, hams, sausages, 2 types of cereal, fruits, pancakes, potatoes, orange juice, coffee, tea, and yogurt, this a courtesy for all our guest, but all your comments are more than welcome.

We really appreciate you had a relaxing holiday with us.


Thank you for staying with us and we hope to see you again!

Villas Río Mar staff
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

Admittedly, the bumpy dirt road to this hotel does not look very promising, but once you are past the entrance gate, you'll find yourself in a true paradise. Their rooms are nice and spacious, their beds huge. The rooms are scattered throughout the property in a giant park, which is very well taken care of and which adds to the symbiotic touch with the natural surroundings. No complaints, whatsoever!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Thank you so much for such nice words, we are an eco jungle resort surrounded by the tropical forest and we are agree with you maybe it is a 800 meters of dirty road but once you arrive we will do everything possible to make you feel confortable and relaxed. Very happy to hear you could enjoyed the place.

See you next time!

Villas Rio Mar staff
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Brandywine
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed here only for two nights but we LOVED it. Great location, great rooms. The scenery was so beautiful you felt very secluded but at the same time you can walk right into the town. The staff was amazing, everyone was extremely nice to us. We did a couple of tours nearby and the tour coordinator at Villas Rio Mar was so nice and helpful. I recommend staying here!!! It was a really great place to stay.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hola Darin

Thank you so much for take your time and write such nice words about Villas Rio Mar. We are very happy to meet you and we hope to see you back soon. All our staff we´ll be glad to see you next time.

Pura vida,

Villas Rio Mar staff
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Ocean Ridge, FL
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Just returned home from two weeks at Villas Rio Mar. This property is located on an acreage between the rain forest and the Baru river. It is a half mile walk to Dominical and the beach which has a good break for surfers. Location is sublime. The villas are situated in beautifully landscaped grounds. Fabulous flowers, shrubs, and trees make it a very pretty place, and it also makes it friendly for animals, birds, and butterflies! We saw many lizards, toucans, other birds, and butterflies!! I saw a blue Morpho butterfly while walking down the path to breakfast, which for Costa Rica lovers, is a real experience!

The reception staff is very friendly, helpful, and just plain nice. It was my pleasure to be treated like a friend, not just a guest! The hotel arranged the activities we requested--so easy! What we asked for, they made happen!

Again, the bar and restaurant staff were just super! Everybody speaks good English and tolerates my attempts at Spanish with good grace! The restaurant breakfast is a typical Costa Rican breakfast, nothing fancy, but really good. Other meals are pretty basic, but we didn't feel they were overpriced. If you wanted something cooked differently, the chef would do that.

We stayed in a Superior Room which had a king bed and a single bed. All villas have a patio area in front with a ceiling fan and netting that can be drawn in the evening against the insects. Our children stayed in a Junior Suite which is two king beds. Both rooms have good air conditioning. They were kept very clean by an excellent housekeeping staff.

There is a spa with body treatments and massage, very, very reasonable!

This was my third time at Villas Rio Mar, and I hope this review helps you to see why I keep going back!

Room Tip: It's hard to choose a bad room since they are villas, four to a building, and are situated more...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear Cinthya

We are very happy to hear you had a nice stay with us. We definitely met a wonderful family. That’s what we want to make them feel, be more than a guest, a friend of Villas Rio Mar. Thank you for your feedback. Hope to see soon!

Best regards,

Villas Rio Mar staff
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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This was by all means our worst stay in Costa Rica.
Upon arrival in Dominical (a sleepy CR village with a dirty beach and nothing to do) you have to walk about 1 km or take a taxi (1 min for $5) up a dirt road which leads to the resort. You won't be up to walk back to the village at night because it's not lit up, which makes you basically stuck at the resort where the only thing you can do at night is to visit the ridiculously overpriced hotel restaurant which very mediocre food.
We stayed in a standard room (apparently the superior rooms are much better), which is filthy and has merely space for a bed. There is a terrace where you could relax if it wouldn't for all the bugs. The bugs are also flourishing in the room.
Moreover, the reception staff are rude and snooty.
This is not a spa, unless you expect to pay European or US prices.
This is a family resort so if you're enjoying screaming kids splashing water in the dirty pool - this is your thing.

Avoid Dominical and definitely avoid Villas Rio Mar

Room Tip: Avoid standard rooms
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear client,

We appreciate all our clients comments, but we cannot understand why you say there is nothing to do, what you can do in the resort is relax in our swimming pool, or even better to visit places around, waterfalls, beaches, hiking, trails.
In our restaurant the most expensive dish is $22. A range price is $8 to $22, for good and quality food.

Standard room has a nice terrace in the front, actually is the biggest terrace which has mosquito net to avoid the insects, the same for the windows of the rooms.

We are too far to be rude with our clients, all our staff is more than happy to assisting our clients and make them to feel like a friend. Whatever they need to arrange if we are able to do we do it.

About our spa, we have reasonable prices, in most time they are cheaper than other places, and our masseuse are professional ladies. But you did not use the spa, I believe, if you had used it, you were able to give us a better feedback.

We are an eco-jungle resort what that’s mean, we are in the jungle, we are friendly with the environment and people. We are friendly people who want to make friend and memorable stay.

Best regards,

Villas Rio Mar staff.
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David, Panama
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

The hotel is among the rain forest , near the mountains .Our room was facing the forest ,and from the terrace ,sitting in my sofa , I could watch toucan birds , monkeys ,aint eaters , and sipp a pina colada .Not bad at all .
A short walk and you re on the beach , we came for one week of surf .At leat my boyfriend did ,i was happy sun bathing and visiting the national parks The food was delicious ,the restaurant is partly outdoor ,good service .The decoration is basic but the place is confortable ,exotic . I didnt know they had a wellness center on the premise .I took a few wellness sessions to learn stress reduction techniques ,and it works , i now know how not to be overwhelm by stress , Im more relax ,more calm even more happy !
they can help you with healthcare ,dental implants ,cosmetic surgery ,at great prices .
Im coming back from a 2 weeks stay ,for a weight loss program ,who also included spanish classes .
Incredible what a vacation can do for you !

Room Tip: if you want calm stay away from the rooms by the pool , and fro the suites where family stays . ask...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Dear Chantal

Thank you for your nice words about our hotel. We were so happy to assisting you during your vacation, and it is good to know you could find a relaxing time with us, we really hope to see back. Keep in touch with us any time you will need help we´ll be more than happy to assisting you.
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Woburn, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

My husband and I traveled to Costa Rica for our honeymoon in early December! As part of our adventure, we traveled down to Dominical for 4 nights and stayed at Villas Rio Mar. What a wonderful experience it was! The villas are all private, quiet and very clean. We stayed in a superior room for 2 nights and then upgraded ourselves to a junior suite (I strongly recommend the junior suite, it's worth the extra money!! more space and a bigger outdoor area). The grounds of the hotel were beautifully landscaped, they really take pride in the property! The pool area is also really big!

The hotel staff was beyond friendly and helpful. The two ladies at the front desk during out stay helped us out every day with questions about the area and with booking excursions. We were even told about a special waterfall in the area (a true local gem) where we went swimming on our first day. We also found out about Dominiloco beach, which was perfect for walking at sunset.. very quiet and peaceful. They treated us like family and were always so patient and willing to help! Xinia (who works to book tours for the hotel) was also very helpful to us!

Overall, if you're looking for a cozy, quaint, affordable, and beautiful place to stay as a couple, this is the place. It is also walking distance (15 min walk) into town where all the restaurants and bars are.. we walked every night to dinner and felt very safe.

My only criticism is the breakfast was just OK. It was buffet style each day, but the selections were not very good.. besides the fresh fruit. The lunch at the hotel was a lot better than the breakfast. This was my only disappointment at Rio Mar.

Thank you for a wonderful experience! We would go back and hope to return some day!

Room Tip: I recommend paying the extra money and staying in a Junior Suite! We stayed in room 402 and loved it...
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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.
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
Dear Kristin

Thank you for your comments; we are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Domincal has too much to offer around and we are always happy to recommend the best places to visit and make your honeymoon a memorable occasion.

We hope to see you back.
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Additional Information about Villas Rio Mar

Address: 900 Meters Northeast of the Dominical Entrance | along the Baru river side, Dominical 185-8000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
#4 Family Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Villas Rio Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This unique style 3 star hotel is set on the banks of the Baru river, located 900 mtrs from the beach and surrounded by impressive tropical forests, the jungle resort Villas Rio Mar awaits you with the traditional Costa Rican friendly hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Rio Mar Hotel Dominical
Hotel Rio Mar
Rio Mar Hotel
Villas Rio Mar Costa Rica/Dominical

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