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“I wanted to stay longer...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casi el Cielo Bed and Breakfast

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Casi el Cielo Bed and Breakfast
San Martin de Escaleras, Dominical, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 13 Dominical B&B and Inns
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“I wanted to stay longer...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

Simply amazing.

Dominical is such a naturally beautiful place, that I would gladly sleep on the beach, eat rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and bathe only in the waterfall. And yet, Casi el Cielo is a welcome alternative, improving upon (if that is possible) the amazing grandeur that is southern Costa Rica.

The highlights of our trip, and of Casi el Cielo, are as follows:

First, the location is simply perfect. Casi el Cielo is perched atop San Martin del Sur, overlooking several beaches. Perhaps, most notably, Playa Ballena and Playa Hermosa. So, the views are breath-taking. But, what is more, there are at least 5 of my favorite beaches in Costa Rica within an easy (10-20 minute) drive from the property. This worked out particularly well for us, as our kids enjoyed the change of pace. Dominicalito provided a natural marine observatory, with all kinds of interesting shells, animals, drift-wood, and the like. Playa Hermosa is long, wide, and beautiful. The jungle literally spills out onto the beach. You can walk, jog, play soccer, swim, whatever. Playa Hermosa reminds me--at least a little bit--of the beach at Kiawah, SC. Watching the sunset from the breakers at Hermosa is one of my favorite things to do. Playa Guapil, near Hacienda Baru, is another nice change of pace. Monkeys on the beach, creeks to explore, and absolutely no one else around. Fabulous. I haven't even mentioned Uvita, Ventanas, or Dominical. All wonderful, but in different ways.

Secondly, there are about a million other things to do if you don't want to go to the beach. For instance, hike to Posa Azul, a waterfall about 45 minutes' walk away. Or, walk all over the mountain to see monkeys, toucans, and some amazing views of the Pacific. If you would like to fish, zip-line, horseback ride, or any of the other outdoor things for which Costa Rica is renowned, just ask Barbara. She knows everybody, and can help put you in touch with anyone you like.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, everyone at Casi el Cielo treats you like family. I cannot imagine feeling more comfortable, or more at home anywhere, except maybe, my home. And probably not even there.

The food is amazing. I have no idea how they source such a wide array of ingredients to prepare spectacularly diverse and creative meals. While you may expect the fish--from whole, fried, red snapper, to ceviche, to baked sea bass--to be outstanding, what about pollo emborrachado (cooked with a can of Imperical in the center), or barbeque ribs, or beef tips? Plus, the house-made salad dressings are worth the ride from San Jose--seriously. And, what about the on-porch coffee service each morning, the fresh fruit, the desserts each night...

The rest of the staff--all of them--are simply wonderful. Words cannot describe how well they treat you.

My bottom line is that you should go to Casi el Cielo!

  • Stayed January 2011, 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.
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9 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Niceville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

This has a gorgeous venue. The Toucans stole our hearts. There are so many surrounding this gorgeous retreat. The service, amenities and food are beyond what we expected. This is a fabulous value. This is five star quality. This is a luxurious retreat away from the world. The dinners, breakfast or lunches are fabulous. 4 WD isa must to reach the villa. You have a commanding view of the Pacific with stunning views of the sunsets.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

My husband and some friends stayed at a villa, Almost Heaven, near Dominical. It is owned by a delightful woman who is originally from South Carolina. The pool is absolutely beautiful. The house is open, airy and perfect for relaxing. It is a short drive to wonderful places to eat as well as the beach. Some of our group went zip lining through the rain forest, off shore fishing and riding ATVs. It was a wonderful trip.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

My husband and I live in Costa Rica. We are always traveling the country, staying in different areas, looking for beautiful beaches. We came across this bed and breakfast by a recommendation from a local realtor. He never stayed there, but heard a lot of great things about it. We decided to give it a shot and was overwhelmed with the beauty of the place. Barbara, the owner, has a southern charm that is delightful and contagious. She immediately made us feel like this was our home. The house sits on a hill with the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The infinity pool lends the feeling that you are floating on a cloud. The rooms were impeccably clean with a patio where a thermos of coffee was placed each morning for us. I have never seen this type of hospitality anywhere, and that includes the United States. This is an owner who makes every effort to ensure your stay here if perfect. If you want to guarantee that your trip to Costa Rica will be memorable, this is the place to stay. I am planning on going back with my extended family. ( And for all you bibliophiles out there, don't bother bringing a book, Barbara has a spectacular selection).

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Boston, MA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2008

Casi el Cielo far surpassed my expectations. The house was amazingly beautiful and the views stunning. The grounds were impeccable and teeming with colorful birds. We particularly enjoyed watching and listening to the toucans. Barbara (the owner) was a gracious, friendly, extremely accommodating hostess. She brought coffee to our private porches every morning, arranged tours, cabs and even gave us rides when we needed. She was always smiling, happy and willing to help. Her staff was also amazing. The chef made delicious meals and the maid kept the house sparkling. I can’t say enough about Barbara and this beautiful property. It was an A+. Thank you Barbara!!

  • Liked — The service, location, and accommodations.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2006

It is not an exaggeration to say that Casi el Cielo ("Almost Heaven") is truly a vacationer's paradise. We've stayed in many wonderful places around the world, but none so welcoming, lovely, and comfortable as Casi el Cielo. Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica, Casi el Cielo is owned and operated by Barbara Kocak, a woman of amazing ability, charm, and warmth. Barbara conceived and designed Casi el Cielo, which is a villa consisting of 4 guest rooms, each with a different theme and all with private baths and patios overlooking the water. Guests also have access to the common areas of the house, including a large terrace with a sweeping view of the Pacific. On the grounds, there is a good-sized swimming pool set amidst dazzling landscaping. Two meals, breakfast and dinner, are provided, along with early morning coffee service. The meals, served on the terrace, are fabulous, with something new each day to taste and savor. Barbara's staff is amazing as well, and very patient with those of us trying to learn Spanish! In addition to everything else, Barbara provides all sorts of welcome assistance to her guests -- arranging for tours, planning for special events, and just plain answering any and all questions.

All in all, a perfect blend of comfort and serenity, without a hint of pretentiousness. We cannot imagine staying anywhere closer to heaven than Casi el Cielo.

  • Liked — Everything -- see review!
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay at Casi el Cielo!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edgewood, nm
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2006

We had a wonderful time at Casi el Cielo. We rented the entire villa, which consists of four bedrooms, each with its own bath and tastefully decorated in its own theme…the fish room, jungle room, shell room and the bird room. You also had the option to just rent one room instead of the entire villa. Each room has a separate, private balcony on which you can enjoy coffee, delivered by the staff each morning. After waking at your leisure, sitting on the balcony enjoying the view of the ocean or pool or watching the Toucans flying around, you head upstairs for a large breakfast of local cuisine. The owner, Barbara Kocak and her staff are very accommodating when it comes to meeting your dietary needs/desires.
At night, Barbara and her staff serve a full dinner including appetizer, entrée and dessert. All of which were cooked to perfection and would be par with any meal you would have at a 4-star restaurant. We had a different dish every night, primarily seafood due to the coastal location. Barbara and her staff even pay close attention to detail down to the napkin rings and color coordinated flower arrangements, making the table visually pleasing.
Barbara is also very attentive to your needs and can assist with arranging everything from transport to/from the villa to a day trip through the mangroves and snorkeling.
The pool has a beautiful waterfall and bar where you can sit and enjoy a cocktail.
I’ve been a travel agent for a long time and have stayed at many hotels and villas and would highly recommended Casi el Cielo.

  • Liked — The way each room was private, the Barbara and her staff made you feel at home and the dinners!! YUM!
  • Disliked — I rate "location" low simply because the road to the villa was steep and unpaved. The views were fabulous!
  • Tips/Secrets — Fly into Palmar Sur instead of Quepos...the road from Quepos is not paved and pretty rugged in places.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casi el Cielo Bed and Breakfast

Address: San Martin de Escaleras, Dominical, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the jungle 1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean in the Escaleras Mountains with a breathtaking view of sparkling blue water and vibrant green mountain-sides. Casi el Cielo is attention to detail demonstrated in every amenity created especially for the villa and in the highly personalized service and the stage is set for an unforgettable Costa Rican experience. The vacation villa rental has four guest rooms, each with a private bath and a private terrace. Each room has a beautiful ocean view and its own path through the lush tropical garden to the swimming pool area. Breakfast and elegant dinner provided. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casi El Cielo Bed And Breakfast Costa Rica/Dominical

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