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“Like staying with at friend's house” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bella Vista Lodge

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Bella Vista Lodge
Escaleras Road | Dominical Escaleras Al Frente de la Plaza de Futbol, Dominical, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Like staying with at friend's house”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Staying at the Bella Vista Lodge is a unique experience. It's probably a love it or hate it kinda place. We loved it. It's very rustic and very informal. For instance, if you're still hungry after breakfast or dinner and there's food left, Bert, the owner, will tell you to go ahead into the kitchen and help yourself. We spent our mornings and evenings sitting on the porch of the lodge enjoying the company of other guests while waiting for Bert and Max to bring the food out. Don't expect a rigid timetable here. Everything is very mellow. If you're in a hurry, they will gladly speed things up to get you your meal in time, just let Bert know ahead of time. Otherwise, enjoy the incredible view, the breeze, the fireflys and conversation with interesting people from all over the world. We really lucked out. One of the guests played beautiful Spanish guitar that sometimes was the focal point and sometimes background music, but alway a treat.
I recommend having breakfast and dinner at the lodge. You get great food at a great price. Though, to be honest, I'm not sure how much each meal cost. I do know that for four nights stay, plus breakfasts for two each morning and dinner for two each night plus a few beers, the total cost was more than reasonable, a great value.
Just a side note on getting there. Bert's direction take you through a wide stream. I mean through, not over. If you want to avoid that you can go down the main road a bit further, over the bridge and turn left (I'm assuming here that you are driving south) at the little bus stop shelter just before the road with the Pacific Edge sign. It's a hairpin left that will take you down a street with some houses and other buildings. Then you go left over a small bridge and turn right a few meters later. If you look left there, you'll see the spot where you would ford the river. You'll still have two other streams to go through further up the mountain near the lodge. But those are just little things.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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76 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

We stayed here last weekend and didn't want to leave! The place is a rustic lodge with huge wrap around porches and a million dollar view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Bert the owner is a wonderful host. He was hospitable, kind and very accommodating. We wanted to swim in a waterfall. He gave us instructions for one nearby his place and it was amazing! You will need 4X4 to get to his lodge and it is a true fun jungle trek! It Just adds fun to the adventure of being in Costa Rica. We can't wait to return Bert!

Room Tip: For more privacy ask Bert about the cabin below the lodge.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

I was lucky to spend two of my best nights in Costa Rica at Bella Vista! The place has a breathtaking view of Dominical, surrounded by beautiful nature, animals, and of course the beach. Very welcoming lodges, cozy, and the owner Bert gives it the perfect final touch! He is very friendly, attencious, and the food he cooks at night is DELICIOUS. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Bert is very helpful and friendly, talk to him and he will take good care of you! all rooms have a g...
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holmes Beach, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Spent 4 nights at the Belle Vista. Bert the owner was very accommodating. He knows how to treat his guests. Bert is very familiar with the lay of the land and all it has to offer(and that is a lot). the lodge is rustic, well equipped, and Bert cooks dinner for you every night if you want. Each morning we woke up to the sounds of wild birds and howler monkeys the kids loved it! I strongly recommend The Belle Vista if you are planning a trip to dominical. P.S. Bert knows everyone in town and will help you to find your way around.

Room Tip: Lower cottage was great!
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  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for two nights in the Bella Vista Lodge.

The lodge is up on a hill and has a view over green trees, the beach of Dominicalito and the Pacific. The road to the place is steep, but easy to reach with a 4wd. The owner, Bert, seems also willing to pick guests up from Dominical or Dominicalito. If you want to get there with your own wheels, just drive up the hill at the crossing Dominicalito/Costanera del Sur.

Imagine a large wooden lodge with three rooms, huge veranda/porch with rock chairs and hammocks, excellent views, birds all around and howler monkeys in the trees to wake you up. Two dogs and two cats running around, and a couple of horses around in the garden/boxes. Down on the hill there is at least one other lodge/cabin.

Our room was spacious, cabinets for clothes etc, a very very nice bed (comfy), private bathroom. No AC but a fan which works properly. Evenings are relatively cool... No mosquito nets needed. Everything was clean. We slept very well.

The communal area, the huge porch, kitchen and living/bar, was very nice. Good place to have a talk with the other guests. The owner, former restaurant owner, prepares dishes for breakfast and dinner. The food is excellent, but be prepared to wait... You can join in at the large kitchen for some drinks and stories. Dinner is served around 8.30 (while prep starts at 6). Dinner is served for all guests on the porch at the same time. Drinks (soft, beer, wine, spirits) are available, but you are also welcome to bring some of your own. On the white board, you can write down the number of drinks you had and pay for on checkout.

In the area you can do some horse back riding, visit waterfalls, sunbathing, fishing, surfing, hiking and - still don't understand why people like it that much - ziplining ;-). Dominicalitos beach (short drive down the hill) is a beautiful, but just not that, not for swimming, not for surfing, not for sunbathing. Maybe just to wander around a bit.
Dominical, 4km down the road is a safer choice. Here you have some restaurants, you can rent surf boards and you can chill out at the infamous Tortilla Flats with a cocktail. Surfing tends to be difficult over here, stong currents/rips, nice waves. Except to be tumbled a few times :-) There are life guards on the beach.

The Bella Vista Lodge is a very nice place and a good choice if you want to stay near Dominical... Recommended.

Latest version of Lonely Planet mentions the Bella Vista Lodge, but there is a new owner right now.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Ocoee, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

If you're looking for awesome views, quiet and fantastic food, this is the place! Arriving here isn't easy, but worth it. The night we arrived was stormy and I had been driving for quite a while, and didn't want to go back out for dinner. When we called Bert for directions, he was kind enough to ask if we had eaten; we said no and he instantly said he was making pasta and would include enough for us. In addition to great food, Bert was very helpful with local activities and information about the markets. The atmosphere is very laid back and Colt and Echo, his dogs, were very friendly. Grab a beer or wine, keep a tally and make yourself at home! Definitely on our 'visit again' list!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Katy, TX
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We found Bert's place on a vacation website. Our family wanted an adventurous, rustic vacation while in Costa Rica. There are plenty of 5 star hotels to stay at, but we prefer the off the beaten path places with a slower pace and a more local feel and Bella Vista Lodge is just that. In order to get here, you must rent a 4WD, otherwise, you'd never make it over the river and up the steep slopes of the mountain. The views are amazing, Bert is an unbelievable host/chef/travel agent and the lodging is beautiful and remote. We enjoyed our three night stay so much!

Room Tip: The cabins are screened in and face the ocean - they're a good choice if you are an early bird...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Bella Vista Lodge

Address: Escaleras Road | Dominical Escaleras Al Frente de la Plaza de Futbol, Dominical, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 19 Specialty lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bella Vista Lodge is perched 1200 feet above Dominical with panoramic Pacific coastal views of Manuel Antonio to the north and the Osa Peninsula to the south. There are 4 guest rooms with private baths in the Lodge as well as the dining deck. Cabins are also available equipped with small kitchens as well as private decks. A truly authentic Costa Rica experience! Horseback riding to Nauyaca Waterfalls, white-water rafting, surfing, sport fishing, hiking, zip lining, birdwatching, whale watching, scuba and snorkeling--all within minutes away. Restaurant by reservation only. Fresh ingredients are gathered at the local markets -- fresh, fresh, fresh. Groups welcome! Family reunions, weddings, photo, music, cooking, and art seminars, yoga/spa/massage, and birdwatchers. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bella Vista Hotel Dominical
Bella Vista Lodge Costa Rica/Dominical

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