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“"The only rule is there are no rules" - perfect blend of hostel meets hotel with a fun and laid-back atmosphere.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bella Vista Lodge

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Bella Vista Lodge
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Escaleras Road | Dominical Escaleras Al Frente de la Plaza de Futbol, Dominical, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“"The only rule is there are no rules" - perfect blend of hostel meets hotel with a fun and laid-back atmosphere.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

Awesome hospitality, friendly hosts, and fun ambiance. Great location and amazing views! From the moment we arrived everyone was helpful and gracious. The environment is much more personal and friendly than a hotel, but the accommodations are clean and comfortable. You are minutes away from several beaches, the dinners were delicious, and we even had a bonfire outside. Perfect fusion of hotel meets hostel overlooking the ocean and offering amazing sunset views.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 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.
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    69
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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
Dominical, Costa Rica
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Bert and his helpers welcomed us on our first night with a pre-arranged dinner. PIZZA 8 different ways! one even had fresh avacodo on it! of the separate cabins, we stayed in the downstairs cabin. We had our own ocean view porch which was great to enjoy 5:30 am bird watching. amazing wildlife! I even fell asleep in the hammock a couple nights it was so peaceful. and at this altitude there were no bugs, just a nice cool breeze! You have the option to let Bert know if you'd like to be included in the family style dinner each night. I'd suggest you take advantage of this! prices are very reasonable at $10-18 each person and sometimes that 2-3 courses. the "Bring your own booze" is a great idea, but bert always has a bit extra if you want to buy a glass of wine or beer off him. its a much cheaper option than many of the tourist places and with Bert's chef background, you will not find better food anywhere! and the fun part is you meet so many other great travelers and share stories from your day. Bert took us to Roco Verde, a bar in town, one night and introduced us to many of the expat locals. what a great time! thanks Bert and Gang! we will definately stay there again!!!

Room Tip: of the cabins, downstairs is only one room. upstairs is 2 bedrooms. couples are fin downstairs but...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Holmes Beach
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

First trip to Costa Rica for us. There were 9 of us (2 families). We rented jeeps and drove to the lodge from San Jose airport with no problem. Bella Vista Lodge is a beautiful, rustic, lodge with beautiful water views, perfect for our 2 families. We had amazing meals prepared by Bert every night and enjoyed horseback riding, fishing trips, surfing, waterfalls, massages, and exploring Dominicals beaches and town. We loved listening to the Howling monkeys at night and seeing the many tropical birds. We can't wait to go back to The Bella Vista Lodge and see our good friend Bert again. Thanks Bert for making our vacation memorable. We had a great time!

  • 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
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W Granby
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

This was our first trip to Costa Rica and we researched a lot of places to stay, we were looking for somewhere suitable for a family (kids are 15 and 12) where we could experience an authentic taste of the country rather than a tourist resort with luxury accomodations. Bella Vista was on our shortlist because of location, price and other reviews. Bert was so helpful in the planning stage with questions about car hire, places to see etc that we knew this was the place to stay. Our expectations were exceeded, the lodge is a traveler's paradise. We stayed in one of the cabins, the porch a perfect spot to capture the beautiful views. Perched high above the ocean in the midst of the jungle we woke every morning to the sound of howler monkeys. We went during the "green season" so daily rain was a given but not a hindrance. There is no air conditioning but you don't need it, the breezes keep you comfortable and mosquitoes are not a problem. Bert was a wonderful host, happy to share his extensive local knowledge and help with making bookings for an array of activities. (Don't miss the horseride to the waterfall, it was a wonderful day out) Breakfast and dinner was available on request. Bert is a great cook who prepared a varied menu using fresh, local ingredients. Meal's were taken on the porch at the main lodge with our fellow travellers. Stories and laughter shared as easily as if you were staying with friends. Truly a wonderful experience that we hope to repeat!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Columbus, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This was my first trip to Costa Rica and Bella Vista made it an amazing trip! Bert is a truly amazing host and chef. Every meal was delicious and fresh. The rustic feel and the interaction with other guests makes this place special. At the Lodge you get great views, breezes, sunsets, and right down the mountain you can hit the beach and bars. The horseback ride on my last day really rounded out my stay. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Miami, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Great location, excellent owner/host/chef "Bert", had a wonderful experience. Bella Vista offers rustic accommodations with a flare of a real 'home' environment. Friendly guests to laugh, eat and share with freely, dinners each night cooked from scratch by owner Bert himself, and attention and assistance on a personal level for any need. The small lodge and adjacent 2 cabins (for extra privacy if you prefer) are far from city living. If you want to experience Costa Rica the way you should, then here is the spot. Bert helps arrange attractions, meals, and even transportation (he called to have our rental car delivered to the lodge). Breakfast and lunch are cooked and served on request and dinner is prepared in large portions each night, accommodating tastes, preferences, and even allergies of any guest. Within one hour, you will feel at home and be comfortable with the other guests. The scenery from the lodge and cabins is breathtaking. Don't be surprised to find monkeys in nearby trees, toucans passing by, or a neighboring horse stopping by for a snack. A 4x4 vehicle is Absolutely necessary to reach Bella Vista, with a steep dirt and rock road that passes through 3 small streams will provide its own adventure to and from the lodge. If you look for some real adventure and an authentic costa rican experience, here is the place to start with. It is easy to reach the local store, beach and many local parks and attractions from Bella Vista and most arrangements can be made with the generous assistance of Bert. Call or email Bert in advance with any questions or concerns and you will be convinced Bella Vista is the place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Houston, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My boyfriend and I planned a two part trip to Costa Rica over New Year, with Bert's Bella Vista lodge being the first stop. We caught the Easy Ride shuttle from San Jose ($50 pp, highly recommended) which dropped us off in Dominical, then grabbed a 4x4 taxi to get up to Bert's. It's about a 15 min trip from Dominical straight up the mountain - an unpaved, wild road with several streams that you cross on the way up! We walked into the lodges communal porch area through the kitchen where all the guests were gathered waiting for food, drinking and talking about their day. Everyone greeted us, introduced themselves and very quickly made us feel at home.

The thing about Bella Vista is this - it's really the perfect, welcoming, relaxing place for the right people. If you're looking to make new friends, go exploring the local area, want local recommendations (Bert knows someone for everything you could possibly think of doing), enjoy beautiful views and peace in a quiet, rustic environment then this is absolutely the place for you. We stayed in the main area of the lodge and woke up each morning to the Howler monkeys, then got up and made coffee, chatted with the other guests and planned our days. We rented a car through Vamos Rent-a-car but ended up car pooling most days with 3 other great guests that were staying in one of the cabins, as well as the students (Vincent and João) who were helping Bert out at the time of our visit. WiFi is provided at the lodge free of charge, which is an excellent bonus.

Bert cooks dinner every night for his guests for a small additional cost - it's better food at a better value than you'll find in Dominical (Trust me. That's true.) Bert makes bread from scratch, salads, varied main courses and catered to both a strict vegetarian diet and a nut allergy in two separate guests that were staying at the same time as us. Meal times are relaxed, so don't expect to run to a strict schedule here.

While we were there, we surfed, went on the horse back ride to the waterfall, swam in the waterfall, played with the dogs, lay in the hammocks that are perfectly placed to watch the sunsets and watched fireworks over the beach on New Year.

It was a perfect start to the vacation and if I'm honest, we missed Bert's when we moved onto the next place up North in Playa Grande.

  • 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 1
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 #12 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
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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