These guys have my dream job. They live in a beautiful, breathtaking location and for work they help folks enjoy a city they love. All the while cooking amazing food every night.
The big event in Bert's day, I believe, is the horseback ride down the mountain to grab the fresh fish they are going to cook that night. (and btw, he's been a professional chef for most of his life so the dinners really are great).
Wow, how amazing, right?
Anyway, we arrived in Dominical at night and it was an adventure just to find the place. I highly recommend insuring you've got directions, etc. printed out before you arrive and as mentioned in all the other reviews. 4x4 is not optional. Not just to get up to Bella Vista but in my opinion to be able to truly experience everything Dominical has to offer. Most of our favorite restaurants, beaches, etc. were found after various 4x4 adventures.
I don't want this review to be too long but just to give you an idea of the kind of guy Bert is. We signed up to go on a horseback tour up to Nauyaca falls and I didn't have the long pants they recommended. - Bert was quick to offer up a pair of old, very hip, chili pepper chef's pants in case I wanted them. In the end, I didn't need them but I appreciate stuff like that. These guys will do whatever they can to help you enjoy your trip.
When we arrived, Bert gave us an honest assessment of BV and I think it's true. It's "a step up from camping" and the bottom villa definitely held true to that. It's rustic but as long as you've got a fan going the sleep is pretty great, especially after a day of surfing or horseback riding.
HIGHLIGHTS - advice on surfing (Dylan at Sunset Surf), local swimming holes (Poza Azul), restaurants (La Parcela, PorQueNo, Tortilla Flats), dinners (fresh mackeral, amazing salads by Max, pie w/ shortbread cookie crust).
Bottom line - even if you aren't staying at Bella Vista, it might be worth a call to see if you can join Bert and Max for dinner. Can't wait to get back to Dominical, we loved it.
- 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