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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shelter from the Storm

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Shelter from the Storm
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San Martin Sur, Dominical 80000, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
New York
1 review
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2008

This was our second trip to Costa Rica. On our first visit, we spent only one day on the Pacific west coast. That one day convinced us to spend the bulk of this vacation in that area, without our children for a big change! We were looking for "an affordable paradise" and began our search by reading reviews at the TripAdvisor website. The reviews (and pictures) for "Shelter from the Storm" near Dominical looked too good to be true. The reviewers didn't just rave, but made it plain that, if it were at all possible, they would be there now. Having just been there myself, I feel the same way......

"Shelter from the Storm" is beautiful, and not just because of the lush surroundings, the scent of tropical flowers, or the view of the Pacific Ocean from everywhere on the premises. The owners (Daryl and Donna) have obviously poured their hearts into making it so. Each of the three villas has its own personality and the attention to detail is clear. If a table or chair is placed in the room, it's because that specific table and chair were carefully selected to be there. Sit there with your morning coffee, and you find yourself looking through the rainforest at the Pacific ocean. You can hear the waves crash onto the rocks. A troop of white-faced monkeys is making its way through the trees. Hummingbirds and toucans are doing whatever hummingbirds and toucans do. Each villa is totally private, while the bar/sitting area and the pool offer the opportunity to socialize, have a drink from the "honesty bar" and use the grill for an outdoor meal.

Normally it takes me at least a week of vacation to have that first sigh, but we did it here in a day and a half! "Shelter from the Storm" is close to Dominical, a surf town right out of the seventies. Dominical is just off the main road, but you can pass it any number times and not realize it's there. We found this to be true of many of the places we visited. There are signs along the highway, but often they're hard to spot. Many of the best beaches, restaurants and other attractions are a bit off the beaten path. You find yourself driving a few kilometers down an unpaved road; convinced "this can't possibly be right"... and suddenly you're there. If this were an un-touched paradise the food wouldn't be quite so excellent. Untouched or not, "Shelter from the Storm" is paradise.

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — The spaghetti pot in the kitchen was too small
  • Stayed August 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)
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200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (37)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2008

We recently returned from our honeymoon to Costa Rica. Our stay at Shelter From the Storm was amazing. The owners, Daryl and Donna, make you feel right at home. When we were leaving, my husband and I felt as though we were departing from a family visit.
From the very beginning of our planning, Daryl and Donna were extremely helpful and patient. They answered all of our questions (and more) about SFTS and about day trips, restaurants, etc..... They even booked some of our activities for us. When we arrived, we in awe of the views and the location. You are surrounded by the rainforest, ocean, and sounds of wildlife. It truly is paradise.
We stayed in La Cuesta and the villa was beautiful and clean. The wrap around terrace is where we spent most of our time while "indoors". The terrace has two fans as well so you stay nice and cool. The villa has a/c, but we never had to turn it on and utilized the ceiling fans at night. The doors off the bedroom to the terrace, allows for nice cool breezes and exotic sounds from the rainforest. The pool was lovely and relaxing too. There are towels, books, magazines, hammocks to relax on, TV, music, and an honor bar. This place is great. When we return, we will definetly be staying at Shelter From the Storm.

  • Liked — Being secluded and the views
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2008

After a day hiking in the rain forest, or riding the trails on horseback, returning to SFTS is pure luxury. And if you stay in the Monkey House, you've still got the jungle right outside the door! Many of the visitors seem to be young honeymooners, so we were the old fogies of the crowd, but Shelter from the Storm felt like a second honeymoon for us. Daryl and Donna took care of us like family, and helped us find activities that suited our level of stamina. They also slipped us a few secrets about fabulous restaurants in the area. (Beans and rice is nice for a while, but...) Even if you just want to crash and not do any strenuous activity, this is the place to be. You can do all your cooking, hang out by the pool, schmooze over beers down at the rancho, and still get a glimpse of monkeys, toucans and exotic birds and flowers, because the rain forest is all around you! The views are stunning - you have the Pacific ocean on one side, and the tree tops on the other. The room was immaculate and comfortable, and the pool is gorgeous. If we go back to Costa Rica, we wouldn't stay anywhere else.

  • Liked — Proximity to rain forest
  • Disliked — No internet - but who needs it on vacation?
  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2008

Shelter From The Storm is not just a place to stay, it is an experience to be at one with nature in absolute luxurious accommodations. It is difficult to put into words the feeling of pure and absolute peace a traveler ( namely myself ) feels when reaching this destination.

I stayed in both the Baja Las Rocas and the Arriba La Rocas. Both places are beautifully decorated, supplied with great music (cds), which open out into the mountain side and the Pacific Ocean below. It was if I could just roll back the curtains (open up all the doors) connecting the Arriba La Rocas to the greatest story ever told - "Life". Everything is alive, and "air conditioning" need not apply! :o)

The mountain breezes and Pacific coastal waves spoke with volume of the animals (birds, monkeys, Sloths, etc. etc. etc.) that lived in the jungle surrounding SFTS.

The pool was being worked on, but it was hardly even noticeable with the warm and beautiful Pacific Ocean within walking distance and the jungle around full of undisturbed life. The Pool house was a very nice place to sit and read and...yes...watch the news, if you must.

I found myself exploring the southern pacific region (down to Panama) and down/over to the Osa Peninsula. They are both closer than I had originally thought. It was great to know I had SFTS to come back to in the evening on that day trip.

The Nauyaca Falls are very close, where one can horseback ride to the falls, swim out, climb up and jump OFF! :o) The Baru Natural Reserve which is minutes away, sends you back in time as a guest to the inhabitants (trees and animals) paradise.

The best part of Shelter from the Storm was Donna & Daryl, the owners. They are such kind and caring people, I felt like I knew them for most of my life. They made SFTS so warm and welcoming with their sweet and adorable pets Boomer, Ocho, MJ, Chancletta, Balboa, Cortez, and Isabelle.

It really felt like a home away from home. This is so much so, that going home seemed like the second best option. I shall return! :o)

  • Liked — The connection between nature and Shelter From The Storm
  • Disliked — Nothing!!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, TN
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2008

We stayed in the "Monkey House" villa at Shelter from the Storm for 3 nights of our Costa Rica trip. In short, the reviews are correct...this place is wonderful! While I was a little worried during the ~0.5 mile steep dirt/gravel driveway (4WD highly recommended, as for much of Costa Rica), what is at the end of the road is a beauty! Large room with ocean view, kitchen, bathroom, and porch with forest view. We saw lots of wildlife: toucans, geckos, and, true to its name, a group of white-faced monkeys came through one day. There are lots of little perks that you don't get in your average hotel: beautiful vases of fresh flowers in room, list of beaches and restaurants that only the locals know about, wonderful hosts (Donna and Daryl) that will do everything to make sure you are happy. The place is about a 5 min drive to Dominical or Uvita, so you'll have to drive to any restaurants. If you don't like steep roads or being secluded, this place isn't for you, however if you are adventurous and like the outdoors (which is probably why you're going to Costa Rica), this place is the best. It was our favorite stay of our trip. PS- I think they're doing construction on the pool in the next month or two, so ask about this.

  • Liked — hospitality
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2008

If you can't already tell from the other reviews, Shelter from the Storm is positively magnificent. Daryl and Donna (the owners) agreed to rent the entire property to our group of 8 people for a week-long birthday celebration. Each couple had their own gorgeous villa, every one being unique in its own way. Las Rocas have the incredible views of the ocean, the Monkey House is a hidden gem in the jungle and La Cuesta is luxury at its finest with the best monkey watching views! The pool area and honor bar were the perfect area to relax after long days of adventures (completely stocked with everything you could crave to wet your whistle!). This place oozes serenity, coziness and nature. My husband and I are already looking forward to our next trip back. After returning from Costa Rica, our new quote is "the best places are the most difficult ones to get to". Our faves from our stay in Dominical were: Surf & Adventures (friendly and helpful for all your local tours), The Chef's Table (upscale dining in the rainforest), Don Lulo's horseback tour, Hacienda Baru Zipline Tour & Hike, Arena y Sol Soda, Playa Ballena and Ventanas. Go! You'll love it!

  • Liked — It was off-the-beaten-path, our own personal getaway
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2008

Heard about Shelter-from-the-Storm from a grad school alumna. Checked out the website and fell in love. The villas, price ($84/night), views, cleanliness, comfort, and especially the owners (Darryl and Donna) all rate a 5/5++++. Paradise doesn't get any closer.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 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
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 Shelter from the Storm

Address: San Martin Sur, Dominical 80000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shelter from the Storm is a group of 2 villas perched on a 5 acre mountainside point, 60 meters above the Pacific, high enough to give dramatic views of the coast to the Osa Pennisula, but low enough to hear the waves breaking on the rocks below. Hotel rates for your own private place! Ammenities: Shared pool adjacent Entertainment Rancho with honor bar, BBQ,satelite stereo tv & dvd, washer/dryer, & much more.... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shelter From The Storm Hotel Dominical
Shelter From The Storm Costa Rica/Dominical

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