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“Still Great” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Ambiente

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Villa Ambiente
Dominical 60101, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 13 Dominical B&B and Inns
Golden, Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Still Great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

We went back to the Villa for 10 days in May of 2013 after 5 wonderful days in Dec 2012. Our experience was once again wonderful. This time we ha a car and were able to explore more of he SW Costa Rican coast from Jaco to Ohochal and found it beautiful, quiet and extremely interesting. The Villa is still operated by a wonderful German expat couple who truly made us feel at home. Even though we had the ability to go elsewhere we ate most of our meals at the Villa. Her breakfast (included) of meat and cheese plate, a fruit plate and bacon and eggs was excellent as were her home cooked dinners and deserts. Again the view is spectacular. Locally, in Quepos, we found a hand made on the premises cigar shop which was well worth the 40k drive.

Room Tip: We have only stayed in the Master Suite and couldn't be happier. It is well worth the extra cos...
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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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31 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The hotel is in the middle of a lush tropical forest, and in theory you need a 4x4 to get there. We drove our small car for those 2.5 km and had no problem whatsoever. The place is beautiful, the breakfast you are given is plentiful and really good, it's easy to see the stars at night, you relax to the max. What would make this hotel a perfect stay:
- we were scared of going up and down that hill after dark for fear of going down a cliff. any chance to get some solar-powered lamps to help your guests at night?
- better mattresses. ours was too soft and springy. but one gets so tired from sunbathing that one falls asleep quite easily, though.
- there are DVDs for you to watch, but the quality and variety could be better. I know, who watches DVDs at the beach? Some of us do, really.

Birgit, the owner, saved us by making us dinner the first night way after the deadline of 3pm, we really appreciated that!!!

Now, if someone important from Fiat is reading this: we went up a road definitely suited for a 4x4 on a Fiat Palio 2003. If you work at Fiat and can state in writing that if I buy a Punto Evo 2013 it will last me 10 years or more and I will be able to go uphill on a similar road, I will buy a new Fiat right away.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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la fortuna, cr
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

once you'd have approached the hotel via a bush road (you better take a 4wd!) crossing a small river and driving steeply uphill for approx. 2 kms, you'll be rewarded with a small boutique hotel, which was built by swiss at "swiss standards", meaning that the hotel wouldn't only survive a nuke attack, but also the high-end appliances and furniture/decorations are stunning. the rooms are average in space, but are very clean, do have a/c and a nice bath room. a few things are really outstanding: the gorgeous view over the golfo del dominicalito (priceless!), the pretty large and deep infinity pool and the breakfast (we do wish we'd have that at home every day). we took dinner trice (4 nights altogether) and all were fine - it's absolutely amazing how birgit, the owner and her local assistant, sonia are managing this hotel alone to maintain such a standard. what could be improved upon? wifi should be extended to all areas of the hotel, incl. the rooms

Room Tip: you may ask birgit on how to mange the a/c so that you won't get the full blast into your face...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

I am staying here right now and love it so much I am compelled to right a review right now while I am laying out by the gorgeous infinity pool. Just finished a free breakfast with eggs , bacon, and thinly sliced mangos papayas bananas etc, all prepared by the owner . She is awesome . The wifi works great from the lobby. The pool and room is clean , it's a really a beautiful hotel. The drive up the rough terrain mountain is the only drawback but when you see the view it is worth it ! Love this hotel. It's so perfect.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

If you crave total relaxation, scenic location, intimacy, good meals and a friendly owner then I would highly recommend this hotel. NO KIDS --Great.
It is not everyday you can see toucans outside your balcony and hear holler monkeys in the distance.
Perched on the side of hill, 750 ft up from the main highway you will require a 4x4vehicle. Also the hotel is on 4 km from Dominical which is a great surfer location.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I agree with all the current reviews in that Villa Ambiente is a lovely small hotel with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. However, my partner and I must have caught the German lady owner on a bad day, because we really had a bad welcome the day we arrived. Perhaps if we stayed more than one night our opinion may be different. The day we arrived we managed to find someone to help us check in - a lady who came out sweaty from the kitchen - we then realised a few moments later that she was the owner (my initial thought was that she was the cook). The room was fair enough, small but bathroom of decent size and a side balcony showing partial view of the sea, but mostly trees. As were travelling around costa rica and were only staying there for one night it was ok - it had air conditioning so that was good. If I was there for more than 2 or 3 nights though I would have spent all my time outside by the pool (the room was just a little too dark and damp).

I asked the owner if it was possible to make a quick sandwich for us since the place was empty when we got there and the kitchen was open - we had been driving without stops from San Jose so by 3pm we were a little hungry. I wasn't expecting a hot meal or anything like that, just a quick bite. Afterall, it takes a good 20 minutes slow drive to get all the way up to the hotel. But she quickly refused to help and since her English isn't all that good, we were trying to figure out why it was such a hassle to see if there was anything from the kitchen that she could give us. Of course I wouldn't mind paying her for the food but I knew she just wasn't in the mood to help. And she was telling me this with her back to the open kitchen which I could see was stacked with food! I just think, if it's my hotel and my guests have just arrived and expressed that their hungry I would do all I could to help - even giving them some fruit or something to show that I'd try to help. Tired and hungry we left it - what was the point if we could see she was too lazy to help? However, she was keen on asking us if we would stay at the hotel for dinner and shoved a menu in our hands which showed different meal options for around $50 per person. Oh, and we had to tell her right now if we wanted dinner or not. Well, after feeling a bit pushed and her recent unfriendly treatment towards us we knew we would decline the dinner. We must have been with her in total for about 5 minutes and she left us quickly. We ended up driving back down to Dominical and went to a lovely restaurant called La Parcela for lunch which had wonderful views, and then walked along the beach which pass to get to the restaurant. For dinner we went to a more up scale restaurant called Cuna De Angel - a little pricey but delicious food and cocktails and very romantic.

Then, around midnight the air conditioning turned off by itself and after spending some time playing around with it to turn on my partner went outside the room to find the owner, or someone who could help as there was no phone in the room. There was no one around. I don't expect someone to be on duty 24/7 but at least tell us where to find the owner. What if there was fire or an emergency and we didn't know how to get hold of anyone? That's for rushing us during the quick check in earlier that day.. So, we just had to sleep without any air conditioning, and yes it was very hot, so it took us some time to fall asleep.

In the morning when the owner was serving breakfast (we saw only her and two young Costa Rican girls working in the kitchen and also serving - they looked about 15!) we mentioned to her that the a/c had stopped working and we that couldn't find anyone. She said that it happens often that they get power cuts in that area so the electricity stops working. We thought this was strange as the power got cut off at midnight - this is a time when hardly anyone is using power..? Ok, well anyway. When we said we couldn't find anyone to help us she said she forgot to tell us that she was staying in room no 2. Maybe if she hadn't rushed us so quickly as were were checking she might have remembered this vital information. She also said sarcastically that at that time of night she needs to sleep (meaning, we can't expect there to be someone on duty all night - which we didn't!).

My opinion? Hospitality is also what makes a guest's stay memorial and to be frank, it's a shame that the owner lacks any friendliness given that she has an ideal property with lovely views. We stayed at several places throughout our trip in Costa Rica and I've travelled widely since I was a toddler, so I think its reasonable to have certain expectations from hotel owners. If you want to keep your small hotel business in good shape you also need to be accommodating to all your guests. A little smile wouldn't hurt either. I've given this hotel 3 out of 5 stars because the pool was very enjoyable and so were the views. Had the German owner been a little more friendly then I would have given her more credit.

Other reviewers say she's a nice enough lady and maybe we just caught her on a bad day. Even so, that really isn't the way to manage your hotel or treat your guests. Sorry but gotta be honest! Hopefully you'll have better luck with her and she's not so moody. But at least you have a nice pool and view to enjoy :-)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Golden, Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Villa in the Master Suite on Dec 7,2012. It was so beautiful and the owner, Birgit, was so nice that we stayed another 4 nights. The Master Suite was spacious and the bathroom was a suite of it's own. The balcony overlooking the infinity pool and bay at Dominicalito was the best view from a hotel we've ever seen. A 5-star rating is not nearly enough.

  • 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 Villa Ambiente

Address: Dominical 60101, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Also Known As:
Villa Ambiente Costa Rica/Dominical

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