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“Excellent but with issues” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

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Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   El Silencio de Los Angeles, San Ramon 1250, Costa Rica   |  
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30% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Ramon
baltimore
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Excellent but with issues”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Villa Blanca is a delightful resort on the edge of the Los Angeles cloud forest. It does all the basics well. It is clean. The personnel at all levels are friendly and helpful. The rooms are excellent (I had a superior with plenty of space, 2 bathrooms and a 2 person whirlpool bath, 2 native made wood and leather rocking chairs, etc, , ,).

The outstanding features were the flexability of the staff, the easy acess to the cloud forest and the hummingbirds. Flexability - The flexability started right when we were picked up at the airport by Adrian. We asked him is we could stop along the way for a local phone (very useful) and local money (not really needed - everybody accepts dollars at $1 to 500CR) and a lunch. He was happy to make our stops, helpful with communicating and figuring the cost and needs of the phone and found a cheap clean delish and nontouristy restaurant along the way(sorry I didn't write down it's name so can't review it here). He never hurried us and everything was accompanied by a smile. The flexability was continued when we reached the resort, The friends we were traveling with thought they were getting a superior room and were assigned a deluxe. (the e-mails refered to both and on rereading were confussing) but calls were made and they were soon upgraded. Further flexability was when we wanted to change the day of our package tour and add 2 tours, Done and done with a smile.
Easy Access - Villa Blanca is up in the clouds and at the edge of the forest. They have self guided trails, a number of daily guided walks and a nature center right there.
Hummingbirds-A short way up the self guided trail just blow the lodge VB has set 3 hummingbird feeders. Don't miss them! Each morning I started my day there and was surrounded by a DOZEN birds! I spotted at least 4 varieties. The had no fear of us. You have to add to your bucket list feeling the wind of a hummingbirds wings on your cheek as it flies over your shoulder!

Issues - All however is not perfect. You are isolated. The road up to VB is both long and has more potholes than I could count (though I felt them). And beyond the road you really are still nowhere. It's a long & difficult drive anywhere if you have a car and forget about getting a cab for a quick run to any other restaurant. Ah the restaurant. This is the weakest link. The food is generally above average especially the soups. The problem is the service. Two out of our three dinners we were asked at least 4 times which rooms were we and were asked to remind them what we ordered. Waits to sign for our meals (or for anything) were too long even accounting for a nonamerican style of leaving you alone. Lastly, the variety in the restaurant. They do have a respectable variety and a daily special but it comes back to that isolation. If you are there more than 4 or 5 days and are restricted in your food choices (veggie etc..) you are going to be repeating food orders.

The last issue is more of a heads up than an issue, One of our prearranged day tours was to Arrenal and to hot springs. Once underway we discovered that meant walking on a side road OUTSIDE Arrenal Park. Upon complaint the tour guide immediately said he would take us in the park but the enterance fee ($10 pp) had to be paid. So make sure if you book this tour know what you are getting. The other tours we took through VB were without any problems and led by friendly, experienced and knowlegable guides (as was this tour)

Room Tip: The superior high end room is much larger and with jacuzzi and worth the $
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
We appreciate the review you posted on Trip Advisor. When a guest takes the time to share their experiences with us, we want you to know that we take it to heart.
Villa Blanca along together with local government are working on the basis of the road in order to improve your experience at the Cloud forest.
We apologize for the misunderstanding about the Tour to Arenal, the tour operates according to the information provide in the web page . The tour includes a nature walk to Arenal Volcano observation points and a visit to the private Ecotermales hot springs, a very relaxing and therapeutic experience. A campesino style lunch is also included.
We are going to share your comments with our managers and staff of the restaurant, because they are an important indication of our performance in meeting your expectations.
Your feedback helps all of us to improve our service and facilities, as we strengthen our commitment to delivering the exceptional Costa Rica experience you expect from a Greentique Hotel.
So from all your friends at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel Nature Reserve, thank you for being our guest. We hope to see you again.

Sindy Vega
Costumer Servic
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484 reviews from our community

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
    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 (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

This hotel is nestled in the cloud forest at approximately 4,000ft elevation. The hotel is amazing with great rooms, amazing beds on 70 acres of nature preserve. This is one of the most unique hotels that I have ever stayed at. They have an onsite spa that has great massages which are very affordable but the real bonus is the nature hikes on the grounds. Imagine doing an early evening guided hike through a groomed jungle looking for various forms of frogs, insects and other wild life. The hikes are guided with experienced naturalists. The restaurant has excellent food and a great wine list. The pricing is very affordable especially compared to the US or Europe. If your going to Costa Rica you have to stay at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Preserve.

Room Tip: If your flying into San Jose the hotel has a shuttle service. I would recommend you take the shuttl...
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  • 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.
Sindy V, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Hello from the clouds!

It sounds like you discovered all that Villa Blanca Hotel Cloud Forest Reserve is about.....warmth, friendliness, professionalism and just plain relaxed atmosphere.

Thank you for sharing your comments about the wonderful time you had with us. We're glad you enjoyed the experience of relaxation in our Voices of Nature Spa as well as the tours you took with our naturalist guide.

Hope to see you again some time soon!

Sindy Vega
Costumer Service
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

It was the end of our tour, we were pretty tired, so we just relaxing here. Some people I know took horse back riding tours , but we already did it.
First I want to say that this place is very secluded. When you drive there you have a to take a horrific potholes road. That was no fun. Staff already know how exausted people ussualy become why the time they get to the hotel, so they cheer you up with welcome drink. That was a nice touch.
Rooms were real nice with big bathroom and fireplace.
All we did is some hiking and jungle tour at night, that was very nice .

Everyone that work there are very friendly, and food at the restaurant is delicious.

Now the part that is a con for me. There is nowhere else to go in this area. You deffinitely didn't want to take that pothole road to go to the nearest city for meal.
Restaurant is VERY expensive. Prices are the same here as in very expensive restaurant in States. For example, soup was 8$, tiny dish of eggplant was 14$. And so on. Tea 4$.
But you have no choice. You have to eat.
Now to the part where I felt that it was the only unpleasant moment of my costarican trip.
I should do my research better BEFORE I asked servers about their tip policy.
Tip is already included in a check. It's 10%. me and my friend had dinner there one night, and bill came to almost $50 for really not that much. So tip that was already included was already $5. When I asked a server about tipping, he started immediately complaining how little they servers make. I left him couple more dollars on top of that, and I went and checked info on line. I tipped before also on this trip, why I asked him at this place as this place was REAL expensive, and because tip was already included it made me wonder HOW MUCH tip servers actually get.
With employess making only 20$ a day in this country, only to get from one table 7$ for tip is kind of super generous, don't you think?
I read that locals never tip as tip is already included. Servers in a place like this ALREADY making quite a bit more than regular person on any job in Costa Rica.
So I was simply lied to by one of the stuff. First he actually told me that it wasn't tip that was included but another form of tax, but then when I pointed out to a word'service he admitted that it was their tip after long interrogation from me as at that point I was getting pissed.

So the whole impression was a little ruined for me, as who can appreciate the fact of this behavior.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed there for 5 nights. It was very cloudy Looks extremely nice when sun shines (we had almost only 3 hours of sunshine)
Staff are extremely friendly. Check weather before going.
Must use dehumidifier in room and preferably to use Fireplace.

Room Tip: I actually dont think there is a swimming pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sindy V, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Hello Amr Abdallah!

We are really thankful that you took the time to comment on our hotel. Your comments mean a lot to us ; we will be sharing them with our staff. They deserve these comments as they are the very best around. Our staff will only do what comes naturally which is to give our guests the very best service and hospitality .

We all truly loved having you in our home and hope to welcome you back in the near future! .

Sindy Vega
Costumer Service
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We stayed at this Hotel for 3 nights and we had a great time at the resort !

RESORT
------------

The resort is located close to San Ramon, but once you enter you in a different world. The cloud and the mist surrounding the resort adds to the charm. We were greeted with very cheerful and friendly staff upon arrival and until the departure they took care of us in a brilliant fashion. The main clubhouse has a fireplace and very rustic charm with a small bar.

We were very impressed with the Eco-friendly nature of the the resort and all the activities surrounding it (ie the night tour, daily milking time at the shed, lush vegetation etc)

ROOM
--------

The room was cozy with a fireplace and a De-humidifier (absolutely necessary !!). Great bamboo ceiling with a large bathroom and a patio facing the plant foliage. Adding to the charm of the room was no TV or air-conditioners that truly lent the feeling to the nature living at the best.

Beware of bug bites though :-)

RESTAURANT
------------------

El Sendero is an amazing restaurant, probably the best in San Ramon area. I am a vegetarian and the food was absolutely great along with the good selection of wines !!

The made to order breakfast along with fresh juice was exceptional !! Truly a great dining experience..

CON
------

The 10 km road leading to the hotel from the main road is bad and needs some serious repair.

OVERALL
------------

A FANTASTIC HOTEL AND A MUST STAY IN COSTA RICA

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sindy V, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, February 9, 2013
Hola!!!

Gracias for taking the time to share your comment with us!!! We are a 100% Eco-friendly Hotel and we make sure to let our costumers know how is important is to care for the environment that is around us!

We hope to see you soon!

Sindy Vega
Costumer Service
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of a 17 day trip to Costa Rica. The scenery is beautiful but the area is often too cloudy to see it. The rooms were very nice. Ours had a fireplace and were provided with everything we needed to have a fire in it. Some others that we met complained of bugs in their room but we had no issues and our windows remained open the entire time. The staff was very nice and helpful. The restaurant had excellent food. We did the nocturnal tour and despite being rainy had a great time and saw lots of interesting plants and animals. Our guide was very knowledgeable.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
villablanca2011, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
Hello from Villa Blanca!

We appreciate the review you posted on Trip Advisor. When a guest takes the time to share their experiences with us, we want you to know that we take it to heart. So from all your friends at Villa Blanca Hotel, thank you for being our guest. We hope to see you again.

Sindy Vega
Costumer Service
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

This was our first stop of a 10 day trip my husband planned which are usually packed full of physical activity. As soon as we arrived I knew this was going to be special. It was so peaceful it was palatable. Our room had a kiva fireplace. We spent an hour or more just watching the clouds blow by from our porch. The moment you sit down in their fabulous lobby, the fireplace is stoked; the doors are always opened and the clouds blow in and out. Meals were great and wait staff are genuinely kind and helpful. I had an amazing massage! My only disappointment was the day we toured the volcano it was rainly and so cloudy we saw nothing....oh, well....I guess I'll have to return!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
villablanca2011, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
Hello from the Cloud Forest!

When a guest takes the time to share their experiences with us, we want you to know that we take it to heart and really appreciate that. We share all guests comments with our managers and staff every week, because good or bad, they are an important indication of our performance in meeting your expectations. Hope to see you again!!!

Sindy Vega
Costumer Service
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

Address: El Silencio de Los Angeles, San Ramon 1250, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > San Ramon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Ramon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just over an hour's drive from San Jose International Costa Rica airport (SJO), eco-minded travelers from all over the world have reveled in the beauty of Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel, located within the Los Angeles Private Biological Nature Reserve & Research Station in the Canton of San Ramon. The hotel is ideally situated as a gateway to Arenal Volcano and the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Here, you're immersed in one of the world's most precious and complex jungle ecosystems - the cloud forest. This boutique mountain hotel is nestled on 75-acres of gentle rolling hills, with well-appointed "casitas" and Honeymoon Suites, each with their own fireplace, and surrounded by acres of lush botanical gardens. Originally owned by former president Rodrigo Carazo Odio and First Lady, Estrella Zeledon de Carazo, Villa Blanca has become a renown and cherished Costa Rica destination. The architecture reflects the original farm village concept, with a welcoming Hacienda, offering guests exceptional Costa Rican hospitality, premier dining, a private theater, conference facilities, and pampering spa menu. Also quite unique is a replica of a 14th century Roman wedding chapel, La Mariana, with its hand painted ceramic ceiling. Choose from a variety of nature-based activities, including horseback, zip-lines, and user-friendly guided trials, plus excursions to Arenal and Poas volcanoes, hot springs, and rural-cultural tours. This is the Costa Rica where those who "travel well and travel right" want to go. Please feel free to visit our sister-site, one of the most prestigious Manuel Antonio hotels, Si Como No. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Blanca Cloud Forest
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel And Nature Reserve Costa Rica/San Ramon

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