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“Easy Breezy Costa Rica” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villas Hermosas

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Villas Hermosas
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400 mts sur de la escuela Hermosa Valley | San Martin de Cobano, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #4 of 25 hotels in Santa Teresa
Westfield, New Jersey
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Easy Breezy Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

This was our 7th Costa Rica trip with young children and 2 nights at Villas Hermosas was simply not enough! Our time here was by far the most comfortable and relaxing part our our trip, and the best place I've found in CR for families. Here, you can bring your young kids or persnickety in-laws without reservation. I can't say that about many of the places I stay in CR, even one's I really like. I've already booked our nights for next year so that none of you readers get there first!

Just off the beach and set back from the "main road", Villas Hermosas is quiet and private, yet provides a lot of access. Since the property only has 3 2/Bedroom houses and a smaller beachfront bungalow, it's low key and friendly. The houses are all set around the pool - close enough that doors can be left unlocked and kids can go back and forth as they please while you lounge on a chaise, but separate enough to have your own little oasis.

The pool is FANTASTIC, particularly if you have kids. There are plenty of shallow areas allowing even toddlers some independence. Brad and Tara keep plenty of floating hammocks and pool toys around, too, so there are a variety of ways to play or unwind after a day of adventure. And the large pool deck has plenty of lounge chairs and a couple of hammocks as well. It's just a very easy place to be.

The maintenance staff works hard to keep the the grounds clean and beautifully maintained. And the houses are... well, houses. Spacious, comfortable 2 bedroom houses, with eat-in kitchens and appliances I feel comfortable using, 2 large CLEAN bathrooms, comfortable beds, a great living space and AC in every room if you want it. The kids love the homemade chocolate chip cookies that are left for us when we arrive as well as the extensive list of DVD rentals - awesome to have on a rainy evening.

The beach here is wonderful and diverse. Right out front is a great spot for shell seeking. There are Adirondack chairs in the shade of the almond grove perfectly situated for watching the amazing sunsets. A 5 minute walk to the right is an expansive palm-lined beach, ideal for surfing, swimming and photo-ops - one of my favorite beaches. A five minute walk to the left will take you to Pranamar, where you can enjoy a nice meal or a yoga class... and a few minutes beyond that is a great spot for snorkeling. During low tide, there are some great tide pools where you can easily observe all kinds of cool marine life.

Brad and Tara are also so friendly and accommodating you'll forget they're not old friends of yours. Nothing ever seems to be a problem - there's a smile and a solution for everything. Horseback-riding? Sure, we'll have someone bring one to the beach out front. ATVs? Surf lessons? Dinner reservations or delivery orders? No problem. They make it all very easy.

If you can, have a car. We went without one for most of our trip but rented one for the days we stayed here. It's a nice area to do a bit of exploring and since there's not restaurant on the property, it just makes life a little easier (though not necessary). If you're not intimidated by the hill, head up to Brisas del Mar for a great sunset dinner (wear you swimsuit if you want to take a dip in the pool there).

Forget the Four Seasons - there's a way to feel pampered without feeling isolated from this beautiful country. Just stay here.

Room Tip: Surf lessons from Chris at Shaka - he's awesome.
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  • Stayed April 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
D.C.
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

Villas Hermosas is absolutely lovely and extremely popular so book well in advance, if possible. It consists of 4 immaculate and well-appointed villas. Three have 2 bedrooms and surround the pool. The fourth "honeymoon" villa has only one bed (I think) and faces the ocean.

It's owned by an impossibly gorgeous Canadian couple: Brad and Tara who have carved a very civilized retreat out of the Costa Rican jungle. They have two adorable children who entertained my children to no end. Villas Hermosas has a generator so the frequent Costa Rican blackouts don't affect you as much as others and each villa has a/c and a water cooler as well as a complete kitchen. The grounds are very well maintained and life there revolves around the spectacular sunsets.

The closest town is the surf town of Santa Theresa which has some good restaurants, grocery stores, some surf shops, a bakery, 2 money machines (you need cash for EVERYTHING), and a pharmacy. There are lots of young backpackers there from all over the world and loads of surfers.

At Villas Hermosas, you benefit from Tara and Brad's insider knowledge of the area -- they can make suggestions, make reservations, or leave you alone. Sometimes, we felt as if we were bothering them with questions. Breakfast at the communal ranchero (circular, thatched-roof hut-thing) is very good and served by Kristi who is incredibly sweet and also very helpful. Even the maintanance dudes are very nice and one spent nearly an hour hacking open coconuts for my children.

Be aware: Costa Rica is lovely but it's not Miami. If your idea of a vacation is paved roads and dressing up for dinner, it may not be for you. The roads are unpaved, there are neither street names nor addresses -- directions consist of suggestions such as, "turn left at the big tree." You must throw your toilet paper into a trash can rather than into the toilet. There are bugs and monkeys and spiky trees. There are also small children riding bikes in the middle of the road at night without a light.

That said, we had a lovely time (we aren't Miami people anyway.) You can relax by the pool, ride horses on the beach, zipline through the jungle, jump into a water-fall fed river, snorkel, scuba dive, and surf, surf, surf.

Don't forget to pack:
--extra bathing suits; this is all you wear and they never seem to dry out
--sunscreen; it's hot as hell and sunsscreen costs a lot down there. Also bring some zinc oxide.
--cash; you can pay in nearly all places with either dollars or colones (500 of these to a dollar) and nearly no one accepts credit cards (except Villas Hermosas)
--a sun hat
--rash guard; for surfing or blocking out the sun once you get the inevitable sunburn
--a bag to throw your beach stuff into
--clothing more on the casual side

Getting there:
We chartered a plane from San Jose for $200/person round trip but there is a speed boat from Montezuma (close-ish town) which takes an hour and costs $80/person round trip so I'd do that next time. THEN, you must rent a 4x4 car to heave yourself up the steep inclines and out of the potholes. The insurances, etc.. make this much more expensive than I was prepared for initially.
GPS is useless, at least in that part of Costa Rica so I'd skip that particular add-on.

Restaurants in order of our favoriteness:
=Brisas del Mar $$ insane sunset views, go at 5:00, great food, nice people, there's a pool there too so bring your kids' bathing suits
=Habaneros $/$$ amazing Mexican grill, also has a pool and is right on the beach. good margaritas.
=Burger Rancho $ a sort of a shack by the road, GREAT food
=Chicken Little $ a chicken shack by the road, also GREAT food
=Koji's Sushi $$$ across from Villas Hermosas, excellent sushi, kind of pricey
=Ambrosia $/$$ - Only one out of the 8 of us liked this food. Sorry.

A final note about the surfing: Santa Theresa is primarily a surfing spot so be prepared to discover a new sport. The waves aren't that big but big enough to learn on. Brad and Tara recommended Shaka Surf School which we went to and the teachers were great. We all learned about safety (SO IMPORTANT) and the basics and, after that, surfing was all anyone wanted to do for the rest of the trip. You can only surf on certain parts of the beach, since there are buried rocks in other parts (Brad or a surf teacher can tell you). And, there are LOADS of other beginner surfers, at least when we went, so you spend some time dodging them.

Book it now -- you will feel very adventurous and you will love it!

Room Tip: There are only 4 villas and all are great. The "honeymoon" villa has one king-sized bed...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

We couldn't have made a better choice than Villas Hermosas for our Honeymoon! Brad and Tara were wonderful and extremely helpful, whether it was planning our arrival, setting up activities while we were there, or making arrangements to go home. The Honeymoon Suite was fantastic and comfortable, and had a breathtaking view of the ocean from the porch. There is a great pool that is never too crowded and delicious breakfast every morning. Villas Hermosas is a bit of a drive, but is well worth it (make sure you get a 4X4 vehicle, it was a life-saver). Its location out of town makes it a quiet, relaxing destination. It is also only a short drive to all kinds of fun places like Montezuma, Cabo Blanco and Cabuya. Without a doubt we will be returning with friends and family.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite has the best view!
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  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

Villas Hermosas has so much going for it if you're looking for a place in Santa Teresa. The villas are large, clean, and very comfortable. We were there during one of the hottest months and the air conditioning units in every room were really appreciated. Because there are only a few villas, it is so easy to meet up with other travelers if you want - within a day of arriving we were heading out to restaurants with both the other families staying there.

Most of all, Tara and Brad will make sure you are well taken care of. They can find the very best people for all your activities, and they will go out of their way to make things work for you.

We rented a car from Josh at Toyota Rent a Car (highly recommended too) and he dropped it off at Villas Hermosas. A car is a pretty good idea because it's a little out of the main town area and the roads are a bit dusty in the dry season so I wouldn't want to be walking a long way on them.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Southern California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

Our time at Villas Hermosas was too short. We were incredibly comfortable and welcome here and that made it really hard to leave.

The property has a gorgeous beach and is just outside town so that it's prefectly relaxing. The villa was larger than our home and had everything you could possibly need while enjoying Santa Teresa/Malpais. Eat in kitchen, two patios, a living room with DVD player, reading nook, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, full kitchen with tools and a shared BBQ.

Tara and Brad were very welcoming and friendly and had answers to all your questions. Their recommendations for restaurants were always really good. I hadn't realized we would eat so incredibly well while on this vacation. Koji's, Kika's, Brisas Del Mar, Product C.

The pool was always refreshing, Christy's breakfasts were always so tasty, the sunsets were always breathtaking. Can't believe we had to leave and we're not there now!!!

Having access to markets just a few minutes in to town meant we always had drinks and snacks stashed in our kitchen but Villas Hermosas provides this really awesome honor system with their stocked fridge at the rancho.

The atmoshphere here made it so that we really enjoyed the company of everyone and made friends with the other guests. We had such a memorable vacation that we can't wait to come back to do it all again.

We did two tours while visiting
1) Suntrails Canopy zipline and as per Tara's suggestion we hung out in Montezuma and had a great lunch at Playa de les Artistas
2) Brad's ATV tour. Some amazing views and super tasty lunch!

  • Stayed March 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
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Tenterden, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

If you are lucky enough to stumble across this hidden gem on the west coast of Costa Rica you are in for a rare treat. Villas Hermosas is the perfect blend of laid back beach / surf vibe mixed with style and efficiency of the best Boutiuqe Hotel / Villa. Tara and Brad are the perfect hosts to this tropical paradise, nothing is too much and you are made to feel so welcome, you really will find it impossible to leave. For those visiting Costa Rica for the 1st time, I recommend you make a B Line to Villa Hermosas, as from here, with Tara and Brad's unparalleled knowledge and contacts you will be assisted and guided on creating the perfect vacation however active or chilled you would like your stay to be - if you are couple or a family it makes no difference. St Teresa and the surrounding surfers beaches are how imagine Ibizia / St Tropez were in the early 60's before it was discovered by the mass holiday market - unpretentious, cool laid back vibe with kooky restaurants and bars lining magical beaches. If you want a great deal (it really is very well priced compared to other accommodation we looked at) and the REAL deal with the BEST hospitality going - then look no further than Villa Hermosas. Oh and the breakfast omelettes rock!! We loved the whole experience so much we are planning to return in Feb 2012. Well done Tara, Brad and Team, and not forgetting their sweet Labrador reef who will escort you to the sea each day! See you soon, Alex and Catherine

Room Tip: All villas are great
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  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

My wife and I spent an amazing week at Villas Hermosas with a group of friends and all came away with a love for the place and the owners Brad and Tara. What is great is that it is a bit off the main strip (you do have to drive on dirt roads to get there, but taxis seem to know the roads really well) so the beach feels pretty private with easy access to areas for surfing and snorkeling. It is close enough though so that a short walk or drive gets you to some restaurants and shops.

Every room has air conditioning and most have fans. The bathrooms are well designed and the villas are cleaned thoroughly everyday, so even people who end up with sand in their suits don't get too messy. There are full kitchens so you can go fishing and bring back and cook it yourself or simply stock up your own favorite local treats like Trits. The best part is just how great Brad and Tara are, they will help you with anything you need and can set up all sorts of activities, from zip lines, to ATVs, to snorkeling, to surf lessons and fishing. They've lived there for a long time and know the area incredibly well. Though, with the pool and beach there was often no desire to leave!

If you have any questions before booking, Brad and Tara will answer them openly and honestly. They have an amazing place, but it may not be for everyone and they really do want people to have a great time, whether it is with them or someplace else.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 Villas Hermosas

Address: 400 mts sur de la escuela Hermosa Valley | San Martin de Cobano, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#2 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The distinctive beachfront hotel, Villas Hermosas, is located in Playa Hermosa of Mal Pais on the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. Please come and share with them their playful surf, thriving jungle, empty beaches, tropical gardens, and inviting swimming pool, while enjoying all the comforts of home! With only four villas, they offer a uniquely intimate experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villas Hermosas Hotel Santa Teresa
Hermosas Hotel Santa Teresa
Villas Hermosas Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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