Endless beaches, gorgeous tropical landscaping, delicious fresh fruit, locally-caught fish, amusingly-challenging roads to explore, spectacular sunsets, fascinating birds and jungle inhabitants, an overwhelming sense of serenity, interesting acquaintances and new friends who have enriched our lives—memories forever of our five-night stay at Villas Hermosas!! We so admire Tara & Brad for realizing their vision of paradise on an uninhabited stretch of Pacific coastline at Mal Pais and feel fortunate to have discovered it via Trip Advisor! From the initial planning stage through to hosting our stay, Tara and Brad's enthusiasm and hospitable nature made for an effortless, totally awesome holiday. Communication from Villas Hermosas was excellent, with no questions too frivolous for them to answer and suggestions offered along the way to allow us to experience our perfect vacation.
Mal Pais area itself is relatively undiscovered from the tourist point of view. The vistas are magnificent and beach exceptionally peaceful and clean. There is a superb area for surfers a very short distance from the villas and, although we didn’t attempt this adventure, it has been rumoured that Brad is an excellent instructor!
The three pool-view villas overlook the pool and rancho, although with the lush foliage and the way they are positioned, each villa feels private and secluded, enabling complete tranquility while relaxing in the hammock, sitting outside the villa with a book or trying to capture photos of visiting wildlife. If socializing is more your preference, the pool area offers a perfect alternative, complete with lounging chairs, pool paraphernalia and a fridge filled with snacks and beverages which can be utilized via the honesty concept. There were howler monkeys above the villas that enhanced the jungle ambiance, as did the iguanas and many bird species, most notably the stunning magpies and frequently sighted hummingbirds. Brad & Tara take great care in protecting their environment and even promote recycling food scraps for the jungle wildlife.
The villas are spacious, offering the modern amenities of home, with great attention paid to details. We loved seeing vases of fresh flowers from the adjacent gardens placed throughout our villa during our stay. Our villa was immaculate and was cleaned thoroughly each day by personable, efficient maids who were happy to take advantage of an opportunity to practice their English with their guests. The gardens are beautiful and well-maintained, tended to diligently by Erlin, Greivin and Ernesto, who always greeted us with a friendly smile and a wave hello. We were extremely grateful for Ernesto’s mechanical savvy as he easily repaired a ripped off licence plate and bracket, alleviating the need for a time-consuming visit to the local taller!
Kristy and Nidia provided a terrific breakfast in the rancho every morning, delighting us with a daily feature such as fresh banana pancakes or blueberry coffee cake, as well as gallo pinto, eggs to order and an incredible assortment of mangos, pineapples, bananas and papayas. It was a perfect setting for catching up with our villa neighbours while appreciating the surrounding landscape and watching Reef, Tara & Brad’s younger dog, make his morning rounds. Our gracious hosts would drop in as well and were willingly available to answer queries and provide insight into life in Mal Pais and Costa Rica in general. We truly felt as if we were guests in the home of Tara, Brad and their two adorable children.
Tara and Brad have provided a binder inside the villas which displays local restaurants and outline the various tours and activities available nearby. They were happy to make all our reservations and made sure we knew where we were going and how long it would take to get there! Their restaurant recommendations were spot-on!!
Brad has become a superstar of ATV touring, and we were thrilled to be able to partake in that with our group. It was enjoyable by even those of us who had never turned the key on an ATV before, let alone ripped around the winding back roads of Costa Rica or forded seemingly uncrossable rivers! Brad led us through kilometers of picturesque countryside and up onto the Punto Coyote, where the view was absolutely breath-taking, covering territory we were unlikely to have found on our own.
Having a rental car is not a necessity; however, it does allow you the freedom to explore the countryside and charming villages at your leisure. There are two outstanding restaurants within walking distance of Villas Hermosas and several others who cater to various palates and budgets a short drive into Santa Teresa. As well, each villa is equipped with its own kitchen, and we found groceries to be readily available in Santa Teresa.
Although the road conditions are reputed to be less than perfect, in our experience, this only added to the atmosphere. Be prepared to take a long time to travel a short distance and enjoy the ride along the way. There is just so much to appreciate in this region of CR! A GPS not only saved a lot of confusion and provided reassurance in areas lacking in road signs, it proved to be amazingly accurate, despite the lack of street addresses!
There was no time during our travels that we ever felt unsafe. The Ticos we had the fortune to meet possessed great pride in their surroundings and welcomed tourists wholeheartedly. We have no doubt that had we broken down in some remote area on the Nicoya Peninsula, instead of slashing our tires and robbing us, they would have invited us in for dinner, fixed our car and expected nothing in return. If driving isn’t your thing, it is easy to catch a plane to Tambor from San Jose airport and then rent a car locally or arrange transport through Brad & Tara. There are suitable options for everyone and these are all outlined on VH website.
Pura Vida….chilling on the beach at Villas Hermosas, listening to the ocean, watching the waves, being embraced by the breeze and knowing that a few meters away our welcoming, safe, home-away-from-home is waiting for us. Most definitely, we will return to Villas Hermosas!
- 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