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“Absolutely Amazing!!!” 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 #2 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Belleville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

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!

  • Stayed November 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.
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283 reviews from our community

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  • 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
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Loganville, Georgia
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Villas Hermosas was amazing! I couldn’t imagine our trip being any better! Brad and Tara (the owners) went above and beyond to make sure that not only our needs were met, but our expectations were exceeded. We were there for my sweet brother and sister in law’s wedding and we had a large group so we took up all of the villas and the honeymoon suite. My husband and I stayed in a 2 bedroom villa, along with another couple and it was perfect! The rooms were nice, clean and cool, the bathrooms were spacious, the beds were comfy and the pool/waterfall was awesome. The staff at VH was also top notch. The maintenance guys kept things looking immaculate and even got me a fresh coconut when I asked for one! Christy cooked AMAZING breakfasts every morning with fresh fruit, waffles or pancakes, beans and rice, and eggs to order (I recommend the omelet with everything!). I should also mention Reef the dog. He makes an awesome escort/guard and a great substitute for when you are missing your furry kids at home. One of my favorite parts of our trip was just sitting around the pool/waterfall. It was so serene. One of the other highlights was Brad’s ATV tour. The scenery was amazing and the restaurant he took us to was delish! I know that Tara was so helpful to my new sister in law, Amy, with her wedding planning and the wedding and reception were just perfect. Tara made reservations for us, got us cabs and basically bent over backwards to make sure we had the trip of a lifetime.

1. Brads ATV tour-so fun and you really get to see paradise!
2. At least one night, walk out to the beach to look at the sky. I have never seen so many stars and we were lucky enough to catch a meteor shower.
3. Curu wildlife refuge/Isla Tortuga combo-the island was gorgeous, snorkeling was fun and we got to see a TON of white faced capuchin monkeys
4. Brisas Del Mar restaurant-yum!
5. Surfing-VH has surfboards to rent and Brad can even give you a few pointers
6. Sunsets-try to catch every one that you can because they are a little different every day. Grab some drinks cause they have a couple of chairs for you to sit in while you enjoy the sunset!

The trip from San Jose was a little bumpy, but beyond worth it to get to Villas Hermosas. On the way back to the airport, I took a Dramamine and it was much better ;) Overall we absolutely loved Costa Rica and Villas Hermosas and hope to return one day soon!

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

Nicely constructed villas at a comfortable walking distance to beach. There is a reef right in front of property which means that you have to walk about a quarter of a mile to get to the gorgeous beach. Decent breakfasts each morning and very laid back hosts. Pool is a good size and is clean. Be prepared for wildlife (monkeys at 5 am, lizards the size of your leg, and even scorpions - yes, this is the jungle). The kitchen was basic but served our needs sufficiently. The one improvement I would make to the place is to have the Ir conditioning filters cleaned with vinegar (the AC really did smell awful). Be sure to bring your boogie board!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
VillasHermosas, Owner at Villas Hermosas, responded to this review, December 25, 2012
Hello ajtraicoff,

Thank you for your recent nice review of our hotel! We are so glad that your family enjoyed themselves during your stay.

Agreed, our area is difficult to get to. This is generally the first thing mentioned about our remote town if someone researches all of the wonderful destination options in Costa Rica, including on our website. If it were easy to get to you would have been sharing our gorgeous beach with hundreds, instead of a dozen people. Generally our guests find this a great trade-off.

Costa Rica is in the jungle, in the tropics, and is one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world, which is the reason many tourists come here. Since we have built our homes on their homes you will certainly run into some fun and interesting wildlife during your stay! Our villas are tightly-sealed, concrete, and screened, so very few get inside, but if these things aren't to your taste Costa Rica is likely not the right country for you. =) The vast majority of our guests love that part of their stay and appreciate that they and their kids can learn so much about animals while enjoying a beach vacation.

In almost six years of operation this is the first and only mention we have ever had about any smell coming from any a/c unit. We had every unit on the property professionally cleaned and maintained, inside and out, a few short weeks ago when we reopened for the season in mid-November, but even when they are not recently cleaned they should never smell. So the only thing we can think of is that if there was a smell possibly a gecko or something crawled in the pipes, died, and that is what you were smelling. This hasn't happened before, but we've seen a lot funny things over the years running a hotel in the jungle! After reading your review we sent you an email asking if you could specify which unit was causing the problem. I haven't heard back from you, but we did ask the family who checked in the day you left, and they said they have used all 4 units in the house and have experienced no issues at all. We wish you had something while you were here, or even when you were checking out, so if there was an issue it could have been rectified immediately.

Thanks again and Happy Holidays,
Brad & Tara, Villas Hermosas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Ok, no angels singing, but the sound of howler monkeys probably makes up for it. My partner and I had 8 nights there towards the end of November 2012. Wow. We had already been a week in Costa Rica sampling the delights of the rain forest and cloud forest prior to our arrival at Villas Hermosas and were ready for serious chill out on the beach. We could not have chosen a better place. Tara and Brad were fantastic - nothing was too much trouble - and being Brits we (Brits always apologise for asking for anything) were made to feel at home and "part of the family". Breakfasts were great. Villa's superb. Beach awesome. Weather incredible. I could go on and on but one thing is for certain if Costa Rica is on your "bucket list" (oh and if it is not it should be!) then make room for staying at Villas Hermosas in Santa Teresa you will not be disappointed.

There are numerous ways of getting there but by far the easiest is to fly to the local airport (Tambor) from San Jose about a 45 min drive. We were driven all the way down from the Arenal area to Santa Teresa (about 6 hours including ferry). Note the roads are pretty rough at times and you will defo need a 4x4 vehicle when you get there although there are two very good local restaurants within 10 mins walk from Villas Hermosas and the Villas do have cooking facilities if you are that way inclined - who cooks whilst on holiday though? However, Brad and Tara will advise on where to eat and there is an excellent folder in the villa(s) with everything you need to know about the area.

Finally, a must do thing while with Tara and Brad - do Brad's quad/(ATV) tour - awesome and the best fun in ages (although you do get a little dusty - well a lot actually). Sunglasses a must if you wear contact lenses!!!!!

This world is far too big to visit somewhere twice, as my partner keeps reminding me, but even she says she would like to go back to Villas Hermosas! High praise indeed. Incidentally regarding Costa Rica as a whole, I have been lucky enough to travel to many places in this world and Costa Rica is up there with the best, if not THE best country I have ever visited. My partner likened it to a compact version of Australia (but without the desert).

  • Stayed November 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.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Brad and Tara are perfect owners. Visably fun and energetic, yet very relaxed, they quickly became friends of our whole group of approx 20 people. We were there for a full week to celebrate the wedding of Eddie and Amy which took place midweek of our stay. Brad and Tara gave wonderful help in the planning of our outdoor adventures such as renting Quads, Snorkeling and Zip-Lining and would always take us up on our invitation for them to join us whenever their schedule permitted. They always added extra fun for our group. Their staff were all very polite and seemed to take great pride in their work to keep accommodations in tip-top condition at all times. Very attractive, fun,and informative also was Christy, who prepared us each a full and delicious breakfast daily cooked to order. The villas were spacious, clean and very well air-conditioned. We immediately fell in love with Costa Rica very much due to the fact that our stay was at Villas Hermosas. The beautiful beach there within walking distance was great for those of us that enjoy the surf. A nice note that recycling was very important to the staff and they were dilligent in saving any suitable food scraps for the jungle animals nearby such as the monkeys. The pool was beautiful and the surrounding area was spacious with plenty of available shade and perfectly manicured. I could go on and on with only good things to say about our stay with Brad and Tara at Villas Hermosa. It is simply an excellent choice for anyone who wants a great atmosphere and a perfect vacation spot. We had many fine dinners at restaurants nearby. Who could ask for more? Cathie Stevens...Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Stayed December 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

I don't have the words to adequately express how thankful I am that we chose Villas Hermosas for our destination wedding. Tara (owner/manager) was amazingly helpful and her recommendations are spot on from restaurants to excursions and even her suggestions on who to use for my wedding. This is one place that is even more beautiful in person than in the pictures. It's perfectly maintained, the housekeeping is great, the breakfast by Christy in the Rancho awesome, the pool is gorgeous, and the sunsets on their beach breathtaking. Brad and Tara are so much fun and just made our stay even more of a blast. We had a large group and were so spoiled by the accommodations that we spent our last day trying to figure out how we could make a living there to stay for good! Whatever you do: listen to Tara. Everything she told us to do was so much fun and the food was great. Don't miss Brad's ATV tour. Even their dog Reef is accommodating and will escort you to and from the beach as well around the property. We will be back as soon as we can make it. And, Tara will always have a special place in my heart for making my wedding beyond anything I could have imagined. I wouldn't change a thing and wish I could live the trip all over again!

Room Tip: we stayed in the honeymoon villa which was perfect for a couple but all of the villas are awesome
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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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed at Villas Hermosas and let me just say - It is absolutely everything that I could have ever expected, hoped for, and more. We went during the "spring" season for our Honeymoon and were not disappointed.

For starters, Villas Hermosas is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It is truly an unreal experience to see it for the first time. For those who have been to Costa Rica before, prepare to be surprised because Villas Hermosas will still take your breath away. The gardener/general handyman Ernesto does a wonderful job at maintaining the grounds and keeping them amazingly beautiful for the guests. The pool and rancho area (as shown in the pictures) are also quite pretty. The concrete work on the pool is very ornate and at night, the pool even glows green/blue.

While on our stay, my wife and I stayed in both one of the Villas as well as the Honeymoon Suite. In our opinion, the Villas provide a perfect place for families or larger groups to travel. They are just as beautiful inside as they are outside, and have all the amenities of home (i.e. TV, Kitchen etc). Plus, they are HUGE! We had far more space than we needed. We preferred the Honeymoon Suite out of the two because it was much more "our style." It was cozy, right on the beach, beautiful, and the perfect place to relax and enjoy your honeymoon. The decorations in all the accommodations were spot on, and the furnishings were comfortable and relaxing. The hammock on the porch was the perfect place to take a quick nap while the wife wen't to Yoga at Pranamar! Interesting fact: the Honeymoon Suite is 8 meters x 8 meters and 1 meter off the ground, yet, still manages to be the perfect size for a vacation for two. Also remember that both the Villas and the Honeymoon Suite could very well be lived in as a full time home - so you can expect all the amenities of your own home.

Santa Teresa was definitely the place to go. The town, although a little far from Villas Hermosas (get a ride of some sort), had everything you needed during your stay. The vibe in town was great! Lots of locals and surfers just there to live pura vida!

The staff at Villas Hermosas is fantastic. Brad and Tara are great people. They both are extremely helpful and will mostly help you plan out any adventure you wish to undertake. Brad even helped me set up surfing lessons at 8pm the night before I wanted lessons. Christy and Nidia make breakfast in the morning and both of them do a STELLAR job! Plus, you can ask both of them just about anything from what to do around town to what "tunanis" means. Just make sure you have Gallo Pinto - The Costa Rican breakfast standard. We loved Christy's so much that I've been trying to copy it here at home! The maids and groundskeepers keep everything tip-top and Villas Hermosas wouldn't be the same without them.

I did not feel unsafe or threatened ONCE during my entire time in Costa Rica. It was an added comfort to know that Brad, Tara, Reef (the dog), and the Security Guard all watched over the Villas as the guests slept. So for those of you who are worried, DON'T!

The only slightly negative aspect to mention is that getting to Villas Hermosas can be a chore. It will definitely require some travel time. Be prepared! The only other aspect to consider is that Villas Hermosas is located right on the outskirts of town. Personally, that's how I wanted it, however, if you want to socialize and walk to all your destinations, Villas Hermosas may not be the right fit for you. Just do your research!

I would like to end by saying that my wife and I are already dreaming/planning of when we can return to the Villas Hermosas to have another amazing vacation!

Room Tip: They are all good!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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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
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
#1 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 4
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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