Just got back from 5 nights at VH with my wife and two kids (5, 6). VH is perfect for families who want a private, fully-equipped house to live in, want a fun place for the family to play and hang out, want to be close to nature, but don't need all the frills (room service, bar, restaurant, fitness center, mainly) of a full-service hotel. The villas (there are 3 two-bedroom villas and 1 one-bedroom) are beautiful. Very modern with all the conveniences you need (except washer/dryer, but you can have laundry done for a small fee). They are large enough that a family of 6 could easily stay there.
The atmosphere is very relaxed, low-key, family-oriented. It starts with breakfast in the Rancho, where Brad, Tara, and their kids will usually join the other guests. A great time to plan your day, ask Brad and Tara questions, meet other guests, etc.
The pool is perfect for kids to play in. It's not huge, so don't plan to swim laps, but very nice, clean, refreshing. You can float in the pool and watch the monkeys and iguanas playing overhead.
The beach is about 100 yards away, and depending on what you want to do on the beach, you might have to walk 100 to 200 yards down the beach (for example, if you want to swim at high tide, you need to walk away from where the rocks are). The beach is beautiful, water warm, exactly what you'd expect.
What makes VH unique is Brad and Tara's involvement with their guests. It feels much more like a bed & breakfast than a hotel. Whatever you need, Brad and Tara will help you get it. The hotel doesn't have a spa, but if you want a massage, they will arrange for someone to come in for you. If you need surf lessons, they will arrange it. You get the idea. The night we arrived, it was pouring rain and my kids could not handle going back out for dinner. The restaurants wouldn't deliver in the rain, so Brad went out and picked up our food for us. Pretty amazing. Another day, we wanted to go horseback riding, but couldn't raise the place on the phone to book, so Brad drove over there (30 minutes) to find out if they had availability that afternoon. Brad and Tara go above and beyond.
If you are looking for a "resort", where you get waited on, can order room service, etc., then this probably isn't the place for you. But there is daily maid service, fresh towels, etc., so it's a lot better than renting a house where you have to keep it clean all week. There is no restaurant, so you are on your own for lunch and dinner. For us, that was great, because we wanted to try restaurants in the area, and we stocked our kitchen with snacks for the kids. The grocery store is about 5 minutes away. That said, there probably isn't a place for you anywhere in the Santa Teresa/Mal Pais area, so VH is the next best option.
The grounds are beautiful. Monkeys, iguanas, and other wildlife abound. We were very happy spending chunks of days just lounging by the pool. Most of the time, you will feel like you have the whole place to yourself.
You need your own set of wheels to properly experience this part of CR. That means either renting a car or a four-wheeler. The latter option would be ideal for adults, but not for kids. The roads in this part of CR can be challenging, but it made it all the more fun for us.
My family would go back in a minute.
For more information about this hotel or the area (or about The Springs hotel near Arenal), feel free to contact me.
- 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