To begin this review I would like to point out that my boyfriend and I had a fantastic time at Oxygen Jungle Villas. This review is an honest one – a review that I hope will ensure this boutique hotel is not only recognized for its beauty but also for its outstanding customer service – an important detail which I do feel needs to be improved.
As a travel writer I have been lucky enough to visit some top destinations in Costa Rica – so I admit I do pay a lot of attention to detail – however, I honestly believe this is what really makes the difference when it comes to top accommodation. I don’t want this review to discourage people to visit – in fact I would highly recommend Oxygen Jungle Villas – but I would like to offer the following advice:
Unfortunately, the hard to find – difficult to leave - slogan that is displayed on the Oxygen Jungle Villas website is truer than what I would have liked.
This place is hard to find – and it really shouldn't be! – whilst the O2 wooden signs are tasteful they blend into the tropical greenery to such an extent that you never really know whether you are heading the right way. Of course – you can use Waze (which gave us the wrong directions) or any other GPS system – but clearer signage on the way up to the hotel would be much more reassuring to guests – especially those that are not used to negotiating steep gravel roads. As a honeymoon/romantic destination – the drive up puts even the strongest relationship to the test – if you make it up here without squabbling – then you can pretty much make it through anything in life. (Of course once you get to the hotel and see how beautiful it is - all is forgiven - you will both suddenly remember why you fell in love with each other all over again)
I honestly feel that the road conditions driving up to the hotel could be a little more transparent – whilst it should be acknowledged that the hotel states you do need a 4x4 to drive up to the hotel – customer service could go the extra mile by ensuring their guests have clear directions. Why am I placing so much emphasis on this? I know, from talking to other guests and overhearing a telephone call from another lost guest at reception that this is a sticking point that could so easily be resolved.
I would like to thank Oxygen Jungle Villas for organizing the bottle of wine and strawberries for my boyfriend’s birthday – this was a request that I had made via email and it was perfectly delivered.
Once we arrived at the hotel to check in – we walked straight into the reception/dining area. I was asked for my credit card details as soon as I arrived – I understand that this is essential – but waiting until after we had the welcome cocktail would have been a nice detail.
Apologies to the guests who were enjoying their quiet evening meal – I did feel like we were the focus of attention as we stumbled in looking slightly disheveled with our bags. Again – a minor detail – the dining area and reception area should have some sort of separation – you should not need to walk through the dining area to get to the villas.
As we checked in and got walked to our villas - we were asked three times by three different members of staff if we were going to dine with OJV that night. I understand that as a Boutique
Hotel you need to know these details – but there was no need for three members of staff to ask three times – the treatment went from being attentive to overly pushy and this is the customer service that pretty much defined the rest of our short stay.
After a certain degree of reluctance because of the aforementioned - we did dine with OJV – simply because we didn’t fancy the drive back down – guests shouldn’t be made to feel like this.
The Chef greeted us and we did enjoy a lovely meal – I had a Chicken Masala, my boyfriend, a juicy steak. It should be pointed out that the meal was not cheap – but it was very tasty indeed and so well worth the money spent.
The same cannot be said however, for the disappointing breakfast – which was ridiculously over-priced. There is no need to charge such steep prices when the food served is well below par – why are you charging so much? A tiny serving of pinto – a small portion of scrambled egg– a fruit platter with two grapes and a couple of slices of pineapple – plus two coffees was pushing the $30.00 mark for one person - it was hardly gourmet. At one point we were asked if we had finished our meal – the waiter already had is hand on the plate before we had a chance to respond – not nice at all.
Upon check out the member of staff at reception was most helpful as we paid for the villa and he gave great advice about where we could eat in Dominical.
Other members of staff gave us directions to the beautiful waterfall which is located on the grounds – it is a highly recommended sight to see. You can swim in the little pools and the walk there and back is pleasant - not challenging at all.
The Villas and the Swimming Pool
We stayed in Villa 2 – which had a lovely ocean view. The outside of the villa was a little dirty with wine and what I believe to be food stains. The inside of the villa was pristine and very well presented – it was incredible to wake up and be able to see the sea as you looked out from the villa. The light above the bed did not work and the switches that control the rest of the lighting in the villa were a little poor in quality and not in keeping with the rest of the finishes.
The infinity swimming pool was lovely and we did enjoy our time here looking out onto the surrounding landscape. (As a side note it was quite sad to see so many couples with their heads buried in their respective ipads and iphones and not communicating with each other – of course this is nothing to do with Oxygen Jungle Villas!)
Villa 2 - great view
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.