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“The pool & views are beautiful but...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Whales and Dolphins

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Hotel Whales and Dolphins
3.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   17 Km. Sur de Playa Dominical, Jardines del Morete | Uvita de Osa 1 Puntarenas, Uvita 4030, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 9 Uvita B&B and Inns
Canton, CT
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The pool & views are beautiful but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

I always read review & think "get a grip people" but this place was tired , in poor shape and the manager was a joke. The staff was great & deserved a better manager. We arrived to a room that was like a blast furnace when we opened the door. The lamp shade was ripped & hanging off. Picture frames were broken,water stains on walls, a/c leaked so bad we had to put a waste pail under it & then a towel to soften the noise. The manager walked around with his shirt off smiling ,what a putz!!!!, he should have been checking room conditions & maybe turning ac's on if he knew guests were arriving.ECO lodge NOT!What a joke. (If you want to visit a real ECO lodge go to Savegre Mountain Lodge...we stayed here earlier & it was beyond our wildest expectations. ) Receptionist at Whales & dolphins didn't know a thing about booking tours, couldn't speak English, she was really sweet though. We felt sorry for the staff as they were great & deserved a better place to work at.Food was NOT 4 star , after 1 meal we ate all our meals out in town , those were all great.

Room Tip: Go to Savagre Mt. Lodge o experience a real ECO lodge.To the other owner in Argentina- get a real ma...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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85 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orotina, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

Having stayed at Cusinga Eco Lodge nearby this was considerably different. This is not particularly "Eco", it's a hotel with great views, but don't expect nature trails or much in the way of and "Eco" message. There are birds and animals galore but that's because of where they are rather than any special effort on their part. The rooms are adequate but a bit tired and maintenance is haphazard. A water leak in the room above us took 24 hours to fix, thank heavens it was coming down onto the balcony not into the room! I stood next to the wi-fi router on my block and got no useable signal! The principal problem when we were there was the level of staffing. One poor girl was manfully (womanfully?) trying to wait on all the tables in the restaurant and run the bar at the same time. Luckily for her the food in the restaurant was poor (mine was overcooked and uninspired the only time I tried it, a friend said her pasta was adequate) so very few people went back a second time. She was there until late at night and turned up, bleary eyed but cheerful at 7 am for breakfast where, again, she was alone. Breakfast was okay but not brilliant. There were other staff about but they were very thin on the ground. They were far more friendly and helpful than we had a right to expect, given they seemed to be terribly overworked. In summary - the view was fantastic, the pool was lovely (helped by the view) the employees were really nice despite all the problems they had, but resources seem to be a problem and standards suffered accordingly. I couldn't reccomend it as it stands today.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

Indeed, the view is spectacular, the room was very satisfactory, the staff is very friendly (but also very slow), but the manager really ruined our stay! She does not speak one word of English so the receptionist had to translate our (very serious) complaint but she didn't seem to bother at all, very annoying. The food is average. And although we had a deal with the receptionist to stay for 2 extra hours after the normal check out time (mind you, we were the only 2 guests in the hotel at the time), they tried to charge us 50 USD for the extra 2 hours. This was never mentioned in advance so we did not pay the extra amount. This really topped it off for us, we stayed in 10 different hotels in Costa Rica but this was without a doubt, the worst experience ever!

Room Tip: first building, second floor
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

The views from the pool and bar are spectacular, The rooms were very average and overpriced over the Christmas period. The food was very poor and there was a smell of poor sanitation in the restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgique
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

I thought I'd reviewed this place last year when I came back from my trip, but I can't seem to find the review anywhere.

Anyway. I find the other reviews very harsh and I hope my experience will encourage people to stay there as it's really a great place.

There are two downsides according to me : the road to get there (you need a 4x4 or a very sturdy car) -- but maybe that problem has been solved since I stayed there.
The other is that the staff can be a little slow. Not rude, they are actually very nice, especially if you speak Spanish, but slow. Or sometimes absent. On our first stay we could have walked in and left with half the furniture in the lobby without being noticed !

It took a while for the clerk to come to the desk and to check us in, in spite of our constant ringing of the bell that is placed on the desk.

But apart from that, really, we had a great stay -- which made us decide to go back there one or two weeks later.

The swimming pool is clean and has stunning views over the sea. There's even a more shallow area for kids.
The adjacent terrace and bar also have great views, and the restaurant as well, to a lesser extent.
You can actually see whales from there, provided that you are lucky (as usual with wildlife) and have binoculars. The lodge is located on top of a hill from where you can see the forest downhill and the sea.

The 2 different rooms we stayed in were both spacious and clean; both also had a nice terrace with a view, again, over the forest to the sea.

Breakfast was OK; the staff was helpful if, again, a bit slow but I think they are not very numerous so they have a lot to do. They were happy to accomodate our special wishes and we had good breakfasts.

It is a very quiet place -- there were only a few guests around apart from us. Very peaceful. We saw a trogon in a tree overlooking the parking area, toucans near the pool and many more smaller birds.

  • Stayed March 2009, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

We stayed two nights in this hotel in July 2010.
Our first feeling was good. Beautiful view on the ocean, nice swimming pool.
However, considering the price, this place needs to be refurbished. The room is large but old, traces on the walls, musty smell, old decoration. We found several insects in the room and a cockroach in the bathroom. The room has not been cleaned after our first night.
Again, this is a nice place, beautiful view, but at this rate, we were expecting a better quality.
The rate should be around 80$ incl breakfast.
A positive point for the very good welcome from a young team.
Restaurant : the food was correct. We didn't see the price as it was included in the room price (110$).

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

This hotel had been recommended to us and after entering the room itself we wondered why... The room smelled, the floor hadn't been cleaned and there was no hot water. I'm not sure how this hotel got its 4 stars! The only positive aspect was the service: the restaurant and bar staff were particularly nice.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Hotel Whales and Dolphins

Address: 17 Km. Sur de Playa Dominical, Jardines del Morete | Uvita de Osa 1 Puntarenas, Uvita 4030, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Whales and Dolphins 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel is dramatically located on a bluff overlooking Ballena Marina Park, the pacific coast and Cano Island, This national park includes the largest coral reef on the pacific side of Costa Rica. This wildlife sanctuary protects different species of whales and dolphins together with other marine life. We can offer you the best of both worlds: rich rainforest combined with abundant marine life. Walk into the "green world" of immense biodiversity right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge Hotel Uvita
Whales And Dolphins Ecolodge
Hotel Whales And Dolphins Costa Rica/Uvita

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