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“A Trip to Rancho Pacifico” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho Pacifico

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Rancho Pacifico
1 Rancho Pacifico Road, Uvita, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Uvita
San Diego, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A Trip to Rancho Pacifico”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Who would not love to stay at a resort that has been frequented by Anderson Cooper as well as Sheryl Crow? It was finally our turn to make it to this picturesque eco-hotel – complete with spa and preserve – known as the Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica. From the onset of the vacation, We knew that this stay was different.

We highly recommend this resort; it is a wonderful place to relax and drink in nature’s magnificence. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Garrison, Sylvia and their staff, whose passion for -- and excellence in – customer service set the tone for our stay. The entire staff is made up of the most gracious hosts who treated us like a part of the extended family. Thank you!

Being well traveled and having had the luxury of experiencing many five-star hotels, Rancho Pacifico is truly unique. We rank it at the top of our list. It is at once very inviting and yet very intimate and private. The nature views are breathtaking! We loved the way that the rooms easily harmonized and connected with nature, specifically the rainforest.

The food was fresh, healthy and introduced us to tantalizing flavors, yum! Lots of kudos to Alex for unforgettable culinary creations. This is such a great place to stay; We are looking forward to bringing back our friends and enjoying one of the other rooms during our next stay.

Mucho Gracias!

Glenda and Jerry

  • Stayed December 2011, 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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326 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
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English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

My wife and I stayed at Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica for our Honeymoon. We were both exceptionally impressed the entire length of our stay. We stayed at the end of November and celebrated Thanksgiving with the other guests and employees. We flew into Quepos and took a short 40 minute drive to Uvita. The views of the coastline and hillside were amazing! We arrived and were immediately greeted by staff, received a short explanation on scheduling excursions, scheduling for the spa, and food availability. We were then escorted to our room. We stayed in a Treehaus which was incredible. The views from the balcony and even the bed are amazing. The Treehaus has a very open feel with tropical breezes blowing through daily. The Treehaus was decorated nice and was very contemporary. It rained for most days that we stayed, but the rains did not last all day and at the base of the mountain, it barely rained at all. My wife and I enjoyed 4 spa treatments each: Swedish Massage, Hot stone massage, Chocolate wrap, and a Coffee scrub. Each was very enjoyable and relaxing. I enjoyed the swedish massage and my wife enjoyed the chocolate wrap best. I recommend scheduling later in the afternoon after you come back from excursions but before dinner. It is really an incredible ending to an adventurous day. For our excursions, we chose the National Geographic Mangrove Tour, an ATV tour through the jungle, The Canopy tour (zip line tour), and spent a day at the Whale's Tail. Each was different but enjoyable in their own way. During the Mangrove Tour, we saw lots of wildlife, even all 3 species of monkeys native to Costa Rica, Our Guide even caught a 5ft crocodile for us to hold and take pictures. The ATV tour was also fun. We drove our ATV's nearly 3000ft up a mountain, crashed through a river, and swam in a waterfall. Rancho Pacifico also has a waterfall on the grounds that is a moderate 20 minute hike from the main area.
My wife and I were impressed with the attention and service that was given to us. Each staff member greeted us with a smile and by our first names. Breakfast served daily is delicious and they offer some traditional costa rican dishes as well. The gallo pinto was my favorite. Dinner was also amazing. We would start at the bar and get the "drink of the day." We would then be served a plate or 2 of appetizers while we drank. The we would make our way to the dinner service, with more appetizers, soup/salad, entree, and dessert. I promise that you will not go back to your room hungry! The food is amazing and comparable to any 5 star restaurant. We were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving Dinner with the owners, Garrison and Sylvia, who are so very nice, welcoming, and charming. We also ate with some of the staff who have been with Rancho since its beginnings. It was great to eat with them and interact. We all shared stories from home, our childhood, and Costa Rican adventures.
Overall, Rancho Pacifico was the best trip I have ever taken. My wife and I were sad to leave. Words here cannot come close to describing the attentiveness of the staff, the food, views, adventures, and the experiences. If you are looking for a romantic getaway or just seclusion and peace, then Rancho Pacifico is the place for you. You never have to leave Rancho Pacifico; everything you need is there for you. If not, just ask, and the staff will make it happen. You can even travel to the base of the mountain to the town of Uvita, stock up on groceries, mingle with the locals, and eat at the local restaurants. Costa Rica is a great place to visit and Rancho Pacifico will exceed all expectations; I know it exceeded mine.

Room Tip: If you don't mind a little humidity, then go for a Treehaus. Otherwise, one of the villa's w...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
South Orange, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

In a sentence, RP is generally very good with some quirks and minor issues.

We stayed at RP for 8 days, Friday to Saturday, December 2-10 (most of the other guests we met had shorter stays). We flew into San Jose on December 1st and stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn at the airport (which I have also reviewd on tripadvisor). The next morning we took a taxi to Tobias Bolaños International Airport for our Nature Air flight. Note that this airport is about 10 miles away from the Juan Santamaria International Airport, which is a 30 minute to 1 hour trip (depending on traffic) from Juan Santamaria, as compared to Sansa Air which flies out of Juan Santamaria Airport. While Nature Air plans to move its operations to Juan Santamaria Airport in the future, until that happens you may want to consider taking Sansa Air instead to avoid the additional travel (and taxi cost). There was a huge traffic jam en route to Tobia Bolanos Airport, but we arrived 45 minutes later thanks to some taxi driver heroics and were able to board our plane on time. Once we arrived at the airport in Quepos, we had to wait about 15 minutes for the driver from RP who was a bit late. He apologized for the delay and was very nice. The ride from Quepos to RP is about 1 hour, most of it on good paved roads. The unpaved road up to the lodge is very bumpy and you will probably not want to drive it more than once or twice a day. It's walkable but difficult because it is very steep and unstable with loose gravel and rocks (although we regularly saw Garrison the owner and Tito the min pin making daily walks on the road). The driver offered to stop at the supermarket on the way to the lodge and we stopped and bought some fruit and trail mix and beer. Particularly if you plan on sticking around the lodge for most meals, we recommend stocking up on beverages and snacks-

Once we arrived we were greeted by glasses of fresh tropical juice. We stayed in a second floor luxury spa suite which was a good size, and had a coffee maker, small fridge (which we had a little trouble with - it stopped working a few times but was fixed by the staff) with two refillable bottles of purified water, an armoire, and a sitting area with a small futon-like sofa, two leather armchairs and two coffee tables. Note that unlike the first floor spa room, the second floor does not have an additional outdoor space other than the balcony (the first floor appears to have a patio). Two pairs of shades in the particular room we stayed in were decorative only - they did not extend fully down to cover the window, which meant no privacy from the villa next to us, which had a view through our room and into our balcony (and the soaking tub). The balcony had two small chairs and a soaking tub with some tealights. There were two suites in the building we stayed in, and it was possible to hear the occupants in the suite dowstairs (and I'm sure they could hear us upstairs). All of the windows have glass that closes but the door to the balcony is a screen door only.

The bathroom has a large modern "trough" style sink with two faucets, and a two person shower that is open to the balcony outside. There are two sets of curtains separating the shower from the outside and the rest of the bathroom. Note that this means the bathroom is completely open to the outside although private, which we enjoyed but might not be right for everyone. On the one hand it makes for a unique back to nature experience, taking a shower with the sounds of the jungle. On the other hand, not having the option of closing off the bathroom from the outdoors means some insects (although fewer than expected) and jungle visitors. The open bathroom concept may be unique to the luxury spa suite, as the villas and tree houses have similar showers but with screens.

The housekeeping staff clean the rooms during the day and leave a special sheet covering the bed linens to minimize any dampness from the humidity with fresh flowers arranged on the bed. A night maid comes by during dinner to remove the sheet and prepare the bed for sleeping. The housekeeping staff was very thorough and always replaced the coffee and other essentials during our stay. The toiletries were Biolandia except for the soaps which I believe are handmade in Costa Rica, if I recall correctly. Our room and bathroom were quite lovely but for those of you who may be mindful about this sort of thing, the quality of the bed linens, furnishings, hardware, etc. in the room and bathroom, while perfectly nice, was not super luxurious or high end (note this may not be the case for the rooms at higher price points like the tree house or villas).

The highlight of the stay occurred, oddly enough, when I became suddenly and violently ill and had to remain in the room one evening, missing dinner. The owner, Garrison had a special tea made from a recipe from Adrianna (front desk/concierge) and toast, which one of the waitstaff (I think it was Joseph) brought to the room for me. It was incredibly thoughtful and exceeded my expectations. As an additional plus, I don't know what was in the potent brew (although there seemed to be lots of garlic, lemon or lime (or vinegar even?) and hot pepper) but it was a miraculous elixer.

Weather:

The weather: expect some rain but not too much! We enjoyed many sunny glorious days at RP, with some clouds rolling in (much like San Francisco) in the late afternoon due to the high elevation of RP, which has its own charms. Note that on several of the "cloudy/rainy" days, it was perfectly sunny at sea level so you can always try leaving RP on a rainy day for the beach, etc.

Spa:

The spa treatments were very good. I had a facial, and a package of three mini treatments (foot scrub, head/neck/back massage, mini facial), and my husband had a deep tissue massage and a full head/neck/back massage. Both of us nearly fell asleep during our treatments (except for the deep tissue for obvious reasons) because we were so relaxed! All three spa therapists are excellent. They serve tea and cookies which is a nice touch- The view is also spectacular!

Other Guests:

Without exception, all of the other guests we met during our stay were wonderful and interesting (very important in a small resort). They ranged from youthful honeymooners, folks our age (early thirties), and folks in their 40s - 50s. Expect to spend time at dinner socializing with other guests, which we enjoyed but may not be for those craving alone time (although you have the option of dining in your room - which we did not try).

Wildlife:

We saw toucans and howler monkeys during our stay, along with a giant owl, snakes, and lots of birds and butterflies. We also saw the biggest stick bug in our lives (a hair shy of a foot long) which Adrianna pointed out to us. She also (we are still mystified as to how exactly she did this) somehow caught a wild little green bird in her hand, which she handed to my husband (not to worry, we released it right away). We saw the howlers on both the waterfall and ridge hikes so you should definitely check out both of those places to spot some monkeys!

Activities:

We recommend the mini mangrove boat tour. There is one boat for each person/couple which is great - we saw so much wildlife it was amazing, three kinds of monkeys, scarlet macaws, crocodiles, turtles, lots of other birds, and more...! Lots of great photo opportunities and the guide and boat captain go out of their way to spot and get close to the wildlife so you can take great pictures.

We also recommend the beach at the Marino Ballena National Park, which was, on average, between 15-20 minutes away. Note that the surface area of the beach (sandy) portion varies DRAMATICALLY depending on the tides. On the two days we went (mostly at the same time of day), the beach was about 3-4 times the size between one and the other visit. The beach was largely deserted on both days we went, with perhaps 20 or less total people on the beach at any given time. We walked out to the whale's tale which had some interesting temporary tide pools and rocks. We also saw some scarlet macaws taking flight over the palm trees, which was a spectacular sight-

The zip line canopy tour was also fun, although it did not have a canopy walk. I don't like heights but had no problem with the zipline (it's beginner's ziplining - still thrilling but not terrifying). The guides were amazing, encouraging us the entire time, and spotting toucans and a two-toed sloth in the forest-

Other guests commented that they had a great time on the ATV tour (very messy but exhilarating) and the horseback riding tour which we did not try.

Service:

Adrianna was instrumental in ensuring that we made our international flight on time. I was considering changing our Nature Air flight to Sansa given the unpredictable nature of the traffic between the two airports, but she arranged for a friendly driver to meet us at Tobias once we landed. He was waiting when we arrived (with a handwritten sign with our names spelled correctly, whoo!) and appreciated our urgency, efficiently taking us to Juan Santamaria with plenty of time to spare.

Some quirks and issues we encountered during our stay:

Meals:

For some inexplicable reason, dinner takes forever and aside from our first dinner there (when we appeared to be the only guests at the resort), expect to eat roughly at the same time as the other guests at the resort. It is entirely possible to get to dinner at 6:30 and not get seated or served until after 8 and not finish your meal until between 9 and 10. We eventually gave up and started getting to dinner at 7:45 and would regularly not finish our meal until around 10 pm (dessert being served around 9:45 pm). Some people might enjoy the ritual of a 2 hour plus meal at dinner, others may not so you should plan accordingly depending on your particular preferences- With the exception of breakfast, lunch and dinner definitely take awhile.

The food was mostly very good although it would have been nice to get more authentic costa rican options. For example there was an Italian night and while the food was perfectly fine, I get enough Italian food back in the U.S...no need to eat it in Costa Rica! The food for the most part can be described as fusion. For breakfast everyday except once, I ate the "Typical Special Breakast" which was gallo pinto, fried plaintains (sometimes fried bananas), sliced avocadoes and tomatoes, flour tortilla with cheese, and a side of salsa lizano, the ubiquitous costa rican condiment which my husband and I are now thoroughly addicted to.

We advised the lodge of my husband's dietary restriction (vegan) before our arrival, and were assured it would not be an issue. We thought we would not have to mention it again, however, we found ourselves having to remind the kitchen and staff several days in a row after we arrived that my husband was a vegan and what that means, which we did not expect. Twice, he was served food that was cooked in butter and contained cheese. However, once I specifically raised the issue to Adrianna, we did not have any further issues.

With the exception of a few special meals at dinner (which were very good), most of the time the vegan modified dining option was simply whatever was being served minus the protein. For other vegan travelers out there, you may or may not find this acceptable. We have stayed at other places where the accomodation of dietary restriction ranged from creating special, unique meals at every meal totally separate and apart from the "regular" meal, to places where he had to eat the same salad for every meal. RP is closer to the more accomodating side between these extremes.

While dinner fills you up (and was the best meal of the day, in my opinion), the other meals (and the long stretches of time between lunch and dinner in particular) left us a bit hungry. While there is tea and coffee and sometimes cookies that are left out, no other snacks (like fresh fruit) are available which is something you might want to keep in mind in terms of planning. We ended up making another run to the supermarket to stock up on snacks. We also ate at two off-site restaurants: the Ballena Restaurant next to the supermarket in Uvita, which was excellent and had large portions at reasonable prices, and Tortilla Flats (Mexican) in Domenical twice, which was also good. If we stayed at RP again, we would definitely rent a car so we could drive around and have more options for dining.

On our last evening at RP, we brought an opened bottle of wine with us to dinner, which another couple who had been staying at RP left for us before they departed RP. We understood that they had purchased the bottle at RP during a prior meal but could not finish the bottle. After we were seated for dinner, we were advised that while it was RP's policy to not permit "outside" wine (i.e. not purchased at RP) in the dining room, they would make an exception for us. We explained that we understood that the couple who gave us the bottle had purchased the wine from RP so we didn't think it would be an issue and we were then advised that the particular wine was not sold at RP. I have no way to verify that or not and I suppose it's possible that we misunderstood the couple who gave us the wine, and of course I understand the basis for the policy, but if ultimately the wine was fine for us to have with our dinner (whether by special exception or otherwise), it would have been a bit more gracious to serve the wine without comment!

Transportation:

If you do not have your own transportation, expect to adjust your schedule to the availability of cars or utilize taxis, not the other way around. In addition, during our last full day at RP, after a morning at the beach, we waited to be picked up by RP for over an hour due to a "miscommunication" (which we never learned the exact nature of). That morning before we left for the beach, we arranged our departure and pickup times. When we were dropped off, we agreed to be picked up at a restaurant near the entrance for the beach. We called RP and were advised that they would try to find out what was going on. After waiting for over an hour, we saw the RP car (sweet relief!). After we were picked up, we received an apology from RP and were told that they had sent a taxi to pick us up after being advised of the issue (however, we did not see any taxis at the designated area where we were the lone figures in the middle of the road). When we returned to the resort, there was a note "We Apologize..." and a plate of fresh fruit in our room which was a thoughtful gesture. Note, we were not charged for the ride-

Tips:

The final bill was very detailed and broke charges down by category which was helpful in trying to allocate tips properly. Note that virtually every single staff member is identified on the final bill for tipping purposes.

Service:

As stated above, the service was generally good overall but there are some quirks and/or issues we encountered. Some staff were stellar and went out of their way to provide excellent service, and others tried hard but were not quite as good. The inconsistency was unexpected from a 5 star resort and the overall experience (again, excluding certain exceptional individual staff members who went above and beyond on several occasions and the warmth and hospitality of the owners, Garrison and Silvia) fell slightly below our expectations which were admittedly very high, after reading many of the other reviews on Tripadvisor. However, we would still absolutely recommend RP to others for the beauty of its location, the wonderful service of most of the staff, and the wonderful fellow travelers we met during our stay there, but would advise them to be prepared for some of the quirks described above.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ranchopacifico, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this review, December 24, 2011
We appreciate the thoroughness of this review - especially the very useful travel tips that are passed on. We further appreciate that some of the above and beyond treatment extended to this guest was helpful and that they would "absolutely recommend" RP to others. Because our standards are high in all departments and that every guest, regardless of special needs are equally important to us, I would like to direct my comments to the points related to our vegan offerings.

Of all the things we do in striving to exceed expectations, perhaps our dining experience gets the most attention. Our discerning guests regularly lavish us with praise in this department (you can view many of their comments on our website, in our reviews and on facebook), we have won awards, and been cited in numerous travel publications for our outstanding culinary expression. Of course, where possible, we would like nothing more than to equally dazzle those few of our guests who have special dietary needs. Toward this end we have, just this week, revised our vegetarian and vegan offerings with the hope and expectation that those guests with special needs will be equally satisfied. Because our experience is that likes and dislikes vary within these needs we ask guests to communicate directly with our chef. We are confident that this will achieve a more outstanding result.

One clarification if we may.... Our dinner service begins between 6:30 and 7:00. The truth is many of our guests socialize at the bar around this time (we serve extensive appetizers) and enter the dining room later. Just as true is that some guests prefer to go directly to dinner. And yes, the "casual fine dining" at Rancho Pacifico is a special event every night and is not rushed. However, on occasion a guest will ask to be served quickly because perhaps they are tired or face an early wake up call. And of course we are quick to accommodate. The best advice (weather you are at RP or any restaurant or hotel) is to communicate your needs. In a small establishment like ours (the dining room by the way is private only for our guests), where satisfaction is taken so seriously, we are always ready, willing and able to respond to special requests.
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Azle, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

My daughter was married in November. She and her fiancee wanted a "dream Honeymoon" more than they wanted a "dream Wedding". They put all of their efforts (and gifts) to that cause. I was worried that they would be disappointed, because their hopes were so high. Rancho Pacifico not only met, but exceeded expectations!! They came home feeling like they had made true friends with the staff. The services included items that they had not even imagined! It was truly an awesome experience and I am grateful that Rancho Pacifico made my little girl's dream come true. While they will be tied up for a while getting their life started, I have no doubt they'll be back. I only hope I can come too!!

Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Alma
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

My husband and I planned an 8-day trip to Rancho Pacifico to celebrate our 10-year anniversary and it was a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience. From the moment we met our driver in San Jose we received exceptional service -- we were treated like family. That first trip up the mountain was quite an experience (and made me completely understand the multiple references to 4-wheel drive vehicles!). Wow! When we arrived at RP we were immediately greeted by the lovely Adriana, offered a refreshing beverage and given a personal tour of the property. The view is like something from a dream! Our room was comfortable and nicely appointed -- and I should note that although you are in the rainforest and the humidity is high, everything at the resort is kept immaculately clean. It is a truly beautiful place.
Whatever you do, you absolutely must hike down to the waterfall! It is incredible! We also hiked to the ridge line -- a much more strenuous hike, but worth it! Ziplining at Hacienda Baru was really fun -- the guides were great! We also really enjoyed horseback riding at Rancho la Merced and our guide, Hector, was fantastic! We spent one day at the beach and felt like we had it all to ourselves. And don't be afraid to visit during the rainy season; we were there in late September and the balance between clear skies and rain was actually quite nice. The rain showers generally came later in the afternoon, so we had plenty of time to enjoy outdoor activities earlier in the day.
Spa Tranquila was fabulous! I wanted to take Vivian home with me! The sunset couples massage was incredible; rather than a sunset, however, our massages were set to the tune of a thunderstorm. This may sound unfortunate, but it was really quite lovely. Definitely fit a trip to the spa in your visit!
Chef Alex and his staff never disappointed us and we really enjoyed our meals at Rancho Pacifico. French press Costa Rican coffee each morning with organic, freshly-squeezed juices, warm muffins and a variety of breakfast options made for a wonderful start to each day. Try the tuna salad for lunch -- yum! Dinner was different each night and was always delicious, especially dessert! I could live on Chef Alex's poached pears! We also enjoyed exceptional service from the waitstaff. Silvia and Garrison were not on-site during our visit, but Garrison took the time to personally call during our stay and ensure that our needs were being met -- what a thoughtful gesture!
This wouldn't be a complete review if I didn't talk about bartender extraordinaire, Vianney. The king of cocktails, Vianney wowed us with delicious drinks that incorporated fresh organic juices and herbs. Be sure to try his Caipirhina -- or better yet, ask him for the "mashup!"
We met some wonderful people on our visit, but if you prefer a more solitary environment, you'll find that here, too. You can be as active or relaxed as you like. I miss waking up to the sounds of the howler monkeys, or seeing toucans flying overhead. Rancho Pacifico offers a remarkable experience and is definitely a place to which we refer our friends -- and to which we hope to return someday!

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely, but consider splurging for one of the villas -- spacious, gorgeous views...
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  • Stayed September 2011, 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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Houston, Texas
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

This was the most amazing trip I have ever been on. I went with my family and we enjoyed ourselves in the condo. It was a great experience that allowed me to experience the jungle life while being pampered in modern facilities. The staff are such great people, they make sure that every need of yours is completely taken care of, from the peppermint tea right before a relaxing massage. I was lucky enough to go off shore fishing while i was in Costa Rica, after catching our fish for the day we brought it home and the culinary staff prepared it for our dinner that night. The hotel was at the top of a mountain with a beautiful of Uvida and the Pacific ocean. Overall it was just an awesome trip with a beautiful view and accommodating staff.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 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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Oakland, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

We booked this location from the beauty of the website and the reviews which all seemed to rave about this hotel. Our experience was anything but a 5-star experience. It started with a confirmed 8am pick up from our hotel in San Jose after flying for 10 hours. We tried to get a hold of the hotel at 6:30 - 7:30 am to confirm that they were going to pick us up as agreed per their emailed confirmation. We finally got through to someone at about 8:30am, with them telling us that they will be picking us up at 11am! We had decided rather than wait an additional 3 hours, we would rent a car and drive to Rancho Pacifico. Garrison, the hotel owner, got on the phone with us and said: "if you do exactly what I tell you to do you will have a good time at the hotel, and wait until we pick you up rather than drive in". We felt a bit threatened, and he said the roads were extremely difficult to travel and we'd be best to wait for his driver. So, we did, and found that the drive is not difficult, best to have a GPS when traveling here because there are no street signs, but getting to Rancho would have been fun and easy if we drove, rather than spending the $200 for a late pick up from their driver.

The resort claims to cater to dietary needs, as long as you don't mind eating basically the same meal every night.

We had an excursion with a group of 2 other couples, and the other couples got a packed lunch but not us, being that we were vegetarian and gluton-intolerate. Then we got back famished and inquired about our lunch, they were defensive and pretty intolerant listening to our complaint.

We left a day early, forfeiting a night stay to get out of here. If you go here, best to rent a car so you can leave the property and do some excursions outside of the hotel, and eat at local restaurants other than being stuck at the hotels restaurant.

Room Tip: Tree houses were quite nice, but everything stays rather damp in the rain forest!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
ranchopacifico, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this review, December 19, 2011
It has been a long time since we have responded to a review - about a thousand guests ago. This is testimony both to the service and quality we deliver day by day and to the spirit of our many wonderful guests. The truth is any hotel, including Rancho Pacifico occasionally encounters the type of guest whose demands, needs and attitude places everything we do to the test. For us this is a very rare occurrence.

While I and my staff find it easy to admit mistakes and extend apologies when called for, I personally observed the difficulties my staff endured during the week this guest visited. Our management staff continually went beyond the norm to try to meet their special and unusual needs.

Starting with the transportation issue - which was completely out of our control due to fixing of the road - we both apologized profusely and provided compensation. In return three staff members received abusive anger from the guests by phone before they even arrived (later in the stay, the guest created a scene and lashed out at our head waiter - something none of us had seen in our 6 year history).

I personally intervened and promised the guest that once they were on their way - which was only another hour - that their extreme emotions would probably dissipate. That statement was certainly not delivered as a "trick", but rather as a sincere effort to help them settle into the arrival ritual which includes a beautiful road trip, a stop for lunch (which they did and according to our driver ate freely in a public restaurant without dietary restrictions), and a very warm welcome at our front door. My very informed suggestion was also designed to save these two ladies considerable time and trouble considering the current road conditions (we knew a detour on the return trip).

Regarding the food, the statement that we "claim to cater to special dietary needs" requires clarification. The fact is our kitchen staff was prepared as these guests had indicated they preferred a vegan diet - something we address often (we even have a vegetarian entree at every meal) and as our reviews and testimonies express, as with all of our food service, we do well. The staff was NOT prepared to be handed a last minute surprise list of over 75 food items to which these guests were allergic, including items like black pepper, garlic, carrots, red or green peppers, cheese and on and on. The staff was literally in tears as they carefully and sincerely set out to modify our award-winning dishes in a way that would meet these requirements. But with so many restrictions this was obviously very difficult. In 6 years I have never seen them work harder - or with more frustration. And of course we could not let the time this took jeopardize our full house of other guests who were fully enjoying their meals. Again, as expressed by years of positive testimony, dinnertime at Rancho Pacifico is considered a very memorable event and most guests dine with us almost every night.

We are blessed; our guests are consistently generous, grateful and understanding when they become familiar with the unique challenges we face due to our fairly remote setting. They wonder out loud how we possibly deliver the quality we do while tucked away into the most beautiful mountainside imaginable overlooking the sea. In all due respect, these guests were very different.

In the future we will strive to be more diligent about better understanding dietary restrictions so we can fully deliver on our promises and reputation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Pacifico

Address: 1 Rancho Pacifico Road, Uvita, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#2 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Pacifico - Where Style meets Nature and the Rainforest meets the sea. Member - Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Deluxe Villas, Suites, & TreeHaus', Jungle Spa, Private Preserve and secluded beaches. Spectacular ocean views and spacious privacy in Costa Rica's last best place. World Travel Award Triple Nominee - Leading Boutique and Leading Green Hotel, Central and Latin America, 6 consecutive years. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Pacifico Uvita
Rancho Pacifico Hotel Uvita
Rancho Pacifico Costa Rica/Uvita

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