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“An Amazing Costa Rican Experience” 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
Huntersville, North Carolina
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An Amazing Costa Rican Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

As we planned our trip to Costa Rica, we wanted to find a place where we could be adventurous during the day and totally pampered at night. We found that perfect balance at Rancho Pacifico. Perched near the top of a mountain with stunning views of Playa Uvita’s Whale Tail, the resort is small and intimate. The open air, semi-screened rooms offer privacy and a feeling that you’re sleeping outdoors in the jungle, while providing all the amenities, including a comfortable bed, ample seating and a ceiling fan. . The room did not have A/C but we found it wasn’t needed with the shade of the trees, the evening breezes and the fans. . The bathroom was very spacious and the room offered a mini fridge that allowed us to bring and store our own drinks and snacks. . The dual head indoor/outdoor shower & tub concept is unique and liberating. Early morning wake up calls from birds and howler monkeys may cause you to reach for your eyeshades and ear plugs but if you get moving early, you may catch a glimpse of the white faced monkeys or toucans that live nearby

Breakfasts are complimentary, starting with fresh squeezed juices and mini muffins along with a variety of traditional and tasty Costa Rican dishes as well as eggs, omelets, pancakes and Banana Bread French Toast. Dinners consisted of a set, multi course menu, meticulously prepared with the freshest fish, shrimp, beef, pork, calamari and chicken. Alex, the executive chef (and property manager) takes a great amount of pride in his creations and asks the guests their thoughts on new recipes. Each meal was fabulous, filled with flavor as well as fantastic presentation. A shellfish allergy was never a problem as alternatives were available that were equally tasty. The bar and wait staff is top notch, fluent in English, completely attentive and surprisingly learns the names of their guests, making them feel very welcome.

The spa offers a unique experience as it also an open air concept. In lieu of spa music, massages are given to the sounds of birds, monkeys and cicadas. We scheduled late in the day and were able to relax in their anti gravity rockers, enjoying the complimentary lemongrass teas and cookies, watching the sunset as we waited for our massage time. Check into the Spa/Dinner packages as a cost savings if you plan on using the spa. .

The Uvita area and the Osa Peninsula are touted as one of the last frontiers of Costa Rica, Day activities included sea kayaking, waterfall rappelling and a NatGeo Wildlife watching tour that should not be missed. Other guests raved about their horseback riding adventure on the beach. There are several nearby beaches, each unique in their offerings. Adrianna, the concierge, was extremely helpful in scheduling activities and providing directions or anything else that was needed.

While Rancho Pacifico does have available wi-fi, there are no televisions, allowing guests the ability to completely disconnect, something we were very much looking for.

The road to Rancho Pacifico is an adventure in itself and not for the faint at heart if you choose to rent a car and drive it yourself. It requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle with a manual transmission. DO NOT settle for anything less from your rental car company or you will struggle getting up the hill. The resort does offer transportation options but we wanted flexibility and chose to rent a car, a decision we don’t regret.

Rancho Pacifico may not be for everyone. They do an excellent job in setting expectations on their web site, in the section called “Guest Advice Must Read” and with their communications, sent about two weeks prior to arrival. Do your research, pay close attention to their advice regarding what to expect, what to bring and wear and make a choice that is right for you.

This is not your typical hotel and they don’t claim to be. They offer a unique, open air Costa Rican experience. Owners Garrision & Silvia and the Rancho Pacifico staff should be commended for their attention to detail, attentive staff, fantastic food and amazing property. We are raving fans and only we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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322 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 (56)
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English first
West Hartford, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We recently spent a week at Rancho Pacifico outside Uvita in Puntarenas, on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and had one of the best vacations ever. The owners, Garrison and Silvia Krause, have created an idyllic mountain-top retreat amidst the rainforest, overlooking the Marino Ballena National Park. The property is small and intimate, with only 10 suites and villas, situated so as to afford a considerable degree of privacy for the small number of guests. All of the accommodations are beautiful, well-appointed in a minimalist but luxurious style, designed for maximum comfort, and almost seem to spring naturally out of the tropical environment. The common area, comprising reception, bar/lounge, and dining room, is a contiguous open-air space, with fabulous views of the surrounding mountains, forest and coast. The beautiful pool area is adjacent, with a smaller infinity pool on a lower level. The design and placement of the property is such that you don't feel like you're in a compound surrounded by nature, but rather that you are part of the environment itself. (They also have a policy of upgrading guests at no charge if better rooms are available. We began our stay in a deluxe balcony suite, which was very nice, though somewhat small. After a couple of days we were upgraded to a larger suite, and then a day later to the fabulous Treehaus Villa.)
The one possible drawback is that it is rather isolated. Uvita is in one of the more remote parts of Costa Rica, and takes a bit more effort to get to, as opposed to the more accessible and populous tourist areas. Rancho Pacifico itself is on a mountaintop at an elevation of about 2,000 feet, and to get there from the town you have to travel up a very steep and winding dirt road. On the other hand, if it was easier to get to, it might be over-run with the kind of tourist types with whom we don't necessarily want to share a vacation. And once you do get there, it's like you've discovered a private paradise. (The only other downside, for some, is that it is adults only, and not a place for families with children - but hardly a problem for adults looking for a romantic and relaxing getaway.)
Given its location, activities on the property itself are limited, though there are some good hiking trails, one of which leads down to a waterfall. They also have an excellent spa, with a wide range of offerings. So while onsite you may have to content yourself with lounging at the pool, or relaxing on your balcony, mojito in hand, gazing at the lovely vistas - which, when you think about it, is not a bad way to spend at least part of your vacation. However, numerous activities are available offsite, within reasonable driving distance and easily arranged by the staff. You can choose from surfing, kayaking, diving, zip-lining, mangrove tours, and much more. The NatGeo tour, on a small boat down the Rio Sierpe, is a must, enabling you to get up-close and personal with monkeys, birds, crocs, and other denizens of the rainforest. We particularly enjoyed the horseback riding. Touristy horseback riding is often a disappointment; but in this case, we had good horses, well-equipped and properly cared for, and an excellent guide. Finally, there are miles of beautiful beaches, undisturbed and natural, and largely deserted.
The Costa Ricans are famed for being pleasant, friendly and hospitable, and the people at Rancho Pacifico lived up to that tradition in every way. Garrison, formerly a producer and on-air host at PBS, and Silvia, a doctor and former Miss Costa Rica, were the most gracious of hosts. Their managers, Alex and Adriana, were superb, ensuring that every need and request was fulfilled. When we first arrived, Adriana said something unusual, that her "friends" would attend to our luggage. Her choice of words at first seemed a bit odd, but we soon understood what she meant. The rest of the staff were her friends, and like her family; and their warmth and friendliness were immediately extended to us. Ronny, Vianney, Mel, Oval, Mattias, Ana, and the rest of the staff were caring and helpful, attentive and efficient, and at the same time relaxed and friendly. With a staff-to-guest ratio of one-to-one, there's no shortage of people to help you out with whatever you need. And when you're there, you feel less like "huespedes" - hotel guests - and more like "invitados" - friends invited into the home. (If you don't speak Spanish, that won't be a problem, as most everyone is bi-lingual - though they're happy to converse in Spanish as well, which helped us to improve our own linguistic skills.)
Then there's the food. Dining options in the Uvita area are limited, and the difficult drive up and down the mountain makes popping out for a bite rather challenging. So you will probably find yourself eating most of your meals at Rancho Pacifico's Whale's Tail Club. We have usually found such a situation to be problematic, as most hotels and resorts cannot meet the challenge of providing consistent quality coupled with interesting variety for an extended period of time, meal after meal after meal. Eventually, you're bound to be disappointed. But not so at Rancho Pacifico. We have eaten in many fine restaurants around the world, and the food here can hold its own with the best of them. Alex, who also doubles as Executive Chef, is a master of regionally-inspired cuisine. The menu for breakfast (included with your room) and lunch is generally the same, but has considerable variety. The menu for the four-course prix fixe dinner changes nightly, and over seven days not a single dish was repeated. Every meal we had was great, with the quality, flavor, inventiveness, and presentation being consistently excellent, and everything fresh, healthy, and locally sourced.
The small size and intimate setting enables you to become better acquainted with the other guests. Frankly, there are some places we've stayed where that wouldn't necessarily be a plus. But at Rancho Pacifico, we found the other guests to be a delightful collection of fellow travelers. Maybe it was just a fluke, but we somehow think that this is a place that attracts a certain type of person, people we'd like to spend time with; or maybe there's something about Rancho Pacifico - the beautiful setting, the relaxed atmosphere, the warmth and generosity of the staff - that brings out the best in people. Whatever it is, we will certainly return again, and encourage anyone who has an opportunity to do so to visit this exquisite gem which exemplifies the Costa Rican motto, "La Pura Vida". Muchas gracias, Rancho Pacifico, y hasta luego!

Bob Janas and Lois Aaron
West Hartford, Connecticut, USA
March, 2013

  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We were so privileged to hear about Rancho Pacifico as we were planning our June 2012 honeymoon. It was the intimate setting we were looking for that offered R&R, a bit of adventure, and pampering. Rancho Pacifico completely exceeded our expectation and I truly feel we had THE BEST honeymoon because of the entire staff at Rancho Pacifico.

We were at Rancho Pacifico for 7 nights and it was absolute perfection. We arrived late; I believe around 8-9PM, and were greeted by the manager, Alex, who welcomed us to the dining area to enjoy dinner. We had delicious, fresh pasta while enjoying the breathtaking view and outstanding service. Then Alex then told us our bags were in our one-bedroom suite and said no need to check in, they’ll take care of it tomorrow. He also informed us were were going to be upgraded in the morning to the two bedroom/two bath villa, which was spectacular. We felt so grateful, and still do, for that gesture. After dinner, despite it being dark, we knew we were in paradise.

The next morning we walked out to breakfast and were greeted by the lovely concierge, Adriana. She assisted us everyday with what we might want to do (zip lining, horseback riding, exploring, hike to the waterfall, driving to the beach, etc. which were all a blast!). She made the reservations and even drew maps and provided us with directions.

We spent our first two days at the pool and enjoyed the spa treatments. I cannot stress how friendly and welcoming the staff was. Several guests were gone during the day and we felt we had the whole place to ourselves. The service was top notch, the food was outstanding and I've ever eaten so well in my life. Alex helped us arrange deep sea fishing. It was a long day but looking back a pretty amazing experience. We only got one bite (but it was a big one) and I was able to sit at the front of the boat and watch the dolphins swim next to us which was pretty amazing. We also had a catered dinner in our villa which was pretty special. Our last night at Rancho Pacifico we moved to a one bedroom suite and I have to say, all three rooms/villas we stayed at were phenomenal. Of course, nothing beats the villa, but all the rooms were certainly beautiful with breathtaking views and unique in their own special way.

I want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to to entire staff, from the gentleman that guided us at night with a flashlight, to the bartenders and that kept those delicious made from scratch cocktails come, to the chefs and servers, to Alex and Adriana, who took such great care of us. THANK YOU and we can't wait to come back! We were so blown away and grateful that we had the opportunity to show our gratitude by tipping every single person. We tipped our bill 100% (essentially doubling our bill) and it was 100% worth it!

One tip - get directions to the airport. We had car service from the airport to Rancho Pacifico but rented a car on day 3 and drove that to the airport. I don't know what we were thinking by not asking for directions to the airport as we were lost once we got to San Jose. We ending up missing our flight and saying another night in Costa Rica... in a AmericInn, so not Rancho Pacifico.

  • Stayed June 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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San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

Rancho Pacifico is truly in a class of it's own. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left this whole experience exceeded our expectations. We have stayed at superb 5 star resorts before but I have to admit, Rancho Pacifico is without a doubt the best we have experienced to date. As they say..it's the little things that make a difference and that combined with the wonderful staff they have really does make this place flawless. If you stay at Rancho Pacifico, you have to treat yourself to a spa treatment and make sure you schedule it in the late afternoon when the light is beyond amazing and the Howler monkeys begin a symphony in the rainforest. It's incredibly private, peaceful, and well designed. Each different room/villa is unique and sighted to allow for unobstructed views of the ocean and rainforest.
I have never experienced a staff so professional and caring. Each person on the staff made the experience at Rancho Pacifico over the top from the moment we arrived. The food was such a highlight. Every meal was beyond perfect. This was my second visit to Costa Rica and on this stay, I only left Rancho Pacifico two times to go to the beach for a few hours. It is the first time I have ever enjoyed myself so much at a resort...that I really didn't leave. I also appreciate that the owners took the time to greet each and every guest and welcome them to Rancho Pacifico. We, like so many other visitors, will absolutely be returning to this special place year after year. WOW!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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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Kansas City, Missouri
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We just returned after 5 nights at Rancho Pacifico and it was truly perfect in every way. We were celebrating my wife's 40th birthday in search of a place that provided both activity and relaxation. Rancho Pacifico delivered on both accounts.

Right off the bat you notice that Garrison, Silvia and the staff at RP treat you like long lost friends the minute you arrive. Adriana, Mel (not Gibson), Ronny, Vianney, Alex, Anna, etc. were fantastic. They took very good care of us. Everyone here does multiple tasks and are empowered by Garrison and Silvia to make decisions so your stay is perfect.

There is plenty of activity right near by. There are two nice hikes (one to a waterfall and one up through the clouds) that literally start right outside your door. They were moderately difficult, but not impossible. We went Ziplining at a place nearby that provided a small informative nature hike through a preserve and then the thrill of 9 ziplines. We also went horsebacking riding along the beach and enjoyed some lively entertainment in Dominical. This was also set up by Adriana after we arrived and we were delivered and picked up perfectly. You don't need to worry about it before you go.

As far as relaxation, there are two things that really add to the experience. First, the spa on property is incredible. First rate overlooking the deep expanse of the rainforest. Had light rain one day that only added to the effect. Recommend the signature, but the hot stone was fantastic as well. Second, the food and drinks were really second to none. We looked forward to seeing Mel and Vianney at the bar and then the works of art that Chef Alex created each night. Local foods and fresh ingredients. We met some very nice people during dinner and would share experiences from the day before. (Probably would not have gone horseback riding but for this).

It takes a little bit to get there, but you are up in the rain forest surrounded by toucans, howler monkeys, etc. It should take a little bit to get there if you want to unplug and get away. I really can't think of a bad thing to say about Rancho Pacifico. It was paradise. We will be back (and soon).

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

What a beautiful place to get away. The drive up is an experience but worth it. We rented a treehouse and loved the open plan. It was cool enough with the fans. If you want a great massage visit Marco. Dinner and breakfast were good. Drinks were beautiful but over priced.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Coming all the way from Europe, I enjoyed the tranquillity of Rancho Pacifico. The views are out of this world, the accomodation is very comfortable and the staff is the most charming, relaxed, effective and smiling! In Europe we don't usually know the names of every staffmember,- here you do!
The food was always very nice and beautyfully arranged and served.
I have to mention, though, that you need a car to get anywhere, and if you are used to exercise you will find the gym a little boring (and running in the mountains very difficult!).
Afterall, no doubt: would love to come back bringing my husband!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 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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