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“Fantastico!” 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 #3 of 12 Hotels in Uvita
Chicago, IL
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fantastico!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2007

What an amazing vacation! My husband and I had the time of our lives. This was a vacation we will never forget thanks to the wonderful location, staff and guests. We were REALLY stressed out when we got there, so it took a couple of days for us to become normal people again. This place is beyond restorative!

Starting with Sylvia and Garrison, the owners. They are such warm hosts. They really make you feel like family, and go out of their way to open their “home” to you. RP feels like a home, not a hotel. They made us feel like we were friends that have come to pay a welcomed visit.

Next the staff. I wanted to bring each of them home. They were really helpful and just genuinely great, fun people. Gilbert made all of our travel arrangements without a hitch. Olman made sure we had the time of our lives with fun activities. Alex made even my picky-eating husband smile with his daily fresh and flavorful creations. James made us laugh and anticipated our needs. And I have a new love in my life…Wildner, the massage therapist. And my husband loves him too!!

Because the place is so small, it is impossible not to meet people. We are not normally the types that hang out with other people on vacation. In fact, we usually avoid people! But we met the most interesting and fun people at RP. We hung out together, ate together, and did activities together. Obviously this is an optional part of RP. You can totally avoid people as well, but we met lifelong friends on this trip.

While all of the accommodations are great, the villas were to die for. Especially if you like total privacy and amazing views. The 3-bedroom was the best. We would just sit and stare at the Whale’s Tail for hours. We had great hikes up the mountain where we were rewarded with a monkey show. The monkeys also played in the trees by the restaurant on our last morning. A great departure moment! One morning a toucan flew in the tree as I was laying in bed staring out the window. We also went zip-lining and ATV-ing which were both a blast. The nearby beaches were beautiful and empty.

All in all, I can’t say enough nice things about this place. If you like a more commercial experience….TV, dress up for dinner, nightlife, gym, etc., then this isn’t the place for you. But if you are looking for a relaxing, fun, beautiful place, you will LOVE it. We are forever spoiled by our experience at Rancho Pacifico, and we can’t wait to go back!

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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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355 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 (66)
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English first
Denton, Texas
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2007

Rancho Pacifico is a great little resort. I was there with a group of 12 people for a little family vacation in May of 2006. We were very pleased with our stay. The villas are beautiful and functional, the food is fantastic, the staff goes out of their way to get you anything you need. They are at your beck and call. The best thing is the views overlooking the Whale Tale...it is absolutely incredible. It is especially good for honeymooners and those who want a romantic get-a-way. I also thought it was good for our group. The only thing that we remotely found difficult was the trip up and down the hill to get to the village and Dominical. It was a steep four-wheel drive up and down to the villas and if you stay in the three bedroom it is a pretty steep climb/drive from the rest of the resort. However, the views make it all worthwhile. I would highly recommend the horse rides with Cuca and the sports fishing...I caught a nice sized sailfish, even though it was out of season. I would have not reservations reccomending Rancho Pacifico to anyone who wants a wonderful vacation the best part of the country. You could pay much more in Quepos/Manuel Antonio and get much less.

  • Liked — The location and views
  • Disliked — The drive up an down the hill
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Long Island, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2007

Situated tropical mountain-side this small, glorious spa-resort is an upscale but unimposing slice of heaven. (Do be aware however, that the road to it is a bit rough but worth every shake and rattle.) The proprietors and staff catered to our every whim, without doting, making it all more glorious and memorable than we had imagined. The food was fresh, inventive and spectacular; the service impeccable. It felt like a five-star resort with a homey atmosphere. We travel frequently and like to visit new places but Rancho Pacifico was so special we are already planning to go back to next year. Thank you Sylvia, Garrison, Alex, Olman, and James.

  • Liked — Location, location, location
  • Disliked — long, bumpy road
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
USA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2006

Like many travelers who utilize this website, I do an extensive research and read through all the reviews of the place before and after I book a trip. I got a great rate through Luxury Link and Rancho Pacifico (RP) has wonderful reviews, which all of it is pretty much true.

I have to agree that RP is a unique place, perched high on the mountain surrounded by spectacular mountain vista and the ocean view that no photos can do justice. The place seems to compliment the nature well. All the architectural and interior design details were meticulously thought out by Garrison (the owner).

The staff is very friendly and attentive. Also, we had a small group the week we stayed so it was as if we had the whole place to ourselves. It's not a big place so I can't imagine what it would be like when the place is fully booked.

Yes, we did wake up to the sound of howling monkeys (they're small but from their howling you'd think they're as big as gorillas) very early in the morning, like 5 AM. Also, the loud chirping of the birds outside of our room was just amazing. This we didn't mind at all. Then it started, around 7 in the morning - hammering, sawing and drilling - the din of construction. RP had begun constructing their new spa the week we were staying! Currently the spa is a small room on top of the kitchen. Since I decided to get a message in the evening (after the construction), I got a whiff of garlic and smell of cooking during my message - not what you would expect during a spa treatment.

They didn't let us know of the construction when we booked the trip. From sun up to sun down, the workers were hammering, welding and sawing away, just a few feet away from our suite. The place isn't that big so there was no place to escape the noise. Imagine sitting out in the deck by the swimming pool, looking down at one of the most incredible views on this earth then the smell of welding metal hits you, and the incessant clang of metal hammering that kept intruding into the sound of the forest. One day they were installing shelves in the kitchen, and the high-pitch sound of an electric drill almost made me lose my mind. Argh!

We did several excursions and that was the only time we were able to escape the sound of construction. I started looking forward to the evening when the workers finished and headed up to their hut above RP. One of my favorite parts of the stay was trying out the delectable dishes prepared by Alex. Everyday was something new (my favorite was the unbelievably fresh seared tuna that was caught fresh that day).

I've heard that the construction would end before the big holiday arrivals so if you're considering RP you probably won't have to deal with the noise and you'll be able to experience the new spa. The unfortunate part was that the owners and staff did not even apologize for the noise nor even acknowledge the discomfort. This is an intimate place where there aren't tons of clients to deal with. Such a small gesture like that would have been nice.

Also, if you're getting a lodge suite like we did, forget about a little cat nap in your room during the afternoon. The laudry room is adjacent to the suites and besides the machine humming all day, whenever the drier is finished it makes a loud buzzing sound. This will not be an issue if you stay at a spa suite (more $ though).

I may be a bit harsh in giving only 2 stars but I thought I was getting a reclusive mountainside retreat. I spent good money for this travel and if I had known that they would be working on a new spa during my stay, I probably would have waited and booked another week.

If you are thinking of going there around May of 2007, I would advise to consider another month since they will supposedly add 2 more suites. Also, it's the rainy season so I expect they'll probably not expect too many guests. Don't do it even if you get a great rate, it's just not worth it.

If you decide to go, here are a few things I would like to share:

- I would recommend flying rather than the drive. Their website showed that it would take about 4 hours from San Jose, but that's not true. It could take up to 6 hours. Depending how long was your flight to San Jose, you DON'T want to deal with 6 hour drive. Another option would be to spend the first night in SJ and get a ride the next day - less harsh for your body.

- Humidity is very high so things don't dry well. So I would recommend bringing enough clothes and underwear for the full stay. They do offer laundry service though.

- Don't expect to see tons monkeys and wild life around RP. You could get lucky but it's not as common as you might expect. I saw plenty of wild life during my boat ride to San Josesito, which passes through the mangroves, where monkeys hang out.

- Garrison and Silvia own a cat and just got a new dog. If you are allergic, let them know. The cat tends to hang out in the restaurant/lounge area.

- Water pressure is excellent and you'll have the best showers of your life.

- I would highly advise against renting a car and driving to RP from San Jose. You may want to rent and do local drives yourself once you're in Uvita but don't do the initial drive to RP yourself.

- Sun sets fairly early (around 5:30 - 5:45) and the place gets pitch black so late driving or hiking is not recommended.

- Because RP is located high up in the mountain, you'll need a ride to get down, walking down is really not an option.


Costa Rica is really beautiful. Life seems to be simpler and purer. As long as you're not staying at a place undergoing a renovation or construction, you can't go wrong.

  • Liked — Shower
  • Disliked — Construction noise
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask if they're renovating or constructing before you book.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ranchopacifico, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this review, January 27, 2007
We are very sorry that this very nice guest did not express some of these sentiments to us while they were visiting. It would have given us the opportunity to have helped rectify her disappointments in a more advantageous manner.

Unfortunately, rain delays caused us to finish our new spa treatment area in the jungle beneath our main complex a week late. There was noise – and we apologize. We remember apologizing to all the guests that week (if we missed this one we are very sorry) – and they told us they understood and it was not mentioned again.

Contrary to what this guest is saying we have no plans for construction in May 2007 or any other month that would be disruptive to the incredible peace we enjoy at Rancho Pacifico. We are not sure where the guest got this information – it is simply not accurate.

The guest raises some other important points worth addressing.

Our lodge suites are no longer subject to laundry noises as we have moved the machines – catnaps are now not only possible but guaranteed delightful.

The road-trip from San Jose averages 3.5 hours , but as this guest points out unforeseen road issues can make it longer (as it could on any given day in and around any U.S. city). Keeping in mind that any point on the Pacific coast takes 3 – 6 hours from San Jose makes getting to Rancho Pacifico easier – and faster than to most points on the northern coast (Guanacaste). Many of our guests fly in 38 minutes to our nearby regional airport.

Regarding wildlife – on a normal day we are blessed to see 3 types of monkeys, hundreds of bird species, sloths and many other favorites right here a short walk (or in many cases out our windows) from RP. Like hunting or fishing, wildlife sighting can not be guaranteed – but here among 250 acres of pristine rainforest your chances are better than in most “hotels”….it sometimes requires a bit of effort but is usually worth it.

Lastly, we have two small dogs. The one the customer refers to as “new” is a miniature Doberman who when fully grown will weigh less than 10 pounds. Bacci, the other is a costa rica mutt who most guests threaten to steal. He too is small, hairless, clean and very charming. Leo the cat does not “usually hang out in the restaraunt”. He does show up here and there and again most everyone loves him. If allergies are an issue we ask guests to tell us so we can make appropriate arrangements. These “guys” add a lot of personality to the place and almost everyone who visits agrees with this point – strongly. They also serve a useful purpose which is the main reason we have offered them such a good life here in the jungle.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2006

I am actually having a hard time putting in words what a fantastic trip we had to Rancho Pacifico. To arrive at what may seem like a long bumpy ride to nowhere, only reveals one of the most beautiful places on earth! The views of the ocean, the sounds of the monkeys in the rain forest will stay with me forever.
The food, hospitality, and ammenities surpassed my expectations.
On our week long trip we adventured on zip lines in the rain forest, took and ATV trip up a mountain, and walked on beautiful beaches, only to arrive back each afternoon to our amazing villa to enjoy wonderful food prepared fresh daily in the restaurant, and enjoy the company of the other guests ( some who were content to never leave the grounds) at the bar while exchanging our daily adventures.
The staff at Rancho pacifico granted any requests, and made our travels and spa treatments with such ease.
I will go back often to this magical place, and recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure spa, filled with fun, relaxation, and beauty.

Stayed November 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Uvita
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#3 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.....Your Adult-Exclusive Hideaway in Costa Rica's Last-Best Place. One of the World's Most Awarded EcoLuxury Hotels. Member - Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Deluxe Villas, Suites, & TreeHaus', Jungle Spa, Private Preserve and secluded beaches. Spectacular ocean views and spacious privacy. Trip Advisor Traveler Choice - 4 consecutive years. World Travel Award Finalist - Leading Boutique and Leading Green Hotel, Central and Latin America, 6 consecutive years.....and many more. ... 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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