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“A Nice Place to Stay on the Cheap” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vista Villas

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Buena Vista Villas
Lote D5, 400 m Este de tanque agua, Proyecto Americano, Nosara 50206, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A Nice Place to Stay on the Cheap”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Buena Vista Villas was a nice place to stay. There were a few glitches (such as the shower), but the owner, Jay, solved all of them. Jay and his staff--especially Penny--are great hosts who are willing to help any way they can. I rented a car while I was there and I would highly recommend any traveler do the same. Nosara is just big enough (and the Villas are up a steep hill) that renting a car makes things a lot easier. The Villas weren't the lap of luxury, but you can't beat the price. Overall, I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to get the Nosara experience.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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38 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    2
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6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed with Jay for one night and loved the area we were in. It seemed like we were staying in the middle of the wilderness and it was beautiful! Not surprised that Jay won a TA award for best value!

We had a little trouble finding the road that lead up the mountain to Buena Vista. If you're driving north to Nosara, pass L'aqua Viva Spa and Resort and the next intersection you should see a sign on the right for Buena Vista and make the right there up the hill.

Jay also provides surfing lessons. We only had one day in Nosara (definitely not enough) so Jay braved the weather and still went through with the lessons.

Thanks for everything Jay!! T

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Pura Vida!
Wow, this place is absolutely amazing AND SO IS Jay...aka Jota, or Sandy. Went to Nosara at almost the same exact time last year as we did this year and this time we brought the fam, 4 kids. We stayed in the Casa this time and loved every second of it. Clean, excellent condition, breathtaking views of the beach, rainforest and lush tropical mountains surrounding Nosara and Playa Guiones. Drive to beach only 10 mins away but worth it for the seclusion and privacy we experienced. If you want to see real Costa Rica and how it should be, travel to Nosara and stay a while with Jay. Previously from Cocoa Beach Florida (same as me...coincidence?), he has lived in Nosara for over 12 years. He knows just about anything and everything about the Nosara area, and is eager to help others experience it. He is also open to suggestions and ideas for further helping to enhance your experience. Take it from me, he's the guy to stay with when visiting the area. Myself and my family highly, highly recommend you staying at Buena Vista Villas...you will not regret it!
Pura Vida
Sandy
www.sandybeachsurfing.com

  • Stayed June 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nosara, Costa Rica
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

I traveled to Nosara to escape from the US for 90 days. My intention was to work (on my laptop) and relax. I started renting from Jay on Feb 14th and moved out on March 26th. I'm writing this review to provide information to others who might be interested in this hotel.

The building is set on top of one of the local mountains overlooking Nosara. From the 3rd floor viewing area, you can see Guiones, Pelada and Ostional. It's a pretty great view and the stars are wonderful at night too. It's very quiet as their is only one other hotel further up the road (Vista Del Mar - worth looking into). So not a lot of road dust will creep in through the windows and car noise is minimal. Good for relaxing, you'd think. The rooms smell nice when moving in and are clean. The counters are clean, the dishes are put away. The toilets are clean. Having read this, it sounds pretty great, right? Well, the problem I had was with the integrity of the owner, Jay.

He is very friendly and will talk a lot when you meet him. He is a very good sales person and paints a very rosie picture. Problem is, as you will find out if you stay long enough or take him up on his offers that it isn't always true and their might be a cost for that amenity or service that he forgot to mention (especially if he finds out you have money).

I think examples are important when making statements like this.

1) I was told by Jay when I spoke with him about moving in that I could do laundry whenever I needed and it wasn't a problem. Turns out it is a problem. He failed to mention the cost of $15 per load (but he was gonna do it for "me for $10 because I'm a long term renter"). To be fair, I researched this and found to get a load of laundry done by a local service, it would be $10-$20 per load to have it washed, dried and folded. I was renting as a long term and only needed a load done ever 3 weeks or so. $10 per load. If he tells you you can get laundry done, ask him how much and write it down to remind him later when he decides to charge you or raise the price. As a side note, I left early on the 26th and moved into another place as a long term renter. I get 1 load of laundry a week at no charge at the new location.

2) Taxes. In Costa Rica, if you pay with a credit card you will often be charged tax and it is trackable so the proprietor will pay that tax at the tax office each month (or less often, not exactly sure). But if you pay cash, it isn't traceable (check the receipts) and many vendors will charge for tax and not pay the gov because it's not traceable and it puts a few bucks in their pocket. Some vendors just won't charge you the tax if you pay cash which is saving you money but shorts the local gov and this might explain why they roads in Nosara are terrible. At the hotel I became friends with 2 other visitors that rented long term and this is what happened. AFTER they had payed in advance for the long term stay, Jay came to them, in some cases weeks later and said that he forgot to charge them tax. Unaware of the potential dishonesty here, they paid it. No receipt or proof the tax was ever paid to the gov was ever shown, in either cases. I was NOT charged tax on my rental and I think it was because I made him write down the amount I paid on a paper receipt each month. I don't know if he charged me tax and included it and it still worked out to be a conveniently round number or if I was a man he wasn't gonna try to scam me as he was successful with the two other renters that were women.

3) Their is garbage service in Nosara. You pay a fee and the service comes by and get your garbage. I know because the place I moved to after I left uses it. Recyclables and garbage. Most people just toss the organic waste 'over the fence' and the pezotes will eat it at night. Jay burns his garbage in a large drum thats located in the southern parking lot. I think he just doesn't want to pay the fee. It is not fun being around when the burning occurs as the smoke goes everywhere. I had 2 nights where I did not sleep well due to the smoke still getting into Unit 5 (yes, windows were closed). Headache, nausea, dizziness. Once the burn starts it needs to complete, he can't really put it out (as he tried one night and it just smoldered all night long). Everything is going in there. If it isn't recyclable, it gets burnt. It is rather disturbing. I did in several cases, carry some garbage (like batteries) that I couldn't deal with knowing they would be burned, into town to dispose at a restaurant where I assumed disposal would be handled properly.

4) The wifi is poor. The hotel advertises it and if you just want to check your mail quick, you got a 50/50 chance of it working. Forget browsing the web or doing any business work. Your skype calls home won't work. This was a major contributing factor to why I moved out. He promised he had good wifi. The range is poor, you might have to walk around to search for a stronger signal. Once Jay found out I was a technologist, I was looped into repairing and upgrading his network. I was a customer on vacation and he was too cheap to buy new hardware and pay a tech to come set it up for him. Instead he buys used hardware and assumes that a rentor has nothing else better to do then repair his 5 year old technology. Don't stay here if you need internet access. Cell phone signal strength is good though.

5) The pool is for guests of the main house. If you are staying downstairs in unit 1?, 2, 5 or 6, you don't have access to the pool UNLESS the rentor who does lets you come in. The rentor I met was VERY friendly and welcomed me in. The day after she left (early I might add due to water outages) I was asked to reduce my time at the pool area (ironically where I was able to glean the best wifi signal). Assume you don't have pool access unless you are staying in the main unit upstairs. You will know, it's the big unit and the most expensive.

6) The water will go out. This means no toilet flushing, no shower, not cleaning dishes, no drinking water. Jay believes this is a problem all over Nosara and this simply isn't true. In my 75 days here, nowhere else has the water been out that I've been to (friends places, restaurants, bars). The water on 'the hill' gets shut off to conserve water to let the storage tanks fill back up because of high usage. But you might wonder, who is using so much water on the hill that the water gets rationed so much? He pays a gardener to water the property. For weeks, I would watch the gardener work from 7am to 5pm watering the gardens from a hose. In many cases, 2 hoses would be running. I would calculate thousands of gallons of water wasted during a drought time to water the gardens - and then he has the gall to tell me and other renters to take 1 minute "military showers" to save water. On two occasions, I took showers in an outdoor shower from a water storage tank. I was also told that if my toilets needed flushing to just go get water from the pool! Unacceptable. Their are other places to rent locally where you don't have to fill your own toilet tank.

7) Electricity goes out a lot. We lost power for hours on some days. This obviously isn't Jay's fault but it is important to know if you need to be working on your laptop during the day. Not conducive for a remote work environment.

Summary, it's a great location, the owner is sketchy and willing to cut corners, get everything in writing. Verify with others what he says to you. I came there to work and relax. I left early because I could not work and I was not relaxed.

Room Tip: If you are placed in Unit 5 or 6, it is possible you will have to endure a smell that comes up from...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jay Q, Owner at Buena Vista Villas, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
The initial observations given in this review about Buena Vista Villas are positive and true... amazing views... beautiful, tranquil location... clean, new kitchen equipped villas! We take pride in our hotels and make our guests satisfaction and needs a priority. This is evident in all our positive reviews and by TRIPADVISOR'S TRAVELER'S CHOICE AWARD FOR 2013, in recognition for customer satisfaction and outstanding value. Only 25 hotels out of the many thousands receive this award (less than 1 %). Thankfully it is clearly evident that our guests are happy and that this review is not credible. The comments are false assumptions and exaggerated observations.

This guest stayed at 3 different locations during his 3 months in Costa Rica and established a pattern of discontent, complaints and abrupt / unannounced departures which were not attributable to Buena Vista or the other rentals but to the unrealistic demands and generally unhappy nature of the individual. We are grateful for all our positive reviews and Tripadvisor's recognition of our outstanding service and value and will stand on our positive reputation.

We will briefly address this chronicle of unsubstatiated, irrational and unfounded complaints...

1) Buena Vista offerlaundry services to guests for their convenience as an option (as posted on our websites).

2) Costa Rica sales tax is required by law. In this case it was included in the rental. Normally it is separate from the rental rate, as is customary at hotels around the world.

3) Nosara is facing an environmental crisis and cannot continue to absorb the current inflow of trash. We support and encourage recycling and responsible solutions for our community, and personally deliver recyclables and trash to the approprite locations.

4) WiFi at Buena Vista is modern and very reliable... and is documented by our many satisfied guests. We also have extra equipement in the event it's needed and an APS battery backup as well.

5) Buena Vista Villas offers 6 completely equipped villas with small kitchens. Casa Buena Vista is a separate rental, located on the 2nd story overlooking the ocean, and includes a small pool which is contained within the house. Guests staying the the villas have been very content having the beaches nearby for swimming and surfing, so there has never been a problem (except for this individual).

6) During the winter months of December through April the Guanacaste region experiences dry season. This is a normal event and residents and educated visitors are aware of this and prepared for occasional inconveniences. If needed, our local water company randomly cycles water on and off to allow the tanks to refill. This is also "high season" when hotels are full and demand is greatest. The problem is primarily due to overconsuption rather than insufficient water.

As a small hotel our impact is minimal, and we strive to conserve all resources. Our tropical gardens are privided only minimal water 2 x week (our gardener's schedule). In order to assure our guest's needs and comfort in case of a short term outage we also have a large reserve water tank that includes a hot water shower, and bottled water in every villa!

Buena Vista Villas encourages you to read our many positive reviews and the fact that even Tripadvisor themselves acknowledged Buena Vista Villas excellence for providing great values and customer satisfaction.... and we hope to see you soon!

Warm regards from sunny Nosara... the management and staff of Buena Vista Villas : ^ )
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Jay and his property were great. The place is removed enough for a short drive to beach and restaurants, yet we were not always in the car. You can easily get to any of the beaches, especially Guionnes to surf If you want a pool, check out his other property instead.

Jay is great with helping with his surf board rentals and other things!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

The villas were amazing, clean, fresh, roomy, beautifully designed and well maintained. The grounds around the vilas are nothing less than amazing with spectacular views of both the forests and mountains on one side and the waves of Playa Guillones on the other. The owner Jay was more than hospitable. He is very laid back, knowledgable about the area and much of Costa Rica and speaks both English and Spanish since he used to reside in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He is also an avid surfer, so he knows the waves. We plan on returning to Costa Rica soon and will definitely be staying in this secluded, private Villa. Paul is also an amazing person who resides at the villas and is very much like Jay, also an avid surfer from Stuart, Florida.

Room Tip: The rooms overlooking the "jungle" and beaches below are the best.
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

This was my first trip to the Nosara area. I have visited CR many times but typically favor Santa Teresa. I have also been all around the Tamarindo area. I wanted to try Nosara as I had heard good things. We found Buena Vista Villa through Trip Advisor and Jay was helpful right from the beginning. This is why we booked. Had we not had the full trip prebooked (something I would avoid anywhere in CR if you can) we probably would have moved. Not because The Villas were bad but just because we wanted something different. For $69 a night it is a great value especially considering how expensive all of the Nosara Guiones area is. If you can avoid a deposit and see if it fits for you then do that. As I said we would have moved.

Many people think Nosara is a beach town. It is not on the beach. The beach most associated with Nosara is Guiones.

The Buena Vista is very well situated for people who want to see and do a lot. It is on a hill top between Playa Pelada (5 min), Guiones (5 Min) and Nosara (10 Min). You can also drive to Ostional about 30 mins, Marbellas 1 hr or Avellanas 1.5 hrs. Buena Vista is very central. If you want to just be a beach bum and walk to restaurants this is not really the place. You are at least 5 min drive on some hellacious roads from anything. Decide what you are looking for. For what ever reason this was not clear to me beforehand.

We had the honeymoon suite. Room 6. It is very spacious with it's own deck. It is not however very private. You are fairly tight to the neighbors on the side and above and since there is no AC windows are open. The room allows you to do some cooking with in reason - you get a hot plate and microwave with some pans. There is also a fridge and a tea kettle that allows you to make coffee. We made eggs and coffee each day and the setup was more than adequate for this. The view from our room was very nice, moutains and the ocean. There is a lookout on top of the building that you can get to during certain time periods. It is where you can see the waves - I would have liked to be able to check the waves out in the AM but the gate was always locked to the look out as this is also the entry to Jay's house-that was a bummer. Another time I tried to go up and there was someone getting a massage there so all in all it is not really a facility you get to enjoy. In general the breeze and fan were not enough for us during the day - it was hot but night was alright.

Jay was really interested in helping so I gave it a very good up from my initial of average.

I hope you find my review helpful. I have included all the info I can remember that is pertinent. We all are biased in some way. I do try to be as impartial as I can. I work really hard for my money and I do cart wheels for my clients so when a business is lacking I bring it up. Mistakes happen and hospitality is challenging. I know I have years of experience in the business from waiter to snowboard instructor to pantry chef to host - I balance as best I can with realistic expectations. I leave reviews to be helpful to my fellow travelers and the businesses I rate. I think the business response to a review speaks volumes about that business and the managements attitude. I encorage you to read my other reviews. I did one review about a surf camp in Tamarindo that I was displeased with. I had brought my displeasure to the company before I put up the review. They ignored me and then their response shows they clearly did not read my review and just wanted to misdirect travelers from asking the questions they should. I think it is most important that things are accurately represented and not oversold. I under promise and over deliver and expect that I will not be over promised when I am the client. Over promised with a bad attitude really gets me mad (aforementioned surf camp as an example and I still gave them 2 dots). Anyway have a good trip and good luck!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Villas

Address: Lote D5, 400 m Este de tanque agua, Proyecto Americano, Nosara 50206, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Nosara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Buena Vista is located at the beaches of Nosara, Costa Rica on a secluded ridge overlooking the mountains and beaches of Playas Guiones, Pelada and Ostional. Surrounded by jungle, the serenity and beauty of this mountaintop retreat is inspirational... yet is only a few minutes from beaches, restaurants, shopping, airport and other conveniences! Buena Vista's large tropical gardens, accessible by a network of trails, contain hundreds of tropical plants, fruit trees, monkeys and birds! Our low rates and spacious, clean villas with mini kitchens and amazing views make Buena Vista your destination in Nosara! We also offer quality rental surfboards, surfing lessons, bike rentals and can arrange all your rental car and tour needs. ... more   less 
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