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“Blessed to have found Esteban!”
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Overview
Villa -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 3
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Province of Alajuela

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Excellent - based on 48 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Melissas4...
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Blessed to have found Esteban!”
Reviewed September 25, 2014 for a stay in July 2014

I began searching for an anniversary get-away to Costa Rica for my husband and I months ahead of time. I'm one of those people who want to make sure that we get the best bang for our buck and didn't want to miss something spectacular. My husband and I had decided that we didn't want to do the typical tourist resort kind of stay. We prefer the bed and breakfast type places that are quaint and unique to the areas that we are staying. After weeks (I know...crazy) of searching on line, I came across Esteban's place and kept coming back to it. We finally called and were able to talk with Esteban. What a blessing it was to have an "insiders" view on taking a trip to a place that we've never been! Esteban didn't try to sell us on his place, but gave awesome advice on the various areas, attractions, and even other places to stay on our trip. He was very patient with our numerous questions, and extremely helpful to talk with! We can't thank him enough!
There were only two available days that we were able to stay at Esteban's place while on our trip and they were seriously AMAZING! The villa and property was beautiful! It had everything and more that we needed and was within driving distance to town. We enjoyed eating out at some of the local restaurant that Esteban suggested, but also enjoyed having a few meals at the villa. If I had to use one word to describe the villa and property it would be peaceful... and maybe relaxing,... and maybe exciting,... :)!
We had ten days in Costa Rica, so Esteban help us set up our stay at three different locations, our car rental, and excursions. The first half of our trip was spent in the La Fortuna area and this was where we got our adventure on! White water rafting, ATV riding through the pineapple fields and rain forest to a natural hot spring (my Garden of Eden!), horse back riding, and zip lining... incredible! Danny is your own personal guide that Esteban hires for most of your excursions if you choose to do them on his property (which I highly recommend)! Danny was awesome! He was very knowledgeable, laid back, flexible with our schedules, and very affordable!
Here is my one piece of advice... we knew we were coming during the rainy season so we were prepared for wet, but for some reason, we didn't think mud.?! Lots of mud when your driving/riding through muddy fields and back roads in the pouring rain... so much fun though! It would have been good to pack some serious rain gear like water proof pants and jackets that you don't mind getting a bit dirty! Costa Rica was experiencing an unusually wet rainy season on our visit, but the sun still managed to peak out at times and the rain only added to the atmosphere!
I would highly recommend a stay here!!!! Don't question it (unless your the type that prefers to sit around the pool waiting for the cabana boys to come running with your drink type... which is ok, but this may not be your thing then:0)!

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Liked best: The tranquility of the property with so many options to explore Costa Rica!
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thuytut
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
““Beautiful, charming villa -- an ideal experience!””
Reviewed August 25, 2014 for a stay in May 2014

This beautiful villa on a horse ranch was exactly what my boyfriend and I were looking for. We wanted to be near La Fortuna for easy access to activities, but wanted to stay somewhere more peaceful and spacious. The villa is an easy 20-25 minute drive from the city center of La Fortuna, which was very convenient for activities (zip lining, whitewater rafting, driving up Arenal Volcano, etc.).

The villa itself consists of one bedroom with an open layout and glass french doors that open up to a pastoral view of the entrance to the ranch and mountains beyond. From the lounge chairs and hammock on the porch, we enjoyed watching the horses graze in the morning as we drank coffee and ate breakfast. (I have to add here that part of the unforgettable charm of the villa is our canine host, Gypsy, who came to our gate every morning to greet us -- try not to fall in love with her, it will only make it harder to leave.)

There is a private kitchen adjacent to the bedroom, which was well equipped with pots, pans, spices, dinnerware, refrigerator, and coffee maker. We ended up cooking dinner and eating on the patio several nights during our stay. There is also a hot tub and pool down a short path -- a great way to relax in the evening after an activity-filled day. You can also walk further down the path to the stables to visit the horses.

Esteban, his wife and their staff were great hosts. They were very professional, welcoming and helpful, we were truly grateful for their hospitality. Before even arriving in Costa Rica, I chatted with Esteban, who helped us book our car rental at a discounted rate and gave us great advice for our 10-day trip: pick one to two locations and get as much out of those destinations as possible rather than try to visit many regions in one short trip. After driving around Costa Rica, I can say I'm so glad we listened to him! Esteban also helped us book many of our activities while we stayed on the ranch, including a private ATV tour to more secluded hot springs led by one of his guides.

In short, you won't find a more friendly, convenient, reasonably-priced, charming, comfortable place to stay. We loved staying at the villa and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the La Fortuna/Arenal area!

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Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Remee1234
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCLLENT :)”
Reviewed August 20, 2014 for a stay in August 2014

My ten year old daughter and I stayed in Ilana Ilana and it was gorgeous, well stocked (towels, plates, coffeepot, microwave, etc.) and had some of the most breathtaking views.
The ranches owners (Esteban and Monica)and staff were friendly, helpful and informative. There was a beautiful pool and grounds and animals :)
My daughter and I stayed for three days and it was enough to leave a lasting and magnificent impression! Wonderful place for all types of travelers.

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Liked best: the hammock
Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber2820...
Wichita, Kansas
1 review
“ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!”
Reviewed August 12, 2014 for a stay in July 2014

We stayed at this villa on the 2nd half of our trip in Costa Rica. During the first half we stayed at an all -inclusive resort which we honestly thought would be better since everything is included. I must say, this by far was 100 times better. The house was absolutely spotless! You can truly tell the house cleaners take great pride in their jobs to ensure the house is in tip-top condition. The bed was amazing as well as the shower. We loved the patio area as well. It was so great waking up every morning to such a peaceful view. Esteban and Monica truly helped make our vacation one we will never forget. Esteban helped us book all of our excursions as well as helped to get a car rental set up. We truly trusted his opinion and he did not steer us wrong. Monica was also so great as well, she actually came along on our ATV rides and made us feel comfortable and safe. They were so friendly, along with their entire staff. The only thing I would recommend is to make sure and pack bug spray...no matter how much we put on we still got completely bitten up, but this seemed to be everywhere we went. It is also at least a 30 min drive into La Fortuna, it is nice to have so much privacy but not many restaurants around. If you plan to cook there is a very nice grocery store only a few miles away. The food in La Fortuna was all excellent, we absolutely loved everywhere we went. We would love to come back and stay at Monica and Esteban's place again one day and would recommend it to anyone! Thanks so much!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Cleanliness of house and privacy/view
Liked least: all was great besides the bugs
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shankar S
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very nice place. Spectacular views. Very serene.”
Reviewed August 5, 2014 for a stay in July 2014

Very nice place. Away from all the touristy crowds but not far away from attractions. You can get to places within 30 mins. Very well kept and clean home. Views from the home were spectacular. Lots to do within the farm (ATV's, horseback riding etc) Place has charm and character. Staff were very helpful and friendly. Owner took care of all the arrangements for us which was extremely helpful. The guide service that was available through this place was excellent. Very friendly, understanding and knowledgable. We have little kids and he was very flexible with out pace and schedule. Totally worth your money. Only complain is that the kitchen to this house next door and not connected to the main house. We had to deal with plenty of bugs and insects due to the rain and the kitchen is kind of outdoorsy (has a opening on top of the doors) and that invited all the Mosquitos inside and made being in there a true challenge. If you are traveling there in the rainy season carry lots of bug sprays and bug repellents for the rooms. Maid service everyday was excellent. Owner and guide very extreme helpful. A information book/binder would have been helpful In the room.There is a dog in the farm which is very friendly and sweet. Kids loved playing with it. Overall a very nice and reliable place and people. Would definitely recommend it. Will stay there if we visit again.

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Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ErinSK
Denver, Colorado
1 review
“Ideal setting and service”
Reviewed July 9, 2014 for a stay in June 2014

We had an excellent stay at the villa. After a week on the hot beach, the cooler climate felt wonderful, and the setting couldn't have been more ideal. It was great to enjoy just being on the property when we weren't out on day trips- our two year old loved playing on the porch, around the flowers, at the pool, and visiting the horses. Esteban and Danny were both very helpful with guiding us toward places to visit in the area. We enjoyed the rural/small village setting while also being a short drive from Arenal. We would go back in a second!

Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edtx8
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Gorgeous property, excellent location!”
Reviewed May 30, 2014 for a stay in May 2014

A big thank you to Esteban and Monica for making our stay so memorable. If you are looking to stay just outside La Fortuna/Arenal (20+ minutes), away from the tourist resorts, consider staying at one of the villas on this incredible horse ranch. The villa we stayed in was so nice...spacious & comfy with air conditioner in the bedroom (a must per my husband). It also included a daily cleaning service which was awesome. We arrived with no activities booked and Esteban recommended top notch guide services then proceeded to book them for us each morning. We went white water rafting, zip lining, horse back riding, ATVing to local hot springs (Amazing), and lounged by the pool. Danny is the personal guide for the ranch and took us on our ATV tour...extremely knowledgeable of the area and a great guy. I asked him to be on the look out for a sloth and he found one! Along with Scarlet and Green Macaws, so neat. I cannot say enough great things about this property and the owners, we look forward to returning!

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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