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“A piece of heaven”
Review of Recreo

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Recreo
Reviewed July 24, 2012

My stay at Recreo with my family was a vacation to remember. The accomodations were superb. Our chef was innovative and responsive to our dietary requirements. The staff couldn't have been more helpful in providing information for our excursions and attending to our individual needs. I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend Recreo to anyone looking for some R&R in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank DSternlieb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 18, 2012

I must say that I had the best time ever, but let me explain it to you first. I was looking for a trip to celebrate my daughters 16th birthday, but I wanted it to be very special. We have done vacations before, but this time I wanted it to be an unforgettable experience. I was looking for relaxation, purity of nature, and a place where I could bond with my family without the distractions of technology and this place gave it to me and exceeded my expectations. If this sounds what you may be looking for then look no further. Recreo is in the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica in a very remote area. You are literally co-existing with nature with the exception that you have all the modern commodities of a villa. From Liberia airport it is about two hours; however, one hour of the travel time will be done in a dirt road but it adds to the tropical jungle feel of Costa Rica. They are a very eco-friendly country and care about the environment and it certainly shows. The air is pure, the land is pure, and you see the mountainous terrain and lush grounds undisturbed and not overly developed or touristy the way you see in other tourist destinations. The closest town from Recreo is about 2 miles away and the population is only 200 people according to the locals.........its called El JOBO. Recreo is nestled along the mountains and 63 acres of land that consist of 8 Villas which are all spread out throughout the property. Additional costs are a private chef that will be with you for your entire stay and will cook for you freshly prepared meals for breakfast lunch and dinner and beverages throughout the day at the times you request. You also have a housekeeper that will leave your villa clean each day and do your laundry for you (YES, no dirty laundry coming back home). But the best part is the staff, they are the most humble and attentive people ever. Our chef, Antonio, was GREAT. I was impressed at his ability to create a different meal each time. Our housekeeper, Jendri, was awesome and ensured our villa and laundry were clean each day. Our concierge Carlos and David were at our villa each day ensuring we were pleased with our stay. They literally became like part of our family during our stay and made sure we were happy each day. It was "Pura Vida" the phrase that they use over there. Amazing!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Shyaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

We just returned from our vacation at Recreo and it exceeded our expectations. We stayed in villa 19 (5 bedroom), and the accommodations were second to none. Villa 19 is the perfect place to stay at Recreo because it is large, spacious and provides places for people to go if they want some down time. In the main house, there is a master bedroom, kitchen, living and dining room. There are 4 additional bungalows, 2 on each side of the private pool, that have a queen size bed, large bathroom, television and air conditioning. The cabana is a great place to get out of the sun and connect with the world via the wi-fi connection. Every afternoon after returning from the beach, we cooled off in our private pool, which is the largest pool on the property.

We were fortunate to have Heidi as our chef for the week. For each meal, she asked when we wanted to eat. Every meal she made was delicious and plentiful – we never went hungry. We had fruit with every meal (the pineapple is awesome), and Heidi made a variety of fruit drinks, which go well with the killer chimichurri salsa she made for an afternoon snack. In addition to not having to cook or clean up the dishes, our housecleaner cleaned the entire place, including the bungalows daily. She washed any clothes we left of the floor and when we returned to our villa, the clothes were folded on our bed. Carlos, the concierge, was always accommodating. He checked with us daily to see if we needed anything and to make sure we were enjoying our vacation. He let us know if other guests were taking a tour we were interested in so we could save some money by splitting the transportation fee. We asked to have lunch on the beach one day and Carlos drove Heidi down to the beach with a cooler full of food and drinks. One day, the kids and I went zip lining while my wife got a massage. Carlos took care of scheduling all of this for us. If you want to any spa services, my wife highly recommends Lucie. (not sure if this is spelled correctly) The massage was fabulous and Lucie was very thoughtful and considerate. Just let Carlos know when scheduling your appointment.

Every day, we packed a cooler full of drinks and made the short ride on the golf cart to Playa Rajada. The beach is not crowded at all – most days we were the only ones there. There is a Recreo trailer at the beach with items like boogie boards, goggles, beach chairs and kayaks. Our kids went horseback riding to El Jobo and on the beach as well. We also played tennis in the morning and went on hikes to the top of the mountain. During one of our hikes, we came across a new villa being built. We took a sneak peek and it has amazing views of both Playa Rajada and Playa Jobo. I asked about this villa and they told me it is villa 6 – it is the 2 bedroom villa on the website. It really looks like it is going to be a special place when it is done. The cantina at the top of the mountain is a great place to watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine. The views from the top are amazing. We recommend you get the golf cart so you can explore the property, and it is useful for going to the beach.

A few other suggestions: bring lots of sunscreen; bring bug spray as the mosquitos can be a little pesky in the evening; you can purchase beer, wine, and other items in Liberia on your way to Recreo; the food in the airport in Liberia is crazy expensive, so you may want to eat in Liberia prior to catching your flight on your way home, just allow for some extra time.

Overall, Recreo was one of the best places we have stayed on any vacation. For our next visit, we will try to stay in villa 6 (the one being built now) if available. If not, we'd love to stay in villa 19 again. We would recommend Recreo to anyone who is looking for a quiet, peaceful vacation in a private, secluded villa where the staff provides top notch service.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We chose Recreo for our honeymoon 6/5-6/12/12 and stayed in Villa 3, a 3-bedroom villa. From the minute we stepped off the plane, we were in love. Our driver that Recreo had arranged was there waiting for us even though our plane landed a little early. We managed to escape the slew of taxi drivers that are awaiting tourists as they exit the airport, but they were still a little overwhelming! Our taxi driver had a mix CD of American music that he played for us to make us more comfortable and although he didn't speak much English, he was very friendly. The drive to Recreo from Liberia takes about 1 1/2 hours, but the amazing views make the time fly by - keep your camera out during the taxi ride! When we got to Recreo, we were greeted by our concierge, Carlos, and chef, Joe. Carlos spoke English very well and did a great job welcoming us to our villa and taking us for a tour of the grounds and the nearby beach. He also checked in on us 1-3 times per day to make sure we didn't need anything. He was very helpful and you can tell he enjoys greeting tourists and welcoming them to CR.
Our villa was absolutely beautiful and extremely clean. 2 of the bedrooms are inside the main house, and there is 1 bedroom that is just outside the house in it's own little guest house with a bathroom. The satellite TV had quite a few English channels and English music stations. Also, the free WiFi was awesome - we were able to post pictures from our trip before we got home so that our families could keep up with what we were doing and seeing. There was also laundry facilities inside the villa, so we were able to wash all of our clothes before we went home - awesome! The housekeeper came by every day and spent at least an hour cleaning; our villa was so clean every day you couldn't even tell we there! She also made cute little towel animals for us everyday and made sure we had plenty of towels for showering and for the pool/beach.
The area around Recreo seemed pretty safe - we rode our golf cart into El Jobo to check our their little convenience store and to get a little peek into the community and we never ran into any problems nor did we feel unwelcome. It's primarily a farming community, and there's lots of cows, horses, chickens, and dogs running around acres of land. All of the little kids in El Jobo waved to us and everyone we drove by gave us a polite "hello" wave.
Our chef for the week, Joe, had a delicious salsa and chips and fruit spread waiting for us when we arrived. He didn't speak much English, but we were able to communicate mealtimes and ask what things were via my basic Spanish skills and through google translate (my husband speaks NO Spanish, so having the computer was a big help!). Joe cooked the most amazing meals - I ate many things that I never would have even tried at home and loved every bite! There was not one meal where my husband and I did not clean our plates. All of the fruits and vegetables are fresh and absolutely delicious. Joe made us a different juice for each meal and my husband salivated just thinking about what our next juice drink would be :) We don't eat any seafood, and Recreo accomodated us with plenty of beef, chicken, and pasta - which was perfect. We ate more flan in that one week than I have probably eaten my whole life, and I loved every minute of it!
I strongly urge everyone to rent the golf cart! It gets pretty hot during the day and walking would be a little uncomfortable on the gravel and dirt roads. Plus, tooling around on a mountain in a golf cart is pretty fun - it makes for some great photo ops and having the wind blowing through your hair is very refreshing on a hot day.
During the day, we spent most of our time at the pristine, rock-free beach down the road from Recreo. The staff at the trailer that Recreo keeps on the beach with the beach chairs, kayaks, and such was very helpful and always pleasant. We were back and forth from the beach to Recreo a few times during the day and nobody every made us feel like we were a bother. We did spend one day at Buena Vista, where we visited the hot springs and mud bath, the waterslide, and went ziplining. I highly recommend this trip even though it was an hour and a half away. Our guide, Norman, spoke perfect English and kept us organized during the day, shuttling us from activity to activity when we were ready to move on. He also was nice enough to bring us to the supermarket in La Cruz so we could pick up some Corona and aloe on the way home. We didn't do any other day trips, but we did use the Recreo horses to go horseback riding with David. He took us on a little trip through the community that is next to Recreo, El Jobo, to a beach that was a little further away. The horses were pretty calm and we both felt very safe with David (we were both first time riders and had never even been near horses before). It was a really pleasant way to kill a few hours and do a little sightseeing. We used the pool at our villa quite a bit, and the water was always clean and just the right temperature for a refreshing dip. We were visited by monkeys a few times while we were in the pool, which was really neat (the monkeys don't come down and bother you, they just come to check you out from low in the trees). The wildlife at Recreo was beautiful and we were visited by capuchin and spider monkeys, frogs, raccoons, colorful birds, millions of different butterflies, bats, black and green iguanas, house geckos, and small, friendly dogs that came to check things out from El Jobo. The only animals that every bothered us were mosquitoes. I wore 100% DEET whenever I was outside and still had about 20 bites from the blue mosquitoes, but my husband (who didnt ever wear bug spray) didn't even get 1 bite - I think I am a freak exception as I also got stung by a wasp 4 times, pinched by a crab, stung by something in the water, and had a close encounter with a stingray at the beach. I totally forgot about stingrays, but they are definitely present even very close to the shore, so make sure you do the stingray shuffle while at the beach!
Overall, Recreo was definitely worth every penny and we had a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon that all of our friends and family were jealous to miss out on! I highly recommend taking a visit!!!!

Room Tip: All of the villas are completely different and have their own unique qualities, but I don't thin...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Katie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

I am well traveled and truly can say this area is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. We stayed in Villa 11 which was essentially a gorgeous, luxury home in the heart of the Coastal Jungle. Prior to going, having never been, I was a little nervous for the “critters” you hear about in Costa Rica. I was very pleasantly surprised that nothing bothered me in the least. Yes there are some wasps but they did not bother us, and I found the little lizards to be quite cute. Never saw a big flying bug or spider. There are mosquitos at night so it’s a good idea to bring some spray. There was always something to do, and I found the trip to be the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. Day 1 we did the Nicaraguan Day tour with Norman which was fantastic. Favorite parts were the viewpoint at one of the lakes as well as climbing up the volcano. Was perfect amount of time (full day) to truly feel like I experienced the country. Granada, a lovely town rooted in Spanish history, had a fantastic hotel and is a great place to stop for a quick beer (Tona, they are the best). Also the boat ride was fantastic, was perfect for seeing a ton of monkeys but at a nice distance. Was a GREAT day.
Day 2 started off with tennis, we live in a big city and made jokes as we approached the wide open court that it would be a long wait to get on (usually the standard). Then we had a pool day, the pool on the property is fantastic and perfect for spending an afternoon or evening.
Day 3 we hit the beach, we used the kayaks that are free of charge for Recreo, and then boogie boarded, both of which were super fun and the weather was perfect.
This propery offers so many options of activities, places to explore (via golf cart) and then we always an took an afternoon swim. Evenings were spent at the pool or sitting listening to waves crash on the beach, and we also went up to the top tiki bar for sunset a couple times which was absolutely stunning. The service that comes along with the property it was great. Staff came in and cleaned while we were gone and the property was always spotless. Our chef was super nice and made great meals, including chicken fajitas, guacamole, lobster tail, paella, and lots of fresh fruit. The coffee was great every morning and I ate more fruit than I usually do which is a plus, was delicious. The day we went to the beach our chef packed us a cooler with ice, fruit and waters. I’ve read some people with mixed reviews on food, I have eaten some excellent meals in my life and can say that the food is very good and I enjoyed all my meals. One do-not-miss thing is the local restaurant down the road from Recreo –must try the ceviche and locally caught fish.
In summary: if you are an adventurous person with an appreciation for natural beauty, yet enjoy a more luxurious setting, you will love Villa 11 at Recreo. I appreciated the privacy of the property as well, I have to constantly interact with people both for work as well as socially, and this was the perfect place to decompress and spend quality time with someone special. It was the perfect change of pace and truly the perfect vacation. Cannot wait to go back.

Room Tip: Villa 11! Next time am going to go back with friends so they can see how great this place is.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank bhayesparty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

I recently visited Recreo in March of 2012 with a group of 7 friends. We stayed in Villa 19, which has one main house that houses the kitchen, dining room, living room and 1 bedroom. The other bedrooms are separate bungalows surrounding the pool. Accommodations were great, each bungalow had a giant walk-in cement shower and bathroom, plus a queen sized bed. Beds were comfortable and I found myself getting a good nights rest.

During the day we found ourselves hanging around our pool quite a bit in the lounge chairs and also sitting under the cabana to escape the sun for part of the day. Other days we took our golf cart to travel the 1/2 mile to the beach. The beach was very picturesque, and not crowded at all. A few locals were there a couple of the days, but was never packed. It almost felt like it was our own private beach. Recreo has a trailer down by the beach with chairs, kayaks and boogie boards that we took advantage of. The beach was also a great place to view the amazing sunset, which we did a couple times. We also took our golf cart up to the mountaintop cantina to view the sunset. The view from up there was beyond amazing and beautiful. Looked like a postcard.

Our personal chef, Haiti, was incredible. Each meal we found ourself saying that this was the best meal we've eaten so far. Food was of a wide variety, often including multiple proteins, and was deliciously and freshly prepared. Every dinner included dessert, my favorite being a tres leches cake. The fresh fruit was also plentiful and the best I've had. (Perfect to add to delicious blender drinks, too!) One of the days our group went fishing and caught some tuna and other fish. The next night we had those fresh fish for dinner. Haiti also made the best pico de gallo we've ever had in our lives! Every afternoon she'd appear with a large bowl of it for us to devour by the pool as an afternoon snack. My mouth is watering thinking about it. I wished I would have watched her make it so I could replicate here at home.

For a day trip, we went back to Liberia to do the Rincon adventure tour of horseback riding, ziplining, white water rafting and soaking in the hot springs. Although it's over an hour van ride there from Recreo, the tour was really fun. My favorite being the ziplining and the white water rafting, which I had never done before. At only $85 it was great price for a day worth of fun.

I've been on many other tropical vacations (most to all-inclusive large resorts) and my vacation at Recreo easily ranks as one of the the best vacations I've been on. From the breathtaking location, the plush accommodations and the personal service (a big shout out to Kristine and Carlos who were always there to make sure our stay was perfect), Recreo is the ideal place to relax and unwind to escape the hustle and bustle of the hectic real world. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Recreo to anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation. We're already making plans to return next year.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Sconniegirl79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Recreo for our honeymoon in July of 2011, and had an amazing time. We stayed in the gorgeous Villa 7, had the most amazing food made by our chef (Caliche), caught mahi mahi on the fishing trip (and got to eat it), and saw some amazing things on the day trip to Nicaragua. It took us a while to get used to being so secluded after months of being on the go, but it ended up being exactly what we needed. I would love to go back with a big group of friends. We reminisce about Recreo WEEKLY!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank AbbyH372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Recreo

Address: West Playa Rajada 800, 51001, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 247 B&Bs / Inns in Province of Guanacaste
Price Range: $362 - $586 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Recreo 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recreo Resort, a 63-acre mountain and beach estate near Playa Rajada is just 1 hour and 30 minutes from Liberia airport. Choose from one of our private villas, all with private pools and ocean views. During the holidays,included in the price of the All-Inclusive package are airport transfers, a villa cook and housekeeper, all meals and beverages, concierge and all onsite activities including kayaking, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, snorkeling and a range of beach activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Recreo Hotel Province Of Guanacaste
Recreo Costa Rica/Guanacaste

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