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“Incredibly Friendly” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rancho Armadillo Estate

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Rancho Armadillo Estate
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Columbia, PA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Incredibly Friendly”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

Rancho Armadillo is a "Low key" friendly spot where the owner truly looks after you. He is a professional chef and knows food. He also understands people so he makes good recommendations. It is not a deluxe property, but the view and friendliness make up for it. We stayed for 3 nights and had a very nice time of it. Rick not only recommended where to go, but kindly drove us to the destinations. He also recommended a masseuse who gave us each a wonderful massage on the terrace as the birds sang. The property is clean and well cared for. The staff seems to be happy to be employed there. All in all, it was a "Feel Good" experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank IrisColumbia_PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    160
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed at Rancho Armadillo for a total of six nights. From the very beginning, Rick the owner was very helpful with trip planning and recommendations. This was our first trip to Costa Rica so the help in figuring out where to go and recommendations for tours, rental cars and restaurants were extremely helpful. Rick also does not take commissions from the places he recommends so there is quite a bit to be saved. The property has a lot of charm and personality. Rick obviously has a love for the country and animals and the place has a lot of animal residents and visitors.
The breakfast spread is one of the best you will encounter in Costa Rica. The layout of the common areas is also very condusive to meeting and comparing travel notes with your fellow travelers. Overall a very enjoyable property and highly recommended for all.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank utsixpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

From the very first communication with Rick the owner, our experience at Rancho Amadillo was handled professionally and with aplomb. We received terrific discounts on car rental, cell phone, restaurants, canopy tour and more from Rick, he did not steer us wrong once. I will say it was a highlight of a great experience, if you want the old school Costa Rica experience look no further. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: All rooms are suites!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

If you're looking for relaxation and tranquility within a short driving distance from the restaurants of Playas del Coco (5 minutes) and nearby beaches, Rancho Armadillo is the place!

Upon arrival, I was immediately welcomed by Rick and given a quick tour of the property and amenities. As it was already dark when I arrived, I was unaware of the surroundings. When I came out of my room (incidentally, the Buena Vista) in the morning, I was immediately struck by the fabulous view overlooking the dry forest out to the ocean. The property is located on a hill with an amazing view!

The room was clean and comfortable with a small fridge and coffee maker. Breakfast (included) consisted of fresh fruit, breads, waffles, juice and coffee. The pool was very inviting. Rick has also thoughtfully included a number of extras: suntan lotions and bug repellents, a fully loaded iPod for music by the pool and a filtered water cooler. Beer and non-alcoholic drinks (for a small fee) are provided. Kitchen facilities are available should you wish to prepare your own meals (I didn't).

Rick takes his role as host and owner very seriously and truly makes you feel like a guest. He can provide detailed information on day trips and activities in the area. If you're looking for true hospitality, skip the impersonal resort stay and enjoy some pura vida at Rancho Armadillo.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank newf_gurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camas, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2012

from the moment I got out of the car and was greeted by Rick, owner and operator of Armadillo, I was instantly welcomed and immediately felt right at home. The amount of information and concierge services he offers his guests far surpass many of the high end resorts I have stayed at in the past. The accomodations are island rustic, comfortable, colorful casitas surrounded by views of the ocean, flowering trees and sculptures/art in every nook your eyes glance to. The multitude of bird species was a constant delight, and the breezes that visit the property every day really help with the humidity and heat you endure in town. The staff is amazing- long time emplyed by Rick, their quality and dedication to their duties, represent their love for the property and all those who visit. I personally felt like I was leaving my new family when I departed, and can't wait to visit again next December. Rick's recommendations of restaurants, points of interest and places to visit are spot on- no guess work needed, and whether you are looking to do the "tourist" thing, or simply want a REAL local Costa Rica encounter, his suggestions will enhance all of your adventures. If you want the best of Coco Beach, I highly recommend this to be your hacienda- quiet and comfortable, with the hustle and bustle just 3 minutes down the hill. Rancho Armadillo's attention to detail, and the individual needs of their guests, is far superior than I expected, and I thank all of you for making my first trip to Costa Rica one of the most memerable vacations I have ever had-see you next year!!

Room Tip: be sure to tell Rick if you have special needs- he will place you in a room that bests suits you
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sharon E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago, il
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

We were lucky enough that when our airline changed our tickets, they gave us an extra night in Costa Rica. So, we wanted to move closer to the airport, but still be near the coast, and Rick's place - Rancho Armadillo - was perfect! The location was close to Ocotal and Coco, so that we had a nice easy dinner and shopping in Coco that evening, and managed an early-morning snorkel at Ocotal, before a leisure breakfast and easy trip to the airport. This small, charming place was totally accomodating, and had an outstanding view of the Pacific. Our group of 7, totally loved our brief visit, and will definitely stay with Rick again, on our next trip.

Room Tip: I think all rooms are equally good, and Rick will help put you in the best one for your needs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rokubanlu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

We (a couple in our 30s/40s) stayed at Rancho Armadillo Estates in early Sept 2012, and discovered the real reason that this place is rated so highly.

It’s not the room we stayed in, which was very nice, with a king-sized bed, exposed wood ceiling, big flatscreen, huge shower, refrigerator, coffeemaker, good wifi access (rare to get such good bandwidth in CR).

It’s not the amazing view of Coco and the sea from the restaurant/pool terrace in the mornings, or the even better view from the chillout terrace at the highest point of the resort.

It’s not the excellent breakfast that was included in the room rate.

It’s not the nice, clean pool, nor is it even the excellent security and tranquility of the place.

Rancho Armadillo has all those things, but what makes it really special is the owner/manager, the American expat Rick Vogel, and the attention he gives to guests. We’ll just summarize by noting that Rick provided us with helpful information and assistance, to a degree that we don’t expect to find elsewhere, ever.

On the hotel website, Rick notes that: “We create an atmosphere so that our guests feel like they're coming to visit friends who have a really nice place to stay. From your first contact with us we will assist you in planning your entire stay in Costa Rica, not just your Rancho Armadillo Estate portion of your trip.” This is true. However, Rick seems to do this not because it’s a business strategy--he could make lots more money simply by expanding his resort--but because he genuinely enjoys helping people.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Wanderers-2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Armadillo Estate

Property: Rancho Armadillo Estate
Address: Playas del Coco, Playas del Coco 5019, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playas del Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Armadillo Estate, a small private mountainside estate overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo. The estate is perfect for couples, families or groups. Our guests feel like they're coming to visit friends who have a really nice place to stay. Our knowledge of Costa Rica ensures our guests experience the best Costa Rica has to offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Armadillo Estate Hotel Playas Del Coco
Rancho Armadillo Estate Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

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