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“Honeymoon Paradise”

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Hotel Vista de Olas
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Renton, WA
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Paradise”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

My husband and I spent a whole week here on our honeymoon and it was heaven. The property grounds were beautiful, an amazing view from the infinity pool and restaurant and even from your private villa. The BBQ dinners are delicious and a fun different way to eat dinner, cooking your own meat and making your own salad. The swim up bar is a perfect addition to the amazing sunsets from inside the pool, and the entire staff is incredible. You can walk to the town to eat anytime, surf, or just explore. It's a hot walk up and down the hill to the hotel, but they will always call you a cab! Overall, this experience was once in a lifetime, and we highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MerithH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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513 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (174)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Very rare do we travel where everyone is completely content and happy. Until we found Hotel Vista de Olas. My husband was thrilled with the outside shower and the fact that anywhere we went, he was in shorts and a t-shirt and our means of transportation was an ATV.
My son and his friend were content every day to surf. They were taught by the best, Sven and Mikey, the first 2 days, and then were on their own. They were thrilled!
Me? An unbelievable massage right in my room and hanging at a pool that over looked an ocean. As one of my friends said,"You did not take that picture, it's a postcard, right??" It was picture perfect every day. It helped that the owner, Roger, looks identical to my cousin. By the end of the trip, we truly were like a family.

Room Tip: all are amazing
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Hotel Vista de Olas is a great spot to relax and unwind. No TV or land line was perfect for us. You do have cell coverage and Wi-Fi if you want to connect with the rest of the world. The infinity pool looks just like it looks on line. You get a hot breakfast every morning and their BBQ dinners are good. The villas are in the jungle. They are rustic and beautiful. The open air bathroom takes a minute to get used to but it’s definitely part of the experience. The owners and staff are a very down to earth family and we enjoyed talking with them. They are very hospitable and work hard to make their guests’ vacations memorable and fun. The view from the hilltop is great but the walk up the hill can be challenging. Make plans to rent a car to get around the peninsula and have easy access to the hotel. The ATV tour and surfing lessons are a lot of fun. You can be very active on the penisula with ATVs, hiking, swimming, surfing, SUP, and snorkeling. You can take a drive to the towns along the peninsula and eat at some great restaurants. You can find everything from traditional Costa Rican meals to some great pizza in Playa Carmen or a more upscale seafood dinner at Breza del Mar. You will find quite a few secluded beaches to spend the day and take in an amazing sunset. We had a great time on the peninsula. We really enjoyed all the people we met and our stay at Hotel Vista de Olas. We definitely want to visit Costa Rica again and would definitely consider staying here again.

Room Tip: You can view all 5 villas online to help you choose.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

If you think this place looks "too good to be true", it isn't! HVdO is one of the cleanest, most relaxing hotels that I've ever visited. Roger and staff are engaging, helpful and fun. The varying evening visitors from around the area add to the uniqueness of the experience.

My only hesitation in writinf this raving review is that I fear it will become more difficult to get a room next time.

Room Tip: Skip the free breakfast one day and go to bake shop in village.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank alan s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed sharing Rogers place. Rogers place is more like a Bed and Breakfast feel at Villa De Olas than a Hilton Beach Resort Hotel Complex. There are many personal touches and uniqueness which most will be able to appreciate. Birds wake you up in the morning. Sometimes you hear howler monkeys in the distance. Great views of Mal Pais and Playa Carmen.
Being up on the hill in Mal Pais the breezes made it seem cooler than on the beach. Kung Fu, Roger's cat, hung out with us at our bungalow often. Don't tell Roger we fed "Kung Fu" some of our leftovers. The meals at the poolside restaurant/BBQ were good with a great view of the sunset. There were great activities and adventure available all around this very unique peninsula:
Surfing at the Playa Carmen beach break
Exploring the Mal Pais tide pools at low tide
Touring the hidden beaches of Santa Teresa
Sharing the jungle with troops of monkeys on our ATV tour of the Montezuma Waterfalls
Just having a day at the beach in Playa Carmen and renting surf boards

If we get out to Rogers place again we would definitely rent a car initially in San Jose to start this time and spend a leasurely day driving to Mal Pais. However, driving at night could be challenging given the road signs and directions are challenging on the peninsula. You can always rent in Tambor, San Jose, or Playa Carmen. Having a 4x4 car made getting around easier and more enjoyable. Walking on the roads can be dusty and hot in the dry season.

Overall, we would definitely, consider staying another time at Villa De Olas. Next time we would want to try some paddle boarding at the fishing village and check out the Cabo Blanco Nature Preserve.

Room Tip: Unit #5 was close to the pool and eating areas and located on the south side of the hill
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, Arkansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Where do we begin?
1. AIRPORT "Transportation"
- Per our emailing with Roger before the trip, he offered to pick us up at the airport - no mention of any costs associated. Upon arrival, a taxi was there to pick us up and we saw on the bill later that we were charged $130 round trip fee for this "service" - we were never told about this charge upfront, and later found out you can take a shuttle to the airport from town for FIFTEEN DOLLARS.
TOTAL RIPOFF.

2. The "huts" had outdoor bathrooms as the other reviews mention and the picture showed on the website. However, our door to the outdoor bathroom wouldn't close and swung open in the middle of the night every night several times. Keep in mind that every other resort in the area has security guards out front and bars on some of the windows to ensure the safety of their guests. This place has none of that and a door that gives you a heart attack every time it flies open in the middle of the night while you are attempting to sleep in the middle of the jungle.

Also, their cat crawled into our bed with a dead lizard in it's mouth.

3. Heidi and Roger -
most of our experience was with Heidi as Roger was on his own "vacation". Heidi was literally the rudest person I have ever met. She should not work in the hospitality industry if she doesn't like to talk to guests in a reasonable manner! First, we did not ask for any breakfast and a huge plate of eggs were served to us out of no where with canned salsa dumped on top. I am allergic to eggs and told her I couldn't eat them and she FREAKED OUT on me and yelled that everywhere in town only serves rice and beans and eggs, which we quickly found out is not true AT ALL. The town has AWESOME food cheaper than the food served at Heidi and Rogers, and you don't have to cook dinner yourself every night. The next time she got mad at us was when we asked her to book us surf lessons for a certain time the next day and she said she would call and see if the surf instructor was available - she never let us know anything that night and the next day we made it a point to check in with her employees to see if we were scheduled for anything. Heidi wasn't around and the employee didn't know anything so we said we were just going to go to the beach where the surf lessons were and be there in case they were somehow happening. When we came back to the hotel that night, she screamed at us that we had missed our surf lessons - we explained to her that we came back to check in and she said "there was a note in the back of the kitchen that said everything! everybody knows to look there!" - well, no, everyone does not know to look there, including your own employees who we checked with. Then she said she had made them for the complete wrong time from what we had discussed the night before and stormed away from us. We told her later that we had been on the beach during that time and didn't see anyone there and she yelled at us again telling us that she told us to go to the surf shop first to check in for the lessons - we told her we never knew that, and she screamed again saying "everyone knows this!" and then stormed away. These are just a few of the examples I wanted to share about how bad their service was.

4. THE TIPPING POINT
On night 3 of our trip, we come back to the "fair at best" hotel room and find the room covered in poisonous spiders that were the size of a tennis ball. Now, before Roger gets on here and says "You are in the jungle, what do you expect!?" - I want to say that all I expect is a door to the outdoor bathroom that shuts and locks. That way, my risk of poisonous spiders coming into the room is limited. Also, the hospital is at least 4 hours away and their "emergency" system is nonexistent. After finding a few of these spiders around the room, we topped off the night with finding an ENORMOUS TARANTULA in the shower. At that point, we said FORGET THIS PLACE, packed up our stuff, got into our rental car, and drove to find another hotel in the Mal Pais/Santa Teresa area.... well, great news for travelers to Costa Rica - nicer, safer, cleaner, fresher, more location centric hotels exist and I would stay at any of them over this hell hole.
We ended up staying at two more fabulous places during this trip and are planning to go back to Santa Teresa next year.

All in all, my review of this hotel is abysmal - the best thing about it is the view from the pool (the dirty pool) and once you snap a quick picture from there you should feel free to move on.

Finally, I know Roger and Heidi tend to respond to some of these reviews defending themselves - most of the time, their answers are "you can't please everyone!" or "the living social deal is already a great offer!" but that is NO EXCUSE for poor customer service. And if you want to complain about the living social deal, then don't REPEATEDLY offer it! Simple solution! Now we know why there is an offer out there in the first place - so they have SOME hope of getting visitors to their disgusting "hotel"

Room Tip: Look at either Horizon hotel in Santa Teresa or Villas Hermosas
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
34 Thank Courtney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 23, 2013

When we arrived and experienced the view for the first time we immediately began to try and figure out how we could stay and never go home. This wasn't too hard to imagine as Roger, Heidi and the whole team made us feel at home for our entire visit.

Our villa was just what we hoped it to be with beautiful woodwork, tile flooring and everything we needed. Not to mention our own picture perfect view of the ocean. And who doesn't love having palms swaying overhead in their open air bathroom, which for being exposed to the elements, was kept very clean along with the rest of the villa. This was the perfect place to come "home" to and relax after our daily CR adventures.

We don't understand how anyone could complain about the breakfast served at Vista de Olas….fresh fruit plus a different main dish prepared just for you the moment you sit down each and every morning…it puts the typical "continental breakfast" to shame. What a way to start the day!

The Vista de Olas family kept our days filled with fun and were most helpful in organizing our daily outings. From calling taxis, to changing reservations when we got days confused, to staying open late when we missed dinner hours…they took care of us.

When we vacation we prefer finding places that are off the beaten path and Vista de Olas was that and more. In a nutshell, if you're looking for adventure mixed with relaxation, this is the place for you. As for us, we will be back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Vista de Olas

Property: Hotel Vista de Olas
Address: Vista de Olas Dr. | Mal Pais de Cobano Apto.#93, Mal Pais 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Mal Pais
#2 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
#4 Family Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Vista de Olas 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vista de Olas is a refined hotel in Mal Pais perched on top of a peaceful hill. From this vantage point our guests are treated to sweeping views of Mal Pais and watch the most memorable sunsets. The hotel offers 6 sumptuous, secluded deluxe villas with ocean view, AC, open-sky bathroom, and private porch. Hotel amenities include fast WLAN, a luxurious infinity pool and jacuzzi, pool lounge, and the best BBQ restaurant in Mal Pais. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vista De Olas Mal Pais
Hotel Vista De Olas Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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