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“Truly stunning location!”

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Hotel Vista de Olas
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed April 24, 2014

My friend and I stayed at this little hotel for a single night and absolutely loved it! The staff that we met was incredible friendly & helpful. The setting feels like someone’s private (and gorgeous!) residence, high up on a steep hill, with 5 little villas built around the property. It feels very quiet and secluded. I think we were in villa #5. There was no number on our villa... but one of the staff members mentioned #5 to us. The villa had a really cool outdoor bathroom w/fantastic tiled shower from which you can see the stars. We also shared an ocean-view patio with another villa (which was empty while we were there). The infinity pool overlooks the coastline/ocean and is spectacular! The place is super quiet throughout the day with the exception of sunset. And then all these people show up to hang out in the pool, have cocktails and enjoy the view. Pretty cool!

A couple of things that I would highlight for people looking to stay here...

1. The hotel is up a very steep, dirt road. If renting a car, I think you'd have to have 4wd to get up it. As one of our taxis (which was 4wd) even struggled. Not an issue for us since we did just take taxis… but something to consider if driving yourself.

2. Check-in... there really isn't one. It's very casual/laid-back. We made our way to the pool, found someone cleaning the area and he helped us get "checked-in." There was no real introduction to the place... you get your villa, villa key and that's about it. No worries at all... but if there's any issue after-hours... I'm not sure where you would go for help and there's no phones around the place. In fact, when returning to our villa after dinner the night we stayed there… we got back around 9pm and the place was completely empty and totally dark. So bring a flashlight! Also, there had been a really good rainfall a few hours earlier so that could be why it was so dark and empty.

3. Food... probably a good idea to bring some snacks, etc. because when you're up at the hotel, you don't want to leave (in part because it's beautiful up there and in part because it's not easy to get up/down the hill). We checked into this place after leaving our little beachfront hotel in Santa Theresa without having lunch as we thought we would enjoy lunch up at the infinity pool of this hotel. But once there... we found out that they only serve drinks and chips & guacamole in the afternoon. Again... not an issue... just be prepared. Luckily, we love gauc and we also had brought some almonds, etc. w/us. The do have breakfast and a bbq dinner buffet available though!

4. Checking out... make sure to check your bill. We were in a hurry leaving because we had a taxi waiting for us and it took a while to find someone to help check us out and pay (even at 10am). Anyhow, once in the cab... we realized that there was an error and we ended up paying for the room twice. Not a huge issue because after some emails and phone calls... it got resolved.

All in all... a really beautiful oasis with a super chill environment! I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Absolutely loved room #5 -- great view, felt private, lovely bathroom (and you can even flush the to...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Sarah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 - 242 of 519 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2014 via mobile

Our first trip to Costa Rica was magical due largely to the atmosphere and views at Hotel Vista De Olas. Loved that this place was small, secluded and mostly private. The food, excursions and staff made our trip both relaxing and enjoyable. Only wish we could've stayed longer!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank FrolicandJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

I had a truly enjoyable time at this property. Roger and his staff are very warm and friendly. Most of the other hotel guests are Americans which is nice since there are only 10 guests in the villas at a time. I ended up traveling without my significant other, but still had a fabulous time. I got to do two of everything since my Living Social deal was for a couple.

In general, the atmosphere is really laid back on the Peninsula. If you're expecting a fast American pace, you will quickly be frustrated. Enjoy the surroundings and go with the flow. Things occur- breakfast, the activities, dinner, etc. in due time but nothing is rushed. The one thing the hotel could improve is it's Wi-Fi strength. It needs to be amplified to be accessible in the individual villas and peripherally at the pool.

Be prepared for a very remote and rural experience. The roads are not paved and it is common for most people to travel around my ATV if they do not have an SUV. I mistakenly packed too many nice clothes which I didn't end up wearing because they would have gotten dirty and forever been dingy after washing.

Overall, this resort is the place in Mal Pais to watch the sunset. Everyone comes for this. The food is pretty good as well. The pictures on the website do not do it justice in reality. The villas are beautiful and clean and the service is warm and friendly.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Brandis_ONeal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

We did a living social package. I'm very much a planner because we like to do A LOT of activities, and excursions on our vacations. I emailed the staff 1 month in advance with all of the excursions that they offered with the hotel and the dates and times we would like to do them. They seemed to have no problem booking them. The day before we left I emailed to confirm that everything was booked and still good to go and the owner Roger told me I might want to double check and confirm everything once we got to the hotel. We checked in around 5pm right in the middle of what we called hostel hippie hookup happy hour. The views were amazing but during our stay the staff was of little help and not very accommodating. Heidi, Roger and Swen are the only 3 people who know what is going on and can do anything that has to do with scheduling or billing (checking out) however they are not around very often.
- we booked and paid for an ATV ride to a waterfall for 2 people--DO NOT BE FOOLED this means 1 ATV per 2 people---only to find out that when we arrived at the waterfall we still had to pay for entry into the park.
-no one told us we wouldn't be able to do our 10am surf lesson until 10:15am on the day of our surf lesson.
- we tried to take the bus back to San Jose-the staff told us it would be in Sta.Theresa at 6am when we got there some other locals told us the bus wasn't running that day because it was good friday---how a hotel staff of a hotel that has been there for 10+ years doesn't know this i have no idea...when we got back to the hotel at 7:30am there response was "oh yeah, i guess your right."
-The night before we were suppose to leave we tried to check out because by this point we had realized that there was NO staff at the hotel from 10pm till 7am. Heidi came had to come to our room at 10:30pm (because her nor Roger were there from 6pm until 10:30pm) only to surprise us with a large bill and a 7%charge on top of that because we paid with a credit card--the 7% will never be mentioned to you and when it is it will be too late to find cash.
-The prices for excursions advertised on their website are not the current prices for excursions, hence our larger than expected bill.

GO for dinner and happy hour one night but DO NOT stay there if you are looking to do anything other than sit in your hotel room.

Room Tip: horrible service. great views
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank MegA107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

We had such a great vacation at Hotel Vista de Olas. Roger and his family made us feel like family. The resort is so beautiful and immaculate. The breakfasts each morning we delicious. The villas were so nice and cozy. Both, Swen and Mikey, were amazing young men and added so much to the stay at Vista de Olas. The sunrises were so fun each day and were absolutely indescribably beautiful. The entire experience is one we will always treasure and I would highly recommend this vacation getaway!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank LHandCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We had a wonderful time at Vista de Olas. A perfect spot for a romantic getaway. The vila was beautiful, the view was spectacular, and we also met some wonderful friends at the hotel. The Vista de Olas team took care of arranging all of our activities to make the trip as easy and fun as possible. Their staff was fantastic and rather than feeling like a nameless guest, we felt like part of a family. Great experience.

Room Tip: Suite 5 was a perfect location - close to the pool and bar area, yet private with a great ocean view...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2014

Everything here was clean and well maintained. We had such an amazing time in Mal Pais and Vista de Olas was the perfect place to stay. You wouldn't need to leave the grounds if you didn't want to, but there is so much to see and do in the area. This place is a little like being at camp. There are only 5 villas (5 couples) so you get to know everyone really fast. We ended up doing things with the other guests, but it isn't forced like at a bed and breakfast, which I hate. While we were there two guests caught some tuna. They were experienced sushi rollers, so they put together a huge sushi dinner. All the guests, staff, and owners sat around a big table drinking and eating late into the night. This is the kind of place that if you are having drinks at their bar and it's time for the staff to go home, they tell you "help yourself to whatever you want and just write it down in the book". Roger and Heidi (the owners) and their two great boys (Sven and Mikey) are wonderful hosts, and the staff are all really great. Just ask and they will make sure that any activity you want is taken care of. I'm a kayak fisherman so I rented really nice kayaks($14/day) from a friend of Roger's. You can catch big (20 - 40 lb) Rooster fish just off shore. No miss activities: drinks in the pool at sunset, zip lining, surf lesson with Mikey, ATV tour to the falls. Mikey took us surfing, first time ever, and he got us both standing up. Minor warning for the faint of heart: Many of the roads are unpaved, so this can be a dusty little town. This is NOT a Cancun All-Inclusive. So if that's what you are looking for, this is not your place. If you like to have fun and don't mind getting a little dirty and sweaty you have found Heaven. Then you come back to the Vista, shower, have a drink by the awesome pool and grill up some ribeyes. Ahhh!

Room Tip: I thin Villa quarto was the best location
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Eric F
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

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: $166 - $282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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