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“When can we go back?! Loved it, the perfect honeymoon!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Vista de Olas

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Hotel Vista de Olas
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“When can we go back?! Loved it, the perfect honeymoon!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

Roger and his family are great, they made us feel completely at home. Not at all like the normal hotels/resorts where they have ridiculous rules, they are very relaxed and laid back and can accommodate anything you need. They use the line "no worries" a lot and they mean it. Just getting to the hotel was a fun adventure, taking the tiny jumper plane from San Jose to Tambor, then the drive to the hotel they arranged, great way to see the area and a neat experience. Highly recommend taking the small flight there instead of trying to drive yourself, roads aren't very well distinguished with signs and I imagine pretty easy to get lost.
Every morning we had a breakfast made for us, there were a couple days where we were the only guests, since it was our honeymoon we absolutely loved the privacy and one-on-one attention. The staff was great and very friendly, even when I'm sure we bore them to death going on and on about our fun adventures from the day and forcing them to look at our photos! Their sons are adorable, semi-pro surfers, should also be models and just super sweet and down to earth. The Montezuma waterfall tour that they offer is fantastic, a full day of 4-wheeling to the other side of the peninsula with their son Mikey showing the way, hiking to the waterfall and jumping in the falls, just amazing and such a neat day trip.
There really is nothing to complain about at all, the hotel is known for having the best view of the sunset, so the pool is open to the public from 3pm-9pm (I think those are the hours), and you can invite people to come enjoy the sunset from your amazing view that you meet while on adventures so they can see what a great place you're at! We did, and they loved it! It was like our fun secret spot that we just had to tell some people about... no longer a secret I guess! Somehow each day we'd go for breakfast and our room would magically get re-done, since only 5 villas there, the experience is very personal and you'll get to know each employee. So I'm sure they just saw us going to eat and went off to clean our room.
Roger and his wife Heidi were great with recommendations. Anything we wanted to do they knew who to go thru and how to make it happen. He gave us a hand drawn map of all the fantastic places to eat at and we used that map like it was a treasure map, it basically led to all the best places and was super handy. Take Roger's advice and check out the "Secret Beach" on the other side of the Fisherman's Village at the end of the main street that the hotel is located off of. It's beautiful!
There were monkeys and creatures all over the place, if you're afraid of bugs then this isn't the place for you. They're around, nothing you can do about it other than keep coated in bug spray. Don't overpack, I'm a hair and dress fantastic, love to get fancy and the only thing I wore were bathing suits under shorts each day and didn't once use a curling iron. The outside bathrooms were pretty neat, although I got into a habit of opening the door and quickly looking before stepping outside to make sure no creatures were joining me! Only had a big green frog surprise me once and I loved him, after I realized what it was! We also had breakfast with a beautiful turtle that joined us one morning, he was crawling around on the property and made our day.
Also, I highly recommend just renting an ATV the day after you arrive (since you arrive in the evening usually, I would just start the next day) and using those to get around. You can walk places, but it's quite a walk and why waste the time. The longer you rent them, the less they cost, having an atv was half the fun and allowed way more exploring!
Seriously, just go for it. Things are different in Costa Rica, very relaxed, places will decide not to open one day because they feel like it, roads aren't all paved and small streams will be going over them. But it's amazing and part of the adventure. This hotel is the nicest I saw, your experiences will be so memorable as ours was, we couldn't have hoped for a better honeymoon! We can't wait to go back and not even bother trying another place, we will happily go to Hotel Vista de Olas again and again! Just book it, quit researching! ;)

Room Tip: There's a small fee of $2.25 getting off the plane in Tambor and getting on it when leaving Tamb...
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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?
Thank vixenart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Misawa, Japan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2014

While researching trip ideas for my wedding anniversary, I found this hotel through a fantastic LivingSocial deal. I'm pretty sure that thing paid for itself by day 2 of the 4 day stay we had reserved. Upon checking in, you're greated by the most beautiful panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Not to mention the gorgeous infinity pool. (My first experience with an infinity pool by the way...I'm pretty sure all other infinity pools will never be as good.) The private bungalows were perfect. Comfortable, spacious, and everything you could want for a tropical stay away from home. Also, I loved the provided shampoo and conditioner. I've made it my mission to find it in bulk to purchase it! My only warning would be for those who wish to drive their own rental car. The roads are unpaved and the hotel is at the top of a very steep, unpaved drive, which makes for a slow, bumpy ride. However, if you rent an ATV this problem virtually disappears. All-in-all, this was a wonderful stay, made even better by the friendly, personable staff. Costa Rica was an amazing country to visit, made even better by this beautiful, relaxing hotel. I would recommend this hotel to everyone I know who visits Costa Rica.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
Thank Carolyn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2014

My wife found this place on Living Social. After months of trying to find a place for our honeymoon we settled on Mal Pais at Vista De Olas! This place is absolutely beautiful!! From the panoramic ocean and jungle views to the awesome secluded bungalows. I loved having my own little area to escape to that was not attached to another unit. The sunsets are unreal, I have no words to describe truly how amazing they really are. Roger and all of his staff make you feel very welcome and right at home. His son Mikey took us on a tour to Montezuma stopping a few times on the way to give us information about the surrounding area. Renting an ATV for the duration of our stay made getting around town very easy, and cheap. We will definitely be returning here in the future. Roger and Heidi have a very memorable and remarkable place.

Room Tip: Take the short flight from San Jose to Tambor, it is well worth the time and money
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sethhall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

Although it has been months since my friend and I were in Costa Rica, I can't stop dreaming of it and the perfect oasis that is Vista De Olas. My friend and I were looking for an adventure vacation and took a chance on a Living Social Deal that was being offered. Two girls traveling alone and we never once felt unsafe. We flew into Tambor and arrived at Vista just as the sun was setting on the first night. BREATHTAKING. We had the most amazing visit; relaxing when we wanted and full of adventure. We hung out with locals, rented ATVs and rode all across the peninsula, jumped off the waterfall at Montezuma, zip lined through the rainforest, took surf lessons with Jobi from the surf shop in town, and ate ceviche at every chance. It was awesome to wake up with a view of the ocean and monkeys right outside the villa. Roger and his family are great and made sure we were taken care of every step of the way. I can't wait to come back!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank Erin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2014

We will remember this vacation for a long time for sure! We flew in to San Jose and then took the Sansa flight into Tambor where Swen picked us up and drove us to the resort. Although I don't love small airplanes, it was definitely worth it to have more time in Mal Pais. We were exhausted by the time we got to the hotel (14 hour travel day), so we ate the BBQ dinner the first night - the salad bar was delicious as well as the fish! Our first impression of the hotel was that it was pure paradise. The infinity pool just gives the most amazing view of the beach and Mal Pais. It's a view you just don't get used to while you are there!

During our trip we took an ATV tour to the waterfalls and jumped in, took a surf lesson with Swen (both my husband and I were able to stand up during our lesson although my husband was much better than me), and did the Canopy tour (the guys that do this are hilarious and you get a CD for $20 of pictures that they take of you). We tried to do stand up paddleboarding one day, but the water was too choppy - oh well!

The Villas that you stay in our great. Definitely a rustic feel, no television and internet access is limited (only by the infinity pool), but if you are looking to check out for a few days it is ideal. If you like to watch television at night, downloading a few movies to an ipad or laptop might be a good idea before you go. The bathrooms are all outdoor, which is really cool. There are bugs in the rooms (you are in Costa Rica, remember), but being a giant "bug-a-phobe" myself, I will say it was not that bad at all. BUT definitely bring bug spray - even with bug spray I got several mosquito bites, so beware.

Every morning you eat breakfast by the infinity pool with coffee, orange juice, assortment of fruit, and a daily selection (omelet, eggs, banana pancakes, or french toast). All of the cooks are great and every breakfast was amazingl. We usually went out during the day and then came back to the infinity pool around 4 for a few cocktails and to watch the sunset. The pool opens to the public around 2, so sometimes it gets a little crowded with other people vacationing from town, but that's not usually a problem - the pool is big enough to accommodate.

Places we ate in town:
- The Bakery, good for a snack maybe, but I would go somewhere else for lunch/dinner
- Al Chili Viola, delicious fresh fish selections, super attentive wait staff, a little more expensive
- Taco Place in the middle of town - awesome
- Restaurante Caracolas (hotel to the left of Vista de Olas) great beach views and delicious food
- Playa Carmen - best margarita

Keys to the trip:
- take the Sansa or NatureAir flight in, small plane, but worth the time you save
- rent an ATV ASAP, it's half the fun of the trip just getting around
- enjoy the slower pace and time away from the internet, it's nice to get away every now and then

I highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to have an adventure getaway in a beautiful country at a great hotel run by an amazing family!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kristyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

Vista de olas was such a unique and welcoming experience. It is a getaway into the rainforest (hear holler monkeys in the far distance) with a very welcoming staff who treat you like family making you feel at home. The villas each have their own character and most with beautiful views. During the day, enjoy the serenity of the amazing pool views and relaxation or all the great activities available, and around sunset enjoy breathtaking views, great drinks, and visits from locals and guests from all around the area. Thank you for the great time Hotel Vista de Olas!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MVC415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2014

This was the first time my husband and I have taken a trip together in years without our kids. We rarely travel out of the states and didn't know what to expect in Costa Rica. We could of done without our night in San Jose and decided to take a schedule van to Mal Pais. Skip the 5 hour travel time and get a flight on Sansa or Naturesair. Once to Mal Pais, we headed up to Vista de Olas. Walking up to the view for the first time takes your breath away. It was beyond amazing! We were greeted by Roger and the crew who were welcoming, incredibly friendly and helpful. Our bungalow was perfect! The next 5 days were spent having the time of our lives. Roger helped us plan the whole week of zip lining, tour of Montezuma waterfall (by his son Mikki... Nicest 18 year old we've ever met), visiting the local beaches on the ATV's, fishing, massages (highly recommend) happy hours, on and on... Vista de Olas is small enough that you get to know the other guest over your morning breakfast. We even traded phone numbers and hope to visit each other again soon. When it comes to traveling my husband would call me a travel snob and I have pretty high expectations of the places we stay. I would give our experience of our stay 5 out of 5. Thank you to everyone at Vista de Olas for everything!!!!! Simply paradise.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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?
3 Thank MelissaKr11
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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