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“Gay travelers: look elsewhere in Manuel Antonio”
Review of Hotel Villa Roca

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Hotel Villa Roca
Ranked #1 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Quepos
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Gay travelers: look elsewhere in Manuel Antonio”
Reviewed April 17, 2009

We chose this hotel for the last 2 nights of our stay in Manuel Antonio, as we were told it was the nicest gay accommodation in Manuel Antonio. That must mean that all the other places are pretty awful.
The positive points first, to be fair: the grounds are beautiful, perched on the mountainside, with LOTS of stairs. The infinity pool is the biggest feature, and the villa (apartment) is stunning if you can manage to afford to rent it instead of a standard room. Breakfasts are also very good, prepared by friendly Michael poolside.
Now all the bad stuff:
1) We were informed by other guests after we checked in that the place has quite a bed-bug problem. On prominent display were welts on customers legs. When I asked how they were sure it was bedbugs (versus sand fleas or something at the beach), they plainly stated that they saw them in the sheets. That alone was enough to make me want to leave the place, especially after being forced to pre-pay $150 a night to stay there. Instead we took our chances and sprayed down with DEET before bed. Apparently that did the trick, as we had no issues.
2) We had NO hot water as the heater was broken. We complained within an hour of checking in, and were not offered any alternate accomodation. They said it would be repaired in the morning. When we arrived back at our room after a day at the beach, we still had no hot water. The front desk told us it could not be fixed and only then offered us a different room.
3) The room had a beautiful view but was Spartan, at best. It seemed clean at first, but when we "unwrapped" our plastic glasses in the bathroom, we found a filmy, wet, disgusting gunk int the bottom of them. Thankfully we identified this before using them!
Lastly, the front desk staff are not apologetic for these issues, they simply offer you another room. Not adequate. You've prepaid, so you're stuck. If you choose this place for the view and the pool, know what you are getting and GOOD LUCK!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LionInFLL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villaroca, owner at Hotel Villa Roca, responded to this review, April 25, 2009
First of all thanks for the positive comments about our resort. It is true that we work very hard to keep the place and grounds in the beautiful condition you described.

We are very sorry for the one day without hot water in the room. We hope these guests used the shower by the pool that has hot water too. Unfortunately these had happened at the Easter weekend and in Costa Rica it is rather impossible to get a new heater on Easter Sunday. We tried everything to solve this problem as soon as possible to keep any inconvenience to a minimum.

We can not say much about the glasses in the bathroom. Our aim is to solve any problems that might occur right away.

About the "bed-bugs". We do not have "bed-bugs"!
We are glad that also these guests did not have any bugs in their room. Everything else would have come to a big very surprise to us, as we never did hear anything like this before. One thing we ask our guests to please consider is that our hotel is located in the midst of beautiful tropical flora and fauna. So if guests eat some snacks from the mini bar in bed, there is a slight chance that some ants might want to enjoy these too. But these are only ants and guests can easily prevent this from happening.

As you can see from the other reviews on TripAdvisor, people love to stay at Villa Roca, and we want everybody to feel this way. So we want to offer another chance to show these guys why Villa Roca is seen by many as the best gay resort in Costa Rica. We will be happy to offer a discount for your next stay.
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San Jos'e
1 review
Reviewed April 13, 2009

I am tico and I live with my partner in San José.
Since many years, we are regularly in Manuel Antonio and have tried a lot of hotels, B & B's and Villas. For us is clear: Hotel Villa Roca is the best!
Compared to Villa Roca, the other places are boring, overpriced, less clean or only "Gay friendly". This hotel is the best place for us and also all our friends. The rooms are very clean, we love the wonderful views from the rooms where we have been, the central location, the breathtaking pool, the new Jacuzzi and the good breakfast with the best gallo pinto in Manuel Antonio jejeje. The staff is very friendly and competent and the price / performance ratio is excellent. Last stay we enjoyed also the new WiFi in our room to not loose the connection to the rest of the world. By the way: The Villa Roca Party on Easter weekend was the best of all! Thanks to the staff, especially to Carlos, Jorge, Irwin and Michael.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank yoSanJose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2008

As part of our 2 weeks in Costa Rica, we spent 5 nights at Villa Roca. First, I must say that the property was impeccable as well as the service!

The hotel is in an excellent location within a 5–10 minute walk to some great restaurants and bars. We highly recommend the Cantina and Latino Lounge for reasonably priced quality food. Also, within a 5 minute walk was Cavallo Blanco – a reasonably priced café featuring tasty Italian sandwiches and perfect pasta (we didn’t come all this way to eat Italian but it is definitely worth the mention!) The beach was a comfortable 15-minute walk, mostly downhill, however we chose to take the bus back up (runs every ½ hour and costs 225 colones or about 45 cents each way.) Villa Roca’s situation on the hill above the beach provided the best views of the Pacific and islands offshore.

We had a double room (#2) which was basic, however very spacious and comfortable for our 5 night stay. In our opinion, it was one of the best located rooms - next to the office at the top of the property so no stairs to drag luggage up and down. The room featured a king size bed, huge tiled shower with plenty of hot water, air conditioning and a balcony with a gorgeous view! The room was bright and because of its location, received plenty of natural light. The mini bar was kept stocked (beer, soda, wine, etc) and the prices were very reasonable.

Buffet breakfast was a great way to start the day – fresh fruits, cheese, yogurt and toast. The buffet also featured THE BEST Gallo Pinto we had in all of Costa Rica! Bacon and eggs were also available upon request.

Public areas were very well maintained. The only negative I can think of is the walk down several flights of stairs (then back up) to get to and from the hot tub. One really can’t complain about this as stairs are necessary in this location and the views are worth the walk! The infinity pool was definitely the highlight. With its infinity edge, the pool seemed to blend in with the ocean below. The water was most refreshing and the pool deck was a great spot to enjoy Mother Nature during one of the nightly thunderstorms! The breakfast room functioned as a Happy Hour Bar from 4-8PM, which was a great place to meet the many friendly guests.

Last, a huge THANK YOU to the staff – Irwin, Carlos (all 3 of them, especially the Operations Manager), Jorge, Miguel and the list goes on! They were all a wealth of information on everything, from where to eat to what sightseeing to do. We will definitely recommend to friends and we can’t wait to return!

  • Liked — Staff, Views, Pool, Spacious Room, Breakfast (Especially the Gallo Pinto :-)
  • Disliked — Slow internet in the office, checking out :-(
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank mattmc1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2008

My partner and I stayed here for almost a week, and both of us enjoyed ourselves. The pool is great, with it's infinity edge overlooking the jungle and the ocean beyond that. The staff is friendly. The grounds are well kept. The room was clean and neat. They feature a great hot tub that is below the hotel in the jungle perfect for late night use.

  • Liked — Def the pool and grounds, great cocktail hour each night.
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Scottinaboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
347 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2008

We were at Villa Roca for 9 days in April/May, 2008, and had a spectacular stay. The moment you enter the property you are greeted with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and the well-manicured grounds of the property. We stayed in Room 12, and despite another review here that suggests it is overpriced and has a bad view, we were ecstatic with the long-range view from our balcony! To further attest to the desirability of Room 12, we met two guys at the hotel on our first day. After introducing ourselves and telling them which room we were in, they jokingly exclaimed "so YOU'RE the guys that got our room!" Apparently, they reserved that room every year but were a little late getting their reservations in, so we got it instead, and we were very happy with it! We also were happy that all the other guests were quite friendly, and a number of them were "repeat customers." The staff were both attentive and very personable. (Regarding the prevoius Room 12 review that mentioned noisy housekeeping staff, that issue apparently has been completely resolved.) The location of Villa Roca is perfect - several terrific restaurants close by and the beach was an easy walk downhill (and an even easier bus ride back uphill!) We did not go to the "gay beach" but instead found the main beach to be fine for us - comfortable chaise lounge chairs, a big umbrella and servers delivering drinks -- beats the heck out of a towel in the sand with a tepid bottle of water! When we went to the beach, we usually ate lunch (and had a few beers) at the Marlin restaurant, next door to which is an internet shop for checking email (beware - they apparently only have dial-up connections in Manuel Antonio- very slow!) The computer at the hotel was down so we visited this shop a few times. We picked up some fun souvenirs for family and friends at "beach market" as well. The hotel includes free breakfast daily, and we found it to be quite filling and tasty. Fresh fruits,vegetables, cereals, coffee, and juices were complemented by eggs cooked to order and bacon. Evenings, we went to these retaurants: Agua Azul (excellent! ), La Mariposa (also very good, and with a spectacular sunset view!), Kapi Kapi (probably our favorite!), Bambu Jam (freshest and largest shrimp I ever had!), L'Avion (good food at a good price), and Gaia (arguably the most upscale restaurant in the area-- pricey, but well worth it, especially for a celebration like my partner's birthday!). Next door to the hotel is another hotel, Si Como No ("sure, why not!"). We ate a light lunch at their pool bar immediately after checking in and really enjoyed it. There's an Italian restaurant just down the street (can't remember the name!) and we enjoyed lunch there twice and dinner there once.
Finally, be sure to set up a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park with Gama - it was a blast!

  • Liked — convenience, price
  • Disliked — no blackout curtains for the windows
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2008

This place is beautiful, the staff is super-friendly, and the location is terrific. Breakfast at the pool was a great start to the day --- the nicest 2 ladies would make eggs to order, and you could self-serve gallo pinto (rice & beans), cheese, fruits, and I think there was also cereal and yogurt. We ate well and with breakfast included, it helped save money because we usually only had one more meal! And the view from the pool is terrific -- mountainside, ocean, and a hummingbird feeder. Plus, a friendly iguana.
This is mainly a gay resort and that was what we were looking for; but note that no nudity is allowed until after breakfast ends, so you dont have to see it --- really it was just some people skinny-dipping for a few minutes.
Anyway, the location is perfect --- you are outside downtown Quepos (which is much more touristy than when I lived there 15 years ago) and a 10-15 minute walk to the beach, but taxis and bus are available and cheap. No car is needed. You can walk to a handful of restaurants and bars and shops. Barba Roja, Latino Lounge, and the Avion are recommended, and if you're up for a ride to Quepos, check out Milagros, the restaurant opened by the wonderful expat who also runs Cafe Milagro -- located five minutes from Villa Roca and also in Quepos.
The primary gay bar is above El Gato Negro, across from the Avion, and is just a five minute walk. Its not cheap, but has a good weekend crowd.
There is a "gay nude beach" will isn't necessarily worth the effort to go to --- you have to time it right with low tide and climb over rocks. And there's now an illegal hotel there that posts a guard who calls the cops if people get naked, and they'll take you to the police station and then you're no longer at the beach. The best beach is Playa Manuel Antonio inside the park.
We loved our room, especially the huge patio out back --- it was very private and the only problem were the mosquitos, but they did have candles to burn. The view was great. And the fridge in the room was packed with beer, sodas, waters, and at decent prices ($2 for many items, including beers). And it had an ice-maker, so buy a bottle of rum and a 2-liter of soda and you're good for a few days!
OK...more than enough said.....except to mention again that the people working at the hotel were all very friendly and helpful.

  • Liked — Breakfast at the pool and happy hour at the pool.
  • Disliked — Stairs...but it was worth the views and the privacy.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank gringuitoloco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2008

I was disappointed in the rooms, but the pool is really nice and the grounds are lush. And the views are absolutely incredible. First, you need to realize that this is in the rain forest so there will be some bugs in the room. Mostly I saw little tiny bugs (I think they are sugar bugs) and some flies. When I first walked in, I saw them crawling around the bathroom sink. I had a package of Halls in one of my bags and the bag had lots of the tiny little bugs after a day. So if that bugs you (haha) then maybe you should pass on this place (or, in fairness, maybe any place in Quepos). The people at Villa Roca were nice. The location is between Manuel Antonio and Quepos center but cabs are pletiful and cabs were $3 to $6. I stayed there just after the high season ended, so the prices were good - around $60. And that was probably a fair price putting everything in the mix.

  • Liked — The pool
  • Disliked — the rooms
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank krawimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villaroca, Besitzer at Hotel Villa Roca, responded to this review, June 17, 2008
Google Translation
Thank you for staying with us and thank you for the observations. You know that Villa Roca is located in the middle of the Rain Forest with an exotic wildlife including monkeys, sloths, parrots and more in their natural habitat. Certainly, bugs are not very welcome in a hotel room but the bugs you talked about are very usually in this area and they are also looking for food like your Halls in one of your bags.
But in this moment we are fumigating once again all our installations in a new ecological way. Welcome again and enjoy.
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Roca

Property: Hotel Villa Roca
Address: Carretera hacia al Parque Nacional | Street to the National Park, Quepos 6350, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Quepos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Quepos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Roca 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The eco-friendly resort is gay owned and gay operated. For gays, lesbians and their friends to enjoy. Villa Roca is ideally located between the village of Quepos and the National Park of Manuel Antonio. Offering 24-hour infinity-edge pool and Jacuzzi with breathtaking views to the rain forest and the Pacific Ocean. The National Park, beaches, restaurants, bars and shops are close to the resort. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Roca Hotel Quepos
Hotel Villa Roca Costa Rica/Quepos

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