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“Thankful I chose Villa LeMas”
Review of Villa Le Mas

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Villa Le Mas
Big Bear City, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Thankful I chose Villa LeMas”
Reviewed May 3, 2011

I am very thankful that I chose Villa LeMas for my aftercare facility. My husband and I stayed 16 days. The care was excellent and the views were spectacular. We stayed in Villa Chanel. I had a face lift and I must tell you that I am the biggest chicken in the world. I think that the best part of my experience was having Petra, the manager, as my crutch. She has a medical background; has dealt with numerous patients and all types of surgeries; and the best part is she made me feel comfortable and confident at all time. Each day a darling
RN came and checked my vitals and wounds. Johanna is a doll and again gave me confidence that I was doing well.
The grounds and views at Le Mas are lovely. The rooms are clean and mine was charming. It is not the Fairmont or the Wynn, and if that is what you are looking for then stay in Beverly Hills and pay the price. We chose CR for a reason!
I have noticed several complaints about the food. I think as Americans we are used to eating very large portions. The portions are smaller, but very tasty. Always, for dinner, a large portion of fresh sautéed veggies and a serving of some yummy protein. I never had just a bowl of soup for lunch. If it were soup, it was accompanied with a nice salad.
Some of the salads are spectacular. Perhaps dental patients are served according to their needs. If you need something extra like crackers with your salad, you may ask for it. I like toast with my morning eggs and lovely fresh fruit bowls, but it is not typical to serve it with a Costa Rican breakfast. All you need to do is ask for toast, butter, and jam and Petra will honor your request. If you want a few extra munchies, have a cab driver stop at The Atlantis shopping center and go to the market, or ask Petra to pick you up your snacks. They have everything. You can provide your own snacks and Petra will help you with any request you have. Pretty simple.
It was our 40th wedding anniversary and Petra went out of her way to make a very special dinner. We even invited the guests at the Villa and my husband's new made friend and fishing guide. We had a lovely evening visiting and listening to others life's stories. Petra even made my husband a special dessert without sugar.
Petra helped us with renting a car. That was key for short outings. We went to the Central Valley and saw some beautiful landscapes. After you have had a cab driver take you to your clinic several times, it's pretty easy to find your way around. Escazu is great to cruz around. We found a lovely coffee shop, Spoons, and enjoyed going there each day. It's on the road to Santa Ana. I did indulge in some of their pastries, but only a few times. If you don't want to rent a car, Petra will arrange for you to go on tours.
While we were there, I wanted to check out a few of the other facilities. I drove by Paradise Inn and from the outside it looked very dry and unappealing. I know that the back side is where the view is, and that the inside is nice. I did not go in. It is in an area that I would not want to stay in. I also went to Las Cumbres and they were kind enough to take me on a tour. The grounds are lovely and the rooms are nice but small. The interior is also nice. It is very much like staying in a hotel. I preferred having my own 500 plus square feet with bathroom, kitchen and living space. I lived, ate, and slept in our lovely little space for sixteen days.
I am very happy with my results and with my experience at Villa Le Mas. Remember we went to Costa Rica for a reason. I saved thousands of dollars; was cared for by a wonderful staff; and I couldn't be happier. Thank you, Petra, for a great experience and for taking such good care of us. Thank you, Dr. Rosenstock, for a beautiful face lift.
Happy Traveler!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HappyTraveler32073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Toledo, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2011

Where to begin, I am glad I did not read the reviews on this site before booking at Le Mas, I would not have known what to believe. I went with my gut and booked at Le Mas. I think after experiencing it and reading the reviews, you really have to have an open mind for what you are experiencing. The purpose is not for this to be a 5 star resort where you are going to bask in the sun and swim it is an after-care facility there for the purpose of helping you heal and recover.

What I found was just that. Petra, as mentioned in the previous posts in the manager, and she is a delightful, funny and caring lady. Her family lives there on the property as well and her sons are delightful and kind as well.

Petra saw to it that I had everything that I needed. For instance, in an earlier post when someone said they had to change facilities and go to the pharmacy and get tape, guaze, etc. I did not have to have any of that, I was bandaged and re-dressed every day. I had the same nurse M-F and a different one over the weekend. My nurse "E" was so great, so caring and really took care of me.

The food was different, because I was not used to eating healthy and smaller portions and that is why people may have said they were starved. Let's be honest people, we all eat too much! I had a very open mind to what was served and had protein EVERY day, fish, chicken, etc. Lots of fruits and veggies, oatmeals, eggs, and I love Avacado so Petra basically ensured that whenever there was something that could have Avacado, I got it :-). Most importantly, my husband joined me over a week in and he is the pickiest eater in the world, I knew he would eat maybe 20% of what was being served. Petra asked me what he liked, didn't like etc. and then on the way from the airport asked him what he liked etc. There was not one meal that came that was not different from mine in order to serve him and something that he liked. She actually altered every meal for him with different items that he would eat.

I could not have asked for a better home away from home for 2 weeks. The cleaning service was great, the nursing care was great and Petra and her family were gracious and kind to me and mine.

If you are looking for a place to be cared for, go to Villa Le Mas.....

Nicole

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank NMErickson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2011

I just completed a 4 day stay at Villa Le Mas with a friend who was having Dental work done in Costa Rica. I had read a review from a disgruntled former traveler and had canceled my original plans to stay here but changed my mind after talking with the manager. I found the accomodations very generous. The views from the Glass Studio were amazing. All meals were well prepared, tasty and delivered to the room. I had my laundry done her as a courtesy. The manager Petra helped arrange sightseeing trips and checked in often to make sure we were satisfield with everything. We had an incredibly large deck off our living room that we thoroughly enjoyed. We made unlimited free calls to the United States whenever we needed to, and the internet wireless in our room worked every single time which was extremely important to me. This is a place definitely for people who need some peace and quiet in order to either destress or recuperate. If you are looking to chat with other recovery patients on a daily basis that is not a quarantee here but if you need time to heal and explore an inner journey, meditate, and commune with nature then this is definitely the place.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mjesijames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2010

I stayed in Villa Le Mas for 18 days in September this year. It was my third time in this place and for sure last. Le Mas is owned by Ingrid and Frederick who last year retired and currently living in Germany. It's operated by their manager Petra.

La Mas is in the mountains almost 3000 meters above sea level in rain forest. Yes, the views are beautiful but they are not enough for proper healing after surgeries. When manager done some renovations and improvements other things are much worst when they used to be during the time when owners lived on the property.

Past two times I went to Costa Rica for cosmetic dental work which didn't require medical attention. My third time there was for surgeries and this is when the problems started...

I developed serious complications and staph infection after my surgery and I wasn't taken proper post-operative care. When I tried to warn others by posting about my experience on the internet, the manager told lies about me to another new patient and encouraged her to post it on public Costa Rican medical travel board. How unethical!

Their accommodations are quite nice but to some villas you either have to climb lots of stairs (after surgery) or walk through part of narrow and dangerous pathway which is not lighted well at night. Those villas have no air conditions and become hot inside during dry season. They also don't have heaters and nights are cold in the mountains. The phone lines sometimes didn't work and when they did, often the reception was very bad. On few occasions there was no electricity or running water for hours. Imagine being in those conditions after surgery!

Le Mas website makes you think that they have spa and massage service included in the price. The truth is that for those services you have to pay extra. You will get one free massage (about 20-25 minutes) and later each one is 30 dollars which is lots of money in Costa Rica. Manager will push you to have them as many as possible because she is getting big profit from it.

I was served good food for the first week till I wrote nice reviews and after things changed. For breakfast everyday they had plain scrambled eggs and for lunch for example one day was soft ray bread sandwich with slice of lettuce and 2 slices of tomatoes or medium size bowl of soup which was pureed, so you even didn't know what was inside. For supper rice lasagna with canned mushrooms inside. Some days I haven't seen any proteins which are crucial for proper healing, so even though being sick and weak I had to buy additional food at local Supermarket like barbeque chicken. Later manager told another new patient that I wasn't eating right and not nutritious food!

During weekdays all cooking is done by maid Justina (very hard working
person) and on weekends by the manager. There is not such thing like gourmet meals in Le Mas. I was in the main kitchen during food preparation when the water was turned off and despite seeing few large bottles with water, the ingredients were not washed. No wonder my stomach was sick most of the time.

There used to be specially trained 2 German Shepherds Porscha and Bella (owner's dogs) to patrol this large property because there is lots of crime in San Jose. Those German Shepherds were patrolling Le Mas as free running dogs for years. Not long ago Porscha was found death. Manager told me that it was heart attack. I was shocked to see that manager imprisoned Bella in a small back yard behind main villa's kitchen when her own 2 dogs running around free 24/7. When I asked her about it, she said that Bella must be kept locked because she is not use to her cats and may hurt them. Bella is only let free at night when the cats are locked inside manager's very large villa.

Ah, those cats. Please do not take me wrong. I'm an animal lover but manager's 4 cats were everywhere. They were coming to my villa through opened terrace door and jumping on my bed and couch right on my clothing. One day I found one of the cat's sleeping in the kitchen on eating tray which I was served food to bed. It's at least shocking to have those cats occupied post operative facilities. Some people are even allergic to cats! I complained about them to manager on few occasions but she only locked them in her villa for one day. When I asked her where were the cats, her response was: "In jail"..

When Bella was let outside during the night, she was coming to my terrace and I was giving her food which I bought from my own money. I felt sorry for this dog because I suspected she was hungry. I could also tell that Bella was depressed. If owners of Le Mas reading this review, they are welcome to contact me. I took some pictures of Bella and her prison through main villa's screened kitchen window.

Please, be aware that manager wants 50% reservation deposit and the rest amount when you arrive. If you want to leave to another retreat or hotel she will not give you back any money. I saw one couple moving out after just one day/night stay.

I have to add that every time there is any bad review about Le Mas, few nice reviews will follow. Manager will be extra nice to new patient, improve the food and work her way around to make them write something positive. After everything is back "to normal"...

That was my personal experience at Villa Le Mas this year in Septmeber and I would recommend that you stay away from this place.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
13 Thank LOCAPURAVIDA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2010

While Le Mas is located in a beautiful area. The rooms are somewhat rustic although they are decorated in a nice manner.

However, if you are staying here to recover from surgery...The food is inconsistent at best. A meal is often just a bowl of unappetizing soup.

If you still decide to stay there.. I would buy some food before your surgery at a local market to suplement whatever they try to serve you.

Be wary of some of the reviews, since this "retreat" has a somewhat cult like following.

If you are recovering from surgery, do you really want to feel hungry?

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank will3123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2010

I made my reservation for a facelift on a whim and a friend suggested that I stay at Villa Le Mas while recovering. The Villa was truly a surprise and has been one of the best experiences of my life!
Each of the Vlla's cottages are situated in a private setting with H&G quaintness, they're unique and clean and the view is fantastic! The well kept grounds; walkways, paths and landscaping are pristine and artfully designed. With a full staff of cooks, gardners, masseuse, managers and in house doctor, I felt well taken care of.
I almost forgot to say that the price was right and Petra the manager, has certainly done her homework on nutrition as each of the three daily meals was balanced and delicious... a difficult task. I've been a princess for a week and must fly back to the real world soon ....it's been great!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 21destination
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, TN
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2010

Just returned from having surgery in Costa Rica on June 2. I am in amazement about the review 3 below me here!! There's a "backstory" there, I can assure you. 100%!

I am here to tell you that I am wishing I were back right now. Please don't listen to any of the negative from "WorldTraveler" below. I couldn't have picked a more beautiful, service-oriented retreat. The food was wonderful. Petra, the villa's general manager, goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure her guests are happy. By the time I left, I felt like the whole VLM was family. They are all just so sweet and helpful. Gusefina and Anna, the housekeepers/cooks, were as sweet as can be (note: very little to no English, but no problem!). Elena, the masseuse, was so sweet and great at what she does. Dr. Lorena was in charge of my aftercare -- extremely thorough and very detail-oriented. Petra's family was awesome and helped me out whenever I needed it too).

In terms of sheer beauty, VLM will blow you away!!! You will be high n the Escazu mountaintops and feel like you are having all your meals in the middle of the jungle (due to the floor to ceiling glass windows!) I even saw a sloth with its baby!!! Was hoping to see a monkey but didn't happen. :( I stayed in two of their villas: 1 standard and 1 luxury. Both were great. Glass Studio was my fave of the two I stayed in. Glass House and Villa Chanel are awesome too though. Really, you will be blown away - by the service, the food, the aftercare, and the beauty of your surroundings.

I am certain this helped my mental state of recovery. You will not regret visiting here. As you see below, everyone but ONE has given very favorable reviews. To me, that is fishy. Something happened that pissed that guy off evidently, and he has set out to "ruin" the retreat. Don't give in. Villa le Mas was my Costa Rican home away from home for two solid weeks! Can't recommend them enough.

The only rec I had for Petra (she is so conscious of her guests that she constantly wants to know areas of improvement): for Villa Joop and Villa Glass Studio (where I stayed), it would have been nice to have the big water jugs with spouts. After surgery, those were hard to pour and as much as we need to be drinking water after surgery, it would have been nice. :)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank emis100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Le Mas

Property: Villa Le Mas
Address: Calle Hoja Blanca | San Antonio, Escazu 1260, Costa Rica (Formerly Villa Le Mas Aftercare Facility)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > Escazu
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Escazu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Le Mas offers tranquil vacation apartments located in a park-like setting with views of Cerro Pico Blanco and the Central Valley. Our property is the last property before the Nature Reserve begins to the south and to the west there is a creek and then agricultural land. There are many different kinds of birds and wildlife. The property is two and a half acres of tropical gardens with the vacation rentals scattered about walkways through the gardens. Our location and property are very private, peaceful and tranquil. We are only 15 minutes to shopping and restaurants, yet it feels as if you are in the countryside. We have complimentary shared laundry facilities on the property and 24/7 guard service for the safety of our guests and their property. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Le Mas Costa Rica/Escazu

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