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“Perfect!!!!”
Review of Villas Rio Mar

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Villas Rio Mar
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence
Chesapeake, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect!!!!”
Reviewed November 30, 2007

We couldn't have asked for a better place to be. Originally, we were going to stay one night but decided to stay 2 more nights. The location is excellent and the people are the most helpful that we encountered. The food was better than excellent. I enjoyed everything. Highly Recommended!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Heaven6566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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551 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2007

Remember people, you are in a barely populated part of the country next to second growth secondary rain forest - yes there will be some bugs. The staff was just excellent and looked out for our needs the entire time. The food was remarkable and we ate numerous meals there and bypassed the Dominical strip of restaurants. We extended our stay because the area had what we wanted and the staff was so encouraging and helpful.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SunSpree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2007

This hotel is on the outskirts of Dominical - fairly untouched by mass tourism. The bungalows are fantastic, with a wonderful outside seating area. The pool was superb. Food and drinks great, although a little priceier than the town itself. The staff were friendly and helpful. There was a wide choice of activities available to be booked through the hotel - highly recommend surfing lessons. A great, quieter haven than some other resorts. A must.

  • Liked — The style of acommodation and the surroundings
  • Disliked — Not in the centre
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beaverface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2007

We stayed at Villas Rio Mar three nights Dec 28-31, 2006. If you plan to stay here, or in this area, think basic, funky, 1975-era and nothing's been fixed since! Villas Rio Mar is an old property, not charming old, but run-down old. The rooms here are a far cry from "villas", but the "Junior Suites" are larger than the standard superior, which is what we had. The thatched roof restaurant is large and "muy characteristico". Service and food are OK, your basic fare at moderate prices. (I was amazed by the lack of fresh seafood options on the coast in general.) If your taste in music doesn't run to techno pop at full volume, your meal might not be a relaxing experience. The breakfast buffet is excellent, though not included in the room price.

Rooms are simple, small, and clean, but the outdooor kitchen area with sink, bar and fridge is an odd touch -- a comfortable patio would be much more pleasant. As has been stated before, there ARE centipedes, flying beetles and the occasional frog in the rooms (the only wildlife we saw in the area!).

The gardens are beautiful, although manicured lawns, orchids, and flowering bushes are out of place in a natural coastal setting. The pool is large, but the concrete surround is cracked, there is no shade, and more loud music can be heard from adjacent bar.

There is some construction going on at the front, possibly to improve the unattractive entry: a dirt parking lot in front of an open air reception desk. We found the staff of mostly local kids to be friendly and helpful. The services here are very limited -- there's not a whole lot to do in the immediate area. The few tours offered are expensive. We scheduled a snorkeling tour at Ballena Nat'l Reserve, then had to cancel when our son got sick. Even though we let the hotel know in advance, they charged us a whopping $100 cancellation fee! Our friends thought the tour was overpriced - they saw some dolphins, but the snorkeling was disappointing.

The walk to the beach along the river Baru takes 10-15 minutes. Domenical, right on the beach, is tiny; just surf shops, simple restaurants, and souvenier shops. The beach here was busy, with cars parked along a dirt road that runs along the beach, and outdoor stalls that line the road. However the ocean was warm and we had fun swimming here.

There are much prettier beaches further south, such as Ballena Nat'l Park. Though we didn't make it to Corcovado, in hindsight, we would have been better off travelling further south, stopping in Domenical for lunch.

  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnnetNicholle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2007

True, the rooms are a little rough around the edges, but the grounds are stunningly beautiful: a well manicured tropical garden with enough diversity of plants to please any gardener. The pool was charming and well maintained, and very popular in the late afternoon. We ate at the restaurant only for breakfasts, which were American-style buffets. The food was ok; the view of the pool was pleasant.

The room itself was worn and a little shabby: the bed was like a cardboard box, the lighting dim. However, the mini fridge and the draped sitting room were nice conveniences. The shower was decent, with plenty of hot water.

Some of the staff were exceedingly polite and helpful, recommending and booking trips for us. Some of the staff were curt. That's the way it goes at most places.

It was conveniently located a little way away from the town, which made it quieter, yet still close enough to access. We did several day trips. Toughest thing was finding it the first night after dark; it's not well marked.

All in all, it was a decent place to stay. Not luxurious, but --- except for the bed --- fairly comfortable and certainly beautiful.

  • Liked — gardenlike setting
  • Disliked — box-like bed
  • Tips/Secrets — be careful of pricing when booking day trips through the hotel; you might want to pay the vendor directly and save a few dollars
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
1 Thank LaLovely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
119 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2006

Villas Rio Mar are set a half mile "up the river" Baru, from a quiet surfing town (Dominical) with local staff and reasonable prices. It gave us exactly what we wanted in our last days in Cost Rican vacation. The grounds surround you in tropical luxury and the bungalows are comfortable and relaxing. I agree with another reviewer that this is not a high-end American style hotel, and that is exactly what we liked best about it.
The staff are some of the most sincere and genuinely nice people you'll meet anywhere. They got us the reservation for the combo tour, and even tow the wale season had past; we still had a chance to see then. We also had a massage at the spa on the end of the day, and it has excellent, We highly recommend it! We paid 30m and got 1h of pure relaxing massage all over the body, including head, feet, hands, everything! Pura Vida!

  • Liked — Great massage
  • Tips/Secrets — Great place for relaxing in Dominical
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Rita_Picarra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2006

Villas Rio Mar gave us exactly what we wanted in our Cost Rican vacation. The grounds surround you in tropical luxury and the bungalows are comfortable and relaxing. I agree with another reviewer that this is not a high-end American style hotel, and that is exactly what we liked best about it.
We stayed for ten days and by the end of our stay we felt like the staff were family. To a person they are some of the most sincere and genuinely nice people you'll meet anywhere. Jenny at the bar will fix you one mean fruity drink and tell you all ever wanted to know about the area.
Anna got us great rates on all the local tours and had our itinerary planned out for us when we arrived, (The Tree of Life Tour was our favorite - truly a memory for a lifetime).
Definitely Pura Vida. So go already!

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank barryfsu2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas Rio Mar

Property: Villas Rio Mar
Address: 800 m north from the Dominical entrance along the Baru river, Dominical 185-8000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Dominical
#4 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Villas Rio Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dominical ***Eco-Hotel Resort near Uvita & Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Relax in true nature while enjoying a wide range of amenities! Villas Rio Mar is an internationally recognized 3 Star Eco hotel located in a stunning natural setting; an easy 10 minute walk from the fun and the beach of Dominical. Whether traveling as a couple or with family, Villas Rio Mar offers a wide range of amenities guaranteed to make your holiday worry-free and enjoyable. Our hotel includes 52 rooms and can also host medium-sized groups. Our spacious tropical gardens provide privacy and include many beautiful plants, flowers, and birds, which one can observe from outdoor patio areas located in front of the rooms. One of the best restaurants in the area, El Rancho, is located at Villas Rio Mar. The area offers a wide array of leisure and adventure activities including beautiful beaches, four National Parks, and many other nature & wildlife reserves. A wide range of amenities: spacious tropical gardens, jungle trails, large swimming pool with pool bar, quality restaurant & bar (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks), international sports programming, room service, billiard table, darts, foosball, kids’ play area, mini golf, outside gym, tennis court, tour & transport services, massage, nail studio, and other body treatments. 4 room types to choose from: 48 of the 52 rooms have an outdoor patio area with garden views, rooms with AC & TV available, family-sized rooms available (limited), rooms with kitchenette available, mini-fridge and ceiling fans in every room Great price for an excellent service: professional staff, free wi-fi throughout the hotel, complimentary parking, free rental car drop-off (airport & Villas Rio Mar), group discounts available, seasonal discounts; May>Dec. 15th, book now & pay later! Beautiful, easily accessible, with lots to do: - Stunning natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, and nearby tropical jungle teeming with exotic wildlife - Many beaches, national parks, and adventure tours - Easily accessible from SJO International Airport via newly paved roads (<3 hours) - 10 min. walk to Dominical - 15 min. walk to the beach - Relaxing natural setting - Private and secure Meetings & Events: conference room & event planning services for businesses, weddings & private events ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Rio Mar Hotel Dominical
Hotel Rio Mar
Rio Mar Hotel
Villas Rio Mar Costa Rica/Dominical

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