My boyfriend and I planned a two part trip to Costa Rica over New Year, with Bert's Bella Vista lodge being the first stop. We caught the Easy Ride shuttle from San Jose ($50 pp, highly recommended) which dropped us off in Dominical, then grabbed a 4x4 taxi to get up to Bert's. It's about a 15 min trip from Dominical straight up the mountain - an unpaved, wild road with several streams that you cross on the way up! We walked into the lodges communal porch area through the kitchen where all the guests were gathered waiting for food, drinking and talking about their day. Everyone greeted us, introduced themselves and very quickly made us feel at home.
The thing about Bella Vista is this - it's really the perfect, welcoming, relaxing place for the right people. If you're looking to make new friends, go exploring the local area, want local recommendations (Bert knows someone for everything you could possibly think of doing), enjoy beautiful views and peace in a quiet, rustic environment then this is absolutely the place for you. We stayed in the main area of the lodge and woke up each morning to the Howler monkeys, then got up and made coffee, chatted with the other guests and planned our days. We rented a car through Vamos Rent-a-car but ended up car pooling most days with 3 other great guests that were staying in one of the cabins, as well as the students (Vincent and João) who were helping Bert out at the time of our visit. WiFi is provided at the lodge free of charge, which is an excellent bonus.
Bert cooks dinner every night for his guests for a small additional cost - it's better food at a better value than you'll find in Dominical (Trust me. That's true.) Bert makes bread from scratch, salads, varied main courses and catered to both a strict vegetarian diet and a nut allergy in two separate guests that were staying at the same time as us. Meal times are relaxed, so don't expect to run to a strict schedule here.
While we were there, we surfed, went on the horse back ride to the waterfall, swam in the waterfall, played with the dogs, lay in the hammocks that are perfectly placed to watch the sunsets and watched fireworks over the beach on New Year.
It was a perfect start to the vacation and if I'm honest, we missed Bert's when we moved onto the next place up North in Playa Grande.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bella Vista Lodge is perched 1200 feet above Dominical with panoramic Pacific coastal views of Manuel Antonio to the north and the Osa Peninsula to the south. There are 4 guest rooms with private baths in the Lodge as well as the dining deck. Cabins are also available equipped with small kitchens as well as private decks. A truly authentic Costa Rica experience! Horseback riding to Nauyaca Waterfalls, white-water rafting, surfing, sport fishing, hiking, zip lining, birdwatching, whale watching, scuba and snorkeling--all within minutes away. Restaurant by reservation only. Fresh ingredients are gathered at the local markets -- fresh, fresh, fresh. Groups welcome! Family reunions, weddings, photo, music, cooking, and art seminars, yoga/spa/massage, and birdwatchers. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bella Vista Hotel Dominical
- Bella Vista Lodge Costa Rica/Dominical