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“Real taste of Costa Rica with a flare of family”
Review of Bella Vista Lodge

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Bella Vista Lodge
Miami, Florida
1 review
“Real taste of Costa Rica with a flare of family”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Great location, excellent owner/host/chef "Bert", had a wonderful experience. Bella Vista offers rustic accommodations with a flare of a real 'home' environment. Friendly guests to laugh, eat and share with freely, dinners each night cooked from scratch by owner Bert himself, and attention and assistance on a personal level for any need. The small lodge and adjacent 2 cabins (for extra privacy if you prefer) are far from city living. If you want to experience Costa Rica the way you should, then here is the spot. Bert helps arrange attractions, meals, and even transportation (he called to have our rental car delivered to the lodge). Breakfast and lunch are cooked and served on request and dinner is prepared in large portions each night, accommodating tastes, preferences, and even allergies of any guest. Within one hour, you will feel at home and be comfortable with the other guests. The scenery from the lodge and cabins is breathtaking. Don't be surprised to find monkeys in nearby trees, toucans passing by, or a neighboring horse stopping by for a snack. A 4x4 vehicle is Absolutely necessary to reach Bella Vista, with a steep dirt and rock road that passes through 3 small streams will provide its own adventure to and from the lodge. If you look for some real adventure and an authentic costa rican experience, here is the place to start with. It is easy to reach the local store, beach and many local parks and attractions from Bella Vista and most arrangements can be made with the generous assistance of Bert. Call or email Bert in advance with any questions or concerns and you will be convinced Bella Vista is the place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank cjoysmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

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.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ktpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Punta Uva, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I love this place so much I've been there twice and am planning my third visit! I first came to Bella Vista last April and spent the week exploring the many activities there are to do nearby. Our room was clean and comfortable, and the breeze blowing through the white gauze curtains kept us cool. Bert is kind and efficient and can arrange just about anything you want to do. Hiking, waterfalls, biking, horseback riding, surfing, snorkeling, diving, ziplining, etc... He also cooks fabulous dinners - probably the best food in town - every night. There are enough guests to ensure that you will meet new people, and the place is small enough that you might just make new friends.

I enjoyed Bella Vista so much on my first visit that I came back in January for a few days. I remembered how amazing the view was, but theres nothing like seeing it for yourself. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to friends and family!

A tip - You have to earn that beautiful view with a rather steep climb up a rocky road, so make sure you have 4 wheel drive!

Room Tip: There are several rooms located right in the lodge, and a couple of small cabinas a little further d...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank katbeck86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Bella Visat was the best part of our trip!
Bert is an amazing person and a great host!!!

The view is absolutely breathtaking! The food was delicious, the people who stayed there were nice and friendly, the beaches are stunning.....in one word - PARADISE!!!


WE WILL BE BACK :))))

Highly recommend!!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ValentinaDimitrova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Best place, best view, best people, best owner!

I travelled with two girlfriends last summer in CR. We went to a lot of places and stopped by Dominical on the 3rd week. We got there and met some people who told us about bella Vista Lodge which did not appear like a good idea to us since we were backpackers and had no car.

But the owner of the place has driven us up to the lodge and down to the beach every days. When we got there, we all felt like at home. The owner is lovely, easy-going and generous. He cooked delicious meals every night. All visitors would eat together, and spend some other times during the day. We met really good people, both the locals and tourists!
The Lodge is super clean, super nice, there's everything to make your stay comfortable.

Most of all, you have never seen something as spectacular as a sunrise from bella vista lodge balcony.

Do yourself a favor and stop by Bella Vista Lodge!

Myriam B.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Myriam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vina del Mar, Chile
Level Contributor
41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Bert Woodson is the Proprietor of the lodge. His background is in restaurants and boy, does it ever show! Bert is a cooking machine, and the Bella Vista has a marvelous kitchen. The first couple of days of my stay, it was cloudy (it WAS the rainy season, after all) but it really brightened up for the last few days. I stayed in both the lodge itself and also in the cabin down front. The lodge is great if you like having some company and using wi-fi, and the cabin is just the thing if you want some more privacy. The cabin has two levels but no one was using the upper during my stay, so I had the place to myself. The cabins have two beds and a kitchen, which doesn't show well in my photos, and a deck which does. Plus a real monster view!

The lodge is where you go to be social with the other guests, and the bar and common tables make it very easy to be social. You can bring your own beer, if you want, and there's no problem with that. We also made daily pilgrimages down to Tortilla Flats at Dominical Beach, a popular beach club and featured under another review.

Bella Vista Lodge is a very reasonably priced place to stay. The rooms in the Lodge are only $45 a night, and the cabin is $75 per night. There are many places you can visit nearby, and Bert will hook you up with the horseback rides and other attractions. If you are tired of hotels then this is the place for you!

Room Tip: Rooms away from the kitchen are a bit quieter during the morning.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

Staying at the Bella Vista Lodge is a unique experience. It's probably a love it or hate it kinda place. We loved it. It's very rustic and very informal. For instance, if you're still hungry after breakfast or dinner and there's food left, Bert, the owner, will tell you to go ahead into the kitchen and help yourself. We spent our mornings and evenings sitting on the porch of the lodge enjoying the company of other guests while waiting for Bert and Max to bring the food out. Don't expect a rigid timetable here. Everything is very mellow. If you're in a hurry, they will gladly speed things up to get you your meal in time, just let Bert know ahead of time. Otherwise, enjoy the incredible view, the breeze, the fireflys and conversation with interesting people from all over the world. We really lucked out. One of the guests played beautiful Spanish guitar that sometimes was the focal point and sometimes background music, but alway a treat.
I recommend having breakfast and dinner at the lodge. You get great food at a great price. Though, to be honest, I'm not sure how much each meal cost. I do know that for four nights stay, plus breakfasts for two each morning and dinner for two each night plus a few beers, the total cost was more than reasonable, a great value.
Just a side note on getting there. Bert's direction take you through a wide stream. I mean through, not over. If you want to avoid that you can go down the main road a bit further, over the bridge and turn left (I'm assuming here that you are driving south) at the little bus stop shelter just before the road with the Pacific Edge sign. It's a hairpin left that will take you down a street with some houses and other buildings. Then you go left over a small bridge and turn right a few meters later. If you look left there, you'll see the spot where you would ford the river. You'll still have two other streams to go through further up the mountain near the lodge. But those are just little things.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank mrspeabody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bella Vista Lodge

Property: Bella Vista Lodge
Address: Escaleras Road | Dominical Escaleras Al Frente de la Plaza de Futbol, Dominical 60504, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
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

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