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“Awesome stay!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bella Vista Lodge

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Bella Vista Lodge
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Awesome stay!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

Our first time travelling to Costa Rica and what a pleasure it was to stay at Bella Vista with Bert and crew. We were in the main house with a view of the Pacific from our room. Had the unbelievable pleasure of riding horses with Bert, Brad from San Francisco, and our guide, Carlos, down the mountain to the beach, picked up a just caught red snapper, which was dinner. Bert is host, chef as well as concierge here and he does it right!! This place is a do not miss for travelers while in Dominical.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank HeidiAnneSnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    71
    8
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15
28
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Darnestown, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

Half-way up a mountainside, the view of the Pacific is awesome. The nature is also great, we saw over 40 different species of birds from the wrap-around porch on the beautiful, rustic ranch house. The food is wonderful, Bert and his helpers are gourmet chefs and the meals they prepare are amazing. (not a good place to loose weight :o) Beaches, horse trips and nearby waterfalls are wonderful day trips. This was closest to a "magical" experience that I have had traveling.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

Pura Vida and Bert are synonymous. No where have I experienced such hospitality, consideration, comfort, acceptance, gourmet meals, fun, casual atmosphere or kindness towards animals (especially human animals!) The birdwatching was phenomenal and I added 30 new birds to my life list! When (not if) I return to Costa Rica, this will be on my list of places to return to. Thank you, Bert! You did a tremendous job helping to make our stay there memorable.

PS - I cannot suggest Bella Vista for those who require high maintenance.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pandoradean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

These guys have my dream job. They live in a beautiful, breathtaking location and for work they help folks enjoy a city they love. All the while cooking amazing food every night.

The big event in Bert's day, I believe, is the horseback ride down the mountain to grab the fresh fish they are going to cook that night. (and btw, he's been a professional chef for most of his life so the dinners really are great).

Wow, how amazing, right?

Anyway, we arrived in Dominical at night and it was an adventure just to find the place. I highly recommend insuring you've got directions, etc. printed out before you arrive and as mentioned in all the other reviews. 4x4 is not optional. Not just to get up to Bella Vista but in my opinion to be able to truly experience everything Dominical has to offer. Most of our favorite restaurants, beaches, etc. were found after various 4x4 adventures.

I don't want this review to be too long but just to give you an idea of the kind of guy Bert is. We signed up to go on a horseback tour up to Nauyaca falls and I didn't have the long pants they recommended. - Bert was quick to offer up a pair of old, very hip, chili pepper chef's pants in case I wanted them. In the end, I didn't need them but I appreciate stuff like that. These guys will do whatever they can to help you enjoy your trip.

When we arrived, Bert gave us an honest assessment of BV and I think it's true. It's "a step up from camping" and the bottom villa definitely held true to that. It's rustic but as long as you've got a fan going the sleep is pretty great, especially after a day of surfing or horseback riding.

HIGHLIGHTS - advice on surfing (Dylan at Sunset Surf), local swimming holes (Poza Azul), restaurants (La Parcela, PorQueNo, Tortilla Flats), dinners (fresh mackeral, amazing salads by Max, pie w/ shortbread cookie crust).

Bottom line - even if you aren't staying at Bella Vista, it might be worth a call to see if you can join Bert and Max for dinner. Can't wait to get back to Dominical, we loved it.

Room Tip: Up top in the community area, I'd say the Toucan room is your best bet. Down below in the cab...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tbooneus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

Awesome hospitality, friendly hosts, and fun ambiance. Great location and amazing views! From the moment we arrived everyone was helpful and gracious. The environment is much more personal and friendly than a hotel, but the accommodations are clean and comfortable. You are minutes away from several beaches, the dinners were delicious, and we even had a bonfire outside. Perfect fusion of hotel meets hostel overlooking the ocean and offering amazing sunset views.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iceberge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominical, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

Bert and his helpers welcomed us on our first night with a pre-arranged dinner. PIZZA 8 different ways! one even had fresh avacodo on it! of the separate cabins, we stayed in the downstairs cabin. We had our own ocean view porch which was great to enjoy 5:30 am bird watching. amazing wildlife! I even fell asleep in the hammock a couple nights it was so peaceful. and at this altitude there were no bugs, just a nice cool breeze! You have the option to let Bert know if you'd like to be included in the family style dinner each night. I'd suggest you take advantage of this! prices are very reasonable at $10-18 each person and sometimes that 2-3 courses. the "Bring your own booze" is a great idea, but bert always has a bit extra if you want to buy a glass of wine or beer off him. its a much cheaper option than many of the tourist places and with Bert's chef background, you will not find better food anywhere! and the fun part is you meet so many other great travelers and share stories from your day. Bert took us to Roco Verde, a bar in town, one night and introduced us to many of the expat locals. what a great time! thanks Bert and Gang! we will definately stay there again!!!

Room Tip: of the cabins, downstairs is only one room. upstairs is 2 bedrooms. couples are fin downstairs but...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BRnToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holmes Beach
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

First trip to Costa Rica for us. There were 9 of us (2 families). We rented jeeps and drove to the lodge from San Jose airport with no problem. Bella Vista Lodge is a beautiful, rustic, lodge with beautiful water views, perfect for our 2 families. We had amazing meals prepared by Bert every night and enjoyed horseback riding, fishing trips, surfing, waterfalls, massages, and exploring Dominicals beaches and town. We loved listening to the Howling monkeys at night and seeing the many tropical birds. We can't wait to go back to The Bella Vista Lodge and see our good friend Bert again. Thanks Bert for making our vacation memorable. We had a great time!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jean b
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 #15 of 27 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 
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Also Known As:
Bella Vista Hotel Dominical
Bella Vista Lodge Costa Rica/Dominical

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