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“We had high expectations” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shelter from the Storm

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Shelter from the Storm
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“We had high expectations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2009

since our travel companions were making a return visit. Everything was over the top. We could not have asked for a better experience.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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?
Thank allredallthetime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2009

I was planning a 4 week trip with my 2 children (girls, 7 and 9) in the area of Dominical for October/November of 2008 when I came upon the SFTS website. We lived our dreams. SFTS truly surpassed our expectations.
We stayed for one month during the rainy season, which I have always preferred as I find the temperature less hot. This seems to be partly because the rains (usually brief and intense) have a cooling effect and cloud cover provides some solar screening. The jungle is lush and the waterfalls abound with flow. The rain at night is magical with its sound and intensity.
The added bonus to this time of year is that tourist facilities and attractions are less busy. This makes for easier booking for the various excursions and more personalized attention .
SFTS is located up in the hills and away from the highway. This meant a secure and quiet setting with a pleasant breeze. We stayed at Villa Monkey House which was awe-inspiring. The location of the villa and its private deck looking at the jungle provided us with lots of wildlife observation. We felt like we were in a different world up there with all the jungle sounds including Howler monkeys at sunrise.
The Rancho (common area) and pool were a delight for all of us with hours of entertainment.
We did not have to go very far to explore the wildlife and the outdoors. We found all our entertaining/excursions within 15 km....ziplining , horseback riding, jungle walk, beaches.
Donna and Darryl are wonderful hosts. They welcomed us with a nice basket of goodies and were always available if we needed help or information. They gave us useful driving instructions from San Jose which was especially helpful during the rainy season as the main highway may close for a few hours on some days for maintenance. I have no reservations about travelling by car at that time of year in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 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?
Thank LouSoJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2009

My greater family took over the whole property for the week of a family fiesta (my brother's 70th Birthday) which was being held nearby. We had a wonderful time - their( Donna and Daryl's) home was our home- we tried to persuade Daryl to up the price of the drinks in the 'Honor Bar' ( next to the pool), as he was actually losing money!- and did we love the sight of the monkeys swinging from branch to branch directly in front of our spacious balcony. Pity we didn't have more chance to relax in our charming house as we were too busy partying elsewhere (but we did have pre-dinner drinks parties in our room - and there is a BBQ and all the equipment if you want to do more home entertaining - What a find- Thank you Carolina

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 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?
Thank Rosie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2009

We stayed a week with Donna and Daryl at SFTS and absolutely loved it. Our villa (Los Rocas Arribas) was perfect for our family of four. The grounds are gorgeous; peaceful and filled with wildlife and beautiful views and vistas. The first day we saw toucans and monkeys from our terrace. The villas are exquisitely appointed, from the appliances, to the linens, to the dishes - all are of the highest quality. And the original artwork, custom woodwork and tiling add to the already rich surroundings. We found the location ideal - close to myriad beaches, all unique in their own ways, for exploring, sunbathing, surfing and boogie boarding (SFTS provides boogie boards, beach chairs, beach towels, everything you need!). It is also close to ziplining, horseback riding, falls, river rafting, and to two towns where you can buy everything you need (food, wine, beer - even cameras!) We met wonderful people from around the world during our stay, and enjoyed the common area known as the Rancho, where you could swim in the pool, relax in great pool chairs, plug your laptop into the internet, help yourself to refreshments at the honour bar, listen to music, watch a DVD and Bar-B-Que your dinner... Finally I want to mention our wonderfully warm and gracious hosts, Donna & Daryl who are attentive, kind, interesting, & passionate about Costa Rica & the preservation of its ecology & environment. They have built their small piece of paradise in a fantastic location, away from the built-up touristy areas to the North. You live in the primary and secondary forests, so can see and experience the wildlife from your villa. They provide their guests all of the advice and information you would ever need to get the most out of your stay (before you arrive so you can be very well prepared). We can't say enough about our wonderful week in Paradise at SFTS, much of it thanks to Donna & Daryl. GO visit por favor!!

  • Liked — Seclusion, wildlife and luxury, close to beaches, rooms with a view
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ChristieKanata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2009

We stayed at Shelter From The Storm with our 10 month old baby, and we loved it!! We have been in Costa Rica for 2 months now. While exploring the country, we stayed in many 5 star hotels. Of all the town's we visited Dominical is THE BEST. Of all the Hotels we stayed in SFTS is THE BEST. It's hard to put into words, other than to say that it's magical. We were so relaxed and "tranquilo" there, that we did not want to leave. We plan on going back one last time before our Costa Rican trip is over.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DominicRIpley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sanfranfan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2009

We have just returned to San Francisco from a week at Shelter From the Storm. We spent 5 of the most wonderful days in Dominical for our Honeymoon and Daryll and Donna were the best! The villas were magnificent. We stayed in the Monkey House high up in the trees and witnessed the most amazing wildlife. We have never experienced such incredible hospitality before. Daryll and Donna made sure that we had everything we needed and recommended something new to do each day. Shelter From the Storm was so lovely that it was hard to drag ourselves away from the room. We spent time at the pool and the honor bar every night located just a few steps from our room. The common area is complete with wireless internet (if you must) and DVD in addition to an amazing book collection and a full bar. We were lucky enough to see several families of monkeys pass by while relaxing in the pool. We plan to Visit Shelter again very soon and highly recommend it for any trip to Costa Rica!!!

  • Liked — The Hospitality
  • Disliked — Not a thing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lhowe7282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2009

We have found Shelter from the Storm through Trip Advisor (the hotel is not listed in any guidebooks) and, at first, I was somewhat sceptical - with breathtaking photos of the property, reasonable prices, and 5-star reviews from fellow travellers, Shelter appeared almost too good to be true. I contacted the owners with my concerns and they, lauging, made me a deal - if we did not like our stay, we would get our money back. Thus, with nothing to loose, we set out for our Dominical adventure. Needles to say, Daryl and Donna are keeping our money, and we we have found a home away from home and a little piece of heaven on earth. To those who are looking at whether to stay in the Shelter, know that pictures you see posted by fellow travelers, as well as those on the Shelter website, *are* a true representation of reality. We have stayed (for 5 nights) at Villa La Cuesta, and found both our villa and the entire property beautiful, superbly maintained, and immaculately clean (including the pool). Our villa had two levels: bedroom and bathroom on one, kitchen/living room and terrace on the other; both the terrace and the bedroom were completely hidden from an outside view (we felt we were living in the middle of the jungle). Daryl and Donna provide both bathroom and beach towels (roughly 8 per person, including various wash cloths and hand towels), boogie boards, and limitless supply of purified water. The kitchen is well stocked with pots, pans, plates, and utensils, as well as teas; we also found a lovely welcome gift of various local fruits upon our arrival. Bed linnens are handmade, rooms are equipped with both AC and fans, common area has an honor bar and a grill. The Shelter is surrounded by lush vegetation, which blocks all noise from the road snaking about 300 meters below. The vegetation also hosts troops of howler and cappucine monkeys that put on shows by jumping from one tree to the next a couple of times a day. The beach across from the Shelter is rocky, but there are plenty of others, both for surfing and swimming, north and south from the Shelter, with only 20 minutes to reach the furthest (and, in our opinion, the most beautiful - Ventandes). One can easily spend three days here just exploring the beaches, to find out which one is the one for you. To those who want something more active, a 30 minute drive north puts you in the vicinity of Hacienda Baru natural preserve, with great nature walks (we saw aracaries, a male coalito, and a very interestig spiny cedar there). We have also heard good things about horseback riding from the other Shelter guests (there were three couples total staying, including us), although did not do that ourselves. Finally, and not to be missed, is Dominical/Uvita cuisine - both local and international, including a 5-star French establishment Chef's Table, Italian/world Citrus, Exotica, and others. We confess that we found international dishes available here a welcome reprieve from Costa Rica's traditional (and good, but not all the time :)) casadas. What's best is that all information about activites and dining is lovingly put together by Daryl and Donna in a folder and placed in your room, so that you can always have it at your fingertips. In terms of travel time, it took us 3.5 hrs to drive from the Shelter to San Jose International airport (following Daryl's directions), and about 7 hours to reach the Shelter from La Fortuna area (where we were staying before). All in all, it was an unforgetable trip. Thank you, Daryl and Donna!

  • Liked — The breathtaking view
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MVK123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shelter from the Storm

Property: Shelter from the Storm
Address: San Martin Sur, Dominical 80000, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shelter from the Storm is a group of 2 villas perched on a 5 acre mountainside point, 60 meters above the Pacific, high enough to give dramatic views of the coast to the Osa Pennisula, but low enough to hear the waves breaking on the rocks below. Hotel rates for your own private place! Ammenities: Shared pool adjacent Entertainment Rancho with honor bar, BBQ,satelite stereo tv & dvd, washer/dryer, & much more.... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shelter From The Storm Hotel Dominical
Shelter From The Storm Costa Rica/Dominical

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