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“Beautiful setting and home with excellent service”

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Shelter from the Storm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 12, 2009

My husband and I, kids, and parents all rented the entire Las Rocas house (bottom and top floors) during our recent vacation to Costa Rica. We stayed 3 nights in Dominical at Shelter from the Storm and absolutely LOVED the house. The views were magnificent and Donna was nice enough to call us one afternoon so that we could look out the terrace at the monkeys making their way across the property. We saw lots of wildlife from the comfort of our room, made some nice meals in our full kitchen which was very well equipped. Donna and Daryl thought of all the touches to make our stay comfortable, including a beautiful welcome basket when we arrived. They were also very helpful in planning our activities while there and the horseback riding at Don Lulu's they set up for us was THE BEST! They made reservations for us at Cafe Exotica which was the best meal we had on the vacation. The only downside to our stay in Dominical was that we had already done all the fun activities while in Arenal earlier that week, so the town itself was kind of boring to us and we had to drive too much to get to beaches and restaurants and grocery stores (maybe because we had little kids with us). But that wasn't the fault of Daryl and Donna, who were very gracious hosts during our stay. The rooms were spacious, well designed, with all the amenities and touches of home. They were also the cleanest rooms we stayed in during our travels, so we were grateful for that!!! Definitely a place I would go back to if in the area again.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank Stefanie718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 - 181 of 233 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2009

Shelter from the Storm offers everything you could ever want in a beautiful setting with spotless villas, views that are hard to tear yourself away from, great pool and the most accomadating owners - Daryl & Donna. It's hard not to constantly use superlatives to describe this place. The drive in is just a couple minutes off the main road, near km marker 151, up a rocky but well-kept road. I would definitely get a 4WD for the area, I used Solid and they provided great rates and service. I stayed in the Monkey House and Villa Las Rocas and would happily stay again in both, they are so well equipped I could live there easily! The welcome basket is such a nice, personal touch and I can't think of a single thing I could for want for that wasn't already provided for. The Monkey House enjoyed visits from the capuchins every morning around 5am and again around 5pm. My favourite activity at both places was just sitting on the deck enjoying the wonderful views, plus visiting with their cats and dogs. Never used the a/c, the breezes were constant and I even found myself a little cool at night. Very few bugs, even at night with the patio light on, bug spray really wasn't needed.

A book is provided with a wealth of info on nearby restaurants and beaches and activities. Do take a trip to the Chef's Table at Villas des las Aves to eat, best to get there before dark to make the leaving easier. La Mancha right up the road also had great food at very decent prices, while across the road La Parcela had great views but expensive drinks. Delicious in Dominical was a great place for breakfast and the Plaza Pacifica was nearby for the atm and groceries.

Rancho La Merced and Hacienda Baru are close by and have very nice hikes and a must-do is the tour to Nauyaca Falls. The main road is in great shape and I would suggest flying into Palmar Sur rather than Quepos if not driving in.

Thanks to Donna & Daryl for their warmth, helpfulness and the extra effort they put into everything. I can't imagine staying anywhere else in the area, it really is that special. I do plan on returning!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank midori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2009

Do I gush and prattle on, or actually endeavor to give an unbiased, original review?
I gush.
These folks have thought of everything, all seemingly with the comfort of the guest foremost in mind. The Villa Cuesta kitchen has everything you might think to need, well laid out and organized; the bathroom is well equipped (nice large shower); and the bedroom is ample, comfortable, and has plenty of storage and lighting (the view of the little patio and calming statue amid the green background of trees added to the oasis ambiance). This is a place that makes you feel calm and at home; the feel is private, and the decor is restrained. (High-quality linens add to the level of comfort.) Large screened doors bring the surrounding jungle inside; the wrap-around deck is furnished to make one want to stay home and sit and take in the incredible views and atmosphere (tasteful ceiling lights and fans make it comfortable to do at any time). We enjoyed a full day there watching the rain, birds, ocean, and jungle (yes, there were monkeys), in perfect comfort (a rare compulsion for usually non-stop tourists).
There are gorgeous beaches, wildlife viewing, adventure things to do, all nearby, and as much information and help available that you could imagine (and equipment, such as beach towels, chairs, and boogey boards, should you want them).
Can't think of anything else that hasn't been said on these reviews already. A place that makes you sad to leave? Comment enough.

Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
2  Thank sylvia4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2009

As a member of the previous reviewer's party, I echo her sentiments enthusiastically. Bar none, Daryl and Donna are the consummate hosts...anticipating every possible amenity. We sure hope to return!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank VirginiaCabinGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2009

Our group of 7 adults, ages 48 to 80, chose this villa property based on the excellent reputation it has earned on this site (trip advisor). We were not disappointed in the least. The Shelter from the Storm website affords an accurate portrayal of the overall property and of each individual villa, however imagery cannot do justice to the drop-dead georgeous setting one finds upon arrival or the peaceful seclusion and heavenly-scented flora that greets each guest lucky enough to land here for even a few days. Our 9 pax Mitsubishi Montero (4x4) easily navigated the steep drive in and, despite our initial worries, the trip in and out became part of each day's adventure.

The property is maintained to the highest standard (lots of plush bath and pool towels, hot water/great shower, fresh flowers in room, fresh fruit and coffee in room, meticulously clean) and offers every comfort imagineable. Our group of mostly couples spent a great deal of time at the comfortable and well-equipped rancho (music included), grilling fish and enjoying a cocktail du jour from the fully stocked honor bar. The pool, although not lap-worthy, is larger than the website photos portray and affords a convenient and refreshing dip after a day of touring, hiking and horseback riding. Each villa offers a covered verandah, from which to enjoy the sounds of crashing surf or a romantic rain shower.

Donna and Daryl are wonderful, caring hosts and will take care of your every desire.

I hate to sound like a "broken record" by repeating every other poster's comments but I honestly can't think of anything negative to say about Shelter from the Storm. It is a bit off the beaten path, which was an attraction for our group. Do your grocery shopping on the way in and take advantage of the well-stocked kitchen in each villa and the gas grill at the rancho. For a real treat, take a 20 minute drive south to Cafe Exotica (Ojochal), Daryl's favorite restaurant (and now ours). The menu is eclectic and reasonably priced; the food, nothing short of outstanding. The owners are a lovely french-canadian couple and we felt like honored guests.

Be sure to book your activities well in advance of your arrival to avoid disappointment as many tours require a reservation. A car in this area is an absolute must. We all did enjoy the Nauyaca waterfall tour on horseback (even my 80 yr. young mom).

I could go on and on but given my 4 hours of sleep, I would just be rambling. You must stay at this property if you enjoy seclusion and/or romance. Do not stay here if you are not in reasonably good physical condition (steeply sloped), need room service or non-stop entertainment. I searched for weeks to find this slice of heaven and it was perfect for our group. You will have to do your own soul-searching and leg work to know if it is right for you.

(One last comment - ask for Melanie for the best massage of your life!)

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lovettsville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2009

From the moment we arrived to our departure our experience was nothing less than "Outstanding". The villa was spotless & perfectly located with a view to die for. Our hosts, Donna & Daryl were the most accommodating that we have ever met in all our travels. We have stayed in many places around the World, and "Shelter from the Storm" now ranks at the top of our list. Daryl arranged a fishing trip, a zip line excursion, & an ATV adventure, & all were amazing, and reasonably priced. All you need to bring when staying at "Shelter from the Storm" is your suitcases as all amenities are provided. We can only hope to visit this piece of paradise again. Don't think twice about booking at "Shelter from the Storm", I promise you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BellaLuna807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank allredallthetime
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

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 #8 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Dominical
Price Range: $110 - $330 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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