So, don't get me wrong this place is very nice indeed. I think the positives are all well represented by the other reviewers here, so I will just touch on the negatives. For one, there is not much privacy. There is a groundskeeper who always seems to be outside your balcony doing something. And not only was he checking out my wife, but he gave me dirty looks for no reason. There are no curtains in the rooms, so you have no privacy if he decides to come around, so be sure to keep all your clothes on at all times in your room.
As for Daryl and Donna: Donna seems like a nice person, and I do not really have anything bad to say about her, other than her notes were a little invasive. For instance, we stayed there for a week, but were mostly gone during the day at the beach and doing various activities (hiking, kayaking, Corcorvado NP, etc...), and every day when we got back to the room there was a hand written note telling us something that we did wrong. One day it was we left the ceiling fan on. Another day it was we left a window cracked open. Another day we left a wet towel on the bed. Another day we did not put the cover back on the barbeque grill. Another day we had left a 2 dishes in the sink. Another day one of my sons smeared a little sunscrean on the bedspread. You get the idea. So, I readily admit in all these cases, we were guilty of these minor infractions, but when you are paying hundreds of dollars a night to stay in a hotel, you don't really need quite so much micromanaging. We got to the point where we were joking each day on our way back to the villa about what our next note was going to say that we screwed up.
The problem is that these villas are really an extension of Daryl and Donna's home, so they are constantly looking out for things that have been done wrong. I get it. This is their place, and they want to keep it nice, but if they are so worried about sunscreen on the bedspread then maybe they should not use fancy green comforters that cannot get anything on them and need to be drycleaned. Stick to white and bleach out the stains.
As I said, Donna is pretty nice despite the lecture notes every day. As for Daryll, this guy was a complete jerk! Without even introducing himself to us, we first met him when I heard him screaming out by the pool. It turns out he was angrily yelling at my kids for jumping in the pool with a boogyboard. My kids are good and respectful kids, so freaking out on them not only unacceptable to me, but not necessary. The villa has boogeyboards sitting by the pool, so to think that a teenager would not jump in the pool with one is unrealistic, and like I said, they are good kids. If he did not want them doing that, he could have politely asked them not to do it, and they would have stopped. I felt very upset that this was the first way that we met him because my kids did not even know who he was. To them, he was just some crazy old hippy-looking dude screaming, cussing, and threatening them. They were actually very scared and upset. We left the next morning.
He should have asked them nicely to stop and mentioned it to us, their parents. This guy absolutely came unglued. That is why I am so surprised at the perfect Trip Advisor ratings. With all of the stuff that happened to us, I felt it was my trip advisor duty to warn other people that there are actually conditions and circumstances here that may make them want to reconsider staying here.
I don't write many reviews on TA because I feel most places are adequately represented between the different ratings. Usually, some people like a place and others don't like the same place. I personally almost felt let down by TA on this instance because all people did was talk about how great Donna and Daryll are, and don't mention the bad stuff, so I was not expecting any bad stuff, and I was actually pretty disappointed overall with it here, so I felt I had to share these caveats with people. This place has a certain vibe to it that many will like, but others will definitely not. Everyone in my family who went there agrees on this.
Also, there has to be more people out there who had issues with various things around here. And somebody who flips out like Daryll did must have unleashed his foul temper before or will again. I doubt I am the only person... I was actually so upset how Daryll acted towards my kids, that I did not talk to him because I felt that it might have escalated, and I did not need it to go there when I am on vacation with my wife, baby, and teenagers.
I would not recommend bringing your children to this place. They seem to have a low tolerance of everything here.
P.S. the road to the place is so steep and narrow, it was almost undriveable in a stickshift.
- 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