Great start - I had found a good deal online for this place and worried that I might be treated differently when paying less than half of their advertised rate. But not the case! We were met by reception as we drove onto the property and they upgraded our room without us even asking. Throughout the stay the reception staff were all consistently pleasant and helpful.
People that are complaining about the road- come on! Go back to Key West and leave the joys and wonders of Costa Rica to people who know how to drive over a few potholes. :-) In their defense also, it appears they fix the road once it gets to their property. You need to like rain as you're literally in a cloud. No sunny days here folks! Enjoy it for what it is - a unique part of a unique country.
In Costa Rica I have learned to not take for granted hot water. Whenever I find some place with water pressure and hot water I feel blessed. This place has hot water, not room temperature drizzle.
My teen loved the on premise movie theater, the cow milking and the relaxing. But we had done all our Costa Rica adventure before coming so 3 days of down time in a wonderful place was appreciated. The spa was good. We took advantage of their 2 for 1 special.
If you love good food and don't mind paying a little more - definitely eat here. The chef does a great job on lunch and dinner.
My only slightly negative (and the reason for only 4 stars): There is a weird vibe in the restaurant with the staff. I never put my finger on it - it was like they expected something of me that I never really performed on. They were nice, don't get me wrong, just made an uncomfortable vibe in that part of Villa Blanca. It was a vibe that made us not want to go eat. We dreaded eating so badly we probably made the situation worse by showing up at 9:30 for breakfast (ends at 10) and 3P for lunch (ends at 4).
Also- with such amazing recipes and such delicate tastes - I'm a little disappointed in *canned* hearts of palm (although one type is sort of endangered, there's another kind that is not) and *canned* mushrooms. And while I'm critiquing, they could have more walking trails since they have so much acreage here, but who knows their reasons...maybe a liability thing since they cater to Americans who can't drive and maybe they can't walk in a forest either.
The mini bar is a lil pricey if you're comparing to a grocery store but you're in the middle of nowhere - so either plan ahead and bring your own or pay up for the convenience of them going to all the trouble of putting it at your finger tips.
Overall - great time, great place and really - the reception staff make up for any weirdness in the restaurant, and I would definitely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just over an hour's drive from San Jose International Costa Rica airport (SJO), eco-minded travelers from all over the world have reveled in the beauty of Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel, located within the Los Angeles Private Biological Nature Reserve & Research Station in the Canton of San Ramon. The hotel is ideally situated as a gateway to Arenal Volcano and the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Here, you're immersed in one of the world's most precious and complex jungle ecosystems - the cloud forest. This boutique mountain hotel is nestled on 75-acres of gentle rolling hills, with well-appointed "casitas" and Honeymoon Suites, each with their own fireplace, and surrounded by acres of lush botanical gardens. Originally owned by former president Rodrigo Carazo Odio and First Lady, Estrella Zeledon de Carazo, Villa Blanca has become a renown and cherished Costa Rica destination. The architecture reflects the original farm village concept, with a welcoming Hacienda, offering guests exceptional Costa Rican hospitality, premier dining, a private theater, conference facilities, and pampering spa menu. Also quite unique is a replica of a 14th century Roman wedding chapel, La Mariana, with its hand painted ceramic ceiling. Choose from a variety of nature-based activities, including horseback, zip-lines, and user-friendly guided trials, plus excursions to Arenal and Poas volcanoes, hot springs, and rural-cultural tours. This is the Costa Rica where those who "travel well and travel right" want to go. Please feel free to visit our sister-site, one of the most prestigious Manuel Antonio hotels, Si Como No. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Blanca Cloud Forest
- Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel And Nature Reserve Costa Rica/San Ramon