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“Nice, relaxing place with luxuries not to be taken for granted”

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Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Ramon
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Sherwood, AR
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice, relaxing place with luxuries not to be taken for granted”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

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.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sharla101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 9, 2013
We appreciate all our TA reviews and Guest Surveys that in almost every case consistently endorse our commitment to providing exceptional Costa Rica experiences. What caught us off guard was your impression of the wait staff at our popular restaurant, El Sendero. Normally the rating of service, atmosphere and quality earn us "five stars" reviews. We therefore had a special meeting to try and understand how we left this impression on such an important aspect reflected in your review. We are traditionally noted for our friendly and gracious staff in every department, all born and raised in the community, where authentic and sustainable Costa Rican hospitality, all trademarks of all Greentique Hotels, don't need to be taught, rather they come natural. We trust you'll consider returning again in the future and see why we normally earn all five stars, especially when it comes to good vibrations!


Jim Damalas
General Manager / Owner
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English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Villa Blanca is a beautiful, quiet place. We visited during the rainy season so the sun usually came out a bit in the morning and it was cool and misty the remainder of the day and evening. This place is quite isolated so not a great place to serve as a jumping off point to see the rest of the country as we had planned, BUT if you plan to go and stay on property there is a good deal to do. We did one of their tours which was expensive, but exceptionally well done. The self-guided walking trails are nice and there is plenty to explore on site. There is also a game room and theater to fill the time. The restaurant was very good. We found the staff friendly and helpful. A great place to spend a few days in isolation and quiet, exploring a unique environment.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Dear Sarah

We welcome your very encouraging review including your appreciation of the comfortable atmosphere of our Cloud Forest hotel. We especially are pleased you enjoyed the value of our tours and the quality of our restaurant menu. The fact that you shared the consensus with so many other guest comments regarding our friendly and courteous staff is once again confirming the importance we have in our family of Greentique Hotels, where we pride ourselves in delivering exceptional Costa Rican experiences. We hope you will visit us again and include our sister hotels in Manuel Antonio, at Si Como No, and at Aguila de Osa Inn on the Osa Peninsula.

Regards,

Joxan Obando
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Coming to Villa Blanca during the rainy season, we were not surprised to find some rain every day, but it never rained for long. In July, the temperature was deliciously cool, and the beauty and variety of the flowers and plants were at a peak. The Villa consists of a series of "casitas" that are arranged along a mountain ridge below a main building that contains a small dining room, check-in desk and gift shop. The food was excellent and the service was as well. The views are spectacular, and the ambience is one of peaceful tranquility. Each casita contains a very comfortable bed and excellent bathroom with a shower but no tub. There is a small stone fireplace well stocked with dry wood that was a delight to take the chill off in the evening. Our casita had a small patio that allowed for good bird watching. We took a small trail (about 1.5 miles) through the forest with a local guide whose English was excellent and who was knowledgeable and friendly. A great walk. Finally, there is a beautiful small church that commands a hilltop on the grounds . If you are looking for somewhere to party, don't come here. As a place to connect with fabulously verdant nature set in wonderful quiet, Villa Blanca is about perfect. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Each casita is the same. All are excellent. Some require a longer walk (uphill) to get to the dining...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank iCloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Thanks you for highly recommending us and for recognising the many values and qualities we strive to consistently deliver. The concept of a mountain village in the cloud forest of Los Angeles Norte is why we continue to highlight the lush tropical landscape and many welcomed amenities you took the time to note. We appreciate your recommendation of our nature guided tour offering a vast inventory of flora your guide enjoyed pointing out for you. That you relaxed and connected with nature and recharge your batteries was for us a plus we offer as a mountain boutique hotel escape where you can do as much or as little as you like.

Regards,
Joxan Obando
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Grand Bend, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was one of three locations we picked for our wedding anniversary, and it was spectacular.
The Casitas were so relaxing cozy on those cool misty nights with the fireplaces which we used every night. The restaurant and bar were inviting and the food and meals great. We especially loved the fruit for breakfast which was freshly cut each time. We really want to say thanks to Joxan, the manager and our wonderful breakfast conversation. Also thanks to Leon, Juan Carlos, and all the staff who were attentive to our every need. We enjoyed our walks through the trail and the sightseeing around the grounds. A memory we will always remember as truly wonderful, even in the rain and mist, "surrealistic". Highly recommended for something different...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Loumar6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
We thank you for taking the time to write such a encouraging review. It was our pleasure to make you feel at home, and all this folks you mentioned are part of the reason we believe that hospitality starts with the friendly staff and managers who enjoy taking the time when you invite us to share our story with you. Please remember to consider planning your next anniversary with us again and maybe include our other Greentique Hotels where we believe you'll experience the same good energy and exceptional values we are proud to offer you in Manuel Antonio and the Osa Peninsula.

Joxan Obando
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Provo, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I stayed here as a part of a three location private car hire package tour. I was impressed by the hotel and the fireplace in our room was one of the highlights of my Costa Rica holiday. However, this place caused a great deal of frustration as I had plans to leave on day trips with my rental car every day. As a recent review mentioned, this hotel is 25 minutes from the main road, but you only cover 2 kilometers in distance! This introduced an extra hour of drive time just to enter and exit the hotel on one of the worst roads I've seen around the world. This may be a great place for an extended stay, but if you're planning on exploring the area in your own car consider whether this is the right place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Panu P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, General Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Appreciate you rated Villa Blanca a "great hotel" although we regret you found the last stretch of country road challenging You apparently got here just before the entire 9 Km entrance was repaired to the hotel. We usually offer so many guided tour options and activities on or off the property, that most guests prefer to park their vehicles during their stay with us or reserve our convenient airport transfers so they can kick back and relax and leave the driving to us. However the fact you found everything else to your satisfaction we want to invite you back for a complementary night and enjoy the renovated scenic drive for a another stay with us. Or perhaps take the same offer and choose our resort property in Manuel Antonio where the entire resort destination has completely paved roads right down to the National Park beaches.

Sincerely,

Jim Damalas
General Manager
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Hambye, France
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

An eerie atmosphere is created by the cloud misting over this special hotel where vistas disappear as if by magic. It was recommended as a place to see a variety of birds which are visible in the early hours. I did spend time watching hummingbirds feeding but the morning walk was spoilt by rain. However, The research centre provides more information on flora and fauna being currently studied. What I had travelled all this way across the world to see was the quetzel.
The quetzel tour was a huge disappointment mainly because the guide would not contact the farmer who agreed to help find this special bird which had been spotted flying nearby by our driver. By the time we had met up, it was too late to search in the most usual places. It is a bird which is difficult to see but with better communication , it would have been very likely in this the breeding season. Suggesting I visit again was the solution offered but it is impossible.
Overall as part of the whole trip, it was disappointing for me, however, taking into account the whole experience, it will be still be unforgettable.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Jacqueline W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Supervisor of Nature Guides at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Hello Jackeline,

Greetings from Los Angeles Cloud Forest. Thanks for your important thoughts and inputs.
Since the moment I heard from you about the inconvenient occurred during the Quetzal tour on April 21th, I talked to Alejandro, the nature guide assigned to you, and Ignacio, who is the owner of "Valle de los Quetzales" Reserve.
The proper follow up and actions have been taken to solve this situation; which unfortunately happened during your visit. Hopefully, this will not happen again. Please receive our apologies for all the inconveniences that this caused to you. You are more than welcome to visit us again at anytime.

Sincerely,

Roy Valverde
Supervisor of Nature Guides
Villa Blanca Research Station
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Baltimore, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Villa Blanca is what it promises -- and more. Roughly 25 minutes off the main road, in the middle of nowhere, it is a true gem. Every element of it is well-done. Casitas are charming; grounds extremely well-maintained; restaurant delightful; lodge/game room welcome retreats. Staff are both professional and extremely kind. Ronald and Leon, in El Sendero, were particularly attentive and helpful. Rodrigo could not have been a better guide which, at 6am, is quite an accomplishment. His enthusiasm for the birds, wildlife, flora that surround the property is contagious. The view from each casita's patio is more than worth the stay. Absolutely wonderful in every dimension.

Room Tip: There is no such thing as a bad room!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank susan j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
villablanca2011, Manager at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Greetings from Los Angeles Cloud Forest!
On behalf of the entire team of VIlla Blanca , thank you very much for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor website. Your comment means a lot to us. We´re glad that you could enjoy all our educational tours and delicious meals at El Sendero Restaurant.
We hope you come back soon!

We look forward to have you &back next year as a guests and hopefully include our sister hotels, near Corcovado and Manuel Antonio National Park, that are also members of Greentique Hotels of Costa Rica.
Best regards
Joxan
Joxan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve

Property: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve
Address: El Silencio de Los Angeles | Los Angeles Norte, San Ramon 1250, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Canton of San Ramon > San Ramon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Ramon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve 4*
Number of rooms: 35
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

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