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“Great food with a view”

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Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel and Nature Reserve
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in San Ramon
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 13, 2009

This place is amazing, my wife and I went there on a recommendation from our travel agent, Cruise Resort & World Travel Inc. It was to get us closer to San Jose for our return trip and to have a different Costa Rican experience than the beach resort we stayed in. Boy were we surprised. Just the drive up to the resort was breath taking with the giant green rolling hills and farms. As we pulled in we were greeted by a large organic garden where they grow the same produce they feed us. The grounds (botanical gardens) are just wonderful, this is truly a paradise you can just meander through holding hands with your sweet heart and feel real peace. Our cottage was something from a fantasy movie small quaint and all its own, with a fire place nice bed and shower. Right out the back door you can just gaze at the surrounding beauty and watch and listen to all the birds, there are quite a few. It really feels like a mystical place, I suspect that when everyone is tucked away sleeping in their little cottages that fairy tale creatures like Pixies and Gnomes, come out and go about their business.
For a bonus, my wife and i really enjoy movies and low and behold this mystical magical place surprisingly has a movie theater which we used both nights we were there. The seats were not the best though, they need to better attach the cushions to the love benches. Our butts kept sliding out from under us.
Go there with some time to explore the grounds or take the scenic drive to Arenal Volcano.
What a place for our Honeymoon!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank thethekid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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891 - 897 of 1,125 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2009

When I stayed there in 2001 it was quite rustic, but since then it’s has been transformed into a luxurious, yet still unpretentious resort. Gorgeous cabins and outstanding restaurant, but the reason to go is to enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape and guided tours. I enjoyed the early morning bird-watching tour guided by Michael so much, I'm taking my mother there next month.

Note: this is in a cloud-forest. Ask the reservations staff what type of weather you'll likely experience before committing yourself.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank Billx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2009

Very tranquil, peaceful haven to relax with your loved one or the whole family. The hotel rooms are individual casitas that are very quiet. The cloud mist licks at your face as you rock on the porch of the main lodge. There is a movie theatre in the lodge and a wonderful great room upstairs for playing cards, pool or just chatting with your friends. Many walking trails that are free all day and a fabulous hummingbird sanctuary to sit and read and view the hummers. My entire group of 14 friends and family fell in love with this slice of heaven on earth and hope to return here someday. The restaurant is fabulous and so is the spa. Milking the cows in the morning is a delight as well as visiting the on-site church with hand-painted ceiling tiles. The zip-lining tour from here is extremely safe and fun. Wish we had stayed longer and gone horseback riding. The best part is that this is a GREEN hotel....all organic, recycled and natural. Go see the gardens where all the produce you eat in the restaurant is grown.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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Thank WhippetsRule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2009

We loved Villa Blanca. After staying at two places that were mediocre, this place felt like luxury. We chose Villa Blanca because we needed a place near San Jose, but did not want to stay in San Jose our last nights in Costa Rica. It is a perfect location for making an afternoon flight. The drive into the hotel is beautiful. You may not see the landscape all the time as it sits in the Los Angeles Cloud Forest, this gives the hotel a quiet and somewhat spooky appearance. The rooms are beautiful and comfortable. The rooms that are the farther from the main house are down the hill, but its not a long walk. The restaurant food was good, but will seem a more expensive compared to other Costa Rican options. The grounds are well-maintained. We were particularly happy with the casitas, which made the hotel seem very private.

The negatives are that the location isn't very conducive for exploring far from the area. However, for a few days, there are activities in the Cloud Forest and surrounding area. The entrance is down a long road, so other food options are not close by. We did the night nature walk, which is not really worth the price.

We would recommend Villa Blanca for the beginning or end of your trip when you are looking for a location close to San Jose, but out of the city.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PaigeCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2009

The Villa Blanca hotel is in a delightful spot in the beautiful, unspoilt Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. For our party of 4, we had a deluxe and a superior room. The deluxe room was comfortable, if a little small. The superior (next door) was a suite with 2 bathrooms (one with a spa bath), a lounge area and a nice garden area and terrace.

The gardens are very nicely laid out, and there are excellent and well-signposted nature trails. The main one has a hummingbird feeder which attracts flocks of the birds. You can even take the feeders off their hooks and hold them at arms length, and the hummingbirds will feed literally 18 inches from your face. The main wildlife guide, Warner, is very experienced and helpful, and the tours that he offered were good value and generally very successful.

The food in the restaurant is nice and not unreasonably priced. At happy hour the drinks are quite cheap and they provide nice nibbles, including crudités and dips. This is just as well, as it’s a long, bumpy taxi ride to San Ramon, the nearest town (worth a visit, as it’s a ‘working’ Costa Rican town largely untouched by tourism). It’s also interesting to stroll around outside the main restaurant and reception area in the evening and admire the myriad moths that decorate the walls and windows. Also, while you’re there, visit the chapel and admire the decorations inside the roof.

All in all, a very good experience, comfortable and stimulating.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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Thank happy_hobbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2009

We arrived after a mediocre experience with our previous hotel. It was like entering the pearly gates when we walked into our room. The rooms are beautiful, views spectacular, amenities simply perfect. There are only two downsides to this hotel. The lack of any food options and their insistance you pay for all hikes other than a very short one. Let me explain:

The restaurant serves great food, but it is expensive. Your are a long drive from anything remotely resembling a restaurant, so if you do not have day trips planned, you should at least stop along the way, pick up some queso palmita (tastes like a drier and stringy mozerella -- delicious) and bread or meat and make picnic lunches. Plan on dropping at least 70 dollars on a dinner for two if you have a drink.

The other peeve of ours was the lack of things to do if you didn't want to pay 50 bucks a person. We went with the expectation we would be able to explore their hikes, etc. for free since they advertise free access to guests. The free access is limited to a 1 kilometer hike which was nice and has decent vistas, but took 20 minutes tops. We felt terrible for the couple with three kids next to us because they were at a loss for what to do without breaking the bank.

Other than that, the place is goregous, the views spectacular, the staff inviting, friendly, and helpful, and even the long drive completely worth it. If you have no problem dropping some coin or just reading a book with spectacular views to distract you or are looking for a romantic get away, this is most certainly the place.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank poohgom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

We stayed for 2 nights - December 2008/January 2009. It's a fantastic, luxurious getaway.

The casitas are excellent -with log burning open fires, rocking chairs and great bathrooms. Some casitas also have a porch with bench and others have back gardens with chairs and a table. Most casitas are detached but some in the deluxe category are joined to neighbours.

It was very cloudy when we were there but that's what it's all about! You'll eat all your meals here unless you're on excursions. But it's no bad thing as the restaurant is spacious with a great menu choice and good quality food and wine....but don't expect to stay up too late - everything seems to shut down at 10pm.

You can go on self-guided trails but it is worth paying for a bilingual guide who will point out wildlife and plants that you may miss. We also went on a guided nightime trail looking for nocturnal creatures. Worth doing - but a little on the pricey side. If you're in to big hikes you'll need to go further afield than the forest around the hotel.

The hummingbird garden is excellent - with plenty of opportunity to see dozens of hummingbirds up close.

We got a transfer to the hotel - if you're driving yourself the final approach road is full of pot-holes and when it's cloudy it takes a long time to navigate. We were glad to be driven.

We loved it as a retreat but if you stay for longer than 3 nights you'll probably need to book some excursions.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank semi-detached
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 2 Hotels in San Ramon
Price Range: $109 - $240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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