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“Excellent Service and Views” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vista Ballena

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Vista Ballena
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Jardines del Morete | 17 Km. Sur de Playa Dominical, Uvita de Osa 1 Puntarenas, Uvita 4030, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Whales and Dolphins)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 Uvita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Marietta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent Service and Views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

My son is in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. I went to visit him and we stayed here for a few days and we could not have been happier with our choice. The view is stunning and the service was excellent. Everyone spoke English and was very helpful. They helped us set up tours and found a bar for us to watch the Georgia vs. Alabama game. The menu in the restaurant is somewhat limited but everything we tried was well executed. We had rented a front wheel drive Kia and had no problem getting up the steep dive way which is paved the whole way.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Stephen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    64
    24
    9
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    12
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ojochal,
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We ventured to Whales and Dolfins for a coffee and stayed for lunch. Food was good and price reasonable. This property has recently changed owners. Tim and Tiffany a Canadian couple from Ontario have purchased it and are making many improvements; upgrading the rooms, pool area, gardens etc. They are friendly and hospitable and want their guests to have a positive experience. We went back for a wonderful Thanksgiving Buffet dinnner and thoroughly enjoyed it. The view is unbelievable and the sunset has to be seen! Service was great with staff who spoke English.

Mary C

Room Tip: all rooms have spectacular 360 degree of the ocean!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jaco, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
81 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

I've been in Costa for a year now. Once you live here you find that friends love to come and visit. Well, during one such visit, we rented a car and drove south. Decided to venture up the road and visit Whales & Dolphins to see what it was about. Really must have a 4 wheel drive to get there. Glad we did not meet any traffic coming down because the road in most places is not wide enough to accommodate two vehicles passing. Once to the top...the view was great. Bought a few beers and sat by the pool bar. Talked to a few folks that said the rooms were not worth the money but the view is killer! I can attest to the view but not to the hotel. Staff at pool bar was nice, prices are expensive but it's on top of a mountain with a $200 view

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wbailey6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Without a doubt, the view from the Wales and Dolphins is the best I have ever experienced. The monkeys, Tucans, and butterflies were a wonderful sight, and I could have spent my entire trip sitting by the pool and looking out over the wale's tail at the ocean. Dolphins were abundant, and the ocean was warm and inviting.

Room Tip: all rooms had ocean view and private terrace
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

The hotel has a awesome view, the restaurantt is not quite good, and the rooms not so fancy

I really love the view though, so prefer it than other hotels in the area

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nacho3001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, CT
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

I always read review & think "get a grip people" but this place was tired , in poor shape and the manager was a joke. The staff was great & deserved a better manager. We arrived to a room that was like a blast furnace when we opened the door. The lamp shade was ripped & hanging off. Picture frames were broken,water stains on walls, a/c leaked so bad we had to put a waste pail under it & then a towel to soften the noise. The manager walked around with his shirt off smiling ,what a putz!!!!, he should have been checking room conditions & maybe turning ac's on if he knew guests were arriving.ECO lodge NOT!What a joke. (If you want to visit a real ECO lodge go to Savegre Mountain Lodge...we stayed here earlier & it was beyond our wildest expectations. ) Receptionist at Whales & dolphins didn't know a thing about booking tours, couldn't speak English, she was really sweet though. We felt sorry for the staff as they were great & deserved a better place to work at.Food was NOT 4 star , after 1 meal we ate all our meals out in town , those were all great.

Room Tip: Go to Savagre Mt. Lodge o experience a real ECO lodge.To the other owner in Argentina- get a real ma...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LillyLaFleur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orotina, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2011

Having stayed at Cusinga Eco Lodge nearby this was considerably different. This is not particularly "Eco", it's a hotel with great views, but don't expect nature trails or much in the way of and "Eco" message. There are birds and animals galore but that's because of where they are rather than any special effort on their part. The rooms are adequate but a bit tired and maintenance is haphazard. A water leak in the room above us took 24 hours to fix, thank heavens it was coming down onto the balcony not into the room! I stood next to the wi-fi router on my block and got no useable signal! The principal problem when we were there was the level of staffing. One poor girl was manfully (womanfully?) trying to wait on all the tables in the restaurant and run the bar at the same time. Luckily for her the food in the restaurant was poor (mine was overcooked and uninspired the only time I tried it, a friend said her pasta was adequate) so very few people went back a second time. She was there until late at night and turned up, bleary eyed but cheerful at 7 am for breakfast where, again, she was alone. Breakfast was okay but not brilliant. There were other staff about but they were very thin on the ground. They were far more friendly and helpful than we had a right to expect, given they seemed to be terribly overworked. In summary - the view was fantastic, the pool was lovely (helped by the view) the employees were really nice despite all the problems they had, but resources seem to be a problem and standards suffered accordingly. I couldn't reccomend it as it stands today.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ayacastle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vista Ballena

Property: Vista Ballena
Address: Jardines del Morete | 17 Km. Sur de Playa Dominical, Uvita de Osa 1 Puntarenas, Uvita 4030, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Whales and Dolphins)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Vista Ballena 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel is dramatically located on a bluff overlooking Ballena Marina Park, the pacific coast and Cano Island, This national park includes the largest coral reef on the pacific side of Costa Rica. This wildlife sanctuary protects different species of whales and dolphins together with other marine life. We can offer you the best of both worlds: rich rainforest combined with abundant marine life. Walk into the "green world" of immense biodiversity right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge Hotel Uvita
Whales And Dolphins Ecolodge
Vista Ballena Costa Rica/Uvita

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