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“New owners way understaffed!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vista Ballena

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Vista Ballena
Ranked #3 of 14 Uvita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Heredia, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“New owners way understaffed!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

First off made reservations explaining I am traveling with a service dog.. When I arrive I am informed the dog cannot enter the resturant or bar area and must sleep on the balcony. I asked for this in writing to then be told it was all right for my dog to be with me at all times. Then once checked into the room only to have it flooded out from a bad connection on the toilet bowl tank. We then were moved to a different room with no A/C and a bad mildew smell. Bed was not to comfortable. One person was working the resturant and bar. I waited a half hour for a beer. Dinner was also very slow. Breakfast the same. Oh I forgot that we had a bees nest on the bottom of the lawn chair on the balcony. New owners with no experience running a hotel. Understaffed and no one checked rooms to see if they are ready for guests... for the price this place needs to step it up!

Room Tip: don't stay here until they hire more staff and update rooms!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank david l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
    29
    12
    11
    13
See reviews for
36
56
4
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

The whales and dolphins resort in Costa Rica has been by far my best experience travelling. With the new owners, things have been the complete opposite from the negative reviews posted here. The resort is out on the beaten path but 100% worth the trip. The view is outstanding and easily the best in the Country and the new owners are amazing ! They are always around making sure everyone is happy and the staff are extremely friendly and speak very good english. The rooms are not America 5 star but they are very clean and has many updates that were not there with the past owners. The food is good and the drinks are always perfect. I will not be going to this end of Costa Rica staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HotelCritic321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Stephen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ojochal,
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
88 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      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 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      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 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nacho3001
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 60504, 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 Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 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 And Dolphins Ecolodge
Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge Hotel Uvita
Vista Ballena Costa Rica/Uvita

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