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“Nice view but at this price this hotel needs to be refurbished”

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Vista Ballena Hotel
Ranked #2 of 14 Uvita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice view but at this price this hotel needs to be refurbished”
Reviewed August 8, 2010

We stayed two nights in this hotel in July 2010.
Our first feeling was good. Beautiful view on the ocean, nice swimming pool.
However, considering the price, this place needs to be refurbished. The room is large but old, traces on the walls, musty smell, old decoration. We found several insects in the room and a cockroach in the bathroom. The room has not been cleaned after our first night.
Again, this is a nice place, beautiful view, but at this rate, we were expecting a better quality.
The rate should be around 80$ incl breakfast.
A positive point for the very good welcome from a young team.
Restaurant : the food was correct. We didn't see the price as it was included in the room price (110$).

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarieAndAlain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2010

This hotel had been recommended to us and after entering the room itself we wondered why... The room smelled, the floor hadn't been cleaned and there was no hot water. I'm not sure how this hotel got its 4 stars! The only positive aspect was the service: the restaurant and bar staff were particularly nice.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Perrault76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2010

The hotel is very nice with a crazy view and a very nice bar. The staff is wonderful, super nice, very cordial and they did their best to make our stay great.

The reality of the hotel however is that they call themselves a 4 star when they should be a 2 star. Objectively speaking:

1. There was no hot water in the shower in the room
2. The rooms were filthy. Coffee stains, cigarette stains in the sink and it smelled horrible.
3. At night the manager tried to open our door without even knocking.

I told them this at reception so this should be no surprise, but they did nothing to make amends. We went on a tour with 12 other people from the hotel who all had the same opinion. Until they make major changes in this hotel and renovate every room stay away.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ignacio O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooresville
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2010

We drove up to this lodge without a reservation to check out the hotel and after looking at a room and the amazing view we decided to stay. Christian offered us a nice package which included the evening dinner and breakfast the following morning and we were well pleased with everything. The dinner was very nice and the owners from Argentina (I think) had a very nice selection of good wines at reasonable prices which made the evening meal complete.

Breakfast was also nice and served very promptly with good coffee with refills (not common in CR). I read some other reviews after staying here which seem to point to some management problems in the past, but I think the owners have some good people working for them now and I would recommend a stay at Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Bobsoilman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2010

I found refuge here on my solo trip. Everything feels nice here, like home - if you could afford one like this. The food is not the best...I cannot recommend anywhere in Uvita because I did not want to leave this slice of heaven. The rooms are lovely. From what I read of other reviews, negotiate your price.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank blaise3188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2010

We really liked this place---have a couple gripes but nothing major. We'd still go back. The view is amazing from the rooms/pool and love that the restaurant and bar are open concept. While you're eating you have an amazing view of the ocean. The rooms were very clean and the staff very helpful.

As for the things that could use improvement--subtle chemical smell in the room that was not good and they could clean the pool a bit more often. Some brown cotton from the trees would get blown into the pool and clustered in an area. Didn't like that.

Other than that, this place was a good find

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EveAria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
Reviewed January 15, 2010

This hotel has gorgeous, however it seems like it use to be nicer 10 years ago, the hotel rooms are getting a little old and the service is not very good. The restaurant is over priced for what you get. The listed price on their site was $125 per night for high season, however we showed up without a reservation and I saw that the person before us paid $97 per night so I told the guy that was the rate we were quoted. It is not worth $125 but for $97 the rooms are clean and every room has a balcony and a million dollar view looking west over the ocean. You will need a car to get here and get around. Over all if you get the room for less than 100 it is worth a day or two for the view.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yogidude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vista Ballena Hotel

Property: Vista Ballena Hotel
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 #2 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Vista Ballena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vista Ballena hotel, perched in the hills of Costa Rica's wild southern coast, is more than a tropical resort. Here, in the world's most ecologically diverse setting, you will discover nature's hidden treasures and sustenance for the soul. Our 20 room hotel is set high among the mountainous jungles of Costa Ballena. Enjoy exquisite views of the “Whale’s Tail” sandbar as it extends into the warm ocean waters and witness humpback whales cresting as they pass. Surrounded by lush rainforest and pristine coral-lined beaches, Vista Ballena is a place of solace and discovery in an otherwise untouched land. Paradise after all, is not just a destination, it is what stirs inside us when we set our eyes on the sublime wonders and wisdom of the natural world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge Hotel Uvita
Whales And Dolphins Ecolodge
Vista Ballena Hotel Costa Rica/Uvita

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