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Rancho Pacifico
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Reviewed January 25, 2014

My wife and I are just finishing a full week at Rancho Pacifico and would love to stay for another few weeks. From the unique setting high in the local mountains to the amazing food and topped off by service and staff who are warm, friendly and exceptionally competent RP is as good as it gets for a true retreat. Don't expect night life (fine by us) or glitz, just great and beautifully prepared and presented meals that are all local produce, meats, poultry, and fish. Breakfast is included and similarly well prepared and presented with daily specials and delicious Costa Rica coffee.
There are different rooms and villas. We booked a terrace suite that was fine but were upgraded to one of the amazing Tree House rooms for our last 3 nights. Spectacular setting at treetop level with a vista ending at the Pacific ocean. Wonderful double showered all glass bathroom. Large outside.deck with outside jacuzzi. No televisions or phones to bother you. WIFI is free and works well given the.location.
Staff members include Alex, exec chef and driver who picked us up at tiny local airport in Quepos. Adriana, guest services manager and one of the people responsible for making the place work so well. The staff works as a team and no request is too great. Everyone learns your name when you arrive and doesn't forget. No keys or locks - no problems. Transportation available for a few dollars per trip means rental car and 3+ hour drive from San Jose unecessary. Great local excursions - mostly for as many people as interested even if only one.
If you want a truly unique and relaxing break check out Rancho Pacifico.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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1  Thank ptprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

My husband and I spent 11 fabulous nights at Rancho Pacifico on our honeymoon...and it was hands down one of the most amazing places we have ever visited! From the moment we arrived (after a long travel day), the staff was so attentive and welcoming...we felt like we were being greeted by longtime friends and family. Because that is what you are at RP...not clients, not even guests, but family.

We stayed in one of the Spa Suites and our view was breathtaking. Sunsets were surreal. The room was large with a nice sitting area and the bathroom was HUGE with dual showers and an outside soaking tub. Yes, the rooms are open air and you will hear all sorts of wildlife outside your windows...howler monkeys in the morning and evening, toucans and other various birds, but it was all part of the experience and part of why we came to Costa Rica! I am extremely allergic (and attractive!) to mosquitoes and was worried about being eaten alive. I had not ONE bite the entire visit. Not one.

Chef Alex is amazing! All of the meals (and we ate the majority of our meals at RP) were unique and memorable. The freshest vegetables, fruits, and seafood/meats were used in very creative ways, with amazing flavor combinations. Other reviews have mentioned how long it took at meals, yes this is true, but we enjoyed every minute of it! We were on VACATION! The meals were the events, in other words. And I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than enjoying the fabulous views and company while the attentive staff was waiting on our every need.

We are both well-travelled and have heard wonderful things about Costa Rica (neither of us had been before) and specifically looked for a unique experience. We could have gone to an all-inclusive resort on any island in the Caribbean and it would have been the same old, same old. We chose wisely. :)

While we spent many of our days relaxing by the infinity pool, there are tons of activities in the area. We went horseback riding on the beach at sunset, zip lining, and spent an afternoon down on the beach. All activities were coordinated by Adriana at the front desk and were reasonably priced. Zip lining was definitely a highlight of the trip...we saw a medley of wildlife (iguanas, butterflies, toucans, sloths...all pointed out by our guides) throughout the short hike to the lines. The guides were entertaining and we had a blast!

While this was our first trip to Rancho Pacifico, it will definitely not be our last. I personally have never stayed in a "hotel" (I use this term loosely because RP is not your typical hotel!) where each member of the staff was sincerely sad to see you go and hugging you as you leave.

The hosts, Garrison and Silvia, were so embracing and genuinely thrilled to have each and every guest experience their resort. Both Christmas and New Year's they hosted all guests in their own private villa for cocktails and appetizers before dinner. As I said, you are family at RP!

Overall, I could not imagine a more perfect honeymoon with the love of my life and my new RP family! (including Tito, the hosts' dog!) :)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AbbyYoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GKMONTANA, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2014

From all of us - thank YOU!.
11 days is a long time for many travelers to commit staying in one place....considering that, we are particularly pleased that you enjoyed yourselves so much - and will include us in your life-long memories together.

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

Stayed here a while back...very pretty. Staff amazing. Food great...clean...great view...but.. If you stay in the deluxe room..you can hear your neighbour breathing...and without the forth wall even in the dry season the bedding is damp. I've travelled to C.R for 15 years...would not recommend for more than 2nights. There are so many amazing places to stay, that do not require the 2mile trek up the bumpy hill. As I said... The staff is amazing but don't complain about anything the owner will snap ...

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank 777harleyrider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GKMONTANA, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2014

For the last 7 years, we have from time to time received undocumented reviews, most of which have been removed when disputed. They have a similar theme and content - Based on a past "visit" (this one says it is from a year ago), short, vague, oriented toward dissuasion, and containing a personal "attack". We have tangible reason to believe this "review" fits in this category and have requested a formal investigation.

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Reviewed January 20, 2014

Let me first say this resort is absolutely amazing. This was our first time visiting and had a wonderful time. The accommodations, staff and food were excellent, and the overall feeling of the resort was extremely relaxing. And the views are breathtaking! I couldn’t believe we could stay at a place like this. I would highly recommend anyone looking for a relaxing trip to the jungle to stay at Rancho Pacifico. There were a few things I wish I knew before I left. They are:

Food: The hotel includes breakfast, but you pay for lunch and dinner. The hotel is a mile up a huge hill that requires a four-wheel drive vehicle to get you up and down, so unless you have your own car, you won’t be going out for meals. Expect to eat every dinner at the hotel. Food takes a very long time to get – lunch and dinner are at least an hour, and dinner is at least an hour and a half. Being that the food is fresh, and you’re in Costa Rica, it really isn’t a big deal. Just don’t sit down when you’re starving and expect food quickly. Also, there is a 23% food and beverage tax that’s added to your bill at the end, so make sure to budget for that. There’s a market at the bottom of the hill that you can stop at for snacks. I highly suggest bringing snacks with you.

Transportation: The hotel is not close to anything, so any activity that you want to do will be a drive. Expect to be in the car more than you think you will. It’s 45 minutes to the Quepos airport, a half hour to zip lining and over an hour to the mangrove boat tour. Driving isn’t factored into the cost of the tours, so make sure to budget for that. If you’re traveling in a group of two, make sure to chat with other people at the hotel about what activities they’re doing. You can share transportation, and that will save you some money.

Activities: You aren’t going to see wildlife from the hotel, so plan to do a few activities to get to see animals. The mangrove boat tour is totally worth the money and a must-do! The canopy tour also get’s you close to animals, including sloths. Just make sure to budget at least a few hundred dollars into activities.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alexis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GKMONTANA, Manager at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2014

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit and recommend RP to others. The advice to future guests is appreciated - communications help others make informed decisions. To be 100% accurate however, there are a few "facts" here that need some clarification.

1. By law, every restaurant expenditure in every establishment in Costa Rica will carry a 23% charge. This is actually quite reasonable (10% is a tip - and 13% is tax)
2. Meals here are a casual affair - as you might expect from a hotel recognized by T.A. as #12 in the World for relaxation. Being here is a golden opportunity to slow things down - that's the foundation of our reputation. Of course, if a guest is on a schedule of any sort, it is there option to request a speedier version at any time.
3. Our location has won praises for being "remote but not isolated". In fact, compared to the rest of the country, there is more to see and do in the nearby area than in most places. Part of our beauty is that we are not on a main road - but are just a few minutes away from the nation's best new roads. Everything from remote beaches, to shopping, to kayaking and atv touring are just a few minutes away.
4. While nature is never "on cue", wildlife at RP is abundant and sightings for monkeys, toucans, sloths, blue morpho butterflies, etc. are daily occurrences. Scores of fotos posted by guests will support this. RP is in the heart of a private reserve with interlaced hiking trails available only to guests. Almost everybody here uses them - and comes back with amazing fotos of what they have seen.

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Reviewed January 19, 2014

Let me start by saying that this is a lovely place and by and large most of the positive comments by the other guests I would wholeheartedly endorse. This was our second visit.

On the other hand, while most of the reviews would have you to believe the place is perfect, I always go to trip advisor when researching a vacation to understand the things that are not perfect, so here goes.

Food – While the food is freshly prepared and somewhere between good and very good, expect to spend a long time waiting for your meals. Breakfast and lunch took on average one hour to one and a half hours to get. Everything is made to order and it takes a LONG TIME. While it is touted as a free breakfast, the 5 breakfasts we had resulted in an “extra” charge of over $200 for coffee and fruit plates…in my opinion, I don’t see how you cannot include coffee or tea with your “free” breakfast.

Rooms – My wife and I visited with our son and his fiancé and we stayed in the two bedroom villa. The location is perfect with an incredible view and an outstanding layout. The furnishings are mediocre with an average mattress, average sheets and average towels. The bathrooms are also only average. There is nothing wrong with them but they are only OK.

Transportation – The drive from San Jose is 3 hours on a pretty good one lane highway. They were 20 minutes late picking us up which was a fairly stressful way to start the vacation. The driver apologized profusely and blamed bad traffic. He was a really nice guy, but give me a break…leave a little earlier so you don’t keep your guest waiting in a foreign airport.

The Pool – The pool is only mediocre although the view is tremendous. The staff was constantly offering us water or anything we needed. We found the lounge chairs to be fairly uncomfortable…not terrible but really average. They are aluminum sling rockers. I’m used to cushioned lounges where the staff covers them with a fresh towel. That is not available here.

The Staff – I thought that by and large the staff was professional, friendly and very accommodating.

Value- The “all in” cost for 6 nights, transportation from and to the airport, one river cruise for 4, 6 bottles of wine, a limited number of drinks, 3 meals a day and one bag of laundry, including gratuities and tax was about eight thousand dollars. That’s substantially less than I typically spend for this type of vacation so I would call Rancho Pacifico a real value.

Bottom line- A really nice place…

Room Tip: The two bedroom suite is very nice with an outstanding view and a nice layout
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank robert w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GKMONTANA, Manager at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2014

Many thanks for returning to RP and for your endorsements.
We are disappointed that your 2nd visit in some way was less perfect than the first (?).
In the quest to point out "imperfections" your points are well taken and feedback appreciated. A few of those points give us the opportunity to help future guests make their best decision:

Food: Because most guests come here to truly unwind, meals are a casual affair. They can always be delivered more quickly with a simple request. Breakfast is complimentary. It is ala carte, not buffet, not all you can eat; from an extensive menu. As in any restaurant menu, there are "sides" and "beverages" - which, like any restaurant are not included in the price of the meal. Guests have the option of adding items like smoothies, capucinos, etc. - for a nominal charge - same as it would be in any restaurant. The mention of $200 for these items for 5 breakfasts is misleading - this party had 5 breakfasts everyday for their 6 day stay (30 meals).

Rooms: We are sorry that you felt some aspects of the amenities to be slightly sub-standard. There are two bathrooms in the villa - both have his and hers showers, multiple sinks, a walkout garden with outdoor shower, natural stone finishes, and Speakman rainshower-heads. Most guests rave about the bathrooms - but again, we respect your opinion. Our towels and bedding are organic cotton; chosen carefully for our "eco-luxury" standards.

Transportation: Hope you're inconvenience was minor...... In most cases airport transportation is handled by a team of courteous and experienced drivers - not hotel employees. While they strive always to "be on time" - unforeseen elements (like traffic) could, on occasion, produce a slight delay (20 minutes?). I think we all understand that travel is not always a swiss clock - if only the airlines could be held accountable for delays and the problems they cause!

Pool: Our pool chairs are eliptical loungers - expensive and usually raved about. Again, sorry you found these sub-standard in any way. We always have towels at the pool to be used on the chairs if desired. (There are many fotos on our website)

Staff and Value - thank you for endorsing our costs and service - and for your generosity with the "RP Family"!

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