**My Standard Disclaimer: I am not a snob who demands everything be five-star all of the time. I am not a cheapskate who refuses to pay for anything decent and then complains about the service and facilities. I am an ordinary person who only asks that my room is clean and the service and amenities offered by the hotel are consistent with the cost. I write my impressions of my stay and the value of it.**
My stay at Rancho Pacifico was everything it promised and more. This is a beautiful resort and a very unique experience. My husband and I stayed here in the past week and I just can't stop talking about it.
I want to quickly go over the few negatives about the trip just to get them out of they way and explain why this deserving place did not receive five stars.
Everything you have read about the road to the resort is correct. It is extremely steep, winding, and bumpy.
The howler monkeys will wake you up in the morning. They sound like howling and barking dogs. I'm an early riser anyway, so this was not a huge issue for me. I can see how it might be for people who like to sleep in. There are earplugs in the room if you need them.
I stayed in the Deluxe Balcony Suite. In other words, the cheap seats. The bedroom was tiny - my room at the San Jose Holiday Inn was twice the size. We had an infestation of ants in our bathroom. They were tiny ants and tended to just stick to one place on the wall above the sink, but we did worry a bit that they might get into our toiletries. Our bathroom light went out. The dual showers with their jungle view were beautiful and very practical for two people sharing a bathroom, but I might have liked a dual sink as well and a toilet in a separate cubicle.
Also, there was a pitiful lack of storage in the room. We had no closet - just a few hooks and hangers. Instead of a proper dresser we just had this big cabinet that had one shelf on one side and nothing but a large space on the other. I would really have loved a piece of furniture with actual drawers. I had to just pile my stuff in there which made organization and finding things difficult. We did have an opportunity to move down to the terrace suites, but we decided they weren't worth having to pack and unpack everything again.
I had sent an email to guest services twice before my arrival regarding the laundry services and never received an answer. This caused me to overpack by quite a bit. Let me point out that this was the only example of bad service I had the entire week. (They do have laundry services as we found out and the cost was reasonable and our laundry was done quickly.)
I wish the pool had been bigger. I often swim laps for exercise and entertainment and the main pool just wasn't conducive to this. You can swim the length of the pool in 6 strokes of front crawl and 7 strokes of breast stroke. The infinity pool, nicely tucked in its own little terrace, is even smaller.
With those few negatives out of the way, I will point out the many many positives we experienced during our stay.
The biggest standout at RP is the staff. Right from the beginning we had extraordinary service. When Alex was driving us from the airport we were discussing our favorite drinks. The next thing we know he was calling the bartender at RP so our drinks would be waiting for us when we arrived. That was just the beginning.
On our first day and night we had just about every staff member come up to us and introduce himself or herself. They learned our names right away. They were attentive to our every need. If I was sitting out by the pool, there was always someone coming around with glasses of water. If I wanted some alterations made to my lunch or dinner (I once asked for a shrimp dish to be replaced with chicken - no problem) there were no issues in the kitchen.
Adriana did a splendid job of organizing all of our excursions, making sure that we did everything we wanted to do during our stay. You could not ask for a better concierge.
Our room, small as it is, was kept scrupulously clean. The housekeeping staff didn't just come in and change the linens. They obsessively tidied the place, going so far as to iron the sheets while making the beds, carefully wrapping the power cords for our mobile devices, and putting my toothbrush and toothpaste in its own little cup.
As soon as I arrived someone was standing outside my room with cold towels and water. I often found someone greeting me with cold towels and water when returning from a vigorous outing.
I wanted to take Hansel home with me.
The location was beautiful. I loved that so much of it was in the open air. There is no such thing as a bad view at Rancho Pacifico. I loved looking down on the Whale's Tail at mealtimes. I loved gazing into the jungle from my balcony. I never saw monkeys from my room, but I saw an amazing assortment of birds.
The hiking trails are beautiful and will give you a great workout. Be warned they are for people who are reasonably fit as they are quite steep. You will need to sort of rappel to the waterfall. The waterfall hike was worth the effort. I could have stayed down at the waterfall all day.
Other than hiking, going to the spa, hanging out at the pool, or using the tiny (but adequate) gym, there isn't much to do at RP, so be sure to take some excursions. I went horseback riding on the beach, took the mangrove boat tour, took the excursion to Corcovado National Park, and went snorkeling and whale watching at the Whale's Tail. All of these provide extraordinary nature viewing opportunities (monkeys, a variety of beautiful birds, snakes, crocodiles) and beautiful scenery. We did see whales and dolphins on the boat trips (just don't take these boat trips if you are prone to seasickness). We also spent a day at the beach club. The beach is gorgeous with warm water and decent, but not rough, waves. The restaurant there is a fun place as well.
The food is delicious. It is both creative and light. It is a set menu every night where everyone gets the same appetizers and dessert and you have a choice of two entrees. Alex is a great chef and the waitstaff that serve it all are fun and attentive. What is truly the standout are the cocktails. Vianney is a master at his craft. You can see when you are at the bar the kind of care and attention he gives each drink. I tried a different specialty cocktail each night (sometimes more than one) and they were all wonderful and made with care. If you don't know what to order, have Mel make you a "Lady in Red".
Definitely book a spa appointment. Marco has magic hands with the massages. Even people who don't like massages love the RP massages.
I can't recommend RP enough. It is the ultimate example of "Pura Vida" and I will miss it for a very long time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rancho Pacifico - Where Style meets Nature and the Rainforest meets the sea.....Your Adult-Exclusive Hideaway in Costa Rica's Last-Best Place. One of the World's Most Awarded EcoLuxury Hotels. Member - Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Deluxe Villas, Suites, & TreeHaus', Jungle Spa, Private Preserve and secluded beaches. Spectacular ocean views and spacious privacy. Trip Advisor Traveler Choice - 4 consecutive years. World Travel Award Finalist - Leading Boutique and Leading Green Hotel, Central and Latin America, 6 consecutive years.....and many more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rancho Pacifico Uvita
- Rancho Pacifico Hotel Uvita
- Rancho Pacifico Costa Rica/Uvita