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“An Incredible Vacation Experience”
Review of Rancho Pacifico

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Rancho Pacifico
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 5, 2014

**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.

Room Tip: If you can afford a villa, stay in a villa.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Taz_maniac70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 - 216 of 494 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

My boyfriend and I spent a week in Costa Rica at the Rancho Pacifico. I never would have believed I could be ok with not being on the beach, until now. The small intimate resort is about 2,000 feet in a rain forest with the most breathtaking view you could ever hope to see. Right from our room we hiked to an amazing waterfall where we swam in a pristine pool of cold refreshing water and sat under the waterfall. It is hard to convey how refreshing and rejuvenating it was. The food is all organic and locally sourced. Their chef created meals that I will never forget, very creative. I had the best massage while glancing up at the sunset that I hated to miss a second of. You feel like you are on top of the world and it is hard to leave even to go to the beach for a few hours; the beach is close and easily accessible. I could keep writing for a long time on our experience. Bottom line, we want to go back! You feel like you are at home and you really don't want to leave. A lot of the reason being the staff and the owners. They have every detail covered from before you even leave your house. Once you land you are taken care of with impressive planning. These were truly kind people who take pride in Everything they do. Amazing place!!!

Room Tip: The "treehouse"!!!!! However each villa is spectacular and so private
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Stayed at RP a few months ago and haven't stopped talking about the incredible time we had.
We had heard great things, but it isn't until you get there that you realize that the unmatched setting makes everything ahead of you just perfect.
From the design to the service, from the views to the spa, the temperatures, the room, the food - just couldn't find anything that didn't exceed our expectations. We found everything to be first class, in a perfect "eco" kind of way - right down to furniture, dishes and linens.

After much research - RP was our choice for a higher end experience. At the end of the day, we were very pleased with the value we received.
I can't imagine anybody wouldn't be - their cocktails, wine list and dinner are so reasonable compared to other luxury properties we've been to.
We happily paid about $4 for the bottomless Costa Rica coffee every morning that accompanied our complimentary breakfast. One always pays for coffee and beverages in a restaurant - can't imagine this being an issue for anybody - especially if they are signing up for a visit to a place acknowledged as one of the finest Small Hotels in the World! The menu was ala carte - and offered healthy and hearty choices that we loved. It was a $25 breakfast with no cost!
(By the way, we enjoyed additional coffee throughout the day that was complimentary - and saved me a bunch from my usual afternoon coffee shop habit at home)

We always seem to be looking for the next great destination - but RP is the one place making us want to come back for more.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank debra j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

In the first few minutes, you will know you are "home." I had my doubts when I saw the other online reviews, but there is a standard here that is rarely met in a commercial venture. Each person on staff came, on first meeting to introduce him or herself, to smile, shake hands and learn my name. From the executive chef, Alex, who picked us up from the tiny airport in Cuepos, to every server, to the owner, Garrison, each made us immediately feel right at home.
The food created by Alex is fresh, immensely flavorful and beautifully presented. Alex is a magician with each meal's flavor and color, a truly gifted chef. The staff quickly learns your preferences.
Every room is artful and open air but when we were upgraded after a few days to the stunning Tree House, it was pure nirvana! All open beautifully bright, large deck with hot tub and complete privacy in the trees, nestled into the mountain side.
The spa is all open and deemed a quiet zone. two lovely treatment rooms provide every spa treatment available. Marco and Gloria have magic hands, and gentle ways, they truly fit the "spa tranquila". Tea and cookies are served as you prepare to be pampered.
There is no noise except the constant atmosphere created by monkeys, birds, frogs and more.
A true Eco resort, this 10 room gem, sets the bar of excellence very high! Until next time!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Randee T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Pacifico

Address: 1 Rancho Pacifico Road, Uvita, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#2 Spa Hotel in Uvita
#2 Luxury Hotel in Uvita
#2 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range: $246 - $665 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rancho Pacifico 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
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

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