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““Pure pura vida!””
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Excellent
68 reviews
Villa Heliconia outside
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Overview
Villa -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Province of Alajuela

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 68 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
Tami_Mike
Ottawa, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
““Pure pura vida!””
Reviewed 29 March 2013 for a stay in March 2013

Luck was on our side when we found Esteban’s property. The ranch – WOW!!!! The home we stayed in was spacious and luxurious. Decorated throughout with beautiful art, furniture was authentic Costa Rican, beautiful flower arrangements throughout, spacious bathroom with a sunken tub surrounded by windows, a large bedroom with a comfy bed and the kitchen had everything you could possibly need including the daily cleaning service. The ranch is so peaceful; we enjoyed the view watching the horses while swinging in the hammock. The maintenance of this property is unbelievable - the grounds were immaculate, the flowers beautiful, the stables extremely clean and the pool sparkled in the sun along with the Jacuzzi!

Jonathan (our private tour guide) took us out for a ride on the ATV’s through the mountains which showed us overwhelming views. We had a few pit stops – one to swim in a river to cool down and then ending the night to relax in the beautiful hot springs which was a fantastic experience. The best part of our stay was the hot air balloon ride that we took on our 5th wedding anniversary. We were very nervous but Esteban was an awesome operator/owner that went out of his way to make us feel safe.

Unfortunately for us there was only a 3 night opening at the Ranch during our 2 weeks in Costa Rica. Esteban was a blessing as he went above and beyond reserving all of our other accommodations and booking our rental vehicle. He truely made our vacation extremely exceptional sending us on some great adventures, not touristy at all and sending us to locations that were completely gorgeous. If we could say anything about Esteban, he is an honest, trustworthy person who really cares about others. He is for sure a great ambassador for Costa Rica.

We have stayed in many 5 star hotels and this is more than a 5 star in our opinion!!! We will definitely stay here again!!! Thank you Esteban, Monica and staff for the wonderful experience.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Can't really pick one, it was all wonderful!!
Liked least: the house gecko but they eat the other insects!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati
Reviewed 20 February 2013 for a stay in February 2013

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
DE, USA
Reviewed 24 January 2013 for a stay in January 2013
1
person found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Luxury-minded travelers Rugged travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Lausanne
Reviewed 21 January 2013 for a stay in January 2013

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Herndon
Reviewed 20 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
UK
Reviewed 3 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Luxury-minded travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
jennifer...
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Un attentive Host”
Reviewed 28 December 2012 for a stay in December 2012

Arrived to find the most beautiful villa, I was in love. I also was soon to be disappointed.
Estaban and his wife greeted s and explained they had just put in a new hot water system. Not only did the water never work correctly but we had a fridge that wouldn't keep things cool. We explained this to our host who responded that it was the holiday and he would keep an eye on it, if it still did not work he would bring the fridge from the stables. Christmas day we went for a long, 4 hour, absolutley fab horseback ride only to return to the same fridge and a rotten chicken. I went up the hill to explain,on Christmas, this event to Monica Esteban's nice wife. She looked horrified and gave me directions to the nearest store. Christmas Day at 6pm I was driving to the store for chicken. Not only did Esteban not come to apologize that night we also never saw him the next morning before check out.
If you want a return customer dont you want to show them more curtesy?
I rented this place because of the reviews, wish I'd had the same experience as others.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The horseback ride
Liked least: Lack of concern from owner
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
28 Dec 2012
Jennifer,
First of all, you did not reserve our villa threw FlipKey, it was threw VRBO services. I was aware of your negative review and even though I had the chance to deny this post, I decided not to do it.
I invite the people to see the review you posted there, as well as my answer. What I found unfair is how you changed your version from one review to another.
Your review on VRBO mentions the hot water in the sink never working, on your FlipKey review you are saying the hot water of the house never worked correctly.
That is a big change in the version and shows clearly your intentions to hurt and damage…
Here is my VRBO response after your review:

Dear Jennifer,
I am not the kind of person who gives excuses and I take full responsibility for whatever happens in our property. However, I do not think your review is entirely fair.
Regarding the hot water in the kitchen, when you arrived we were changing the water heater that feeds water to the kitchen´s sink. It took no longer than 30 minutes after your arrival to replace it and have it in working order. At our place if something breaks, we run and replace it for a new one!
We are proud (my wife and I) to run a very neat operation and we try to take care of every detail as good as we can. All our previous reviews are a clear sign of that.
Regarding the refrigerator, you checked into our property on Dec 23 and on Dec 24 we heard about the problems with the refrigerator. I immediately went to your villa, disconnected it, worked with the settings and asked you to watch it until the next morning (Dec 25). Christmas morning it was determined the refrigerator was broken and I told you I would look for a solution including either trying to locate a new one on Christmas day or getting another one from the farm. I made my best effort to locate a new refrigerator going to several towns but unfortunately most stores were closed. Unfortunately, the other refrigerator at the farm was not available.
You are correct that I failed to advise you of the situation and I apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this caused you.

What I do not find fair is you talking about my lack of concern. Above and beyond the house rental, I spent a great deal of time before your arrival helping you out on activities, reservations and logistics. In addition I provided you with my personal GPS since the car rental company you chose to use failed to give you one.
We also helped you with a transfer for your boys to get to La Fortuna on a prebooked adventure at 6:45 AM as well as another transfer for the boys at 5:30 AM for a prebooked rafting trip (for free, no charge) because you did not want to get up that early.

Yes I failed on bringing or replacing your refrigerator on Dec 25th (Christmas day) but I do not understand why you generalize and talk about my total lack of concern. It is not fair.
It is indeed a beautiful property, our people do magnificent work cleaning the villa every day for you, the grounds are manicured, the best of furnishing, bedding, towels, etc; but your comments make it look like what appears to be beautiful (first impression) soon turns into a headache and that is not true.

We love what we do, we try to do our best, and we care!

Esteban Elizondo
Owner
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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