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“Amazing views, fantastic staff, gorgeous Villa”
Review of Villa Buena Onda

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Villa Buena Onda
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Certificate of Excellence
Folsom, California
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Amazing views, fantastic staff, gorgeous Villa”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

I was impressed with this hotel before we even arrived! I received an email from Shelley introducing herself and the hotel, along with details of excursions they offer. As it was my husbands birthday on the last night Shelley helped me secretly arrange a special dinner too.

The villa itself sits up on a hill in Coco with the most spectacular views! As we climbed out of the bus after a very long ride the first thing we saw was the sea through the lobby. We had some refreshing drinks and Shelley gave us a tour. The pools stare out over the green canopy to the sea below......... What a place.

Our room was on the second floor in the corner. Very simply but tastefully decorated with a comfortable bed and acres of wardrobe storage. The bathroom was massive, completed by a huge shower that had huge windows that looked out over the scenery and ocean........ That took a bit of getting used to but I loved it. The toiletries provided are lovely too.

The staff really do make this place very, very special. From Christian to Migdalia, everyone we spoke to or served us made us feel like they genuinely loved their jobs and wanted to make our stay as perfect as possible. Jennifer and Shelley were never anything less than perfectly gracious hosts.

The pools are comfortable and the perfect place to sip a cocktail and watch the teeny tiny boats in the distance, or to listen to the monkeys, or to watch gorgeous birds take quick baths. We managed to rescue a few dragonflies from the pool too! There is a lot of wildlife around and we managed to see a Kingfisher right by the outdoor bar.

The food was very good and they catered to my usual fussiness with no complaints, we actually heard them asking a vegan couple what they wanted them to pick up for them I.e almond milk.

The surprise birthday dinner was on the last night and we ate up on the balcony normally used for spa treatments - they made such a super effort in decorating the table and making it extra special. My husband was genuinely surprised.

The best part of this place is it only has 7 rooms and there were a couple of days where we had the pool to ourselves. It's peaceful and perfect :-)

Thanks team Villa Buena Onda - you made our stay extra special and I will be telling all my friends they have to come visit you!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BlueWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed only two nights in the top king ocean view bedroom and were so sad to go! The staff look after you like family and the cooking class is so fun. Drinks are very good, food is gourmet, and the bed is luxury! We only had 8 guests so it felt like a private mansion all to ourselves! Treat yourself!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
photongod
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

You will read some amazing reviews about this place and they are all accurate. I saw one person that gave it a poor review; didn't stay there! I'm telling you, STAY HERE. It is beyond compare...where to begin?

We started our vacation in Arenal in the central rain forest and were being taken by van to the Villa Buena Onda (VBO from now on). Being driven up we turned onto a dirt road and up a pretty steep incline with some holes; my wife gave me the "where did you book us?!" face and then we get to the gates of the VBO and I breath a sigh of relief. It's beautiful! As we exit the van the manager Shelly (you WILL get to know almost everyone's name, they treat you like family, no joke) greets my wife, BY NAME and welcomes her while I move to get the bags out. The barman/waiter/bellhop/generally amazingly nice guy Christian is right there with delicious drinks (pinapple & mint, tasty!) waiting for us. Stepping into the open, breezy foyer the dining/pool area frames the breathtaking view of the pacific beyond (see all the pictures) as Shelly takes us on our own tour of the VBO. Everything is immaculate. We are shown the pool, honor bar, grounds and taken upstairs to our huge, beautiful room with massive windows and balcony overlooking the forest and ocean.

Rooms: As I said, huge and beautiful. The view is exquisite, the beds are soft and the pillows/linens are perfect. Bathroom is tiled with a large shower and provided, local organic Costa Rican shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Each room has its own tv, thermostat, you can pipe in the hotel muzak if you wish and lots of closet space. WiFi throughout the hotel. What we didn't discover until our second-to-last day was the nifty subdued lighting scheme you can have for a more romantic, dim feel. Nice touch, but make sure Shelly or Isa shows it to you when you check in, you might miss it!

Food: Included and AMAZING! (I keep using that word). Most places with included meals are kinda "eh". Not at the VBO. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in particular are all first rate, prepared with CARE and look beautiful. Coffee/tea/soft drinks are included and available generally even outside the designated meal times. The staff was so nice that even if you got back from the beach or a day trip a little after those times, they would still feed you. They really do want you to be happy. Alcohol is of course extra, but reasonably priced and 5-6pm is happy hour at the pool bar! Either Javier or Christian will happily mix you a tasty drink while you sit in the pool or lounge in a recliner. If I had to be critical of the food, I'd say perhaps the breakfast or lunch portion can be a bit light for the bigger appetite, but dinner is beyond filling. Dining outside by the pool everyday was a dream.

Other guests: So i'm rating my fellow guests? Yes because in such a small place we got to know them all in talks over dinner, by the pool or on a van trip down to the beach for a sunset drink (hotel organized!) Everyone was so nice and friendships with such a small roster were easy to make. Always laughter and stories and at least once while i was there go down to Coco to hit some bars. With only 8 rooms, this matters and we got along great with everyone. This is a perfect hotel for couples (no kids under 12 allowed) but we did have 1 family (mom, dad, 3 adult children), 3 single ladies and 1 single man there while we stayed.

Location: Ok, so here it gets almost dicey. The VBO is on a hill overlooking the town. That makes the view amazing and hotel peaceful. The downside? You need to take a cab or van to get to the beaches or town. The hotel has free twice-daily vans to the three closest beaches but you are sorta tied to their schedule and have to tell the front desk the day prior you will be wanting a ride, otherwise you pay for a cab (not that pricey). Also, as I mentioned earlier, the dirt road up the hill needs serious work and has some <ahem> exciting potholes. I can't imagine vans have it easy if it rains and the road turns to mud. Still, you aren't far from town and you do have a choice of three beaches.
But the grounds are so well kept, there are birds of all kinds and virtually no bugs! Lots of cute geckos though; but they won't bother you. Pool area is fantastic and everything looks picture-perfect all the time!

Staff: The best for last. FANTASTIC. They really are the nicest, most warm people and make the VBO stand head-and-shoulders over any other hotel i've ever stayed at. They make every effort to treat you like family, smile, joke and are just a joy to be around. Casual, not stuffy, and fun. I can't say enough. Often times we'd find ourselves in long conversations with Shelly or Isa at the front desk for 20 or more minutes just talking and 'shooting the breeze'. They, more than anything, make you want to go back. The staff is small (maybe 10-12 total?) so you really can get to know everyone too. There is a reason I posted a picture of my wife and I and Shelly and Christian!

Other: I booked this hotel through costaricavactions.com as part of our package trip and got an amazing deal so i could actually afford it (essentially 2 free nights). This becomes relevant because we learned that the hotel is apparently owned, (or partially owned) by the people that run the website, which is fine. But I do recommend that you use that and try and book your "excursions" with the website beforehand to save some money because the price at the hotel for the day-trips was quite high (although all the guests we talked to did love the "Hidden Beaches" tour) and the travel agency can probably get you a better deal.

I could go on and on, but I hope i've conveyed how much we loved this hotel, and highly, highly recommend it!

Room Tip: 2nd Level Ocean view rooms (where we stayed) are quieter and have more privacy a nice balcony while...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank photongod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2014

While this hotel isn't on the beach, it more than makes up for it in 4-star amenities and foodie-friendly cuisine. The pool is gorgeous, and the shuttle to the beach is great if you do need the beach. Personally, I just wanted to relax in the hammock or on the patio with a book, especially after the days of activities and driving prior to arriving. All the staff were beyond friendly and accommodating, especially significant since they all wear 3 hats. The chef Diego even gave me a bag of white rice when my iPhone got soaked by a stray water bottle in my beach bag. Guess what? It lived! The food was my favorite in our entire honeymoon, and the room was absolutely heavenly. I wish we'd had more time here.

If you are looking for nightlife or outside shopping and dining, this is probably not the spot for you. But if you want deep relaxation and gorgeous sun, it is perfect.

Only minor minus: The road here is a very bumpy one, and on it the neighbors have their little dogs chained outside in the heat all day. Broke my heart. I wanted to take them home with me!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KathyKitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Covina, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

My family stayed here for 4 days wish we had stayed here longer, we all had a blast we loved this private stay very intimate you get to know everybody and have fun while eating, lots of jokes and laughs time passed by so fast we did not want to leave. The staff is wonderful, friendly and hard working people as well as trustworthy. Food is excellent love their desserts at dinner time,we got to enjoy dinner while admiring the view of the pool and the forest. everything is so close by the rooms, pool, dinner tables, restroom. We want to thank Shelly, Eddie, Cristian, Javier, Gabriel excellent chef, cleaning lady and her sister, so sorry I forgot some staff names, thank you everyone for making our stay a great, pleasant stay.
the town is so cool, full of friendly people Coco beach is by the town amazing experience can't wait to go back. I'm sure if you pick Villa Buena Onda you will love it as much as we did.

Room Tip: we got to stay in the bottom,, each room is lightly different, A/C is on at all times, get free movi...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Limon2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

The staff make this hotel so enjoyable. If you take the time to get to know them they will make your stay outstanding. If you don't take the time you’re stay will still be outstanding, but you will miss out on meeting some great people.

Food is excellent. Seriously, the entrees are first class.

The rooms are big, have AC, and the upstairs rooms have amazing views. Won’t be disappointed.

All in all the hotel property and staff make this place first class.

However, the only regret we had when staying there was going on the Hidden Beach Tour. Our experience certainly wasn't worth the $150/person. If you are 50/50 about doing it I wouldn't encourage it. Unless they lower the price you will finish the tour wishing you had stayed at the hotel, ate there food, and swam in the amazing pool instead. Only regret/disappointment about the trip. If you really want to go out on the water there are other options in town that are cheaper and probably nicer.

All in all, the hotel itself is amazing and if we go back to that part of Costa Rica we will stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Will M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We had a marvelous time staying at this Villa. The staff treat you even better than royalty. They treat you like family and friends. One of the gems about this resort is the intimacy. There are only eight rooms available. Not only do you get to know all the staff by name (and vica versa), you also get to know all the other guests by name. Truly, you feel like you are staying at a friend's home.

If all of that is not enough, the personal attention and care is top notch. I have many dietary restrictions. They contacted me in advance to make sure they had food on hand that would fit my needs. They made special trips to the grocery charge on my behalf without additional charges. The food was spectacular in flavor and presentation.

I saved the piece de resistance for last. This whole trip centered around renewing our wedding vows. Jennifer, the General Manager, contacted me in advance. She created a perfect day. Every moment was beyond expectation. She went so far above and beyond that I cannot begin to describe her attention to detail and expended energy. She kept our budget in mind and made us a lavish day.

We began our day chauffeured from the Villa to the beach where we were met by Jennifer; Mariano Grane, our photographer; and Eddy the owner of Pacific Coast Tours and his boat Captain George. Jennifer greeted us with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers! She had asked me what type of flowers I like, and she created pure beauty from there.

With the wind in our hair (mine especially), our day was filled with boating to spectacular locations for photos. We felt like the rich and famous with our own personal paparazzi. We climbed to the very edge of a cliff to experience a magnificent backdrop. We got our feet wet for water cave shots. We meandered through tree root lined waterways, while indulging in fruits, wine, and beer.

We arrived at the location for our renewal. As we discussed as a possibility, if we decided to perform our vows on paddle boards, they were ready to go. The sea was a little too rough that day to go that route. Eddy picked a perfect beach for our ceremony, with the sunset framed by mountains as the finale. Jennifer surprised us with ceremonial champagne . She officiated our heartfelt ceremony.

While we were in the midst of our ceremony, Eddy was creating delectable food on a make-shift grill in the sand: lobster ceviche, tenderloin, roasted beets, crushed plantains, sautéed vegetables, and dark chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Everything was scrumptious!

Everything throughout the day was orchestrated perfectly, right down to the kissing swan towels and heart arranged on our bed when we returned to the villa. It was a day of love, laughter, beauty, and adventure!

We cannot say enough about Villa Buena Onda!! The personal attention you receive there far surpasses the money you spend!

Room Tip: We stayed in both an ocean view and pool view rooms. Both were nice rooms. We enjoyed the added priv...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Buena Onda

Property: Villa Buena Onda
Address: From the Ancor Sculpture 200 Meters East and 700 Meters South, Playas del Coco 50503, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playas del Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Buena Onda 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury, boutique hotel overlooking the Pacific ocean. Located just 20 mins from the Liberia International airport. Service includes three a la carte meals served daily. Nearby half a dozen beaches, fishing spots, surf breaks and under an hour from the Rincon de La Vieja (hot springs, mud pits) National Park. Fine decor, two-tier swimming pool with a swim-up bar and stunning ocean views make this a special place to visit. Fantastic food and exceptional service can be expected. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Buena Onda Hotel Playas Del Coco
Villa Buena Onda Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

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