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“This hotel defines what a great boutique hotel is all about!”
Review of Villa Buena Onda

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Villa Buena Onda
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 August 2014

I don't normally write hotel reviews, but our four-day stay in Villa Buena Onda is such an exceptional experience that I felt I could not possibly do it the disservice of not writing and raving about it! The hotel is like home to us. It is beautiful, clean and comfortable, and very well maintained. We notice that every little detail has been given the attention to, be it the decor and design, the quality of the bed or the pillows, which are abundant, the menu for each meal with a special course for each dinner. All the staff are ever so ready to give their best services; they genuinely want you to have the best time in your life when you stay here in this beautiful hotel. They are friendly, without being too friendly so that you still have your privacy. For example, we were given a room on the first floor, which is great, as it has direct access to the pool, huge bathroom, and a walk-in closet. But the setback is that the size of the room does not fit a bed larger than a full bed. So, while we weren't so comfortable and did not have much room in bed to maneuver since we are two adults, we did not really complain. When Jennifer asked us after the first night how we were, my partner gave her a kind of a hint that the bed was a bit too small, with a smile. The next thing we knew was we were given an extra room, where there are two full-sized beds. So, we used the first room we had as our "living room" and the second room as the "bed room". I know this could not be expected in every occasion, as the hotel has only seven rooms and it could probably be fully occupied. But this demonstrates the kind of flexibility and the level of service that one is being given. The staff know your schedule and make sure that you have what you need. For example, we booked a tour to Conchal Beach and Tamarindo Beach, and when we boarded the van, Shelly already made sure that ample supply of towels were available in the van for us. You practically have the whole entourage of staff at your disposal to ensure that you have a great time. If you look for a place where comfort is the key, where privacy is protected, where you want to be totally pampered and be indulged, where you can seek honest advice for your trip planning, where you feel at home, you are in the right place!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Prasong O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 - 204 of 346 reviews

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
4  Thank BlueWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
2  Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
2  Thank photongod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
Thank KathyKitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
2  Thank Limon2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
1  Thank Will 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

Address: From the Anchor 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: £325 - £526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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