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“Say Hello to the Animals and Stars!”

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Rancho Armadillo Estate
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Certificate of Excellence
Castle Rock, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Say Hello to the Animals and Stars!”
Reviewed 5 March 2008

I feel very compelled to write a review for this private retreat, for many reasons. First I want to describe the serene surroundings, and gardens, and the way the estate lives with wildlife instead of against it. I learned many things about the third world on this trip, and I so appreciate the rainforest, primary, secondary and the dryer climate of the Pacific north west coast of Costa Rica, all beautiful in its own way. I couldnt get enough of the views from here and the quiet nights. I loved our room it was big and open and it felt hand crafted and real, no faux finishes here. The howler monkeys coming through the property regularly, the iguanas, the fertility garden, the private pool, the hammocks, the rustic beauty, is still is in my thoughts even though I'm at home now. I miss this place and I want to see it again, I want my friends to see it. The flower gardens and trees are beautiful, the fruit and pastries taste better here, so does the beer. I felt like I was at a friends home, not at a hotel. It changed my outlook on how I live in my enviornment I came home and filled my birdfeeders. If you are luck y enough to get to be a guest at Rancho Armadillo and meet the owner Rick, it will change you too. Maybe you'll get to see "Twitchie" the Coati. All very special experiences because of the attention to detail and a passion for this very special place on the planet.

  • Liked — Privacy and attention to details
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ColoradoJewles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2007

When was the last time you hugged the hotel owner when you checked out? That sums up our stay pretty well. Rancho Armadillo is a great estate style hotel in a nice area of Costa Rica. There is a pool and nice outdoor area to relax in, and the rooms are clean. The owners know pretty much everyone in the area and all the best routes to get everywhere.

I would recommend this hotel more for couples, than single friends travelling, but nevertheless, they treat you like you're part of the family.

Stayed February 2006
Helpful?
Thank cmh_travlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2007

Hard to add to what's been said in other reviews - you come as a guest and are quickly made to feel like a friend. If you want impersonal service from an anonymous staff then this is not the place for you. My wife and I recently spent the first few days of our Costa Rica vacation at Rancho Armadillo and weren't sure what to expect. By our first evening, we were sitting around the pool sipping wine and watching the sunset over the Pacific and then the night stars with Rick - our host. Rick is a wealth of knowledge about Costa Rica flora and fauna and is happy to share what he knows. He'll also go out of his way to help hook you up with whatever tours, hikes etc. you might be interested in taking. The estate is set back from the main road on a mostly unpaved road so is nicely secluded but only minutes from town. The rooms are comfortable (with air conditioning if desired) and well maintained. As has been said elsewhere, you feel like you're staying at someone's house but they have a really cool house!

  • Liked — Beautiful location and personal attention
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank sigelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2007

My husband and I recently stayed at Rancho for our honeymoon and loved it. I did a ton of research on many different destinations for our trip and decieded on Costa Rica and Rancho Armadillo b/c of the beautiful scenery, exotic location, friendly locals, exciting excursions and great reviews from Trip Advisor.
This vacation is not for the faint of heart though. If you are used to staying in a large all inclusive and having a tour guide drive you and 2-20 other people to an excursion this is not the place to stay. If you love adventure and can handle renting a car and driving with the locals or Ticos as they call them ( there are no shoulders on the roads and most people walk or ride their bike in the road) then you will love this vacation.
Rick the owner went so above and beyond from the first email I sent to him. He will give you great advice and ideas for planning your trip. If you are planning to stay there I suggest you get his advice before you make any plans.
THE ESTATE
I did all of the planning so when my husband and I arrived in Costa Rica he was a bit nervous. It was a bit of an adventure getting to our resort but once we made it there Rick took all of our worries away. The resort was a little hidden paradise. Rick gives you a great at home feeling. Rick also has so much knowledge of the plants and animals on the estate. The rooms are very low key but well kept and you don't ever have to worry about your stuff getting stolen. The pool and bar/resturaunt area was so relaxing and beautiful. You can select the music you would like to here will sipping on a pina colada and taking in the view.
THE FOOD
The food in Costa Rica is hit or miss. I was surprised by how unflavorful some of the places were. The places we had luck with were Coconuts in Playas Del Coco (good fish tacos) and the Tortilla Factory. Rick will tell you to go here after horseback riding. Even though Rick gave us warning that it looks like a run down metal shed at the edge of town we were still a bit nervous when we got there. We decided to still try it out b/c Rick never steared us wrong and oh my, it was good. They fill your plate with a ton of homemade food and it is only $2.50. The best meal we had though was the one Rick made us. Rick is a retired Chef from Detriot that owned resturaunts all over the place. He really listened to our likes and dislikes throught the week and made a fabulous meal for us that we had leftovers to munch on for two days.
THE ADVENTURES
Must do's include the Canopy Tour, Secluded Waterfall (be ready to truck through the mud on foot for about 15min if it is rainy season to get there), Diving with Almaco Diving and Miguel (make sure you do the beach lunch, it is paridise), and horseback riding to a waterfall. We could have done without the River Float Tour. We saw a couple of monkeys and a croc's, but it got a bit long.
THE AREA
We were surprised be how undeveloped the towns were. The locals are very poor even though there are large resorts going up all over the place. It's like two different worlds. The town (Playas Del Coco) is very small with a few places to shop and eat. I suggest going out atleast one night though and getting to know the locals, they are usually really nice. We made some great friends the second night we were there. The best part was we ran into them later in the week at the grocery store and a soccer game and they both gave us big hugs and a chat.

If you are looking at going to Costa Rica please feel free to contact me on any other questions and I will be happy to help.

  • Liked — Realaxed atmosphere and great host
  • Disliked — hard pillows (I have a bad back so it might not bother others)
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mycouture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
atlanta, ga
1 review
Reviewed 21 August 2007

Paradise discovered,
If you’re looking for paradise in a quaint B&B that truly represents all that Costa Rica has to offer, go see Rick at Rancho Armadillo. Amazing sunsets from the pool and tiki bar seam endless, the rooms are wonderful and the star filled nights made this a perfect location for those looking for a true vacation from the all inclusive resort nightmare. Once you check in, head down to Playa de Coco for fantastic eats at Papagayo Pura Vida and grab an ice cold Imperial or grab a “Hala” shot at the local bar, it will make you HOLLER!!!!


Rick is a perfect host who knows more about Costa Rica than and guide book or tour, his recommendations and knowledge were perfect and enabled my wife and I to have the best honeymoon imaginable.

For cyclist, stop into CR Bikes and see Riccardo for the greatest mountain bike tour in Costa Rica. It’s more than worth the time, energy and expense for his tour. Exceptional single track and more wildlife than you can imagine. Tell him Annie and Gary from Atlanta say "Hi."

Pura Vida,

Gary

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
Thank bikemonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
So. Chester County, PA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2007

Had the pleasure of spending a week at Rancho Armadillo. We traveled with dear friends and our four teenagers. The accomodations and Rick's hospitality were top notch. Rick makes sure his guests feel right at home. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the property - the rooms, pool, food, vegetation, the breathtaking view, and the pampering. Rick offered many suggestions for dining, shopping and side trips. Each one proved a hit with our group. If you want the "personal touch" in an intimate setting, Rancho Armadillo is the place for you!

  • Liked — Its beauty, privacy and terrific hospitality
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank FamilyVacationers4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Desert4Rayce
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2007

First off, let me tell you what the Rancho Armadillo Estate isn't...

1. It's not the Ritz, the Hyatt or even a Hilton. This place is a bit more rustic and there's no room service.
2. It's not a bed and breakfast either. Our room was in a block of three units, each with it's own spacious mountain cable feel inside and a deck and view of Coco Beach just outside the door.
3. It's not a place for people with disabilities or too aged to make it up and down some stairs. The property is built into the side of a hill (near the top so the views are spectacular) with separate buildings for the restaurant/bar, the pool showers /restroom/Observation Deck/Lounge, and guest quarters so you need to be able to negotiate a few, (but not too many) stairs.

The Rancho Armadillo is more like staying with a really cool relative with a truly fantastic place. The atmosphere is casual, trusting and built on the idea that your only job while vacationing in Playa Del Coco is to have a good time.

Rick, the owner/manager/chef, has been there for 9 years and knows just about everything good (and not so good) to do, see and eat in the area and happily makes arrangements for anything you might need. Want a rental car? He had one delivered for no charge to the hotel. Want to go scuba diving? He had the dive master come to the hotel with all the equipment and he took me on a boat dive with just the two of us. And, the diving was right up there with anything I've seen anywhere else in the world.

Rick also helps you sort out the smaller (but also important) details as well. From keeping you from paying too much for a taxi, i.e. "don't pay the cabbie more than $2 for the ride to and from town" to sorting you out on the fact that vacationers can drink the water anywhere in Playa Del Coco without worrying about getting sick (he was right).

My wife and I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed Rick's hospitality during our time in Costa Rica and hope that you will tell him we said hello if you decide to visit him as well.

Pura Vida!

Rayce

  • Liked — The atmosphere and view. This place has very good Karma.
  • Disliked — nothing. it was that close to perfect.
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Desert4Rayce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rancho Armadillo Estate

Property: Rancho Armadillo Estate
Address: Playas del Coco, Playas del Coco 5019, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playas del Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Armadillo Estate, a small private mountainside estate overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo. The estate is perfect for couples, families or groups. Our guests feel like they're coming to visit friends who have a really nice place to stay. Our knowledge of Costa Rica ensures our guests experience the best Costa Rica has to offer. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Armadillo Estate Hotel Playas Del Coco
Rancho Armadillo Estate Costa Rica/Playas Del Coco

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