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“Excellent.”

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Rancho Armadillo Estate
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent.”
Reviewed 20 December 2013 via mobile

We started our honeymoon here and it was wonderful. The ranch is rustic and beautiful with plenty of animals and birds to see. A quick drive to town and beautiful beaches. Rick is so welcoming, full of great ideas for trips, places to eat and things to do. Great breakfasts. Excellet directions and wildlife books. Rick cooked dinner one night and it was lovely. We are so glad we came here and would love to return one day for longer.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank sam s
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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

This place is awesome. If you are looking for a place to meditate or relax your mind, chill in the pool with some beers, to cook your own food in the kitchen, to have your own fridge, to have a safe parking, to hear the birds and monkeys, get recommendations from Rick and take a nap in the hammock at the roof top. This place have everything that you need. Perfect.!!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 13l351991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

My boyfriend and I selected Rancho Armadillo after it was recommended to us by a coworker who had previously stayed there. He couldn't recommend it enough. In fact, we were so impressed by his description of Rancho Armadillo and Rick, the owner, that we didn't look anywhere else before booking 8 nights. Before we met Rick in person, we had exchanged over a dozen emails, all of which were promptly replied to by Rick...and by promptly, I mean within the hour at MOST. Although we only had one thing booked when we touched down in Costa Rica (massages for both of us that night which was the best massage I've ever had), we knew what book to buy, and a list of the best things to do (that Rick recommended) so we could think about how we wanted to organize the trip. He was also very honest about places to not bother going. The man was honest and he was always right! He gave us the best rental car agency (which was a THIRD of the cost of others in the area), sent us to the best restaurants, and the most amazing (and least touristy) destinations. Every morning he would ask what we felt like doing and he would print directions, call ahead for us, and check in after to see how the day was and to make sure we made it back safely. His property, aside from being gorgeous, is a little secluded and I never felt that my belongings were at risk. That gave us great peace of mind when leaving Rancho Armadillo for the entire day. I could talk for days about my positive experience and how clean the rooms are but I wanted to be sure that I touched upon everything that separated Rancho Armadillo from the many other options. Lastly, if you stay at Rancho Armadillo, you MUST ask Rick to make you dinner one night. We had an 8 course meal served on the patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, comprised of all locally grown and freshly caught ingredients. It was $35 per person plus the cost of food but worth every penny!! We had an amazing time and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Arg06003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2013

My husband and I just returned from Rancho Armadillo on August 3rd after a 9 night stay. It completely lives up to every great review and more! Rick helped make our trip enjoyable from the moment we checked in. He made calls and got us on tours, suggested great little beaches to visit, excursions to take, and every restaurant he sent us to had incredible food. The grounds are a little piece of paradise-beautiful plants and flowers with butterflies fluttering all around. I never grew tired of the gorgeous view of the Pacific during the day and the breathtaking sunsets in the evening. The nights spent star gazing with the other guests was great as well. It was the first time my husband and I got away as a couple for longer than 3 nights in 10 years and we thought it was just perfect!! Rick was even able to accommodate my gluten free diet with delicious gluten free waffle mix so I wouldn't miss out on the yummy morning waffle bar-Thanks Rick!! We can't wait to return; next time with the kids!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank kelli m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

My family (two kids ages 5 and 7) and my husband and I, stayed at Rancho Armadillo for our entire vacation, using it as a home base and making day trips from there. While my kids would have been more than happy swimming in the pool all day, Rick helped us to plan some of the most incredible day trips. Rancho Armadillo itself is incredibly beautiful, peaceful, and comfortable. Upon our arrival, Rick greeted us personally and brought us and the kids on a tour of the grounds to see the beautiful gardens and get a closer look at family of howler monkeys. Throughout the next 8 days we took day trips to some of the most beautiful beaches and points of interest in the area and again, Rick helped us to find places that would prove just as interesting for the kids as it would be for us. There is absolutely nothing negative that I would say about our vacation here and would not think twice about returning!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Grace B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We first stayed at Rancho Armadillo Estate in April of 2012 and returned this year from July 20 – 25, 2013. It was just as wonderful our second time around!! This is truly a hidden treasure. It is away from the main drag of Playas del Coco, quiet and serene. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and well kept. But THE most wonderful thing about Rancho is the owner, Rick Vogel. This guy SO obviously loves Costa Rica, his hotel, and people. He is always ready and willing to help you with whatever you need or want. He is friendly and gregarious yet unobtrusive. He’s always there when you need him but isn’t when you don’t. The rooms are basic but spacious, comfortable, and very clean with AC and ceiling fans. We enjoy having the mini fridge and coffee maker. The communal veranda is a wonderful area with hammocks, rocking chairs, a couch, and a computer for guest use. The view from there is amazing, and it’s a wonderful, relaxing place to hang out at any time of day. The pool area also has a great view of the Pacific and is clean and well maintained. As you can see from my pictures, the breakfast is one of my favorite things about Rancho, and it is included in the price of the room. Your first morning there, Rick gives you the instructions and run down for making your own waffles with lots of choices of add-ins (chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts, orange zest, etc.). There is a choice of thick or thin waffles using two different irons. In addition, he makes THE best fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit and mango juice. If that’s not enough, add in the incredible assortment of breads from the local German bakery, three cereal choices, and wonderful fresh fruit including mangoes, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, lychees, and passion fruit. We looked forward to the breakfast each morning. In addition to the food, it was a good opportunity to visit with Rick to learn more about Playas del Coco and Costa Rica. He has owned the hotel since 1999 and has much knowledge and information to share. One of the services I really appreciate is his restaurant directory. He keeps a notebook with menus from many of the local restaurants, and each room has a detailed map of Playas del Coco and the locations of the restaurants. He is also a great resource for recommending his favorites and will give you an honest opinion on them. There are also books on Mammals of Costa Rica and Birds of Costa Rica on hand at the bar for reference use. Although breakfast is the only meal served daily, Rick will make dinners on request. A selection of sodas and beers is always available in the cooler behind the bar on an honor system basis. You simply write down what you take in a notebook and pay for it at the end of your stay. In summary, I can’t say enough about how much we enjoy our stays at Rancho. I highly and unequivocally recommend it.

Room Tip: We love the Cacique Room. It and the room next to it have a nice ocean view, are the highest on the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank gretchenpeterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bali
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

Playas del Coco has always been our home base for surfing Witches Rock and Ollie's point. The rooms are very large and have a comfortable homey feel to them. this is not a place to stay for parties, but if you hit Witches and Ollie's on a good day, you'll be too tired to stay out late anyway.

I have recommended this place many times over the years and will continue to stay here. the outdoor lounge and bar overlook the valley and is a great place to hang out and drink a beer after surf. The pool is nice and clean and Jim (I think Jim still owns the place) as a great host. It's more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel.

Jim is also good at hooking you up with a good, affordable boat driver to take you surfing. Sometimes on the way back, we drop our pole in the water and catch some fish. What a great experience! I haven't been diving here, but I hear that many divers stay here for that as well. Other than those three activities, I probably wouldn't go to Playas del Coco. It's a decent town, but not much else to do and the beach is not really ideal for swimmer.

Oh, Jim is also a good contact for directing you to a few good restaurants. Thanks to him, I had the best ceviche in Costa Rica at a place near the water. Ask him about it. There is also a good Mexican restaurant that he'll be happy to direct you to.

Been going to to Indonesia for a lot of my surfing lately, but when I head back to Costa Rica, I'll be staying here again for sure.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Massbro
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 #2 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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