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“Perfect location for those who want to mix it up with relaxation and travelling to see the country-side.”

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Rancho Armadillo Estate
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playas del Coco
Ottawa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Perfect location for those who want to mix it up with relaxation and travelling to see the country-side.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2009

Wonderful 7 days spent at both Rancho Armadillo on the coast at Play del Coco and 2 day trip to Arenal volcano. This is the ideal spot for those who want relaxing beach time, but also want to see national parks, volcanos, hotsprings, rainforest, spectacular waterfalls, native culture, canopy tours and zip linning. All are within anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours away. The beach is about 500 m from the hotel an easy drive or ~20 minute walk. Rick the proprietor was a wealth of information when planning this vacation he provided info on day trips, restaurants and assisted in the car rental. As others have said after a day of exploring, Rancho Armadillo was like coming home to your own private cottage, with beautiful sunsets, pool and common bar area. The weather when we were there the first week of Feb was sunny, windy and about 34 C every day, 19 C at night.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wanna_be_tico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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195 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2009

This was my first trip to Costa Rica, and it could not have been spent at a better location. The intimate knowledge that the owners have of the area was incredible, and their recommendations were top notch. The views from the hotel are remarkable, and every morning we woke up to an increible breakfast spread of fresh fruits, breads and coffee. Rancho Armadillo offered the optimal balance of relaxation with the ability to really take advantage of everything the area had to offer; I hope to make Rancho Armadillo a regular destination.

  • Liked — The views.
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kleeinchitown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2008

You will not find a better place to stay. Sure, the accomodations, food, and location are great, but what you will always remember (and come back for) is Rick's hospitality and company. We started and ended our vacation at Rancho Armadillo and when we returned from touring Monteverde and Arenal it really did feel like we were returning to see an old friend. These reviews you are reading are heartfelt for a reason. Rick also provided us with invaluable travel suggestions and tips that made our entire vacation more enjoyable and hastle-free. You will be missing a first rate travel experience if you choose any other place to stay.

  • Liked — The host
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JHRMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Pete, FL
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2008

The other reviews say it all, especially the one entitled, When was the last time you hugged the hotel owner when you checked out? We loved Rancho Armadillo and definitely plan to return as soon as possible. Rick was an unbelievable host.

This was our first stop in Costa Rica. We came during the rainy month of October (6th-10th) and experienced beautiful, sunny days. Rick, the owner/host, met with us daily to chat, discuss daily activities, and make sure we were having the best experience possible. As soon as it was clear enough, he pulled out the telescope to show us beautiful Jupiter and three of her moons. If you're planning to visit more than Playas del Coco, please do not hesitate to let Rick help you plan your trip.

The room we stayed in (the shark) was wonderfully decorated with an extremely comfortable bed. The exotic bathroom included an extra large shower next to a cute red tub. Each morning we were greeted by exotic birds and a semi-tame coati, Twitchy, while sipping the fresh mango juice and fruit smoothies prepared by Rick. We still crave the breakfasts from Rancho Armadillo! The last night there we were treated with champagne, strawberries, chocolate, and one of the most beautiful Pacific sunsets we've ever seen. (see the photos!)

  • Liked — Rick, the owner
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank TheSpears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2008

I can only affirm all the positive comments made by other guests about Rancho Armadillo; it's a lovely estate that is only 20 minutes from the Liberia airport. Rick is the consummate host and a totally nice person who makes you feel very welcome. He went out of his way to help us plan our trip to Costa Rica (even arranged car and phone for us). Once there he gave us lots of tips for day trips (packed with adventure or lazy- what ever you are looking for). He will make sure that you are comfortable both on his estate and out and about the countryside. Don't miss breakfast, not only will you be treated to an amazing display of tropical fruits, smoothies, breads and macadamia nut waffles but you may also get to meet Twitchy and give him some breakfast!

  • Liked — Beautiful country like setting close to Liberia airport
  • Disliked — I liked everything.
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank PPPMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyons, Colorado
Level Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2008

I'm not sure that I can say more about the Armadillo than other travelers have said before me. I guess I'll start off with the lodging...

The rooms are great for Costa Rican standards. We were in the Aquarium Room - a HUGE room that could easily fit a family (or if you are simply into doing gymnastics when you wake up). Amenities included a small fridge, air conditioner, and a rainforest shower. The headboards are both handmade and have shapes of aquatic life to fit the Aquarium room title.

The resort is also well-kept and well lighted at night, when you are going back and forth to the common area or library. The library was my favorite spot in the resort - a 2nd floor open-air pavillion with books, rocking chairs, and hammocks to pass the time and relax. That's what vacations are for, right?

Rick Vogel, the owner, absolutely makes the hotel though. His home is on-site, and so he is always there. He does his best throughout the course of the trip to make sure that things go smoothly for you. Of course, opinions are opinions, but Rick's are spot on most of the time. He'll send you out into the secret little spots of the Guanacaste part of Costa Rica including waterfalls, sulfur mud baths, native indian pottery towns, etc. Note that his directions require interpretation sometimes (like "turn at the bus stop" OR "follow the road to the end" when there are 7 forks in the road that you have to guess on), but we chalked that up to part of the Costa Rican adventure. Getting back to his helpfulness, two other things... he helped arrange our rental car before we arrived and also we had to leave at 430am to catch our flight home and he even checked to see if we were up to make the flight.

We spent alot of time in the common area as well. Rick keeps the place stocked with beers and sodas behind the bar that you can charge to your room bill. He also has set up a speaker system throughout the common and pool area, so use his playlists or bring your own iPod to plug in. There are also a bunch of board games to play - I think we played Blokus for 6 hours straight one evening. In this common area, Rick serves breakfast from 730am to 930am every morning, which includes fruit, cereal, assorted bread goods, fruit smoothies and juices, make-your-own-waffles, and (of course) Costa Rican coffee.

Anyway, I don't want to ruin all of the little surprises at this resort, but if you are looking for the nice blend of relaxation and Costa Rican brand mini-adventures, make sure you head to the Rancho Armadillo website and email Rick. Say hi to Twitchy for us.

  • Liked — Open-air Library, Owner, Pool, Common Area, Rooms
  • Disliked — Distance to Beach, Breakfast Got Tiresome
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank beartrax79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence, KS
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2008

We stayed at Rancho Armadillo from July 15, 2008 thru July 22, 2008 and had an incredible time. The owner, Rick, was very helpful when we e-mailed him about lodging, etc. The lodging was beautiful, the breakfasts extremely filling and delicious. If you are from the States the fruit is incomparable to anything you'll get there...delicious and sweet. Plus, he has fruits unobtainable in some parts of the states.
The grounds are somewhat manicured, but you do not feel like you are at a resort such as Marriott, 4-Seasons, etc. The sunsets and Rick's cooking (when you request a meal) are excellent. The cotamundi (sp.)"twitchy" is fun to feed and watch. The other guests (on our visit) were very fun and amicable. We stayed up late one evening playing a board game and drinking wonderful margaritas that Rick made for us. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you go NOTexpecting the Marriott Resort or US experience (and this is not a bad thing). If you do expect this, you may or may not be disappointed, but you will have been with the ex-pat Rick who is very gracious and has property that will mesmerize you...
Pure Vida,
TKopsa

  • Liked — The views and breakfasts and more!
  • Disliked — The blue toilet in the pool area. . .
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank tkopsa
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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