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“Great service makes a world of difference”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Villas Alturas

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Villas Alturas
Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great service makes a world of difference”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

GaryInDallas (Jan. 8) couldn't have put it better... The Dominical area is definitely worth a visit, the Villas Alturas are well located and offer a spectacular view - and, no, the hike up isn't that bad; just drive slowly! But more importantly, Scott and Russell were warm, welcoming and tented our every need, making sure our stay would be as wonderful as can be. And for those of you who enjoy your privacy, don't worry, they know when to pull back too. Don't be shy to ask them for restaurant recommendations or to suggest activities, they are pretty good at getting people and understanding what appeals to you. Do you homework too though, check out activities in the area like the ones suggested on this very website; you know yourself best and might find something you would otherwise have missed!

The only reason I'm giving this place 4 out of 5 instead of the highest score is because the rooms could be slightly updated eventually, like in the shower for instance where a crack or two could be sealed and the floor improved to evacuate the water (and sand) better. But realize that, due to the great service we and, without a doubt, you will receive here, it will make no difference to you. I recommend this place without hesitation.

P.S.: To those who wonder whether to rent a car to come here or not, I say it's up to you but we enjoyed having a car to visit different beaches and try restaurants in various areas. The road to get here is paved and no worse than any North American road (maybe better than some at home come to think of it); all you want to do is be mindful of is the way people drive, which is a bit recklessly. My advice is: take the GPS to get out of San José (you won't need it elsewhere on the Pacific coast), get a 4x4 to climb the steep hills you will find on many side roads and plan plenty of time to return your car... We rented from Thrifty and it took 1.5 hours to RETURN the car on Christmas Day. That is, even though they were waiting on our car and GPS to give it to new renters. It took people 2 to 3 hours to get a car they had rented and you, returning a car, wait in the same line as those who pick one up and fill out endless paper work. It makes no sense at all, but other rental companies had overbooked and didn't honor their reservations, so I suppose it could be worse. On the Caribbean side, we used a private taxi and a shuttle service to get to and from our hotel in Cahuita and it was cheaper than renting a car - and the best decision we'd made in the past decade. There is no way you want to be driving at night or in the rain on that coast and, in any event, we didn't need a car there.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aquapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2012

This was one of the more personal experiences we've had at a hotel. Villas Alturas felt like our home away from home. Everything you could want in a Costa Rican vacation is here - natural beauty, peace, space, adventure, gorgeous beaches, wonderful food, and personal touches everywhere. Russell and Scott have thought of everything and if you mention a request that traditional hotels might find above and beyond, they bend over backwards to accommodate.

The view! Unmatched and never boring. Tourists from other hotels were showing up and saying, "Our hotel told us to come here for a drink so we could see the view." No matter where you are in the hotel, you are aware of this magnificent view.

A two-course breakfast is included every morning. Beautiful fresh fruit and yogurt garnished with flowers from the garden is routinely served. You're then treated to huevos rancheros, banana pancakes, or whatever the kitchen is cooking that morning. The ingredients are the best of what the area has to offer. The coffee is also delicious.

Scott and Russell's restaurant was the best we found in the area. Even the pasta is handmade. We ate at Citrus, a highly rated, more expensive restaurant down the road, and it wasn't as good.

Scott arranged for fantastic tours including a day-long snorkeling trip to Cano Island where we saw dolphins, rays, turtles, and bright fish all around us. Our guide would swim down and catch puffer fish for us to hold and release. Some of the best snorkeling I've done. Other day trips we enjoyed:

-ziplining
-Scenic, 1 hr. mountain drive to San Isidro and its huge, open-air market
-Visit to an eco farm with butterflies, horses, parrots, and tilapia pools all at the base of a rushing waterfall where we swam.
-Walking out to the Whale Tail at low tide on a nearby beach.

Scott also arranged for a wonderful massage for me.

We tended to stay active during the day and crash early at night but some of our favorite memories are of catching up with Scott and Russell and other hotel guests in the bar before dinner. Hats off to Russell's exceptional cocktails and to both of them for wonderful company. It was a great stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank css29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

Dominical is a beautiful coastal town in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica. We visit every year for 3-4 days, usually staying at a comfortable, no-frills, cabina-style lodge. For this recent trip to Dominical, we wanted to "expand our horizons" and stay somewhere different. Thanks to a Google search of area lodging, we had the good fortune of discovering Villas Alturas!

Scott and Russell recently took over as the new operators of the existing Villas Alturas and, simply put, they both have a natural talent for the hospitality industry. From the initial email exchanges to the warm, genuine welcome upon our arrival, followed by the never-ending attention to all their guests’ needs, Scott and Russell have put Villas Alturas is in a category by itself.

The resort sits 600 feet above the majestic Pacific Ocean with breathtaking views that extend for miles. Our villa was spacious, comfortable and secure with all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury resort. The delicious, full breakfast offered each morning varied and never disappointed and provided a great start to an activity-filled day…even if your activity-filled day was nothing more than a good book while lounging poolside! Our visit was so thoroughly enjoyable that we extended our stay by one more day (and it still wasn’t long enough)!

I HIGHLY recommend Villas Alturas if your travels take you to the Dominical/Uvita region of beautiful Costa Rica. It will certainly be our resort of choice!

(By the way, I’ve read several reviews commenting on the road up to the resort. By most standards and certainly by Costa Rica standards, the road is fine…especially if you have a 4x4. And I assure you, once you take in the view from 600 feet, you’ll be glad you took on the adventure!)

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GaryInDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennebunk, Maine
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

The view, the staff, the food... all fabulous !!!! Scott and Russell are THE most amazing hosts. They don't miss a beat! Our four kids ( ages 8-19) were thrilled with the adventure tours they arranged for us ( ahead of our arrival , I might add). They served us a delicious full breakfast every morning... no matter how early our departure. Always making sure we had enough towels to take on our excursions, providing directions, answering all our questions and even provided bug spray. When we returned from our fun filled day our Villa was always refreshed and Scott and Russell were there to greet us with cold drinks and amusing conversation at the bar. The menu for lunch and dinner was always fresh and interesting. We tried a few other places for diner but they didn't compare to Scott and Russell's culinary creations. Our kids were so impressed with how they were treated as "adults" and the amount of special attention they were given. Scott even had all the "first aid products" that our kids seemed to need at the end of our tours. Board games and wonderful leather rockers were also provided on the porch of our Villa for relaxing at the end of the day. Our kids never even noticed that there was no TV in the Villa. The pool is as beautiful and serene as the photos suggest. The cold towels and pool side service for lunch & drinks was very pampering. It truly was a "pinch me" kind of vacation. I can't say enough about our twelve day stay at Villa Alturas and Costa Rica... we will be back again soon.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JoAnn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

We stayed here for about 4 days this December & relied heavily on Scott for references to do things around the area & restaurants. And he was just great! Scott directed us to go to San Gerardo De Dotto that became the highlight of our Costa Rica vacay - magnificent area! He also told us about little things like Mariane's cafe there, the art gallery - things off the beaten path that we really enjoyed. We really enjoyed Scott's restaurant recommendations too! He had arranged for a hat and sun glasses for me for an early morning boat ride, when I had forgotten mine at a restaurant the night before - very, very helpful!

Food here is very good (& its coming from a picky NYC eater!) The swimming pool area overlooking the ocean is really relaxing & the staff goes all out trying to make your time in the area as nice as possible.

Our cabin was set up like an apartment. We only had a partial view from our cabin #1 but it was comfortable. Best of all, it had an AC in the bedroom - woot!

One thing that took us by surprise & would've been good to know ahead of time- you can't flush TP down the toilet and that is true for the entire area, not just Villas Alturas :)

The few things that could be improved upon are -

1. Signage from the main road: there is only 1 sign right outside the entrance & it is super easy to miss, which we did!

2. No lights at the entrance from the main road - we were driving in the dark & twice in the rain & we missed the entrance twice! And this was towards the end of our stay too. So it would be super helpful to have a street light right at the entrance of the road to the villa off of the main road.

3. Cleaning - our bathroom wasn't cleaned, just the trash taken out. We could've used a cleaner bath mat after the 2nd day since we dragged in mud & sand with our feet. But we didn't get a replacement for the dirty one so we had to use towels. The sink & other areas weren't cleaned either which we were very surprised about. We didn't want to complain b/c we were hardly ever in the room.

Overall, I would stay here again if is was in the area!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank freenie42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillasAlturas, Manager at Villas Alturas, responded to this review, 16 January 2012
Thanks so much for your review. We strive for excellence and am very sorry you felt we fell short on the bathroom cleaning. It is our policy to clean the bathroom everyday so it must have been overlooked in the Holiday rush. We will work harder in that area. We have changed our policy and now change the bathmat and hand towel every day. Hopefully this help for a better experience. We understand the guest experience is why we are here! We do encourage our guests to mention anything that isn't up to par with their villas. If you had mentioned this to me, I would have easily corrected the issue immediately. We look forward to welcoming you back to Alturas and glad you liked San Gerardo de Dota. A gem of a place.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2012

First thing was the warm welcome by Scott!!
Everyday morning the breakfast was different, interesting and tasty of course!!
The presentation was excellent with different flowers every day!!
The views were stunning! ...Scott even arranged our Taxi back to San Jose.They even dropped us to the main pick up point!!Very nice and friendly people!We had a very memorable experience!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Swathi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
56 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2011

This was our first stop in Costa Rica and were not disappointed! Beautiful views from the top with the perfect pool. Always hard to leave the pool every morning! The villas themselves are fully equipped. Very clean. And it was amazing waking up to the sound of birds chirping. Such a natural environment. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We also got some great recommendations for restaurants and travel that was very helpful.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelots1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villas Alturas

Property: Villas Alturas
Address: Alturas de San Martin Norte, Dominical 8000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Dominical
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villas Alturas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villas Alturas offers the perfect combination of peace and quiet, views, sun, beach and adventure. Situated in the Costa Ballena area, only 35 minutes south of Manuel Antonio, you can enjoy the cool beachy vibe of Dominical 15 min away, explore the Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita or sample the international cuisine offered in Ojochal. Villas Alturas offers a complimentary breakfast every morning and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day. We will plan and book all of your tours as well as help you to connect with all of the local free adventures. Barbque grill, free parking, a/c bedrooms, great pool area with an incredible views! Our road was improved in December, 2013 very easily accessible. We can accommodate 30+ people for your parties, destination wedding or any other event. Time to breathe . . . Terms and Conditions ---------------------------------------------- AMEX is not accepted at this time Payment Policy: Rates include breakfast and daily maid service. Sheets are changed every third day. (Breakfast that is included in the rate for a One Bedroom Villa is for 2 people, Breakfast for a Two Bedroom Villa is for 4 people. ) Above rates INCLUDE 13% sales tax for the room only. A 10% service charge plus tax will be added to all restaurant and bar purchases. Management reserves the right to POSSIBLY withhold deposit per their discretion at time of reservation and is as follows: 50% of reservation is due at the time of booking. The remaining 50% is due at check out. The maximum guests in our villas is 2 per bedroom plus one additional if the villa contains a futon. Check-in time is 2:00pm. Check-out time is 10am. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to availability and may incur a charge. High season is December through April excluding holidays. Green season is May through November. Holiday rates apply December 20th through January 5th and require a 5 night minimum stay. Management declines all responsibility for valuables left in the villas. Cancellation Policy: There is no refund if cancellation is made 14 days or less prior to the reservation date. When cancellation notification is received between 15 and 30 days prior to the reservation, a $50 processing fee per room will be charged. Payment will be forfeited if guest(s) arrive after the specific date of reservation or depart prior to final day of reservation. All cancellations need to be sent via e-mail. A cancellation is not confirmed until you have received an email or fax confirmation from us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Alturas Hotel Dominical
Villas Alturas Costa Rica/Dominical

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