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“Room not great, grounds beautiful” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Villas Rio Mar

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Villas Rio Mar
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence
Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Room not great, grounds beautiful”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed here for 3 nights. The grounds are beautiful but the room we had was not great. There were missing tiles on the bathroom floor, tiles in the shower were cracked and stained. The bed was not comfortable had no mattress protection and cheap sheets that meant that you ended up lying on the mattress. On the plus side the staff were very helpful and pleasant. The swimming pool and surrounds were lovely. The concept of the outside room was great with a fridge and couches. If a little more attention was paid to the state of the room this would be a really nice place.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ZIGBAR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your commentary. We take everyone’s opinions to heart.

We are sorry that the rooms didn’t meet up to your expectation and have taken note to maintain them better, and about the beds.

We are happy, though, that you loved the grounds and terraces, and that the staff gave you a wonderful service!

Thank you again for your comments. We hope to see you return in future.

Río Mar Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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521 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

Villas Rio Mar is located just a short walk or very short drive from "downtown" Dominical-- which is really just two roads (one leading to the beach and one that goes along it). It's an adorable little town with a few great restaurants and some fun bars. It still has a large local population and Costa Rican feel but it's infused with a surfer vibe due to the many Americans and other nationalities who have made it their home. The beaches are spectacular and are very sparsely populated. There are times when you feel like the whole beach is your private beach (and there are many, many beaches a short drive from Dominical/Villas Rio Mar). A true gem of an area.

When you enter the Villas Rio Mar, you are greeting by very friendly staff (who all speak English very well). The grounds of the Villas Rio Mar are lush and beautiful, like walking through a jungle interspersed with bungalows) and the facilities and pool are well taken care of. The restaurant and bar serve up great food and drinks (and you can put it on your room just like at any resort), although for more "authentic Tico" cuisine I would suggest going into town. The breakfast is fantastic-- it's just a simple layout, buffet-style, of scrambled eggs, hash browns, rice and beans, sausage, etc. but for some reason it's just a perfect start to the day... and it's served with tons of delicious, fresh fruit and fresh Costa Rican coffee. It's included (free) and pretty much all-you-can-eat.

Really the ONLY complaint I would have about the rooms is that the beds are not very comfortable. We were there with a huge group and we were in and out of maybe 6 rooms, so I know that this wasn't isolated to just our room. If there was one recommendation for the resort, it would be to get new ones for each room. With that, the stay would have been perfect.

Excellent for the price, too. And it felt, and was, very safe!
Overall, I definitely recommend Villas Rio Mar. It made our stay in Dominical comfortable and easy and wonderful.

Room Tip: The Standard room is the perfect size for 2 (make sure you choose a King bed or 2 doubles, as needed...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pjdeisinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Hi dear,

Thank you so much for your lengthy commentary and kind words. We are happy you enjoyed your stay here at Villas Rio Mar, were comfortable and felt incredibly safe.

We are more than glad you enjoyed the Dominical area, with the locals and surfers, and the many beaches Dominical has to offer. Hope you enjoyed Dominicalito beach is one of the many people favorite beach.

We also are happy you enjoyed the service the hotel had to offer, the maintenance of the facilities and pool and admired the grounds and nature surrounding you.

Is our pleased to know you liked the breakfast in our restaurant and the fresh Costa Rican coffee!!!

We are sorry about the beds not being very comfortable and have taken note on this aspect. We take your suggestion to heart! And we are working on it.

Once again, thanks for your lovely comments! We hope to see your return in future!

The Rio Mar staff.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

This place is beautiful, well managed, and relaxing. Whether you just want to relax by the pool or use it as a base for day trip adventures, it is THE best place to stay in walking distance of Dominical without being IN town.

Room Tip: Not all rooms have AC, so if that is important to you make sure to pick one that has AC! We found th...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Nicole P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your lovely commentary! We are happy you enjoyed your stay here at Rio Mar and the environment and atmosphere around you.

We’re glad you managed to relax by the pool! We’re also glad you liked the location, it’s isolation and proximity to town.

Once again, thanks for your kind words. We hope to see you return in future!

Río Mar Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

I stayed at the Villas Rio Mar for 10 days at the end of February. All the suites have a spacious patio/bar area that is great to relax in, plus beautiful and lush jungle views. The staff was incredible - so helpful and friendly. Enjoyed several great drinks and meals at the bar/restaurant. Daily breakfast is delicious - we looked forward to it every day.

Highly recommend staying here! Very close to all the fun and beach in Dominical.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ConradBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind words! We are glad you enjoyed your stay here at Villas Rio Mar, and admired the nature and views around you.

We are glad you had a relaxing time on the patio of your villa, and that you enjoyed the service the hotel had to offer!

We are really happy you enjoyed the food at the restaurant and that you had a great breakfast every morning.

Thank you for recommending us to everyone and again for your lovely commentary. We hope to see you return in future!

Río Mar Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

Great hotel just off the main street in Dominical. It's well maintained with great staff. The grounds are very beautiful. The prices are extremely reasonable for a higher class of hotel. The food is great although Costa Rican cooks (not just this hotel) seem to put ketchup on top of things that have tomato slices (like a BLT). Make sure to tell them not to do that. The pool is great. Be sure to try their icy, fruity drinks while there.

Overall I would stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Jason H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your lovely comments! We are pleased you enjoyed your stay here at Villas Rio Mar, and admired the scenery around you.

We are glad you enjoyed the food and fruity drinks in the restaurant and are taking note of the tomato slices and ketchup.

We are happy you enjoyed the pool and that the overall price range was a good fit for you! Thank you, once again, for your kind words. We hope to see you return in future!

Rio Mar Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

The place is beautiful but you need a car to move around, has a river in front, the reception staff is totally clueless of what goes on in the hotel and in town. The restaurant staff is split in 2 shifts, I was there on march 1 st and the morning staff that day really sucked terrible terrible service. To the point where the lady admitted tasting my drink before handing it to me. The second shift staff was truly flawless and in it's service and willingness to assist.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Crasexunicool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Guest Relations Manager at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your commentary. We value everyone’s opinions. We are happy you found the place beautiful, and to go outside Dominical, you do need a car, but you also have bus options and taxis.
We are sorry to hear you didn’t receive the best service at the reception and first shift in the restaurant. The reception staff, however, are quite knowledgeable about the town, and know enough about what goes on in the hotel. Maybe there was some sort of communication error.
We are glad that you found the second shift of restaurant staff great, and hope that you will return some day in future, and give it another try.

Río Mar Staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

I chose Villas Rio Mar as the location for my 70+ guests to stay for my wedding in Costa Rica in February 2014 and I am SO GLAD THAT I DID!!! The guests were all THRILLED with the hotel!!! I chose Villas Rio Mar because it served as the perfect location since guests didn't HAVE to get a car in order to stay there and get into Dominical (since it's a 12min walk) and if they did get a car it didn't HAVE to be 4x4 (which is the case for many hotels in the area) AND because it was both nice enough for my fancier guests but had cheap enough options for my less-wealthy guests! Everyone loved it - from the older family members in their 60s and 70s to the young 25 year olds! Estela, the most amazing hotel manager ever, worked with me endlessly to make sure everyone had the correct room and reservation dates AND she even went the extra mile by helping me make sure older guests were in the quieter rooms (farther from the pool) and the younger guests were closer to the pool and each other. The staff at Rio Mar was exceptional at every possible point. I was in the midst of crazy wedding planning and tons of people in town for the wedding and they were constantly helpful!! Truly, I keep getting comments from my guests about how much they loved the hotel and location and, more than anything else, I can say that the POOL was a HUGE hit!!! My friends loved getting drinks and hanging out at the pool while relaxing between excursions - it was the perfect meeting place!

In addition to being the most amazing place to lodge guests, Villas Rio Mar (particularly the lovely Estela and Eilyn) also assisted in coordinating many of the details for the beach ceremony itself! I chose the location on the beach (a spot not far from Dominical) and they worked with me to figure out how many chairs I needed, they got the chair covers and the colorful chair ties (to match my wedding colors) and the flowers. They met me at the site a few days before the ceremony to talk through the set-up to make sure everything was exactly to my specifications. Then, on the day of the ceremony, I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life! It was set-up PERFECTLY! Everything was gorgeous and just as I'd envisioned it would be! I'm SO SO SO grateful for everything Estela, Eilyn and all of the Villas Rio Mar staff did to make my wedding day and week as relaxing, beautiful and memorable as it was!!

I whole-heartedly recommend Villas Rio Mar as a GREAT place to stay for groups and a wonderful partner in wedding planning/set-up! They're the best!! Thanks, Estela & Eilyn, you are WONDERFUL! Besos a todo!

THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH!!

Room Tip: If you want AC, make sure to get a superior or Junior Suite room. If you prefer to have an awesome l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank echynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MEsquivel, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Villas Rio Mar, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your kind words and wonderful pictures! We are really happy to hear you enjoyed your wedding here at Villas Rio Mar. It was a pleasure helping set up your wedding on the beautiful beach, and we hope you and your guest will remember it for a lifetime.

It’s nice to hear you enjoyed the location and that it was easy access for all of you to Dominical Village,. And also Dominicalito Beach is one of the most beautiful places to enjoy a beautiful wedding like you’re, easy to walk, with some very nice surroundings and the spectacular view from the big waves and rocks…

We are also very happy all your guests enjoyed their stay, being comfortable in their located rooms for all ages, and that the pool was a hit! We are more than grateful to hear our staff have met your expectations, it is very important to us your opinion, is part of our work to make our customers feel like at home. We feel more than blessing to meet all of you guests.

Thank you again for your commentary and photos. We hope all of you will be back some day!

Río Mar Staff :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villas Rio Mar

Property: Villas Rio Mar
Address: 800 m north from the Dominical entrance along the Baru river, Dominical 185-8000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Dominical
#4 Romantic Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Villas Rio Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dominical ***Eco-Hotel Resort near Uvita & Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Relax in true nature while enjoying a wide range of amenities! Villas Rio Mar is an internationally recognized 3 Star Eco hotel located in a stunning natural setting; an easy 10 minute walk from the fun and the beach of Dominical. Whether traveling as a couple or with family, Villas Rio Mar offers a wide range of amenities guaranteed to make your holiday worry-free and enjoyable. Our hotel includes 52 rooms and can also host medium-sized groups. Our spacious tropical gardens provide privacy and include many beautiful plants, flowers, and birds, which one can observe from outdoor patio areas located in front of the rooms. One of the best restaurants in the area, El Rancho, is located at Villas Rio Mar. The area offers a wide array of leisure and adventure activities including beautiful beaches, four National Parks, and many other nature & wildlife reserves. A wide range of amenities: spacious tropical gardens, jungle trails, large swimming pool with pool bar, quality restaurant & bar (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks), international sports programming, room service, billiard table, darts, foosball, kids’ play area, mini golf, outside gym, tennis court, tour & transport services, massage, nail studio, and other body treatments. 4 room types to choose from: 48 of the 52 rooms have an outdoor patio area with garden views, rooms with AC & TV available, family-sized rooms available (limited), rooms with kitchenette available, mini-fridge and ceiling fans in every room Great price for an excellent service: professional staff, free wi-fi throughout the hotel, complimentary parking, free rental car drop-off (airport & Villas Rio Mar), group discounts available, seasonal discounts; May>Dec. 15th, book now & pay later! Beautiful, easily accessible, with lots to do: - Stunning natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, and nearby tropical jungle teeming with exotic wildlife - Many beaches, national parks, and adventure tours - Easily accessible from SJO International Airport via newly paved roads (<3 hours) - 10 min. walk to Dominical - 15 min. walk to the beach - Relaxing natural setting - Private and secure Meetings & Events: conference room & event planning services for businesses, weddings & private events ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Rio Mar Hotel Dominical
Hotel Rio Mar
Rio Mar Hotel
Villas Rio Mar Costa Rica/Dominical

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