Our family of 4 (11 & 16 yo) spent a week with Donna & Daryl in July, having spent time in Playa Hermosa (meh) and Arenal (fine). We were driven from Arenal by Danny - who was superb incidentally - and then hired a car in Domenical that we drove back ourselves to SJ at the end of the week.
D&D are just absolutely lovely people, great hosts and straightforward owners. During the booking process we had some questions about things like room configurations and transportation, which they helped with quickly and clearly. When it became obvious over email that neither Daryl or I could count properly or read a calendar, he just jumped on the phone and sorted things out.
The property is a collection of 4-5 individual detached buildings containing the rental rooms, D&D's home and the pool clubhouse. We had both levels of the Rocas, which gave us wonderful views of the ocean. Rooms are well sized and equipped and are basically exactly what you see on their website (shelter-from-the-storm dot net). There is plenty of wildlife around - seeing it may be a right time/place thing - rooms may well be optimized for ocean or wildlife views....ask when you book.
The property is well designed, so each building feels very private. The pool is great for cooling off and letting the kids work off energy - but don't plan on doing laps ;-). The clubhouse is great (my kids thought they were in heaven: pool, satellite TV, fridge full of drinks, hammocks etc.). Things like the honor bar and D&D's approach meant that we oldies felt at home very quickly too.
The property is situated in between Domenical and Uvita and is up a long, steep rocky path. Unless you are going to be content to cook for yourself and lounge by the pool all the time, don't even think about coming here without wheels.....and don't even think about driving round here without 4x4: bits of it are really steep - we had to kick the kids out when we were leaving because our Hyundai Tucson 4x4 couldn't make it out fully laden!
In any case, there are so many great places around here to explore and good restaurants to experience that your own transport is pretty much a no-brainer.
We were very beach-oriented and explored a load. It was slightly irritating that the major public beaches wanted to charge parking/admission - about $20 for a family of 4 for 24 hours - for minimal (and I'm being generous here) service provision. We ended up really liking the one with the caves (figure it out when you get there), We ate out every night and never had a bad meal. In fact every place we went was really good!
We really liked the general vibe of this area, which is (currently) pretty much unspoiled by developers. The non-local resident population seem to be either 20-somethings focussed on the surfing life or early retirees soaking up the ecology. Both groups naturally appreciate the local environment and seem to assimilate well with the indigenous population, making for a community with a very laid-back, welcoming feel (it reminds me of Chamonix or Argentiere in the French Alps 15-20 years ago).
Great location, great vibe, great beaches, great wildlife, great hosts....... we still have some more parts of CR to explore, but we will definitely come back here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shelter from the Storm is a group of 2 villas perched on a 5 acre mountainside point, 60 meters above the Pacific, high enough to give dramatic views of the coast to the Osa Pennisula, but low enough to hear the waves breaking on the rocks below. Hotel rates for your own private place! Ammenities: Shared pool adjacent Entertainment Rancho with honor bar, BBQ,satelite stereo tv & dvd, washer/dryer, & much more.... ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Shelter From The Storm Hotel Dominical
- Shelter From The Storm Costa Rica/Dominical