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“Totally positively like no where else on earth”

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Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Dominical
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Totally positively like no where else on earth”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2010

Totally positively like no where else on earth. I don’t know that it’s possible to find anywhere more serene, peaceful, gorgeous, relaxing, enlightening and uplifting. There is not one single thing touristy or hotel-like here. You are basically in a world of your own with Fateh and Franco at your fingertips.

Unfortunately, I do not think I nor my female travel partner were the best guests they had by any stretch; my apologies to Fateh and Franco for that. Things just did not get off to the best start when we arrived at the airport and found our guy with the Waterfall Villas sign as instructed by Fateh. Said guy who we thought was the driver who had the sign took us over to the curb with our bags and passed us off to another guy who we thought surely was our driver. The new guy immediately grabbed our bags and nicely carried them to the van as we followed. We were impressed. Then when we arrived to a van marked with a completely different hotel name, the guy who carried our bags a total of 20 feet rudely demanded a tip and was never to be seen again. He was not our driver either. We finally figured out that the third guy was our driver and he did not speak much English. After driving about 45 minutes at high speeds and on the wrong side of the road over and over, I called Fateh to make sure we were indeed in the right van. She said she thought so but would check and get back to us, she never did. As 2 females traveling alone, this did not make us feel very warm and fuzzy. When I told Fateh about this in person her reply was “well, you tip everyone here, people don’t do things for free.” I think our point of feeling unsafe and harassed was completely missed. I do tip and I tip well when something is done with respect and courtesy not demanded or done under-handedly – we carried our bags ourselves all the way from the US, carrying them 20 more feet was not the least bit of a problem.

I very much felt like we were treated wonderfully, but frugally. I am not sure if this was because Fateh was nice enough to allow my travel partner to travel with me for a very low fee or because she so nicely gave me an off-season price during the first peak-season week. There were quite a few little things that made us think this. And some not so little things like not being given a facial I paid for, meals that were not at all personalized as the website said (we were however handed a menu at the beginning and were asked to let her know anything we wanted to change) and the fact that our shower never had consistent hot water (we had to turn it off and on over and over to get any hot water). We did report the lack of hot water, but I just don’t think we were taken too seriously. Part of that was our fault as I said we were not in the most zen place when we arrived.

Regardless of everything we were definitely more zen when we left; Fateh and Franco have a gift for cultivating health and healing on all levels and I personally think anyone could come here and take away life long beauty. As a matter of a fact, I recommended Waterfall Villas to a friend who actually stayed there before we ever did.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank SnugglyGirl007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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206 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
116 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 313 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2010

My husband and I are raw foodists and decided to get married at the Waterfall Villas because it was near to where we were staying in Costa Rica for the winter, it was raw and vegan friendly, in a beautiful setting and a small quiet resort.

We bought the Wedding Extravaganza Package as detailed on their website and arranged almost everything with Fateh via email. Planning a wedding yourself can be a little daunting especially in a foreign country, but we decided to have a small event and Fateh was able to arrange almost everything we needed for the wedding, photographers, videographer, hair stylist, decorations, flowers and bouquets the shaman etc.

We had visited the villas once before our stay and Fateh let us look at a few of the rooms and tour the facility to give us an idea of what to expect and what services they offered.

We had our ceremony at 10:30 am and it was a perfect time because it was not too hot and was nice and sunny. There was a beautiful tropical alter, and Palm archway that was set up beautifully for the ceremony.

I had given Fateh some idea what I'd like to flowers and a simple cake and had left the rest up to her. With being so busy arranging everything else I was just hoping they would turn out nice enough.

When I received my bouquet and my sister's minutes before the ceremony I was completely blown away. The tropical flowers were SO extravagant and beautiful. Lilies are my favorite and they were outstanding and perfectly arranged. The table decorations also had the same types of flowers and were amazing as well. I could not believe how long the flowers lasted, days after the ceremony they were still perfect and beautiful. There is no way we could have expected or likely afforded such beautiful flowers in Canada.

For the cake I had asked for a non typical cake. Just fresh watermelon sliced and layered in tiers to look like a cake. I expected something really simple again since it was just supposed to look like a cake and did not think anyone would be eating it. I was wrong again, Fateh had decided to try decorating it with coconut sprout and apple slices and then iced it with fresh coconut cream and fresh edible flowers. It was amazing to see it and know it was all fresh fruit and yet looked like an actual wedding cake as well. Our guests were thrilled to try it and agreed it was one of the best dishes we served at our raw vegan wedding reception.

We decided to have fresh juice and smoothies instead of champagne and the villas staff were constantly passing out drinks to our guests and asking people if they wanted refills. It was really nice to see how much they cared about our guests. The reception meal was a few hours after everyone arrived so it was nice that they could have something fresh and tropical to eat before the meal was served.

We were so happy to have nice weather and a great ceremony and reception on our special day. Everything was beautiful, the guests were happy and thrilled to be at such a beautiful location and enjoying an extravagant raw vegan buffet.

We had several of our friends and family members stay in the villas with us for 5 days and everyone thoroughly loved their rooms. The beds were luxurious, the rooms beautifully decorated and the balconies faced the river which was very beautiful and peaceful to hear.

I had a massage on our balcony and it was probably one of the best I'd ever had in my life, the lady they have there is amazing, just enough pressure but I was so relaxed I practically passed out on the table listening to the river and it was total heaven.

The honeymoon suite we had was very beautiful. We loved loved loved the bed, it was so comfortable it was easy to fall asleep every night. We also enjoyed the giant jacuzzi tub in our room as well. After being in Costa Rica for almost 6 months (almost no places have bath tubs) it was so great to enjoy several baths in the privacy of our own room.

Our friends stayed next door to us and we were able to open the door between our rooms and visit them very easily and chatted at night. That was a nice bonus as well.

We ate our meals in our rooms or went into town for the duration of our stay. It was handy to have mini fridges in the room so we could have some fruit and water in there whenever we wanted it.

The waterfalls were very beautiful on the property we enjoyed hiking down and wading in the the water several times during our stay. It was nice to have since there was no outdoor pool. The water was clear and refreshing. With the thick canopy over head it was also nice and cool down there as well which is nice if you're wanting to get away from the heat of the sun during the day. There was also some nice viewpoints built with chairs to relax on for quiet reading or relaxing during the day.

We had some of our wedding photos taken by the waterfalls and it was such a beautiful background. We really love waterfalls and it was part of the reason we chose the waterfall villas for our wedding.

I think everyone was very happy with our wedding the location we chose. My family came down from Canada and had never been anywhere so beautiful before, they were only sad they could not have stayed longer and seen more.

We enjoyed the fresh fruit smoothies and fruit plates every morning for breakfast. They were always very fast with serving us each morning. Some of our guests opted for whole wheat banana nut pancakes which they raved about. I guess they are not used to eating so healthy!

The only thing that would have made it easier during our extended stay here would just be an internet connection or in room phone. We had almost no cell phone reception there and borrowed the owners to make calls and had to go into Dominical to use the internet to communicate with family members and tours we arranged. So that was a little difficult since we were in such an isolated area.

I would recommend that people traveling here either take a complete vacation from phones and the internet or make sure anyone you need to communicate with is at the villas otherwise it can be hard having to find a phone or drive to the internet cafe to send an email.

My mother unfortunately broke her leg the first day she came to Costa Rica before our wedding and was staying somewhere else, that is the reason we needed to be able to be in contact with her more often and we did not anticipate that we would need to have internet or phone at our disposal.

Aside from this the villas are very relaxing and a great place to get away from day to day life if you need a total break from the modern world.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank tropicaltravels6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2010

Cascadas Farallas lived up to every positive review we read and more. The commitment of the owners, Fateh and Franco, to running a green resort is nothing short of impressive. They are dedicated to reforestation in an effort to protect the wildlife sanctuary that exists in this unique rainforest environment. We thoroughly enjoyed every scrumptious bite of the decadent, inventive food we were served. Our room was meticulously cleaned each day. We fell asleep each night to the soothing sounds of the waterfall and rainforest. The grounds are stunning, decorated with contemporary Balinese art and architecture. Although we opted to venture off-site, we could have just as easily relaxed on the premises the entire trip. We look forward to returning in the future.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kirkjd11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Junction, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2010

If you are in the Dominical area and need a place to stay, Waterfall Villas is the place to go. Franco, Fateh are terrific and make sure you are comfortable and if you need anything they will do there best to get it for you. The hotel is in a nice area, if you sleep with the screen open you can hear the waterfall which will eventually put you to a comfortable sleep. We had our wedding there, and it was a well organized event. Fateh and Franco did a terrific job organizing everything and Raven made the ceremony a memorable one. I personally believe that Raven is the best in what she does, considering what I have seen in other weddings. While you are at the hotel, you will have the opportunity to see some of Costa Rica's beautiful wildlife. The food is terrific. The meals are served hot and fresh and gives you the opportunity to experience other cultures food styles. Do not let the opportunity pass you by if you are in the Dominical area!!! Its an experience of a lifetime. Relaxing, peaceful and a opportunity of a lifetime.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mike_akane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olathe, Kansas
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2010

My husband and I stayed at Cascadas Farallas/Waterfall Villas for a week this March and we were blown away with the magnificence and magic of our experience! Fateh and Franco go above and beyond making each guest feel relaxed, unstressed, and comfortable in every way possible. The villa itself- designed by Franco and Fateh themselves- with its amazing Balinese architecture and decor, open-air design, and gorgeous attention to the smallest details in craftsmanship and beauty, while still incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable materials and practices, is absolutely stunning and inspiring! We stayed in the Butterfly Villa and it is awesome in both its beauty and comfort: king-size Balinese bed, huge jet tub, outdoor balcony with comfortable Balinese style chairs to enjoy the beauty of the view overlooking the creek and rainforest, air conditioner, bamboo, stucco, tile, limestone, granite, marble, and local lava rock accents throughout the large room, and stunning artwork, furniture, and decor. We were fortunate enough to be able to view a number of the other villas and they are each individual, yet stunningly gorgeous like ours.

Franco and Fateh are both experienced world travelers and previous corporate world business managers and owners, so are very professional, yet their goal is to provide a healing, natural, eco-friendly, and small so easily customized and able to provide one-on-one attention to their guests retreat from the corporate, fast-paced lifestyle so many of us live in today. They exceed their goal exceptionally.

We purchased the full meals package and while my husband, who is not vegetarian nor raw, was pleasantly surprised and impressed with how delicious the food was and was also impressed and quickly put at ease by Fateh's customized attention asking if he preferred to have fresh-caught fish some evenings, also. The food was beautifully and freshly prepared and presented and bursting with flavor. A couple of evenings we had the pleasure of sitting down to a cozy and comfortable dinner with other visiting guests, which was a treat getting to meet other interesting people. Other nights the two of us were treated to a private dining experience in the gorgeous, natural, yet elegant setting. Breakfasts and lunches were also delicious and satisfying, and we never went hungry. My husband specifically asked me to be sure and mention how happy he was with the food especially considering how nervous he was, initially, about spending an entire week at a vegetarian/vegan/raw food establishment. (He thought he would feel as if he were going to practically starve to death!)

We took Fateh and Franco's advice and used their transportation service to pick us up from the airport and drive us to the Villa and are thankful we did, as we doubt we would have found it very easily with such a distance to drive with different street and highway signs and markers than we would have been used to in the U.S. The driver made stops along the way to let us take pictures of scarlet macaws in the trees along the way, crocodiles in the river, and enjoy lunch at a restaurant (we arrived at the airport at noon), and stop at the street-side fresh fruit stands. We had the same friendly driver on our return ride to the airport and remembering we were both firefighters, he offered to stop at a fire station along our route and spoke with the local firefighters who then gave us a tour of their station and took pictures with us. Just one example of the numerous wonderful ways every one of the guides Franco and Fateh set up for each of our outings we undertook while staying with them, went above and beyond in their hospitality and friendliness, even simple rides to and from the airport.

After two days of hiring a taxi driver to transport us to and from our tour destinations, we felt comfortable enough with the road and driving style to rent our own vehicle, which was nice having the freedom and accessibility to go where we may want on a whim whenever we wanted. The cars are all manual transmissions due to the very hilly terrain and mileage and speeds are classified in kilometers as are in most other countries, other than the U.S. They do drive on the right-hand side of the road like in the U.S., there are no real shoulders on the paved (and curvy) roads, and vehicles commonly pass at anytime, but once we got used to the slight differences we were very comfortable driving even to distant larger towns. We needed only ask Franco about renting a vehicle and he arranged to have one for us the next morning.

We were there for a week, late in March and the temperature was in the low 90 degrees (F), I would guess, moderately humid, with lows in the 60's or low 70's at night. We packed a couple long-sleeved shirts and jackets, but never needed them. Next time we will no not to even bother with them. We did bring a pair of jeans apiece for us as we knew we would be riding horses. Make sure you bring some hiking shoes as the hikes are well worth doing.

Domincal, the nearest town, is approximately 5 minutes away by car and is a quaint little touristy, hippy-like surfer town with a rather well varied selection of food and restaurants, little tourist shops featuring local artist wares, a bank to exchange money, surfing, dive, and ocean fishing shops, nightlife with live music, dancing, and karaoke different nights of each week, and lots of interesting people from numerous countries- many who are surfers and sun seekers. Domincal is known as the best surfing area in the country and its long length of white sand beach shaded with coconut trees and gorgeous blue ocean cresting with waves is gorgeous. There are numerous other beaches all along the western coast there, all within 15 minutes of Dominical, that Franco and Fateh are happy to provide information and directions to.

Every single one of our hikes and tours we did, and their guides, were fantastic! Out of all our wonderful and fun experiences and tours we partook in though, my favorite of all was hiking to the huge waterfall with Franco. It is a moderately hard hike for some people due to starting at 2500 feet elevation, hiking down to 500 feet elevation to the falls, and then having to hike back up to return to the vehicle, but it is so incredibly worth it. Once you reach the falls, you can swim in the large pool below it, climb on the ledge and immerse yourself in the falls themselves, and take pictures, and you eat a picnic lunch provided by Franco and Fateh and can hike further up to see the higher area of the falls if you like, or remain relaxing at the foot. Franco points out many interesting tidbits of information regarding the local flora and fauna, exotic birds, and picks fruit and edible flowers along the way for you to try.

I am in love and enchanted by the country and people of Costa Rica. We ziplined, rodes horses through the rainforest, hiked, played in the ocean, visited Corcovado National Park (accessable only by by boat), saw tons of gorgeous flora and fauna, wildlife, scarlet macaws, birds, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, white-faced coaties, and other critters, relaxed in the simple yet elegant comfort of the Villas, enjoyed the beauty and serenity of being immersed in the rainforest as we relaxed while listening to the running water below us, practiced yoga in the mornings with Fateh and her guests next to the running stream, ate amazingly delicious and healthy food, met so many fine, hard-working, sweet, and humble people of an unspoiled beautiful and forward-thinking country, and just had the dream vacation of a lifetime. We definitely plan on returning and bringing more family and friends whom we know will be as enthralled as us by Waterfall Villas and Costa Rica. Thank you Franco and Fateh. It would not have been the same without your beautiful generosity and hospitality.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank firefightress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2010

Just returned home yesterday. I am speechless. I have tears in my eyes right now. If you want paradise, bliss, soaring health, and discover the true meaning of who you are. Please visit this wonderful place. This was not a vacation but a tremendous learning experience for my family and I.

Much love to you Fateh and Franco. You guys are wonderful beings of light. I am making plans through the internet to return as i speek.
Pam

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank panther71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
352 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2010

We were told the drive from the airport to our destination would take 4 hours. We flew into the airport at 5:00, the sunsets at 6:00. Connect the dots. The roads are dark; we were told to avoid "Cerro de la Muerte" AKA the "Hill of death" and make sure to have a GPS. OK, done and done.
The drive was dark and long, the GPS moody, and the locals seem to enjoy sitting on the sides of the roads. However as we reached the property, and saw a path of lit torches we knew it was worth the drive.
This place really is a tucked away gem. The villas are clean, styled right and back up to waterfalls. From our balcony we viewed Morpho Butterflies the size of my hand. On my first run up the hiking trail I encountered a Toucan flying over my head. Jesus Christ Lizards did indeed walk on water. This place did have a magical feel to it. The hosts Fateh and Franco Ying/Yang their way around your stay; giving you as much attention or privacy as you would prefer. My wife who is a yoga instructor loved the outdoor morning Yoga with Fateh. Situated on a flat rock surface next to the trickle of the waterfalls, even this yoga agnostic had to join in. Our family took the extended off site waterfall (swim) hike with Franco. I would highly recommend it. Franco will have you eating things off trees you never even knew existed, and they taste great! He also set us up for some great horse back riding on the beach, and recommended zip-lining that our young girls could handle with aplomb.
All in all, in our many years of travel, we would put this stay on our top ten list. Kudos to our hosts, you've created a diamond in the rainforest.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Traderjoey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas

Property: Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas
Address: 3 miles NE of Dominical | calle principal direction San Isidro, Dominical 99999, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Dominical
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Dominical
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Dominical
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Intimate and romantic eco-resort with 6 luxurious Balinese tropical style suites, with private Waterfalls, full Spa, and organic meal services. The Waterfall Villas specializes in Exotic Honeymoon packages, Waterfall destination Weddings, Raw foods / Vegan packages and Spa Detox packages. The property is a Romantic Wellness Retreat in the exotic jungle of Costa Rica where the energy of our very own private Waterfalls will resonate into your body, mind and soul with healing and rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas Hotel Dominical
Cascadas Farallas Waterfall Villas Costa Rica/Dominical

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