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“3 nights”

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Las Terrazas de Ballena
Ranked #7 of 14 Uvita B&B and Inns
Westerham
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“3 nights”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

We couldn't get our hired Nissan up the unmade road, it was so steep and rough, A 4 wheeled drive vehicle is really essential. So it wasn't a good start. We had to walk the last 400 metres...cursing all the way, without our cases. Helen eventually arrived, and bought up our cases in her truck, sorted out a place for our car ...at the bottom of the hill. 4 x 4 Taxis will make it easily, and only charge a couple of dollars.
The wonderful noises of the birds,Toucans, cicadas, monkeys etc make it worthwhile. With lovely views, a great swimming pool and only 3 lodges altogether, all beautifully furnished, it is a luxurious spot to stay. It's a shame there is no longer a Restaurant, The breakfast was minimal, being only fruit and coffee. There is a small undercover outside kitchen, with sink, electric rings and a fridge, you could bring up your own food for the day, and there is a BBQ if needed by the swimming pool. We really enjoyed it despite the initial access problems

Room Tip: Only 3 to choose from, all beautifully positioned.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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125 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

We had an interesting experience with this hotel. First the pros. The hotel is located up a hill overlooking the Marina de Ballena. The view is incredible. The rooms are very nicely designed with big comfortable king size beds and tasteful furnishings. The rooms have air conditioning and TVs, although we never turned the TV on. The bathrooms are gorgeous. The grounds are lovely.

There is a small pool that is nice to cool down in. We also liked that each room had a little kitchenette area with a refridgerator, dishes, pots and pans and some utensils, although only one spoon. There is a two burner hotplate. Only one burner worked on ours.

Hellen was very welcoming and invited us to join her and her boyfriend for drinks in Dominical. It was nice of her and we had a good time.

There is a sweet kitty named Gray who lives at the hotel and is very friendly. We let him in our room in the morning and he loved to snuggle with us.

On to the cons. The property is located up a long, very steep, very rough hill. A 4 x 4 vehicle is essential. Even with our 4 x 4 in the dry season we would stall because our little Daihtsu didn't have a low enough gear.

Our neighbors didn't rent a 4 x 4 and they could not get up the hill. They had read in the 2010 Lonely Planet Costa Rica guide that the hotel had a restaurant, so they weren't too worried about not having a car until they learned there is no restaurant. However, Hellen was very accommodating and would pick them up and drop them off when they needed it.

Another con is we were informed when we checked in that breakfast was only fruit and coffee. This was news to us. While the fruit was great, I cannot survive on fruit and coffee for breakfast. For the price we paid for the room a more substantial breakfast should have been included. Even without a kitchen they could have provided granola and cereals, bread, yogurt - all things that don't require cooking.

Taking a shower was another adventure. We could never get a comfortable water temperature. It would either be too cold or too hot. I didn't mention this to Hellen as I assumed it was a quirk of the on demand water heater. But the night before we left, our neighbors mentioned they didn't have a problem with their shower.

Another strange and uncomfortable thing was the night guard/gardner winked at me twice and made a kissing gesture. It made me very uncomfortable.

Also, my husband got stung by a wasp and discovered there was a wasp nest under our balcony. The gardner saw my husband get stung and saw the wasp nest. He made a gesture like he would get rid of the nest, but he never did. I was always worried I would get stung.

Lastly, twice we were woken up at 6am by the sound of chainsaws cutting down perfectly fine trees right next to the property. It was so disturbing to see these beautiful trees felled and cut apart for seemingly no reason. We didn't come to the rainforest to see the destruction of it. Apparently it was not something Hellen could control, but it was the straw that broke the camels back and we ended up leaving the hotel early to stay in another hotel. Before the second time of being worken up by the chainsaws we tried to get a refund, but Hellen wasn't willing.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tandembiker65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West London
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2011

We were a party of four and booked to stay here for one night before heading back to San Jose from Manuel Antonio. Our stay was during green season so the area was very quiet...and wet in the afternoon!

I cant comment to much as our stay was very brief but Hellen was fantastic and told us everything we needed to know about the area from the best restaurants to cheapest supermarket she also booked our whale trip for us at very late notice. We were allowed use of the rooms after checkout time to shower and clean up after out whale trip.

The accommodation is up the side of a hill (4*4 rqd) overlooking the national park and surrounded by forest of which you are guaranteed to see some excellent birding wildlife including the chestnut-mandibled toucan (we saw at least ten on two occasions!).

The rooms are lovely and clean, the location is excellent if you want a peace and quiet. If you are a large family I would recommend booking all three rooms and having the entire place to yourselves. The pool is small but lovely to sit around during the day whilst watching hummingbirds flutter around the nearby shrubs/flowers. We could hear the Howler monkeys on a several occasions although we never saw them but Hellen did say they don't normally come through the area at this time of year but they are often seen during the dry season.

It was a shame I couldn't stay longer.

Would I stay here again? MOST DEFINATELEY.

Room Tip: All the rooms are similar but excellent in terms of cleanliness and comfort and views etc.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Jeff(Livin)Stone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leuven, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed 9 September 2011

Las terrazas is located in a beautiful spot, best reachable by 4x4, surrounded by the sounds beauty of nature, but not 'too much' in the jungle, with a nice view of the ballena tale at the beach. Very close was the beach and all of the entrances of the national ballena park. There were also some restaurants and a supermarket and bakery.
The service of Hellen, the manager and the cleaning staff was excellent. The lodge was very beautifully decorated and clean. The staff helped us with all our questions, about amenities, restaurantreservations and tourist attractions. She even made and drew a elaborated map with all the best places around and helped us with making our route to the other part of Costa Rica.
Outside of the lodges a small but nice pool and a modern deck with lounge chairs was available. The outdoor kitchen and private sunbathing lounge were very practical.
All around it was a very nice experience!

Room Tip: the tucan lodge is near to the pool and closer to the entrance. The one besides it, is the same. Bot...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank matthijs m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 August 2011

Although it's quite a way from the main road, this well designed and well run small hotel is set in immaculate gardens and was the nicest place we stayed in on a tour of Costa Rica. Whoever designed the spacious air conditioned bungalows, each with their own shady veranda, a sun drenched terrace, comfy loungers and an outdoor kitchenette has definitely got a gift! We stayed here 1 night on our way back from Drake Bay and deeply regretted we hadn't stayed there on our way down while we explored the area the previous week.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank chuddington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, District of Columbia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2011

The hotel consists of three bungalows tucked into the side of a cliff, overlooking the ocean. It's about a mile up the hill on a gravel road and having 4WD made it much easier going. They serve delicious fruit and coffee for breakfast - all other meals are on your own. But there are plenty of great places to eat in the area, from roadside places for fresh fish to gourmet restaurants (we loved Citrus). The rooms are lovely and well-kept and the outdoor spaces are wonderful. We had breakfast on our patio each morning, spent plenty of time in our hammock, and enjoyed the pool. The local beach was filled with Ticos and we didn't see too many other foreigners while we were there. The owner Hellen goes out of her way to make sure you enjoy your stay--she's wonderful. I highly recommend this place for folks who want to enjoy the beauty of the coast from a slightly less touristy perspective.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Magio921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2011

We recently stayed 3 nights at Las Terrazas. We loved Uvita and thought it was a great place to visit away from the crowds. The rooms are excellent and it was great to have air conditioning and a shower after our week down in Osa. The verandas are a great place to relax. Enjoyed the pool. The manager Hellen made us a hand drawn map of the area which was really helpful. She also arranged a snorkeling boat tour to cano island which was fantastic. Her recommendation of "Exotica" for dinner was also excellent. The food at this french restaurant was the best! There were only 2 things that made staying here a challenge- there is no food other than a breakfast of fruit and coffee. If you want food you need to travel to town 1km down a steep and bumpy road. However, if you plan in advance you can have food bought and use the kitchenette to cook. The first 2 nights we were the only guests and on site with a guard. This felt a little awkward and uncomfortable at first. I would probably rather be at a location where management or owners are on site. Would have liked more time in this area.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EmeraldCityTraveler8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Las Terrazas de Ballena

Property: Las Terrazas de Ballena
Address: 1 km up road across from the Gas station, Uvita, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Las Terrazas de Ballena 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the hills above Ballena National Park is nestled Costa Rica's smallest Jungle Boutique Hotel - Las Terrazas de Ballena. With its spectacular ocean views of the "Whales Tail" reef and Cano Island, the Las Terrazas de Ballena has furnishings inspired and imported from Thailand. Las Terrazas de Ballena is a three-acre compound that looks like is is floating in the jungle. The bungalows and our tropical swimming pool have the same spectacular view of the only Whale Park in Costa Rica (Ballena National Park). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Las Terrazas De Ballena Costa Rica/Uvita

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