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“View is Nice.”

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Vista Ballena Hotel
Ranked #2 of 14 Uvita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“View is Nice.”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

The view is this places best feature, the food was good but nothing special, service was attentive and friendly. You can't get there without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I'd go again if with others but wouldn't make a special trip to go there on my own.

Room Tip: 4 wheel drive car a must!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cya38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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164 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
521 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 282 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Great views abound of the Pacific, once you make it up the hill... We are driving thru central america in our Jeep and this place was indeed quite a steep crawl to get to. Once there, we enjoyed the great pool, great room and quiet stay with a restaurant that overlooks the setting sun. Pricing is fair for Costa Rica, service is good and the wifi works well in public areas, a bit hard to get a signal from our specific room... Hope this review was helpful!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marquestra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Let me just begin by saying that I lived in the Dominical area of Costa Rica for a about a year and I have worked with MANY Costa Rican hotels, restaurants, and other companies and I have maybe never encountered one as WONDERFUL and EASY to work with as Whales & Dolphins.

After scouring the region for the best place to have my wedding reception for 70+ people, I finally decided on Whales & Dolphins for many reasons: 1) the view is unparalleled, 2) the staff was immediately responsive to my emails from the beginning (which is essential for planning from afar), 3) the food has a great reputation, 4) the price was appropriate, and 5) it was obvious from the beginning that they were eager to make the event everything I could hope for.

AND THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!! In every possible way, Whales & Dolphins and the wonderful staff there (especially Raul) was exceptional and the reception FAR EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS (which were really high).

PLANNING: I am so grateful that they did not get sick of me in all the billions of emails I sent to them. I emailed back and forth with Raul (the most wonderful manager ever) about the reception logistics for over an entire year and he was ALWAYS very quick to respond to emails and endlessly accommodating (for those in the US, you might expect this sort of service but I can tell you it is VERY rare in Costa Rica so be sure to appreciate it when you get it). They quickly answered any/all questions that came up and were happy to accommodate any new thing!

UPON ARRIVAL IN COSTA RICA: Once I got back down to Costa Rica a week or two before the wedding, I went to chat with Whales & Dolphins and I was SO pleased. It was already apparent that they had thought everything through! They were even repainting the pool deck to make it bright and new for the reception, they had all sorts of thoughts and options for the linens on the tables, they had already drawn up table seating options, they had thought through where the band would go, they'd already purchased beautiful vases to go with flowers on the tables, they showed me the beautiful fruit art sculptures that they would include for the dinner, etc etc - they had thought through every single tiny detail!! I was very worried about the cost of alcohol and Raul went WAY out of his way to help. He even went to San Isidro himself to buy all of the alcohol to get me a better bulk price.

THE BIG DAY: I don't even know how to express how grateful I am for the incredible effort on the part of Whales & Dolphins for my reception. It was a level BEYOND beautiful. The guests could not stop talking about it. My guests arrived to W&D after the beach ceremony and were greeted by servers walking around with appetizers and several bartenders quickly giving out delicious drinks. They served my guests as they watched the epic sunset from the most beautiful vantage point in the area while my fiance and I took sunset photos on the beach. After my fiance and I arrived, the buffet dinner was quickly put out and all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!! Even now (already a week later), I still have people talking about how good that food was! The fish was just delicious! The kabobs were wonderful! Everything was amazing - I was actually shocked! Many people went back for seconds after they realized how delicious it was! We did speeches while people ate and, ever so quietly and effectively, the servers picked up finished plates and replaced them with tasty chocolate desserts. After dinner, the band started to play and we all danced! It was SO fun! The one word I can repeatedly use to describe my experience with W&D is accomodating! At one point, I explained to Raul that I wanted to do a high-end scotch toast to my father who had passed away a year ago and he quickly passed out 70+ shots to all guests of the lovely Glenfiddich that we'd brought. Later that night, I had asked for some late-night snacks to come out and, as part of that, I had brought about 50 Trits (the most amazing Costa Rican ice cream sandwiches) to the hotel the day before to surprise my husband who loves them. Raul was nice enough to cut them all in half, plate them and bring them out at 11pm and WOW were they a HIT! After the band packed up a few hours later in the evening, we switched to an ipod playlist that we'd made. Unfortunately, the house stereo system isn't really loud enough for dancing music (that's really the only thing I'd suggest they upgrade if they want to have big parties without bands) but it was so late in the night that people didn't seem to mind too much and instead of dancing - everyone jumped into the pool! I even jumped in with my wedding dress on! And once again, Raul and the W&D staff were just lovely - they even brought out some towels for guests to use afterward. At the end of the night, the staff waited patiently as all guests were picked up in shuttles and brought back to their accommodation (if I were to do it again, have everyone stay at the hotel would be AMAZING!!)

Honestly, every single thing was right on time, done with quiet ease, and executed flawlessly.

IT WAS PERFECTION!!

Thank you, Whales & Dolphins, for making my wedding day and night everything I hoped it could be. I'm SO SO SO grateful! And thank you, Raul, for being such a pleasure to work with and a calm, happy presence in the midst of wedding planning chaos!! You're the best!

I recommend Whales & Dolphins for wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, a lovely dinner or just drinks and maybe a dip in the pool. The staff is unbeatable. The food is delicious. The view is spectacular. You won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank echynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cooperstown, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Not to be missed! Do please make sure that you have appropriate vehicle to get there and a designated driver to get you down the hill if you are not staying there but- the food, staff and especially the view will make you want to stay awhile! We had a wedding reception here that rocked- lots of people in the pool by the end of the night! Spectacular sunset! If you are in the area of Whales and Dolphins do yourself a favor- get off the main road and get elevated and elated at this fantastic destination!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank forkintheroadreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weybridge, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We were recommended to go have lunch in this restaurant whilst visiting Uvita for the day and we are so pleased that we did. The hotel's elevated position offers spectacular views of the Whales Tail of Uvita beach.

We had a lovely lunch which was very reasonably priced and we were looked after brilliantly by Marvin, our waiter. After lunch we asked if we could finish our drinks and relax by the pool; not only were we shown to a shaded area by the pool we were told that we could use the pool facilities and we were also provided with towels. The whole afternoon was just perfect and all the staff, but in particular Marvin, were friendly and polite and we left feeling like we had been really looked after well.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnaHarrison2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

I have just returned from a 5 day stay at Whales and Dolphins and can genuinely say they have the best employees I have ever come across. Warm, friendly, helpful and so cheerful! Particular thanks to Jason and Raul for looking after me and making sure I had a wonderful stay.
The rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious and all have balconies offering the same incredible view over Playa Hermosa and the Whale's Tail.
The food is excellent - I strongly recommend taking Raul's advice on the specials. I did and was treated to an incredible tuna in a sweet soy sauce and possibly the best beef tenderloin in red wine I've ever had. The ceviche is also superb.
I hope to return some day.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

I was here last year for New Years and returned this year over Christmas and the owners just continue to improve on something that is hard to improve on. It's been a little over a year since they took over and they have made it a warm friendly place to stay and relax. The staff; Raul, Roger, Johnny, Jason they are all amazing. You cannot beat the view from here. You get the view of the ocean the jungle and the "Whales Tail" and the sunsets from here are breath taking. For the wildlife lovers there are a couple of sloths who have moved into the area and some young capuchin monkeys made an appearance one day. It's a bit of everything, and something for everyone. The incredible beaches are only about 15 minutes from the hotel.

Room Tip: Just ask the desk staff, they won't steer you wrong.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaWildenhaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vista Ballena Hotel

Property: Vista Ballena Hotel
Address: Jardines del Morete | 17 Km. Sur de Playa Dominical, Uvita de Osa 1 Puntarenas, Uvita 60504, Costa Rica (Formerly Hotel Whales and Dolphins)
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Vista Ballena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vista Ballena hotel, perched in the hills of Costa Rica's wild southern coast, is more than a tropical resort. Here, in the world's most ecologically diverse setting, you will discover nature's hidden treasures and sustenance for the soul. Our 20 room hotel is set high among the mountainous jungles of Costa Ballena. Enjoy exquisite views of the “Whale’s Tail” sandbar as it extends into the warm ocean waters and witness humpback whales cresting as they pass. Surrounded by lush rainforest and pristine coral-lined beaches, Vista Ballena is a place of solace and discovery in an otherwise untouched land. Paradise after all, is not just a destination, it is what stirs inside us when we set our eyes on the sublime wonders and wisdom of the natural world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whales & Dolphins Ecolodge Hotel Uvita
Whales And Dolphins Ecolodge
Vista Ballena Hotel Costa Rica/Uvita

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