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“Better than the photos!”

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Kura Design Villas Uvita
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 11 August 2013

My husband and I just returned from a 4 night stay at the Kura Design Villas. We were amazed at the views, the design and the friendly staff. This was the third and most spectacular place we visited in costa rica. here is a summary of our stay:

the villas -
wow, you could tell these were designed with so much thought and intention. we stayed for 2 nights in the junior villa and 2 nights in the infinity villa. the junior villa seemed larger but i think it was just the layout. the only thing that was weird was the bed placement you felt like you were in the middle of the room. very minor though. the junior villa had so much counter space and nooks and crannies to place your items. the infinity villa had an amazing view. all in all not sure the infinity villa is worth the extra money but both rooms are quite beautiful. we loved the double rain showers and the products smelled delicious in the shower. we loved the outdoor space in front of the villa and spent time reading on our hammock. the turndown service was really special with candlelit ambiance. on the night of my birthday they left some gorgeous flower petals in the room in a beautiful design.

arrival/ride up the mountain -
as you may have read from other reviews, the hotel is on top of a large hill/mountain. the ride up/down is very extreme on a dirt road and is steep at a few points. we opted to park our rental in the designated kura lot in uvita and get a ride with the hotel the first day we arrived. we didnt have a cell phone since we are from out of the country and therefore didnt really have a way to contact the hotel when we arrived at the parking lot. we thought we had arranged a 3pm pick up via email prior to that day. when we arrived we werent even sure if we were in the correct lot as there is one small sign and its basically someone's home which we werent expecting. we tried to speak our limited spanish to the owners of the house who seemed confused. they did end up calling kura for us but we didnt get picked up for another 45 mins. i guess we were supposed to give them more notice than that so if you dont have a cell we recommend that you try to call in advance of getting to the lot in uvita. maybe find a pay phone if those even exist? we waited for 45 mins in the lot and didn't know if we were even getting picked up it was a little odd. no one mentioned the long wait to us. just a small inconvenience because costa rica is a lovely place to be waiting outside but wish we had just understood the process better prior to arrival.

pool-
the pool is gorgeous. the views go on and on all around. the water was easy to swim in the majority of the time (temperature wise). it was very clean and well maintained (as is the entire property). we enjoyed swimming at sunset with a drink by the pool.

access road-
this is the only sort of negative in our opinion. we were told there is a free shuttle at 10am and one back at 130 pm. its a little limiting since all excursions start really early. knowing the road situation we rented a 4x4 but were nervous to drive up the first time based on reviews. we did try the next day and didnt realize the small suv had a button you needed to press to engage the all wheel drive.needless to say we got half way up one steep section and had to back up because we ran out of gusto. that was a little scary but we eventually made it and realized our mistake. also apparently having the ac on takes some power away as well. it takes a while to get into town and back so this sort of added extra time and stress to leaving/arriving the hotel throughout the day. once you leave you dont really want to be driving back and forth all day. you can just pay them 10-15 dollars to bring you up and down at your leisure but since we had the 4x4 we decided to utilize it.

restaurant/food-
the food was great. for the size of the hotel there was a decent selection. the breakfast was our favorite. you would be provided with a plate full of fruit and some warm fresh bread then you ordered an entire breakfast. the egg s Benedict is very good. the portions are large for a nice restaurant. the service is excellent (all staff members were very friendly and so were the owners.) the chopped salad, shrimp, beef and chocolate cake were among our faves. i spent my birthday there and adam was kind enough to bring out a piece of dessert with a candle on it and sang in spanish!

excursions/uvita-
there are some great beaches in the area and waterfalls. we drove to the playa hermosa and swam during low tide. be very careful during high tide at all beaches as the waves are insane. there is free parking at hermosa and the beach was so quiet and desolate. kura let us borrow a cooler for our snacks/beers and some chairs which was really nice of them.

we hiked to the small $1 waterfall on the entrance road in the rain which was fun. worth the buck to go see but not as magnificent as the other waterfalls in the area.

we did the dolphin/whale cruise where we were told it was a combo tour with snorkelling. we really only wanted to go in order to snorkel and there was no snorkelling on trip. it was essentially a 4 hour boat tour with no bathroom, no swimming and no whales. we thought it was way over priced at 80 dollars a person. we didn't get lunch or anything. we sat on the boat the entire 4 hours and were whipped all around, and someone was puking the whole time. not sure if this is worth the money in our opinion. maybe if it was 30 dollars and you got to actually snorkel! we really regretted going and spending 160 dollars. the dolphins were pretty though. we also drove down to dominical which is a touristy spot with beach side dining (casual) and souvenir shops.

all in all kura is a magnificent, unique, friendly place to spend a vacation. the staff and owners are warm, and very accommodating people! we loved costa rica, the people, the beautiful country and kura as well. it is a long journey to get there but so worth it! you wont regret it!

Room Tip: we stayed in the infinity villa and the junior villa. both were gorgeous. the infinity villa had a b...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank bos_traveler44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 August 2013

Kura Design Villas is a unique, gorgeous small hotel perched on the crest of a mountain overlooking the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The six villas provide a sense of complete privacy and oneness with the lush, green jungle environment. The owners are an architect and a biologist who have left out no detail to create a tranquil setting for their guests to experience heaven on earth. The infinity pool on the ledge of the roof is amazing and we took way more photos of it than necessary just, I suppose, to convince ourselves it was real! Thanks, Kura,
for choosing sustainability by using local resources and craftspeople in creating a truly beautiful place!

Room Tip: The Any room is perfect.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank cogan122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013 via mobile

If I could give this place a 10, I would.
My husband and I came here for a two night getaway after seeing it on Jetsetter.com (formerly sniqueaway). We have been to Costa Rica numerous times and we love the quaintness of the uvita area so we gave it a shot.

We were literally in awe of this place from the second we arrived. The views from every single room, especially the pool, even the pool bathrooms, is to die for. Pictures and words do not do this place justice.

The staff is amazing. So nice and accommodating. The rooms are like no other I have ever seen with the double rainfall shower and the open air ability...heaven. The bed was comfy and the room was very well appointed.

The food was good. The menu is limited but I always found something I liked. It is on the gourmet side, which isn't how I usually prefer meals, but it was good, priced reasonably for where you are, all the way up in the mountains.

You know how you're always curious is the resort website pictures are misleading? Well, in this case, yes, they are misleading because this place is even better than the website or any pictures online. You MUST go. Perfect for a romantic getaway.

And about the road...it's part of the adventure. We had a 4x4 rental and we loved driving up the mountain.

Absolutely no complaints here. Go.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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7  Thank NoleGirl0923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

We stayed at Kura for our honeymoon. It was absolutely incredible. The views are breathtaking, the resort design is unique and the people working there are very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The air even smells amazing from the flowers. Most importantly the hotel is sustainable (local produce, salt water pool, solar power, and non-toxic products, among other things). The pool/bar area is very nice as well as the private beach (they offer a free shuttle). It's hard to find the right words to describe the room we stayed in! Open shower, all glass walls on one side with an expansive view of the ocean! Everyone who worked there was so nice! We truly enjoyed our experience and would highly recommend this place! Also, they were more than happy to create a gluten free, vegetarian menu for me! We also utilized their private shuttle service from San Jose Airport (for an extra fee).

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank leaf r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

We stayed at this resort at the end of July with another couple for 3 nights. From the moment we arrived I knew this place was unique and very special. Words do no justice for this beautiful and romantic place, you simply have to experience it for yourself. The moment we arrived we were greeted by the friendly staff and taken upstairs to where the bar, pool and lounge area is and served a refreshing Jaguar drink after our 4 hr drive from San Jose. From there we were shown our villa and we were in awe! The spaciousness, the view, the coziness, it totally blew us away! The shower was open on both ends and the glass that enclosed the room by the shower could be opened to give an open air feeling to the rain forrest outside with the sounds of nature echoing in the background. The food was spectacular even though the menu was limited it still offered a variety of items. Breakfast was no ill fated ordeal and was included. It started out with a sweet and tasty plate of fruit, (all grown in Costa Rica) and a basket of warm homemade banana bread, the food was very reasonably priced as well. The view from every step you take is amazing. We heard the howling monkeys but didn't see them (probably because of the weather) but did see a toucan right outside our balcony in the tree. We were always addressed by our first names and given the up most personalized treatment. We had great conversations with Adam whether at the bar or just relaxing by the pool and Martin and Alejandra (the Owners) were always around working and sharing information about the place they built and the Costa Rica cultures. So in closing, this is a must visit getaway, just make sure if your going to make the drive that you get a 4x4 to venture up the mountain or if your not the brave at heart they will certainly pick you up at the bottom of the mountain.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ffighter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

Kura is the kind of place you dream about returning again and again! I researched all of the top resorts in Costa Rica while planning an itinerary for our 20th wedding anniversary and Kura was at the top of the list. I could not have imagined it would exceed all of my expectations and Martin and Ally, the owners who oversee every detail, have put Kura in a class by itself. My husband and I only stayed for 1 night on the way to the Osa Peninsula but every minute was amazing. We arrived later than expected after driving from San Jose airport in a torrential downpour after the airline lost my luggage and we got lost because the GPS was set to shortest distance/unpaved roads. Even though we had a strong 4-wheel drive, we decided to park at the bottom of the hill and called Anna for someone to pick us up because of the heavy rain. After the steep and winding drive up the hill we pulled up to the beautiful building and were met by Adam who showed us right to the dining room for dinner since he knew what a long trip we had. There are only 6 tables because there are only 6 rooms/villas and it was very quiet and peaceful. We had a wonderful dinner. The electricity went out because it was raining so hard and all of the staff was apologizing profusely. However, it only added to the romantic atmosphere. Ally brought out giant glowing balls to softly light up the area and no one seemed to mind at all. After dinner, Adam showed us to our room that was an Infinity Suite downstairs from the main pool and dining area. My husband was amazed about how spacious and beautiful the room was and said “Is this all ours?!” but then Anna came down and said they were upgrading us to a villa because it had solar electricity and we would not be in the dark. We honestly did not want to leave this incredible suite! But then we walked down to the end of the path to our incredible villa. We were speechless. We have stayed in 5 star hotels and none were as impressive as this! Even in the dark without the incredible view of the ocean the villa is simply amazing. There was a huge bouquet of tropical flowers for our anniversary, a handwritten card and homemade chocolate treats as an added surprise! The villa had every amenity and convenience including a wine fridge, bathrobes, and great quality binoculars. The next morning, we woke to a beautiful sunrise, sounds of the jungle and tropical birds and saw a toucan sitting in the tree down the hill. It was amazing that being that far up on the hill you still hear the waves crashing against the shore. I could habe sat on the terrace all day and been perfectly content. We had a delicious breakfast with amazing views of the blue sky and ocean, went for swim in the marvelous pool and sadly had to check out to get to our next destination. On the way down the hill, we saw a little waterfall and Martin stopped so I could take a photo. What really makes this place stand out besides the beauty is the service and personal attention. Ally kindly called the airlines several times to help get my luggage and her husband Martin gave my husband a detailed rundown of how the place was designed and built. My husband is in the construction business and said the pool itself is an architectural marvel. He is very picky and hardly ever impressed with anywhere we go but he cannot stop talking about Kura! We felt like were in paradise every minute during our short stay and cannot wait to return!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are stunning - the villas are a bit more private but every room is amazing
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lara A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

A truly perfect hotel!!! Can't wait to return! The combination of the perfect hotel + insuperable view + delicious food + friendly staff make it an experience of a lifetime.

The hotel couldn't be better. The architecture is beautiful and every detail is thought out. Its beauty really stands out. The rooms are amazing! Everything is spotless clean, rooms are large, nicely decorated and very comfortable. The few rooms in the hotel make it a very intimate and relaxing experience.

It was really nice to see that they were consistent in incorporating Costa Rican elements to a modern hotel. The main pieces of decoration are indigenous. It was also a nice surprise to see that the offer typical Costa Rican foods in a gourmet way in the menu. This is specially a smart thing to do because sadly most hotels offer "international" food and the tourist leaves without having experienced Costa Rican flavors.

Another good thing is that the hotel shows a real commitment to the environment, there are solar panels and a water recycling system for plants.

The restaurant was delicious! Although it is true that there are not so many options, they offer a creative menu and everything we had was perfect. Drinks at the bar were delicious too. Prices are reasonable.

The staff and owners are incredibly nice and welcoming. This makes the experience even more invaluable. They learn your name from the start and show commitment to giving you a great stay.

Overall everything is perfect, top quality and highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Valeria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kura Design Villas Uvita

Address: Costa Ballena, Uvita, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Uvita
#1 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
#4 Luxury Hotel in Uvita
Price Range: £365 - £1,081 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kura Design Villas Uvita 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kura Design Villas is an exclusive upscale boutique hotel on the Southern Coast of Costa Rica where the rainforest covered mountains tumble on to pristine beaches. Built on an impressive mountain ridge, Kura's tropical minimalist architecture provides a luxurious jungle experience and breathtaking Pacific ocean views. Kura Design Villas is part of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kura Design Villas Uvita Costa Rica

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