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“A Perfect Honeymoon!”
Review of Rancho Pacifico

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Rancho Pacifico
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2008

My husband and I are still glowing from our honeymoon at Rancho Pacifico. We spent a week there in early February, and it totally exceeded our expectations. Although we’d read the website thoroughly, we were still unprepared for what we found.

The gracious owners of Rancho Pacifico, who were there during our visit, have created a space totally nestled within the land that allows a visitor to experience the beauty of the rainforest, mountains, and Pacific Ocean all at once.

We were really glad we took their advice to leave the transportation to them. It’s a tough 4-wheel drive trek up the mountain to get to RP, and then you’re in paradise. We loved that all the rooms back into the rainforest. We were constantly bathed in the sounds of the jungle, and it was fascinating how different those were at different times of the day. The howler monkeys were pretty active at night; the cicadas were in chorus in the afternoon, beautiful birds took their turns….

At this time of year, there are few glass windows at Rancho Pacifico, just screens. We loved it. How remarkable to be in the shower (using wonderful natural products that they invite you to take home) and be able to see and hear the jungle. We just sat on our balcony to take amazing pictures.

The dining was outdoors too! That surprised me, but it was perfect. Even when it rained one day, it was completely protected and pleasant. And the FOOD. Wow. All organic, all natural, so fresh. After a couple of days, our bodies started saying, “Yes yes yes!” and we’ve never felt so good. The chef is fantastic, and treats every evening as if you’re going to a different restaurant.

Not everyone would seek out a place like Rancho Pacifico, and we were thrilled by the people we met there. They were from all over North America and Canada that week, and all ages from early thirties to seventies. But the SPIRIT of adventure and fun linked us all, and after a few nights it became a big, stimulating dinner party that we all looked forward to. We have made some good friends that we plan to keep in touch with.

The spa was great too. We had the best massages of our life. Deep tissue, hot stone massage, and lymphatic detox. The latter was the best, most productive bodywork either of us had ever had. And it was fun to take advantage of being able to have massages together, with the jungle at our door.

The staff learned our names quickly and were completely dedicated to our pleasant time. From the talented chef (dessert was always “a surprise” and spectacular…) to the waiter that would break into occasional song, to the quiet, loving bartender, maids, spa staff, even the security guy… We felt safe and cared for. The drivers were awesome, and took us anywhere we wanted to go.

We ended up staying at Rancho Pacifico during the day for 4 days of our stay, and adventured three days. The zip line tour was my favorite. I’m a plus-sized 55-year-old, and never imagined I could fly through the trees so easily. It was so liberating and exciting.

Other days we took the mangrove boat tour (seeing birds and crocodiles and sloths and monkeys up close…) and spent a day at the ocean. The beach is quiet, the water WARM. Rancho Pacifico provides chairs and coolers, a beach cabana, and a gentleman who will look after your things when you want to go in the water.

Rancho Pacifico would not be for everyone. If you want a traditional hotel experience, you may not be happy. But we will run out of superlatives in describing it to our friends, and we hope to return. It was a profound way to celebrate our marriage.

Martha and Jim
Wichita, Kansas

  • Stayed: February 2008
    • Value
1  Thank MarthaWichita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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456 - 462 of 517 reviews

Reviewed 4 February 2008

It was absolutely perfect from day one. We didn't know what to expect. Our expectations were often crushed by something more fabulous, or more beautiful or more enjoyable. It truly exceeded our expectations.
The thing that makes Rancho Pacifico so wonderful aren't the beautiful suites, or villas, or the magical chef, or the massages which give your soul and spirit a lift beyond... it's the wonderful new friends you make, the few folks that are also staying at this stunning hotel, and of course, Sylvie and Garrison, the owners, who become family in a very short period of time.
This was, by far, one of the most wonderful vacations my husband and I had - ever.
I recommend it highly, but really, truly wish it could stay a secret place....
Amy and Ken Ferris
NYC, and Pennsylvania

Stayed: January 2008
Thank ASFerris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2008

We just returned from our second visit to Rancho Pacifico and feel the need to wax poetic about this dreamy place. The minute you arrive you feel the really great energy and vibe of this unique destination. Every minute of our time at RP we felt so awakened yet so relaxed. During our first visit we felt compelled to partake in the many and varied activities you can enjoy nearby, from Zip lining to ATVing, but this time we enjoyed a more perfect balance of being in the moment of each beautiful and relaxing day as well as hiking, kayaking and nature viewing excursions. The addition of a new private beach area was a great addition as well. You can walk this beach for miles, the water is warm and the waves are perfect for body surfing. Rancho Pacific is a sensory experience from viewing the incredible panoramic vistas from the resort's perch above the Pacific, to indulging in some of the best massages of our lives while listening to the sounds of the jungle, to dining on some of the best food we have ever had.. You have not lived until you have been awoken by howler monkeys at dawn, then fall back for another round of REM before starting another day. We could not believe that we could enjoy the resort even more this time around but we did; the resort seems to really tune in to guest feedback and tweak the services in response; we enjoyed the new little touches that we found, from flowers on your pillow at turndown to, well I dont want to spoil all the surprises! The food is OUTSTANDING. Beautifully presented; deliciously AND healthfully prepared; that's right, you can have both! The staff is lovely, friendly, and fun. If you are looking for a unique, memorable and exciting holiday, check out Rancho Pacifico! And I have to say, the owners, Sylvia and Garrison are wonderful and accommodating hosts. From my experience, RP means Responsive People!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank DlwtBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2008

My boyfriend and I booked our New Years Eve 2007 stay at Rancho Pacifico well in advance and arrived with a confirmation number from both Expedia and RP in hand.

When we presented our reservation to the manager he gave us a confused look and told us that even though our stay was confirmed, he did not have a room for us and that the whole hotel was booked. Needless to say we were outraged, especially since this was the busiest tourist week of the year in Costa Rica and we had booked the room over a month ago.

The manager offered to have the owner (Garrison) come talk to us and we were hoping he would help settle the matter, but we were wrong. The second he appeared it was obvious he didn't want to deal with us. When we showed him our confirmation he told us that the problem was "between us and Expedia, not Rancho Pacifico and Expedia." We of course disagreed and it was at this point he became irate and told us to "get our stuff so he could escort us off his multi-million dollar property"! The whole episode was outlandish, and something I would have never expected from a hotel of this expense.

Upon arriving home we called Expedia and found out the same thing had happened with several other RP reservations and that they were working to remove RP from their website.

If you are thinking about booking here do yourself a favor and look around, there are many more, much nicer accomodations for less in Uvita that don't involve having to put up with an owner who doesn't have a clue about customer service.

Stayed: December 2007
15  Thank luxetravelmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ranchopacifico, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2008

The incident described here was no doubt quite disappointing to these folks. It was peak holiday season and we were completely full - with reservations that had all been made at least a year in advance and with guests who had visited us before. Unfortunately our hands were tied - we would have liked nothing more than to help in any way possible.

The facts of their brief visit was:

1) They did Not have a valid reservation
2) They never paid for anything at our hotel - nor did we receive any revenues from their reservation
3) They never received any of our pre-arrival information or guest service
4) They never confirmed their arrival

They were disappointed and Mad! - to the point that they created a very uncomfortable stir in front of a group of guests.
When asked to calm down so we could assist them, they refused.
We had no option but to suggest they leave the premises, which however softly requested, could never be perceived as anything but "rude" and "irate". Our obligation is to the privacy and enjoyment of our guests, which was being threatened. In our 2 year history, a circumstance like this had never occurred.

We had pointed out to them that the reservation system they used had simply made an error. We had a 3 night minimum during the holiday season and their reservation was for one night. We had no record of them, nor had we received any revenues for their stay.

When they reached the parking area, they had softened enough for us to offer them assistance in finding another hotel. At my direction, our concierge spent 30 minutes calling around the area - and finally came up with one room - in a brand new hotel. They agreed to take it. I asked one of our drivers to escort them to the new hotel - and help them get settled. When they got there, they looked at the room and decided not to take it - and search themselves, leaving our person - and the manager hanging.
Despite this unsatisfactory ending, we were pleased to have gone above and beyond to help them. (In fact, I personally offered them a free night at RP the following week when they informed me they would be coming back through our area)

In a case like this where there is anger, it often leads to a few inaccuracies. Their rating of us (pool, facilities, etc) was established without ever even seeing our property. The comment about Expedia is simply false - we have Never had this happen before, period. And yes, there are other hotels in our area; a simple review of our website will help potential visitors make an informed lodging decision based on our views, amenities and track record.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2007

After having been to CR a few times before on business, I decided to show my fiance' what this wonderful country had to offer. We had been to Panama the year previously and this was an opportunity to compare and contrast.

We are big users of LuxuryLink and found RP and booked our visit for a week in a 2 BR villa. This was a very wise choice and we couldn't have been happier.

Having a lot of 4 wheel experience and having driven in CR before, I decided to rent a FWD SUV in San Jose after flying in on the new non-stop Frontier flight from Denver. A warning; if you are not familiar with off-road driving, I would advise NOT renting your own car. The road up to RP, especially at night, can be a bit tricky. But once we reached the property, it was Nirvana! From the warm greeting by the friendly staff and from the owners, Garrison and Silvia, we were made to feel more like family than guests.

The rooms, the food, the surroundings, all gave us the rain forest eco-lodge feeling we were looking for. From being awakened by the howler monkey and bird symphony to toasting the sunset with the incredible drinks at the communal bar, we made the most of each day (and night).

Being in the Uvita area and having a car, allowed us to really take advantage of all the things to do along the south Pacific coast. From the mangroves on the Sierpe river to the great unpopulated beaches for body surfing, we enjoyed every minute.

We would highly recommend this part of CR and RP, in particular. If you want an adventure and an eco-lodge experience, but with luxury you wouldn't normally expect to find in the clouds overlooking the Pacific, this is the place.

Thank you all at RP, we will be back!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MtnBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2007

I visited Rancho Pacifico last week with my husband and another couple for my 50th birthday. While getting there from San Jose by car is not easy, it certainly was worth it. Our rooms (which were among the least expensive) were beautiful and comfortable, with gorgeous stone tile bathrooms featuring a double shower and plenty of space. We awoke to howler monkeys and a magnificent panaroma of wild rain forest. We had read that the food was good and it far exceeded our expectations--we had dinner at the hotel every night (and once you make it up that road you will not want to go down again!)--so it was important that we had a great meal to look forward to. Chef Alex served beautiful soups with a hint of heat, lovely salads, stunning fish and diet-busting desserts--but hey it's a vacation right? Garrison and Silvia (the owners) did everything possible to reach out to their guests--including hosting a cocktail party in their suite one night as well as a champagne toast for me on my birthday--sweet and over the top generous. They are a super attractive couple inside and out...The staff was excellent with one exception..we all thought the people booking excursions did not do a great job of giving you all the options and letting you know the parameters of when you had to be there, etc. So--one piece of advice is to ask lots of questions and don't accept the first option offered if you want something different. Also do your homework. The beaches near the hotel are beautiful, we had fun ziplining and we had a terrific excursion to the Corcavado National park--a full day's outing. One of my favorite days was just relaxing by the pool at the hotel and being served lunch on the beautiful outside terrace. I loved my stay here--very very special.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank yoginigolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2007

We are writing this review to help the discerning traveler. Originally, for our Costa Rica vacation, we were trying to decide between Rancho Pacifico and two other resorts. Now we know we made the right decision.

We could go on and on about how outstanding the massage therapists (Marco and Vivien) are; how delicious the food cooked by Alex and Juan are; how marvelous the staff is (e.g. the waiter Marvin); how beautiful the resort is, and how exciting the excursions are...but you can can get all that by reading one of the "5-star" reviews above.

After doing a lot of research about resorts in Costa Rica, reading every review on this site, traveling extensively around the world, and experiencing Rancho Pacifico for 7 days during the rainy season, we offer the following comments:

In our opinion, there are three reasons for not loving Rancho Pacifico (RP).

1.) You did zero research and booked the trip with a blindfold on. You did not learn about the extra prices for excursions or alcohol, that the road to RP is rickety, and that rainforests do indeed rain and bring a variety of birds, monkeys, and yes, insects.

2.) You are a primadonna, an OCD perfectionist, or have expectations of nonstop service.
Of course, anyone can criticize the rain, the bugs, the roads, etc. But why then would you go to Costa Rica? Why would you go to a rustic, authentic resort? You wouldn't and shouldn't. You should stick with Carnival cruises and Marriott beach resorts.

3.) You lack assertiveness skills and do not speak up when something is not up to par or when you need something.
Time and time again the RP management and staff encouraged us to speak up if anything wasn't right. One owner, Sylvia, called from the U.S. to assess how we were. The manager, Olman, checked in with our happiness and satisfaction levels daily. He exhibited a great passion for his country and enthusiasm for his job.

Here are some tips to consider if you are considering booking RP or have already:

1.) Go with the right attitude - an attitude of adventure, curiosity, and intrigue. You are in a new country, a new place to experience. Do this and you will certainly find the staff to be outstanding, the food to be delicious, and the surroundings to be sacred.

2.) Get to know the staff. There is plenty of time for seclusion and relaxation, but also make time to ask the staff about Costa Rica, about their experiences, about RP. Also, tell them when something isn't right. We found that the staff would always go out of their way for us.

3.) Take time to "just be." Don't focus only on "doing" activities. Sit and follow hundreds of bird species, observe the beauty of the moving clouds as they surround the mountainous landscape of trees, take extra time to enjoy the food (take an hour, rather than crashing through it in 10 minutes like a fast food restaurant).

4.) Go on at least one excursion. They are too unique to pass up. We did the zip line/canopy tour, the mangrove tour, and a tour to a nearby beach city (Dominical). All were outstanding. In fact, speaking with several other guests about these tours and several others, we never heard a single negative comment.

To conclude, RP is quite an experience. It will give you a true experience of the rainforest (without having to be camping), you will be treated with value and respect, you will eat very well and healthily, and you will rejuvenate.

Pura Vida!

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2  Thank rmjn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rancho Pacifico

Address: 1 Rancho Pacifico Road, Uvita, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#1 Spa Hotel in Uvita
#1 Luxury Hotel in Uvita
#2 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range: £413 - £580 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rancho Pacifico 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Pacifico - Costa Rica Luxury Resort. Come for the adventure. Come for the romance. Situated in a pristine tropical rainforest nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, with majestic views of the Pacific Ocean, Rancho Pacifico is Costa Rica’s finest adults-only luxury boutique resort. When time is your most valuable commodity, days spent in our luxury rainforest hotel are days very well invested. Let us pamper you in our award-winning spa. Enjoy our world-cuisine inspired dining. Allow our amazingly friendly and attentive staff to meet your every need. Hike to our waterfall amid the bounty of nature that surrounds us. Come for a vacation experience you will remember for a lifetime. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Pacifico Uvita
Rancho Pacifico Hotel Uvita
Rancho Pacifico Costa Rica/Uvita

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