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“Rancho Pacifico - More than we could have imagined”
Review of Rancho Pacifico

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Rancho Pacifico
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
new jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rancho Pacifico - More than we could have imagined”
Reviewed 23 September 2007

Just got back from a glorious couples spa retreat at Rancho Pacifico. It was everything and more than we expected - or more accuratley, could have imagined.

We went to Costa Rica to experience nature - and chose RP because it was favorably reccommended by friends.
We were told that the location was spectacular, the service gracious, and the experience of the rainforest in such close proximity to the ocean unprecedented.

We were not disappointed on any of these points.
We were prepared for rain - and it rained like cats and dogs a few times! The mornings were sunny and beautiful - and we did most of our outside activities then. At night (when it tended to rain) we arrived to the cozy clubhouse to the smiling faces of Marvin, Harold, Alex and the rest - and enjoyed some of the best and most consistent food we've ever had. The friends who told us about RP raved about the food, and they were right. The soups were creative and divine (especially the "3 layer gazpacho"). The deserts were to die for. The seafood, fresh, light and accompanied perfectly by tropical vegetables we had never even heard of! And the fact that all is organic at RP just made it all the better. By the way, we overfed ourselves every morning at the complimentary breakfast buffet which got us through to dinner.

My favorite part was the spa. There are 3 fantastic therapists (I experienced them all) who's attention to detail is amazing!
I've paid a lot more for spa treaments without a fraction of the value. But the amazing part for me was the setting - my massage room felt like a zen sanctuary - overlooking miles of pure rainforest and the sea!!! Visually and audibly it is beyond compare - and I strongly reccommend guests plan to spend lots of time there!!

We were looking for some solitude, adventure, and authenticity - in the midst of comfort and service and feel this is exactly what we got. We have already rebooked for February - hope we don't end up missing the rainy nights we enjoyed so much!!

  • Liked — loved everything
  • Disliked — having to leave!
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sandystravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2007

I just spent a week at Rancho Pacifico and I have to say that overall it was a great trip.

Some things were not up to par for the amount of money we paid.
1. food, simply not good. Most plates were cold, and almost all the meats were deep fried. Some plates were honestly inedible, i.e. chilled avocado soup (which had sooo much pepper in it that it should be called pepper soup with a dash of avocado). Although I live in NYC, I am not a picky eater. Better food would have made the trip a million times better. Breakfast was actually very good.
2. Service. Most of the staff was very nice and accommodating, however the manager (which we found out who he was days into our vacation) did not take care of us. We were not even given a tour of the premises until we asked for it, well into our second day. Advice to RP, please create a welcome package with all the information that might be necessary, i.e. activities, treatments available, nearby sites...
3. Cleanliness. OK, I admit I am a bit OCD, but they simply did a poor job in cleaning the villa. If I am staying at a hotel, I expect everything to be scrubbed clean everyday. i.e. a dorito chip (granted I left it on the floor) stood there for three days. I eventually cleaned it myself. I must also add that it was in a very visible place.

all in all, it was a great trip. Not sure if I would go back (I tend not to repeat hotels, unless they are exceptional). This was OK, but definitely not exceptional. I have traveled around the world and have stayed at far more luxurious places (in terms of service and attention to detail) for less money.

overall rating: B

  • Liked — setting
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ferngon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ranchopacifico, Owner at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this review, 24 September 2007
Rancho Pacifico is young - open not quite two years. We are constantly learning, adapting and making positive changes. We have just come through the brunt of our first "rainy season" - a record setter at that! On three occasions recently we experienced severe rain with more wind than usual associated with hurricanes in the Gulf and
Carribean. On top of this we were a bit overwhelmed with a full house continuously during July, August and early September.

We've learned a lot - and we have already begun implementing a series of changes that we now know are neccessarry for this time of year. We apologize that our learning curve during this rainy season has impacted the comfort of a few of our valued guests - and appreciate that their feedback will insure positive changes for the future. The "mixed" reviews we have been receiving in August
and September reflect this impact. Ironically, for the 7 months preceding August and the rain, our reviews were consistently excellent - as we expect them to be once again during the upcoming peak (and drier) months. By the time the rains return next year we are confident we will be providing a consistently excellent experience year-round.

The fact is, from mid Oct to next August, most of these weather-related changes will be unneccessarry as the "dry season" removes the inconveniences caused by the continuous rain we have been experiencing during these couple of "rainy season" months. Here is a summary:

The ample sunshine most of the year dries things out. The humidity is much lower. Clothes dry better and there is far less of a feeling of dampness.....we have never had a complaint about dampness during this 8 month period.

There have been several nights during this rainy season that felt chilly (although the temperature does not dip below about 67) and caused food being served to lose warmth faster than we are accustomed to. We have adjusted by keeping plates warm up to the time they are served. We are also opening a new dining room in November that is better protected from the elements. One
clarification about "fried food" -- we are one of the very few eating establisments in all of Costa Rica that does not serve fried food. We don't even have french fries. All of our meats, seafood and poultry are grilled on an open girll.

From late August to mid October there are more bugs - to the point that by comparison, during the dry/drier season ( 8 months) there are literally none. Some of these are harmless flies that only "hatch" during the most extremely wet times; such as in the last few weeks. They will disappear in the next couple of weeks (by October).

In a couple of our accommodations we have installed (and continue to install) new windows to give guests more options when it gets chilly and damp at night (again, this occurs from Mid Aug to Mid October). We have also made more light cotton blankets available in all the bedrooms. Again, even on the chilliest night the temperature does not go below 65 - a temperature that might even be considered warm by some. Almost all guests find it delightfully comfortable at night.

One last note about recent weather. We keep in touch with fellow inn-owners, especially with those from what are considered the finer hotels - and the topic of guest reviews has come up recently. Seems that the strings of very favorable reviews we were receiving before rainy season set in have given way to mixed reviews in which dampness and rain related inconveniences were mentioned. For many seeking tropical vacations - the drier months are probably more attractive. In our case, if one reads back to our reviews between January and June, one can easily see the difference.

We are not sure what caused this guest to criticize the pedicure. The fact is our "pedicurista", who has been with us for 2 years continually wins rave reviews for her work. Her pedicures typically take about an hour, and she does them the "old-fashioned way" - by hand. It's hard work, and most guests point out their appreciation for it.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2007

What makes RP a 4 are the people and location. We enjoyed our stay immensely and were able to experience the rain forest as it is. The hotel is situated up the mountain and in the middle of the rain forest with no TV or phone. The location made it great for hiking, seeing and hearing wildlife your whole stay, and being secluded from everything. We were really able to unwind immediately upon arrival, which normally takes us a few days. We stayed in the spa suite with the spa package which included 6 spa treatments, breakfast / dinner, mani / pedi, and a guided hike or beach picnic. My husband and I enjoyed the massages and it was a nice to have following our day activities. The food was good and I especially like the Costa Rica themed dinner. Our favorite people were Marvin and Olman, as they were a joy to talk to and provided wonderful service.

What can make this hotel a 5 would be:
1) For the 'Green Season' have something in place to keep the linens dry as possible. My husband asked for a blanket one night because I was shivering. Luckily he caught the staff before they were all heading home for the evening. Everyday I would store the blanket in the wood cabinet to keep it dry from the rain & humidity and it worked. Even with the blanket I would still be cold because the sheets and top cover were damp. Not very comfortable way of sleeping.

2) Have windows that can fold out with screens. I am sure during the dry season the screens are fine. But during the green season (it is half the year) the rooms gets very damp and cold. As you read in 1 your linens are never dry, your clothes are always damp and you frankly get cold. This will give the best of both ways to experience the rain forest and adapt to the weather.

3) Paint the walls a darker color to camoflage the dead smeared bugs on the wall. We were fine with the bugs as we were in the rain forest, but the light walls showed all the dead bugs probably from previous guest hitting them on the wall and it was a little gross.

4) Use bigger fans in your eating area during breakfast and dinner to keep the bugs somewhat clear. I saw only 2 med to small fans being used. Breakfast is the worst for bugs and you are constantly shooing them away from your food. I saw big fans hung up in another restaurant and it worked great as I did not have to shoo any bugs away.

5) Manicure and pedicure was horrible. It was the worst I have ever had. The lady was extremely sweet, but I was very dissappointed. I would rather have had an extra adder on the spa treatment (foot scrub, etc) vs being dissappointed with my last treatment at RP.

Those are my contructive critism as I can see the hotel is constantly trying to improve. If you would like to experience CR and the rainforest as it is supposed to be, I would recommend RP. If you are used to having a TV, phone, big pool, big dining, etc I recommend staying at a very large resort that can accomodate your needs.

Regards,
The Villarins

  • Liked — The people
  • Disliked — The damp and coldness of the rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank kidduc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2007

I am amazed by the contrasting reviews of Rancho Pacifico, and can only surmise that "one gets what one gives". The inn is unique and highly personal, and the response could never be indifferent. That being said, our experience last February, was as far from "rude" or "cold" as could be imagined. Everyone on the staff went out of their way to insure that we had a wonderful time, including giving impromptu dance lessons one evening!
I am especially surprised by the reaction to the chef, who not only consulted with us daily to make sure that our daughter's diabetic needs were met, but made a special "surprise" dish just for her every night!!! We have travelled extensively, but we have never had such personal and kind attention.
No place can be perfect for every guest. But Garrison and his staff try as hard to provide a close-to-perfect experience as any we have known. Just looking at his extensive reply to the negative reviews is one way of gauging this....this is surely a hotel owner who cares, and cares deeply.

  • Liked — the kind and caring staff
  • Disliked — remote location, though beautiful, made excursions more difficult
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank margiesanfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2007

We recently got back from Rancho Pacifico and had a great time overall. The best aspect of RP was the 2 bedroom villa which had amazing outdoor space and overlooking the mountain. The road up the mountain was second best as we got to the point where we were doing 60kph up and down the dirt road. It was like an ATV everyday in our 4x4 which we rented.

There are a few flaws that we really noted: 1st was the food at RP. We had 4 dinners and were not impressed with any of it. Mainly because everything was served COLD and more time was spent on presentation than taste. 2nd unless you are in one of the villas, there really isn't too many places to hang out since the pool and pool area is small. Only enough room for 5 lounge chairs.

All and all, the trip was good and everyone was very nice, but unless you want to drop a lot of money on just transportation or want the freedom to go to the beach and town whenever, you def. need to rent a 4x4 since it will pay for itself after a few trips down to the beach.

  • Liked — The 2bedroom villa
  • Disliked — The Food
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ohyeah29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2007

I just got finished reading the recent reviews for Rancho Pacifico and the response from the owner.

I stayed at Rancho Pacifico in April 2007 for a week vacation and was so disappointed by my experience that it has taken me this long to cool down to write this review.

First off I would like to say that I felt that the owners were not friendly or helpfull, nor was the "onsite manager". If anything I would say that the owners and the manager were rude and off putting. The manager tried to sell us property (at Rancho Pacifico and in other parts of Costa Rica) while we were there. I felt like I was at a sales seminar part of the time.

The chef was condescending and cold towards us.

I think the thing that has made me write this review is the fact that the owner quotes in his "management response" that guest receive information in writing prior to their arrival. Well this made me laugh because all I got was a very short email stating that I was confirmed for my trip. When I got to Rancho Pacifico I found out that what was on the website was far from the reality of Rancho Pacifico.

I truly urge people that are thinking about spending the amount of money that it costs to stay at Rancho Pacifico to think long and hard about your choice.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank Bear68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ranchopacifico, Manager at Rancho Pacifico, responded to this review, 3 September 2007
This guest, who visited in April (4 months ago) has brought up two issues that have been addressed.

Several months ago we learned that one of our employees was telling some guests about some local real estate deals, in the expectation that the information would be helpful as many guests ask about real estate given the strong flurry of investment activity in our area. Several of our guests have actually made purchases in the area and are now neighbors. We told the employee that this was inappropriate as we do not promote (as in "push" or "sell" real estate at Rancho Pacifico. In fact we have banned local realtors from entering our property without a proper invitation from a guest. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The guest is correct to say that in April they received a confirmation letter and not the "welcoming information" packet previously mentioned. In response to guests requests for advice on travel, what to bring, etc, we initiated the sending of a more detailed "welcoming packet" in July - which will continue.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rancho Pacifico

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Uvita
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Uvita
#1 Luxury Hotel in Uvita
#2 Romantic Hotel in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rancho Pacifico 4.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Pacifico - Where Style meets Nature and the Rainforest meets the sea.....Your Adult-Exclusive Hideaway in Costa Rica's Last-Best Place. One of the World's Most Awarded EcoLuxury Hotels. Member - Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Deluxe Villas, Suites, & TreeHaus', Jungle Spa, Private Preserve and secluded beaches. Spectacular ocean views and spacious privacy. Trip Advisor Traveler Choice - 4 consecutive years. World Travel Award Finalist - Leading Boutique and Leading Green Hotel, Central and Latin America, 6 consecutive years.....and many more. ... 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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