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Reviewed February 11, 2024

We stayed a couple of nights here at the end our 3 week trek through Costa Rica and loved the place! The guides were so helpful and knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. Our guide, Alejandro, spent a couple of hours with my husband and I doing a private tour of the trails and not only told us what were seeing, but also gave a great history lesson on the wonderful protected area. Our first evening there, the hotel had a complimentary water coloring activity that included wine! I of course joined in and loved it! This was only the second class I ever took in painting and enjoyed the depth that our class leader, Christian, went into about the benefits of just painting and letting go and how it personally helped him. And he was right! I just painted the misty view of the forest that I saw and impressed myself. I didn't think about what I was painted....I just painted! The only regret I have is we didn't stay longer!

Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank Gema N
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kevin Francisco Rojas Elizondo, Revenue Management at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel + Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 11, 2024

Thank you immensely for taking the time to share your experience with us. It brings us great joy to know that your stay with us marked the perfect finale to your three-week adventure in Costa Rica.

We're thrilled to hear that Alejandro and our other guides left such a positive impression on you with their expertise and passion for the local flora and fauna. It's always our goal to provide insightful and memorable experiences that connect our guests with the natural wonders of our protected area.

We're delighted that you enjoyed the water coloring activity with Christian. It's wonderful to hear how his guidance resonated with you and inspired your own artistic expression. Moments like these, where guests find relaxation and inspiration in our activities, truly make our efforts worthwhile.

Your regret about not staying longer speaks volumes to us, and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for an extended stay in the future. Until then, may your memories of your time with us continue to inspire and bring you joy.

Kind regards,
The Villa Blanca Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2024

The five stars go to Joss who led the forest bathing walk, her energy and peacefulness is addictive, she is a true beautiful soul. Because of her this review is five stars.
Also a mention to Christian who served us at dinner, his energy is akin to Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, his friendliness and attention even when busy was second to non.
Zak who is the proprietor and spent time talking with us despite being very busy.
And last but not least, Jose who guided us on a night-time walk, he is like Dr Doolittle, he has a real affinity with nature.
Overall this place is an oddity, I think its a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Coming from the UK, and being in the clouds (in the UK we call this fog) is not great, it reminded me of Dartmoor and I expected a group of 'Duke of Edinburgh' kids to pass by with their rucksacks. It is cold, it is damp, our room had a de-humidifier which needed emptying every 5 hours, and there were no tea/coffee facilities in the room. There is an open fire in the room and also the main area - not that great if you have respiratory issues (asthma) - however if you have come from a tropical or desert region I can imagine why you would love this place and would find it cosy. Coming from the UK in winter however it just looks too much like home.
The tours are dependent on the guide, we had one guide who told us he could not see so well - he wasn't joking, we ended up on a 12 person walk in single file though a damp forest (can do this any day in the UK!). Meanwhile Jose spotted every spider and frog in the area and fully explained the flora/fauna,
When large groups turn up service can become a bit haphazard, but without large groups this can be a really special place. It could be a really a peaceful retreat (if you don't mind fog).
Beware prices on the menu are not what you are finally charged, there are extra add on's that I couldn't quite fathom. There are also dishes available not on the menu (such as potato wedges).
Breakfast for vegetarians is limited (white bread, rice, plantain, scrambled egg, homemade cheese and fruit), but you can ask for fried eggs instead of scrambled.
The sun came out for us one afternoon and completely transformed this place and its energy. If you are there when the clouds break then it is a real treat!
Its worth a visit and is a good break from the heat of Costa Rica, if you are British be prepared to feel as though it is a trip to Dartmoor. If you get the chance to do the forest bathing walk then do it and immerse yourself in it (assuming a small group). This was our utmost highlight. Thank you Joss.

Room tip: a good break from Costa Rica heat, but its rather foggy, cold and damp.
Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank fimonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kevin Francisco Rojas Elizondo, Revenue Management at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel + Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2024

Dear costumer,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful review! We're thrilled to hear that our staff caused such a nice impression. We will deliver Jos, Christian, Jose and Zack the thankful messages!

We take your comments very kindly, and the feedback from our clients is of the utmost priority to make us constantly work on improvements. Looking forward to welcoming you back for another opportunity to exceed your expeditions.

Warm regards,
The Villa Blanca Team

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Reviewed February 1, 2024

There are no words which are not obscene that are coming to my mind when I start thinking about this place we left only several hours ago. So, writing this review won’t be easy, but I’ll try to be civilized (also for review to be published) and as objective as I can:

- Reception: when my wife, our guide, driver and I arrived, the receptionist gave me a form that I had to fill-in, where I was supposed to write my name, address, E-mail, mobile, number of my credit card, expiry and 3 security digits on the back and, finally, sign it all. Huh? Maybe I should fill-in all the passwords for my internet-banking as well to make an exposure complete? Right behind the reception there is a little back office where a fat young fella in a blue shirt and glasses was half laying down one leg on top of other one. Before our arrival (as I learned later) there were only 4 other guests on the property, so our little delegation doubled the clients number. He didn’t move when we arrived. Not that I was thinking too much about him, but briefly I decided that most likely he isn’t working in the hotel, maybe a boyfriend of a receptionist waiting for her to finish her shift. As it turned, he was a front desk manager when she started to call him after I said I am not going to fill-in my complete credit card details. He was sitting not further away than 2 meters, but she had to call him twice before the “vip” moved and swam out to start blubbering about hotel policies.

- Room: the whole place is located at an elevation of 4500 feet in a cloud forest. Purpose of coming here (at least for us) was to see the birds of this ecosystem. But it also means that it is located at level of the clouds with surroundings being always foggy and the humidity of 100% all the time. Add very often cold wind on top of that. Could be 15 – 17C, feeling like 10C. Absolutely the same temperature being in the room with cold air and humidity freely coming through gaps under the terrace door and windows (see photos). No, they don’t have any heaters. But there is an open fireplace in the room, we are welcome to use it. Many years ago at a lodge in Tanzania (forgetting everything we were taught in school) we already tried sleeping with a fireplace going – though a closed one – by middle of the night it ate all oxygen in the room, we couldn’t sleep and reached the morning with intense headaches. But here they have gas alarms, which will start wailing as soon as the air in the room will become dangerous. Suggest you gassing yourself in a futile attempt to stay warm and then wake you up with an alarm, so you won’t suffocate in the end – sounds like a mighty smart arrangement. On our last night of enjoying Vila Blanca the electricity went off and stayed off nearly the whole night (some more clients have arrived and obviously their el.system couldn’t cope with the consumption, it was also going down about 10 times during dinner). At around 4 a.m. the alarm started to beep – with the sound of a proper car alarm, loud and low. Nice to be woken-up like this in the middle of the night. Obviously, it was supposed to inform that with as long electricity failure it won’t be able to catch the gas levels any longer. I had to take the battery out to shut it up, so we could return to sleep again.

- Water: it is impossible to reach comfortable water temperature levels either in the shower or in hand basin. It is either scalding hot or cold. You open hot water, start to open cold one gradually, reach the level you wish, it holds for 10 seconds and then the water becomes plain cold. You start closing the cold tap until you have it closed down completely, the water still keeps being cold even with only hot water tap open. So, you have to close down both taps, wait a bit and then start all over again with the same result. I asked our guide and driver and in their room it was exactly the same. First evening I tried to explain the problem to the same receptionist in her native language (I do speak Spanish). She was looking at me like I am a small green something with 3 eyes and 4 hands, who stepped down from UFO that just landed in front of the reception. After that our guide (who is a Costa-Rican) tried to explain it to her. By her face it didn’t seem that any information registered, but at least she agreed to send maintenance to have a look. After dinner we passed by the reception and asked our friends manager and receptionist whether anything was done to fix the water issue. Yes, - the former said – the hot water tap is on the left and the cold one – on the right.
- Restaurant: it is even colder than in the room because the gaps in the at least 50-year old windows and doors are even bigger. On top of it, the restaurant, reception, snooker room (I am sure there are lots of people coming to play) is one long building and they keep several doors wide open any time of the day, so that the wind and cold could be entering even more free. Tastes are different, of course, but up to ours the food was less than morbid with everything being offered with the same “accompaniments”: wedges of sweet potato that look like were reheated many times before, dry yellow rice or boiled without salt vegetables. We were in middle of our starters the first dinner when the waiter happily brought the mains. How surprised he was, when I sent them back to the kitchen.

- Breakfast: majority of normal places have a buffet (some with wider, some with lower numbers of options) and then additionally you can order something hot, either prepared right in front of you or brought from the kitchen. Here you can get nothing for breakfast yourself, you need to order and there is a menu with several set options. By naivety I tried to modify it a little bit attempting to order scrambled ages for my wife and omelet for myself. Placing of order took not less than 15 minutes and also required interference of our guide. With only 2 other guests having breakfast in parallel we were waiting for our “order” 45 minutes. And proud waiter delivered us 2 absolutely identical omelets. When I asked what it is, the answer was absolutely genius: these are scrambled omelets.

- Laundry: first night we gave 2 shirts to laundry to receive them next day nicely on hangers and completely wet.

All in all, having booked 3 nights, we ran away after 2 and if anyone cared to read this all, my only recommendation is to spend your time and money elsewhere. Unless you wish to feel like participating in a bad comedy, of course.

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Leonid Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kevin Francisco Rojas Elizondo, Revenue Management at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel + Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2024

Dear Leonid,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We sincerely apologize that your experience did not meet your expectations. We take your comments seriously and would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your stay so that we can address any issues promptly. Please reach out to us at reservations@hotevbcostarica.com. We hope to have the chance to welcome you back and exceed your expectations.

Kind regards,
The Villa Blanca Team

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Reviewed January 21, 2024 via mobile

Visiting this cloud forest hotel is a great experience, with an almost other worldly feel to the local environment, an experience aided by great staff and a very good hotel. Our room was a casita, a short walk from the main building. While a bit more basic than some resort hotels where we stayed in Costa Rica, our room was comfortable and the absence of air conditioning was not an issue. There was decent Wi-Fi and a good shower in the room, and a fire that could be lit on cold nights as well as a heater. They weren’t needed while we were there. The restaurant is very nice for dinner with good food and drinks, including excellent cocktails. Breakfast was basic and could have done a bit more with the eggs produced by the hotel’s own hens. The hotel organised good morning and evening walks to view the flora and fauna of the cloud forest, with informative guides. On site the hotel has its own dairy cattle, emus and greenhouses for frogs and butterflies. Getting there, as some have commented, requires a trip down a pretty ropy road for several miles, but it is well worth it when you get there.

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank bristolreviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kevin Francisco Rojas Elizondo, Revenue Management at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel + Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2024

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you very much for your visit and taking the time to share your kind comments and feedback. We're really happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at Villa Blanca Hotel. It was our pleasure to have you as our guest, and look forward to your next visit full of experiences

Warm regards,
The Villa Blanca Team

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Reviewed January 15, 2024 via mobile

I went with my wife to Villa Blanca, looking for a relaxing experience and that is what we exactly got from the hotel. The personnel is very kind and helped us with everything we needed, no matter the hour or the ask. We loved the day walk we had, connecting more with the nature, the visit to the vivarium was very educative and funny, same as the visit to the dairy. The restaurant offers very tasty options. We loved everything we tried and got excellent service from the waiters. Thank you, guys!!!
We loved the experience at the spa, too. The massage therapists were very kind.
It will be good to have a convenience store, in case a customer requires some basic stuff like sunblock, a gift, or some sort of Aaidthings like toothbrush, floss, etc.

Room tip: Since the hotel does not have a convenience store, make sure you bring all you need.
Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank victorv353
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kevin Francisco Rojas Elizondo, Revenue Management at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel + Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2024

Dear Victor,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review! We're thrilled to hear that we met all your expectations! It was our pleasure to have you as our guest, and we're delighted that you enjoyed, not only our food service, but also the trails, spa and staff, thank you!!

We take your suggestion kindly and look forward to welcoming you back for another experience!

Warm regards,
The Villa Blanca Team

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