More about Villas Nicolas
How did this place get a good rating?
Wow, where to begin. After reading all the other reviews i wonder if some of these reviews aren't trumped up, this place is terrible, especially when compared with the hotel next door, which I don't think I'm supposed to mention the name but I'm sure you can figure it out from reading other reviews.
The biggest problem here was that the staff (maids) stole my fiancees engagement ring which I had just proposed to her with a few days earlier and the owner actually said that it was probably good karma that the ring was stolen and didn't even offer an apology! Can you believe that? As a Canadian I am extremely disappointed that a Canadian is running the show here and being so cold and discompassionate toward her guests.
From the moment we arrived, this was the first place that we got to in costa Rica that actually had a list of "don't's" when you enter the room and a list of prices they will charge you if you violate the rules - such as taking your towel to the beach or dirtying their dishes without cleaning them - unreal! Of course on the way out she tried to charge us with all sorts of extras including a missing platter that we had never even seen before. There is too much here to complain about in letter form so I will put it in point form or else I fear I will be writing all night long, so here it is:
-Engagement ring stolen with no apology, reimbursement, or remorse
-blood stains found all over the sheets
-fake extra charges we had to pay when we finally left this terrible place
-owners pet cats all over our balcony and hissing at us when we try to get rid of them (felt uncomfortable going out at night)
-no hot water until owner wakes up and turns it on - which is later than most travellers awake
-warned about how to use the airconditioner responsibly
-pool that smelled like pee and was dirty
-grumpy maintenance staff who looked at you with animosity
-when I asked to have a small packet of sugar, I was told to go to the grocery store because sugar is only served with breakfast
-lizards all over the room
-although owner had told me it was the first theft in four years, other travellers at hotel had their things gone through
WOW enough said....it was even worse than that if you can imagine... the wise owl says don't stay here!
Everywhere else in Costa Rica was better, even $20 a night places. Manuel Antonio is a beautiful area, don't ruin your vacation by staying here!
Truthful Review from an Expert
I am a travel agent that works and lives in San Jose, Costa Rica and I sell Costa Rica exclusively...I've traveled all over the country and am a truthful EXPERT when it comes to CR. I have been to Manuel Antonio at least 10 times and decided to take my parents there when they came down to visit. Our agency does not work with Villas Nicolas so I was going on out on a whim to stay there as our budget was limited and space in January was very slim at hotels in Manuel Antonio (it was a last minute trip). First and foremost...A GREAT VALUE FOR YOUR $$. This area of CR is very expensive in High Season and we had a huge room and balcony with full kitchen and living area for only $180 per night with taxes...a true bargain in this area! (side note regarding other reviews that Si Como No costs the same....not true! Their Standard Room rates may be comparable to Villas Nicolas's High-End Rooms, but you don't want to stay in the basic rooms at Si Como No...the nicer rooms are MUCH more expensive AND that hotel is much more touristy...you get a more family oriented environment but the rooms do not even compare to Villas Nicolas)
I liked Villas Nicolas and would def. recommend it (good bargain) but keep in mind the following...
This hotel did not know that I was a travel agent (I only sell Costa Rica, it is my specialty) staying on their property. If they had I would think the woman at the front desk would have been a bit more friendly and not so short with me when I had questions regarding the hotel, accomodations, etc. Not a very friendly gal...but maybe she was just having a bad day...or two. The gentleman that checked us in was great!! (sorry, I forgot his name)
It was difficult to get a confirmation from the hotel that our reservation was made. Again, I normally don't book through hotels direct as I work for an agency but this was last minute trip...mgmt should really be more prompt with sending confirmations upon booking.
I have stayed at Si Como No, the hotel next door...and the views were great, so I figured they would be the same at Villas Nicolas...not quite. Although we had ocean view, the trees were in the way and we def. had a very "partial view". There is a thin slice of ocean from the pool area but again, the trees are blocking most of the view. If you want great views, I wouldn't recommend Villas Nicolas as there are a ton of other options out there (La Mariposa has the best view in MA).
This is a small property and is very quiet so don't expect a party atmosphere in the pool area, very relaxing and quiet. The pool was SPOTLESS all 5 days we were there...I was impressed and that says alot!
In response to the previous 2 horrible reviews...It should not be Villas Nicolas's job to notify you upon booking that the hotel is 3 hours from San Jose Airport, you should have checked into that on your own (any basic research will tell you San Jose is 2 hours from the closest beach). And, any hotel in Costa Rica will charge you for ruining towels at the beach, making international calls, etc...Villas Nicolas was not trying to rip you off. Lizards (and ants) are normal...I find them in my house in San Jose, this is a tropical destination after all. Lastly, you will find strict cancelation policies at any hotel in CR..not to mention in High Season or over the holidays...refunds are not the norm.
OVERALL....nice, large rooms with huge outdoor areas, GOOD BARGAIN, very relaxing and quiet, and go elsewhere (and pay more) for a good ocean view. If you want GREAT accomodations for a great price, stay here and get your ocean view from other hotel's restaurants/bars.
Impressive rooms and monkey watching from the balcony
We had a wonderful time in Manuel Antonio and we loved Villas Nicolas. I'm very confused by the negative reviews. We had no problems with security, and the cats were friendly but never approached us or came near our apartments.
We had 2 separate apartments (number 3) both with balconies, hammocks and fantastic views. We especially enjoyed watching the monkeys playing in the trees. The showers are great and we always had hot water. The pool is spotless and perfect for relaxing after a day in the National Park. Villa Nicolas is a quiet place, with a friendly atmosphere, and we met a few of the other guests who were enjoying their stay. We were really sad to leave.
There are loads of places to eat within walking distance, and the beach and national park are only 5 minutes drive away.
The staff we met were also very welcoming and helpful. I have friends planning a trip to Costa Rica soon and I have recommended that they stay at Villas Nicolas.
Wonderful Vacation at Villas Nicolas
We have just returned from a 2 week stay at Villas Nicolas. It
was one of the best vacations we have ever had! Our room
was spacious and clean with full kitchen facilities, and lots of
hot water for showers. The deck was like an outdoor room.
It was furnished with lots of chairs for lounging as well as a
hammock. We cooked some of our meals at "home" and ate
them at the table on the deck with a beautiful view of the jungle.
We didn't have to go anywhere to see some wildlife. Three
kinds of monkeys: the howlers who would go through several
times a day. We couldn't always see them, but we sure could
hear them. They look like little gorillas and make a loud resonating sound like nothing I have ever heard. Troops of
white-faced monkeys came through very close to our deck.
The little squirrel monkeys, or mono titis, came right up on the
roof in front of us, just a few feet away! These are endangered
and you should not feed them because bacteria from human hands can make them sick. During our second week there was a large dinosaur dragon lizard stationned on a tree directly in front of us. He slowly ate his way through a lot of the leaves before he decided to move on after about 5 days. The pool at
Villas Nicolas is the best one I have ever been in. It is very clean and the prettiest of any we saw at other hotels. There are a lot of little gecko lizards outside and inside. But we like those because they eat insects and are harmless to humans. The staff and the owner were very friendly and absolutely helpful to us with any of our questions or requests. We would recommend a stay at this hotel to any of our friends. We were very sad to leave.
Good bang for Your Buck !
Myself & 2 friends spent 10 great days at Villa Nicholas.
Found the staff to be very accomodating & helpful. Even the maintenance man was friendly & did his imoersonation of a Howler Monkey, when we found him up a tree doing some pruning, he wasn't half bad either.
Susan at the the El Rancho Bistro is a sweetheart & her morning crew put out a nice breakfast & quickly too.
The resident Basset, Miss Ellie, is a terror, she constantly rolls over on her back wanting her belly scratched.
The grounds are very well maintained. The pool is a gem, great relieve from the heat!!
Our room was one of the largest, 2 double beds in private bedroom , kitchen, living area & very large terrace with a prerequisate (spelling) Hammock. We had a great view of the ocean & jungle.
I hope to go back next year for a longer period.
Felt Like Home (Jan27-Feb3)
We recently got married in Manuel Antonio and for the 7 days that we were in the area with our 15 friends and family we all stayed at Villas Nicolas and had a wonderful time. There is something about this place that makes you instantly feel at home, comfortable and welcome. The rooms were all different, we stayed in 7up which was slightly more ornate than some of the others but all the rooms were very nice. If I were to stay here again I think I would get one of the smaller rooms, still with a balcony but no kitchen or living room, we never cooked anyway and these rooms are higher so they have better views. The maid service here was excellent, don't expect a turn down but they will spend time cleaning windows, folding clothes you tossed to the side... where do you get that? Not at Tabacon! The freshe flowers in your room is also a nice touch.
Every morning we had breakfast at the bar by the pool, which was always nicely prepared and delivered. The pool area was always set up, clean and welcoming, I have never spent so much time at a hotel's pool before. Susan at the pool bar also has afternoon cocktails and snacks begining at 3pm. Everything Susan serves is fantastic (you can come here even if you aren't a guest) and she is a wealth of information of where to eat or drink in the area. Susan was nice enough to send a huge breakfast to our room the morning after the wedding.
To eat our favorites were Ronny's Place, which had the best sunset, food, sangria and margaritas, aparently they are netorious for slow service but we didn't notice, with that sunset to watch I don't know how you could. Coconuts for sushi at the beach. Agua Azul just seconds from Villas Nicolas (dinner only) try the Tuna Margarita. The Billfish accross the street has decent food and a ladies night with free drinks for women on Monday's. Some of the people with us loved the Sunspot at Makanda by Sea and Pilino (towards Quapos). We did not really like Baba Rojas which had a nice sunset, but construction next door, they suggested we try their blue margarita which tasted like jet fuel and the drinks at their happy hour are expensive - go figure. Speaking of drinks this is my one pet peave of Costa Rica, I recent having to pay $5-7US for rum drinks in Central America. The local Beer you could get for $2-3 usually.
Activities the Sunset cruise with Planet Dolphin was the absolute best, a great company. We saw dolphins, swam in the park, went snorkeling, ate great food, danced, and watched an amazing sunset. The Canopy Tour with Canapy Safari, was a slight let down because the guides insisted on teasing the girls that were nervous, bringing them to tears and causing me to snap at them :(
I would recomend anyone stay at Villas Nicolas it is a great location, and a real home away from home. Enjoy.
Perfect home away from home.
Villas Nicolas is perfectly located and well-priced with great rooms;
close to the beach and tons of bars and restaurants.
We travelled with two other couples and we each booked a villa. The rooms themselves are lovely -- amazing views, spacious bathrooms, huge patios with hammocks, and air conditioning. What else could you want?
There's a little pool-side bar for great margaritas, and delicious (and inexpensive) breakfasts. Susan gives very helpful advice, just lovely.
You don't feel like you're in a hotel here at Villas Nicolas, more like you've scored a private villa bordering the Pacific and the rainforest.
Depending on how you want to spend your time, hit the park (we watched a boa constrictor eat a lizarard!), the beach, try surfing (Manuel Antonio surf school up on the hill), or a canopy tour. All the activities are well-priced, and we were never once disappointed.
For dinner, hit Aqua Azul (right next door) or El Peublo in Quepos for a great Tico dinner. Bamboo Jam is great too.
The staff here are helpful, friendly. You can't go wrong with staying here,
A great place!
Our family of four stayed three days at Villas Nicolas and loved it! It was both luxurious but homey. It's true that our two rooms were completely separate but that suited our two kids (ages 12 and 17) just fine. The staff was helpful but never intrusive and the rooms (we had 7 up and 2 down) were as beautiful as they look on the website. The location between Manuel Antonio park and Quepos is far enough away to feel like an oasis but close enough for a quick drive to town or to a restaurant. Howler monkeys provided a wakeup call every morning and the view was like a postcard. We loved the pool and the beds and bedding were extremely comfortable! We ate breakfast at Cafe Milagro (a 5 minute walk) - also highly recommended!
Pleasant accomodations. Villas Nicholas is a good value. We thought our suite was spacious with a nice porch. AC helped. The pool was beautiful and we swam everyday. The little breakfast/cocktail restaurant was a daily early evening stop. Susan, the owner, treated us very well. The staff at Villa Nicholas was very helpful. Many of the guest were especially friendly.
We absolutely loved it!
To make this review more helpful for you let us tell you why we loved this place so much. Friendly staff, clean rooms with great ocean view, 100 yards from the bus station (20 cents ride to Manuel Antonio park or Quepos), across the street from a beautiful preserve with a butterfly garden.
My wife and I stayed there for a week. We booked the room by going to their website. They are good in responding to their emails. The staff all speak English very well (some are Americans). The pool was nice and very clean. There is a bar and a very nice bartender. They serve appetizers and good breakfasts in the morning. Another important thing that we enjoyed so much about this hotel was its proximity to many different good restaurants. There are several good ones within 5 to 10 minute walking distance from Villas Nicholas. If you love animals, a group of howling monkeys live in the area near the hotel and there is a good chance you can see them on the top of nearby trees during you stay. Also don't miss the hummingbirds on the flowering bush on the top of the pool. As for activities, don't miss horseback riding in the rain forest around Quepos. It was the highlight of our trip. Of course there is beach and many different water sports and the beautiful Manual Antonio National Park. The hotel front desk will book these excursions for you and transportation is provided by most of the companies.
We travel at least twice a year within the US and other countries too. I have been to Montana, Alaska, St Thomas, Cancun and Europe. This place was among the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I t was a trip that we will remember forever.