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“Best Family Vacation Ever!”
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Excellent
9 reviews
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 14
Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula, Province of Puntarenas

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 9 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Anne W
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Best Family Vacation Ever!”
Reviewed 10 April 2017 for a stay in April 2017
2
people found this review helpful

Our 12-year-old daughter was awarded a Make-a-Wish Foundation trip in late 2016, and spent the rest of the year trying to decide where to go. We were outwardly supportive of any choice she made, though we hoped to avoid the “busy spots” such as Disney or Harry Potter (London). With two younger children (one a busy four), we could only think that the typical resorts would be simultaneously enjoyable and very stressful.

Enter our daughter’s Spanish teacher, a native of Costa Rica. In class, this teacher apparently spent time telling the children stories of her country.Our daughter became enamored of the idea, so Make-a-Wish began searching for a place in Costa Rica.

At about this time, Mr. Michael Fox, owner of The Whale Resort, on the Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jiminez, Costa Rica, had convinced Make-a-Wish of Ohio, Kentucky, & Indiana to allow him to host a stay for a Make-a-Wish recipient. With the stars so aligned, we traveled to The Whale Resort on Saturday, April 1, 2017, returning on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Our children, all three, thoroughly enjoyed this place. They interacted with the caring and attentive staff (all three miss Vanessa terribly already!), loved the food prepared by the fantastic chef, and took in the activities arranged by the owner, including horse-back tours, zip-lining, monkey meetings, and surfing lessons.

But there is something more here, too, beyond the excellent service, food, and activities. This is not a “resort” in the same sense as a Beaches, Sandals, Disney, etc. This is immersion in a different culture, a different geography, a different place entirely. The lodge and surroundings are near the wild – there are monkey and macaws and night noises of who-knows-what. There are towns nearby which, while they cater to the tourists, are content to go about their business whether you are there or not. This experience serves to lift you out of your stressed and busy life, and set you down in bliss, pura vida, if you will let it.

If you want to do three thousand things and move around and exhaust yourself, I am sure you could find that here, and you definitely would at a Disney-style resort. However, if you truly aim for a place to escape, with your family, or even as a couple or by yourself…a beautiful, soulful, foreign escape…this is definitely the place for you.

We look forward to returning in the future!!

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kimmilesp...
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“amazing!!!!!”
Reviewed 19 February 2016 for a stay in February 2016
1
person found this review helpful

The Whale Resort is a hidden treasure in the middle of the jungle and on the edge of the ocean. The views are the kind you dream of. The staff on top of being lovable was highly professional. Our dinners and breakfasts that were prepared at the lodge were not only healthy and all fresh, they were extra delicious ! The lodge was kept immaculate inside and out. The owner personally took the time to arrange a tour with Paradise Rocks (dolphins) we had an amazing time !!! We zip lined with Canopy Safari, can not say enough good things about this experience. He also arranged horse back ridding on the beach! I felt like a kid again! I almost forgot to add how amazing the wild life is. The monkeys flow through the trees in the back yard nightly, along with so many other amazing creatures! This vacation will always stand out in my mind!!!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: the property and staff
Travelling group: Other
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
19 Feb 2016
Thank you for the kind review and thank you for following my lead when guiding you throughout your stay, trusting my advice on how squeeze every drop of fun out of each day of your trip. There are so many things to do and see, and my job is to make sure you enjoy Costa Rica and The Whale Resort to it's fullest potential! There is nothing more satisfying than having a group of guests who are ready for an adventure. You were genuinely nice people, and appreciative of all my staff does to make your stay with us very special! I have to say it was a first when we cleared the furniture and turned the kitchen into a dance floor, then danced the night away with my staff and our chef! We learned a few hip hop steps and hopefully Eli made you better salsa dancers! Watching the smiles on your face and listening to all of your laughter throughout the week was all the reward I needed to know we delivered and our mission was accomplished! Thank you for entrusting us in giving you a special vacation that you won't soon forget! Hopefully we will see you again!
Oh, and thank you for the awesome video you posted on The Whale Resort FB page. It kind of says it all!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmnonZoha...
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Yes Virginia: Paradise Exists”
Reviewed 12 January 2016 for a stay in December 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We are certain that Paradise exists and we believe that we did get to see it on our recent family vacation at the Whale Resort near Puerto Jimenez on the Osa peninsula of Costa Rica.
We are the seniors in a three generation family with 3 of our offsprings' couples and seven grandchildren aged 9-17. There cannot be a better place for our vacation than the Whale Resort. It is a private, exclusive beach front estate with two exquisite villas (one for the kids) inside a 3.5 acre rain forest. We had the place for ourselves (as do all guests, hence Exclusive) for two weeks with daily cleaning and laundry services, on demand transportation services and optionally (chef prepared) meals. During high tide you can jump into the ocean from the lawn of the estate, relax by the pool side only steps from the beach, watch monkeys jumping off the front lawn tree tops, Macaws, Toucans and beautiful butterflies flying by. If you cannot completely relax and leave all your worries and stresses behind at the Whale Resort, you do not deserve to take a vacation in the first place. If you like the people you're with, the Whale Resort is the perfect Costa Rica or for that matter, anywhere destination for bonding and sharing in the fun. If you don't like the people you're with you'll learn to like them by the time you leave.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The location: inside a rain forest, right on the beach, the monkeys and macaus, perfect retreat
Liked least: LCD lights in kitchen
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vincent M
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience in the Rain Forest!”
Reviewed 17 September 2015 for a stay in September 2015

Our stay at The Whale Resort exceeded expectations. Mike, the owner, was attentive to every detail of our trip. The staff members were gracious, polite and super diligent. We enjoyed both relaxing at the beautiful Resort and venturing out to explore the Peninsula. We hiked through Playa Matapalo to observe the surfing beaches, howling monkeys, scarlet macaws and gorgeous Eco lodges. We saw the whales migrating from Antarctica to give birth in the warm Pacific waters. The biggest highlight was catching a 400 lb + Blue Marlin, oh yeah!!! Puerto Jimenez is quaint and fun. The locals are awesome. Our accommodations were first class and the grounds and private beach were breathtaking. Do not plan on dieting because the food at the Resort was delicious and plentiful. Once in a lifetime experience! Thanks to Mike, Barb and a wonderful Staff!

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kim Z
1 review
“The Perfect Family Get Away”
Reviewed 1 May 2015 for a stay in March 2015

I’ve been coming to Costa Rica for a long time, stayed at the best hotels, and rented nice homes, but this place took the cake. We read about a new place in a magazine called The Whale Resort, so the family decided to make it our next vacation. There were eleven of us!
When we got off the plane in Puerto Jimenez, Tomas the concierge was there waiting for us. The owners Mike and Barb where there too, greeting us with a big cooler of our favorite beverages. They loaded us up and we had about a 15 minute drive to the property. We drove down the highway and turned on a gravel road about a mile that took us to the beach when we came up on a gated entrance, and from there on it was a total adventure. It was amazing. There were Heliconia gardens everywhere, and walking trails that winded through-out the property. It was so peaceful and private. It’s hard to put it in words but it was like driving into an oasis. It was a palace sitting in the middle of the jungle with a pool, large patio, and the beach in right outside the door. It was paradise. We really had our own little tropical resort all to ourselves. There were monkeys, scarlet macaws, toucans, and lots of humming birds everywhere. We were treated like kings and took full advantage of it from the minute we got there until the minute we left! We swam, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we cooked, and we laughed some more. We even had a bonfire on the beach one night.
The whole staff was awesome. Jenny, the house keeper came every day to clean up after us, cleaned the bathrooms, gave us fresh towels and even did our laundry. There were three houses on the property and Tomas lived in one of them so he was available to us all the time making sure we always had everything we needed. We were renting a home but it had all of the amenities of a five star hotel. We chose to have our meals cooked for us almost every night by the house chef and the food was incredible. We also went to a great authentic Italian restaurant in Puerto Jimenez one night, which was a very quant and cozy town. We didn’t rent a car because Tomas the concierge offered all the transportation we needed. We really didn’t need to, or want to leave the Whale Resort most of the time anyway, so we ended up spending about $130 with him for the week instead of paying a $100 a day to rent a car. We did one tour and went horseback riding on the beach and I would definitely recommend it too. The whole experience was just really cool and so relaxing, and we all recharged our batteries… We were all together for a week that went too fast, but had the time of our lives for the week, just having fun together in a very special place like I have never seen before.
I’m sure It’s only a matter of time before everyone finds out about the Whale Resort. I would recommend any family coming to Costs Rica to take advantage of this piece of paradise. Hopefully we can all go back next year to get some more of it!
Kim S.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: the property
Liked least: We only saw whales for 3 of the days..
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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