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“Better service than money can buy!!!”
Review of Villa Le Mas

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Villa Le Mas
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Better service than money can buy!!!”
Reviewed 31 December 2011

I was thrilled with my choice of Villa Le Mas in Escazu, Costa Rica, for 12 days of recovery from a facial cosmetic procedure by the brilliant surgeon Dr. Miguel Alfaro. I cannot imagine anything that Petra, the manager, and her world class team could possibly have done to make me feel more special or to better expedite my recovery. In the most magnificent, peaceful setting, they provided individualized, totally professional care, and you know what? they REALLY CARE. If there is anything that a medical patient has ever lacked at Villa Le Mas (and I just reread all previous reviews posted on the Web), it’s probably because he/she neglected to ask for it.

Any critique like this should probably be prefaced with a few, basic assumptions: 1) you are seeking a quiet place to lay low, to heal in private -- even in anonymity; 2) you understand that Costa Rica is different, with its own infrastructure, climate, foods, culture, and traditions -- all worthy of respect (a poor country compared to the U.S. but superior in many other ways); and 3) you are interested in maximizing the value received for your money. If, on the other hand, you require excitement, a full bar, pro football on giant flat screen TV, 5 course gourmet meals, a full-time nurse, and money is no object, why not just stay home in Beverly Hills or wherever for your plastic surgery?

And if you are coming to Costa Rica for a medical or dental procedure, here is why I would argue that even based on value for money alone,Villa Le Mas cannot be beat:

Management. Clear communication always exists, starting with the first contact by email or phone call to Petra Van Roosmalen, the General Manager. This well-traveled, intelligent, attractive, efficient, energetic, and witty young woman is a fully qualified nurse in her own right, and available on the premises 24 hours a day. She and her husband are multilingual, capable of speaking to you in fluent English, German, Dutch, and Spanish, among other languages.

Petra or her staff pick you up and drop you off at the San Jose International Airport, always on time. She takes responsibility for ferrying you on time by car to and from your doctor’s appointments – most of which are included in the daily room rate. In my case that included about four trips to the CIMA Hospital. She even waited there an extra half hour to help me get through the registration process. Petra arranges and prepays any guided tours. She is very well organized, remembered my smallest needs in detail, and never dropped the ball. She can also be very persuasive, and somehow got me an appointment on short notice with the best dermatologist in the city -- a very busy man. I was astounded at all the extra services she volunteered for. When I took a 3 day side trip in Costa Rica, Petra offered to store my excess luggage, dropped me at the regional airport, then picked me up there with the luggage and took me to the International Airport ON CHRISTMAS DAY. (Lucky she did, since I’d forgotten all my house and car keys left in the room.). You cannot put a price on service like this!!

Petra is one of those born to be a caregiver -- this is genuine. You know that when you learn of her adopting the stray Golden Retriever, Sasha, that had been severely abused and giving her a good home. You know that when she always stops to give rides to the local servant class, and her preference for hiring the minority Nicaraguans. By treating her workers as equal members of her team, Petra shows great management skill, and is rewarded by a very loyal, honest, and hard working staff. Petra is a humanitarian, an absolute gem, and it is easy to care for her as your own family member, the same way she treats her guests. I doubt if there are many hotels that could supply this kind of emotional support during convalescence.

Rooms and facilities: Villa Le Mas is a walled 10 acre compound at 5000 feet elevation in Escazu, the nicest suburb of San Jose, in its southwestern foothills. (Plan on dressing for temperatures about 9 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than San Jose.) Every room contains a safe for valuables. The grounds are lush with tropical trees and plants, affording privacy from neighboring villas, yet most rooms have a great view of the valley 1000 feet below. There are nice places for exercising with a nature hike and plenty of birds (including some resident Montezuma birds), butterflies, and animals (eg. sloths) can be found both inside and outside the compound walls. I got in the habit of a daily walk outside the walls on a half-mile loop accompanied by the dog, Sasha. Inside the compound you could go for weeks without meeting another guest if you so desired, or you could choose to be sociable. Fresh air and the stillness are part of the healing and renewal of the place. Daily maid service by Justina and Rosa including fresh linens, sweeping, and mopping with disinfectant keep the rooms hospital clean.

Meals: Three meals per day are brought to your room on a fixed schedule. There is considerable variety and everything is fresh and nutritionally balanced. Breakfast is often eggs prepared in various ways with toast, butter, and jelly, or could be pancakes, or could be cereal, but always served with tons of fresh fruits of every variety you can imagine. Lunch is often a delicious soup or sandwich together with plenty of salads of all types. Dinner contains adequate portions of meat, chicken, or fish together with potatoes, carrots, zucchini, pasta, or other mixed vegetables plus some kind of dessert. Coffee, tea, orange juice, and bottled water are always available. If you have special needs, such as my not eating fish, this was no problem and was cheerfully accommodated. Also, I found that although I am not extra big, six feet, 210 lbs, my caloric requirements were somewhat larger, so I asked Petra if she could get me some extra food like bread, butter, cheese, jam, and milk. No problem. Next time she went to the market, Petra delivered everything to me at cost, and I restocked whenever I needed something. Anyway, upon my arrival the refrigerator had been stocked with Coca Cola, candy bars and snacks available for the taking at cost. There is no way one could get hungry at Villa Le Mas.

Medical care: Every day I had a visit after breakfast from the visiting nurse, Johanna. A very gentle, cheerful person, she recorded my vital signs and inspected my wounds, sometimes with some cleaning. Her English is excellent and she did a good job answering all my questions. One afternoon I got a massage from the physical therapist, Ania. I never had a more relaxing, deep massage. All this is included in the cost of the room.

Extras:
 Unlimited phone calls to almost every part of the U.S., absolutely free.
 WiFi was fast enough. I can’t live without it. Not all competing facilities have it.
 Cable TV with about 50 channels, enough in English, eg. CNN, NBC.
 DVD player, including dozens of top flight American films on DVD which I never had time to watch, plenty of books and magazines.
 Free laundry service. Everything washed, dried, and folded within hours. You can go home with all clean clothes.

Summary: I had a great experience at Villa Le Mas being catered to and nurtured by Petra, her wonderful facilities and staff. For anybody needing a place for medical recovery in Costa Rica, I give it my highest recommendation without any hesitation.

jsuds@comcast.net 73 year old male Boston, MA Dec. 30, 2011

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank James L S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2011

I am a world traveler and had been dreaming to visit Costa Rica for a very long time. Since I needed some dental work done, I thought it would be a great opportunity to mix medical with pleasure. I was referred to Villa LeMas and I am so lucky to found this wonderful place.

First off, my flight got so messed up I missed my connecting flight and a normally 5 hour journey turned into 15 hour trip from hell! When I finally arrived at the San Jose airport, Petra (the hotel manager) was waiting for me with a friendly smile. She took care of my bags and told me that now I could just relax because she would make sure my stay would be relaxed and happy. She really over delivered!

When we arrived at Villa LeMas, Petra surprised me by giving me a free upgrade to an incredible luxury suite. The room was clean, spacious, had an incredible view, and very cozy. There was a delicious dinner awaiting me and I slept like a baby.

The rest of my stay was excellent. I was treated like a princess, which is remarkable considering the affordable price of the room. I loved the staff, Petra, and LeMas and I will definitely be coming back. I recommend this to everyone- stay at Villa Le Mas! :)

Room Tip: The hotel manager is there to help, so I recommend asking her advice. Petra is there to take good ca...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank KimiInch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2011

Thank you to Petra, who is now a member of our family! She took such great care of us! The facility and staff were amazing and relaxing. The views were amazing from the rooms.
I had 3 different procedures and the nursing staff was on top of everything. Petra knew exactly where I was and got me everywhere I needed to be at a very low cost. I thank you so much for help changing my life!!!
Love to my new family,

Sybil Rice

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank TheTravelingAuthor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 September 2011

I came to Costa Rica for a full mouth restoration. I did not know anything about Villa Le Mas before this trip; only what I had read on these pages and on their website. I chose Costa Rica because I have been here before and love the people and the country.

I was a bit nervous about the scope of the full-mouth restoration not about the quality of care I would receive because I know that CR is well known for their excellent medical treatment and outcomes.

It was an amazing feeling to have someone waiting for you at the airport-on time and friendly after a long trip. I am a very experienced traveler who has always figured every detail out for myself when traveling but because this was a health-related visit, I can't tell you how nice it is not to worry about such things as travel logistics.

I got here at night and Petra (owner) was waiting for me. She was so warm, friendly and welcoming. I had a wonderful meal waiting for me. She led me to my villa and it was even more beautiful than in the pictures. I stayed at the Rock House-with its beautiful glass walls, amazing forest setting and its tasteful decor.

Petra runs a tight ship here! She is friendly, and ah so helpful. She coordinated all my medical appointments, my prescriptions, my visits in and around town, etc. She has a beautiful and serene recovery paradise that I could have never found or afforded in the states. The staff at Le Mas is so warm, friendly and super professional as well. I have made great friends with the drivers, and the rest of the staff.

I feel like royalty here and I can't stress enough how important it is to stay at Le Mas after surgery. I am so happy I chose Le Mas. The beautiful and peaceful surroundings and the unsurpassed service is just what everyone deserves after medical procedures and I am so happy and grateful I could give this to myself. Le Mas exceeded my expectations.

The food at Le Mas is delicious and nutritious. All meals are well balanced, high in fiber, protein, essential restorative vitamins and minerals, and low in empty carbs. It is fresh and delicious. I am Latina (not from CR) and I found it to be soooo yummy since I ate avocados, beans, salads, gallo pinto, amazing tropical fruits. It caters to well being and healing! (every detail is carefully thought out).

My total stay is 11 days. I told Petra today that I want to live here! Honestly, there is nothing that they won't do to make your stay comfortable. I so appreciated not having to worry about anything during my stay here.

I felt close to Petra and Justina -they both took care of me and made me feel valued and appreciated. I feel so lucky to have found this place and look forward to coming back in a few months.

I am also recommending to friends and family!

Grateful in Le Mas

Rose

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank GoAway3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2011

The aftercare service that you recieve at Villa Le Mas is excellent with very friendly staff. Petra helps out with everything that you could possibly need - from your food dislikes - to arranging transportation
The room that we stayed in was beautiful and had everything that we needed plus more and the food was excellent..
The location is excellent for recovering or just to get away from it all and relax, very peaceful and serene - with amazing views.
I loved it there and hope to get back someday - even if I wasn't the patient but the Mother of one.

Debra - Alberta, Canada

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank albertagirl1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Le Mas

Property: Villa Le Mas
Address: Calle Hoja Blanca | San Antonio, Escazu 1260, Costa Rica (Formerly Villa Le Mas Aftercare Facility)
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > Escazu
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Escazu
Price range (per night): $76 - $139
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Le Mas offers tranquil vacation apartments located in a park-like setting with views of Cerro Pico Blanco and the Central Valley. Our property is the last property before the Nature Reserve begins to the south and to the west there is a creek and then agricultural land. There are many different kinds of birds and wildlife. The property is two and a half acres of tropical gardens with the vacation rentals scattered about walkways through the gardens. Our location and property are very private, peaceful and tranquil. We are only 15 minutes to shopping and restaurants, yet it feels as if you are in the countryside. We have complimentary shared laundry facilities on the property and 24/7 guard service for the safety of our guests and their property. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Le Mas Costa Rica/Escazu

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