Help me choose: Vista Del Valle or Xandari

Old Jan 14th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Help me choose: Vista Del Valle or Xandari

I need a hotel to stay at for the last three nights of our honeymoon in CR this June (we're staying 5 nights at Villa Caletas). I think I have it narrowed down to Xandari and Vista Del Valle for their proximity to Villa Caletas and the airport.

First, for those who stayed there, does Vista Del Valle still have their green season three nights for the price of two special that's on their website (the website seems really outdated)? Which room did you stay at?

Which would you pick? I love the idea of waterfalls on the property (I knwo Xandari has this) and perhaps taking a day trip or two out of the hotel to a volcano or rafting... Which is less secluded (don't want secluded so much after Villa Caletas) and closer to San Jose in case we want to go there one day?

Tell me your experiences at either... Keep in mind it's a honeymoon but one where at least one person (me) gets bored easily
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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We stayed at both and based on your concerns, I would recommend Xandari over Vista del Valle. Vista del Valle is about 1 hour from San Jose and much more secluded that Xandari, Xandari is probably 15-20 minutes from SJ. Xandari is also very close to the town of Alajuela. From Vista del Valle, you can easily visit Sarchi. Both are probably a good base for a visit to Poas Volcano. As for rafting and other organized activities/day trips, you are probably better off doing it from Xandari.
Here is an excerpt from one of my trip reports (2001):
We spent our first and last nights at Vista del Valle outside of San Jose. Vista del Valle has been highly recommended by a lot of people on this forum and we enjoyed it too. It is a very low key, pleasant and homey place. We were picked up at the airport by a driver from Vista del Valle. We had one of their Exotic Wood Suites (Caobilla) which has a little kitchenette between the rooms. It has a queen size bed and a little futon sofa. On the first afternoon we spent an hour or so in their pool and hot tub. After that it started pouring rain so we went to our room, sat on the deck and played cards for the rest of the evening. It cleared enough for us to have dinner in their open air dining room that night. It rained again all night, though, which made it impossible for us to hike to Vista del Valle's waterfall as the trail was too slippery. The highlight of the evening was the discovery of a huge black spider in our shower which my husband bravely took outside in a glass.
The next morning we woke up early to a chorus of various birds and insects, made some coffee and sat on the deck admiring the view of the surrounding mountains. Then we had a good Costa Rican breakfast and spent the morning walking around the property and admiring the hotel owner's new baby horse that was born only a week before. (As an aside since I did not post a trip report last year: another option for accommodations in that area is the beautiful Xandari Hotel where we stayed for a couple of nights last year. I personally preferred Xandari to Vista del Valle. The hotel grounds and the rooms at Xandari are more spacious and the views of the Central Valley from Xandari are spectacular. Vista del Valle is more cozy and homey, with the owners stopping by and chatting to the guests at dinner and breakfast. Xandari has a bit more formal atmosphere and if you are looking for seclusion that is the place to be. Vista del Valle was very pleasant and I wouldn't mind going back, but Xandari was just spectacular.)

On our trip in 2003 we stayed at Xandari again and liked it a lot. They now have a very impressive spa at the property. We also hiked to their 2 waterfalls which were just beautiful. One word of warning: the dinner at Xandari is just so so. If you have a car you may consider going out instead of having the dinner there (although, I have to say that the location of the restaurant and the view make up for the average food quite well!).
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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We're just back from CR, having stayed both at Villa Caletas and Xandari. After Caletas, we wondered whether everything would be down-hill. Xandari was terrific, in its way as wonderful as Caletas. Be sure to try to get Ultra Villa #4 at Xandari-- it really does have the best view, best setting,most privacy, etc. The grounds are better for strolling than at Caletas (but Caletas is gorgeous and has a nice beach-- stony, but lovely). Xandari has five waterfalls, by the way. A bit of a hike to get to all of them-- but simply beautiful! (though not quite as spectacular as the ones at Peace Lodge). If you have other specific questions abt those 2 places, I'd be glad to try to answer. The food at Caletas is way better than at Xandari. Congratulations in advance on your marriage! (We've just celebrated our 34th anniversary-- marriage is great!)
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 10:14 AM
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Stayed at Vista Valle two nights ago for 1 night before flying home.

We had the same choices and we should have gone with Xandari.

Staff is very nice, but after coming from an oasis in OSA penninsula, it was very dissapointing. In my opinion this a place to either use as a jump off point after arriving in SJO or a place to recompress before leaving Costa Rica.

You can hear the sound of the semi's from the Pan American highway, not too far away.

However, to be fair, the grounds are very nice.

Go with Xandari.

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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Oh yeah, the hike down to the waterfall at Vista Valle is a good opportunity for a compound fracture.
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