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Private Home, Gardens, Ocean & Rainforest View, Pool, Stream

Sleeps4
Bedrooms 1
Bathrooms1
Space 1,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 nights

Overview

About the property

House, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

Now with WiFi internet access!

Villa Helena, a privacy-lover's dream home, is nestled on a lush hillside just a half mile inland

as the toucan flies and 1000 feet above the Pacific Ocean in the midst of amazing jungle wildlife: birds of every size and description, wandering troupes of howler and white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, brilliantly colored tree frogs, and a great variety of tropical butterflies.

This unique one bedroom home has over a thousand square feet of tropical luxury and features a tall and airy vaulted ceiling, terra cotta floor tiles, Costa Rican native artwork, the rich and brilliant textiles and crafts of nearby Guatemala and Panama, and locally crafted furniture and fixtures.

Villa Helena is just minutes from the villages of Dominical and Uvita and several lovely, uncrowded beaches. Villa Helena offers the best of all worlds. Stay at home to enjoy the gardens which are full of fruit trees, flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies, walk the trail through the forest alongside the creek which crosses the property, laze by the pool on one of two terraces, and cook to your heart's content in the fully-equipped kitchen. You might even arrange a private massage on the balcony: birdwatch at the same time!

Villa Helena is a bird-lover's paradise and not just in our gardens. The incredible nature reserve, Hacienda Barú, is just 15 minutes away and has a bird list of over 350 species. Of course, our home isn't anywhere near the size of Hacienda Barú which stretches from the sea to the mountains. We haven't had a formal survey done but we have seen over 200 types of birds from the balcony while casually birding. These birds are clearly marked in the bird book on site. Hacienda Barú and other local reserves have many wonderful guided tours available.

Or you might choose to wander into one of the nearby towns to one of the great restaurants, do some craft shopping or stock up on locally caught fish and locally harvested tropical fruit. The beaches and beach activities are plentiful and uncrowded. Take a guided walk through one of the nearby private nature reserves, visit the stunning 215 foot tall Nauyaca Waterfalls by way of horseback, venture out to Caño Island for snorkeling or out for deep sea or inshore fishing. If you are an avid hiker you can take a trip through the mountain trails to one of two great waterfalls and swimming holes. It's always fun to drop into Dominical and watch the surfers: heck, you can take a lesson right there!

In this nook of Costa Rica, the temperatures are usually in the 80s during the day and around 70 at night. The hillside location lets us take advantage of the gentle breezes which make Villa Helena so comfortable. While we love playing at the beach every day, we also love to come back to our cool paradise!

WHY CHOOSE VILLA HELENA OVER OTHER SIMILARLY SIZED HOMES IN THE AREA?? There are lots of choices in the area for places to rent but none of them has all the things that Villa Helena has to offer. The 'beachside' places are all crowded in with other rental units so you have no privacy and much of the wildlife is scared away. By law, nothing can be built right on the beaches so there is still a walk to the ocean and once you get there, the beaches with rentals right by them almost always have rocky shores where it is is difficult to get into the water! There isn't much air circulation and with the nearby standing water, many area have lots of bugs and humidity. We rarely even seen a mosquito up at Villa Helena. Also, almost all of the waterfront places are just feet off the main, noisy highway and the places have varying degrees of success with dealing with that noise. Up in our area or in other places above the coast, most of the houses are built right on the road so you contend with periodic car noises and the noise of people chatting while they walk by. Our driveway drops you well away from the road into privacy so complete, you could sunbathe or swim nude and not have any worries. You'll only very rarely hear a car going by. We know of no other rental home that includes a seasonal stream through the property which further enhances the ambiance of Villa Helena and provides another habitat for lots of unusual birds and other wildlife. We regularly have a dunk into one of the little natural pools in the clear stream.

Keywords: Villa, Home, View, Pool, Garden, Private, Internet, Privacy, tropical, paradise, private, bird watching, monkeys close at hand

More Details

Owner
Barry Foster
Member since: 2004
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
100%
Calendar last updated:
July 12, 2017

About Barry Foster

My husband and I stumbled across this piece of paradise by accident and are we ever glad that we did! We come from the cool Pacific Northwest where we lead pretty fast-paced lives but do enjoy gardening and bird watching. Villa Helena lets us have a totally relaxing break, full of privacy. Being at Villa Helena has really deepened our gardening and birding horizons. Every time we go down, we find a new adventure: a new horseback ride, a new guided rain forest tour, a chocolate making class, new birding guides to try, another part of a beach to explore. Every time we come down, too, there is a new restaurant to try: local cuisine, fusion, Italian, French style, Indonesian, Spanish tapa bar, sushi: all low key, casual, open air (under a high roof) restaurants.

Barry Foster purchased this house in 1995

Why Barry Foster chose Puntarenas

We knew we wanted something very private yet not totally isolated. We have great neighbors at Villa Helena but the properties are large so we don't look onto anyone and no one sees us. We thought about an ocean side location but decided to be up on the hill. This decision gave us a great view, the wonderful gentle breezes, lots more privacy and really great access to all the birds, butterflies, monkeys, sloths, etc that we get such great enjoyment from watching. From our balcony we've even watched a mother humpback whale and her baby in the ocean below and several times have watched the whales breaching. We love being close to all the services of a couple of small towns but didn't want to be right in the midst of them. This part of Costa Rica is unique in that it has great, uncrowded beaches and also has the lushness of the tropical rain forest which the more touristy areas of the north lack. This really has turned out to be Paradise.

What makes this house unique

Villa Helena really is such a wonderful experience. There are so many places to wander through the gardens and stream bed where you can sit or stand and watch all the wildlife around you and enjoy plants you might not normally see on a daily basis. We have a couple of fruit trees which are full of bromeliads, ferns and four types of native orchids. The birds and the monkeys eat most of the fruit that grows here: mangos, guava, bananas, starfruit, cashews and they'll even eat the sour oranges! That's fine because we enjoy having the animals up so close and there are great sources of local fruit so close to us. Our mature garden really sets us apart from most other rentals in the area.

Everything is so close at hand to us at Villa Helena and yet we are still very private and close to nature. We can walk to a nearby restaurant and drive a few minutes to all the services of the neighboring two small towns. The closest beach is just ten minutes away by car. There are such great restaurants so close, serving local fare and all sorts of others. How do they serve such great international food in the middle of the jungle?

Amenities

Dominical House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible / Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Rural ...
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Spacious, large bathroom with roomy tiled shower, tiled sink area and terra cotta tile floor. There is a bright skylight plus two screened windows in the bathroom so it is a very bright, spacious, airy room. All towels and beach towels are supplied at the house.
Bedrooms:
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Convertible bed(s) - 2 twin/ single
  • King size beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) Two convertable beds, just shy of 80" long by 40" wide. Full linen sets on site. The extra sleeping beds if needed are set up in the living area. There is a small closet and shelves in the living area for clothes for guests using these beds. Since nearly all the time is spent outside on the balcony, this isn't a bad way at all for a family or close friends to use the house. There is a nice, adjustable ceiling fan. Fully screened louvered windows on two sides.
Entertainment:
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 4 garden chairs
Suitability:
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
Attractions:
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • whitewater rafting
Notes:
CD Player with dozens of CDs, all cooking utensils provided; bed linens, towels and beach towels provided; large covered balcony, hammocks, TOTAL privacy, tropical gardens, creek and creek trail on property, wildlife viewing. Internet access. While we do not have air conditioning per se, we do have three large and very efficient ceiling fans; one each in the living area, bedroom and balcony. The windows throughout the house are louvered and fully screened so the natural breezes can come right into the house but any insects get left outside. Additionally, there is a stand up fan if more directed air is needed. We find that we hardly ever even consider using the fans. For one, we spend most of our time at the house either on the balcony, in or around the pool or walking through the garden. Also, almost always there is a nice breeze either coming up the hill from the ocean or one coming down from the mountains behind us.

Reviews

Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(35 traveler reviews)

94% Complete
5% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Private Home, Gardens, Ocean & Rainforest View, Pool, Stream
average rating of 4.9428573 based on 35 reviews
4

Great house with amazing views set up in the jungle mountains!

  • 4 of 5

Such a nice, clean house perfect for a couple. Great living space with an amazing outdoor oasis. Two hammocks on the balcony overlooking the jungle with the ocean in the background. Howler monkeys within sight and sound. (Great alarm clock for early birds) Pool is deep and refreshing. Could use a better light for after dark swimming since the pool didn't have any lights. The house comes with many amenities such as a coffee pot, pots and pans, mixer, microwave and all your kitchen needs. The management company was amazing to work with. They gave us great tips for the surrounding area and provided a binder with contacts for everything to do in the area.

The reason for the 4 stars is only because the distance to the ocean may have been a half mile according to the description but that must have been as a crow flies. The road to get to the house was 2.2 kilometers of up hill on pretty rough terrain. We were told to make sure we had a 4x4 which we did but traveling up and down the road to the house was getting pretty old after about 3 days. When we booked the house we assumed only a 1/2 mile from the beach that we would be able to walk there. Other than that the only other thing is the house could use a hot water heater. The shower was very cold even with the humidity. If I could give 4.5 stars I would. My wife and I had an amazing time and the price was right for this house. We were able to walk up the road and found a Sloth hanging out in a tree. Very cool!

Thank you Kevin for meeting us and showing us the house. It was great to see you at the beach as well.

Shane and Anna

  • Submitted: Jun 22, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Shane, Thanks for leaving such a nice review of our Villa Helena. Yes, the description of the house does say that the house is about 1000 feet in elevation above the ocean and is a half mile inland. That is true but I see your point that one might think the house was that far by car. I'll make an adjustment to the listing to make sure it is 100% clear to our future guests. We have Kevin and the other managers inspect the house twice a month to make sure it is totally ready for guests to arrive. Once I read your review, I immediately called the managers and told them of your hot water experience. They assured me that they always run the taps to make sure the hot water heater is working properly. Kevin says that he found the hot water heater to be functioning correctly shortly before you arrived. But once he found out about your situation, he was going to go right up to make sure an element had not burned out. I'm sorry you had that experience but thank you for pointing that out and rest assured that it will be fully investigated! I'll also have Kevin check out the outdoor light above the dining area window. It sounds like they didn't point that out to you. It does light the pool area at night. There aren't any lights IN the pool like you see in the States often. I'll make sure that pointing that light out is part of the introduction to the house! I've never heard about either of these situations but thanks to you, we'll make sure these are seen to. Good on you for spotting the sloth! They can be elusive, mainly because they blend in and don't move much. Cheers, Barry P.S. We have retested the hot water heater as we have been here at the house now for a couple of weeks. Your issue with hot water is a mystery as we have not been able to reproduce your problem with a lack of hot water: if anything we find, like usual, that we have to have quite a bit of cold going, too, to have the right temperature for a shower. I wonder if the power had gone out for a while and so left the contents of the heater cool and it took a while to come back up to temperature. Whatever the reason, I'm sorry you were inconvenienced but rest assured that all seems fine. For this and all other rentals via VRBO, don't hesitate to contact the managers immediately if you encounter a problem. Thanks again, and happy traveling.
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Santa Fe
5

Better than expected!!!

  • 5 of 5

WOW! From the moment we turned onto the long driveway, through the jungle to the house, I knew this was going to be one heckuva dream vacation. To my surprise, it got even better upon opening the front door and looking out the expanse of windows that overlook the jungle canopy and the Pacific ocean! Honestly, I did not recall in the property description there being an ocean view, so that surprise was wonderful. The house itself is open and spacious with all the amenities one needs, but who cares?! Much of your time will be spent on the large back porch taking in the ocean breeze while looking for birds, reptiles and mammals ~ I was NOT disappointed, and that's my focus when I visit CR. We enjoyed hiking around the lush grounds and exploring up the road, where we were often met by sweet local dogs who would accompany us. One of the dogs actually pointed out an anteater off the road in the brush- no lie! (I felt like I should've tipped the pup.) When not at the villa, which was much of the time, we explored beaches and thoroughly enjoyed just winging it and driving the many roads leading up mountains - many along rivers with waterfalls. I can't fully express what a magical vacation we had, much in part to the serenity, beauty, security and hominess of Villa Helena. We were booked for 5 nights and had such a great stay that we extended it 3 more nights. Thanks to Barry and his top-notch management team for making it happen in a timely, seamless manner. We will be back!

  • Submitted: Apr 28, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

A little piece of heaven

  • 5 of 5

This is the most gorgeous property - you would think you were the only people there. It's very private with outstanding views across the ocean, and a good range of birds and butterflies can be seen in and around the garden. On our arrival we were greeted by a howler monkey - he and his friends proceeded to wake us each morning with their calls. The house is well equipped with all you will need. Despite feeling you are in the middle of nowhere, there is a bar close enough to walk to, which has live music most nights and great food. I would recommend the Ginger & Jalapeno cocktails. There is loads to do quite close to the villa, so you won't need to be in transit for long if you are doing excursions. I would recommend this villa to anyone who wants a little taste of heaven. Totally awesome.

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hey Fiona, I'm so happy that the Greeting Committee was there to greet you and then checked in on you from time to time! Aren't those monkeys incredible?! We are always so grateful that we can view them up close (even closer with binoculars) and know that they are living free in their own environment instead of in a cage. It's why we planted so many native fruit trees for them to enjoy and come closer to us and our guests. Glad you found the local 'watering hole' too. Great food, wonderful views and atmosphere. A local treasure. Safe travels to you and we'll hope to see you back at Villa Helena in the future. Pura Vida, Barry
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Bar Harbor, ME
5

Can't wait to return!

  • 5 of 5

We loved the property so much we had to force ourselves to leave some days. Wonderful wildlife viewing, from butterflies to monkeys. We woke to the sound of toucans each morning.

The house had all the amenities and then some. We cooked most meals on the charcoal grill.

Beautiful views and ideal location. Lots of peace and quiet and privacy. Excellent communication between the owner and the property managers. I highly recommend Villa Helena.

  • Submitted: Mar 27, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Tessa, Fantastic to hear how much you enjoyed staying at our little corner of paradise, Villa Helena. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves to realize how lucky we were to land in this beautiful location. I'm glad you were able to get acquainted with the toucans and all the other creatures. Like you, I'm sure, it's just amazing to see the monkeys coming through the trees on the property for such great 'up close and personal' viewing. We can hardly wait to visit Maine and drop in on what looks like a fantastic pub. Thanks for choosing Villa Helena for your Costa Rica adventure. Pura vida, Barry
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5

A lovely secluded well appointed cottage with a spectacular view of coast and jungle

  • 5 of 5

This is a perfect spot for a couple who want a secluded spot with all the amenities within an easy drive of swimming, surfing, horse back riding, nature preserves, zip lining and much more. Grocery stores, ATM machines, several and varied places to eat as well not far away. Everyone is friendly and helpful. We would definitely stay at Villa Helena again

  • Submitted: Jan 1, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Margaret, Thanks for taking the time to write about your stay at our home in Costa Rica, Villa Helena. You write about so many of the things that drew us to this property in the first place: all the birds, monkeys and other animals who are there in abundance, the relaxing view, lazing by the pool on one of the poolside decks and how despite the wonderful world of privacy there but how close all the great beaches, private nature reserves, shops and restaurants are. You really are in a world apart when you're at home at Villa Helena yet so many other fun things to see and do are so close. Thanks for choosing Villa Helena for your vacation in Costa Rica: we'll look forward to your next visit. Barry
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5

Life in the Sloth Lane

  • 5 of 5

Villa Helena was greeted at dawn by a troop of capuchin monkeys which tree-hop for leaf-munching, play and work. Toucans swooped through the canopy, viewed from the balcony, and perched on the lone sentinel tree across the property, on the alert for breakfast and predators. A whole afternoon was whiled away watching a sloth navigate a nearby cecropia tree to eat a flower. Other exotic creatures - coatis, agouti, rare butterflies and lizards - traveled through the bushes around the pool, and it was fun to count the number of different fiery-crested hummingbirds guarding their claimed floral shrubs off of the deck. Our kind of lounging around.

On the people side, Barry kindly shared excellent tips about the Dominical-Uvita-Ojochal area ahead of our first CR visit, and Ann Marie, Kevin and Tom, the property managers, were on it with detailed professionalism.

We were surprised to find Villa amenities like a coffee grinder, blender, bird guide, towels to take to the beach, boogie boards and hammocks. We found the Tico woven tapestries, paintings and other crafts lovely touches to a peaceful home. This spot is a little bit of heaven.

  • Submitted: Dec 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm so happy that you had the full parade of wildlife while you were enjoying your stay at Villa Helena. They are a very dependable bunch since the habitat is so perfect for them all. The cecropia tree just off the balcony really is a magnet for so many of the birds and of course the sloths: the researchers say that the leaves and flowers of the cecropia are the sloth's favorite food so we're very lucky to have them growing so close. Like you, we spend hours upon hours watching them all, keeping a running tally of birds each day: always something new to see. We'll look forward to your next visit to Villa Helena!
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Map

Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge
"A terrific wildlife refuge with a variety of expertly guided tours including bird watching, ..."
Nearest Airport
30 Miles
Quepos, 45 kilometers
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Jolly Roger, walking distance
Nearest Golf
25 Miles
40 minutes
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
2 miles by road to the main coast road
Nearest Restaurant
0.5 Miles
Jolly Roger or Tree of LIfe
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Hermosa, 10 minutes by car
Car: necessary

Wildlife observation, art and craft shopping, swimming in the 85 Degree (F) ocean or in the private pool, sea kayaking, boogie boarding, beachcombing, birdwatching, rainforest canopy exploration, zip line travel through the rainforest, jungle waterfall enjoyment, natural tropical pool swimming (seasonal), rainforest trail walking right from the house, deep sea fishing, whale watching

Photos

Rates & Availability

Dominical House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Green Season
May 16 2017 - Nov 30 2017
5 night minimum stay
$100
$650
$1,900
 
 
High Season
Dec 1 2017 - May 15 2018
5 night minimum stay
$150
$950
$3,500
 
 
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
$150
 

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $250
Tax Rate 13.0%

$250 totally refundable security deposit. We have never had to retain any portion of the deposit: people love the house and treat it as though it were their own. Rates are based on 2 people occupying the house. If there are additional people, we charge and extra $50 per week, 4 person total maximum.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner
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