We were featured in Brides Magazine as one of the top destinations for honeymoons in Costa Rica
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Review Rancho Armadillo Estate
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See what the top Travel Writers and Guide Books have to say about us
"Low key couples who want a more authentic atmosphere choose centrally located Rancho Armadillo, a Spanish-style estate, where the owner welcomes guests like family by dictating down to the mile marker directions to secret waterfalls, Places like this remind you that, despite the buzz, Costa Rica will never be a high-rise mecca~.You can still find a hammock where the only sound will be a breeze rustling the trees. And if you listen closely, a howler monkey's screech."
Lexi Dwyer- Brides Magazine
"This place is an entrancing hotel~ the view from the common areas is the best in town"
The kindest hotel owner in Costa Rica - Tucked back in the mountains above Playas del Coco and surrounded by tropical dry forest, there lives a Detroit-bred Gringo with a long gray ponytail, and he will make you the best piña colada(s) of your life. He’ll also give you everything else you could possibly want while you are staying at his charming but modern six-room estate, Rancho Armadillo. His name is Rick Vogel, and his rancho es su rancho. He’s the kindest hotel operator in the whole damn country. TicoTimes
"Easily the most unique property in the Coco area, this is a true respite from daily life~it's the best of both worlds, tranquility and ease of access."
The Bradt Travel Guide
Stands out as a comfortable luxury hotel in the foot hills above the beach~view incredible sunsets or star gaze at night~ the gardens are manicured
Hunter Travel Guide
"For peaceful exclusivity, I recommend Rancho Armadillo~This home away from home is a beautiful Spanish-colonial-style hacienda~spacious bungalows~with magnificent hardwood furniture~rainforest showers~voluminous bathrooms are adorned with exquisite tile work and stained glass~The honeymoon suite is huge"
All of the testimonials below were unsolicited from former guests and now new friends and are displayed here to give prospective new guests honest opinions of what they can expect from us here at The Rancho Armadillo Estate. We have included the email addresses; Please feel free to contact any of them.
We made it home. All of our flights went smoothly, despite their unwillingness to provide us with tropical fruit smoothies on our morning flight. Thank you so much for a perfect honeymoon. We are already convincing our families that they should visit sometime as well, although my sister and her husband were already convinced after speaking with you! All of your recommendations were wonderful and navigating Costa Rica would have been incredibly difficult if it were not for your maps and direction. All of the restaurants you recommended were great and we cannot wait for the opportunity to return and try more! You have set the standards for all of our future vacations and trust me that means the bar is set high! We had an excellent time and hope to see you again soon.
Hi Rick, I just wanted to write you a quick email and let you know how much fun we had staying with you last week! Your place was the perfect place for us......a little relaxing, and a little adventure. You were an awesome tour guide! Our flight leaving Costa Rica last Friday was delayed by 8hrs but the whole time we were waiting we talked about all of the fun we had. The meal you made us was absolutely amazing!!! It was a great way to end a great vacation! I am sure you will see us again in the future for more fun times. Take Care, Allison & Kenton
I just wanted to say thank you so much for your card, but more importantly, thank you for all of your help with making our wedding the best day ever!! I really appreciated all of your help with organizing the flowers, cake, bartender, hair/makeup etc. and for also being so great before we even got there, by always emailing me back quickly and answering my zillion questions with lots of details! It really made it much less stressful for me, and we were both really happy with how everything turned out. Also, although I told you already, I'll just say again that the dinner was fantastic! And in addition to all of that you even helped us with the whole fiasco with Yuri's mom at the airport! So that's it, I just wanted to say (on behalf of both of us) thank you very much - there's no way I would have been able to organize that whole wedding without you. Yuri and I (and my family) had a wonderful time and you were an amazing host. We'd both love to come back for a (second) honeymoon as soon as we can!
Rick, Thank you once again for a wonderful time in paradise. Chicago currently has over a foot of snow on the ground and a wind chill advisory - forecasting 25 below tonight! Going to CR in the winter gets me through days like this. I had a great time, as always. Thanks for your hospitality!
Hi Rick, It's been two weeks since I've been back in Chicago and I have to tell you I'm really missing Ranch Armadillo. I'd much rather wake up to howler monkeys and a fresh mango smoothie than digging the car out of 2 feet of snow. And I really miss the Don Bosco boat day over taking the EL to work. This was my 6th trip to Racho Armadillo and the best so far. Thanks again for your great hospitality and extra care.
Dear Rick, Arrived home safe and sound. Barely made our connections in Dallas, but our luggage didn't. I wasn't worried about the clothes just my bags of Costa Rican Coffee! Got to have my priorities correct..Luggage has now safely arrived !I want to thank you for a wonderful stay. Although I know that you do the same for every guest, you made us feel like it was just for us. Your recommendations truly made the trip special and enjoyable. Thanks for all the extras! Best wishes and take care.
Thanks Rick, that card was awesome. We really enjoyed ourselves and both Thank you very much for a wonderful time. We of course made it home without any problems. It was a great vacation that we will never forget. Thanks again for everything.
Dina & Edna
Rick and Debbie, Thanks once again for being such gracious hosts last month. What has become an annual trip never seems to disappoint. Everything from the stunning views, the great food, beautiful weather and good company. I especially want to thank you for welcoming Kristin this year. We truly had a great time.
Rick and Debbie- I wanted to thank you for the wonderful stay at Rancho Armadillo. I was absolutely blown away by your place and Playas del Coco. The vistas and scenery were fabulous. I am very much missing my fresh managos at breakfast this week.. Thank you for your immense hospitality, you could not have provided a warmer welcome for my first trip to Costa Rica. Here's to many more!
Dear Rick, Already back in the Amsterdam since almost 3 weeks but still when I close my eyes I can picture myself at your lovely ranch. Of all our accommodation in the 15-days trip through Costa Rica we enjoyed staying at your place the most. I will keep memories of the wonderful place, the warm hospitality and beautiful surroundings close to my heart. I really hope that one day we can return and then even bring friends or family as your place deserves another visit! Once more thank you ever so much for being such a great host for us and for helping our with the cooking of our meal ;-). I will absolutely recommend and convince friends whenever visiting your area to stay at your place. I wish you a good summer season with only pleasant guests
Dear Rick, Greetings from sunny San Francisco. We made it back unscathed - even made it through Houston's airport this time. We are slowly snapping back into reality, but can't stop thinking about our truly amazing time spent in Costa Rica, specifically Rancho Armadillo. Seriously, we are still having dreams about it. Thank you so much for providing us with such a well-rounded and authentic Costa Rican experience. We couldn't have asked for a better combination of comfort, adventure, and cultural exposure in a country neither of us had ever been, or would ever know where to go on our own. You truly went out of your way to treat us like friends in your home rather than guests in your hotel, and helped us to utilize the time we had to see all we could. We would love to come back soon and will definitely refer friends and family to Rancho Armadillo in the mean time. We wish you the best of continued success, and thank you again for your hospitality and help. It was (and will likely continue to be) one of our most memorable trips ever. Pura Vida, Lisa and Franco
Hola Rick, Well, we are back in the States...whew! Had a decent trip home with avoiding hurricane activity in the gulf (on the plane). We had an absolutely WONDERFUL time--mostly due to your graciousness and the Rancho Armadillo "aura". I have many pics of the estate and views from our room, etc. I will probably try to post some to the TripAdvisor site with my review. Thanks, so much, for the great tips, great food, good ambience, and tons of information you gave us. It is not often that a proprietor/B&B owner, etc. is so helpful and spends so much time with the guests.
Hi Rick and Debbie,
Hi Rick and Debbie! Thank you again for a wonderful stay at Rancho Amardillo. It was such a great way to end our stay in Costa Rica. Ironically, the weather has gotten a little mild up here and it is above zero and the snow is melting. Our tans are fading fast though. all the best!
Hi Rick, Thanks again for the wonderful hospitality and making our trip to Costa Rica that much more memorable! We really had a great time, and are looking to plan our return trip. As soon as we have dates we'll run them by you to check for availability.
My husband and I recently stayed at Rancho for our honeymoon and loved it. I did a ton of research on many different destinations for our trip and decided on Costa Rica and Rancho Armadillo b/c of the beautiful scenery, exotic location, friendly locals, exciting excursions and great reviews from Trip Advisor. ......If you are used to staying in a large all inclusive and having a tour guide drive you and 20 other people to an excursion this is not the place to stay. If you love adventure and can handle renting a car and driving with the locals then you will love this vacation. Rick the owner went so above and beyond from the first email I sent to him. He will give you great advice and ideas for planning your trip. If you are planning to stay there I suggest you get his advice before you make any plans. I did all of the planning so when my husband and I arrived in Costa Rica he was a bit nervous. Rick took all of our worries away. The resort was a little hidden paradise. Rick gives you a great at home feeling and also has so much knowledge of the plants and animals on the estate. The rooms are very low key but well kept and you don't ever have to worry about your stuff getting stolen. The pool and bar/restaurant area was so relaxing and beautiful.
Melissa & Phillip Peterson
Tom, Nancy, and I all arrived safely in the US with all of our luggage. It was a most uneventful trip home as compared with our travel in Costa Rica.
We miss the fresh fruits for breakfast with conversation and all the fun that we had while visiting with you. Thanks for all of your helpfulness with our travel plans. We really appreciated your going the extra mile for your guests. The dinner was superb and we will never find one that will compare. We will pass the word along and maybe one day we can return. We miss it already.
Thanks so much for all you did,
Dear Rick and Debbie, yes we are alive and doing well and how time fly's and how many times do you think Diane and I said we've got to email Rick, then we had a glass of vino and what do you know, the night was over. To you both an incredibly big thank you for all that you did. The entire gang had a great time and all want to go back. We said no problem, just buy yourselves a ticket. Your ideas, efforts, and warmth made our trip. Diane was so lucky to find you on the web. Resort hotels are not our game. Take care, Booth and Co
Rick and Debbie, you truly are wonderful hosts, and have a beautiful paradise. You have done a fantastic job on my Scott and Roseannes wedding, and fullfilled all of our needs so well. I had such a great time, and I cannot wait to come back. I cannot thank you enough for the experience. For the first time in my life, I learned to relax.
All the superlatives from previous reviews are true! We spent some of our honeymoon at Rancho Armadillo, and had an incredible time. One of the best things about it is the friendly atmosphere, which is all due to Rick, the owner. He spends time with and gets to know his guests, and helps the guests to get to know each other. He'll even help you plan your trip before you go, and gives great advice! He directed us to some less-touristy and very worthwhile activities. The grounds are very pretty, and the rooms comfortable. We'd go back in a second!
Rick & Debbie, Thank you again for a great time at Rancho Armadillo. This was my third trip, and as always, you made me feel at home. I really appreciate all the wonderful advice, comfort, and guidance you give. Plus, it's really nice to just hang out with you both. Looking forward to the next trip.
Rick and Debbie, An email subject header of "thanks" just doesn't really do justice to how much I appreciate being welcomed to Rancho Armadillo every January. This trip was exactly what I needed, right when I needed it. It was so great to be back in a place that I feel so welcomed and at home in. Rick, I am going to put the pasta tip to the test tomorrow night. Hopefully my dish will turn out as awesome as yours. If you have any more of those kinds of tips or simple recipes to go along with them, I am forever a willing student. Debbie, hope that you are enjoying the time with your family this week! I assume that we saw all the wild life last week and it should be pretty quite around there for them over the next couple of days:)
Until next year, Pura Vida
Hi Rick and Debbie - Thank you, thank you for all that you did to make Bess and Paul's wedding so very special. It went so very smoothly. Everything turned out much better than we hoped for or dreamed. What a story book affair, they were both just glowing. Special thanks for all of your help with the rehearsal dinner, gifts for their room, etc. etc. You went way above and beyond. Also, for helping arrange the plans for our extended stay. When any of our friends travel to Costa Rica we will recommend your place. Again, just wanted to say thank you. God Bless!
Hola, Rick! Just a note to tell you and Debbie how much we appreciate all your extra special treatment while "in your care" in Costa Rica. From start (picking us up at the airport at midnight) to finish (our lovely exit photos), you helped make this one of our most memorable trips. We especially enjoyed the ambiance of your beautiful place; the breathtaking ocean views, the sunsets, the breakfasts, the pool, the hammocks, our lovely rooms, the landscaping and primitive artifacts, and fun and delicious dinners "in town" at Coco Beach!!! Rancho Armadillo certainly exceeded our expectations in making us feel comfortable and at home. Then there was Jaime!!! What a delightful, charming guide! (and to think he had attended school in Missouri, no less!) He, too, took excellent care of us while on our adventures to the volcano and rainforest. We felt as though he was our friend as well as our instructor of Tico culture and history. Again, Rick, muchisimas gracias por todo y ojala que regresemos pronto.
We returned to 32 f weather which isn't bad & it's quite sunny so the transition isn't as bad as I expected. Its's supposed to be 60 this weekend, albeit temporarily, but at least spring is around the corner. We've downloaded our pix & they've brought back hundreds of wonderful moments and it already seems too long ago. We are determined to return.The kids are still raving about the fabulous time they had & very much appreciated your casual, comfortable style. It's probably the best family vacation we've ever had. We miss not only your beautiful country & lovely hotel but also you & Deb with your easy comfortable manner, humour & priceless advice. We couldn't imagine better hosts & hope to see you again before too long.
Hello Rick and Debbie! I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had at your place! It was so beautiful as well as fun! Every activity we did was awesome and I really appreciate your advice as we didn't have to do any guesswork! It was so nice to go out and do really intense things like surfing, zip chording and then come back to such a great place to relax! As a college students CJ and I really, REALLY appreciated the restaurant recommendations, breakfasts and the meal you made. We haven't stopped talking about how well we were fed! Anyway's, thanks again for making the trip so awesome,
Bill and I want to thank you for the wonderful time we had staying at your estate and also for all the helpful advice that allowed us to have such a wonderful experience in beautiful Costa Rica. We arrived home safely to -5 F weather in our thin little coats. The only casualty was my favorite plate from Guatil. Well, you know what that means - we'll just have to come back again! Seriously, we do hope to come back next year and will contact you when we start making plans. Our pictures turned out beautifully and are a lovely reminder of the great time we had. Take care, Val Kolb
Dear Rick and Debbie, Before we booked with you, we read all the testimonials and thought, sounds wonderful-could they be exaggerating? After our visit, we all wanted to shout to everyone( and we have!) that Rancho Armadillo is one of the most unique settings in all of Costa Rica. We have traveled all around the country and have not found another place like it! The serenity, ambiance,beautiful surroundings, excellent accommodations, wonderful breakfasts, the incredible dinner prepared and served by our most gracious hosts, the close proximity to town and great restaurants, the availability of tours and activities, make staying with you a must! We definitely will be back! Thanks once again for the wealth of information provided to us, both before and after we arrived. The rest of our trip was wonderful, but we found ourselves comparing everything to Rancho Armadillo.It truly is paradise! See you again, soon,
Rancho Armadillo is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It is a home away from home...the difference is this home has views of the ocean, beautiful flowers/vegetation, a platform full of hammocks, a great pool and the best staff ever to help with whatever you may need during your stay. This is the perfect destination for one who is looking for equal parts relaxation and adventure. Be sure to ask the owner for his best picks of non-tourist destinations for adventure--think chartered sail boats for a day of snorkeling, hidden local waterfalls, hooking you up with a surfer for a day of lessons, or a canopy tour recommendation so you can fly with the monkeys. You can close out your days with a view of an amazing night sky full of stars, be sure to ask for the lights around the property to be dimmed to enjoy it to the fullest!
Dear Rick, We just wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our stay with you and we all agree that it was like staying with a relative who really cared about us!!! We thank you for all you did for us from restaurant recommendations to delicious breakfasts. You are a wonderful person and give so much to others. We feel lucky to have found you.
Best wishes for 2006,
Dear Rick and Debbie, Returning home is quite a challenge after being in Costa Rica ....computers, traffic, stress and having to wear shoes again! Skip and I keep returning in our minds to the wonderful experiences we had and want to thank you for all the time and effort you put into making our trip so very memorable. Thanks to you, we were able to get a glimpse into the real Costa Rica -- the waterfall hidden from the tourist eye, the tortilla factory in Santa Cruz, the horseback ride with William into the hills and all the hints and ideas you gave us about our time on the road while driving across the country. We truly felt that Rancho Armadillo was the perfect choice for our stay in Coco. There's nothing like getting up with the sun and sitting on your deck in a hammock overlooking the Pacific while listening to howler monkeys in the trees....or floating in the warm swimming pool (along with a frog or two) while watching the sun set over the ocean. We miss the leisurely lifestyle and the wonderful adventures. We miss the rice and beans (and the tequila). We miss the dirt roads and the potholes and the dogs on every corner... Thank you for making so many memories for us. Gabi and Skip
Dear Rick & Debbie:
Rick: Many thanks for everything last week. I feel very fortunate to have found you & spent the time at your home that we did. Brian and I felt like we were among friends--- much like the headline of that newspaper article you have posted near the kitchen.
We had a great drive back, stopped at the both the waterfall & the rescue center. Avoided all potholes and semis, and got back, safe and sound, and with a wonderful perspective on things, thanks to the time we spent at Rancho Armadillo. It was such a joy, above and beyond what we expected--- we hope to see you someday in the future.
And thanks for sharing the chocolate sauce--- it was delicious!
Hello Rick, Conchu and I made it home safely. Thanks for all your hospitality -- we enjoyed staying with you. We miss having that nice pool and poolside all to ourselves!
Rick, We want to thank you for the time we had at your place this past week. You certainly went over and above what we had ever expected. Your help and tips were the primary reason that we had such a wonderful time in the gem of Costa Rica. Like we told you before we left, had it not been for you we would not have known what to do or where to go. We could have figured it out, but by then our vacation would have been over!!!! Thanks for all the personal attention you took with our wedding from the flowers, to the cake and champagne. The way you put together the wedding with all the trimmings was again "over the top." It truly was the best vacation of our lives. You seem to take a personal interest in your guests to make sure they all have the best time possible. We have told all of out friends about you and the Rancho Armadillo Estates. Again Rick, we truly thank you!
Pura Vida, Tom and Sue
Dear Rick & Debbie:
Thank you so much for everything you did to make our wedding day something we will remember forever. our stay at Rancho Armadillo was unbelievable from the fresh fruit at breakfast to the Tequila-sipping sunsets at the pool. We recommend your place to everyone we talk to. We can't wait to come back in February to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Ron & Jen Spada
Hola Rick -- So I'm sitting at my desk on a rainy, cool afternoon in Washington, DC, overlooking the airport ramp and parking lot, and decided I needed a Coco fix... I pulled up your website to glance at the photos of the view from your (and indirectly our) vistas. To my happy surprise, I also saw the mention of our land purchase in your May newsletter. Just wanted to thank you for including us in your news, and for welcoming us into the estate. Our visit was relaxing and memorable, and we thank you again for all of your Ranchadillo hospitality, bird/insect/animal/flora and fauna advice, and just plain good company! We will be back as soon as the schedules of our work life allow, and look forward to seeing Debbie at that time too. Until then, we'll be living vicariously through you. :-) What a drag that for now work has to interfere with living la pura vida in Coco.
Warm Regards and Many Thanks, Kristen & Eric