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“A Warm Welcoming Home”
Review of Casa Carole

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Casa Carole
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Our family of 12 (9 adults, 3 children) visited Puerto Vallarta for the first time from June 21-28. We called the Beautiful Casa Carole our home for a week that we wish could have lasted all summer. The home is styled in gorgeous traditional Mexican style and appears like a mansion from the water. From the the very top street level you can't even tell that it's a home, all you see is the driveway and the two beautiful red belfry-like towers.

The ROOMS: The five color coded rooms each had something special about them and were all spacious and comfortable with their own air-conditioning, mosquito nets, fans and balconies. My husband and I never felt the need to use our mosquito net while others in our party did, maybe for the novelty;) One of my sisters said a firefly got caught in her mosquito net one night which must've been pretty neat. All of the rooms were at various levels of the home so each was very quiet and private; however, you might hear sandals flopping past your room if you have early birds in your party, but don't worry, the sound of the waves just lulls you back to sleep. Each room has a set of keys with colored key chains for your room and both gates to the house, so you feel secure at all times. The view from each room is amazing, each morning I'd wake up and see fisherman fishing from kayaks or from the lavarocks down below, boats and yachts passing by heading to Los Arcos, sadly no dolphin sightings during our stay:( The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable. We were surprised to read in the house guest-book that previous patrons complained about the beds. The owners had to have fixed that long before we arrived because all in our party were always very well rested and never complained.

The STAFF: The staff consisted of Pepe, the amazing houseman/concierge, Mari, the fabulous chef, Carmen the quiet but swift cleaning lady, and a pool man who we never saw but we knew was there since the pool was always sparkly and ready to be jumped into! These three made are stay at Casa Carole Heavenly, and boy did we feel like royalty.

Pepe-si-tito (my niece playfully nicknamed him) who was always speeding around tending to the house OR us, became part of our family. He always took time to answer various questions about the city or the history of the home. He even joined in helping teach the kids how to spin a mexican top that we bought at the Malecon, practiced cracking a Latigo with us (Indiana Jones style whip), and a Tirador (mexican sling shot). Pepe-si-tito always made it Fun!

I think our favorite part of the day was around 4:30 when Pepe would come speeding down to the pool deck with margaritas and a tray of plates, chips and delicious guacamole (or whatever appetizer we'd chosen). Honestly I don't know how he never skipped a beat carrying all that stuff down so quickly.
Also, you had to be careful what you said around him, because if he overheard us talking about any wish or desire, "Ta-Dah" he would make it appear. One day at "margarita time" he heard the little girls talking about smoothies, next minute he comes down with virigin daiquiri's for them!

Mari the chef lovingly prepared exceptional breakfasts and dinners daily (except Sunday/off day). You choose your meals after dinner for the next day and pay her each night (in pesos OR dollars) for the groceries she's purchased. All of Mari's meals are out of this world but her breakfast specialty is the French Toast! The second breakfast we ordered banana pancakes, and although very good, regretted it and had her make french toast the rest of the week! Mmmmm
Mari was always so sweet, she greets you with a warm shy smile then BAM serves you a mean Chile relleno!
On Sunday/off day, we walked a few steps next door to the Lindo Mar hotel and enjoyed a nice brunch, certainly not Mari's cooking but good nonetheless.

Carmen the cleaning lady was so quick and efficient when cleaning our rooms or bringing warm, freshly laundered beach towels to the pool. She'll give you a smile and a quick "buenos dias" but get outta her way if you pass her in the stairwell because she's on a mission!

The POOL/BEACH: the infinity pool was perfect, we loved the toe ledge that allowed you to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and see the lava rocks below. There were enough lounge chairs and floaties for everyone. The gentle beach is very nice, just down a few steps from the pool deck, to the right through a lush garden and your there. Lots to explore by the lava rocks, colorful fish, sea urchins, crabs, seashells and more. Take your snorkel gear!
One morning before breakfast we saw hundreds of big fish splashing and jumping out of the water near the shore then saw thousands of small sardines swimming back and forth. We all ran out to the beach (careful not to step on the poor sardines) including Pepe who gave us a line and hook to try and catch something. The fishermen and the large heron were going to town catching fish but we weren't so lucky. Standing in the water, the sardines swam between our feet and a few of the big fish came close enough to hit us on the legs almost knocking us over! It was awesome! We called it "The Phenomenon" and Pepe said he had never seen that occur right in front of the house. We were so fascinated by "The Phenomenon", not even Mari's breakfast could beckon us out of the water! Needless to say, our french toast was a little cold that morning;)

With a quick call Pepe easily set up our excursions, which included a private boat to Los Arcos and playa Las Animas, (which picks you up right at the beach), ATV's and ziplining (FUN). He also calls taxi's that are there in a flash, to go into town which is about 5-10 minutes away about 5-7 dollars. The house is in a perfect location close to town and to many of the excursions. Having the Lindo Mar hotel next to the house was so convenient not only for Sunday brunch but later in the week 3 of us walked over, through the beach side, sat at the "Playita" bar and watched USA vs Germany futbol while drinking cold Modelo's and Michelada's. Patricio was a very nice bartender, he rings the bell loudly to announce 2 for 1 margaritas.

TIPS: -Be prepared for the many stairs as the home is about 5 stories high. Some people in our party huffed and puffed a little getting to the top street level for our outtings but just think of it as great cardio to work off the extra pounds you might gain from Mari's AMAZING cooking.

-Wi-fi: although while on vacay you should be admiring the beautiful sunsets and views rather than burying your head in your smart phone or laptop, be aware that the wi-fi in the house does not reach the upper level rooms or the pool deck. Sometimes at bedtime (blue room) we wanted to check trip advisor reviews for some of the excursions we would be taking, but to no avail. Wi-fi was strong in living room areas dining rooms, orange and yellow rooms.

-Mosquitos: If your a mosquito buffet like I am, be sure and spray on your bug repellant, mostly in the evenings AND when your eating in the dining room. While I chomped on Mari's fabulous meals, those mosquitos under the table chomped on me!

-Tipping the staff: Don't forget to tip Pepe, Mari and Carmen for the amazing job they do, generally 10% or more. They indefinitely make this house a home.

Every single one of us enjoyed our stay at the Beautiful Casa Carole and we are still daydreaming of Mari's cooking and Pepe's "margarita time"!!! Can't wait to go back!! A special thanks to owners John and Carol for making the process so seamless! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Pshell75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 17 of 23 reviews

Reviewed 27 June 2014

We spent the first week of June at Casa Carole with 6 adults and two 17 yr. old boys. It felt as though we were there a month! So completely relaxed, never thinking about work, paying bills, checking emails etc. The house is very nice, large, well maintained, A/C in every bedroom, ceiling fans throughout, private bathrooms and king beds in 3 of the 5 bedrooms. Beware there is a long, winding staircase with many steps from the street level down to the pool. There is no elevator altho that is under consideration I'm told. It was hot, approaching 90 with high humidity that even our New Orleans and Atlanta families thought it was humid. It may have been due to a tropical storm in the Pacific earlier in the week. The disappearing edge pool was a God-send. I bet collectively we spent 200 + hours in it watching the fishermen below and the boats headed out to Los Arcos. The key to this whole wonderful vacation for our family was the staff, Pepe, Mari & Carmella. We didn't have to lift a finger if we didn't want to. Pepe made sure whatever we wanted he provided. From margaritas, chips, salsa, guac on our arrival, to arranging for excursions to Los Arcos, ATV & zip line rides, jet skis, cabs downtown (65 pesos) to the Malecon or to the airport (400 pesos). He did it all with a smile. Drinks and appetizers would magically show up at 4pm each day. Carmella cleaned each room every day, did our laundry if we asked, replaced bath & pool towels daily. The place was spotless. Now Mari- what a cook! She made everything including all the desserts like flan, key lime pie, chocolate cake, apple crisp. She made fajitas, flautas , fresh orange juice, eggs anyway you liked them, pancakes, bacon, sausage, as good or better than a restaurant. On our last night we ordered lobster tails. Pepe said they were from Panama. They showed up at the house by a guy on a motorcycle and each one was as large as a dinner plate. Pepe split them down the middle and grilled them on the barbeque. The coffee was ready to go each morning when we got up; all we had to do was turn it on. They usually arrived about 8am, made breakfast, left about noon returning at 4pm to cook dinner and left for the night at 7-8pm. There is a 3-ring binder with all the meals they can provide, breakfast lunch(if you want it), appetizers, dinner menu and dessert. The night before you choose and tell Pepe what you want for meals the next day. You choose two meals. That evening you pay for the groceries they bought for that day in pesos or dollars (Pepe gives you the store receipt). You simply cannot pay less eating out at restaurants for a group of 8 over 7 days than the prepared meals that Mari makes. It is a bargain. At the end of your stay, the owners gently suggest a gratuity of 10% of the week's rental to be divided among the three staff. There was never any pressure and you can give more if you thought your stay and service was exceptional. The owners provide you with a detailed 19 page info brochure describing what to expect, services, activities etc. They are also very responsive via email should you have any questions. We brought champagne, wine, bourbon in our suitcases as champagne is very expensive. There is a cab station a block from the house, an XOXO store (like a 7-11) 2-3 blocks away. Use the local ATMs for pesos. There is a small service charge, your bank at home probably charges more in transaction fees. Bargaining with the shop or street vendors, even cabbies is the norm. In short, this was a wonderful week's family vacation and one we would do again.

Room Tip: The 5 bedrooms are color-coded. The parents stayed in the Orange room on the pool level. If your ki...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

This past May marked our fifth visit to Casa Carole - we simply can't resist returning to this gorgeous, authentic home.

The villa cascades down the steep cliff from the coastal highway right to the ocean front. The bedrooms are located on separate levels providing complete privacy. Each room has a full en suite bathroom, is air conditioned and most have a balcony affording fabulous views of Banderas Bays and Puerto Vallarta's special sunsets.

The main floor rooms are spacious - plenty of room for large groups to relax in (with games, satellite TV for those who need it and more) and a dining room where you can enjoy the meals exquisitely prepared Mari.

Eating well is something you will do while at Casa Carole. You can place you meal orders with Mari from the comprehensive menu book that is conveniently provided or request something special. Count on eating well at both breakfast (the heuvos rancheros are superb as is the French toast) and at dinner. You are on your own for lunch and on Sunday when the staff are off.

Pepe will arrange any excursion/diversion you're interested in whether it be zip lining in the hills way above Puerto Vallarta (worth it!), jet skiing on Banderas Bay or deep sea fishing. He's also a magician when it comes to preparing margaritas and guacamole and salsa for the traditional late afternoon cocktail time.

Carmen keeps your room and the entire property squeaky clean - you don't even see her going about her work.

Casa Carole isn't a modern, luxurious oasis loaded with high tech gadgets. It is a traditional, colonial style home which oozes character and comfort. You will feel most at home here and won't want to return to your real home when it comes time to leave.

Late fall, winter and early spring are the best times to visit - there isn't much rain and the humidity is relatively low. You are also only a 60 peso taxi ride ($5.50) to downtown Puerto Vallarta with many cabs easily available at the close by hotel. While you likely won't want to wander far away from the property there is much to see in town including many fabulous restaurants - be sure to take advantage of them!

Casa Carole has a beautiful infinity pool and there are steps leading down to the ocean where you can swim, snorkel and explore many of the small tidal pools set inside the rocks.

The owners, John and Carol, take great care of their property and their love of gardening is most evident in the beautiful landscaping.

If you're looking for a Puerto Vallarta villa escape for six to ten peopel or more then this should be your first choice.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

It's hard to write a review for Casa Carole right now because three days back, we're still missing it tremendously! After several extremely helpful conversations with owners Carol and John, and hours spent looking at the pictures of the property online, Casa Carole somehow exceeded our expectations in every way. We were a group of five adults and four children and here's what we loved about Casa Carole:

- A house offering the perfect balance between wonderful gathering spots (the dining room, the pool) and privacy afforded by bedrooms on different levels.
- Nature's sound machine of breaking waves lulling you to sleep every night.
- Tidepools for the kids to explore and snorkeling among the lava rocks just steps away from your private pool.
- The perfect crow's nest for parents. Sit on one of the two decks (one shaded, the other warmed by the sun) above the pool reading a book while the kids swim. Each hour or so, look over the railing and say, "be nice to your sister, don't hold her head underwater." Resume reading.
- Waverunners and private boats brought directly to your beach for affordable hourly rentals.
- Views, views and more views. From every window and deck on the house.

But most of all, we miss Pepe, Mari and Carmen. They are more than a staff, they are completely invested in your happiness on your trip. Pepe does a little of everything, from booking trips to serving drinks, always with a smile and care. Mari cooks the most delicious food that we know little about Puerto Vallarta's restaurants...because we only visited one in a week. And Carmen slips quietly in and out of rooms like a shadow converting your room from a mess to immaculate and you wondered when she did it.

From the moment we inquired about the property to the moment we sadly left Casa Carole's driveway, this was an A+, luxury experience. I cannot recommend it highly enough, provided you don't book the week we want to go back!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank cH_831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013

We are just now concluding our visit to PVR and Casa Carole. We leave today. We had 11 of us (7 kids and 4 adults) and the house had ample space. The property itself is fabulous. The views are outstanding from almost every room and the home is very comfortable. It is built into the side of the hill, so it should be expected that it has lots of stairs! Each of the (5) rooms are beautiful and the pictures on the website are very accurate. The bathrooms and showers are great. The patio off the kitchen and the pool were our favorite hangout spots. The kitchen is really well equipped. The kids spent countless hours in the pool, which were nicely heated.

The property and the views were really amazing, however what made this trip so memorable were the on-property staff, Pepe, Maria and Carmen.

Pepe was our house manager and he a real pleasure to be around. A genuinely wonderful person. He was so attentive to our needs and seemed to have an answer for every request we made. He was always smiling and he loved to joke around with the kids (8 - 18 year olds). His work ethic is second to none and he is now part of our family.

Maria was our cook and she is an artistic in the kitchen. We had something different to eat almost everyday, which was fun. Although her French toast became the daily morning request by everyone! Her Caesar salad is also something you should request, as we did 3 of our 4 nights. We even had lobster the last night which they did on the grill. It was outstanding.

Carmen was our house cleaner and she quietly went about her business everyday. The house was always very clean and we had fresh towels daily.

I highly recommend Casa Carole for your outing. It is important to note that the house is not directly on a beach. There are good beach options to both sides of the house.

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank Ed W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

Let me start by saying that I found one of the more detailed reviews listed earlier very helpful in planning my stay at Casa Carole. Traveling as part of a very large group (10 adults and four young children), gathering information usually falls on my shoulders! We had a great time at this villa. The rooms were truly beautiful, with breathtaking views. My husband, daughter and I got yellow room, which had a HUGE balcony and a fantastic view of the water. The railings on the balcony were also high enough to deter my 2-year-old from climbing up. The rest of the house was decorated just as nicely and was very comfortable. The staff were friendly and patient with our indecision regarding food and very helpful in helping us make plans. The food was fantastic, especially the flan - i wanted to bring one home with me. There is a resort next door, where you can rent cars if you want to drive around the area. We went to the north to explore ziplining options and also to town to see the shopping. The town is close enough by taxi though, so there is really no need for a car unless you want to go far.

The downside: the villa is not the most child-friendly with all the different levels. Fortunately our kids were too little to be left alone. We also went off-season, which meant that it rained a lot and a lot of the rainwater comes into the villa because of the open style of construction. So we had water all over the stairs, which made it a bit of a hazard going up and down, especially later in the night. There are also a ton of bugs that get in, but those are to be expected due to geography.

I would definitely go back if I had the chance. It was one of the few places that catered to a crowd as large as ours and everyone was happy with their accommodations.

Room Tip: Take a good look at the room descriptions - some have bigger beds!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Pavithra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2012

I had heard from friends that stayed there that the owner of the villa did not treat his staff very well and his turnover rate was high. A few days before our arrival, we heard from ther owner that we had 2 new staff members. Maria was now the cook and Pepe was now the 'houseman'. I was disappointed to say the least, thinking some random guy was going to be our houseman and I expected mediocracy at best. Boy was I wrong! Pepe was the best part of the trip. He is a very sweet, very attentive man. We adored him. He was wonderful with the kids and loved holding my baby, in anticipation of his own upcoming arrival! One of the couples with us celebrated their anniversary while there and Pepe booked them a cab, made them reservations at their chosen restaurant and even bought them beautiful flowers.

He was attentive with food and drinks. Made all of our excursion reservations for us. Called us cabs when needed. He was truly amazing.

The house was beautiful. I stayed in the Yellow Room, which I recommend. It does not have the biggest bed but the shower was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The deep tub overlooks Bandaras Bay with astoundingly utmost privacy. You can shower and feel as though you are outside. Uh-mazing.

The food was great. It started a little slow because Im a vegetarian and dont eat any dairy products. I dont think my message quite made its way to them. However, after the first couple of days, the meals were perfect. Huevos Rancheros with chorizo for breakfast, with a side of soy chorizo! They made meals that really incorporated my diet and the other allergies our guests had.

Overall, it was awesome and I hope they treat Pepe well. He is a good man and he was part of our family for a week. We will miss Casa Carole and hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: My favorite was the Yellow Room. The Green Room had a fantastic tub, but lacked total privacy and y...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank meganforpresident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Carole

Address: Calle Barra de Navidad 1348 | Colonia Conchas Chinas, Puerto Vallarta 48343, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 94 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Vallarta
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carol & I built Casa Carole right on the beach several years ago. We asked the architect to design the villa so it would be ideal for rental, with each bedroom having a full bathroom ensuite and a balcony with views of the tropical jungle and the sea. Casa Carole is a traditional Colonial Mexican villa with exposed adobe brick arches, marble floors and beamed ceilings. The decor features hand crafted furniture, Mexican art and sculptures, plus handmade glassware and linens. It is truly a Mexican family house. Our guests rave about our staff of four; chef, houseman/concierge, maid and pool-man for their courtesy, friendliness and competence. Our staff really makes a difference. We have successfully rented Casa Carole for the past many years with a growing clientele who come back for more. ... more   less 

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