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“A Wonderful Stay!”
Review of Casa Bambu Resort

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Casa Bambu Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 12 June 2010

I was invited to join my friends at Casa Bambu for four nights during their family vacation. Boy, am I glad I did! We were a total of three adults and two children (girls, 12 and 9). We all had a fantastic time staying at La Pina. Lyn and Kirk were gracious and helpful as were William the manager and Vicki and Leda who cooked and cleaned. We could see the surf just a short distance away from our "living room" and walk to the water in just a few minutes. During our four-day stay we were treated to close up views of troops of all four monkey species in the nearby trees. The tree and bird and insect sights and sounds were incredible. Local hikes revealed wonder upon wonder. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank SalmanNawaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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179 - 185 of 230 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2010

Our family of four (two children, ages 9 and 12), was travelling with a single adult friend. Casa Bambu was the perfect place for our moderately adventurous group to experience the Osa. We stayed at the La Pina house at Casa Bambu for four days & nights during the green season (first week of June), after two nights in Puerto Jimenez. Best vacation ever. I highly recommend Casa Bambu, and hope to return someday.

Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys... We watched from the deck as one large group of monkeys passed acrobatically through the yard each day. First day was squirrel monkeys, second was spider monkeys, third was white face monkeys, and fourth was howler monkeys. There were also smaller groups that passed through at other times. And at any given time, if there were no monkeys in the yard, we could find some by walking 10 minutes down the road to Matapalo Beach. There were always monkeys nearby. They even showed up in the rain.

Lots of other wildlife, too. Scarlet macaws in the trees, hawks carrying iguanas, colorful frogs. There was always a toucan or two at sunset around the deck at Lapa Rios. We saw no coatis or anteaters, but that might be due to the firendly dog that followed us at times.

House: Casa Pina was simply beautiful. Nothing but bamboo and tropical hardwoods, and well appointed kitchen and bathrooms (considering the location). There is one master suite upstairs (bed and bath), and two bedrooms and bathroom downstairs. Comfortable beds. Nice showers with hot water in both baths. The kitchen has a big solar refrigerator, nice stove, plenty of dishes, cookware, utensils, and even has a good selection of spices. There is no phone, but a radio for communicating with the housekeepers and other local establishments. (We heard there is cell phone service now, but didn't search for it.) I loved the high ceilings and open window panels. There was a constant gentle breeze from the ocean, and we were never uncomfortably warm or cold. Each bed has a single fan mounted on the bed post, but we didn't need them. Of course, we were there during the cooler "green season".

Although it worked fine for us, the downstairs bedrooms are connected to the upstairs living spaces only by the exterior stairs, and there are separate locks for each area. This might be inconvenient for families with smaller children who need to be close by. Otherwise, the layout of the property was beautifully tuned to families and the jungle environment.

Location: Casa Bambu has the best location for a family vacation in all of Matapalo. Surrounded by forest, right on Pan Dulce beach, and close to the road that seems to be a favorite place for the local wildlife. There are excellent wild hikes in all directions, and it is centrally located to the more domestic attractions (Martina's, Lapa Rios, Encanta La Vida, etc.) However, there was some noise from heavy vehicles on the road.

Services: Lyn and Kirk both visited us to ensure that everything was fine, and they provided excellent advice and guidance. The staff (William, Vicki, and Leda) was terrific and friendly.

Transport: We had no rental car, and never wished for one. The taxi from PJ was great fun and cost $35 for our group of 5. From Casa Bambu, we walked everywhere in Matapalo.

Tours: William is a super guide, and so inexpensive. Similar jungle tours from Lapa Rios (just up the hill) cost something like $45 per person, and William only charges $25 per group. After a tour, you can wander around yourself and spend a little more time absorbing the forest. We didn't have the time or energy for Corcovado...maybe next time.

We spent two days in Puerto Jimenez before going to Matapalo, and stayed at Cabinas Jimenez. This was a great way to do the Golfo Dulce tours (wildlife sanctuary, dolphins, mangrove kayak). See my review on Cabinas Jimenez. We all liked it a lot, but you really do have to spend time in the forest.

Food: We shopped at the unfortunately named "Supermercado BM" on the way out to Casa Bambu. We loosely followed Lyn's shopping recommendation. We bought two red snappers, one big frozen chicken, bag of rice, bag of black beans, two loaves of bread, masa for tortillas, lots of fruit and veggies, ham, cheese, PBJ, breakfast cereal, oil, etc. We had Vicki and Leda cook the fish the first night and chicken the third night, and had left overs the other two nights. They really are wonderful cooks. Sandwiches for lunch and cereal for breakfast. It all worked out great. Also had lunch at Martinas (Buena Esperanza) one day and sunset drinks at Lapa Rios.

All restaurants and shops take US dollars. We took lots of small US bills, and had no trouble with any transactions.

Gear: If you like moderate outdoor adventures like we do, you must bring high quality water shoes. You will be spending much time walking in creeks and in the ocean, and nearly all surfaces are composed of jagged volcanic rock. If you have good water shoes, get better ones. Really. We took raincoats and never used them in spite of all the rain. We used a lot of bandaids for cuts & scrapes on rocks and sores on our feet from walking in wet, sandy shoes.

Beaches: The beach experience can vary. They are always visually stunning. They can also be great fun for all beach activities for all ages: swimming, boogie boarding, kayaking, surfing. However, the conditions are constantly changing. The tides have a large effect on currents and depth. When the tide is high, it's mostly sandy and gets deep fairly quickly. When the tide is low, there is a shallow rocky bottom for a large distance out, but the bottom is peppered with big jagged rocks that present a bit of a hazard. The surf conditions can change quickly. At some times its enormously pleasant and calm, and at others its rough. For our family, we had a blast at all times, even when we were getting banged up. Water shoes were essential. We swam every day. The surf at Pan Dulce beach was perfect for our kids. We also found a spot just beyond the north end of Pan Dulce, around the first set of rocks, that had a soft sandy bottom and only a few rock hazards. This was a nice place for kids to swim, good shade for adults, and perfect place for picnic at low tide.

Casa Bambu has nice boogie boards that we used almost every day, and we also used the kayaks. You can also rent surfboards for $20/day from Encanta La Vida, which is only 5 minutes walk from Casa Bambu (follow their chocolate tree path), and Pan Dulce a great place for beginning surfers.

Insects: I had read that mosquitoes were only a problem after extended rains. We were there after and during extended rain, and they weren't a problem. We saw a couple mosquitoes and moths inside the house only at night with the lights on and panels open. There were also a few mosquitoes while hiking creeks. We used DEET sporadically while hiking, but not while at the house. We each got a few bites during our 7 days in the Osa. Probably none at La Pina.

I expected roaches, ants, spiders, scorpions, and other creepy things in the house since it is so open to the environment. We saw none, and I still don't know why.

Weather: I was concerned that the green season rains would impede us. In fact, there was even more rain than normal, but somehow it only fell when we were planning to be inside anyway. It rained at some point almost every day, but we were never inconvenienced by it. On two days, it started to rain at 3 or 4 PM after we had hiked and swam all day, it poured continuously until about 5 AM, and then the sun came out for beautiful days. The rain fell straight down with no wind and we left the window panels open to watch and listen. The roads and paths were just fine after all that rain. We did a night hike with William one day, returning at 8:30 PM, and the rain started 5 minutes after we arrived. Temperatures were always pleasant and comfortable: upper 70's day & night, but that's probably unusual.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank jillnpete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2010

This was truly the most relaxing vacation we ever had. The natural beauty and simple living had a magical effect, which was heightened by the uniqueness of the house (we were in Casa Bambu, which faces the Golfa Dulce) and the unobtrusive but attentive owners and staff. Even though we didn't roam too far from the house, every moment was filled with new sights and sensations; monkeys greeted us within the first fifteen minutes of our arrival and saw us off on our last morning; we searched tide pools under the moonlight; we clamored over volcanic rocks that dotted the shoreline, where the rain forest meets the sea. We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Macaws25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2010

Casa Pina is delightful and we all enjoyed it's unique style. The sights and sounds of the jungle were so intense and exciting and we all suffered happily from sensory overload. We melted into the ocean leaving winter very far away. Lyn and Kurt go the extra mile to make sure everything is perfect. Leda and Vicki prepared some delicious meals and William shared his extensive knowledge of fauna and flora on a hike. Our holiday was perfect and we were reluctant to leave this idyllic place.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Claire S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2010

Casa Bambu\Casa Linda is wonderful! Awake to the natural alam clock of the sight of a beautiful sunrise from your bed accompanied by the the the sounds of Howler monkeys and the rainforest. Leave your phone, computer, and TV behind ,you're off the grid with your electric needs amply supplied via the sun. It's only twenty five yards to a beautiful ocean beach with fantastic swimming and surfing . William, the property caretaker and guide, will lead you on exciting, informative nature walks, with a beautiful waterfall and natral swimming pool a half hour hike away.
Casa Bambu is exactly as presented on it's website. No surprises. Lyn, the owner, was great. The tours and excursions she suggested were top quality. We loved the town of Purto Jimenez, 35 minutes away via car, quaint and unspoiled by the influx of tourists from around the world.
If you are looking for the type of experience the Osa Penninsula provides, you won't do better than Casa Bambu.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wally R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2010

We just returned from a glorious week stay in La Pina, our second time there. The house is so well designed...simple yet beautiful. The location is unbeatable. Wonderful trees and flowering shrubs all around, with a view of the ocean. We saw monkeys, coatis, a huge iguana (3 feet long!), an anteater, macaws, lizards,hummingbirds, and lots of birds...all from the back porch. One night Vicky cooked us an amazing meal...we just showed her what we had and she performed her magic! William, the caretaker, was his usual sweet, humble, friendly self and we enjoyed trying to speak Spanish with him...always a good, rewarding experience. Lyn was a great help from afar, before our trip...just as she was last year. Our ChangingTides tour was fantastic! Thank you Josh and Tino!! We spent an hour with a pod of dolphins in the gulf...incredible. To sum up, another perfect vacation in paradise.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank osalife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2010

Casa Bambu was absolutely incredible! Some background, we are a family of four (boy 11 years, girl 15 years) and have stayed previously at Si Como No (Manuel Antonio) and Black Turtle Lodge and Bosque del Cabo. Our trip to Bosque del Cabo sparked our interest in returning to the area, but we really wanted to find a place where we wouldn’t be so scheduled. While at B del C we hiked the Golfo Dulce trail and ended up in Matapalo and decided that we wanted to find a house in that area next time. We are beach people so staying right on the water is a dream come true for us. Casa Bambu was our favorite spot in Costa Rica so far. We had an incredibly fun and relaxing time there.

The owners of Casa Bambu have four houses. We originally wanted Casa Linda which is a bit closer to the water but it was already booked. After seeing both on our stay, I would ask for Casa Bambu again because it has two large decks (one upstairs and one down) which was nice with teens, but if I had small children or wanted a bathroom close by, I would pick Casa Linda which is all on one floor with two bathrooms. They are both fantastic with gorgeous views, just different layouts. I did not go into the two other houses but did see them from the outside and wouldn’t hesitate to stay in any of them.

As has been said in other posts, Lyn one of the owners was fantastic in providing information which is essential in making this a smooth and comfortable trip. She provided great driving directions, set up our rental car and Golfo Dulce boat tour and lists for packing, groceries etc. Read all of the info before your trip and heed her advice.
The part of this trip I couldn’t get my head around was the food situation. At home, I really don’t enjoy cooking. This turned out to be a non issue. We ate breakfast in the house every morning, on the deck overlooking the gorgeous water! We then ate one big meal lunch (Lapas Rios or one of the other lodges in the area), dinner (Martina’s) or had one of the caretakers cook, delicious! For the other meal we just had sandwiches or salad, it was perfect.

There are endless activities you can do at your own pace around the house; just hiking down the Matapalo road is an adventure. Folks from Puerto Jimenez pay for tours to do just that. The yard at the house was full of wildlife, twice a day there was a monkey parade. We saw all four species of monkeys right in our yard. We also saw lots of interesting birds: toucans, scarlet macaws, parrots and lots more that I couldn’t identify.
The water was so warm; you could literally spend all day in it. The houses come with kayaks and boogie boards, we did both! The beach right out front is great for learning to surf and lessons are provided there. There are several other gorgeous, uncrowded beaches you can walk to. We did a great hike with the caretaker William to a waterfall and swimming hole. Another day we went back to Puerto Jimenez for a Golfo Dulce boat tour for dolphin watching, snorkeling and the Animal Sanctuary, highly recommended. If you plan this trip for midway through your stay, it is a great opportunity to stock up on additional groceries and cash in town as there are no stores in Matapalo. We had a rental car so we drove out to Carate which was a fun day trip. We debated whether to get a car. We were glad we had one but it isn’t necessary. It really just depends on what you want to do. There is plenty to do within walking distance.

About the houses, they are open air (no screens but they do have shutters that close securing the house). The beds have the best netting I have seen, nothing got in!! The bathroom (there is only one in Casa Bambu) was good sized and had two sinks and a door separating the toilet/shower area so more than one person could be in there at a time.
The kitchen had a great layout and truly did have everything we needed including a blender. We had delicious smoothies for the kids and fruity cocktails for the adults every evening while enjoying our gorgeous view…heaven!! I could go on and on, just go!!

Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
2  Thank Aqualime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Bambu Resort

Address: Playa Pan Dulce, Cabo Matapalo 0000000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range: £85 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a secluded five acres of pristine rainforest beachfront in one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth, this unique resort lets you escape civilization while safely and comfortably enjoying countless natural wonders. The property fronts on Playa Pan Dulce, famous for it's long right point surf break, an SUP surfers dream break. Located in the same vast rainforest as Corcovado Park, Casa Bambu Resort is on the tip of the Osa Peninsula, where the rainforest meets the sea. After visiting our house, Lonely Planet recommends Casa Bambu Resort as a place to visit. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Bambu Resort Hotel Osa Peninsula
Casa Bambu Hotel
Hotel Casa Bambu

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