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“The right price in the right place”
Review of Sugar's Monkey

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Sugar's Monkey
Ranked #3 of 6 Playa Grande B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“The right price in the right place”
Reviewed 6 February 2013

We stayed here twice on our trip. Two days in the middle and back again for four days at the end. It was the place we wanted to return to, even after all the other great places we'd been (Tamarindo, Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna) Our first impression was one of the staff, Johnny greeting us with nice big glasses of cold water...perfect after a hot dusty ride/walk. He was very helpful and kind. Justin was really great. Laid back and very helpful, he was able to take care of getting us larger room and getting travel arrangements taken care off. There's a good surf shop in the back that he runs too. We really liked the warm, old wood and funky tropical surfer/beach vibe this place had. Rooms, as have been described before are very basic and clean (no TV, radio, clock) with beautifully worn and patinaed old wood walls and floor. Bathrooms are nicely tiled and the AC and ceiling fans work just fine. Hot water was a bit elusive, but not really necessary when it's 80+F. True, that the walls are a bit thin, but most everyone goes to sleep early, to get up early and get out on the beach to run, surf, chill. The pool is small but clean and a good place to relax in/around and the WiFi signal is good and reaches throughout. (All in all, one of the best "deals" that we ran across in Costa Rica, a more expensive country than say Honduras, Nicaragua or Guatemala.)
Lynne, who runs the RAW juice bar is great and makes terrific smoothies and nut/seed/fruit bars. The Chamba Chai Latte with banana and a chocolate peanut bar were my favorites. I can't vouch for the restaurant as it was just starting a new chef when we were there, but I've heard that they make some great brick oven pizzas.
There are only about 4 other places along the dusty gravel road that the PGI is on. The MarBar (at the funky tropical Marejada Inn next door, has some great drinks (dark and stormy - home made ginger beer and For de Cana, Nicaraguan rum!) tasty food and very nice people running it. The tuna tacos are awesome. The RipJack Inn, a few doors down, has some great food as well.
Playa Grande itself (the beach) is just a hundred yards down a small sandy path through the woods. A long beautiful strip with practically nothing built on or near it. Miles of wide soft sandy beach, with few people, great waves to surf (careful of the riptides if you're swimming), lots of great seashells and terrific sunsets. Nice and clean. There are Howler monkeys in the trees, lots of local birds and one of the best things of all is that it is all with the boundaries of Las Baulas National Marine Park...where protected Leatherback and Ridley turtles come onshore to lay their eggs at certain times of the year.
Easy to get to (Liberia airport is an hour away and about US $25 o/w per person by van/shuttle) If you're really up for a hike, take the shuttle to the top of Tamarindo, near the estuary, hire a boat to take you across (US $3) and then walk the mile and half north to the PGI)

Definitely a place we will come back to whenever we are in CR.
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Room Tip: For US $10 more, get the big room on the upstairs end for more than one person. Lots of space, nice...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lesyeuxheureux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Portuguese first
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English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
1 review
Reviewed 5 February 2013

We began our trip to Costa Rica in Playa Grande and stayed at the Playa Grande Inn. Justin and his crew made us feel right at home. We stayed in luxury hotels in other parts of the country and as nice as they were, they did not compare to the warm welcome we received at PGI. Even the interaction we had with the locals felt more "authentic" than that we had with the service personnel at high-end establishments. As an absolute novice surfer, I was never made to feel like the goober I was and the beach at Playa Grande was large enough that I never felt like I had to worry about getting in the way of the more advanced surfers. Justin was very accommodating in guiding me towards the right board and the right break. When I return to Costa Rica, I won't stay in another city or another hotel, PGI is where its at. From the yummy breakfast burritos to the frozen "Painkillers" I just can't recommend PGI enough.

Room Tip: Take ear plugs. There are loud birds that sound off before sunrise and the sun comes up early on th...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Michael A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2013

This is the spot if you're looking for a good value near the beach. I think it's an ideal spot for surf trips. The rooms are definitely on the minimalist side, so I would recommend looking somewhere else if you need a little more amenities in the room. Full disclosure: a couple bummers were we didn't have a coffee maker setup in the room (which everywhere else we stayed in CR did), the shower water didn't get very warm, and the walls are pretty thin in terms of being able to hear other guests on the property (I wore earplugs and slept fine). On the plus side, they have a pretty good selection of surfboards for rent and Justen is a cool guy and hooked us up with a larger room. Bottom line, even though you might be compromising on amenities, it's a great value for the location.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Room was very clean, comfortable and quiet. Playa Grande Inn is a great value and a great place to stay to leatherback turtles laying eggs. We didn't eat at their restaurant, but we would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank musicman107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California, United States
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2012

We loved the pool, proximity to the beach, the restaurant at the hotel, the ping pong table, the staff (Justen was very helpful, thank you) and the cleanliness and size of the room. Thanks PGI for a great vacation, we'll be back.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TraavlBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stephenville, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2012

We stopped in tonight for dinner at the Playa Grande Inn after watching a beautiful sunset. It opens at 5 PM. We started with a Cucumber Collins cocktail that was so refreshing and made with fresh ingredients. The shrimp spring roll appetizer great and the main course, a sausage crusted mahi mahi and a parmesan chicken the best we've ever had. To finish it all of, a pumpkin bread pudding with rum glaze. Wow! The best part was it wasn't outrageously priced like some of the other restaurants in Tamarindo. The service and staff were very friendly as well. When we went they only take cash. Its well worth the drive from Tamarindo if you're looking for something new. I can't tell you what the rooms were like since we just ate there.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank ElizabethBaxter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 October 2012

Friendly and laid back!!! I stayed at Playa Grande Inn (PGI) for a few nights and WILL GO BACK!!! They had a great long term local staff whom were very friendly, accommodating, and , fascinating people. Had to admire my room constructed out of all local wood, which gave a very warm beach vibe. PGI had an awesome bar. In my opinion it was the perfect bar to hang at in Playa Grande! Good food at the bar or table area (kid friendly). Also, you MUST try out the Marbar Restaurant adjacent to PGI. Again, my favorite restaurant in Playa Grande! Surf and Turf was half price and better than most places at home. LETTUCE BEEF WRAPS!!! PGI,s pool area was pretty chill for relaxing, drinks, whatever after a perfect day of surfing. As for surf, the beach was a short walk right across the street. It's a beautiful protected national park with numerous different surf spots for all levels of surfers. Lots to do there for all who comes. If you go to PGI with an image of how you envision an "as seen in a magazine trip to Costa Rica", YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank LennyNmbSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sugar's Monkey

Property: Sugar's Monkey
Address: | 250 Meters South of Minae, Cabo Velas, Playa Grande 50308, Costa Rica (Formerly Playa Grande Inn)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Grande
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sugar's Monkey 2.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical life style Sugars Monkey is a small hostel where you can breath ocean; 150 mt from miles white sandy beach, welcomes its guests with pool surrounded of tropical garden where you can eat fresh and healthy food from our restaurant open from breakfast time till dinner. Eight room with air conditioning, ambient fans, private bathroom, shower and hot water; Two room settings: doble room for two occupancy and large room for four occupancy. Community space, gym and pool table are free for guest, Be Water surf rental and tour will happy to take you into waterworld ....... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Grande Hotel Playa Grande
Hotel Playa Grande

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