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“Fantastic place for young children”

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El Pequeno Gecko Verde
Ranked #3 of 32 Playa Samara B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic place for young children”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We stayed at the Gecko Verde for 5 nights, staying in the two-bedroom 'Tabacon' building. We were a group of 2 adults and 2 young children ( ages 1 and 3) and the accommodation was perfect for us: the kids loved exploring the beautifully manicured gardens the lodge is set in and they loved the abundant wildlife in the area (you are all but guaranteed to see howler monkeys, coatis and raccoons).

They don't have a restaurant on site (except for breakfast) but instead offer a food ordering service - basically they have the menus from several local restaurants and will order in for you. I found this a very easy way to have a much wider choice of food than at a hotel with its own restaurant. We did try cooking using the facilities in our room and it was tougher than one would hope - limited equipment and uneven pans making it hard to control the heat.

The hotel has several trails in the local forest that are nice for a walk but the hills are steep and it isn't really suitable for young kids. The walk to ' secret beach' is nice, although there are better beaches in the area.

As a keen runner, ı enjoyed the proximity both to Playa Buena vista and Playa samara (both about 5 minutes run away for me) both of which make for stunning runs.

The hotel is located on an unsealed road about 5 minutes out of Samara - from our experience, there is no need for a 4wd / high clearance vehicle unless you plan on traveling in the direction of nosara (the road is fairly rough and there is a river to ford)

  • Stayed April 2014
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Helpful?
Thank Dorking111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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314 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014 via mobile

We loved this little hotel near Playa Samara. The grounds are gorgeous and the pool is too. The rooms are basic, but comfortable, and the outdoor showers and terraces with hammock are great. Wildlife is abundant - we were woken up early the first day by several groups of howler monkeys, which thrilled my daughters (8.5 and 10.5), plenty of hummingbirds zoom around, and various other forms of wildlife visited at one time or another. The secret beach is indeed beautiful (the stairs are steep but not too treacherous) and home to many pretty crabs, but too rough for swimming, at least with young kids. We spent most of our days at Playa Carrillo - a beautiful public beach popular with the local community (so it was relatively empty during the workdays we visited and a bit more crowded on a holiday - but big enough to not feel too crowded at least if you venture past the palms) about 15 minutes by car from the hotel - perfect for swimming with our kids and a little snorkeling (by the North end). No stores or restaurants are right on Playa Carrillo so we would head back to Samara to eat. Breakfast at the hotel was delicious - particularly the pancakes, fresh squeezed juice and the fruit. Although I enjoyed all the hotels we stayed at in Costa Rica, this one was my favorite (and my kids' favorite; my wife really liked it too).

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank shiffys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Heaven, staff are fab, location great. Short walk to town and the beach.
Delightful and we will be back as soon as we are able.
Very relaxed.
The only minor gripe was having to use paypal to secure stay as I'm not prepared to send full visa details in email for what I think are obvious reasons, (it's totally insecure to do that).
This seems to be a comom request in CR actually.
Having said that they're very accommodating and I'm sure its something they'll look at. They did provide an alternative for the deposit to secure the stay.
In short, ring them and reserve, its worth it.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank maxmaxr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterford, Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

We got a good feeling the minute we drove into the grounds, its has a beautiful garden full of flowers, butterflies, birds and lots of wildlife. Each house is very private from the next. They are very comfortable and we loved the open air shower. Breakfast was great. The athmosphere is relaxed but efficent. There is lots to do locally with beautiful beaches very close by. It was very hard to leave this little piece of paradise.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank BridieandBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, MA
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We spent four nights here, and could easily have stayed here much longer. This hotel is magical -- just eight little bungalows, scattered through lush plantings, with tropical forest just beyond the edge of the tropical gardens. Bungalows are gorgeous, very comfortable, and well-equipped. Owners and staff are extremely helpful and accommodating. Small pool area is fabulous, as are the decks with hammocks that every bungalow has. And there are trails to the secluded beach and various lookout points.

We found this property to be just far enough from town to feel like its own special world, but close enough to still be very convenient to use restaurants, grocery stores, beaches, etc.

Plenty to do in the area: we enjoyed Samara Beach and Playa Carrillo, highly recommend the three-hour guided hike at Samara Trails, and Barra Honda National Park was an easy day trip. I think Palo Verde National Park would be, also. There's a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center, and various zipline, kayak, etc. activities, and a few surfing schools. And I would've liked to have explored Nosara area, if we had had more time.

But we found our pace slowed after arriving here -- it was just too wonderful to sit and watch all the hummingbirds and the butterflies, or to go looking for the howler monkeys, or to wander the gardens (gardeners beware: you'll drool over the plantings here, and on check-in, every guest gets a list of all the plants used, which are numbered, so you can wander the grounds looking for everything on the list). We also saw coatimundis and raccoons on the grounds; didn't see the anteaters or armadillos.

Absolutely perfect place to end our trip to Costa Rica. We're already talking about going back again for an extended family trip.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Picton, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

We stayed for a week in January in one of the villas with no kitchen so our breakfast was included. We loved the girls in the morning they were very friendly and professional. Breakfast was a little limited and we would have liked to have access to the extended menu that you had to pay extra for. With 4 choices my husband had the same thing every day because it was the only one that had meat in it, but at least it was good.
The villas are set within beautiful plants, trees, and flowers so there is a lot of privacy in a lovely natural setting. The secret beach is beautiful and we liked the walk through the forest to get there. It is 10 mins walk from buena vista beach and 30 mins from town. Cabs are cheap but the walk is nice too. We should have gotten bikes to make it easier.
The pool is great, but one recommendation is to have thicker cushions on the loungers.
We had a problem one night with our villa, and they took care of the room rate and fixed it right away, the mark of a good hotelier.
Thank you Mariano for your great hospitality. If you ever need anything, ask Mariano!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CountyKat17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed 28 January 2014

This was our favorite hotel during our entire trip to Costa Rica! Tucked away from the town, its in the middle of the jungle with animals all over the property. The pool is so relaxing and quite. The pina coladas are the best!!! Thank you, Mauricio! The bungalows are very comfy, decorated super cute, and we loved absolutely everything. The breakfast is also great!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank nicole r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Pequeno Gecko Verde

Property: El Pequeno Gecko Verde
Address: Camino Buena Vista | Cantarrana, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Pequeño Gecko Verde is a small Boutique Hotel in Sámara beach, at the edge of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The hotel consists of beautiful villas, luxurious bungalows and romantics rooms, arranged to maximize privacy, in the middle of a beautiful tropical garden. Located 5 minutes by car from the central village of Sámara and its gorgeous fine sand beach, El Pequeño Gecko Verde is far from the crowd and the noise, immersed in the most tropical and the most quiet and serene part of the area. This privileged location in Sámara makes the hotel a unique oasis and the perfect compromise between beach and nature. It's also the ideal starting point for discovering the beaches of Buena Vista, Barrigona, Carrillo, San Miguel as well as numerous activities in and around the hotel and surrounding area. El Pequeño Gecko Verde is a small Boutique Hotel in Sámara beach, at the edge of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Nestled in the midst of centenarian trees and a lush tropical garden, the property is home to more than one hundred species of trees and tropical plants. As the flora and fauna occupy an essential importance to our setting, you will without a doubt witness some of the numerous animals which live all around the hotel, such as: monkeys, coatimundis, armadillos, raccoons, anteaters, squirrels, jaguarundis, agoutis, amphibians, iguanas, as well as many birds and butterflies... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Pequeno Gecko Verde Hotel Playa Samara
El Pequeno Gecko Verde Costa Rica/Playa Samara

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