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“Our Favorite Costa Rican Spot”

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Tico Adventure Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
California
1 review
“Our Favorite Costa Rican Spot”
Reviewed 27 June 2008

My wife and I stayed one night in an air conditioned room with private bath and then two family members met us and we stayed an additional five nights in the treehouse apartment. Beautiful teke wood everywhere, comfy hammocks, air conditioning, mosquito nets when needed, howler monkeys hanging in the trees across the road, parrot squadrons flying by, a great staff, and all the right "adventure" hook-ups.

These qualities coupled with an amazing price make this a top notch lodge for the budget-minded who want much more than a hostel can offer.

Traffic dies down at night for peaceful slumbering. But for the quietest stay, request a room away from the road.

We'll go back in a heartbeat for the great surf school and this comfortable lodge.

  • Liked — Beautiful style, comfortable accomodations, morning coffee, great staff
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank cal-adventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2008

We stayed five days at the tree top apart. with our little boy. We loved the apartment. The architecture is very much tropical and a beautiful change from box-like hotels. The tree top has a huge terrace to enjoy morning birds and late drinks. The lodge is 2 minutes from the beach and restaurants. The staff is OK and Chris is not a monster or a chain smoker! He was helpful and we went to see the crocodiles with him and his son and we had a good time.

I strongly recommend this place for people who are looking for a beautiful, exotic setting( a great amount of tropical birds around the property). I would not recommend this place for people used to big resorts with all amenities. Yes, we had a few ants and the water was likewarm but it is part of the charm! Samara is NOT Florida!

  • Liked — the setting in the trees
  • Disliked — road close by
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank FloKnoxville_TN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Vermont
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 February 2008

Wow,
It's weird to read these negative reviews of this place. I just got back, and I (we) had a great stay here. This place is right in the center of town, just a short walk to the beach and resteraunts, yet when you're here, you feel like your miles away from anything. (there are a few rooms near the road, where morning traffic could be a bother, but we were down near the pool, very quiet)
Also weird are the negative comments directed at the owner, Chris. He and his family were super nice to us, giving us tips on places to eat, surf, ect. They're not going to fall all over you, if thats what you're looking for. It's laid back, which I think is great. I think you need only look at the Lonely Planet review, which gives this place a rave review. It's to bad a couple of odd, apparently hard to please travelers, can taint the image of a place. I came back ready to tell my friends about what I thought was a great find. There's nothing nicer in town, at these prices. And Samara is a must if you plan on being in this part of Costa Rica.
For a beach vacation, with or without surfing, the Tico Lodge in Samara is A-one!

  • Liked — Quiet, relaxing, yet clost to everything
  • Disliked — Nothing really not to like
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank mutisport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allston, MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 January 2008

Recently stayed here for a few nights. I'll give you the pros and cons-

pros
- if you surf, they have rentals and tips
-little pool with a rope swing that kids enjoy
-tropical feel

cons
-showers with barely warm water
-lots of ants around (found a bunch in my bed the first night)
-some rooms without a/c
-no breakfast, only coffee

The staff is ok, not terribly friendly. There's a wide variety of people staying here, from families to surfers to couples. Location is ok, but there are a bunch of other hotels closer to the beach, restaurants, and shops.

laura

  • Liked — setting, balconies
  • Disliked — staff, room comfort
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank brocaknows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 October 2007

I wouldn't stay here again. The owner, Chris is a not so friendly "dude" who is anything but inviting. The place is clean, the staff seems to be alright but the morning, evening and afternoon face you see is the not so happy, chain smoking Mr Chris himself. Make sure to NOT book in advance on the slower months- you will be charged for every day booked. We were also electrocuted with the hot water. Ouch! I could have overlook the dark rooms that were rather clean if it weren't for the unpleasant feeling I had each time we arrived back to our spot. It doesn't make for a pleasant "vacation". Pay a little more for a place at the "Tree Top".

  • Liked — Pool was nice
  • Disliked — Chris
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
Thank TinySF69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2007

I was just there! I like Samara because it's not as touristy as other beaches. I like the rough around the edges feel of it. Tico adventure lodge looks way better than the photos in person. (I immediately started planning to stay there again in February '08.)

The best places are the treetop and poolside houses - they have a kitchen, and they have awesome weekly rates. It's probably the only place with very dense mature vegetation like this in all of Samara. It feels like an oasis. There's starfruit, mango, papaya, lime and ceviche lime trees on the property. They bring in orchids and other flowering plants as well. The architecture is unique and fun, the pool is always clean and the service is nice and friendly.

On my arrival at Samara beach I noticed that Tico Adveture Lodge is probably the only place that actually looks like the photos on their websites. The other places just don't look that interesting in person, even the ones that are more expensive. (note: I don't like resorts, so I'm not discussing resorts here.)

The walk to the beach is short and easy - about 3-5 minutes down a side street. There's a bar called el Ancla at the end of the street. Hidden under the trees, it's a nice place to chill before you go out to the beach, and next door to them is a great place for fish, calamari, etc.

In town, there's a little shack painted with the word "cervicheria" It's got the best ceviche that I've ever had!!!, just be sure to pack some Valentina sauce or hot sauce - it's not that great with the ketchup that they supply (why ketchup?)

There's also a fruit smoothie place that makes awesome papaya smoothies for only about 650 colones ($1.25) Perfect meal replacement for surfers - supplies slow-burn energy without bloating your stomach... It's also a good place to get fruits and vegetables for cooking.

Look at the weather when you plan your visit. The locals say the best surfing is in October, but it's still rainy then - so you might be seeing more clouds than sun. Conversely, the dry season is just that - several months of sun, and the Nicoya peninsula becomes extremely dry during this time. (Also, the dry season is longer on the coast than in the mainland.)

The waves at Samara are beginner-to-intermediate sized because the force of the tide is buffered by a coral reef that protects it. You can take a 15 minute ride north or south to beaches that have waves up to head tall on good days, and still stay comfortably tucked away from the majority of tourists at Samara Beach.

One more thing - if mango or papaya are in season, talk to Sean at Tico Adventure Lodge. For a very small fee, he might climb into the trees and grab some fruits for you. He's a really cool kid - he's 8 years old and has grown up submerged in Tico culture - he knows his stuff...

The pics would look better, but when I upload them, the TripAdvisor site "optimizes' them until they are all blurred and grainy. Oh well...

Contact me for more info if you need it - I'm going back in February!

  • Liked — Exactly what they advertised, not a bit bloated.
  • Disliked — No wireless internet access.
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Boukisan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarasota, florida
1 review
Reviewed 22 May 2007

Stay away from this place!!
Rooms are not like pictures
My room had an electrical wire hanging bare in the shower. No hot water as advertised.
The air conditioner had a note to not run all the time because it would burn up.
Owner "Chris" agreed to return money I paid up front if I was not satisified. He refused to return money when I asked for a refund.
Told me to call the local Chamber of Commerce.
Do not pay any money up front or give this person any credit card information.
I do recommend hotel Las Brisas Del Pacifico. Nice, clean, air conditioning, with a very polite and helpful staff.
Ask for Kevin. He is from Cleveland and goes out of his way to make things correct for you...
Forgot to mention.....the same person that owns the Tico Adventure also owns and operates the C&C Surf Shop.
Be Warned!!!

  • Liked — Absolutely nothing
  • Disliked — Absolutely everything
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank FlaSarasota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tico Adventure Lodge

Property: Tico Adventure Lodge
Address: 150 N 150 E Plaza Deportes, Playa Samara n/a, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in a tropical oasis during your Samara Beach vacation. Our hotel opened in December 2004, away from the bustling main street, amongst a lush, green, jungle-style garden. Near the center of Samara, the Tico Adventure Lodge is just 120 meters (100 yards) from Playa Samara and a short walk to restaurants and services. Wake-up in your clean, comfortable room surrounded by the exotic sights. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tico Adventure Hotel Playa Samara
Tico Adventure Lodge Costa Rica/Playa Samara

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