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“Amazing Experience -- Raul is incredible!”

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Centro Turistico Brigitte
Certificate of Excellence
Port Townsend, Washington
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience -- Raul is incredible!”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We had a wonderful experience riding horses on the amazing Playa Negra. I have little experience on horses, and was certain I would want to do no more than walk -- certainly I'd not want to gallop! Raul -- our guide and the most incredible soul -- gently talked with me as we rode our horses along the beach. (The three others in our group were a bit ahead of us. They all were more experienced on horses and far more comfortable than I was.) After chatting a few minutes, Raul had me agreeing to give it a go, and after "1, 2, 3..." off we went -- galloping down the beach. The photograph of me galloping shows me experiencing the true joy that I was feeling. The overall experience was top notch incredible. I strongly encourage you to take the chance to experience this magical excursion if you can.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lorraine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

This was a nice place. We stayed in a private cabin with its own bathroom Room was basic but clean and did the job. We has a little patio with a hammoch which was lovely. Owners were very helpful and friendly without being intrusive. The banana pancakes for breakfast were brilliant.

  • Stayed April 2014
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Helpful?
Thank dtb23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

I have to say this was the best holiday I have ever had. We had the most amazing adventures, everything was at your own pace, you could do as little or as much as you wanted, never any pressure. I remember looking out the window one morning and thinking this is how I imagined paradise to be. We stayed in clean cabins with handy cooking facilities on Brigitte's ranch off the beach Playa Negra with hammocks and trees. The local staff members are the most lovely people, Brigitte is wonderful - caring and accommodating. Our guide, Raul, was the sweetest man, lots of fun, full of local information and wisdom when asked for it and he really got the balance right of safety vs adventure - he had a good sense of how far we wanted to go, and ended up taking us cantering along the beach one night under a full moon - one of the greatest memories I have in life. We also rode through the thick jungle with Raul and went to a secluded waterfall, a local village, and galloped along a jungle beach path with Natasha - after which we drank coconuts fresh off the trees. The horses here are amazing, they majority don't wear bridles or bits, just rope! The animals, including the local dogs, are very gentle with the loveliest temperaments, they don't even want food from you - just affection! Can't say a enough good things about this place - especially if you really want to let go, are not afraid to get hot and dirty on a horse ride (cause then you get to swim along the way!) and have an adventure.
This is also a great place to just relax. Thanks and I hope we get to visit again one day.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Jody-mm00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rimbey, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We arrived at Brigitte's transported by private driver Christian from Costaricadrivers.net on March 5. We unloaded our baggage and were given a warm greeting by Brigitte. Even though we had booked a cabin some 3+ months previous. She said that due to the length of our stay she was putting us up at the next door neighbors place, as she thought we would be more comfortable with the larger room. A very pleasant and friendly Italian lady by the name of Aldina. Christian offered to reload our suitcases but we said we would just wheel them the short distance, so he could be on his way. Aldina greeted us and went to grab some keys. We had a choice of a lower ground floor room or one of the upper 2nd story rooms. Aldina said the lower room was cooler and gave us a look at the room. It was nice sized with 1 dbl and 1 single bed. There was shelving for our belongings and a nice sized bathroom. Everything was clean and tidy, so we took the room. She also showed us the outdoor kitchenette for our use if we needed. We had an outside patio with table and benches, lawn chairs and hammocks. No A/C, but a large pedestal floor fan. Once we unpacked, we walked the very short distance to the little store beside the Reggae Bar to get us some drinking water. Brigitte advised us against drinking the local tap water.
Husband went to visit with Brigitte while I finished organizing our belongings and changing into fresh clothes. The humidity is almost oppressive when you have come from the ice and snow of home.
Once he returned we ventured off to get some supper. We went to Chao's Paradise across the road from the Reggae Bar which was quite busy and lively. Chao's was practically empty. The waitress brought menus and inquired what we wanted to drink. We requested Bavaria Dark. They didn't have, so gave Imperial another chance. Yukk that stuff is as bad as Corona. We ordered our meal and it was there pretty quick. The food was edible but the price was ridiculous. By this time it was after 6pm and it was dark. I wanted to go touch the ocean so we walked across the road and down to the surf. We had heard the waves pounding on the beach. Though not big waves, they had a tremendous amount of force. After that we walked back to our room for an early night. Aldina's has a large wooden gate that she locks at night, so we felt totally secure enough to leave the inner door open to allow air to move through the screen door.
At home we live in the quiet countryside on a farm. Quiet was not what we got. A troop of Howler Monkeys was residing in the trees across the road. Every 15 minutes they would let off a cry that woke you as soon as you dozed off. The cars driving by, dogs barking and a neighbors child screaming like it was being murdered, did little to help you get into a sound sleep. This is while wearing earplugs.
The next morning I dragged myself half asleep over to Brigittes for breakfast. A good cup of coffee cleared the cobwebs from my brain. My husband was by the corrals visiting with the horses and our guide Raul.
Once he came back we ordered breakfast of just plain scrambled eggs with toast. After that we were ready for the day.
Husband had already confirmed with Brigitte of our riding ability and what our preference of horses were. So horses were saddled and waiting for us. Husbands was a buckskin gelding by the name of Yoyo spelled I believe (Llollo), mine was a buckskin mare by the name of Sol. At first glance I thought Yoyo was just plain mad at the world. He holds his ears out flat to the sides. Brigitte said he was born with the ear problem. We were to find out that he is a complete easy going sweetheart. Brigitte told me that Sol was head strong and to pull back hard on the reins would only make her go faster. I told her I was pretty light handed and would reach an understanding with the horse. We were joined by a gal from Germany who was mounted on the tall gray gelding Eclipse. This day I made the mistake of not carrying my own bottled water. I guess we were so used to having it brought for us.
We rode out of the yard and I ducked under a sign. Humm, didn't quite duck low enough and knocked my hat off. Ohh, what must have been going on in Raul's mind. We crossed the road and headed onto the beach. A short distance down we had to go onto the road for a short distance and then we were back to the beach. Raul was a short distance ahead of me, with the other 2 slowly getting further behind. They broke into a trot to catch up. Sol heard the hoofbeats behind and broke into a hard gallop without being told. Okay we need to have a discussion on who's the boss. I used my voice and gentle but firm pull and release on the reins and she began to listen and come down to control. So now I knew what pushed her buttons and what her personality was like. We had a nice lope up the deserted beach for 10 minutes or more. Okay scratch off the bucket list, "galloping down the beach." It was such a total feeling of freedom, I totally enjoyed it. Only an expert author could put it into words.
By the end of the day I felt that Sol and I had reached an mutual understanding of each other. I also think that Raul relaxed and understood that the morning hat thing was just a misjudgment. After all I am basically blind in my right eye and my judgment of distance is a bit off. My husband was equally happy with Yoyo, saying that he was so responsive and very smooth to ride.
Once back at Brigitte's we put the ponies away and gave them a banana as a treat. Brigitte asked us how our ride went and we said all was fine in our world. While having a refreshing cold beer we showed Raul our photo's from home and what we did with our horses and mules. He was so interested in the pics. After we went back to the room, changed and went down to the surf for a soak. The waves do a wonderful body massage.
The waves churn up a tremendous amount of the black sand. So be prepared to bring about 5 lbs of it back from the beach. It makes its way into everything and I do mean everything. An outside shower removes most of it before going to the inside shower. Important note if you want your bathing suit to be dry the next day, hang it up to dry. It takes about a good day for things to dry in the high humidity.
That night we walked down to Sobre Las Olas Restaurant. It's just short of a 10 minute walk down the road towards town, we were accompanied for a short distance by what we thought was one of the many street dogs. He mysteriously vanished into the vegetation along the way. This was a really nice restaurant that has a patio seating area overlooking the beach. The food was awesome and they had Bavaria beer.
Walking back to our room we were surprised of the number of people out walking. The majority were tourists. Even though after 6 pm and dark, there were street lights along the roadside, so you are not walking in pitch black.
We went to bed early hoping on catching up on sleep. Again we had the chorus of Howler Monkeys, dogs and vehicles. By that time I was considering if Howler Monkey was on the breakfast menu.
Next morning half asleep I wandered over to Brigitte's for breakfast. I made my way through the tables and helped myself to the coffee. Through blurry eyes I went to a table with a man at it and sat down. After a couple of minutes and an awkward conversation, I woke up enough to realize the man was a complete stranger and not my husband. Oh the embarrassment. It seems like everybody in the room was aware of what I had done. The kitchen was full of giggles and I'm sure this little story will be retold a few times after we have been long gone.
Even though I had a shaky start to the day, at least the rest of the day went off without a hitch. This day we were guided by Natasha. She fills in on Raul's days off. We were also joined by two brothers from the USA. Both of the fellows were novices but we enjoyed their company. Part of this days ride was a 45 minute hike on foot to a waterfall. I made it into probably an hour hike. Natasha spoke fluent English and we enjoyed conversation with her about everything, especially the horses. I had a great day with Sol and she was a perfect lady that day. On our way back up the beaches I let her have a good run and she was happy. Another awesome day. I swear I could ride the beach everyday and not get bored with it. That night we really needed the body soak and massage in the ocean.
Our next day was again with Natasha. Two young ladies joined us. We had a change of horses this day. I rode Eclipse the gray and husband got Telemunka. He is a bay gelding and the only bitted horse in the herd. Telemunka is an older horse and has an attitude of his own. Sol had the day off and Yoyo was given to one of the girls. Natasha ponied one of the younger horses behind her, to give him some lessons. The young colt became unruly on the beach trying to bite her horse. We stopped and my husband did some extra dallies of the halter rope. I short time later the colt escaped Natasha's grip. I chased him into the surf to slow him down. Eclipse played cutting horse and actually did quite well. I was able to snag the lose rope. I found Eclipse to be very rough to ride after Sol. I felt for a young horse that he was capable of more than he was giving, so instead of using my heels and the halter rope to coax him on I used my body. I even managed to get him to race to the lead and he got a taste of competition. My husband managed Telemunka despite the horse having one temper tantrum. He sure doesn't like being told what he can or cannot do. He does this by stopping and backing up and you had better not be in his way. We reached the river, tied the horses and went on a river boat tour for about an hour. After we sat under the shade trees and had the lunch Natasha had brought. When we were ready to come back I asked Natasha if she wanted me to retie the colts halter. The Costa Rican halters are so much different than ours in Canada. When you pull on the rope it just tightens up on their nose. I believe this is what was making the colt uncomfortable and fight back. With a couple of extra wraps and half hitches I rigged it to resemble our halters that pull on the whole head and not his little nose. It worked like a charm and he happily followed on a lose rope. He even did so at a lope, which had caused serious problems before. What a great day.
The next day Sunday, Brigitte took us on the chocolate tour and swimming at a local waterfall. This was the first chance we had to spend any amount of time with Brigitte. She was usually such a busy lady we hardly saw her. We had a great day.
Up until then we had enjoyed the company of other travelers, this was to change Monday when we rode with a family. The man obviously had something to prove. He had total disregard for all of those around him, including his own family. He had been given Telemunka. The first stretch of deserted beach he started a runaway episode with Telemunka. Sol went after him. I think he was planning on jumping a bunch of washed up logs. I pulled Sol to an abrupt walk. This guy just about caused a wreck. We kept the family at a distance all day and put up with them.
Our last riding day we had a choice. To either ride in the morning with some other girls or ride with the family in the afternoon. We chose the morning and had a great ride. Raul even took a video of the group galloping up the beach. I was to later find out the man rode Sol in the afternoon and suffered the consequences of not following the rules. He was trying to get her to jump logs at a gallop and she said,"NO I don't do that." I leave the rest to you imagination.
I can not emphasize how important it is to be completely honest about your riding skills and always follow the rules that are given to you. Brigitte cares deeply about her horses and to have somebody be so reckless with an animal that doesn't belong to them, is totally irresponsible.
Our last night Brigitte invited us for supper. She made the most tasty local dish cooked on an open fire. The rest of the evening was spent visiting with other guests.
The next morning after breakfast we had to pack up for our return to Allejula.
Thank you Brigitte and your staff for taking such good care of us, we so enjoyed your company and your horses. Also thank you to the scruffy little street dog for escorting us into town and back the one hot afternoon. Patiently waiting outside of stores and barking at cars passing us too quickly or to close. We know he enjoyed the coconut cookies as it really put a wag in his tail. We brought back many memories of our trip. Hope to see you again in the future.

Room Tip: I would try and find a quieter location for accommodation, but it would mean either taxis or walking...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cparker24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We stayed at Brigitte for four nights. While Brigitte and the team are very nice and helpful, we found the rooms to be very much on the basic side. This was after 10 days in Costa Rica and after staying in more central locations for the same price for a bit of a better value. The cabins are sweet, but small and there is no door separating from the bathroom, only a curtain. We also found the overall maintenance to be so-so (shower, toilet). Brigitte made an effort to extend wi-fi to the cabins when we got there though the network was better outside the room.
Unfortunately we didn't take a horseback ride tour which is their special focus.
The place is a 2 min walk from Playa Negra which is incredible. It is about a 10-15 min walk to Cahuita's main street where there are restaurants and shops.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ariella G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2014 via mobile

Brigitte and her staff made our stay in cahuita one well never forget and hopefully return to someday. I loved how cute and comfortable the cabins were, as well as the whole property. If you are an animal lover its also a bonus as she has several horses, chickens, cats and dogs. The cabins are also private enough with their own patio that you can enjoy some downtime in the hammock or maybe youll be as lucky as we were to meet a great group of people staying next to us where the patio of their cabin was comfortable for all 6 of us to hang out in. All in all i loved my stay here and would reccomend it highly to anyone venturing to Cahuita!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MeganTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We arrived late in Cahuita - unable to locate this place with our GPS. After driving for five hours from San Jose and completely frustrated and lost, we called and Brigitte kindly helped us find our way to her. I have since submitted the correct location to Google Maps but the easiest way to find it is to look for the Raggae Bar in Cahuita because Brigitte is located right behind it!

Brigitte and her staff were all very kind and welcoming. We settled into our room and were given a mosquito net as there are no sealed windows on the cabins. We thought this was great and added to the charm of the place. The private cabin was equipped with a warm shower and a nice private patio with table and chairs as well as two hammocks. I enjoyed watching the horses in the morning as they were just outside the window, a few feet away. I even enjoyed the roosters! Breakfast was very tasty - we enjoyed the banana pancakes and also fried eggs with avocado. Cahuita is a quiet town, the Raggae bar was a lot of fun in the evening with great live music. We drove to Puerto Viejo during the day (beach was nicer - white sand) where there was a more touristy vibe. We visited Cahuita National Park, Tree of Life wildlife rescue centre as well as the Sloth Sanctuary; all were close by and highly recommended as we had a terrific time at each! I would certainly recommend staying at Brigitte's for anyone looking for an affordable, basic and cozy place in Cahuita.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Nadia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Centro Turistico Brigitte

Property: Centro Turistico Brigitte
Address: Black Beach, Cahuita, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Cahuita
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 46 Speciality Lodging in Cahuita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 2
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